4 alerts to use in the age of coronavirus

Consider using alerts to stay on top of your investing strategy.

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Key takeaways

  • Setting alerts can help you monitor news and markets.
  • Set alerts to monitor the price of a particular investment, the percentage change since the previous close, moving averages, and 52-week high/low.

There's no shortage of news these days with the potential to trigger big market moves. Coronavirus—and its economic impact—is like nothing investors have ever dealt with. For example, there have been days where vaccine developments have driven stocks, in part, across the board. Add in economic reports, earnings reports, central bank moves, and other major news, and you have a market that has the potential to move on a dime by a potentially significant amount.

It's not possible to stay on top of all of it, all the time. However, if you don't want to miss an opportunity to manage your portfolio (like exiting a trade or buying/selling an investment when the time is right for you), while incorporating important news, alerts might be a tool you want to consider using. Alerts can notify you about specific stock movements, economic announcements, and other news (as well as when certain events, like a deposit or trade, occur in your account).

4 types of alerts that could help

  • Price
  • Percentage change
  • Exponential moving average
  • 52-week high/low

Alert yourself to target prices

You may have a price at which you'd like to buy or sell a stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF). You can choose to set an alert to notify you when an investment hits a specific price. This type of alert can be particularly useful around major news events that can move the stock or other investment by a significant amount.

For instance, companies release earnings reports 4 times per year, for each quarter. The stock prices of reporting businesses could go up or down by a larger-than-normal amount on earnings news. That could trigger an alert set to notify you of an increase or decrease to a specified target price for one of your stocks or ETFs.

Percentage change since previous close

If you're watching a stock or ETF, this alert can notify you when it moves by a specific percentage change from the previous day's close. That can come in handy to identify relatively big moves, it can help place a stock's move in context relative to its price, and if you're looking for patterns following certain events.

Exponential moving average

If you like using technical analysis, knowing when an investment crosses the 20-, 50-, or 200-day exponential moving average (EMA) can be useful. An EMA is the average of a set of closing prices over a specific period, with recent data given more weight. Setting alerts to be triggered when an investment or an index crosses above or below its moving average could give you some insight into trends of that investment or index relative to past prices, as well as provide potential buy or sell signals.

52-week high/low

When the price of an investment rises above its 52-week high, some investors might view this as a sign it could keep up the momentum and push on to new highs. Of course, it might not if, from a technical perspective, investors perceive this price level to be psychologically significant and it serves as resistance to going higher.

On the other side, some investors might perceive an investment slipping below the previous low of the past 52 weeks as a bearish indicator, expecting it to keep going down. Or, again, it might not. Hitting the 52-week low could entice some investors to buy at that point if they believe its value has improved.

Setting alerts

All of these alerts—and more—are available on the Fidelity Mobile app—and can be sent as push notifications to your phone. You can also get price trigger alerts via text message or email. Visit the Alerts pageLog In Required on the News & Research tab on Fidelity.com to add a phone number to your account in order to receive alerts as a text message. You can also set alerts on Fidelity.com, where it may be easier to set alerts on multiple securities.

Next steps to consider

Set alerts to monitor your account or track the price of a security.

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