An alert is an interesting event in the market. Events are reported as they occur, in real-time. This differs from a board view, market view, stock screener, or portfolio, because an alert only shows things that are changing.
For example, a portfolio window will list all of your positions and say which ones are up or down for the day. An alert, on the other hand, will occur when a stock transitions between being up and being down for the day. A stock screener might, on request, tell you the 25 stocks which have moved the most since the open. An alert, on the other hand, will occur each time a stock makes a move greater than the user defined threshold.
Traders typically use an alert to notify them that something interesting is happening with a particular stock, or to find out which stocks are doing interesting things. Then they use other tools to take a closer look at those stocks.
Our alerts are based strictly on technical analysis, and on statistical analysis of the market. Other services may provide alerts based on news or fundamental analysis.