Each month in this
Journal, our technical support staff addresses issues of interest to many CSI
subscribers in a question-and-answer format.
The views and information expressed
in this document reflect the opinions and experience of the author Robert C.
Pelletier. Neither CSI nor the author undertake or intend to provide tax
advice or trading advice in any market or endorse any outside individual or
firm. All recommendations are provided for their informational value
only. Readers should consult competent financial advisors or outside
counsel before making any software purchase or investment decision. CSI
does not stand behind or endorse the products of any outside firms.
Copyright (c) 2000 Commodity Systems Inc.
(CSI). All rights are reserved.
In last month's Q & A about our new Commitment of
Traders Data and Steve Briese's COT Index, we incorrectly stated: "The value is
high when large trader and commercial interests are large against small trader
interests, and the value is low when large and commercial interests are short
against small trader interests." Steve Briese sent us a correction, which
The COT Index is based on the Commercial net position
compared to its historical range (not Large Trader). Therefore the
above statement should have read: "The value is high when commercial interests
are large against small trader interests, and the value is low when commercial
interests are short against small trader interests." Thanks to
Steve Briese of Bullish Review for setting the record straight.
Questions and Answers
I am interested in trading overseas markets, but all the
different currencies involved make analysis tedious and leave me with uncertain
risk. Does CSI offer anything to make it easier?
Yes. Our next Unfair Advantage software release will produce
commodity charts that display in converted currencies. For example, you can
look at the Korean stock market index in US dollars, or you can view corn in
dollars per contract in place of cents per bushel. Other possibilities include
viewing dried cocoons in dollars per kilogram, yen per kilogram, d-marks per
contract, etc. Your exposure in your native currency becomes immediately
apparent from the day-to-day details of the historical past. Visit our website
at www.csidata.com (click SUPPORT) to get the UA Version 2.1.4 or higher
upgrade which will include this new feature. We recommend you visit this
website regularly to view an updated list of program changes and any known
I downloaded UA version 2.1.3 from the CSI website, but when
I installed it, the program still said it was version 2.1.2. Did the upgrade
Sorry, no. The link on our website was wrong, so you got a
repeat of the same Version 2.1.2 you had before. The problem has been fixed, so
please return to our website and download the 2.1.3 upgrade again.
My settings are such that UA builds my stocks and commodity
contracts in the CSIM format, the CSI format and the ASCII format following
each day of data collected. This process takes longer than I would like. Any
The problem introduced here is the requirement for many
files containing the same information. Asking for many formats multiplies the
time required to accomplish the building of your portfolio. Only one format is
usually necessary, as all formats contain essentially the same information in
slightly different forms. Unless your third-party software specifically
requires a different format, we usually recommend using CSIM because it can
accommodate negative numbers. Negative prices sometimes occur when creating
continuous data files with the proportional adjust switch in the "off"
position, invoking a subtraction approach for adjustments.
I recently switched to CSI because I got an unacceptable
number of errors from another service. While I am very pleased with the quality
of the CSI data, I am concerned about the time involved in updating the
database and creating my portfolio. Why is CSI's stock data available at a
later time and why does it take longer to process?
The answers to these questions go to the heart of the reason
you switched to CSI in the first place. CSI is a little later with stock quotes
because we wait until the close before we capture prices from the markets (as
opposed to capturing earlier prices, as some services do) and we check our data
against multiple sources before posting to avoid errors. The result: accurate
stock prices that are available between 7:30 and 8 p.m. eastern time. Our more
thorough approach does take longer than the "quick and dirty" methods employed
by many of our competitors, but the quality of our data makes it well worth the
You'll find that the latest version of UA processes
adjustments 65% faster than previous versions. Even so, the issue of data
distribution time is another example of "quick and dirty" versus deliberate and
accurate. If UA's Data Options are set to update stocks without proportional
adjustments (as most competitors do without comment) the process will be as
fast or faster than other services. Feel free to opt out of proportional
adjustments if fast updates are your top priority. However, if you want to take
advantage of UA's ability to proportionally adjust your stocks for dividends
and distributions, the compute time can be high. Longer-term stocks such as GE
may have build times of up to three minutes, but only when an adjustment is
required. UA will append to any series, including those marked for proportional
adjustments, if no dividend, split, capital gain or correction is observed.
Dividends are often posted four times per year, and December is a particularly
difficult month because capital gains and dividends are posted then.
If you think proportional adjustments are valuable (as we
do) and don't screen many stocks for investment opportunities every day,
consider the following techniques for speeding daily updates. 1) Since UA
adjusts an average of 1% of your data files with each update, and waits until
the end of the distribution to apply the adjustments, why not go ahead and
analyze the other files while you wait? 2) Limit your UA portfolio to the
stocks you are actively trading or those that you wish to view on a daily
basis. On those days when you want to screen thousands of stocks for new
opportunities, use UA's Stock Scanner to create your stock list. Leave the
"Maintain Stock Scanning File" option unchecked (off) on days you won't be
using the Stock Scanner. This won't decrease distribution time on your heavy
analysis days, but it should speed the process on other days.
I have a problem viewing the Commitments of Traders (COT)
indices with my new UA version. How can I correct this?
Saturday dates were inadvertently included in the COT
history files in early releases, making it impossible for UA to read the data.
If you were affected by this problem, the use of historical COT data requires
obtaining a history refresh on any COT series, or the ordering of a corrected
CD-ROM with the fix in place. Please visit our website or call customer service