Market Specifications
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At CSI, we believe it is vitally important that accurate records about the database itself be available to the user. The Market Specs factsheets offer extensive information about the data you received from CSI, with separate listings for commodities, miscellaneous cash markets and stocks. The information in the Market Specs factsheets is provided for your information and is also used for processing the data. This information is stored in a file called ua\archives\cdbfacts.adm.

factico To view the UA Market Specs factsheets, click the Database menu and then select "Market Specifications, or click the "Market Specs" icon from the toolbar. The Market Specifications factsheet displays. This example shows the commodity/futures factsheet. The last factsheet you used will display by default, so this could be replaced by stocks or cash/fundamental series):


The information in the Market Specs factsheets can be edited as described in the "Editing Market Specs" topic.

For an expanded view of any column on the factsheet, click the heading or position your mouse on one of its boundary lines and press the mouse button. Still holding the mouse button down, drag the line to the desired position. Release the mouse button to drop the line at the new location.

Sorting the list, Locating an item and Selecting Market Type

Market Type:

At the upper right of your screen is the "Market Type" box, which determines whether the stocks & funds or commodity factsheet displays. The default is "Commodities." To switch to stocks & funds, click the down arrow symbol to the right of the Market Type box, then select your choice from the drop-down menu. Once you've got the right factsheet displayed, use one or both of the other boxes across the top to find the commodity or stock of interest to you.

Regardless of the initial "Market Type" chosen, the "Market Type" menu on the selection screen includes a host of useful subcategories. The "Economic Statistics" include the civilian labor force, Consumer Price Indices, Producer Price Indices, industrial production, commercial paper, new housing starts, retail sales, consumer confidence, personal income, etc. The "Interest Rates" subcategory shows bonds, bills and a broad selection of bank rates. The "Foreign Exchange Rates" section includes over 140 cross rates. And of course, you'll find our extensive offerings of Commitments of Traders data in its own category. Don't overlook the valuable economic information found in domestic and world stock indices.

Sort Order:

The database listings can be sorted by your choice of CSI number (the default), symbol, exchange, name, conversion factor, trading months or any of the fields in the fact sheet. To change the sort order, either click he down arrow symbol to the right of the "Sort" box, then make your selection, or click the heading directly on the factsheet on which sorting should be based. The above example shows the Futures fact sheet sorted by number. Use the scroll arrows to navigate through the listing.

When your sorting key is changed by clicking a new heading, UA will normally retain your previous sort as a secondary sort. For example, if you sort stocks by CSI number and then sort by exchange, the resulting sort will show stocks grouped by exchange, but listed by CSI number within the exchange groupings. You may elect to automatically use the name field as the secondary sort through UA Preferences. See the Factsheet Behavior tab for details.

When this feature is selected (checked), no matter which column you click for sorting markets, they will always be sorted by name within your designated sorting field. Using the above example, if you sort stocks by CSI number and then sort by exchange, the resulting sort will show stocks grouped by exchange, but listed alphabetically by name within the exchange groupings.

Locating a commodity or stock:

You can go directly to any commodity or stock on the factsheet (without scrolling) by typing its name, CSI number, symbol, or whatever relevant piece of information you know into the "Locate" box. The appropriate entry correlates to the "Sort" box at left. If the Sort Order is "CSI Number," UA will only accept a number for locating the item, and will search on the CSI number field. If you want to search by name, switch the "Sort" order to "Name," and then type the name in the "Locate" box. Likewise, to search by symbol, change the order to "Symbol" and type the symbol in the "Locate" box.

Including Inactive Stocks:

By default, UA will ignore inactive stocks as if they do not now and never have existed. However, if you would like inactive stocks included in your factsheet so that they may be selected for portfolio use, analysis or charting, you may arrange this through UA. See the "Include Inactive Stocks" tab of UA Preferences to activate this feature.

Market Specs Fields

CSI Number: CSI Number: Each commodity and stock has been assigned an arbitrary CSI number for cataloging purposes. CME Live Cattle is 2, Cocoa is 3, etc. Older, more traditional commodities tend to have lower numbers than later additions to the database. Some non-standard issues, such as cash markets and treasury issues, have numbers in the 2000's. West Texas Intermediate Sweet Cushing Oil, for example is number 2207.

Symbol: The exchange-sanctioned symbol is listed here. This will be used to identify all charts and files, unless an alternate two-character commodity symbol is requested through the portfolio settings or Non-Portfolio Chart options. See Symbol (2), below, for information on alternate symbols.

Exchange: The exchange is listed here, where it can be used for sorting purposes.

Name: The name of the commodity or stock. Non-standard cash and treasury issues (those with an x in the CSI number) may have their names preceded by an alternate number.

Price Format (Conversion factor): CSI's system of tracking the markets depends heavily on a conversion factor system, which emulates pricing information to conform with pricing you would see in the newspaper the next day. The conversion factor system establishes the currency value of a given price using the last (terminal) digit or digits for interpretation. In many cases, the parent exchange uses the same common denominator of the raw price as we do. There are, however, some differences.

The concept of conversion factors was introduced because there are no decimal points or fractions in the CSI database. It allows the receiving software to convert the raw database numbers to the appropriate values in terms of decimals, eighths, etc. Our earliest customers were all commercial banks and brokerage houses, which processed the data themselves through mainframe computers. They still need to know the conversion factors, as do the software programs used by most of our customers today. Unfair Advantage, QuickTrieve, MetaStock, and other software programs that use CSI data invisibly and seamlessly employ the conversion factor before displaying data on your computer screen or chart.

