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Google to Offer Real-Time Stock Quotes 299

Apro+im writes "Today, Google announced that Google Finance will report real-time prices on NASDAQ-listed securities. While real-time stock quotes are not new, they have long encumbered with subscriptions, legal agreements, or pay software. This may be the first free source for real-time quotes."
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Google to Offer Real-Time Stock Quotes

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  • by X43B ( 577258 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:39PM (#23634173) Journal
    Yahoo! does this already.
    • by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:55PM (#23634285) Homepage
      I don't know why this is flamebait, Yahoo did actually start doing this about a month ago, but got no Slashdot coverage. I'm glad to see it done, 15 minutes/20 minutes were the actual delay times, and were kind of annoying...not 3 hours as some people have already stated. Anyhow, most brokers give you real-time quotes for free, such as Scottrade...others are a bit more stingy about it...such as ING. Hopefully this will force brokerage firms to lighten up on their lower tier subscription fees.
      • by DriedClexler ( 814907 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @01:04AM (#23634937)
        I'm more interested in being able to search the 20+ year history of a stock, mutual fund, index (with dividend reinvestment), or futures contract. They only seem to let you go back 10 years, or not see the result of dividend reinvestment. Even google finance only lets you go back a few years in many cases.

        Interestingly enough, people on investing forums casually reference these values as if they're easy to get, but I've never seen a free source for that information.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @01:49AM (#23635119)
          People on investing forums probably don't care that the sources aren't free. I bet most of them are dealing with large enough sums of money that any fees for access to information are worth it. Information is money, if it will earn you more money you will pay for it.
        • by rmstar ( 114746 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @05:09AM (#23635743)
          Yahoo lets you download way more than 20 years of stock history, with and without taking into account dividends. You can even download all that in a .csv.

          F. ex: [] shows IBM quotes going back to 1962.
          • by dintech ( 998802 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:08AM (#23635929)
            The problem is, this is only open and close prices. If you want to write algoritms that run on actual tick data (what realtime algos are actually useful for), you have no way to back-test it without collecting your own data first.

            My job involves persisting tick data from a Reuters feed for large investment company and the amount of data we collect every day for 16 exchanges in Europe is huge. Something like 25Gb (growing exponentially) and that's being selective about which stocks to capture.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by corbettw ( 214229 )

              My job involves persisting tick data from a Reuters feed for large investment company and the amount of data we collect every day for 16 exchanges in Europe is huge. Something like 25Gb (growing exponentially) and that's being selective about which stocks to capture.

              I think you just answered your own question. Anything that requires that kind of storage on a daily basis isn't going to be cheap to provide access to. And since Joe Daytrader isn't going to care, but companies creating new investment products will, I can't see the viability of providing access to that data for free. That doesn't mean someone won't (or hasn't) done it, just that it seems like the kind of thing that someone would charge for access to.

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )
        Well, the stock brokers better be doing it for free. Imagine Safeway asking you to buy stake based on the price it was sold for 20 minutes ago. Not sure what's in it for Google. Maybe computing power to produce realtime quotes is now low enough to be paid for by text ads.
        • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @09:05AM (#23636939) Journal

          Imagine Safeway asking you to buy stake based on the price it was sold for 20 minutes ago. .
          Seriously? That's a pretty bad comparison. I mean... it's not like steak prices are prone to precipitous drops because, say, the CEO of Angus International was caught siphoning off corporate funds to build a love nest for his heifer mistress.

          Or something. Look, my point is that stock prices are a lot more volatile than food prices. If you want a good analogy, go to an analogy... making... person.
    • by UncleTogie ( 1004853 ) * on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:57PM (#23634295) Homepage Journal

      Yahoo! does this already.

      Are you sure? Read the fine print at the bottom of the Yahoo finance page next time:

      Quotes are updated automatically, but will be turned off after 25 minutes of inactivity. Quote data delayed 15 minutes for Nasdaq, 20 minutes for NYSE and Amex. Real-Time continuous streaming quotes are available through our premium service.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:29PM (#23634489)
        yahoo used to do it, then they had to stop... legal stuff, at least that's what they said.

