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MetaStock Product Logo
Developer(s) Innovative Market Analysis
Stable release V14 / 2 February 2015; 17 months ago (2015-02-02)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Technical analysis program

MetaStock is a proprietary computer program originally released by Computer Asset Management in 1985. It is used for charting and technical analysis of stock (and other asset) prices.[1][2] It has both real-time and end-of-day versions. MetaStock is a product of Innovative Market Analysis.

Early History[edit]

In 1982 Steve Achelis started a company named Computer Asset Management to develop financial and technical analysis software for personal computers. Computer Asset Management was renamed Equis International in 1989. Achelis’ first software application, written for the Apple II+, was The Financial Package which calculated various financial planning metrics. The Market Mood Monitor was released in 1984 and was eventually renamed The Technician. The Technician, written for the IBM PC, helped investors analyze and chart broad market conditions using sentiment, momentum, and monetary indicators. MetaStock 1.0 was released in 1986. Both MetaStock and The Technician received PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award in April 1986.

While The Technician analyzed broad market conditions, MetaStock analyzed individual securities (stocks, futures, mutual funds, etc.). In response to the increasing demand for real-time analysis of prices, MetaStock RT™ was released in July 1992. MetaStock RT received live, real-time quotes from Data Broadcasting’s Signal data feed. In 1995, MetaStock 5.0 was released for the Microsoft Windows 3.1 operating system. Later that year, MetaStock added support for the Reuters DataLink end-of-day data feed. This relationship with Reuters led to Reuters purchasing Equis International and its MetaStock software in 1996. In 1998, MetaStock was released for the Reuters Quotron data feed and in 2001 for the Reuters 3000 Xtra electronic trading platform.[3][4] In June 2013, Thomson Reuters sold MetaStock to Innovative Market Analysis.


Major Releases Year Released Operating System
MetaStock 1.0 1985 DOS
MetaStock 2.0 1987 DOS
MetaStock 3.0 1989 DOS
MetaStock 4.0/4.5 RT 1992 DOS
MetaStock 5.0 1995 Windows 3.1
MetaStock 6.0 1996 Windows95/NT
MetaStock 6.5 1997 Windows95/NT
MetaStock 6.5 for Quotron 1998 Windows95/NT
MetaStock 6.5 for Reuters Terminal 1998 Windows95/98/NT
MetaStock 7.0 1998 Windows95/98/NT
Reuters MetaStock Pro 7.1 2001 Windows95/98/NT/2000
MetaStock 8.0 2002 Windows 2000/XP
MetaStock 9.0 2004 Windows 2000/XP
MetaStock 10.0 2006 XP
MetaStock 10.1 2007 XP/Vista
MetaStock 11.0 2008 Windows XP/Vista/7
MetaStock 12.0 2012 Windows XP/Vista/7/8
MetaStock 13.0 2013 Windows XP/Vista/7/8
MetaStock 14.0 2015 Windows 7/8


MetaStock 14 released February, 2015


The MetaStock software package includes charting functionality in various styles, 250 prebuilt technical indicators, scanning, filtering backtesting, line study drawing, forecasting, automated analysis, and custom indicator creation.[6]


MetaStock includes nine core chart styles: bars, line, candlesticks, point & figure, kagi, renko, three-line break, equivolume and candlevolume. All charts in MetaStock can be customized with linestyles, colors, indicators, text, symbols, templates, and alerts.

Up to 100 charts can be displayed simultaneously. Charts can be resized and moved. Each chart supports indicators and trendline-based studies that are overlaid on the price bars or plotted in independent inner windows. Colors, fonts, and line thickness can be adjusted to personal preferences.[7]


MetaStock includes over 250 pre-defined indicators. In addition to the pre-defined indicators, users are able to create custom indicators using a spreadsheet-like formula language called the MetaStock Formula Language.[8]

MetaStock includes the following pre-defined indicators:

