In Joe Lan’s December 2010 Online Exclusive article on the top comprehensive financial websites, he dropped DailyFinance, formerly AOL Money & Finance, due to its shift in focus to financial news. While the site is no longer a top CI pick among comprehensive online financial data, tools and analysis providers, it does offer a useful (and free) app for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. With it you can access real-time stock quotes, track portfolios and watchlists, access company and sector news items and create rudimentary charts.
One trend among financial websites and apps is free “real-time” stock quotes. Typically, exchanges such as the NYSE and NASDAQ charge a fee to deliver real-time quotes. However, the BATS Exchange, currently the third largest market center for stock transactions in the U.S., offers totally free real-time quotes for those stocks trading on its platform. The “catch” is that this quote may not reflect the most current trade in that stock, as it only captures trades on the BATS Exchange. Also, depending on the trading volume in the stock, there may not be a real-time BATS quote. To overcome this, BATS also provides a composite delayed quote, which represents trading across all exchanges.
Beyond offering quotes during regular trading hours, the BATS Exchange also provides extended hour quotes for pre- and after-market trading.
As we mentioned earlier, DailyFinance has re-focused itself on providing a broad spectrum of financial news for markets, stocks, and sectors. With the DailyFinance app, you can access real-time news stories from over 3,000 sources such as WSJ.com, Reuters, Seeking Alpha, Zacks, SmartMoney.com, the AP, New York Times, FT.com and CNBC. News items within the app are broken down by sector—basic materials, financials, healthcare, etc.—as well as U.S., international, commodities, etc. You can also access company-specific news when browsing individual company quotes.
With the DailyFinance app, you can create and track watchlists directly within the app, which you can also view and monitor at the DailyFinance website. Furthermore, you can set up actual portfolios at the DailyFinance site (http://finance.aol.com/portfolios/myportfolios) and follow them with the app. In all you can create up to 25 different portfolios and watchlists.
The charting functionality of the DailyFinance app is not one of its strong points, but will serve those merely looking to see the trend in a stock over varying time periods. I was disappointed that you can only create line charts and that there are no technical indicators, moving averages or other line studies to plot.
You can create charts for the current trading day, for one, three and 12 months, for year-to-date, and for five years. In addition, you can compare a company’s stock chart to indexes and its peers. One unique feature allows you to plot the last five years, each in a different color, on top of one another to see seasonal trends in the stock price.
Lastly, the “Movers” section lists the most active stocks and the biggest gainers and losers for the NYSE, Amex and NASDAQ.
The DailyFinance app more than holds its own in comparison with the other financial apps we have reviewed here. Our biggest gripe is that there is not a dedicated iPad version of the app. When viewing it in 2x mode to make use of the larger iPad screen, the text can become difficult to read.
If you are looking for real-time quotes and news in an easy-to-use (and free!) app, DailyFinance is definitely worth your time.