As of 08/05/2022
Indus: 32,803 +76.65 +0.2%
Trans: 14,601 +122.31 +0.8%
Utils: 1,014 -7.66 -0.7%
Nasdaq: 12,658 -63.03 -0.5%
S&P 500: 4,145 -6.75 -0.2%
33,300 or 31,400 by 08/15/2022
15,200 or 13,400 by 08/15/2022
1,040 or 975 by 08/15/2022
12,900 or 11,300 by 08/15/2022
4,200 or 3,900 by 08/15/2022
As of 08/05/2022
Indus: 32,803 +76.65 +0.2%
Trans: 14,601 +122.31 +0.8%
Utils: 1,014 -7.66 -0.7%
Nasdaq: 12,658 -63.03 -0.5%
S&P 500: 4,145 -6.75 -0.2%
33,300 or 31,400 by 08/15/2022
15,200 or 13,400 by 08/15/2022
1,040 or 975 by 08/15/2022
12,900 or 11,300 by 08/15/2022
4,200 or 3,900 by 08/15/2022
Patternz is a FREE desktop software application that finds chart patterns and candlesticks in your stocks automatically and displays them on a chart or lists them in a table. It does not contain any spyware and there is no registration process. It works with Windows 7 (and more recent) versions of the operating system.
Use Patternz at your own risk.
Version 7.41 7/1/2022 (3.4mb file)
Patternz is a Windows based program that automatically finds chart patterns. It has these features.
The picture shows the Main Form as of version 7.27
The white area (1) lists your stock quote files (if any: .txt or .csv files). Each file contains quote information from ONE stock that the program uses. You must provide the stock symbols (Where do I get symbols: explained) of your choice.
The Browse Portfolio Location button at 2 helps locate data files shown in 1. The selected path appears at 5 (unless you select files, in which case, the number selected is shown).
The menu bar (3) shows:
When checkbox 6 is checked, the portfolio feature (4) appears. This allows you to setup multiple portfolios to contain different stock symbols (quote files). Click the Help button (7) for more information.
The buttons near 2 (clockwise from left): Browse Portfolio Location find where you put your quote files (1), Score to automatically score your chart patterns for performance, Indicator runs the chart pattern indicator (CPI), Simulator runs a trading simulation, Select All highlights all files listed in 1, Chart the files, List found patterns, and Update stock quote data.
After highlighting stock quote symbols in 1, some of the buttons near 2 will ungray as will menu items (3).
This is the Best Trading Time form as of version 220.127.116.11, based on a run using Apple stock. The form allows you to determine when is the best time to make a trade, based on historical price behavior. In this example, I wanted to find the best month to buy which led to the stock doubling in one year.
Access the form from the Main Form's menu, under Seasonality.
Here's an explanation of the controls.
1. This is the grid where results are displayed.
2. Specify how much you want to make, in percent. A value of 1, means you're looking for a gain of 1%. One-thousand percent is the max for this control.
3. Enter the number of price bars (time) max, that it will take the stock to make its move. For example, if you want the stock to climb 5% in a week, then you'd enter 5 in control #2 (for 5%) and 5 in control #3 (for 5 price bars, or one week's worth of trading). If you wanted to make 5% in a month, then you'd enter 21 price bars (4 weeks in a month, each week has 5 price bars or about 21 bars). One year has 261 price bars, which is the maximum allowed in this control
4. Check whether you're looking for a gain using the close-to-close prices or low-to-high. For example, if a stock closed a week ago at $10 and the next day it closed at $11, then that's a gain of 10% or (11-10)/10 x 100, measured close-to-close. However if the stock dropped to $9 on the first day and made a high of 12 the next day, measured low to high, that's a gain of 33% or (12-9)/9 x 100. Using the close-to-close setting is more conservative and realistic than low-to-high.
5. If you want to use specific dates in the file (say you want to exclude the 2007 to 2009 bear market), then select this option and adjust the From and To dates.
After you've played with the controls, click Start. Patternz will search the file for the specified gain in the allotted time and will report its findings in the grid (1). For example, in January 2019, Apple had 19 days in which price started a 100% gain in one year (261 price bars).
The greed shaded cells in the grid show the outliers, periods with unusually high numbers of hits. March and April 2020, for example, showed 17 days in which the stock met the 100% gain in 1-year condition. The rest of the year (except for February, which had 2 hits) was 0. So the 17 number is unusually high for that year.
This is another run using the form, but it includes many stocks.
To the right of 1 are the stock symbols I used. In this case, I was looking for stocks which have a tendency to rise 5% in 2 weeks (10 price bars). The last line in the grid, I count the number of outliers.