Pre-defined Indicators in MetaStock
Accumulation/Distribution Accumulation Swing Index Adaptive Aroon Adaptive Average Directional Movement Adaptive Average Directional Movement
Adaptive Average True Range Adaptive CCI Adaptive Chaikin Money Flow Adaptive Chande Momentum Oscillator Advance Decline Line
Adaptive Detrended Price Oscillator Adaptive Directional Movement +/- DI Adaptive Directional Movement Index Adaptive Directional Movement Rating Adaptive Ease of Movement
Adaptive Inertia Adaptive Intraday Momentum Index Adaptive Linear Regression Indicator Adaptive Linear Regression Slope Adaptive MACD
Adaptive Mass Index Adaptive Mesa Sine Wave Adaptive Money Flow Index Adaptive Moving Average Adaptive Moving Average Exponential
Adaptive Moving Average Simple Adaptive Moving Average Weighted Adaptive Polarized Fractal Effiency Adaptive Price Oscillator Adaptive Price Rate-of-Change
Adaptive Projection Bands Adaptive Projection Oscillator Adaptive QStick Adaptive Range Indicator Adaptive Relative Momentum Index
Adaptive Relative Strength Index Adaptive Relative Volatility Index Adaptive r-Squared Adaptive Standard Deviation Adaptive Standard Error
Adaptive TEMA Adaptive Time Series Forecast Adaptive TRIX Adaptive Ultimate Oscillator Adaptive Vertical Horizontal Filter
Adaptive Volatility, Chaikin's Adaptive Volume Oscillator Adaptive Wilder's Smoothing Adaptive Williams' %R Alpha
Andrews' Pitchfork Arms Index (TRIN) Aroon Average True Range Beta
Binary Wave (5) Bollinger Bands Bull Power Bear Power 1 Bull Power Bear Power 2 Bull Power Bear Power 3
CCI (Commodity Channel Index) Chaikin A/D Oscillator Chaikin Money Flow Chaikin Volatility Chande Forecast Oscillator
Chande Momentum Oscillator Chandelier Stops CMO Reversal Commodity Channel Index (2) Commodity Selection Index
Consolidation Breakout Cooper 1234 Pattern Coppock Curve Correlation Analysis Cycle Lines
Cycle Progression Darvas Box Dema Demand Index Denvelopes
Detrended Price Oscillator Directional Movement (5) Donchian Channels Dynamic Momentum Index Dynamic Momentum Index 1
Ease of Movement Elder Ray Ellipse Envelope Equidistant Channel Line
Exponential Moving Average Fibonacci Arcs Fibonacci Fans Fibonacci Retracements Fibonacci Time Zones
Fisher Transformation Indicator Forecast Oscillator Fourier Transform Fractal Trading System 1 Fractal Trading System 2
Gann Angles Gann Fans Gann Grids Gann Line Gann Swing Bands
Herrick Payoff Index Horizontal Line Ichimoku Kinko IntelliStops Intraday Momentum
Inverse Fisher Transform of RSI Klinger Oscillator Linear Regression Linear Regression Lines Linear Regression Slope
Long Sell Short Sale - 5 Day MACD (2) MACD Histogram 1 MACD Histogram 2 Market Facilitation Index
McClellan Oscillator McClellan Summation Index Meisels Overbought/Oversold Median Price MESA Sine Wave
Momentum Money Flow Index Moving Average - Simple Moving Average - Exponential Moving Average - Weighted
Moving Average - Time Series Moving Average - Triangular Moving Average - Ribbon Moving Average - Variable Moving Average - Volume Adjusted
Natenberg's Volatility (Daily) Negative Volume Index Odds Probability Cones On Balance Volume Open Interest
Option Delta Option Expiration Option Gamma Option Life Option Price
Option Theta Option Vega Option Volatility Parabolic SAR Pattern Trading System 1
Percent Retracement Percentage Crossover 3% Performance Polarized Fractal Efficiency Positive Volume Index
Price Oscillator Pring KST Projection Price Bands Channel Projection Oscillator Projection Oscillator 1
Qstick Quadrant Lines r-squared Raff Regression Channel Rainbow Band Upper
Rainbow Band Lower Rainbow Max Rainbow Min Rainbow Oscillator Random Walk Index
Range Indicator Rectangle Relative Momentum Index Relative Performance Relative Strength Index
Relative Volatility Index Semi-Log Trendline Sine Wave 5-unit Standing Speed Resistance Lines Spread
Standard Deviation Standard Error StochRSI Stochastic Momentum Index Stochastic Oscillator
Stochastic RSI Squat Bar Swing Index Tema The Force Index
Time Series Forecast Tirone Levels Trade Volume Index Trendlines Trendline by Angle
TRIX Turtle Trader Bands Typical Price Ultimate Oscillator Vertical Horizontal Filter
Vertical Line Volatility Breakout (Chaikin) Volatility Indicators (3) Volume Volume Oscillator
Volume Rate of Change Weighted Close Wilder's Smoothing Williams' A/D, %R Zig Zag

Scanning and Filtering[edit]

