Topics discussed in this month's
CSI will be closed for voice communication on Tuesday,
December 25 and Tuesday, January 1 for the Christmas and New Year's holidays,
respectively. The CSI host computer will be accessible throughout both holidays
and data will be available for any market that remains open on these days. All
of us at CSI extend our best wishes for the season and the coming new year.
Thirty Months of CSI
We say goodbye to
2001 with a look back at the last 30 months through the CSI Technical Journal.
This index reminds us of where we have been and what we have learned in the
recent past. It inspires us to begin a new year with ever-advancing
technology and progress, always aimed at enhancing the CSI experience of our
customers. This is just a brief history, as we have published the CSI Technical
Journal monthly since 1978. To find the full text for most of these journals,
go to the csidata.com website.
Reviewing Market Opportunities
with Perpetual Contract® Data
In June we were about to mark
the 30th anniversary of CSI's most enduring and successful product, Perpetual
Contract data (a protected registered trademark of CSI). This article reviews
the flexible Perpetual Contract data formulation and looks at the debate over
blending away the gap between old and new contracts.
Tech Talk Topics: Using
Unfair Advantage data with third-party analysis programs; back-filling a second
database after installation; compatibility with MetaStock; explanation of the
caret (^) figure in price fields; upgrading UA and a "Tip of the Month."
The MultiMarket Analyzer:T
Stretching, Unstretching and Leading the Way!
This article describes and
explains Unfair Advantage's® MultiMarket Analyzer (MMA). This module features
three distinct indicators, the Davis Stretch Index, which "stretches" data in
search of misalignment, the Davis Unstretched Indicator, which shows expected
price levels and the Davis Market Leadership Index, which tells which markets
tend to provide directional leadership for the others.
Tech Talk Topics: Clarifying
the roll-forward date in computed contracts; raising negative values in
back-adjusted series; upgrading Unfair Advantage from the CSI website;
restoring a previous (non-test) version of Unfair Advantage and backing up your
UA portfolio. Tech Talk includes a notice that the API demonstration package
has been enhanced, and can be downloaded from the website.
Capturing Intermarket Trading
The first paragraph of this
article states that the underlying purpose of the CSI Technical Journal is to
alert customers to the many salient features of CSI's market data services in
ways that might help the user make more effective trading decisions. The
remainder of the newsletter fulfills that purpose by defending Perpetual
Contract data and then moving on to ways that the MultiMarket analyzer can help
Tech Talk Topics: Charting
cash prices with Unfair Advantage; handling the change of the tick size of some
10-Yr. Treasury Notes; restoring full precision following a UA upgrade and
The Impact and Influence of
the Federal Reserve System on the U.S. Economy - 1999
This is an updated version of
an essay that appeared in the August 1996 issue.
Tech Talk Topics: Using
UA's "artificial high/low" option for data presentation; CSI's policies
regarding trading advice; explanation of what goes in the monthly "Error
Report" and overwriting the "update.adm" file.
Why Clean Data is a Mandatory
This article revels in Futures
Magazine's September '99 issue, which featured a cover story about the accuracy
of end-of-day data providers for investors. CSI finished on top! The many
factors that contributed to CSI's impressive performance are discussed here.
Tech Talk Topics: Error in
Alerts Calendar and plans for enhanced UA charting.
Revisiting CSI's Trading
System Performance EvaluatorTM
This is a review of TSPE's
objective, methodology and technique. It explores issues such as developer
bias, trade independence, appropriate sample size and TSPE applications.
Multiple graphics are included. A second article details how to use CSI data
with RadarScreenT and a third explains preparations for 6% T. Bonds and Notes.
No Tech Talk.
Beyond 2000i and Trading
This article discusses the
non-competitive relationship between CSI and Omega Research, as Omega's private
label database provided free with their software is not in the same league as
the CSI database. The article compares and contrasts many CSI services with
those of Omega.
Tech Talk Topics:
Preparation for the year 2000; using QuickTrieve® v. 4.07F after Y2K and using
software with a two-digit date format after December 31st.
Studying the Anatomy and the
Dangers of TradeStation®
Here is an attempt to unravel
the mysteries of TradeStation with particular attention to the "Strategy
Performance" report. The final assessment advises caution and wariness: "Buyer
beware. There is no free lunch." A second article, called "Unfair Advantage®
for the 21st Century" outlines the software's current capabilities.
