Chart Smart

Technical and fundamental analysis of
US and Canadian stock exchanges

Stock Screening

In the following we have created a series of lessons for you on stock screening with Chartsmart. You will see by the nature of the examples how diverse Chartsmarts' screening capabilities are. We have combined examples, images, and videos to show how you can create your own screens with Chartsmart. You should really have a feel for the power of Chartsmart when you are done. One of the main features in Chartsmart is the ability to create your own custom screening formulas (discussed in Lesson 3 to 6 below). Visit the Custom Formulas link to get a complete list of variables and a summary of instructions on creating custom formulas.

Lesson 1 - A Basic Screening Example

This video of a screening example shows you a few features in Chartsmart and how you enter the filter menu, create a screen, then go to the charting menu where you scroll through the charts and drop the ones you like into your personal watch lists.

Lesson 2 - The Criteria Tabs

To create a stock screen you simply enter the filter menu with the FILTER button. If you just installed Chartsmart you will see some beginner sample filter sets. These are samples but if you want to create your own filter set, you should go to SELECT A FILTER GROUP and select any of the personal filter groups from 1 to 10. These will be empty and these are where you can put your personal filter sets. Once you have selected one, click on ADD A NEW FILTER SET then in the box type the name of your filter set. Now lets look again at the beginner list of sample filter sets again. As you can see these are mostly NYSE related filter sets. We select the first one "NYSE securites" then click on "Criteria to be used" so we can see the criteria tabs on the right. In a sense your filter set is like a basket in which you place your selected criteria. Then you run the screen. Below are some of the criteria under the criteria selection tabs. Select any combination of these criteria when creating your filter sets:

Exchange tab - the exchanges available. Major U.S. and CDN exchanges.
Sector tab - combine any of 150 sectors. The screen shown gave me this result.
Type tab - screen on security types (ie warrants), also master sector groups.
Price tab - price related screens. % price changes, % from year high/low
Volume tab - volume related screens. Trade volume, volume breakouts
Tech tab - technical screening variables (ie. MACD, RSI, 3 days up in a row)
Fund tab - fundamental screening variables (ie. cash, revenue, ratios, dividends)
Watch tab - run screens on stocks that comprise your different watch lists
Port tab - run screens on stocks that comprise your different portfolios
Lastlist tab - run further subscreens on your last screen run.
Ind tab - screen Canadian index groups. Lists we update periodically.
Custom tab - screen U.S index groups. Lists we update periodically.
Special tab - screen news keywords, new listings, stocks with split.
You specify tab - where you create your custom screens (more on these below)

Lesson 3 - Creating Custom Screens

Click here for Lesson 3 on how to create custom screens. Chartsmart screens are based on a file that has 100's of variables, some of which are shown on the criteria tabs in Lesson 2 above. Look again at the sample above we used for the price tab in lesson 2. Note the small grey box which contains the formula:


As you can see above it includes variables called "close" and "c10". It says that the change in the close price from 10 days ago, divided by the close 10 days ago has changed by xx percent. You don't need to understand this formula now, just that we offer 100's of variables like "close" and "c10". We create our screening formulas by combining variables like these, just as you can do (as we will discuss later). This means your screening possibilities are virtually unlimited. In lesson 4 you will view the screening variables available in Chartsmart.

Lesson 4 - Screening Variables

You now should have a rough idea on how to create your own screening formulas, and use the Chartsmart preset screens under the criteria tabs in the filter menu. Let's now look at the variables available that you can use to create your custom screens. Click here to see a list of the basic screening variables contained in Chartsmart.

Lesson 5 - Sample Custom Screens

Before we go on to some of the more advanced screening capabilities in Chartsmart, you might want to copy and paste some of these sample formulas into a custom formula box under the the YOU SPECIFY TAB. Try mixing your custom formula with some of our preset criteria like different exchanges. If you have been able to do this you have successfully been able to combine the screening criteria available in Chartsmart with your own custom made screens. We will now go on and discuss some more advanced screening capabilities in Chartsmart.