        For a while, they just removed the "realtime" button, but you could type in the extension manually to get realtime quotes. Then they disabled that. They probably still have a more sophisticated method, but the quick n dirty brute force version was disabled.
      • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:32PM (#23634515) Journal
        Yahoo users - don't be fooled by simple "Web 2.0", and "AJAX" magic. It's just a bunch of javascripts refreshing your browswer... on a time delay.

        On occasion, I have seen quotes for FDRXX (money market fund) report 123,000%+ on, so you still have to think once in a while, as wonderful as the Internet is, it is not perfect.

        And to be a bit off-topic and rambling, it will not be technical hurdles that "kill" the Internet, it will be lawyers and legislators, mark my words.

      • by protohiro1 ( 590732 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @12:20AM (#23634745) Homepage Journal
        Yahoo recently started offering realtime quotes: [] Look during trading hours and you will see it them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Check during the day when the exchanges are open.

        Not only do they have real time quotes for NASDAQ, they also have real time for NYSE. Google is NASDAQ only.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by videoBuff ( 1043512 ) [] BATS provides free real time quote to Yahoo. So Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. had to respond to that. Their business model is slightly different from BATS. After all BATS is trying to become an national securities exchange!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sarcas ( 14667 )

        Yahoo! does this already.

        Are you sure? Read the fine print at the bottom of the Yahoo finance page next time:

        I am - Yahoo! Finance Launches Free Real-Time ECN Prices []. Of course, both the Y! and Google finance teams have been trying to do this for a while - in our case (obvious disclaimer: I work for Y!, although not on Finance) we have to thank Bats Trading Inc for providing us with the data. It's not universal yet, but the blog post above indicates that we're working on it.

        Google don't indicate where they're getting their data from, but they've been fighting to do it for a while as well, and as they're starting

    • by Wister285 ( 185087 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:01PM (#23634325) Homepage
      Assuming Google quotes NASDAQ directly, the difference is that Yahoo! quotes ECNs instead as the managing editor over at CNBC explains: []

      This has a wide range of implications, mainly how exchanges charge for their data. This will probably help NASDAQ to continue to put more pressure on the NYSE. It may be a good step though as I'd like to see the futures exchanges allow for their data services to be more freely available.

      It also helps to empower the individual investor as the gap between the institutions and in the individuals closes. This can have unintended consequences though in terms of volatility as the retail money may get more fidgety with this more timely data. Either way, it should be interesting to watch this develop.
      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Actually this is really cool since you can call google finance tickers from a google apps spreadsheet. You can now easily do some advanced data manipulation with realtime data for free.
      • As the programmer of a share marketing charting app I'd love to see more data freely available. Surely exchanges recognise that more data = more casual trading, and charging pennies to a small number of people isn't the same as brokerage fees from a much bigger number.
  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:44PM (#23634203) Homepage

    I got free real-time quotes with my E*Trade account readily enough. You do need to open an account and log in each time, and you do need to accept a legal agreement, but I don't think you need to actually pay for them.

    The legal agreement was mostly "you can't sue us, or NASDAQ, or the NYSE or anybody, for giving you these quotes... and you can't, like, republish these to other people". It didn't seem excessive.

    I guess Google will be more convenient than these, but it's not a huge deal. Besides, if you actually care about a 15-minute delay, you'll have your brokerage account open anyway.