Tech Talk Topics: Maintaining
compatibility with third-party analysis programs when upgrading Unfair
Advantage; changing the size of UA's charting window; using CSI data with an
alternative database format; CSI's seamless transition into Y2K and how to get
current marketing information.
Screening Equities with Unfair
Advantage's® Stock ScannerT
The lead article explains the
steps necessary to screen perhaps 25,000 stocks. Another article discusses
Trading System Performance Evaluator's goal selection and chart interpretation.
The Journal finishes with a review of Delta Society software and a Y2K
compliance status report.
Tech Talk Topics: Using
QuickTrieve with third-party software that is notY2K compliant; using TraDe$k
past the new year; adding options to UA; understanding the CSI Data Retrieval
Agreement ("personal and private" explained).
Advice for Business Partners
This Journal begins with a
tongue-in-cheek poem called "Advice For Business Partners," and goes on to
discuss how certain competitors have teamed up with partners, only to launch a
business that directly competes with the partner. The article explains that
CSI, as an independent data vendor, has no alliances that may cause conflicts
of interest that may not be in the best interest of our customers. A summary of
CSI's data services is included, as is a review of Formula Research.
Tech Tip Topic: Steps to
speed data distribution with Unfair Advantage.
Breaking Out of the Mold for
This month's discussion
focuses on a tried and true model for market analysis - the breakout system,
and the necessity of accurate data to feed it. Sheldon Knight's "How Clean Is
Your Data" article in the September '99 Futures Magazine is extensively
referenced. The newsletter also passes along a customer's comments about a
competitor's "Unfair Burdens," and provides notice of a price change for the UA
World Futures Database. Additional articles explain charting thousands of
stocks with UA's Stock Scanner and invite users to subscribe to our e-billing
Tech Talk Topics: Use of
the monthly Error Report; finding features from UA's former "View" menu; CSI's
record for data accuracy and using CSI data with TradeStation. An update on
supported formats is also provided.
The Quick Route to UA Charting
(A Navigational Guide)
This article introduces the
newest version of Unfair Advantage, which has a somewhat different look and
feel from earlier versions. The extensive tutorial guides users through the
process of creating a portfolio and charting data using UA's new interface.
This newsletter also mentions CSI's position as #1 on the google.com search
result list for "commodity data," and announces the addition of Commitments of
Traders (COT) data to the CSI database. QuickTrieve users are advised through
an additional article that the "File Adjust" feature is no longer needed.
Tech Talk Topics: Possible
solutions to problems with writing data files; discerning between current-day
and lag-day cash prices; correcting Windows NT® "crashes;" maintaining separate
databases with UA data and mutual fund adjustments. A notice informs users of
the information requested when reporting possible software errors.
Low Margins and Improved Tools
Fuel Futures Speculation
Here we touch on some of the
most important issues involving data and futures market analysis. These include
the pitfalls of examining a market with skimpy data reserves; the pros and cons
of various computed contracts; the value of volume and open interest; the use
of detrending; and the important step of system evaluation and certification
with Trading System Performance Evaluator (TSPE). This newsletter also
introduces the idea of becoming a CSI business associate and earning referral
fees, and includes a review of VantagePoint analysis software.
Tech Talk Topics: Viewing
Commitments of Traders data with UA; selecting the roll-forward date for
nearest future contracts and the UA v. 2.12 upgrade, which appends
proportionally adjusted stock files instead of rebuilding them.
CSI Users Perform Custom
Studies with UA's Stock ScannerT
This is a description of the
process of using UA's Stock Scanner to apply custom studies to thousands of
stocks using VisualBasic or Perl.T Sample Perl language programming code is
provided. A recommended reading list is also included, as is a government
survey seeking input on COT data (reprinted from the Bullish Review).
Tech Talk Topics: UA's
new currency converter; download instructions for UA version 2.1.3; minimizing
redundant data formats to speed distribution; data access times and speed of
transmission; correcting a problem with COT data and a correction to last
month's Q&A about COT Index data.
