On the Internet: Real-Time Stock Data
by CI Staff
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Real-Time Stock Data
The last time we covered real-time data was in the January/February 2005 issue of Computerized Investing. Over the past two and a half years, real-time data has become much more prevalentalbeit, usually at additional cost. In fact, in mid-January of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the New York Stock Exchange was considering a program that would provide real-time stock quotes to financial Web sites for $100,000 a month. Google, which does not currently provide any real-time data options, said it would provide the real-time data to Google Finance users for free.
Some comprehensive investment Web sites provide real-time data to supplement the various investing tools provided including portfolio tracking, screening and analysis tools, and securities data. Other sites are devoted to providing real-time data and supplement the data with basic charting and portfolio tracking tools.
Yahoo! Finance is a comprehensive Web site offering a wealth of financial data and tools including portfolio tracking, securities analysis and screening tools. The site offers free streaming quotes, which you can see changing every few seconds. This, however, can be misleading because the data is not streaming in real timeit is delayed by at least 15 minutes.
Recently, Yahoo! Finance stopped offering free real-time ECN data due to pricing changes by the exchanges. [ECN stands for electronic communication network, a computer system that facilitates trading without using a traditional market maker.] Now, Yahoo! Finance premium members can access streaming real-time stock and index price and volume data for $10.95 per month. Included in the premium membership are more advanced portfolio tracking and screening tools and live charts. Premium members can watch as the current bid and ask prices, daily volume and market cap tick up and down in a flash. The site has also introduced new fully customizable, interactive technical analysis charts. Premium members can choose from numerous technical analysis techniques and chart data in real time. Additionally, the charts timeframe is fully customizable and you can compare a stock to an index, its top competitors or any exchange-traded stock.
ADVFN offers free delayed market quotes on stocks listed on U.S. exchanges as well as numerous foreign exchanges. Quotes are delayed 15 to 20 minutes. Live, real-time data on NYSE, NASDAQ, Amex stocks and various indexes are available for $5.99 per month. ADVFN also provides real-time quotes for the London, Canadian and Irish stock exchanges for $19.99, $24.99, and $21.99 per month, respectively. Real-time data includes price and volume information and is incorporated into interactive, customizable technical charts with streaming data. Links to recent news stories and related message boards are provided as well. The site also has financial statement data and a portfolio tracking tool, which will track your stocks in real time.
A recent addition to this comprehensive Web site is a Java-based portfolio tracker. The free version of this portfolio tracker is called Quotestream and provides streaming, but delayed, portfolio updates. For $19.99 per month, you can access the real-time portfolio tracker. All registered users have access to delayed stock market data from the sites Quotes section.
The new, real-time portfolio tracker provides portfolio updates, news on stocks in the portfolio, and price and volume charts. You can also get real-time quote data for stocks not in your portfolio. Additional features include: historical charting tools, interactive charting capabilities, company profiles, upgrade/downgrade calendars, SEC filings, the ability to export data to a comma-separated file, custom alerts and the ability to customize views and colors.
FreeRealTime.com provides registered users with free real-time ECN market data on most stocks and indexes. If ECN data is not available, data is delayed by the typical 15 to 20 minutes. Users also have access to after-hours ECN market data. For $11.95 per month, you can use the watch list feature in real time. For $24.95 per month, you can access streaming real-time exchange data; for $49.95 per month, you get streaming real-time java charting capabilities and wireless or E-mail alerts. The Java charts work directly through your Web browser, allowing you to manipulate timeframes, compare against indexes and add various technical charting formulas.
All users have access to stock data that includes company profiles, SEC filings, news, message boards, customizable technical analysis charts and a list of upcoming conference calls via BestCalls.com. Additionally, all users can create watch lists and track multiple portfolios. The Markets section provides lists of the days most active stocks, biggest percent gainers and losers, biggest dollar gainers and losers and a Whats Hot list. You can also find basic data on exchange-traded funds. For investors with Web-enabled cell phones, FreeRealTime.com offers wireless access to its site (wap.freerealtime.com). You can view stock quotes and your watch list, look up ticker symbols, view lists of the most active stocks and see market snapshots and index data.
MSN Money is a comprehensive Web site that offers free real-time quotes. Simply enter a ticker symbol and choose Real-Time Quote from the left menu bar. You can get up-to-the-minute price and volume data as well as real-time charts. One-, five- and 10-day intraday real-time price and volume charts are also available. You can print and export the charts. Unlike the delayed intraday charts, you cannot compare multiple stocks or indexes on one chart. Also, the free quotes are not tied to the sites portfolio tracker. Compared to some of the sites that charge for real-time data, MSN Moneys offerings are sparse, but the data is free of charge.
Similar to Forbes.com, SmartMoney.com provides free, delayed quote data to all members. For $10.95 per month, SmartMoney Select Real-Time provides stock quotes via a portfolio tracking tool that works through your Web browser.
The real-time data applies to quotes, news, and charts. You can track multiple portfolios with up to 40 securities in each and fully customize displays. For stocks not included in your portfolio, you can create watch lists or enter a ticker symbol for real-time quotes and charts.
SmartMoney Select members also have access to advanced screening and analysis tools, Smart Money magazine articles and an exchange-traded funds center.
Wall Street Journal Online
The Wall Street Journal offers some free areas on its site, but it is mainly a pay-for-use site. The Wall Street Journal Online offers real-time data on stocks and indexes to all subscribers, but only after an additional registration form and liability waiver is completed.
The data is provided by SmartMoney, but is presented in a different format. There is no real-time portfolio tracking system, only the ability to look up individual securities for real-time price and volume data. The portfolio tracker displays all data with a 15- to 20-minute delay. There are no real-time charts.
Zacks, another comprehensive investment Web site, also offers real-time quotes tied to its portfolio tracker for $9.95 per month (plus $3 per month for exchange fees). Free quote data is delayed by 15 to 20 minutes. The advanced portfolio tracking system provides streaming charts for the major U.S. indexes and includes customizable features, interactive and dynamic charts, company news, SEC filings, and corporate research. There is no software to install: The program works through your Web browser. Zacks also offers screening and analysis tools, charting, fundamental company data and mutual fund data.