At 2, the program reports it found two outliers and another in July. Buying ADS stock in October saw price rise 87 times by at least 5% in 10 bars over the years. Compared to the other months, that was an outlier result -- unusually high total.
"Outlier" on this form means that the result is above the middle 50% of results (I think of a bell-shaped curve with most of the results coming in the middle of the bell. The outliers are the 'tails', the values at the extremes of the bell).
Full candlestick support appears starting in version 5.2. The above form shows the number of candlestick patterns supported (105) as of version 7.0.
On the Chart Form, hovering over a price bar will cause Patternz to run candlestick recognition. The results of what it finds appears on the form. The List Form will report candlesticks found on the specified date range, too, in list format. Both of those forms depend on this form to identify which candlesticks you wish to search for.
New to version 7 is the Top 10 buttons in the bottom center of the form.
The Reversal button checks the ten candlestick patterns that indicate a reversal most often. A reversal occurs when price breaks out on the same side as it entered the candle. For example, a reversal occurs when price enters a candle pattern from the bottom and breaks out downward (that's a reversal from trending up to down). A high reversal rate says nothing about the strength of the trend which follows.
The Continuations button checks the ten candlestick patterns in which the outbound trend direction matches the price trend preceding the candle most often. For example, if price rises into a candle pattern and breaks out upward, then the candle acts as a continuation of the upward price trend. A candle with a high continuation rate says nothing about how long the post-breakout trend will last.
The Best Performing button shows the top ten candle patterns that performed best over time (the largest gain or loss after the breakout).
Be aware that just because a candle shows a reversal or continuation most often doesn't mean a tradeable trend results. Reversal or continuation reflect a change (or not) of the inbound price trend versus the breakout direction.
Choose the breakout direction you're interested in (up or down) then choose one of the Reversals, Continuations, or Best Performing buttons. Clicking one of those will check ten candles.
If you click more than one of those three buttons, additional candles will be checked (some may be duplicated) without the prior selections being removed. For example, if a northern doji is the best reversal and the southern doji is the best continuation, clicking Reversals will check the northern doji and clicking Continuations will check the southern doji, so BOTH candles will be checked.
If you wish to see only one set of top 10 candles, then click the Clear button first before clicking Reversals, Continuations, or Best Performing.
Pictured above is a reduced snapshot of the Chart Form as of version 7.10. Patternz charts your stock data and searches for chart patterns and candlesticks.
Shown is a double top chart pattern in the S&P 500 index.
Most of the controls at 5 are self-explanatory except for these.
The picture shows the Chart Pattern Indicator Form as of version 7.3.
From the main menu, highlight the files you wish to include in the indicator analysis. The index file you choose later (see 2 below) will be excluded from the analysis automatically. Often you can just click the Select All button on the main form to highlight all files.
Click the Indicator button on the Main form to take you to this form.
1. This is where the program draws the index (candlestick chart) and chart pattern indicator (the long, vertical, red (bearish signal) and green (bullish signal) bars plus the wavy blue line, which is the indicator). When analysis is complete, a Results box appears showing the last 7 days of data.
For more information on the indicator and what it means, see: https://thepatternsite.com/CPIUpdate.html
The Fib Finder Form is new to version 6.8. It allows you to search files for Fibonacci retraces and extensions.
Access this form after selecting files you wish to search on the Main Form. That will ungray the menu item and clicking on the item will take you to this form.
Click the Help button on the form for specific instructions.
NOTE: For most users, this form is no longer needed. I show it here only for advanced users, ones not using the Update Form to update their quote files.
Shown on the right is a reduced version of the File Format Form as of version 7.3.
Access this form from the Main Form (See File Format menu option).
This form allows you to tell Patternz which quote items appear first, second, and so on, in your data files.
The form provides a small chart (1) to see if your configuration is charting properly, a list of files to chart (2), sample file contents (3), a grid of file information (4), and an area to configure your data files (5, 6).
Each file MUST have the same format. So if you change to a different quote provider and they have a different format, then replace all of your quote files.
I'm talking about quote files that YOU provide, NOT those which come from one of Patternz's quote providers. Patternz understands the differences in Patternz's quote providers, so there's no need to remove existing quote files if you change to another Patternz listed provider (see the Update Form for more information).
For detailed help with this form, click the Help button on the form.
To use this form, setup the column order by checking the appropriate check box in 5 and assigning the column number matching the order shown in 3. Adjust the date format (6) to match that shown in 3. When you're finished, click Graph and the results will appear in 1 and 4.
If your file contains a date and time in the same column, then check the "Date & Time" checkbox in (5), leave the "Time (separate column only)" checkbox unchecked, and make sure a 0 appears in the associated Time's column number.
