Stock Market Data Feeds

Real Time Quotes

Market Data Feeds - On this page is a list of real time and historical stock market financial data providers, vendors and services. These companies can provide live realtime streaming quotes for trader's charting and trade management software.

WHAT IS MARKET DATA?

Before we get to the list of stock market data providers....for the benefit of my novice visitors, lets quickly go over the definition of market data with reference to the stock market. It is price data in numerical format, reported by stock exchanges, such as the NYSE and Nasdaq. The price quotes that you might see on a financial news TV program or on a website's stock ticker tape is only the last sale price.

There's actually more price data that market data feeds will attach to each stock symbol. The rest of the story is: bid, ask, bid size, ask size, last size, quote time, trade time, exchange and volume.

All day trading software needs market data feeds to supply them with the pricing information required to either draw charts or place trades and manage orders.

All of the trading software and platforms that I have listed on other pages are compatible with several different market data services or vendors.

REAL TIME AND HISTORICAL MARKET DATA FEEDS

Image of market data feed screen

You've already been looking at different charting software and day trading platforms and maybe you've decided on what you're going to use. So now you need to feed them live realtime streaming quotes.

Whoa! Not so fast. There's a few things to be aware of before spending your money on any of the market data feeds.




First ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need a real time market data feed yet? If all you are doing right now is learning, doing market research, and looking at charts after you get home from work, then maybe all you need for the time being, is end-of-day (EOD) stock market data. Unless you plan to observe the market in real time and watch price action (which I highly recommend), then think about just getting EOD data at a much lower cost or possibly free depending on what platform you're considering. Definitely ask the platform provider about low cost or free market data feed solutions. For instance, if you plan to look into backtesting and automated trading software applications or maybe considering to use Amibroker, I know you can download free EOD daily market data from Yahoo.com and free realtime data from Interactive Brokers, if you have an account. Or, if your plan is to use NinjaTrader 7 and aren't quite ready for prime time, check out Kinetick. Kinetick's free end of day maket data service is built into the NinjaTrader 7 trading platform. My point is, if you're just starting out as a beginner, and don't plan to trade real money for a while, don't waste your money on a real time market data feed. First, see if your needs can be met by using free resources and save the money for your trading account.
  • Does my broker provide free real time data? As I mentioned on the trading platform page, in the same manner as trading platforms, some brokers will give you free market data (with the exception of exchange fees) or at a reduced cost, if you make a certain amount of trades during the previous month. If you intend to use an independent front-end trading platform, make sure your brokers API (programming interface) will allow it.
  • Is "snapshot" price data sufficient for me to use? Some data providers, usually brokers, provide a "snapshot" of price data rather than rather than every single bit of price, size and volume information coming from the stock exchanges.

    What I mean is, their 'real time' quotes might actually be a slice of price data taken several times per second instead of a continuous, unfiltered stream of data. This may not matter to you at all. Just be aware of it. And, depending on your requirements, this can actually be a good thing at certain times. If you don't have a requirement to know every single tick, then during times of extreme trading volume, it's possible that your quotes could run smoother and without much lag, if they are 'snapshot' rather than unfiltered tick data. If you need to know, then certainly ask the data provider or your broker about it.



Here's five solid companies that should be able meet your stock market data requirements: