User Guide for the Java Site

The Java version of the site was designed to allow you to get the information you are after in the fewest clicks.

The Java site is split into five main sections. The section of the site you are in is controlled by the top center black frame. The sections are labeled Commodities, Market Overview, Data Download, General Info and Support. The information available in each section is then controlled by the left-side tanned frame. This frame contains the links to the information pages. It will change when you switch between different areas of the site, updating with the different links to the content available within each section. All information is then displayed in the large white background center frame.

We also have a quick links in the upper left hand corner of your browser, which allows you to easily get a Chart, Quote, Profile (contract specifications), Opinion, Projections or Performance of any commodity just by entering a contract. For example, if you put in "SX2", select "Chart" from the dropdown list and click "Get", you will get a chart of the November 2002 Soybeans contract. "Settings" will allow you to predefine your chart settings for all charts drawn with the quick links box.

Market Overview Section

The Market Overview section is the first section you see when you enter the Java site. It contains links to all our general market information, advanced charting programs, personal quote programs, spreads and Forex data. This is the section to use if you want to create your own customized charts or if you want to create your own quote screens. The programs here are more in depth than the static Daily and Intra-Day pages, but they will also take a little time to learn how each program works. There are definitions and help pages for each of these in the Technical Support section.

The default page for Market Overview is the Futures Overview page. This page contains the latest intraday quotes for all the lead commodity contracts. Within this list, there are also quick links to a quote, chart, or opinion for each of these contracts (which you can get by clicking on the Q, C or O to the right of the quote list). You can also come back to this page from anywhere in the Market Overview section by clicking on the top link in the left hand frame labeled "Futures Overview". The next link down is the What's Hot page. This lists the 10 biggest up movers and down movers in the market for that day, ranked by standard deviation. There are also links to the top 20 weekly and monthly movers as well. Below the What's Hot is Trend Spotter which lists all our current, neutral and historic trends for the Trend Spotter system (explained in the support section). Below that is the list of all contracts that have made a new 52 Week highs or lows in the past 5 trading days. For each commodity on these lists there is a quick link the commodities daily pages.

The Exchange Prices page allows you to get a quick look at the prices for each exchange. When you click on the Exchange Prices link, a list of all the exchanges we carry appears in the center frame. Just click on the name of the exchange to get a quote page with the prices for that exchange. The Exchange Spreads link gives you a list of exchange traded spreads (arranged in a list by exchange and then by commodity group type). And finally, there are quick links for Forex Prices and Forex Yields

The other sections in the Market Overview pages are separated into Advanced Charting, and Personal Quotes. Advanced Charting contains links to charting programs. Custom Charts will let you draw practically any chart you want, be it Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Intra-Day, with a choice of over 40 studies to choose from. Chart Builder will let you store your Custom Charts in single click lists. Personal Quotes contains links to personal quotescreen programs and the more advanced Portfolio - MultiQuote program.

Data Download Section

The Data Download section contains links to daily futures and options files, email data, historic zip files, and the individual contract data downloads. The Daily Prices link brings up the end of day futures and options file links. There are 10 different end of day formats to choose from for futures. You can see examples of these formats in the support section under "daily files". The Email Data section allows you to have the prices emailed to you every night in any of the 10 formats. Enter in your email address, select the format, then check off the commodities you want to receive prices on and click on "set email settings". Below that are the Archived Futures and Archived Options sections. Futures data goes back to August 1995, options data goes back to August 1998. The Data Download page allows you to download an excel file for the history of a particular contract. Enter in the commodity contract (or if you do not know the symbol, from the dropdown list select the commodity, contract month, and contract year) and click "download data". A box will pop up and ask you if you want to "open this file from current location", which will open it in the browser window, or "save this file to disk", which will save it to the folder you select on your computer.

General Info

The General Info section provides links to other sites that have fundamental commodities information. Included are the CBOT Financial and Agricultural opening and closing commentaries, USDA Reports, Exchange Margin information, and Weather links. All of these links will open into new windows and take you to other websites, where the information is hosted. These sites are not maintained by us, so you will have to email the site owners with questions about their content.

Support Section

The support section is broken down into three groupings of help. First is the Customer Service section. This includes links to our email support, frequently asked questions, user guide (this page) and the what's new page that lists the latest programs and developments for the site. The default page when you click on the support button is the email box. It is best to look for answers to your questions in our support section before emailing because you will probably get the answer quicker there. However, if you do not find what you need in the support section, enter your name, email address, and question in the box and click Send Email. If you have a question regarding information on a page (i.e. "this chart seems wrong" or "this price is not what I expected"), please let us know the address of the frame it is in, or at least the section it is located in. The more information we have, the quicker we can respond.