For example, the first line of 3 shows that the date comes first, so the Column Order's Date text box (5) has a 1 in it. The next column in 3 shows the opening price. In 5, check the Open check box and enter a 2 in the Open text box. Similarly, continue assigning a column to each of the items in 5 matching those in 3. If 3 has a column not matching a control in 5, then be sure to adjust the column number appropriately (often by skipping a number).
For example, say the first line of 3 shows: "Date,Split Factor,High,Low,Close,Dividends." In 5, set Date to column 1, High to column 3 (not 2, because Split Factor appears in column 2), Low to column 4, and Close to column 5. All other check boxes should be unchecked and the associated text boxes should have a 0 column number (0 means unused).
You would ignore both Split Factor and Dividends in 3 because there is no matching control in 5.
This shows the Fix Split Form. The form is easy enough to use, just follow the instructions listed on the form.
This is the Forecast Form, new to version 7.21 and it shows the display after a run. I was interested in buying WDAY and ran the program to see what it forecast as the next trend. Patternz correctly predicted the uptrend would continue, which it did (the target is off the chart, at the top).
You and you alone are responsible for your investment or trading decisions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
You'll quickly get the hang of this form. The tricky part is to watch which pattern's date your clicking (start or end?). If you click on a row in the grid, the form will show that stock. However, if you click Start again, it'll use the new stock as the benchmark and find patterns similar to the new stock. To restore the original chart and settings, click the Reset button BEFORE you click Start.
Confused? You'll figure it out and probably be pissed when you discover that instead of seeing patterns based on WDAY (in my example), you'll be searching for a pattern in some other stock instead. You'll have to follow the above steps to fix this. To avoid this, click Reset before you click Start.
1. This box appears after a run completes and if you click the Results button (10). The results for stock WDAY says that price will continue rising 92% of the time, reaching the Continuation Target (which is off the chart). After that, price may reverse and drop to the reversal targets shown in 4.
2. The red vertical lines show the start and end dates of the pattern where you clicked.
3. After clicking Preview (10), this is the pattern you're looking for, highlighted in thick red.
4. These are the forecast targets for the stock, as described in 1 above. The top is Reversal Target 1 and the bottom is Reversal Target 2. The Continuation Target doesn't appear because it's off the scale.
5. This is the grid where the results appear. If you click on a row, it'll chart the stock and show the pattern. Thus, you can flip from chart to chart, looking at similar patterns and how price behaved after the pattern ended. Results won't be exact, but the pattern's signatures will be similar.
6. Find Pattern (blue label). Right mouse click a price bar on the chart to automatically fill in either a starting or ending date, depending on which radio button is clicked, or you can type in the date. The radio button will toggle back and forth after each bar click. Thus, with the Start radio button checked, you can click on a price bar for the start and click again for the end price bar without changing the radio button. If you're confused, right click several times on one price bar and you'll see the radio button change.
7. If you want to see more or less of the chart, adjust the dates here.
8. Scale. The program works best on the daily scale but you can select other scales as well. If you have intraday files, then ignore these controls.
9. Rules. The program offers three types of rules to find similar patterns: Strict, Normal, and Loose. Strict will look for nearly exact matches and loose will allow quantity over quality. Play with the three and see what results you get.
10. Controls. See the next section.
Browse. Use this button to find a stock symbol or you can type one into the associated symbol text box. The symbol must be in the same folder as the ones your searching.
Clipboard. Click on grid row(s) and click Clipboard to copy the Results (1 on the chart) and the grid results for pasting into another program like Excel or Notepad.
Done. Exit for form.
Graph. Redraw the stock for the symbol, dates, and time period selected.
Help. Offers additional help. Tips may help also.
Preview. Draws the chart pattern in bold red found between the Start and End dates. If none shown, select different 'Find Pattern' (6) dates.
Reset. When you click Start, Patternz captures the stock symbol and some of the settings. Clicking Reset will restore the settings. This is useful if you click a grid row to chart one (or more) of the found stocks. To restore the benchmark image, click Reset BEFORE you click Start.
Results. After a run completes, this shows the message box of results (1).
Start. Begin a run. Note that the saved Reset button information is reset when you click Start (see Reset if you're confused).
Stop. Quit a run before it ends normally.
Tips. Helpful hints on running the program.
1. For the best results, try finding patterns (using the pattern's start and end dates) with 3 segments for Strict, 4-5 for Normal, and 6-7 for Loose rules. What's a segment?
The chart of WDAY at 3 shows a pattern with 4 segments, or straight lines (in bold red). The second segment from the pattern's start may be hard to see, but it's there.