The MetaStock Explorer allows traders to scan through thousands of securities using trading criteria to find the ones that fit their specific strategy. Explorations are written using the MetaStock Formula Language. Traders can base their explorations off of the pre-built criteria included with MetaStock or they can use their own criteria. For example, a pre-built scan is included that shows a report of securities that are trading above their 200-day moving average. Another shows securities that have triggered a buy signal based on the MACD indicator. Explorations can be linked so that the filtered results of one exploration can subsequently be filtered by another.[9]


The Enhanced System Tester allows traders to create, back-test, compare, and optimize trading strategies before risking money in the markets. System tests are written using an extended version of the MetaStock Formulas Language. Backtesting answers the question, “How much would I make or lose if I traded this security or these securities using these buy and sell rules?” Traders can change and edit conditions such as entry, exit, stops, order sizes, and commissions to make the simulation more realistic. The buy and sell conditions can be optimized in order to show the best performing parameters. For example, by optimizing, a trader can learn which moving average performed the best for IBM over the last five years.[10]

Automated Chart Analysis[edit]

The Expert Advisor reveals the interpretive analysis of industry professionals through alerts, commentary, symbols and trends. MetaStock allows for various types of alerts; from simple price and volume to complex indicator triggers and multiple conditions that show buy and sell signals. The expert commentary offered by MetaStock shows how experts would assess the chart being viewed. For example, a pre-built expert for MetaStock shows how Bollinger Bands would be interpreted according to John Bollinger’s rules. The expert automatically alerts the user to special conditions using buy and sell arrows, text, audio, or video according to the analysis criteria.[11]

Custom Indicators[edit]

The MetaStock indicator builder is a formula writing module with a wide array of math and investing functions. Custom indicators are created by combining one or more formulas written in the MetaStock Formula Language. This language is somewhat similar to Microsoft Excel formulas. Custom indicators can be referenced by system tests, explorations, and expert advisors with the fml() function.[12]

Formula Language[edit]

Custom indicators, system tests, explorations, and expert advisors are written using the MetaStock Formula Language. Loosely patterned after the Microsoft Excel formula language, the MetaStock Formula Language is tailored to the mathematics of technical analysis. There are 267 functions. Formulas can contain up to 2,500 characters (1,024 in the System Tester).

A formula that computes the difference between a 39-day and 200-day simple moving average is shown below:

mov(close, 39, simple) – mov(close, 200, simple)

Formulas can also contain conditional statements using IF/THEN/ELSE as shown below:

If(close > mov(close,200,exponential),1, -1)

This would read as “if the close is greater than a 200-day exponential moving average then plot a 1, else plot a -1. Formulas can use variables as shown below:

X:= 39; Y:=200; mov(close, X, simple) – mov(close, Y, simple)

Formulas can prompt the user for input when plotted as follows: X:= Input(“How many periods for the moving average?”, 10, 200, 40); Mov(close,X,simple)

In this example, the variable X can range from 10 to 200; it has a default value of 40. The value represented by the variable X is substituted in the moving average formula.[13]


A new tool called The Forecaster was introduced with MetaStock version 13.0. This tool uses statistical analysis and other methods to analyze past events in order to forecast future price moves. This power tool is on par with the System Tester, Explorer and Expert Advisor and is accessible from MetaStock's Power Console. The primary mechanism for viewing forecasted prices with The Forecaster is with the patent-pending “Forecast Cloud”. The cloud allows you visualize high probability future price movement through an analysis of price action following past events (i.e.,. moving average crossovers, indicator overbought/oversold conditions, candlestick patterns, etc.). When version 14.0 was released the ability to forecast based on patterns (either hand drawn or copied from the chart) was introduced.

The forecast cloud can be overlaid directly on a chart to help see how the forecast performed in the past following each event. A forecast cloud can be projected beyond the most recent day in order to see projected price movement into the future thereby allowing traders to set profit targets, stops, etc. for better trade management. A detailed statistical report shows specific probabilities for forecasted prices including margin of error, standard deviation and other metrics.

67 built-in Event Recognizers include volatility-based indicators like Bollinger Bands and Chaikin A/D, momentum-based indicators like RSI and Stochastics, trend-based indicators like MACD, a variety of Moving Averages, and popular candlestick patterns.

Data Feeds[edit]

MetaStock uses data provided by Thomson Reuters Corporation.
The real-time software uses XENITH. XENITH data packages cover the regions of North/South America (Americas), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia/Pacific (APAC). All regions come with FOREX data.
The end-of-day software uses DataLink. DataLink provides data from all of the world’s major markets including North/South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia/Pacific.

