Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Market data, quotes & charts

In an attempt to add some value to last week's rant over changes to Yahoo Finance, I've decided to compile a brief list of alternative sites offering free finance and investing content and market data.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I'm not exactly sure what most people are currently using for the latest in market data. You could be onto something that we haven't seen or heard of yet, in which case, tell us about it!

If you are currently relying on broker supplied data or a subscription market data service for your investing data needs, you probably won't need the quotes and charts offered by the free investing websites.

On the other hand, you may find some useful feature or service at one of the free sites that is not offered by your regular data service. Be sure to take a look; some of the websites here have some rather unique tools and attractions that you may find useful.

Without further ado, here's our list of the best free investment websites.

1. Yahoo! Finance US & Singapore. Wait, this list was supposed to provide an alternative to the dreaded, new and "improved" Yahoo! Finance, right?

You're right, but in spite of Yahoo's terrible site changes, many of the features we long-time users count on still remain.

For features that currently don't work as they should at the redesigned site (symbol lookup), we've included a link to the far saner Yahoo! Finance Singapore site.

Update: (November 20, 2007) The symbol lookup at Yahoo! Finance US is now working fine, and we're glad to see that it has been fixed. The new stock charts are a nice improvement, as well.

2. Quote.com. Stock and futures quotes, charts, news, portfolios, and a link to the online community, Raging Bull.

3. MSN Money. Home to the best free stock screener (MSN Deluxe Screener) in the business, at least as far as I'm concerned. Plus the usual assortment of quotes, charts, and personal finance features.

4. FT Markets Data. I have updated this slot to include FT.com's newly revamped "Markets Data" feature. I'm currently exploring, so go on over to the site and check this one out.

Financial data appears to be Reuters supplied, and I don't know that they have all the kinks worked out yet (company/symbol search appears to need some work), but it does seem like an attractive, useful site so far. The company profiles, charts, and snapshots all look good, but as always, check for accuracy.

Portfolio tracking available upon site registration, and there is an archive of market data from FT covering equities, global indexes, bonds, and commodities. Let's familiarize ourselves with this site's features and uncover more.

5. INO.com. This site centers around the futures market, but it also covers equities. You'll find quotes and charts of various exchange traded commodities, stocks, and world indices. The site also has a portfolio feature and an email news alert service.

6. Futuresource.com. You'll find this site in our sidebar links section. Another great source for forex and futures contract information and quotes. Data is from eSignal and quotes are delayed.

7. Bigcharts. A great site for charting US and Canadian shares. You can also chart international symbols as well, if you are able to translate the country code and symbol correctly.

Bigcharts' symbol lookup tool can be a little iffy however, so you may have to rely on another symbol lookup to find what you're after. Also note that Bigcharts/Marketwatch has its own prefix codes for foreign stock symbols ("CA:" for Canada, "AU:" for Australia, etc.), so be sure to look up a foreign company to get the correct exchange prefix.

8. CNNMoney.com. Quotes, news, market data, and personalized portfolio tools.

9. Bloomberg.com. Market Data and Investment Tools sections provide market index data, stock movers by index, earnings announcements, and a variety of financial calculators.

The site also has a very good international stock symbol search tool, and is, of course, a great source for business and market news.

10. Shibui Markets. This global markets site offers a company screener which searches companies by country, industry, or by several available fundamental fields.

There are financial summaries and some fundamental data/key ratios available for some of these international companies. Also, a currency converter tool and discussion on international shares.

11. SEC Info. Go to the source for company filings and reports. You can also search companies by industry or run a search on your favorite investment funds and see what holdings they've recently added or dropped.

12. Stockpickr. Another great place to go to research the holdings and strategies of noted investors. Share and discuss your stock picks with this network of social investors.

13. Seeking Alpha. Daily coverage of ETFs, US and global markets, market sectors, housing, bonds, and options markets. Plus, lots of market news and commentary from investment bloggers and guest writers.

14. Reuters Investing, Google Finance, and AOL Money & Finance. One more spot on the list to round things out. Here are three more options for investment news, watch lists/portfolios, and market quotes. Plus, personal finance tools and AOL's Blogging Stocks feature.

And just added to Google Finance, real-time quotes from China.

Update: Quick update, I wanted to include this link on the best stock screeners, as picked by readers of The Kirk Report. You'll also find more info on stock screeners in this Elitetrader forum thread.

You're all set. Enjoy! Remember to bookmark this page for future reference (hit the bookmark button in the footer of this post) and share it with a couple of friends.

Keep reading Finance Trends Matter for more news and updated posts. Got any picks that we've overlooked? Let us know. Thanks!