2. When selecting the pattern's start date, click the START of the segment, not the middle of it. That's why using the Preview button is handy. It'll show you what it believes is the pattern and you can refine it by adjusting the start date. Note: The pattern's start or end date may be different than what you select. That's because the program ignores small up and down moves.
3. The symbol (stock) is not included in the results (1) or grid results (5).
4. Does the forecast work? Not always, of course. At least you'll be able to find similar patterns to see how price behaved after the pattern ended in the past. Maybe it'll help improve your success.
5. You and you alone are responsible for your investment or trading decisions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The picture shows the List Form (as of version 7.1).
From the main menu, select the stock symbols you wish to search and then click the List button. The List Form appears.
After you click the Start button, the program will load each file and search for chart patterns and candlesticks. If it finds any, they will appear in the list, similar to that shown.
The Graph button will chart the selected (highlight the ones you wish to review in the list box) list box entries.
You can sort the list by clicking the list box header labels (Stocks, Last Close, Pattern Description and so on).
Click the Help button on the form for additional help.
The picture shows the News Form (new to version 7.5). Use this form to get news on stocks. You'll need a Tiingo token and a paid subscription to their service (as I write this, anyway) to use this form.
The controls are either self-explanatory or the help text on the left side of the form will provide assistance.
Enter your Tiingo token in 4. Type in the stock symbol (if more than one symbol, separate them by spaces) at 5, and press Start. The program will use the Internet to check if there is news on your stock files.
News appears at 1.
Number 2 shows options to control what you receive from Tiingo. For example, say you want to read three news items. Enter a 3 (like that shown) in the numeric up/down control. You can better target the news items by using the date controls.
Item 3 allows you to remove items from the news feed. For example, I chose not to include the source of the article, so I left that control unchecked.
Be aware that using this form will affect your Tiingo subscription. In other words, if your plan allows 1 gb of data per month, you might well exceed that if you check news often, especially on multiple symbols.
Pictured above is the Patterns form, as of version 7.27. Patterns shown grayed here have not been implemented and may never be implemented.
This form allows you to select the chart patterns you wish to view. You can access this form (by clicking the Patterns button on the Main Form, Chart Form, List Form, or Simulator Form.
Checking the associated chart pattern means Patternz will search for that pattern in your data files.
The controls are self-explanatory, but you can hover your mouse over the buttons for specific help. Also note that some of the patterns have a button associated with them (question mark button for gaps, fakey, and three-bar, or the Wolfe wave button). Click those for important information.
Momentum traders want to buy stocks with increasing momentum. This form helps find those stocks.
Green cells mean improving performance (higher momentum) from period to period on the same stock. Red cells mean lower performance.
Most of the numbers shown are performance percentages.
For example, Verisign (VRSN) has 4 green cells in the row (3 are shown). End of day closing prices were not available when I made this screen capture, so cell D is blank. Cell E shows that on 8/18 (Friday, the prior trading day), the stock gained 0.3%. For the week, the stock lost 0.5% (F) compared to the prior week's loss of 1.8% (G). Because -0.5% is a smaller loss than 1.8%, cell F is green.
Interpret the other cells in a similar manner for periods of day, week, month, 3 months, and 6 months.
To use the form...
Click cell C to highlight all rows in the grid. Use this as a quick method for highlighting all rows for the Clipboard (button). Use the Clipboard button when you wish to view the results in another program, such as Excel or notepad.
To sort the performance, click on one of the header rows. An arrow will appear (circled). Click the cell again and the arrow will reverse and so will the sort.
These cell commands are common to all Patternz grids.
For additional help, click the help button on the form.
Version 7.25 restored the Score Form to the program but you'll have to select a data vendor. The user interface is a bit different from what's pictured here.
The Score Form is new to version 6.1. It allows you to score your chart patterns automatically. Chart patterns with scores above 0 tend to outperform those with scores below 0. Generally, the higher the score, the better the performance. Scores range from +10 (best) to -10 (worst) for both up and down breakouts. Not all chart patterns are scored.
Access the Score Form from the Main Form by highlighting files and clicking the Score button.
This form appears similar to the List Form and the controls have a similar function.
Click the Help button for specific help.
After running a scan on a number of stocks (like that shown above), use the Test button to determine how well the scoring system works for your markets.
It will list the scores and sort the results according to their score for you.
The screen capture on the right (of stocks in the S&P 500 index from 1/2014 to 8/2017) is an example of one such test.
The results are clearest for downward breakouts. For example, there were four chart patterns with scores of 4. Price dropped an average of 28.2% after the breakout (circled in red).
Compare that with nine chart patterns with scores of -8 (circled in blue). They performed less well by dropping an average of 9.2% after the breakout.