PRICE FORMAT KEY: For those who want to fully understand conversion factors, here are the details: A positive conversion factor simply tells how far the decimal point should be placed to the left to obtain the "newspaper" price. A negative conversion factor indicates that the final (rightmost or terminal) digit(s) represent fractional values as: -1 = eighths, -2 = 16ths, -3 = 32nds, -4 = 64ths, -5 = 128ths, -6 = 256ths.

Examples for the raw value 56111

Price Format
Conversion Factor    Newspaper price*
   +5       .56111
   +4       5.6111
   +3       56.111
   +2       561.11
   +1       5611.1
   +0       56111
   -1       5611 1/8
   -2       561 11/16
   -3       561 11/32
   -4       561 11/64
   -5       56 111/128
   -6       56 111/256

*The "Newspaper price" is the typical price representation, as you might find it in the Wall Street Journal.

Although most CSI users need never concern themselves with conversion factors, the conversion factor system is key to saving space in data storage and space both for newspapers and computer disk resources. For example, the number 9817, with a conversion factor of -3 (for 32nds), in decimal form would be presented as 98.53125. This value would take considerably more bytes of storage and more new sprint space.

One notable exception to seamless conversion factor application is in currency trading. There are two schools of thought on how some currency prices should be presented. While most trading systems require currencies be quoted with a conversion factor of +4 (.6115), others require a conversion factor of +2 (61.15). For this reason, we allow the user to modify conversion factors, but advise that such changes be made only as directed by CSI or your software vendor.

Unit (of Measure): The Unit of Measure entry simply reveals the currency of trading for the particular commodity and the units (bushels, bales, tons, metric tonnes, pounds, grams, kilograms, ounces, percent, points, cross-rate currency, BTUs (or Therms) [A BTU = a unit of heat equal to 232 calories], basis points, acres, barrels, 100 weight (CWT), percent, bags, index, megawatt hours (MWH), gallons, MMBTUs, etc. of product. CME live cattle, for example, is traded in cents per pound (C/LB).

Contract Size: The contract size is shown. You can calculate the total value of any contract by multiplying the contract size times the point value times the CSI price, taking into account the conversion factor. The current Point Value shows the value of the given commodity per point in the currency used to trade the commodity.

Point Value: The "Point Value" is the currency value of the movement of one point in the terminal digit of a price. A good example is the Australian All Ordinaries Index on the Sydney Futures Exchange (CSI#230). In this commodity, the CSI price would be held as 16430 with a conversion factor of +1. The exchange sees this as 1643.0 (after applying the conversion factor). To the exchange, a one-point move is twenty-five Australian dollars, which is the difference between 1643.0 and 1644.0. In CSI's lowest denominator system, the value of one CSI point is AUD2.50, because one point is measured before the conversion factor is applied, such as in the difference between 16430 and 16431.

Active Months: This entry lists a symbol for each of the 12 calendar months in a year. It identifies all the contract months, including those lightly traded contracts that are considered switching months, as well as non-trading months.

They are presented as:
·V = Normal (valid) trading month  
·S = Switching month (Switching Months are lightly traded contracts with typically short trading periods and low volume and open interest. They are not usually included in analysis series because of their inactivity and brief trading periods, but they may be included at your option. An example of a switching month is January COMEX Gold.)  
·| = Not a trading month  

Previous CSI Number: Commodities that have, for any number of reasons, been known by a different CSI number in the past, will have an entry in this field. Commodity #8, High Grade Copper is one example. Comex Copper was originally Standard Grade, which was stored in the CSI database as CSI number 6. See New CSI Number (below) for more on this topic.

New CSI Number: This field shows the date that a commodity became known by its current number. Of course, this field will only hold a value for those markets showing a "Previous CSI Number," above. There will be a footnote on all such commodities explaining the circumstances of the change and how CSI handled it.

2 Character Symbol: This field lists an alternate two-character symbol for those commodities which would normally be identified by a three-character, exchange-sanctioned symbol. These are necessary for use with those third-party analysis programs (at this time, most notably those programs by Omega Research, including TradeStation) that do not accommodate three-character symbols. To use these symbols, check the "Force all commodity symbols to two characters" option on the Displaying Data tab of portfolio settings or Non-Portfolio chart settings.

This field lists the currency of trading.

Start Date: This is CSI's first day on file for the selected market.

Sector Code: (For stocks) This is the market sector such as Banks, Computers, Drugs, etc.

Industry Code: (For stocks) This is the specific industry within the sector for the given stock. For example, Drugs/Manufacturer is an industry code that is a subset of the Drugs sector.

Foreign key type: This identifies whether or not a stock might have some other type of identification.

Earnings: (For stocks) The most recent earnings per share.

Shares Outstanding: (For Stocks) Shares available for purchase.

Number Institutional Share Holders: (For Stocks) Quantity of shares held by corporations.

Percent Institutional Share Holders: (For Stocks) Percentage of shares owned by corporations.

Average Total Volume:
This field is used to determine which markets are most popular and, correspondingly, most liquid. You might sort all markets by Total Volume to find out which are most active overall, or use Total Volume as a secondary sort to compare markets with the same name or from the same exchange. The Average Total Volume field is provided in the factsheet to help users understand general volume tendencies. Volume figures are updated with new UA disk versions, so the volume reflected on your software will reflect volume at the time the software was provided, not current volume. As patterns of relative market liquidity are fairly constant, they are unlikely to be distorted by the lag between the reporting date and the current date.

See the example that follows for information on applying factsheet information.


Always check the box under the commodity list to see if a footnote of important information exists for the selected commodity. The footnote can include a myriad of details such as explanations of no-trading days, changes in contract size, etc.

We request that you consult the Market Specs factsheets (including the footnote section) before calling CSI with a question about data. You may find the answer at your fingertips!

Please see "Editing the Market Specs factsheets" for information on making changes to these values.