A swing chart is a picture on a screen showing the position of an individual stock as it moves through the day. It shows, for example, that IBM stock was down 2.9% in the last 12-month period. If you’re looking for information about the stock, it’s more effective to use a stock-tracking program than just looking at the stock-tracking chart alone or reading news from news wires.
With a stock-tracking tool, you can see how the stock goes through a given day. With a stock-tracking chart, you get information about the stock as it moves.
So, how do you interpret a move? Well, as you might expect, it depends on who the source is for the information. There are two sources of news when it comes to stock fluctuations.
Firstly, if the news is coming from a business publication or market news wire (which is why you’ll sometimes see news alerts popping up when you visit BusinessWeek, for example), you should use the stock-tracking chart as an indicator.
Secondly, if the information is coming from individual traders (such as the one who sent me the following example), you’ll see that the stock has been moved up or down based on the trader’s interpretation of the chart.
So, let’s look at IBM.
IBM: A Stock Forecast? What I Did Wrong
On the morning of May 11 and into the morning of May 14 last year (when IBM closed at an all-time high, at $55 per share), I was taking a look at some stock-tracking numbers for my stock-trading software platform. A couple of hours earlier, I’d read some stock-tracking numbers on the company’s web site. At the time, I had an article published by the Wall Street Journal, which stated how IBM was planning to make its largest acquisition since the merger of Intel in 1998.
At the time, my software was doing just about everything IBM does in terms of stock-tracking and stock market analysis. I was using this data to help investors find new companies to buy.
As I was doing this, I also added a few articles to the site at the same time that showed how IBM was currently beating the broad market. While this helped me get a better feel for IBM’s prospects at the time, when I read these articles, I was disappointed.
I looked at the news feed for the stock-tracking page. It said that IBM
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