A First Look at the New Yahoo! Finance Charts Beta
Earlier this week Yahoo! announced changes that would roll out soon to upgrade aspects of the Yahoo! Finance property. One of these changes, and probably the most significant for daily users, is the completely overhauled Stock Charts.
When Google rolled out Google Finance property, most of the hubbub around their offering was the dynamic charts. These hadn't been seen before anywhere and had a lot of "kewl" factor in them. Even without the kewl charts, Yahoo! continued to be the most comprehensive and most visited financial resource on the web. And now, Y! is rolling out their version of dynamic stock charts with lots of "kewl" factor. Read on for an overview of the new features and my thoughts.
Dear reader, please realize I am no investing wizard. Many of the functions (and there are MANY) available within the new Y! stock charts are as usable to me as an abacus or a slide rule. So I will not embarrass myself with an attempt at explaining them.
What I can see and feel is a very intuitive user interface with several levels of control. It's incredibly easy to add stocks to be charted, even to add more than one on the same chart. A menu of competitors to the company you initially selected is automatically provided with the assumption that these are who you will want to compare against.
The detailed historical data goes back to 1928, which is certainly sufficient for most historical analysis.
There are different line types and chart scales to choose from. Several "Technical Indicator" options are available. This includes the more obvious such as "Volume" and "Simple Moving Average" and extends to include others such as "Bollinger Bands" and "Money Flow Index" (here's where I'm getting over my head).
As you move the mouse pointer around the chart, a track ball moves along the graph line and a dynamic display changes to reflect the date at that point on the chart and its related numeric data.
The "Technical Indicator" features require different Y-Scaling than the stock data, so they are placed on their own charts below the main stock chart. This is a very powerful display of customizable information on one screen. The track ball feature dances across all these charts simultaneously providing for pin-point analysis.
If you need to adjust the time window for a chart, a time range window pops up and provides your with a slider to set the boundaries for the start and end points for the chart. Or you can simply type the date range.
Once you achieve the perfect chart you will probably want to print it. The print button creates a Flash preview of the chart in a separate window. I could see this to be useful if you want to compare a couple charts when a printer isn't available.
As mentioned in my earlier post, access to the new Y! Finance Stock Charts beta is limited and is being rolled out little by little as feedback is collected and acted on. Soon this will be rolled out to all Y! Finance users.