Certification and other Perils
This article provides the CSI
customer with information to help with the planning and execution of a careful
trading plan. It discusses the importance of the trader's algorithm and the
development of custom studies. Certification and verification of results with
TSPE are recommended. This newsletter includes a message from UA developer
Steven Davis advising customers of the need to upgrade to UA v 1.74 before
August 23rd, as this version supports a new data type that is necessary to
provide an increasingly comprehensive list of services. Also included is a
reminder about the CFTC's COT survey.
Tech Talk Topics: Upgrading
the UA online manual to receive the table of contents; displaying non-truncated
values for markets that are typically truncated; separating data into folders
sorted by format using multiple portfolios; launching a third-party analysis
program automatically; selecting markets from a list; dismissing the "Tips"
list; keeping trading records with CSI's upcoming Trader's AccountantT and
selecting computed contracts.
In Search of a Sure Thing
Here we question the existence
of a "sure thing" in the financial markets, and discusses ways that UA's
Trading System Performance Evaluator helps weed out trading systems that are
likely to result in failure.
Tech Talk Topics: Decimalization
of the US stock markets and its effect on CSI data files; finding the Alerts
Calendar in the current UA; explanation of the new Moving Average
Convergence/Divergence (MAC/D) study; speeding the Stock Scanner process and
UA's "Display in Currency" feature.
Defining The Trading Day on
U.S. Security Exchanges
This is a review of exchange
policies that have led to inconsistencies and delays in posting market data. It
also reports the good news that the NYSE has introduced a new rule that will
eliminate these problems. Small-lot, after-hours trades will no longer distort
Tech Talk Topics: The
CFTC's survey about Commitments of Traders (COT) data; adding indices to a UA
portfolio and creating the largest possible charts with UA.
This article is a walk-through
example of how to use TSPE to obtain a comprehensive analysis of your favorite
trading system. It includes information on entering the required data,
selecting the contract multiplier, choosing commission, adjusting for sample
size and parameter count, choosing a goal, understanding probabilities and
Tech Talk Topics: The
upcoming change in Stock Scanner to accommodate commodities; using UA to
explore stocks by industries and sectors and UA's "update.adm" file, which
addresses changes and adjustments.
Detecting Emerging Market
Opportunities in Stocks and Futures With MarketScannerT
Reintroducing UA's Stock
Scanner as "MarketScanner," a powerful, versatile screening and scanning tool
that is no longer limited to just stocks and indices. The article includes an
example of a new study called Emerging Markets (EmergMkt) that has been
developed for experimental purposes in Unfair Advantage v. 2.2.2.
Tech Talk Topics: Expanding
MarketScanner's sample library; the CSI website's Current Posting Status
screen; the negative prospects for running UA on an old, underpowered computer
and incompatibility with WebTV.®
Adding the PerlT Language to
Your Set of Programming Tools
Explore the pros and cons of
using Perl for market analysis within Unfair Advantage's MarketScanner. It
includes a basic description of Perl's symbol operators and use of variables,
as well as a brief tutorial and "Perl Tips."
Tech Talk Topics: News
headlines; download speed; holidays in ASCII files; and diagnosing and
correcting gaps in the UA database
Engaging Unfair Advantage's
MarketScanner to Find Solid Trading Opportunities
This article describes the
experience of using MarketScanner in developing an emerging market study and
contrasts it to similar attempts with Omega's Radar ScreenT and TC-2000.T It
finishes with a list of additional "Perl Tips" for programmers.
Tech Talk Topics: Decimalization
of U.S. stocks and help with the interpretation of CSI's commodity data.
A User's Guide to Unfair
Advantage v. 2.3
Here we unveil the vast array
of enhancements and new features in the latest upgrade of Unfair Advantage. The
most significant changes are in the portfolio manager that supports multiple
portfolios, and in the charting module, which offers enhanced scaling options
and the ability to chart custom studies. This journal has no Tech Talk, but
includes a summary of UA's economic database.
A Comparison: Futures vs.
Stocks in a Volatile Market
This article addresses the
stock market's inherent tendency to punish all or nearly all investors in a
down market. It explores the use of the futures markets for viable investment
alternatives in uncertain times.
Tech Talk Topics: Missing
days in overseas price series; correcting an error in UA v 2.3.1; new symbols
for preferred stocks; decimalization of U.S. stock markets; developing a
trading record for CSI's Trading System Performance Evaluator; identifying raw
contracts to chart with UA and data presentation alternatives on UA charts.
