Futures Charts
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Creating futures charts differs from creating other charts because of the inherent complexity of the futures markets. Unfair Advantage allows you to chart discrete futures contracts from first trading day to last, or to chart a variety of sophisticated continuous charts that combine multiple contracts into a single data series reflecting the futures market over time.

The types of futures charts available through Unfair Advantage are:

·Normal Futures Contracts  
·Individual Futures Group (IFG)  
·Nearest Futures (Nth Nearest)  
·Back Adjusted  

The process of creating all of the above futures-related chart begins the same way, regardless of the ultimate contract selection. This topic covers all the common features. Once these are understood, please go on to the appropriate topic for details on creating the specific type of futures chart you desire.

Futures Chart Creation

Begin by clicking "New Chart" icon on the UA toolbar or by selecting "New" from the "Chart" menu.

The "Selecting Data Series" screen displays:


Market Type

As shown in the above example, the "Market Type" must be set for "Futures." If this doesn't show on your screen, click the arrow at the right side of the box to drop down the menu and make your selection as shown here:



Now you may identify symbols of the futures you wish to view. If multiple futures markets are to be handled in exactly the same way, you may chart them together, subject to the charting limit specified as Memory Cache Size in UA Preferences.

If you know the symbol or symbols, type them into the "Symbols" box. See below for an alternate method of Choosing Symbols from a List.


·Symbols entered must match the selected "Market Type."  
·Symbols must be separated by a comma, a space or both, as shown in the above example. Here we show a request for charts of CBT Corn (c), NYMEX Heating Oil (HO) and CME Eurodollars (ED).  
·An alternate way to identify the futures for charting is to enter the CSI number, such as 9 for Corn. CSI numbers can be found in the Market Specs Factsheets.  

Choosing Symbols From List

Click the [Mkts] button at the right of the "Symbols" box if you prefer to select symbols from the Market Specification list instead of typing them. You can begin every new chart directly from the list (instead of the Selecting Data Series screen) by choosing "In Data Series Manager, choose market from Market Stats List" on the General UA Behavior 2 preferences screen.

The example below shows the list of futures markets.


The following features of this screen may help you in your selection:

Limit to Market Type - This menu is found at the top right of the selection screen. Click the arrow at the right side of this box to drop down a menu of choices. Select the appropriate market type from the menu before using the other search keys. The choices that are applicable for futures contracts are:
·All Futures Markets  
·North American Futures  
·Foreign Futures  
·Domestic Stock Index Futures  
·Futures With Options  
·Single Stock Futures  
·Narrow Based Index Futures  
·Exchange Traded Fund Futures  

Only those market types within your subscription category will be available to you on the Market Specs factsheet.

The "Sort By" box is found at the top left of the Market Specs screen. Click the arrow at the right side of this box to drop down a menu of sorting choices. Secondary sorting will display as identified on the Market Specs Behavior screen of UA Preferences. The "Sort By" keys that are available for cash, forward and fundamental data are:

·CSI Number  
·MetaStock Short Number  
·Price Format  
·Contract Size  
·Point Value  
·Active Months  
·Minimum Tick  
·Two-Character Symbol  
·Option Start Date  
·Option Strike  
·Option Price Format  
·Market Type  
·Market Group  
·Single Stock Future  
·Average Total Volume  

The obvious benefit of selecting a sort key is that you can pick the identifier you know to quickly find markets of interest. For example, if you know the symbol, but not the CSI number, you can choose "Symbol" as the sort key and then easily scroll to or use "Find" (see below) to reach your desired symbol in the sorted list. Likewise with name, exchange, etc.

An alternate method for selecting the "Sort By" field is to click the heading at the top of the desired column. For example, to sort by name, click the "Name" cell at the top of the table. To reverse the sort order, click the heading again.

Find - Use this in conjunction with the "Sort By" key. Once you have selected the sorting key, enter the identifier you wish to find here. For example, if you are sorting by symbol, enter the desired symbol in the "Find" box. If you are sorting by CSI number, contract size or other numerical value, enter the number here. UA will locate and display your choice in the Market Spec factsheet.

If the "Find" feature does not reveal the market you desire, try the "Advanced Search" described below.


Be sure to check the footnotes at the bottom of the screen see if important information is available for your selected market. Click the market once to activate the footnote function.

Advanced Search

The "Find" feature shown above searches based on the beginning letters or numbers of the search string, which will usually lead you to your desired market. If it doesn't turn up your desired market, click the [Advanced Search] button at the bottom of the screen, which employs a more sophisticated approach. The example below is for futures.


Text to find:

Enter the name or description of the market you wish to find in the "Text to find" box. For this example, we entered "Crude Oil," which produced the results shown below.

