On the Internet: Real-Time Data
by CI Staff
Because the Internet is a primary resource for most investors to track securities, research potential buys and sell and make trades, the number of Internet sites offering real-time market data has greatly increased. In the past, up-to-the-minute data was mainly used by professional investors while individuals interested in the service had to pay a high premium. However, real-time and almost-real-time data is now a necessity for those who wish to stay competitive in the investing game. Many sites now offer these services for free or at a reasonable price.
Yahoo! Finance offers slightly delayed market data for free, which it pulls from multiple sources to create a comprehensive Web site for investors. Users can see the time and price of the last trade, the daily percent change in price, bid and ask prices, price ranges for the day and year, trading volume, market capitalization, price-earnings ratio, earnings per share and a one-year target stock price. Real-time ECN (electronic communication network) quotes are also accessible for free, showing the current price, day’s change and bid and ask prices. This information is not available for all stocks.
Additionally, graphs showing the daily, monthly, quarterly and annual price fluctuations are available. These basic charts also show trading volume in millions and denote any stock splits. Technical analysis charts can be changed from line to bar or candlestick format and can display moving averages from five to 200 days. Users can compare a stock’s graph to that of another stock or benchmark such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones industrial average. The site also offers historical prices, news stories, company histories and profiles, financial data and analyst coverage.
The free quote data is provided by Reuters and is presented in almost-real-time; NYSE and Amex quotes are delayed 20 minutes while NASDAQ and all other quotes are delayed by 15 minutes.
Yahoo! Finance also offers a MarketTracker service, which provides streaming, real-time charts, news and stock prices. MarketTracker is available through the Web site and costs $9.95 per month; a free two-week trial is available.
Quote.com is a free site that offers users access to delayed market data for all NYSE, Amex and NASDAQ stocks: bid and ask price; the day’s high and low; the opening and previous day’s closing price; average trading volume; and percent change in stock price for the week, month and year. The data is also displayed in intraday and yearly price change charts. Quote.com’s free market data for the NYSE and Amex is delayed 20 minutes, NASDAQ is delayed 15 minutes and all other exchange data is delayed 10 to 30 minutes. Mutual fund data is updated after the market closes.
The site also offers live, streaming quotes and charts for a subscription fee. The LiveCharts section, available as a free demo, lets users see the time and order size of the most recent bid and ask prices. Additional features include financial ratios and statements, current news and company background information. The price is $9.95 to $19.95; a free 14-day trial is available.
PCQuote.com offers delayed market data at no charge as well as a multitude of charts, graphs and stock information. Quotes for individual stocks include the percent change, volume, daily high/low, opening and previous closing prices, the bid and ask prices as well as the time of the last sale. Additionally, a fundamental data table shows the 52-week high and low, earnings per share, price-earnings ratio, number of shares outstanding, market capitalization, beta, yield, dividend information and the exchange the stock trades on. Users also have access to recent company press releases and news.
The charting section uses delayed market data to show changes in the volume traded as well as price movements. Charts can be viewed in line, bar, candlestick, flow, area, percent, PnF, renko, three-line break, kagi, equivolume or candlevolume format.
All free market data is delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise noted while free NYBOT and NYMEX data is delayed 30 minutes.
PCQuote Screamer offers streaming, real-time data on equities and options for $19.95 per month; a free 14-day trial is available. PCQuote Screamer also offers a version that includes real-time data on futures for $34.95 per month.
This investing site offers free, real-time quotes on stocks listed on foreign exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange, FOREX and OFEX. Free NYSE and Amex quotes are delayed at least 20 minutes and all other free quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes. Users can view charts and graphs that incorporate the almost-real-time market information. Quote information includes percent change, current price, daily high/low, open price and volume and is displayed in a table with the time of the last update. As data is being updated, it is highlighted in yellow, red or blue to draw attention to the new information. There is also a place for investors to rate the stock as a buy, sell or hold.
Live, real-time data on the NYSE, NASDAQ, Amex and the indexes is available for $5.99 per month. For investors interested in foreign stock exchange data, Level One real-time quotes for the London, Canadian, and Irish stock exchanges cost $19.99, $24.99 and $21.99 per month, respectively. Real-time commodity prices for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange cost $59.99 per month. Four-week free trials are available.
Although this site is primarily a financial content provider for brokerage firms and other Web sites, it has some features helpful to the average investor. With real-time headlines and analyst comments, this is a good site to find up-to-the-minute news on stocks. Users can search for news stories by stock symbol. The “Before the Bell,” ”Momentum,” “Intraday Alerts,” and “After Hours” sections each feature the top news reports in their category.
There is also a section devoted to upgrades and downgrades that is updated in almost-real-time. News on negative and positive earnings surprises, revenue revisions, dividends and stock splits is also included. Commentary on certain news stories is available. This site is free to use.
FreeRealTime.com offers free consolidated real-time market data. The site boasts live quotes direct from the NYSE, NASDAQ and Amex exchanges. The home page displays market summaries for the indexes in an easy-to-read list as well as graphs depicting the results of the last two trading days. There is also a list of the current most-active stocks showing the symbol, the percent increase or decrease as well as the number of shares outstanding.
Real-time ECN quote information is shown for some stocks, providing the daily percent change, bid and ask prices, time of the last trade and after-hours percent changes. Other figures such as the previous open and close, 52-week high/low, average daily volume and price-earnings ratio are delayed 15 minutes. Charts depicting price changes and daily volume of trades can be viewed in time periods of one day to 10 years. Current news is also available for any stock along with a company profile and a message board.
The site lists the day’s biggest percent gainers and losers, biggest dollar gainers and losers, upgrades and downgrades and stock splits, sorted by exchange. This data is delayed 15 minutes.
Membership to this site is free.
For investors interested in streaming, real-time data, FreeRealTime.com offers FRT Express, which gives users access to an unlimited number of real-time exchange quotes as well as real-time watch lists, wireless access, and the ability to track trades in real-time. FRT Express is currently offered at a discounted annual subscription of $89.90. Regular monthly and quarterly subscriptions cost $9.95 and $27.95, respectively; a free seven-day trial is available.