Scan down the list of gains (losses, really) for downward breakouts, and it's clear that the higher the score the better the performance (meaning the larger the drop for traders shorting the stock).
DISCLAIMER: The scoring system is a tool to help you select better performing chart patterns, but there is no guarantee. Some patterns will work better than others, regardless of the score. How you trade will determine success or failure. The gains shown on the Score Form represent PERFECT TRADES, so your actual trading results will vary. Past performance doesn't guarantee future results. YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT DECISIONS. Please understand that the Score Form does NOT make recommendations as to which security you should trade.
The Manual Score Form is new to version 6.6, but Patternz version 7.1 is shown above.
Chart patterns with scores above 0 tend to outperform those with scores below 0. Generally, the higher the score, the better the performance. Scores range from +10 (best) to -10 (worst) for both up and down breakouts.
Access the Manual Score Form from the Main Form menu. You can highlight a stock file you wish to score or do so after the form loads.
The picture shows the score for Apple Computer's double top chart pattern. The two red vertical lines show where the chart pattern starts and ends. The blue line is the breakout day, and the green line shows where the trend starts.
Follow the steps from the middle left to the lower right.
It helps if the chart pattern you're scoring is in a stock you follow. If so, you can click on the stock from the main form (as described above) or access it using the Browse button on this form (about midway between numbers 1 and 2 on this figure). Find the location of the stock and click on its name (1). The stock will chart. The chart may or may not show the chart pattern you're interested in scoring. You can adjust the start and end dates of the chart pattern and then click Graph to update the chart. The chart will add a margin so a year's worth of price data will be displayed, if available.
Select the chart pattern your interested in scoring from the drop down list (near 1 where it says Pattern). The form shows Double Top, Eve and Eve, as an example.
You can click 2, "Get Existing Pattern's Dates" to automatically fill in the pattern start and end dates (if a chart pattern is shown)(above 3) or you can manually enter the dates yourself. Alternatively, click on the "Pattern start" text box and then right mouse click on the price bar (on the chart) where the pattern begins. The date of that bar will be pasted into the text field near 3. The same technique applies to the end and breakout dates as well as the pattern's height and breakout prices (step 1). Fields with red labels use this pasting mechanism. After pasting, the focus automatically moves to the next field so you can right-mouse click on the next item.
Try it and you'll get the hang of it. You need not chart a stock to be able to score it, but you'll need the various pieces of information that the scoring system requires. Being able to chart it makes scoring a pattern a lot easier.
Proceed to Step 1: Chart Pattern Height (below 1 on the figure) and fill in the information. If you click "Find 1, 2, 4" and have the start and end dates of the chart pattern graphed, the program will fill in the appropriate prices. You'll have to enter the breakout price yourself or check the value pasted in earlier. The find button will calculate the height and select short or tall for you based on the breakout price and pattern height. If you know how to do the calculation (which requires the median height as a percentage of the breakout price) then you can click Short or Tall yourself.
Proceed to Step 2, Yearly Price Range, and so on completing the form through step 11. If you click the Find buttons along the way, the calculation is done for you, making your job easier. The score is updated along the way, and it appears on the form at 4. This pattern has a -6 score.
Here is more information about the other steps.
For the scoring system, you're only interesting in a horizontal consolidation region (think support or resistance) in the direction of the breakout, measured from the trend start to the start of the chart pattern. For example, if the breakout is downward, you'll be looking for a support region (HCR) below the chart pattern and above the trend start (assuming the trend start is also below the chart pattern).
The find button on the form works well to locate the trend start. It ungrays after you enter the chart pattern's height. However, the computer stops the search for the trend start after 6 months because a trend start before that point will be long term.
DISCLAIMER: The scoring system is a tool to help you select better performing chart patterns, but there is no guarantee. Some patterns will work better than others, regardless of the score. How you trade will determine success or failure. Your actual trading results will vary. Past performance doesn't guarantee future results. YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT DECISIONS. Please understand that the Score Form does NOT make recommendations as to which security you should trade.
This is the Seasonality Form, new to version 7.4, updated in version 7.29. You can find it on the Main form's menu, under Seasonality. This form allows you to check how far price might close higher or lower for any period of the year, based on historical performance.
For example, will the stock close higher on Tuesdays? Or how about in September, often the weakest month of the year? What's the best time to buy, hold, and sell a stock during the year? This form answers those questions and others.
On the Main Form, select the file(s) you wish to examine and click the Seasonality menu, then the Seasonality sub menu. This form will appear. Click Start, Auto Months or Auto Days to begin.