Lesson 6 - Historical Variables - Advanced Screening

If you have completed Lesson 5 and learned how to make your own custom formulas with the basic variables available in Chartsmart, you may want to go further and try using historical variables. Historical variables allow you to put a number in front of each of our basic technical variables. This number represents the number of trading days ago that the variable applies to. For example #10close# would mean the closing price 10 days ago. Note that you can only create historical variables with our TECHNICAL basic variables, not the FUNDAMENTAL basic variables. With this feature you can do some pretty amazing things. For example, by using any of our technical variables like high, low, close, volume, trades, rsi14, adx1414, sma10, sma30 and so on, you simply just need to put a number in front of any variable indicating the number of days ago it pertains to. For example, you could specify the


meaning the current RSI is over 70 but the RSI 5 days ago was under 40. You could also specify


meaning the trades today are over yesterdays and yesterdays trades are over the day before that. The use of historical variables in screening offers an entirely new dimension in the stock screening, available only in Chartsmart.

If you would like to learn more about using historical variables go to our sample historical variable Formulas.Here you will learn the basics of creating your own historical variable formulas, and see many samples which will give you a better idea of the possibilities. It will explain how you must also download the required backtest files which have the values for the historical variables. You must know how to download the backtest files before putting a number in front of the variables will work.

Lesson 7 - Quick Screens - Watch Lists/Portfolios/Memos

Well congratulations if you have gotten through all the previous lessons and have learned the basics of screening and creating your own formulas. This next lesson is basically a simple one to give you a bit of a breather. Take a look at the PORT, ZWTCH and MEMO button at the top of the main charting menu of Chartsmart. These 3 buttons provides lists like your portfolios, watch lists, and the stocks for which you have made memos. If you click on either one of them you will see the VIEW CHARTS option which places the list you are looking at into the last filtered list. Take a look at the VIEW CHARTS button on each of

the porfolio menu (port) (your unlimited list of portfolios
the watch lists menu (zwtch) (unlimited quantity)
the memo button (memo) (memos you have written for the stock you are viewing)

Just as an example I clicked on VIEW CHARTS for the ZWTCH button above and this is the filtered list that was created. Note that if you need a little more help understanding watch lists and your screens visit our videos page where there are plenty of videos to show you how they work. Onto Lesson 8.

Lesson 8 - Saving your Last Filter List to a Watch List

In Chartsmart, once you create a filtered list, it is unique to the moment and to the specific screen. It will be lost when another screen is done. For example, if you just ran your favorite screen today of stocks doing MACD crossovers, then you clicked on VIEW CHARTS in the watch list menu, you would lose the MACD crossover screen. In order to deal with this you can always save any screen to a watch list. For example, if I had just created a screen like this one of major price decliners (134 stocks), I could save it to a WATCH LIST by going to ZWTCH. Then I could click on IMPORT LAST CREATED FILTER LIST TO WATCH LIST and save it to a Watch List. You can see in this image that I can enter any name I want for the filtered list and then it will be saved with all of my watch lists. I can then even run subscreens on my various watch lists. How do I do this? That is coming up in Lesson 9.

Lesson 9 - Master Group Screens in the Filter Menu - Watch Lists/Portfolios/Ind Tab/Cust Tab

For this lesson we go back to the the filter menu.. When in the filter menu I click on the criteria to be used tab so that I can view the selected filter set on the left, and the various tabs on the right. Note the criteria tabs:

Watch tab - run screens on stocks that comprise your different watch lists
Port tab - run screens on stocks that comprise your different portfolios
Ind tab - screen Canadian index groups. Lists we update periodically.
Custom tab - Screen U.S index groups. Lists we update periodically.
Lastlist tab - run further subscreens on your last screen run.

All of these options generate a specific list of stocks. It may be a list of stocks in a selected watch List, or stocks that make up a specific index like the Dow 30. See in this image under the watch list tab how the watch lists that are displayed are the same watch lists that would displayed under the ZWTCH button in the charting menu. In this exmaple I have selected the watch list called "Stocks I am watching for breakouts". On the left you can see it shows up in the criteria box. In addition I added another criteria to my filter set called "% Price is from 10Wk Low <=30" so the result when I run the filtered list is 1 stock which matches that criteria, of the 5 contained in the Watch List. This example shows how you can take any of the 5 tabs noted above (Watch, Port, Ind, Custom, and Lastlist) in the Filter Menu and do subscreens of these lists. Just as discussed in Lesson 8 you can save the resulting filtered lists into new watch lists. As you can see from this example, Chartsmart allows you to take various lists of stocks and do further screens on them. This shows how flexible Chartsmart is and how it is not only a great screening tool but also an organizing and management tool. Since we are on the subject of watch lists we will discuss in Lesson 10 how you can compare 2 watch lists for stocks that are common and uncommon to them.