    • This does have at least one good facet though. It's going to be easier (and less obvious to your employer) to monitor the market at work!
  • by ( 463190 ) * on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:44PM (#23634207) Homepage
    tons of subscription services will lose most of their user base overnight - not just the ones charging for real time quotes, but also all the free sites that only offer delayed quotes. It could even have implications for market as a whole, because a whole lot more amateur investors will be getting involved in watching real-time activity. Evil though they may be, it's hard to deny that google gets their product offerings dead-on nearly all the time.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:09PM (#23634375)
      "tons" of subscription services will not lose most of their user base overnight as "tons" of subscription services offer more services than just "real-time quotes." Including research/reports, customer service, stock trading, etc... This is a non-issue.
    • by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:27PM (#23634483)
      The vast majority of investors should ignore the minute by minute blows of the market. At this time scale the market is literally a big roulette wheel. Virtually all day traders and every amateur who thinks they can reliably extract disproportionate gains out of the market long-term (i.e. more than they would by say, holding an appropriate mix of diversified indexes) are fooling themselves into making predictions on what essentially amounts to sheer randomness. Think I'm crazy? Do yourself a favor and read A Random Walk Down Wall Street [] and save yourself the decade it took me to figure out how the market works. You're welcome.
      • I don't disagree with the "truth about real-time quotes," but it often tells you a lot about how the market is reacting to news which can have some interesting implications.

        As to the other subscription services, i was surprised that the WSJ is starting to go to real-time quotes as well. The more the merrier-- greater transparency for all.
      • Not necessarily, if you want to maximize your profitability you can time your share purchase precisely. The best way to do this is to buy strong companies during a recession, but even once you take that into account, if you're buying 500 shares, saving 1 or 2 percent can be a big deal. Obviously that's not 1 or 2 percent you can plan on taking to the bank, but if you can get it for the lower price, you should.
      • The vast majority of investors should ignore the minute by minute blows of the market. At this time scale the market is literally a big roulette wheel. Virtually all day traders and every amateur who thinks they can reliably extract disproportionate gains out of the market long-term (i.e. more than they would by say, holding an appropriate mix of diversified indexes) are fooling themselves into making predictions on what essentially amounts to sheer randomness. Think I'm crazy? Do yourself a favor and read A Random Walk Down Wall Street and save yourself the decade it took me to figure out how the market works. You're welcome.

        Amen. I'm reading the original version of Graham's The Intelligent Investor [] . It teaches the mindset of the value investor - defensive or aggressive, and leaves no room in the mind for bootless, wild speculation. Graham taught Warren Buffett himself, and he hasn't done badly ;-) I only have a tiny bit of money directly on the stock market, because I'm spending a year or so building up a six-month rainy-day fund before seriously beginning to invest for the long haul. During that time, I'll be learning the

      • Yeah but it's way more 'fun' to watch the ups and downs.... I mean if you've got nothing better to do than watch a line graph ;-p

      • Your long term is not my long term. While stocks and the like are probably suited for daily and longer timeframes, there are many markets (including indexes based on stocks) that can be traded with decent statistical edges with a few hours of graphical info at a time. Granted, this is still above the ranges the article is talking about, but even that can come in useful and is generally nice to have: what if some disasterous news release comes in and you want to know whether to bail out or not? The market ca
      • by Eivind ( 15695 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @05:43AM (#23635855) Homepage
        This is very VERY true. Speculation is, afterall, a zero-sum-game. You can only beat the average of the market to precisely the same degree that someone else underperforms the market. The only sure winners are the brokers collecting transaction-fees.

        Now -investment- is *not* a zero-sum game, over time most companies turn a profit (those who don't go bankrupt), and so buying random stock at random times and keeping it until you need the money will, on the average, give you precisely the same return as the market-average.

        The Random Walk book gives good advice, except I personally prefer just naked stocks instead of index-funds. For the fairly simple reason that index-funds have -low- costs (typically 0.2%/year or thereabouts) whereas holding random stock has -zero- overhead-cost pro year.

        4% pro year over 30 years give 324% (4% above inflation is a fair longterm guess for the stockmarket) 4.2% over the same period gives 344%. It's not a big deal though, either is sound advice.

        index funds make sense if you ain't got enough money to invest to get an acceptable diversity yourself. Personally I change from index-funds to raw stocks when I can afford to hold 10+ different stock in a market. (which means for example for OSE, you'd need on the order of $20K)

        Also in most funds, the fund-managers are technically the owners of the stock, and you own only a part of the fund. Which means, for example, that you don't get a vote on the general assembly. Instead the fund-managers get to vote -- even though it's YOUR money that bougth the stock.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joocemann ( 1273720 )
      It is a big deal, and it is a good one. Long story short, people charging to repeat information to you will be shafted by a company like Google that can do that simple task for free. Very cool. Hell, why should we be paying subscriptions for someone to tell me public info?
    • Why didn't they lose their user base last week when yahoo started doing this?
  • by ForestGrump ( 644805 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:47PM (#23634221) Homepage Journal
    First it was "15 minutes delayed" stock quotes being all the rage.

