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With each play, we will present you a random stock chart from the past, without axis labels and without displaying any data or labeling that could reveal which stock is being shown... And then you are asked to predict: two weeks later from the chart you saw, was the stock higher or lower? With practice, can you train your brain to zero in on the patterns that predict whether a given chart represents a stock poised to go higher or lower? Give it a try! Each time you play the game, you gain a sweepstakes entry until that day's entry limit is reached!

Winners for the daily sweepstakes will be drawn after midnight EST. All winners are contacted via email to confirm where to send winnings to as well as how winners wish to receive their prize. We do not notify winners on Facebook or social media.
The red and green rectangles you see in the charts are what are known as "candles" making the chart what is known as a "candlestick" chart. The first candlestick charting is believed to trace back to Japanese rice traders sometime in the 1800's.

The formation of each candle communicates the open, high, low, and closing price for the stock on a given trading day, as well as whether the stock closed higher or lower compared to the open. The "fat" or wider portion of the candle formation is what is known as the "body" and communicates the opening and closing prices for the day. The long thin lines above and below the body communicate the high and low price on that trading day; these long thin lines are called the "shadow" (aka "wick" aka "tails").

For our candlestick charts, if the stock closed higher than it opened, the candle is colored in green; if the stock closed lower than it opened, the candle is colored in red.

You will also see two other lines in the chart that are independent of the candles, an orange line and a green line. These are the 50 day moving average and 200 day moving average, respectively, representing a shorter-term moving average as compared with a longer-term moving average. A "moving average" helps us see trends: each point in the line is the average of the last 50 (or 200) trading sessions, thereby smoothing out stock's trading action. Pay attention to the direction of each of these trendlines, and, what happens when they cross.

Below the candlestick chart is a small bar chart showing volume: higher volume results in a higher bar, while lower volume results in a lower bar. Pay attention to high volume in relation to the stock's movement.

The final small chart is an "RSI" chart. RSI stands for Relative Strength Index. The basic idea of this index is to follow the speed and change of price movements and come up with a value that tells you how "oversold" or how "overbought" the stock is: the higher the RSI, the more overbought, the lower the RSI the more oversold.

Many people who study charts will say that they practice "technical analysis". Some of the points you will often hear repeated by people who study charts, is that whatever the "fundamental" information that happened to the company — such as quarterly earnings reports or a big news announcement — that fundamental information will always be reflected in the price action. And studying that price action can be important.

The historical charts you will see have no identifying information to reveal what stock is being shown to you. What is great about this, is that you can study the chart, practice your technical analysis skills, predict whether it will be higher or lower two weeks later, and then with just a click, the actual answer is revealed to you!
Does carefully studying and predicting charts train your brain to be a better technical analyst? Did you know that Air Force drone pilots go through countless hours of intense training in order to be able to look at a complex radar image and accurately pick out targets? We learned this from author R. Douglas Fields in his 2011 Scientific American article about transcranial stimulation.

The article notes that one of the most difficult tasks facing the Air Force is the intense training involved, training that is an absolute necessity, because no computer can parse through these patterns and make an up/down judgment as to what is a target... But the human brain can be trained to be able to study a radar image and reliably pick out the patterns that point to something being a target.

So the only answer for the Air Force is to train human pilots through countless hours of video simulators, during which the trainees are shown real image data from the past, and then asked to make a prediction. The trainee sometimes identifies a target correctly, and sometimes not, learning the answer from the simulator after they have made their prediction. By repetitively going through this exercise over and over again, their brains slowly but surely begin to learn the patterns.

According to the article, the biggest bottleneck for the Air Force in deploying new drones is the shortage of trained pilots, given that the number of training sessions necessary before the brain is able to reliably pick out targets, is extremely high.

This got us to thinking about patterns in the stock market, as expressed in charts. Charts like the one you predicted above. Such charts invariably express a multitude of different possible patterns: patterns like the 50-day moving average crossing the 200-day moving average and then diverging; patterns like increasing levels of volume during a strong stock move; patterns like the slope of the Relative Strength Index (RSI) at the same time other patterns appear. And countless others, potentially too complex for a computer to ever be able to absorb the way a human brain can.

It is enough to make you wonder: presented with training sessions consisting of historical charts, and asked to make an up/down prediction for where a stock went next, can the human brain be trained to zero in on the patterns that point to a stock about to climb (or fall) and make predictions more reliable than a coin toss?

That's the basic premise that led to the ChartSweeps concept. We present you with random charts from within the S&P 500 components at a random point in time in history, you make predictions, and earn sweepstakes entries (whether you are right or wrong in your prediction — all you need to do is try)!
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