Charting is integral for any trader who uses technical analysis, which involves evaluating past movements as a means to predict future performance.
Stock charts assist in that analysis by showing the performance of a security over time, allowing traders to recognize patterns and look at various technical indicators. Users can use charts to dig into a stock’s history and recognize volatility, as well as compare multiple securities and benchmark performance to indexes, like the S&P 500.
Online brokers offer charting capabilities that vary in depth; outside resources include websites like TradingView and StockCharts.com, which both offer a number of free features as well as upgraded memberships. StockCharts.com offers a ChartSchool to get new users familiar with charting.