    Now people are getting excited over "real time"? bah!

    Give me "In 10 Minutes" stock quotes and I'll pay for that!
  • by nodwick ( 716348 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:50PM (#23634245)

    While I know Google makes for good news, this story is in fact more about the exchanges loosening their grip on quote restrictions than it is a feel-good Google story.

    Historically the exchanges have required anyone offering free quotes to delay them 15-20 minutes [] since a big part of their revenue stream derived from charging brokerages for real-time quotes. (Brokerages in turn only offered this service to their customers.) NASDAQ announced a deal to allow Google, the Wall Street Journal, and CNBC [] to show real-time quotes for free. Yahoo Finance announced a similar deal with a different group (BATS Trading) to phase free real-time quotes throughout its site also.

    Looks like the internet continues to bring down barriers to information.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To be fair though, Google did spend a lot of effort lobbying the SEC to do this. I read a while back their argument to the SEC and it was well done. Its a good example of a corporation using Washington lobbying to help the public while also helping themselves. Also the opening of this is not (as far as I know) limited to just Google. They have argued for an agreement that would make this information available to all, not just Google finance. Either way as a person who follows stocks I'm delighted to be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DesignFlaw ( 1300861 )
      Very True. This is actually a new feed from Nasdaq called NLS (Nasdaq Last Sale). They have been working on it for quite some time and most major financial news sites went live with it today. AOL, MarketWatch, Google, WSJ and Yahoo are using this feed.
  • Anyone can access real time quotes. Call me when Google offers accurate intraday historical data. Now *that* would be huge.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by greg1104 ( 461138 )
      Have you tried [] ? It's not always free, but it's so cheap it's close.
      • Only problem with opentick is it's been "upgrading its network infrastructure and temporarily cannot accept new users" for the past six months or so. But it sure looks like a cool service.
  • Welp (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ritontor ( 244585 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:56PM (#23634291)
    I feel a great disturbance on the Internet. As if millions of tenuous business models suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
  • This may be the first free source for real-time quotes.

    No. There you are. []

    • That's the NYSE Arca Book, which only shows bid/ask and size for a stock, not the last execution price. The best bid/ask on NYSE Arca is not necessarily the national best bid/ask, meaning the B/A size is likely different too. Plus it doesn't operate in real-time. (Sure, it's delayed by 5-15 seconds, but it's nonetheless delayed.)

      If a security trades outside the bid or ask, or if the security is illiquid and the spread is large enough, you would never know the actual price it is trading at. The Arca Book is

  • by Joebert ( 946227 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:05PM (#23634351) Homepage
    Screw real time stock quotes, I want real time feeds to video cameras in the 50th floor offices of investment bankers when the US economy completely tanks.

    Bill: $50 says he jumps.
    Johnny: You're on !

  • by TibbonZero ( 571809 ) < minus bsd> on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:09PM (#23634377) Homepage Journal
    As some of you may or may not know, Bloomberg provides huge amounts of financial data to investment banks/firms via "Bloomberg Terminals" that Bloomberg offers. These terminals are very expensive to the firms. Yet all they offer is information. Information is something that Google excels at. I've used these Bloomberg terminals and they aren't exactly technology that you'd think of as cutting edge for 2008. Data is often inaccurate and researching things on them is an art.

    I've wondered if Google might just enter the financial data market strongly. Google knows how to deal with large amount of data better than many places that are somewhat stuck in the past.
  • It's good, but I'd rather have a system to stream the data to my HD in CSV format, or even historical tick data for all stocks. That would be tasty.
    • by Firehed ( 942385 )
      Presumably you could write a little bot that scrapes the page (or uses their API if they provide one) every 30 seconds or so. It's not perfect but it should get the job done well enough.
  • Not just Google. (Score:4, Informative)

    by LargeMythicalReptile ( 531143 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:15PM (#23634415)
    It's not just Google that's doing this. CNBC [] and the Wall Street Journal [] also started providing free real-time quotes today. MSN Money [] has been doing this for a while.