You may also fine-tune your search by selecting an exchange or exchanges from the list. This is not necessary, however.

Click [Find] to start your search.

Choose Matching Market

UA will display all the markets holding the search string you entered, as in the example below for "Crude Oil." Click the one(s) you wish to select and click [OK].

Click [Restart Search] if your choice isn't shown and try again with a narrower search criteria.


The Market Spec factsheet will re-display with your choice(s) selected.

Click [OK] to return to the "Selecting Data Series" screen and proceed with creating your futures chart, as described below:


Internet Updates

The right-hand panel of the Selecting Data Series screen includes an "Internet Updates" setting. New charts are automatically available for intraday internet updates through UA's SnapQuote feature. Because this entry is checked (it cannot be unselected), any new chart will be updated with SnapQuote data if, and only if, you manually initiate a SnapQuote intraday retrieval session. If you plan to use SnapQuote, but do not want the intraday data to be visible on your charts, check "Ignore Snap Quote Data" on the "General UA Behavior 1" screen of UA Preferences.

Post Processing

Also in the right-hand panel is the "Post-Processing" box that offers two features for manipulating your data. These are referred to as "Post processing" because the processing occurs after the data is retrieved from your files, but before charts are displayed.

Detrend - Detrending is a manipulation that attempts to remove long-position biases and other distortions that can occur in long-term analysis. It is a useful procedure for all types of continuous files, but is not recommended for normal, discrete contracts.

Please note that due to the effects of inflation and deflation, back-adjusted and forward-adjusted files can produce negative values. A single adjusted futures market may, in fact, go negative in both back- and forward-adjusted files, depending on the rate of ascent or descent. The tendency to go negative may be reduced or eliminated when data is detrended. However, detrending will not guarantee that adjusted data will be elevated out of negative territory. Detrending is only one way that a user might minimize the likelihood that the back-adjusted historical past will fall into negative territory.

The detrending approach always focuses upon the very first (most distant) day of the historical series and either the day before the last day or the last day of the second most current contract. Either of these two selected end points and the first point determine a precise interval on the y price axis. The number of trading days that transpired from the first (most distant) point and the chosen end point determines the number of units (days) by which the entire series will be elevated or decreased, as the case might be, and leads to the slope calculation.

Detrending may be appropriate to condition a data series for analytical use within UA or with third-party software. This transformation of all historical data into today's terms is a convenient analytical tool.

If Detrending is desired, click the box to check the "Detrend" setting, Then click the arrow at the right of the adjacent selection box to choose one of the following:

·Second Contract - Select to detrend the portion of the series that lies earlier than the final (most current) contract segment of the adjusted series.  
·Second Day - Select to detrend right up to the day before the current day of the final contract.  

When used for cash series, detrending always affects all data except the balance of the final calendar quarter.

Invert - Inversion is a post-processing feature that allows you to view or analyze market data from an alternate perspective. It is used exclusively for comparing correlated currency markets.

In inverted data:

·Open price = 1/Open  
·High price = 1/Low  
·Low price = 1/High  
·Close price = 1/Close  

To have UA invert the selected currency or group of currencies, check the "Invert" box (click it) in the lower right corner of the Selecting Data Series screen.

Inverted prices are significantly distorted in both raw values and market direction. This feature in NOT appropriate for most markets and should be used judiciously.

Date Range

The default start and end dates are "as available," which incorporates all available data into the current chart. If you want a later start date or earlier end date, click the appropriate box and type the desired date.

The required format is an eight-digit numerical value consisting of the four-digit year, two-digit month and two-digit day, with no commas, slashes, dashes or spaces. For example, March 5, 2004 would be entered as: 20040305.

Contract Selection

Once common choices on the Selecting Data Series have been made, click the appropriate tab in the central region of the screen for the type of chart you wish to make:


Clicking any tab will submit your symbol list. UA will confirm symbols and present them with CSI numbers in the "Symbols" box. The screen may change in other ways, reflecting available choices for the chosen contract type.

Click the corresponding link below for a detailed description and instructions for the available market types:

·Normal Futures Charts  
·IFG - Individual Futures Group Charts  
·Nth Nearest Future Charts  
·Back-Adjusted Charts  
·Cash Charts  
·Futures Option Charts  
·Perpetual Contract(R) Charts  
·Gann Contract Charts  

Most of these selection screens provide default settings that will allow you to create a chart without further customization. When the settings meet your needs, click [OK] to display your chart(s).

See the Chart Interpretation & Manipulation chapter for information on interpretation and manipulation. Consider using the "Save to Portfolio" feature to save your charts for future use.