Playing the Market


Use the Internet to research a company in the stock market. Try to find a description of the company and its products and a report of its earnings during the past year. Select a stock from the listing at the MIT AI Lab experimental stock market information service. Once you find a company, look at its page of information. If you see the company's name underlined, this indicates that you can access more information by clicking on the company's name.

If your company name is not underlined, then you can use the following Internet resources to help you find more information:

Once you find information on a company, take careful notes for the final report. Next, record your stock's High, Low, and Close values of your stock for the week listed.

How to record your stock information

Your data should be recorded on a sheet of paper in this way:

Entering your data into Mathematica

In the lab, open a new Mathematica window and create three sets of data. The first set will consist of ordered pairs whose first coordinate is the day # and second coordinate is the high value of the stock for the day. Name the set highlist (or any such name so you can distinguish it from the other two sets). Do not use a capital first letter for your list name. Refer to section 1.5 of your text in creating your lists for the proper syntax. The fractions will need to be converted to decimals before you type your lists. After you have typed in your list, enter it to be certain it contains no errors. If there are errors, correct them and reŠenter the list.

In the same cell as highlist, enter a second list of ordered pairs whose first coordinate is the day # and whose second coordinate is the low value of the stock for the day. You might call this lowlist. Repeat the procedure as for the highlist to correct any errors, then enter a third list into the same cell again whose ordered pairs consist of the day # and whose second coordinate is the closing value for the day. You might call this closelist.

You should now have all three lists within the same cell. If there are no errors, then go back and insert a colon before each of the "=" signs in your assignment statements and reŠenter the entire cell again. Nothing will appear on the screen but your lists will be entered into Mathematica for further use under the assigned names.

Check with your instructor before proceeding.

Constructing the graphs of your data sets

Using the example at the bottom of page 16 of section 1.6 of your text, make a plot of the list of ordered pairs of the high stock values (highlist) for each of the days. Do not retype your list of data. After you have entered the cell with your data, Mathematica will recognize the list by its name (highlist). Only one graph should appear after you have completed the set of commands. Check with the instructor to be certain the graph is correct.

Within the same cell as the one which created the graph of the high stock values, include commands to plot the graph of the low stock values and the closing stock values. Be certain to check with your instructor after you have created each new graph.

When you have completed the above, you should have all three graphs on a single set of coordinate axes.

Final report

Your final report should consist of a minimum 250 word description of your company and its products and a report of its earnings during the past year. When you finish your report, attach your graphs and submit it to your instructor.

You will be graded on the completeness of your report and also on the correctness of the writing. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and sentence structure will all play a part in determining your grade.

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