In this example, I had a number of stocks which I wanted to know how they traded on Thursday. Let's discuss the highlighted line in the grid, Apple stock (aapl). The stock closed at 142.92 and it was the fifth consecutive higher close. I looked at other Thursday's in the file and found that price closed higher 266 times with an average gain of 45 cents. It also closed lower 287 times by 44 cents. I took the higher of the two dollar values and added it to the current close to get a target. In this case, I added 45 cents to 142.92 to get a target of 143.37.
I show the results for the other stocks in the chart.
If I had selected 'Month of year,' the program would have done the same checks using the month I picked. I can also click the 'Other' button and fill in the From and To dates for an analysis using the selected period.
This chart shows the results after clicking the Auto Days button. For ADS stock (the row below the highlighted line), the program found that the best buy day was Tuesday,and the best sell day was Friday. It also found that based on an unusually high number of Tuesdays being down, Tuesday was a good day to buy. Only partially shown are the columns, "Buy M," "Buy T," and so on. Not shown but there's a similar column for "Sell M," "Sell T," and so on. The letters are days of the week (Monday, Tuesday...). The numbers in the columns are a count of days which represented a buy or sell day. In other words, if price closed lower on Monday and the next day it climbed, then Monday would be a buy day.
This chart shows the results after clicking the Auto Months button. The program found the best buy and sell months, automatically. For example, ADP stock (highlighted) showed that the best month to buy was in May and the best sell month was April. However, no month excelled above the others to be exceptional for either buying or selling.
As of version 7.10, this is the Setup Form which you can access from the Chart Form by clicking the Setup button.
Let me explain how I use the simulator.
I select double bottoms to trade but it doesn't matter much which pattern you use. I like to trade from the long side, hence, I use a bottom and double bottoms have easily seen breakout prices (the top of the pattern).
If I see a setup I want to trade, I'll hit start, and when the program pauses, I'll click the 'Set Targets' button, then resume (or Clear if I want to skip the trade and just watch what happens). The trade will unfold and it'll either work or not. If I repeat this procedure in many stocks, I'll begin to understand which setups will work (that is, the price path leading to the double bottom suggests which trades will work and which ones won't).
For example, look at the chart of Boeing (BA). Price rises and then moves sideways for a period. Following that, price drops and forms a double bottom (DB on the chart).
After seeing this setup repeatedly fail in the simulator, I know not to take the trade.
Indeed, the trade gets stopped out when price drops below the bottom of the double bottom.
I use the simulator to find those setups. If I have a real trade I want to make, I'll use the simulator to find similar setups and see how they worked in the past. That way, I'll have more confidence entering a trade.
Another way I use the simulator is to help determine how long to stay in the trade. In other words, to improve my exit timing.
Look at this chart of Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY). The red DB (hard to see) is the double bottom which confirms as a valid chart pattern at the blue dot.
The blue dot shows where a buy triggered. The lavender dot shows the ultimate low (the lowest low during the trade before price rises at least 20%). The red dot shows the exit signal when price has met the target. That red dot is based on the height of the double bottom (the measure rule).
Look how much profit the trade missed. Indeed, the stock continued to rise into January 2014 (not shown). Exiting at the red-dot target meant a sale at 60.65. Holding on until reaching the ultimate high at 80.82 (not shown) would mean additional profit.
By using the simulator in this manner, you can teach yourself to trade chart patterns successfully (to become a more profitable discretionary trader). You'll be able to look at a chart and say, "This trade will work" or "This one will fail" just by looking at how price has moved in the past.
The simulator isn't perfect. It doesn't include slippage, for example, and you'll know that a chart pattern will confirm because the only simulator finds confirmed patterns (mostly, anyway)
See also: Simulator Setup Form.
Shown above is the Simulator Form, new to version 7.13. (Not shown: Version 7.14 added a skip check box to skip stocks which do not show a chart pattern to trade).
To run the simulator, here are the steps.
That's it. It's easy enough to use even through there are a number of controls you can play with. Here's more information about them.
This chart (A) shows a trade using a double bottom (DB). To the right of the double bottom (DB), notice the red, blue, and violet colored dots. Those mark buy, sell and ultimate low points. Not shown on this chart is a grid of trades where the labels are color coded to the dots, making it easy to find your buy and sell points.
The help button at B explains the controls in this section. For each chart pattern, you can press the Set Targets bottom and it'll fill in the target, buy, and stop prices for you or you can type in your own. During a trade, you can also press the Buy Now and Sell Now buttons to begin or end a trade.
A market order is assumed but you can use a limit order to trade by checking the associated check box. Long sided trades are assumed unless you click the Short Sale check box or click the Sell Now button before buying.
