Who hasn't wondered at one point or another if you could take all of the stocks, indexes, and averages out there and run them past all the various indicators and oscillators in technical analysis and come up with some massive, all-encompassing technical screener? You could filter for only the kind of technical indicators you are interested in, as well as filtering in only those stocks, indexes, or market averages that you wanted to follow. At a glance -- and after flipping through more than a few pages -- you would have an excellent sense of how the world of technical indicators perceives the chances for your stock, index, or average to go up, go down, or go nowhere anytime soon.
If you've thought about this, there is a good chance the developers of ConsensusTraders.com have sensed your thoughts. Their website allows traders to make just that sort of technical query without having to download and install a massive database of stocks and technical indicators. Simply enter the symbol of the stock you are interested in, select the time frame, include as many or as few technical indicators as you want, and that's it. The "consensus" of technical opinion on your stock will arrive shortly.
In the three main features of ConsensusTraders.com, one is free to all Internet visitors, while the other two require membership ($17 a month as of this writing). The free service consists of an end of day analysis of a given stock. After clicking on "Free End of Day Analysis," the trader is presented with a box into which he or she enters a stock symbol. Press the "Get It" button, and within seconds a consensus report is created.
This consensus report lists first some basic information about the stock in tabular form: symbol, date and time, close and last, change, open, low, high and volume. Below that is a daily candlestick chart, including price action for the most recent 20 days. The "Stock Consensus Analysis" is below the chart (Figure 1). ConsensusTrader.com works primarily in two time frames: "short term" and "very short term." The left-most column in the table lists the 39-odd indicators used to create the consensus ranging from Bollinger Bands all the way to Williams' %R.
FIGURE 1: CONSENSUSTRADERS.COM, STOCK CONSENSUS ANALYSIS. The stock selected to analyze is evaluated as in a bearish, bullish, or neutral state, whether short term or very short term.Each indicator listed is also a link. Clicking on that link takes the trader to a browser window with explanations that include both an overview of the indicator, as well as a guide to interpreting it.
The selected stock is evaluated by each of these indicators as in a bearish, neutral, or bullish state. When I entered "AAPL" as my stock, I got "short-term" bullish signals from Bollinger Bands, the MACD, and the volume oscillator, and bearish signals from the relative strength index (RSI), TRIX, and positive volume index. For the most part, every indicator in ConsensusTraders.com has something to say: bullish, bearish, or neutral.
All of these indicator readings are collected in the Consensus box, which totals the number of indicators that provided opinions on the stock (one number for very short term and another for short term). Below that, the number of bullish indicators is compared to the number of bearish indicators (as well as neutral ones). This creates a percentage that represents the bullish or bearish consensus of the indicators. Below this, the data is compiled again into an overall consensus for the stock. The total number of indicators is tallied, as are the number of bullish and bearish indicators, with a final consensus percentage provided the bottom.
Below the Stock Consensus Analysis table is a smaller one that lists pivot points that can be helpful for traders looking to exploit a bullish or bearish consensus with a well-placed entry. Four different pivot resistance levels and four pivot support levels are provided.
As I mentioned, the end of the day consensus report is among Consensus Traders.com's free offerings. There is another consensus report ("live analysis") that is available to member/subscribers who want consensus analysis during the course of the market session. There is no indication whether the data used for the live analysis is real-time or modestly delayed -- a major factor especially for those interested in operating in the very short-term time frame.
The third feature at Consensus-Traders.com is the second paid feature: the scanner, which lets traders enter in a stock symbol, designate whether they want short- or very short-term readings, then select which of the various indicators the trader wants applied to the stock. There is a pulldown menu for the date of the analysis (including the seven most recent trading days) and below that, pulldown menus for traders to use in setting the minimum and maximum bullish consensus percentages. Press "Get it" and the scan begins.
The results can be found in a small table that lists the date, stock symbol, the number of bearish indicators, the number of neutral indicators, and the number of bullish indicators. A total "indicator count" is provided as well as a column for the "Consensus Bullish" percentage and a column for the "Consensus Bearish" percentage. Traders can leave the box at the top of the scanner blank and ConsensusTraders.com will search its database and run the scan over all of the stocks (and indexes) therein. Insofar as the stock/index symbols appear as links, traders can click on those symbols to get a "live analysis" including the stock consensus analysis, which details each indicator's reading individually (bullish, bearish, or neutral).
There are kinks to be worked out of the website. It is difficult to know exactly what "short term" and "very short term" mean. And while ConsensusTraders.com does good work in explaining what technical indicators are used, they don't provide much insight into how they are using those indicators or what their default settings are. Better -- or at least more extensive -- documentation would help here. Similarly, there is little discussion about how to evaluate the results. What level of bullish or bearish consensus should be considered high enough for a trader to feel confident about taking a position? Should a trader be concerned about which indicators are contributing to the consensus -- for example, if indicators that actually do the same sort of analytic work all contribute to a "bullish consensus," is that market as bullish as it might appear if indicators that looked at completely different factors provided a bullish consensus?
These issues may be resolved in time as ConsensusTraders.com grows, both in terms of the number of members/subscribers as well as in terms of the breadth of its offerings (adding the "intermediate" time frame, perhaps including even more indicators, improving documentation) As it is, the website is worth keeping an eye on to see how it improves and expands. It's not everyday a trader can count on being able to get almost instantaneous second opinions on a given stock. With ConsensusTraders.com, traders can not only get second opinions, but given the wealth of technical indicators involved, they can also look forward to third, fourth, and more.--David Penn, Technical Writer
Return to Table of Contents
Originally published in the July 2007 issue of Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES magazine. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2007, Technical Analysis, Inc.