Using Optuma’s Market Breadth Engine – Part 2

by Jul 4, 2019All Articles, Technical Analysis

Last week I introduced breadth and touched on how you can use Optuma to build your own Breadth measures. This week I continue on to explain different ways in which you can use Breadth calculations in Optuma.

Calculating Market Cap Percentages in Your Portfolio

Let’s say I have 10 stocks in my portfolio, and I want to know how much each one represents as a percentage of the total market cap of all the stocks in my portfolio. This is important because smaller cap stocks tend to be more volatile, so I can make sure I have a balanced portfolio. To achieve this I sum up the market cap for my whole portfolio and compare each symbol’s market cap to the total.

In an Optuma watchlist we can have Summary and header rows—that Sum or Average all the rows in that group—but we cannot use that value in a calculation. This is where we can create a Breadth symbol and use that instead.

Having built a symbol list containing the 10 stocks (by either importing a .csv file, linking to a Bloomberg portfolio, or manually typing the symbols) you can use it in the Breadth engine to calculate the total market cap by using the DATAFIELD function to get the market cap (note: requires access to Optuma’s fundamental data):

The divergence between the Advance - Decline Line - S&P 500 INDEX

In this example the custom ticker symbol I chose is PORTMC, calculated from MyPortfolio symbol list with the Breadth Action set to Sum:

This will create a data file called PORTMC which can be used in a watchlist column with the GETDATA function to calculate the ratio of our market cap to the total market cap we calculated in the breadth measure:

Out of my 10 stocks, Exxon Mobil (XOM) has a market cap of $322.7 billion, making up 23.7% of the overall market cap of $1.36 trillion.

Calculating a Price-Weighted Portfolio Performance

It’s also possible to sum the values of the portfolio stocks to create a total, thus giving a price-weighted proxy for the performance (note: we will be adding an option to create a geometric average in the breadth engine to make it easier to create an equal-weighted average, as discussed here That will be available in Optuma 1.5).

Instead of summing the market cap, simply sum the CLOSE() value. Doing this will add closing values for each day as per this example that shows the current sum of closing prices is 1,282.67, and net change of -30.51 from the previous session:

Once created, this data can also be used as the benchmark for a Relative Rotation Graph (RRG). Instead of using the main stock index, this makes it a ‘closed universe’ RRG (i.e. only those stocks in the RRG are in the benchmark):

In RRGs, “closed universes” are important because we know there has to be balance in the RRG. This way we can see exactly which members of my portfolio are performing the best and which are contributing the least. I also get an inkling of which securities are likely to move into out-performance. Remember the weakest security in my portfolio could still be better than alternative securities in the whole market. This type of focussed RRG is telling me which are above average and which are below.

For a more detailed explanation of closed universes in RRGs, read my white paper called RRG Weights at

As with all things Optuma, you have an enormous amount of flexibility in how you use these measures. Hopefully you can find even more unique ways to use them.

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Mathew Verdouw, CMT, CFTe

Mathew Verdouw, CMT, CFTe

CEO / Founder Optuma

As a Computer Systems Engineer, Mathew started Market Analyst (now Optuma) within 18 months of completing his degree. From that point on, Mathew has made it his mission to build the very best software tools available.

Since 1996 Mathew has been learning about all aspects of financial analysis, and in 2014 earned the CMT designation (Chartered Market Technician). In 2015, he was also awarded the CFTe designation. In 2017, Mathew started to teach the required content for the CMT exams at He is the only person in the world who teaches all three levels due to his broad exposure to all forms of financial analysis.

As someone who has dedicated his life to find better ways to analyse financial markets, Mathew is set to drive innovation in this sector for many years to come.


  1. George Sayers

    There is nearly always a cash component that I think should be taken into account.
    Can I include this?
    I would then get a true indication of the percentage each stock was of my Portfolio, as opposed to the invested component only.
    If there was a field (ie last line on the list) that deducted from a total current portfolio value (this number variable to a degree as there will be interest and divs, so it must be manually adjustable), that would give you an approximate cash position.
    Then the value of each holding (including cash) would be calculated as a percentage of the total (real/actual) portfolio.
    I think that would improve one’s portfolio reviews

    • Mathew Verdouw, CMT, CFTe

      The only way I can think of is to have all the holdings in a watchlist and create a manual “value” column. You would have to have a row for cash – but I’m not sure what ticker to use for that.

      What you are asking for is stretching the capabilities of this version of Optuma. It will be something which is handled a lot better in future products.


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