    Granted, some of these require a subscription (MSN, WSJ)--a point noted by the submitter--but all of these services appear to be free-as-in-beer. I don't think a subscription is that big a deal; YMMV.

    From what I can tell, CNBC doesn't mention either a subscription or a daily/monthly limit; I admit I haven't looked at their service in detail though.
  • Free real time quotes are not new. What is new is a major player doing it, and publicizing it well. I remember there was a good free real-time quotes (even live listings of trades) in the early 2000s. I believe it may have been (Now a parked domain). If I remember correctly, they simply ran out of funding.

    Anyway, glad to see a free real-time quotes provider that may stick around a while!
  • Coincidentally, announced free real-time quotes today too []
    • Barrons is a WSJ property, which was one of the companies involved in the agreement. No coincidence there.

  • by BrianCarlstrom ( 717058 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:30PM (#23634501) Homepage
    eTrade has had free real time quotes with a free account for over a decade. For those that really want/need this information, it was not hard to get.

    It is good if you can avoid an account, even a free one, to get this information now, but this seems a little over hyped to be on /.
  • Not Realtime (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:41PM (#23634571) Homepage Journal
    I used to produce infosystems for traders and equities researchers/promoters on Wall Street (and in Toronto) during the 1990s Bubble. When those brokers say "realtime", they are talking about delays that are under 1 second. They're talking about WANs, LANs and apps at both client and server that have next to no latency. Because for their hottest traders, the software that makes them $billions a day, any edge in faster info means beating the competition.

    The time to hit a Google page of "realtime" quotes is going to be at least a couple seconds, to say nothing of how long Google takes to get them from the market infosystems (which could be under 1s, because Google is rich and smart). That's not the realtime that real brokers pay for. It's better than 15-minute delayed quotes, which is what you usually get for free. But let's not call something realtime that isn't, even if it's free. That's the kind of BS that made the 1990s Bubble such a catastrophe, despite the best infosystems to deliver it that money could buy.
    • by wass ( 72082 )
      But let's not call something realtime that isn't, even if it's free.

      Tell me about it. I'm still miffed that my "realtime" quotes suffer latency due to the finite speed of light.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Another thing to add is proper streaming quotes show every single up and down tick against the symbol. There could be dozens every second. Google probably conflates the data so even if it did deliver a quote every second, it would be an amalgamation of the all those little trades. Chances are it's not going to be a quote a second either unless they intend to maintain an open http pipeline for every browser and push the data down. Maintaining tens of millions of open sockets could be... problematic. So maybe
  • I thought the whole point of the delay was so that we don't reproduce the crash that happened in what? '87? Which was exacerbated by real time software being triggered to sell in a downward spiral after the stock market had dropped a certain amount.

    I need to confirm that, but is that only the rule for NYSE, or US exchanges as a whole?
  • This is definitely excellent news for most traders, but I trade on the forex (Foreign Exchange) market. Now my broker has his/her own live feed and you often have to worry about the pip-spread between brokers and such, but if you just want to make a nice stand-alone web-base trading information tool (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) then you quickly find that feeds get pricey pretty quick for a good quality one. I'd love to see something similar come out for the forex market.

    One of the problems of course is the

  • Disappointing. This is after all Google (Motto: Our Office Plants Are Smarter Than You Not That We Have Office Plants Because Well You Wouldn't Understand Why Not) so I would have expected at the very least 15-minutes undelay into the future.

    You just know they have that tech but they won't share it because, well for reasons that take tensor calculus to explain.
  • Real time bid/ask would be so much more tantalizing. I could cut my brokerage fees in half if Yahoo or Google would offer real time bid/ask.
  • Yay! More gambling opportunities right here, next to your child's bedroom.

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