Historical daily data coverage begins in 1980 for North American equities, indices, and mutual funds, and as far back as 1973 for some futures.

File Format[edit]

Data records for MetaStock include up to 11 fields including: Date, Trade time, Name, Ticker, Open price, High price, Low price, Close price, Volume, and Open Interest.

The legacy (pre-12.0) MetaStock file format is a binary file format and originated from the Computrac file format. There are four files associated with the format: MASTER, EMASTER, XMASTER, F*DAT, and F*.MWD.

Prior to version 12.0, MetaStock provided a utility for converting data to and from various formats including ASCII, Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and TC2000. In Metastock 12 this utility was removed.[14] MetaStock 12 cannot read legacy MetaStock file format files stored locally on the user's drive. MetaStock 12.0 and beyond access data through a live, direct connection from Thomson Reuters feeds (DataLink for end-of-day daily data and XENITH for real-time intraday data).

With MetaStock 13.0, local data access was reintroduced. In addition to accessing live data through a direct connection with Thomson Reuters feeds, MetaStock 13.0 will natively read locally stored Comma-Separated-Value (CSV) files.


Add-ons provide additional functionality to MetaStock. Add-ons can include the creator’s trading methodology by adding custom indicators, explorations, system tests, and expert advisors. Many Add-ons provide precise buy/sell signals based on the author’s trading methodology. For example, John Bollinger has created an Add-on that gives buy and sell signals based on his popular Bollinger Bands.[15]

The following are available add-ons for MetaStock:

  • Adaptive Cycle Toolkit
  • AlphOmega Elliot Waves
  • Around the Horn
  • Barry Burns' Top Dog Trading Toolkit
  • Chuck Hughes' Prime Trade Select
  • Dr. Elder's Trading Room
  • Dr. Issy Bacher's Cycle Trends Plus
  • Dr. Stoxx's Trend Trading Toolkit
  • ETS 2.1
  • FX Trader's Advantage
  • Greg Morris' Japanese Candle Pattern Recognition
  • ICE 2.6
  • Jake Bernstein's Set up and Timing Triggers
  • JBL Risk Manager
  • John Carter's Squeeze System
  • John Murphy's Chart Pattern Recognition
  • John Bollinger's Bollinger Band System
  • John Bollinger's Bollinger Band Tool Kit
  • Mark Leibovit's Volume Reversal Tool Kit
  • Martin Pring's Special K
  • MetaSwing 4.0
  • Nison's Candlesticks Unleashed
  • Performance Systems Plus
  • PowerPivots Plus
  • PowerStrike
  • Price Headley's Big Trends Toolkit 2.0
  • Rahul Mohindar's Automated Trend Modules
Metastock logo science.jpg

System Requirements for MetaStock[edit]

  • Operating system - Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
  • Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.4GHz or higher
  • RAM - 4GB RAM
  • Video - Minimum: Video card and monitor supporting at least 32-bit color at 1024x768 or higher. Recommended: DirectX 11 capable GPU
  • Hard Disk - Minimum: 1.6GB or greater available space (primarily for scanning / backtesting results)
  • Internet connection - 256KB upload and download
  • Other - Mouse or other pointing device, Internet Explorer version 8.0 or later with the latest service packs, 32-bit MAPI compliant email program, Microsoft .Net framework version 4.0 or higher[16]
  • Virtual machine - MetaStock versions 10 and 11 used a particular product activation method that will not work in virtual machine environments such as VMWare.[17] Versions 12 and later do not use this activation method.


  1. ^ Traders, Choose Your Weapon, James T. Holler, Futures, November 1, 2001.
  2. ^ James T. Holler, Futures, November 1, 2003.
  3. ^ Steve Achelis's Vision: Equis International - A Vision for the World of Financing, Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, 2009
  4. ^ Company Background, Retrieved 2012.01.30
  5. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 14.0, 1985 - 2015
  6. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Version 11.0, Thomson Reuters LLC
  7. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Version 11.0, Thomson Reuters LLC
  8. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  9. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  10. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  11. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  12. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  13. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  14. ^ MetaStock Developer's Kit, Version 9.0, Thomson Reuters LLC
  15. ^ MetaStock Plug-ins and Add-ons, Retrieved 2012.02.06
  16. ^ MetaStock User's Manual, Versions 1.0 - 11.0, 1985 - 2011
  17. ^

External links[edit]