There are tens of thousands of financial instruments that ProphetCharts can display, and it will help you as a trader to understand what these instruments are and how they differ in a chart. Although just about any kind of time series data can be charted, there are some subtle but important differences between these data types that we discuss in this chapter.
An index is typically an amalgamation of various instruments that are subject to some kind of mathematical process to yield a meaningful number (typically in the form of an average). Well-known examples include the Dow Jones Industrial Average (also known as the Dow 30), the Standard & Poor's 500 (also known as the S&P 500 or simply the SPX), and the Gold and Silver Index.
Another similar chartable item is an indicator, which—instead of being computed using individual instruments—is more typically an independent summary of a fact, such as the number of stocks on an exchange that rose on a particular day or the total number of shares that traded on a particular exchange. For simplicity's sake, we will refer to both indexes and indicators as "indexes" since they are treated the same way in ProphetCharts.
In ProphetCharts, index symbols are preceded by the dollar sign: $INDU represents the Dow 30, $UTIL represents the Dow 15 Utility Index, $NDX represents the NASDAQ 100 Index, $HUI is the Gold Bugs Index, and so forth.
Figure 5.1. The index module provides easy access to popular index data. ...