The second section of support is the Technical Support help list. This is where you will find definitions of all the various programs we offer on the site, as well as browser and hardware related questions. If you have trouble with understanding how programs work, printing, or pages not updating, this is where to look for those answers. We suggest that if you are using a program for the first time, you read over the help section before attempting to use it as there are many features that you will not know to use without going over the definitions first.

The third section of support is Futures Resources. The Commodities List is a listing of all the commodities we carry on our site along with their symbol, exchange they trade on, grouping we place them in, and the contract months in which they trade. The Studies Help section is a list of all the studies we offer on our site along with a brief definition and an explanation of how the study is used. All the studies offered in custom charts are located in this section. The last four links are for those who are new to futures and options trading. These offer definitions of common terms, order types, and an overview of trading futures and options.

Commodities Section

Directly to the left of the word Commodities in the top center black frame is the Go box. The Go box allows you to get to a commodities own section by entering in the symbol in the box and clicking on Go. If you enter the symbol in lower case letters it will take you to that commodities daily page, with the daily charts, prices and technical information, along with contract specifications. If you enter the symbol in upper case letters it will take you to the commodities Intra-Day page, with the delayed quotes, 10 minute, 30 minute and dynamic daily charts.

The Commodities section lists all the commodities we carry on our site, grouped into nine distinct groups:

When you click on the word Commodities it will display a listing of all the commodities we currently feature on the site within their appropriate groupings. You can go directly to the commodities page by clicking on the commodity name or go to the commodities group page by clicking on the group link in the left hand frame page. Each page begins by listing all the daily prices for the commodity or group.

You will notice that both in the groups pricing section and in each individual commodity section there are the words End of Day/IntraDay at the top corner of the left hand frame. Clicking on the active link will quickly switch between the Daily and Intra-Day pages available for the commodity or group. The one that is NOT underlined is the one you are currently in. The underlined one is a link to the other section. The End of Day prices and charts are updated every trading day at approximately 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. The Intra-Day prices and charts are updated every 10 minutes with exchange defined delayed data, 10 minutes for the MidWest markets and 30 minutes for the New York markets.

All information available for the commodities is controlled by the links in the left hand tanned frame.

The Intra-Day section for each individual commodity contains links for delayed futures prices and if available options prices, charts in 10 minute, 30 minute, or daily dynamic format, and a link for the group prices. At the bottom there are links to all related Commodities Intra-Day pages.

The End of Day section for each commodity contains links for daily futures prices and if available daily option prices, contract specifications, and technical indicators. Below that is the Chart and Statistics section containing daily charts and statistics on all featured contracts as well as weekly and monthly charts, and links to the custom charts pages. Finally, there is the grouping list below that contains links to the related groups prices and technical indicators. At the bottom of the page there are links to all related commodities End of Day pages.

In the futures prices you will find the open, high, low and closing prices, the previous day's settle price, individual volume and open interest for each contract, change between the previous settle and today's closing price, as well as the previous day's composite volume and open interest.

The options prices contains links to the in-depth options information; Options Analysis and Delta Sheets (cheat sheets) along with the daily options prices for the day, listed by strike price, open, high, low, close and value of the option (also referred to as the options premium).

The technical indicators will give you an in-depth technical report of all active traded contracts for the commodity including general statistics, advanced pivot and cross over points.

For each daily contract we feature on the site we produce a daily chart and statistics for the contract. The daily chart and statistics contain a default eight month open, high, low, close barchart with a 9-day, 18-day and 40-day moving average overlay. At the bottom of the barchart there is a volume and open interest chart, along with links to the other pre-prepared charts. These include a %K and %D 14,3 day stochastic, a 14 day relative strength chart, a 14 day ADX chart, a 14 day historic volatility chart, a one year daily chart, a five year weekly chart and a twenty five year monthly chart. We also have links to the contract specs and a years ascii price file for the contract. The statistics available with the chart include the days trading prices, the trend spotter results of the contract as well as the previous five days trading prices and the 52 week high and low trading prices of the contract, as well as other general stats for the contract.

The site was designed with you the user in mind and most of the recent changes and enhancements have come from suggestions from our users so we welcome all suggestions and comments regarding the site, in content, product and design.