Watch Lists

Watch Lists are one of the key thinkorswim features, and are virtually omnipresent in the platform. Briefly, a watch list is a collection of symbols grouped together along with market data of respective instruments. Sometimes, watch lists include or even completely consist of companies or derivatives that might be interesting to traders. They can also be constituents of an index like NASDAQ 100, the Dow Jones Industrials, or the S&P 500, to name a few. It is also possible to have symbols that are indicators of certain economic trends or industry groups which are not directly tradeable, but have an impact on products which are.

Being a very important functionality, Watch Lists have found application in many of thinkorswim features: Scanner, FX Global Currency Map, Stock Hacker, Use The News, and several others. You are also offered to view the full-scale Watch Lists interface available from MarketWatch -> Quotes. In this article, we are going to discuss the functionality of the Watch Lists gadget, however, it is similar for other tools where watch lists are present.

In the gadget title, you can find four controls: the watch list selector, the up/down arrow control , the 'clip' icon , and the Show actions button :

- Arrows allow you to easily switch between watch lists in a group: the up arrow will take you to the previous watch list in the set, and down arrow will take you to the next.  

- Clip icon  allows you to use the thinkorswim color-coded clipboard; it is a shortcut to link a component to another one. Clicking on the icon brings up a color-and-number selection menu. In this menu, you can click on a color so that your watch lists will be linked to all other thinkorswim components having the same color code. For example, choosing a green box will link all components that use green, even if they are in a different window. Tip: consider linking Watch Lists to the symbol selector and the Dashboard. This way, clicking through the watch list will automatically display corresponding symbols in the symbol selector and the Dashboard.

- The watchlist selector allows you to configure your watch lists. It is in the configuration menu that you can create, delete, and switch between the watch lists. Beside your personal watch lists, you can switch to any of the public, Lovers and losers, Top 10, and industry-based ones. In the same menu, you can also view your portfolio watch list, i.e., the watch list of symbols that have positions in the currently selected account.

After configuring your watch lists, you can customize every single one of them. The customization may include any of the following:

- Reordering the columns. To reorder, left-click on the column header and drag it to the position desired.

- Sorting by a column. To re-sort a watch list, click on the header of the column by which you would like to perform the sorting. An up arrow  will appear, which indicates the ascending sort. Clicking again will give the column a descending sort (indicated by a down arrow ). To return to the unsorted state, left click on the header a third time or right click on the header and choose No sorting.

- Changing the column set. To add or delete columns, right-click on the header and choose Customize... In the dialog window, you will see two areas: Available items and Current set. To add columns to your watch list, drag the desired ones to the Current set. If you need to delete a column from your watch list, find its title in the Current set, select it, and click Remove items. Click OK; your column set will be immediately updated. 

The Use The News gadget is a popular thinkorswim tool designed especially for users who prefer trading on the news. It allows the traders not only stay informed on the most important news, but also to trade directly from it. Like all other gadgets, Use The News can be displayed as a section of the left sidebar or a separate window (see the Left Sidebar article for details).

Reading all the available news stories can be overwhelming sometimes, so we addressed this problem by offering you the Categories functionality. It allows you to filter the news feed so that you only see and use the news stories that fall into the selected categories. You can customize the list of categories by clicking on the 'tag' button in the gadget header.

In the dialog window, you will see a list of categories broken into five groups, each having a unique color:

- The News Movers group (brown) encompasses all symbols that seem to be making moves. Using categories from this group will display the news stories based on which moves exactly you would like to see in your feed. For example, the Most Active category will look for symbols with the highest volume in the pre-market, Pre-market will only keep symbols that had moves in the pre-market. You can also filter the symbols based on the instrument type they belong to, their price action, or time of day when they were active.

- The Event Activity group(purple) is all about symbols that are making moves on certain events. News stories in these categories are provided by third-party analysts and are based on many types of events: upgrades, downgrades, initiates, conference calls, and many more.

- The Trading Activity group (green) categorizes stories that represent potential trading ideas. For example, selecting the Opening Bell Momentum category will capture stocks that have been on the move with a potential reason for that move as well as analytical foundation for support and resistance levels.

- The Sector Summary group (yellow) will help you decide which sector moves the markets. Categories in this group represent specific sectors of the financial market.

- The Commodities group (blue) represents sector-specific news on commodities. As of now, commodity sectors covered by this group are:  Gold and Metals, Oil, Natural Gas, Manufacturing, and Mining.

Once you have selected all the categories that are interesting to you, click Save& Close. In the gadget pane, you will see all the selected categories shaded in colors corresponding to the groups they belong to. Each category displays the number of news stories relevant to it. Clicking on each category will open a watch list populated with symbols featured in the stories.

In this watch list, you can view the news stories corresponding to symbols that made it into the category. In order to open a story, click on the triangle  at the end of the symbol line. This will bring up the news window; clicking on the title there will display the full story.  The watch list can be used the same way as all other watch lists across the application (see the Watch Lists article for details). For example, consider saving it as a static personal watch list so that you will be able to re-use it later on along with other watch lists.