Do you ever wonder where investors get their market and quote data?
If you’re a hard core stock trader, you know that being a member of the trading club requires that you have at least two computer screens on your desk, with one showing and tracking streaming market data during all open market hours. This is the black screen that has a lot of red and green numbers that are changing every second. For some, this mesmerizing array of numbers is a wealth of information used to make split second trading decisions, while others know very little about any other column than the price.
What every budding trader wants to know is where all of this data comes from and how to find it. Of course, the ultimate source of the data comes from official exchange data that comes from data centers that are off site from the exchanges. That data is then compiled, syndicated, and streamed to various outlets from institutional high dollar services all the way down to free, often time delayed sources like Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, and many others.
Level 1 & 2 Market Data
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated data stream than what you currently have, you will see advertisements about Level 1 and Level 2 data. Level 1 data is what most retail investors are used to seeing. This is basic price information including price, percentage of gain and loss, volume, bid/ask prices, tick by tick bid information and the last trade amount.
On the other hand, Level 2 data is a look at the market maker’s order book. This shows all open orders that the market maker is waiting to fill. This gives you an idea of the demand on the stock or option, and allows for better analysis of the buyers and sellers.
In actuality, most retail or part time investors can find all of the information they need from Level One data. Until you understand the complexities of market making, don’t pay extra for Level Two data.
Quotestream Review: A Look At A Streaming Real Time Stock Quote Service
If you already have a broker and they have a streaming quote service, there’s a good chance that it’s a stripped down version of Quotestream. Quotestream is a professional grade real time quote service that is used by professional investors as well as retail clients. Zecco is one of those online brokers that counts Quotestream as one of its primary tools — peek under the covers, and you’ll discover this to be the case for certain investment companies.
Quotestream has three services: A professional grade platform (Quotestream Professional), a desktop service (Quotestream Desktop) and mobile support (Quotestream Wireless). The professional platform, which bundles the features of all three services into one, streams real time data along with technical indicators, wire services (to view the latest real time news), and other research data. For the professional trader, this service includes nearly every tool you would need for day to day activities. Other features include real time Level 2 data from 19 world exchanges, research data from all major outlets and real time streaming news from more than 50 providers.
The professional service also includes mobile access. Although all data phones have portfolio monitoring apps, the quotes are often delayed 15 minutes, which is useless for active portfolio managers. Quotestream not only gives you access to quotes that are less than 5 seconds old, but also provides you with most of the same indexes as well as news and management tools through its mobile platform.
Finally, their desktop service is a lower cost alternative to their professional service. The professional service is more customizable and allows for enterprise solutions, such as syndication into customer platforms. On the other hand, the desktop solution does not provide the same amount of flexibility or the same level of sophistication for its charting and analysis tools. However, the desktop service includes access to all of the same exchanges as the professional service. Both professional and desktop services also include the mobile service with all of the same features available.
Each of the services offered by Quotestream offer a 7 day free trial. This gives the investor the opportunity to try out the service before committing to the monthly fee. Check out Quotestream.com for more information.
There are numerous professional grade real time data services that cost a lot more than Quotestream. Although professionals may require additional data and more sophisticated functionality than what Quotestream currently offers, the retail trader may find that the tools available through Quotestream are more than sufficient for his or her needs. In general, this market data and streaming stock quote web service is a solid, feature rich solution that is perfect for all levels of traders.
Created November 2, 2008. Updated October 30, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.