The Market Detective is a 32 bit charting program that runs in the Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 environments, and provides End of Day charting that is designed to work with any of three data file formats – Computrac/Metastock, CSI, or Ascii text. You’ll need to obtain your data from any of the many data vendors that support this industry. Since 2004 I used to download the free stock and commodity data via the internet using the HQuote Pro downloader program from www.hquotes.com. Unfortunately, since July, 2014 they can no longer be contacted as their website displays just a one page advertisement to buy their website’s name. They used to provide easy access to an unlimited amount of EOD data, and up to 100 delayed Intraday data files that could be snapshot-updated during any given trading day. So for the sake of new Market Detective customers, I began searching for a replacement data download vendor that could at least equal the service Hquotes provided. In August, 2014 I found a market software website named www.trading-tools.com that provided just such a market data downloading program. It is titled MLDownloader and sells for a one time fee of less than $90. This is now the download program I recommend. It downloads market data quickly and efficiently, and the data is also free. To explain how this program can be set up and used, I created a topic called “Getting Market Data” in the Detailed Descriptions section of the Market Detective Help menu. To read about this particular topic and learn how to easily get market data with the MLDownloader program, simply use the link provided below to download the Help Menu. You may then even want to examine the rest of the Help Menu for all the available Market Detective features. But first you need to be made aware of the security measures that have been designed into the latest Windows environments. Microsoft has reinforced Windows security to the point that files with the extension .CHM are blocked from displaying their topics when downloaded from a remote website. This means that after you save the MD-Help.chm file you will have to manually unblock it using its Properties dialogbox. To do this, right click on the saved file, which is typically saved in your profile’s Downloads directory. This will produce a pop up menu with the Properties item at the bottom. Click this item to display the General page of the Properties, and click the Unblock button at the bottom. Now rerun the unblocked Help file and it should work. Now that you’ve been made aware of this annoying reality, here is the download link to the Market Detective Help menu: MD-Help.chm.
If you are an Ascii data user, Market Detective has an extremely versatile Ascii data handler function that can automatically interpret most, if not all, standard variations of the Ascii data format. The MLDownloader program has a feature that allows its users to convert The Metastock data they download to Ascii format, as well as to a record structure that is readable by Market Detective. The four basic field arrangements allowed and readable by Market Detective are:
Many traders manage their data in a customized column format using Microsoft Excel. They may have many more columns of data in their worksheets than are necessary for charting, and that are arranged in random field sequences across an Excel row. The Date field may contain slashes, as in the M/D/YY, D/M/YY, or M/D/YYYY format, or be using the YYYYMMDD – year month day – unslashed Date format. The Time field may be in HHMM or HH:MM – hour minute – format. All that need be done to chart this Excel data with Market Detective is to arrange the Excel columns that contain standard charting data in one of the four standard sequences listed above, while placing all the other non-relevant data columns to the right of this standard sequence. Now you can save your Excel data, using the Save As command, to either a .CSV comma separated Ascii file, or to a .TXT tab separated Ascii file. Market Detective will then be able to read and chart your Excel data. All of the above is also true for any DBMS program, like Microsoft Access.
As far as the non-Ascii data formats are concerned, Market Detective has been updated as of August 10, 2004 to handle the latest versions of Computrac (using MASTER file), Metastock (using EMASTER file). Prior to this date, historical Intraday data was not being handled in the Computrac/Metastock format case. Only the old Computrac MASTER file was being processed, and only for Daily data. Now MD has been enhanced to first check for the EMASTER file with its newer and different (from MASTER file) byte layout. If EMASTER exists, it is the one that is used for selecting the Fxx.Dat data files. If it does not exist, the older Computrac format MASTER file is searched for and used for data file selection. One good feature of the Computrac/Metastock format is that historical Daily and Intraday data files are automatically discriminated and charted without prior manual setups by the user. Hence if some of the data files traders have are 5 minute, or ‘any’ minute historical Metastock Intraday files, they will be charted automatically along with any Daily data files in the same directory.
The requirement for running this End Of Day software is minimal. You should have a late model computer for fastest operation, but any computer with a speed of 1 Ghz or better, and with RAM memory greater than 64 Mbytes will easily handle the EOD databases and charting. All the descriptions regarding this program’s use are presented in the Market Detective’s comprehensive Help Topics menu. You can read the topics by simply pressing the F1 key, or by selecting the Help Topics item, and using your mouse to navigate through the topics.