At C, you select which chart pattern you wish to trade. If none appear, then there can be many causes. That stock may not have the requested chart pattern. The stock may have the chart pattern but not on this scale (daily/weekly/monthly) or perhaps you just didn't select the chart pattern you're looking for. Click the Setup button (D) to change time scales or the Patterns button (D) to select which chart patterns you're looking to trade.
Click the Start button to show the chart. It'll find the chart pattern and pause at the location of your choice (click the Setup button for your options). When you've picked your price targets (B) and are ready to trade, then click Resume (NOT Start). Price bars will be fed into the simulator from the data file, the speed of which is set by the Speed scroll bar (C, bottom).
The Setup button has additional controls, so be sure to click it.
The form also has two help buttons plus when you hover the mouse over a control, you'll see a helpful phrase appear.
Shown is the Setup Form for the trading simulator, as of version 18.104.22.168. The form determines how the simulator behaves.
Here's a brief tutorial on the controls. You can click the question mark buttons or hover the mouse over a control for more information.
This form is new to version 6.1. Access the form by clicking the Splits/Divs menu option on the Main Form. The form shows stock splits and dividends for the securities you choose.
WARNING: The first time I ran this version, it appeared to hang my machine. About 2 minutes after running the thing, my virus software popped up and said Patternz was trying to access the internet. Duh. I approved the access and it's worked fine since.
The picture shows the Update Form, as of version 6.6
From the main menu, click the Update button to get here. The Update Form appears.
Here are brief descriptions of the controls.
Get historical quotes: This option replaces your quote files with new data. Specify the date range (6), any new symbols (5), and click Start (7). Use this option to keep your quote files short. I recommend 2 years of data which will keep load and processing speed tolerable.
However, be advised that if you use this option, you may run out of free quotes (IEX, for example, will charge you oodles of "messages" for each stock). Select your data provider with care.
New to version 6.6 is the Auto retry check box (also located near 3). Checking this will instruct the program to automatically retry the various quote providers should any quote files still need updating. It works best if you have provided tokens for the various quote providers otherwise they will be skipped.
I changed some of the data providers in version 7.25. I removed Alpha Vantage because they are having legal problems and in my opinion, you should avoid using them. I also removed google because they haven't worked for years. This review was updated on May 5, 2022.
Here's a comparison of the others
|Vendor||Historical Quotes||Symbols||API Key Needed?||Comments|
|Barchart||Yes||It appears this service is no longer free.|
|Finnhub.io||1 year||50||Yes||Not a good choice for getting historical quotes (because you can only get 1 year's worth of data). To update existing quotes, it should work fine providing your quote files are not older than 1 year. If you ask for more than 1 year of data, you get 1 day. They have this note in the terms of service: "All data must be deleted should your subscription to that data ends." I don't know if that applies to quote data.|
|IEX||50 days||Top 500 U.S. stocks||Yes||Their free plan gives you 50,000 credits per month to download quote data on the top 500 U.S. stocks. Not a good choice for historical quotes (only 50 days are available). They have an "Individual plan" for $9/month and 5 million credits per month.|
|Tiingo||50+ years||500 requests/hour, 20,000 daily, 5 gb monthly bandwidth||Yes||This is my data provider of choice. When yahoo was late or gave wrong data, I decided to buy a subscription to Tiingo. It's only $10 a month. But their free plan is generous, too. This is a good choice for both historical and to update existing quote files.|
|Yahoo||Unlimited||~300||No||Data is sometimes dirty (bad information) or may not be available until the next day or not at all. It's a good free quote provider especially because you don't need an API key. This is a good choice for both historical and to update existing quote files. It appears there's a limit on the number of symbols downloaded.|
Follow these instructions to install Patternz.
Versions 5.x (and more recent) of Patternz should work with Windows 7 and more recent operating systems. Patternz works on computers with a minimum screen size of 1024 x 768.
This version works best in the United States and for countries that use a similar date format. If your country has a different way of treating numbers (instead of 43.57, it's 43,57 for example) or if your country trades on the weekend (Saturday or Sunday), then it might not work. Try it and see.
If you still want to use it despite a different format, then find the International settings ("Clock, Language, and Region") in the control panel and set your Formats (tab) and Location (tab) to the United States. You'll need both the format and location.
To use Patternz the first time, follow these instructions.
Once Patternz is setup, select stock files you wish to view and click the Chart button to view them.
On the Main and Update Forms, highlight a stock symbol in the list box. Press the Delete key to remove both the symbol and the associated stock file from your computer. Press F2 to rename a symbol.
$ $ $
When you don't specify enough decimals (2 when your futures data needs 4, for example), you'll get a chart which looks like the left half of this figure.
Click the Setup button (circled in blue) to change the number of decimals to what you need (it's #3 on this chart). Then reload the chart (clicking Graph won't work). You can show another chart and reload this one or return to the main form and click Chart to graph it again.