Stock Futures: Investing with
a 21st Century Twist
The concept of "single stock
futures," which will soon be available at U.S. markets and which will be
supported by UA is introduced. This Journal includes an announcement that CSI
has engaged several new sources of exchange data, adding additional redundancy
to further enhance data accuracy and expediency.
Tech Talk Topics: Using
UA's "History Refresh" to correct a "range check error;" the QuickTrieve format
enhancement that allows for higher values through ".DT2" files; data precision
for penny stocks quoted in decimals; the relationship between Perpetual
Contract data prices and actual futures prices (relating to an unexpected jump
in platinum prices); rollover dates for nearest-future contracts; the UA\UAPI
directory with sample programming code for Perl, C++, Visual C, Delphi and
Builder3; decimalization of the U.S. stock markets and improved data release
Unfair Advantage Outpaces the
Here is an overview of the
many enhancements to Unfair Advantage in the preceding 18 months. Areas of
improvement discussed include charting, analytical studies, multiple
portfolios, database enhancements and enhanced customer support through the CSI
website and information systems within the software. The newsletter includes an
important notice that UA v 2.1. and earlier version will no longer be
compatible with future upgrades, and will be replaced by CSI.
Tech Talk Topics: The
addition of new Dow Jones IndexesSM to the database; viewing those indexes
through UA; possible benefits of the Dow Jones Indexes; price discrepancies
with newspaper prices and changes in analysis results after upgrading (London
Potatoes and NYMEX Natural Gas). Delta Graphics users are encouraged to upgrade
to UA v. 2.3.5 for important new features.
The Dow Jones IndexesSM are
compiled, calculated and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have
been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © Dow Jones
& Company, Inc.
Computed Contracts Get Real
This article ponders the
question of how market data should be treated to best replicate and simulate
the "real" trading environment. Computed contracts are discussed, as are the
effects of liquidity and volatility.
Tech Talk Topics: Setting
colors for charting indicators; troubleshooting with the online manual and
multitasking while UA is downloading data from CSI.
CSI's Formula For Data
This Technical Journal
provides a historical overview of the CSI database, from its humble beginnings
to its emergence as a world leader in providing complete, accurate market data
to individual investors and corporate customers. General information on data
sources and internal data processing are provided. Additional articles comment
on CSI's right to claim a copyright for the data we provide and about the
SGX-DT (Singapore) exchange's request for exchange fees.
Tech Talk Topics: Correcting
the "Program Not Found" error after changing browsers; UA's new "Scale By
Visible Data Only" option; arranging for automatic data downloads through
Windows' Task Scheduler and CSI's handling of exchange fees.
Using Options to Take the
Sting Out of a Down Market
This article presents examples
of option strategies that might be used to help preserve and enhance investment
capital. It includes a disclaimer notice about the risks involved in trading
Tech Talk Topics: Printing
the UA factsheets from the CSI website; adding a grid to charts; using UA to
view daily data, even when custom programs focus on weekly series; and viewing
and printing CSI's Alerts Calendar from outside of UA.
Pearl Harbor Revisited
Inspired by the terrorist
attacks on September 11th, this article reflects upon December 7, 1941,
"another dark day for Americans," and the financial climate that followed. It
includes charts of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from the 1930s through the
1960s. Additional articles include condolences to those affected by the 9/11
tragedy and a compatible software profile: Elliottician (Makers of Elliott Wave
Tech Talk Topics: Database
corruption caused by content-altering software such as "Cybersitter" or IE's
"Content Advisor;" volume and open interest postings; custom programming
assistance and information on "CD required" upgrades.
Examining Seasonal Tendencies
To Uncover Clues in Historical Data Reserves
This article explores trading
seasonal commodities as a viable alternative to the
everybody-wins-or-everybody-loses stock market during these uncertain times. It
demonstrates how CSI's Seasonal Index can help and includes a disclaimer about
the risks associated with trading commodities.
Tech Talk Topics: The
elimination of ActiveState screens when installing UA; the effects of the 9/11
tragedy on data files; handling of the data gap for markets closed 9/11 - 9/14;
charting of out-of-range settlements and the CME's settlement policy (relating
to the Columbus Day holiday).