Lesson 10 - Watch list Comparison Screens

By now you can see that watch lists (the ZWTCH button) are a critical component to Chartsmart allowing you to save and review your various screens created in the the filter menu. What if we want to compare Watch Lists for stocks that are common or not common to them? In this example I have first selected "New York Stocks I am monitoring" as my primary list hence it is shown in the yellow box on the right. I can tell you there are 5 stocks in it. Then all the remaining watch lists are shown on the left. I have selected just one of them for which I know 2 stocks are common to the 5 existing ones in the primary watch list. I selected the checkbox which determines which stocks are common to the primary watch list. When I run the screen the message box shows there are 2 stocks common which is correct. The resulting filtered list looks like this. Similarly, when I select the checkbox to find stocks that are not common, this filtered list is created, which is correct showing the 3 stocks that are not found in the primary watch list. Again you can see how this screening feature in Chartsmart allows for further flexibility in managing your screens.

Lesson 11 - Screens we can Construct you can download ie. Candlestick Screens

In many cases our subscribers ask us if we can provide a screening formula for them. Sometimes we email them to the user so that they can paste it into the CUSTOM CALCULATED LIST in the filter menu, and other times we save them to a list which they can download so that all users can access the formula. Here is an example. When you enter the filter menu you can create a filter set like this one called "Sample Filter Set". You then go to CRITERIA TO BE USED then the YOU SPECIFY tab and select a custom calculated list like this. Then you click EDIT to bring up the formula entry menu and click on CREATE FORMULA to enter your formula into the formula entry box. You can see the box here is empty. Next, on the bottom, you click on "Chartsmart Formula Database" to display this menu. This lists a number of premade formulas which you may want to view, especially if you are a candlestick chart fan. In the sample, the formula selected is the candlestick formula called "Bearish - Reversal - Breakaway". Once highlighted, click on the button on the top right called "Paste the Highlighted Formula and use it in your screen". After that you will see the formula which is then automatically pasted into the Formula Entry box that was originally empty. You can then run your screen. This lesson is just another example of the diverse features available to you for screening. Next we will go onto a very interesting and unusual screen only found in Chartsmart - Trendline Crossovers.

Lesson 12 - Trendline Crossover Screens

Years ago Chartsmart took over a company call Independent Survey Company which was the largest stock chart book manufacturer in Canada. Just from a historical point of interest, the way stock charts were made was that a person would laboriously add a chart bar to each chart by hand for each stock in Canada, manually. They would then make books for subscribers. The big advancement was a plotter which stood about 5 feet high that would actually draw the bars with a pen-like arm. Those days are gone and now we simply just go to our home computer and the internet which gives us unlimited charting options and indicators.

Anyway, back in the day, many investors would draw trendlines in their books to look for trend breakouts. Chartsmart has a feature which not only draws trendlines (arithmetic charts only), but also screens out the stocks which cross the trendlines. For example, if you had 120 charts with trendlines in Chartsmart, you could screen out the ones where the stocks had broken upward through the trendlines. To see this feature, go to the charting menu and click on TOOLS then ANNOTATIONS and TRENDLINES. You will see the annotations and trendlines menu. It is no special feature that you can draw trendlines, but note the 2 buttons at the bottom of the menu that say SCREEN. You can screen for trendline crossovers with these options. The best way to see how this works is to watch this video. The trendline screening features discussed are at the end of the video. If you are wondering whatever happened to the chartbooks, well they were discontinued and replaced with software like Chartsmart.

Lesson 13 - Screens Under the Special Tab - News/New Listings/Stock Splits

Finally we get to our last lesson on screening. In the filter menu, under the special tab there are more very unique screens you will only find in Chartsmart. Basically you can screen out stocks with specific keywords in the news release headlines or news, you can screen out stocks that are new listings, and you can screen out stocks that have had name changes, rollbacks, or stock splits. It is important to remember that you can combine these screens with any of your other screens. Let's now look at each one individually.