The new chart should display properly like it appears on the right side of this figure.
You'll have to use the Internet to search for symbols of your favorite companies. If you want the S&P 500 symbols, I downloaded them and made them compatible with Patternz (meaning I removed everything except the symbol names and separated them by one space). Here's the list. I'm not guaranteeing that the list is correct, but it's one I found and it's a good starting point.
Once you have your symbols, go to the Update form. Click the 'Get historical quotes' option button to ungray the 'New symbol(s), space separated' list and paste them (or type them) in. Then run an update using the provider of your choice (Google stopped working long ago, yahoo is flakey, Alpha Vantage is slow. Tiingo is my favorite choice, but you'll need a token). The symbols and quote information (Don't forget to set the From and To dates) will be added to the program.
I describe and show the problem here. The candlesticks look like price bars. If you change the number of decimals displayed (using the Chart's Setup button: #3 on this chart), the chart shows properly. Click the associated link to see the problem and read the fix.
Some machines may not allow the installation of Patternz. First, install the program after logging in as the administrator. Then pray. Also, your virus check may take a long time (a minute) before asking if you really want to install Patternz. We're not sure why some machines won't allow installation, but suspect it's a permissions (login as administrator) problem.
Check the zip file and see if there's a Patternz.exe file there. If so, copy that to your hard drive and see if it'll run. That skips the install process.
If you are using the Update Form to get quotes and it reports that the internet may be unavailable, then check your anti-virus/security software. It may be blocking Patternz's access to the internet.
You have internet access and you've tried all of the quote providers, but still Patternz won't download anything. One user had that problem. Delete Patternz from the registry by following the steps here.
If Patternz cannot update a quote file, it is placed in the Retry list box. Select another quote provider, click Retry, and see if you can download the symbol.
If you are downloading a lot of files (such as most of the market), be aware that stock symbols change from time to time. It's possible that you'll need to change or delete the stock symbol.
To change a symbol, on the Update or Main Forms, click the symbol you wish to change and click F2 on your keyboard. Change the symbol's name and click OK.
To delete a symbol, on the Update or Main Forms, click the symbol and press Delete on your keyboard and then click OK. WARNING: This will delete the associated symbol file.
The program will check for bad quotes, such as the high price being reported as below the low price or the opening price is zero. It counts these errors and reports them on the clipboard. So if you are using the Chart Form, for example, and see quote errors, paste the clipboard information into notepad.exe or other program and read what it says.
If you see a lot of quote errors, then that's a symptom of a corrupt file. See Step 2.
It's also possible that you have received bad quote information. The quote providers (Google, yahoo, and so on) distribute incorrect quote data from time to time, so seeing quote errors is not unusual. You may wish to select another quote provider and use the 'Get historical quotes' option to replace your quote files. See Step 2.
1. If you chart a symbol and the chart looks incorrect (you can use Bigcharts.com or another online source to compare charts), then the symbol file(s) might be corrupt. This can happen if you didn't replace your quote files when switching to a new version from one before 6.0.
2. To replace bad or corrupted quote files, go to the Update form, click Select All (to highlight all quote files), click 'Get historical quotes', fill in the 'From' and 'To' dates (a two-year span works well. Longer files can slow the program) and then click Start*. The files will be replaced.
*Make sure you replace all quote files. If you have multiple portfolios, then click 'Update All Portfolios' instead of Start.
3. If you see lots of quote errors, then that's another symptom of a corrupt file. See the prior step to replace your quote files. However, read Quote Errors first.
For everyone else, use the Update Form and do NOT use the File Format Form.
Switching from using the File Format Form to the Update Form, or the reverse (Update to File Format), will likely cause problems or even a crash.
Most forms have a Help button, so click that and read the information.
Take the Tour and learn about the program's features.
If nothing else works, delete Patternz from the registry and run the program again. To do that, follow these steps.
- Run Patternz and go to the Main Form (the first form that loads)
- Click the Help MENU option
- Click Remove Patternz
- Click Delete Patternz from Registry
- Click Yes
- Exit the program and then run it again. See if that corrects the problem.
As of version 7.5 (found 12/26/18), I believe I still have a problem with updating stock quotes. I noticed a duplicate crept in while using yahoo and 'start from last update' option on the Update Form. I did an update on 12/14 then another on 12/26, before the market opened. That created a duplicate...I think. Or it could be yahoo is passing bad data when a holiday is involved.
To fix, switch to 'Get historical quotes' on the update form.
If you need a prior release, send me an email.
Version 22.214.171.124 7/1/22
-- Thomas Bulkowski
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