The installation file for MD currently contains some data files in the Metastock format to allow you to instantly observe MD’s features and capabilities. These data files are charted upon loading MD initially. Navigate the main menu bar or tool bar to get familiar with the features. If you have your own CSI, Computrac/Metastock, or Ascii text formatted files, you will be able to chart them directly by invoking the ‘New Historical Chart’ item of the file menu.
The Market Detective charting software provides professional technical analysis of stocks, futures, indexes, and mutual funds. A user can create one or more charts with daily, weekly, monthly or any interday period. Market Detective includes the following technical studies and methods: Japanese Candlesticks, Market Detective Indicator, Bollinger Bands, Displaced Moving Averages, Point and Figure, RSI, Stochastics (slow), Williams %R Oscillator, Keltner Channel, MACD Histogram, CCI, Volatility Stop, and Ross Hooks and Trading Range.
The signature feature of this program, and the one that makes it unique in the vast universe of charting software is the Market Detective Indicator™. This market timing indicator is described in ample detail throughout this website. A most useful companion feature to this indicator is the Scan for Market Detective Reversal Signals.This special feature, that was added in late October, 2003, allows a trader to perform an automatic scan on all the symbols in a given directory (portfolio) in search of a ‘R’ reversal signal on the last bar of each symbol’s database. If this reversal signal is determined to exist, then this symbol is added to the symbol list in the dialog box titled Scan of Symbols Giving Market Detective Reversal Signals. By selecting these symbols in turn, charts will be produced that display the Market Detective indicator graphics with an ‘R’ on the last bar. You can then tab through each of the resultant reversal-signals-only charts to view and decide which symbols you would like to trade on the next day’s open. Read about the details and use of this feature in the More Charts page.
Additional technical studies include user interactive graphics such as Fibonacci retracements, and Trendlines, performed by the mouse dragging technique. To best understand and appreciate the significance of the Fibonacci retracement graphics visit Fibonacci theory expert Joe DiNapoli at www.fibtrader.com. Joe is a veteran trader with over 35 years of solid market trading experience. He is also an internationally recognized seminar giver, lecturer, and author. His most recent book “Trading with DiNapoli Levels“, has become the industry standard for students of Fibonacci trading techniques.
The Market Detective charting software also contains special ‘Ross Studies’, such as the Ross Hooks and Trading Range. These studies are incorporated in Market Detective to provide students of the Joe Ross trading method with a low priced End of Day charting program. Joe Ross is a master trader with more than 45 years of trading experience, and also the author of several highly acclaimed books on commodities trading startegies, such as “Trading the Ross Hook“. Joe has been conducting Futures Trading seminars for about 20 years. His trading philosophy, book reviews, and related information can be found at his website www.tradingeducators.com.
Also included in this charting software is the ability to embed comments into your studies using the User Textwriter feature. Just view the marked up charts provided on some of the other web pages to appreciate the value of this feature.
Another special feature that allows you to test the reliability of any study, including the Market Detective market timing indicator, is the very useful One Bar Mode. Simply click on the One Bar Mode command, either on the Chart menu or the Toolbar, and you can begin back testing any chart one bar at a time by tapping the space bar or right clicking the mouse. This mode will allow you to test your favorite study’s validity across any historical chart. It will also train you to make trades based on chart patterns rather than your emotions and abstract thought patterns. I use it with the Market Detective market timing indicator to remind myself never to overrule its signals with my own gut feelings. See the sample chart below, and note that the price scale to the right, and the date scale at the bottom are hidden to prevent prejudicing your opinion if you are presently aware of the historical price action based on date.
A sample chart showing an activated Bar Values box that lists the values of any price bar position selected by simple mouse movements of the vertical cursor:
A sample 1 minute Intraday chart of Gold, made possible by the free intraday download feature of HQuotes, that shows an activated Bar Values box showing the 1 minute period values at any price bar position:
The Property Page Dialog box below allows changing the foreground and background colors of the chart elements, changing the font sizes, and changing the charting parameters of any of the currently active chart studies:
The very user-friendly Historical File Sources Dialog below allows the management and quick and easy selection of three data formats from their corresponding directory lists:
The Market Detective charting software features Point and Figure graphics with a double click activated P&F Column Values box and cursor as shown below: