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Computerized Investing > May 5, 2012

Stock Tickers

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by CI Staff

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Stock tickers are perhaps the most identifiable icons in the trading world. From investing television shows to Wall Street trade rooms, stock ticker feeds are commonplace. They can be useful for investors, who might want to see the trend of the market and their investments, and traders, who rely on knowledge of daily volatility. There are a variety of tickers to choose from, which is why this week’s Featured Download article discusses a few different options and points to features to look out for.

There are two basic ticker feeds in trading: stock tickers and news tickers. Some prefer a ticker that combines the two, while others prefer that they be separated so that the feed or feeds remain uncluttered. After all, the more cluttered the ticker, the less practical it becomes.

One feature to look out for is docking, also known as line or ticker placement. This feature “docks” the ticker at the top or bottom of the monitor while pushing desktop icons down, and ensures that the ticker is almost always visible. This reduces the monitor’s usable space and can be distracting, but it is an invaluable feature for those who would like to view the ticker at all times with minimal hassle.

Reuters Desktop Ticker 3.2

The Reuters Desktop Ticker is a news ticker, which means that it does not show stock quotes. However, it is arguably one of the best news feeds available. The program is free, it operates smoothly, and it allows users the option of docking and undocking the ticker. Unlike most tickers, the Reuters Desktop Ticker does not stream headlines; rather, it displays a few headlines at a time and updates them periodically, which actually makes it much easier to read, compared to streaming text. In addition, with Reuters, investors know they are getting quality news. Users also have the option of selecting different news preferences such as U.S. business news and U.S. technology news. As with most feeds, clicking on the headline will open the user’s browser to the featured article.

Reuters Desktop Ticker 3.2
http://www.aaii.com/download-library/download?DL_ID=695
System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista or 7
Size:
642KB
Price:
Free

StrataTicker 3.1.0

StrataTicker is a stock ticker with a more modern design. It offers a variety of features, which can be found by right-clicking the program’s logo in the bottom-right corner of the screen, next to the system’s time and date. Users can add top section symbols and bottom section symbols, which means that investors can see their portfolio’s performance alongside the market’s performance. Users can also add price alerts, change their data feed, adjust the ticker speed and refresh rate, and change the color of the texts and backgrounds. The stock ticker is free; however, it is used to promote StrataSearch, the company’s subscribers-only technical analysis program.

StrataTicker 3.1.0
http://www.aaii.com/download-library/download?DL_ID=697
System Requirements:
Windows
Size:
2.96MB
Price:
Free

Free Stocks Ticker 1.6.1

Free Stocks Ticker is a stock and news ticker. Like most tickers that combine these two features, Free Stocks Ticker can show stock quotes and news headlines all on one line. However, this gets cluttered, because news headlines typically take a while to stream through before the stock quotes show up again. One of the features that make Free Stocks Ticker great is that it allows users to add more ticker lines. Users can have a separate line for news, stock quotes, comparable stock quotes, and even RSS feeds. Moreover, each line can have different colors and even be split up so that some lines are located at the top of the monitor while others are at the bottom. To access these features, simply right-click on the ticker and select Setup or some of the other features, such as Faster or Slower.

Free Stocks Ticker 1.6.1
http://www.aaii.com/download-library/download?DL_ID=694
System Requirements:
Windows XP, Vista or 7
Size:
313.83KB
Price:
Free

SideTick 2.4

SideTick is a great, classic free stock ticker with a few hidden modern features. Arguably, the biggest drawback is its lack of a docking option, which means that users will have to manually make room for it on their screen. In the SideTick image, notice how the ticker overlaps the tops of the desktop icons, while the Web browser overlaps the ticker. If the program had a docking feature, the desktop icons would be moved down automatically and the browser would open under the ticker.

The program’s features are accessible by clicking the green dropdown arrow. Here, users can see more information on their stocks and indexes, add or remove stocks and indexes, watch the news, and change the settings, such as ticker speed, display and height.

Perhaps the most interesting feature is the news feature. Users will notice one news headline at a time just above the ticker, next to the SideTick logo. These headlines are slightly more specific to investing than those found on most news tickers. Users can choose from a variety of investment-related options, such as U.S. markets, commodities and forex. These news options can be found under the Settings & Help tab in the dropdown. To the left of this tab is “News Feed,” which, oddly enough, is not a feed, but rather video from channels such as CNBC and Bloomberg.

SideTick 2.4
http://www.aaii.com/download-library/download?DL_ID=696
System Requirements:
Windows XP or higher
Size:
18.9MB
Price:
Free

There is much more to tickers than most believe, and they can be quite useful. However, unless the ticker does something remarkable, it should be free. Believe it or not, there are quite a few sub-standard tickers that some users pay for.


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