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The Complete Guide to Market Breadth Indicators
Market Breadth Indicators - ChartPack 

Introduction to Composite Breadth Data  Introduction to Breadth Data

Stock composites are nothing new.  Stock market indexes are composites.  More recently, a new type of composite, the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), began trading and continues to grow rapidly in both importance and trade volume.  Along with Exhange Traded Notes (a debt instrument also referred to as an ETN) these are collectively called Excange Traded Produtcts (ETPs).  ETFs offer the ability to trade industry groups and sectors as well as mirroring indexes (i.e. the SPY ETF is generally equivalent to trading the S&P 500 Index).  The following provides an overview of equity composites and the concepts and methods of analyzing the individual issues (components or constituents) that make up the composite.   Such composite breadth data provides better understanding of and, perhaps, a better chance of taking advantage of price movements in the composite itself.

Addendum:  As the ETP evolves ETFs based upon a fixed group of equities such as an index are no referred to as Passive ETFs.  A newer type of ETF that ismanaged to enhance profitability is referred to as an Active ETF.


Any grouping of a specified list of securities.   Most indexes and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are composites.  For example, the S&P 500 Index is a composite of 500 stocks traded on various U.S. exchanges.  Another example is the Semiconductor HOLDRS (SMH), an ETF, made up of 20 stocks.  Generally, composites are groupings of stocks with some common thread such as an industry group or sector or constructed to reflect a particular market segment.  Certain ETFs duplicate the components of an index (for example, the ETF, SPY, generally has the same component list as S&P 500 Index - .SPX).

Some indexes and ETFs have no components, such as the 30 Year Treasury Yield Index (.TYX) or the StreetTracks Gold Shares (GLD).  Currently, the MasterDATA web site can not provide holdings lists for indexes and/or ETFs without components, but only for indexes and ETFs comprised of equity and fixed income securities.

For a list of MasterDATA's followed indexes and ETFs (composites), click here.
Passive Exchange Traded Funds: 

A passive Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) generally reflects an index.  ETFs are listed on an exchange and can be traded intraday like any oter stock.  Investors can buy or sell shares in the collective performance of an entire stock or bond portfolio as a single security.  Exchange traded funds add the flexibility, ease and liquidity of stock trading to the benefits of traditional index fund investing.

For a downloadable list of all current Exchange Traded Funds, click here.

Active Exchange Traded Funds: 

An active Exchange Traded Fund is actively traded not adhering to any particular index or list of issues.  The fund manager has a free hand to trade as he sees fit following his own trading strategy.  Often the objective of this type of ETF will be to represent an industry group, sector, or type of investment or investor.

For a downloadable list of all current Exchange Traded Funds, click here.




For the donloadable Kindle version (much less expensve), click here or the image in the left column.


Expert guidance to help you use market breadth indicators in your investments.
Capsule descriptions of more than 80 leading breadth indicators--what they are, what they mean, and when and how to use each!

"This book should be called the Encyclopedia of Market Breadth because it includes every form of market breadth known to man. A must for any serious student of this important and overlooked subject."  

--Martin Pring, Author,
Technical Analysis Explained

 Component / Constituent / Holding: 

The individual issues making up a composite are components.  For example, Intel (INTC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  INTC is also a component of the Semiconductor HOLDRS (SMH).  A particular issue may be a component of any number of indexes and ETFs.

For a list of all stock issues included in MasterDATA's Compilation List of followed indexes and ETFs, click here.

Component / Constituent Data

Statistical information compiled on the individual issues within an index or ETF.  Examples of component data include trade volume, net change, whether or not the issue is in an uptrend or above its 200 day moving average, etc.

Breadth Data / Internals:

An accumulation of all similar component data calculated on each component issue within an index or ETF.  For example, if 230 issues within the S&P 500 Index increased in price for the day, the advancing issues statistic for the day is 230.  When the volume for each of these advancing components is totaled, the composite statistic is "advancing volume".

For the list of breadth data currently compiled by MasterDATA, click here.

Composite breadth Indicators:

Built upon composite data, composite indicators are tools for analyzing the price movement of composites.  Well known composite indicators include the McClellan indicators, Arms Index, Advance-Decline Line and many more.  Traditionally, such composite data has only been available reflecting the major exchanges such as the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ.  These same highly regarded composite indicators can now be applied to specific indexes and ETFs using the historical datafiles available on this web site.

For a list of well known composite indicators, click here.

New Breadth  Indicators:

Creating new composite data and using it in new composite indicators is subject only to imagination.  Perhaps, the easiest place to begin is with existing well known technical analysis indicators generally used to analyze individual securities.  One example could be the total number of components within an index or ETF with a Relative Strength Index (RSI) over 70.  Variations might be how many component RSI's were recently above 70 and now are below it or, simply, the number of components with rising RSI's.  The same concept can be applied with any other technical analysis indicator on individual issues.

The development of composite breadth data analysis is one of the ongoing endeavors of MasterDATA in our quest to trade more effectively.  When we find a new composite statistic of merit, it will be added to our web site historical datafiles of composite data as well as charts and reports.

For a list of well known technical indicators on individual issues, click here.

MasterDATA's breadth data and indicators can be viewed in up to date daily reports and charts or downloaded for use in your own charting software and calculations.  Click on one of the following links for additional information:

MasterDATACSV Breadth Datafiles (.csv format)
Up to date composite breadth data in .csv (comma delimited) format
Up To Date Breadth Reports and Charts - Always Free
Updated hourly throughout the trade session
  Historical Composite Breadth Charts, Reports and Datafiles

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Disclaimer: This material is for your private information. We are not soliciting any action based upon it. Opinions expressed are present opinions only. The material is based upon information considered reliable, but we do not represent that is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. We, or persons involved in the preparation or issuance of this material may, from time to time, have long or short positions in, and buy or sell the securities or options of companies mentioned herein.