Historical Stock Data is used within technical analysis software programs to graph, and back test buy and sell stock trading technical analysis methods. The format required for your historical stock prices depends on your software program. Sometimes you can get your hands on some great accurate historical stock data, only to find out its not in the required format. You can use excel to manipulate the data into the format you need if you know what the format is. Here is a list of the most commonly used formats for technical analysis software programs:
Metastock (7 columns):
Ticker, Date (yyyymmdd), Open, High, Low, Close, Volume
Metastock (8 columns)
Personal Stock Streamer
Stock Screener Pro
Metastock is the most commonly used data format in the world. Over 80% of the technical analysis software programs accept data in this format, including Amibroker. Most data providers also allow you to download historical stock data in this format. The best source of free historical data online is yahoo finance. Yahoo offers free EOD, end of week, or end of month historical data. Many stocks even have historical data for over 10 years. Yahoo has even been kind enough to allow users to download data in either adjusted, or unadjusted for stock splits and dividends. However, yahoo does not provide data in metastock format. Users will need to manipulate the data into the required format for their software program. There is no need to fret though, if you are not able to code up an excel macro to perform the manipulations for you, one already exists. The spreadsheet will allow you to download free EOD historical stock data from yahoo finance in Metastock format: historical stock data
. You can import this data into your software program, and use it to back test your trading strategy out before investing real money. The instructions for the spreadsheet are reasonably straight forward:
1. Download the spreadsheet: historical stock data
2. Paste your list of stock symbols into the symbols tab of the spreadsheet.
3. Enter in your start and end dates.
4. Press the download button.
The spreadsheet will automatically download the historical stock data from yahoo finance, and manipulate it into metastock format for your convenience.
For a detailed description, and sample of each of the data formats, go to Historical Data Formats
Remember that past performance does not necessarily reflect future performance.
Best of luck with all your future stock trades.