News Headline and News Content Screens

First let's look at a news release screen. In this example I have selected "News Release Filters - Canadian". In the center you can see the NEWS FILTERING MENU. On the top there are 2 tabs. One for NEWS HEADLINES and one for NEWS RELEASES (the content). I select the News Headlines option. On the bottom left one can also select the phrase "PRIVATE PLACE" though you can select any phrase you want, even for example a directors name if you were screening the news content. Note now that I also selected the date range after 05/04/2013 to the current day which is about 4 months. In summary this means I am going to screen out all the stocks that have the word "PRIVATE PLACE" in their news headline in the last 4 months. We dare you to find any other software with screening capabilities like this. The value of such a screen is that you can find stocks that have just done financings, meaning they are getting some money for continued operations, or exploration. Once I run this screen I then go to the criteria menu and combine it with just TSX Venture stocks as you can see on the left. Finally I run the screen and get this list of stocks that have done private placements in the last 4 months. Now for something really neat. Next I go to the charting menu to view the stocks in my filtered list. See this example. Note how the red bars above the volume scale are extended. These bars correspond to the private placements on these specific dates that had been screened out. You can even click on the bars to see the news and you will see "private placement" in the headlines. We have preset settings so that, like red corresponding to private placements, yellow bars correspond to the key word "options". Note that you can set various colors as you wish to correspond to different keywords that you have set for news headlines and news releases. Here is a video which helps make more clear the example of screening out private placements.

Screening out Stocks that have had Stock Splits, Reverse Splits, and Name Changes

Next we look at screening out rollbacks, stock splits, and name changes using the special tab. As you can see in this example I have selected the check box for the NAME CHANGES filter. In addition I selected "Stock Splits" and an after date of "07/04/2013" which is about 2 months to the current date on which the screen was run. When I clicked on "Run Filter" it resulted in the list you see on the right. You can see the dates are all after the date specified. These are all the stock splits for all stocks in the database that occurred in the last 2 months. Next, I selected to combine this screen with securities on the NYSE and it resulted in this filtered list. These are the stock splits in the last 2 months on the NYSE. Finally I look at one of the charts and you can see the red split line within the last 2 months, just as the screen specified. You could also for example look for stocks that have just had reverse splits (consolidations or rollbacks) on the TSX Venture exchange. You could then combine this screen with maybe the criteria that they are trading at lows, or just breaking out. The options are limitless and this shows just how flexible Chartsmart screens can be. Here is a video which helps make more clear the example of screening out reverse stock splits.

Screening out stocks that are New Listings

In this example I have selected to screen out new listings that have occurred in the last 2 months. It is currently Sept. of 2013 and the start date as you can see is 07/04/2013. On the right there are a number of securities listed with their listing dates beside them all in the last 2 months. I then go to the exchange criteria and include "stocks just on the NYSE" in the screen. Upon running the screen I get this list of 75 stocks that are new listings on the NYSE. If I go to the charting menu and view a chart for one of these stocks you can see the blue line which represents the new listing date. Just a reminder that you can combine this screen with others. For example, you might want to find new listings that are trading at a 10 week high or low. Here is a video which helps make more clear the example of screening out new listings.

Some Final Comments on Chartsmart Screening

Well we hope you now can appreciate the uniqueness and diversity of Chartsmart's screening capabilities. It should not be expected that you fully understand all the different ways you can screen with Chartsmart. That comes with time but it does start with you Downloading Chartsmart and installing it. Chartsmart is more than just a screening tool. It is an organizing and management system for Canadian and US equities. It is a very powerful tool in the correct hands and we hope you will enjoy exploring all the possibilities it offers.

We wish you the best combination of skill and luck with your investing, and hopefully Chartsmart will help you meet your objectives.

Download your 30-day free trial! Take The Video Tour and Learn More

"Chartsmart" is a registered trademark owned by Chartsmart Software Inc., Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For over 25 years Chartsmart has offered the stable and powerful Chartsmart platform to investors.


Web Design: Relentless Technology
Vancouver Search Engine Optimization

Although we attempt to provide all investment information with the intent of maximum accuracy, ChartSmart Software and any other parties, accept no liability for it's use. The data provided may not be reproduced in any form and users are prohibited from reselling or redistributing the data. Fundamental Data is provided by Morningstar. U.S. end of day quote data is provided by Morningstar. Use of the data is at your own risk and is hereby disclaimed by the ChartSmart and any associated suppliers. ChartSmart daily updates are available at about 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Fundamental data is updated on approximately a monthly basis. ANY DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.