Real time stock ticker
January 27, 2014 7:40 AM   Subscribe

What is the best desktop stock ticker that refreshes real-time prices? Or, alternate question: how do I get Google Finance to work so that it stays real-time?

I feel like this should be pretty easy to find, but for whatever reason, everything I've tried has something that bugs me. Google Finance is great in that it is constantly updating prices every second or two. Unfortunately, though, it has a weird tendency to stay real-time for a few seconds, then "snap" back to prices of 10-15 minutes previous. Other websites make you hit "refresh" to update the ticker. So, I'm looking for the perfect desktop ticker (not an app). What would be great is if Google Finance just worked well. Barring that, what would you recommend? Thanks.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates to Work & Money (9 answers total)
And when I say "desktop" I just mean a webpage I can go to on my desktop.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:47 AM on January 27, 2014

there is no such thing as a real time stock ticker. there are only delayed stock tickers...

perhaps you've heard of hft (high frequency trading). goldman, j.p. morgan and the other leading firms are spending beaucoup dinero to install their trading platforms as close to the exchange floor, electronically speaking, as they can. a millisecond is a significant interval. google finance is great for a daily overview, but not for competing in trading poker against bigger and faster players.
posted by bruce at 7:56 AM on January 27, 2014

I realize that I won't be able to have actual real-time quotes. Google Finance, though, used to provide within a few seconds real-time quotes. In fact, on some days the site will stay real-timeish for the entire day. Other sites will provide essentially real-time quotes but you have to constantly click a refresh button. My Fidelity app on my phone provides a constantly refreshing, streaming update on stocks. Just looking for the same.

But thanks for the heads-up. I was definitely seriously considering gaming the system and beating Goldman at HFT; now I know not to do that.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:02 AM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aaaand, it looks like I've answered my own question (embarrassingly enough). Yahoo! Finance does the trick, though I like the layout less than that of Google Finance. Any ideas why Google Finance will keep real-time quotes for awhile, then slip back 15 minutes?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:22 AM on January 27, 2014

Are you sure they are real time ? There's a reason etrade tries to get folks to sign up for a pro account or whatever they are calling it now, where you have access to real-time quotes.
posted by k5.user at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2014

Within the minute.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:54 AM on January 27, 2014

Any ideas why Google Finance will keep real-time quotes for awhile, then slip back 15 minutes?

I half-remember that this was part of the deal to get Google real-time pricing. You can have it when you're just having a casual look, but if you're looking seriously - eg leaving it running for a long time - you have to get the standard 15-minute delay. It was to protect the people who sell real-time pricing.

I can't find a cite for this now, of course.
posted by bonaldi at 10:10 AM on January 27, 2014

Interesting. I wonder why Yahoo! is able to keep the prices fresh.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:37 AM on January 27, 2014

Don't know about in-browser but Bloomberg used to have a pretty nice free iOS app that would let you track a portfolio in near-realtime. Might be worth looking into?
posted by Wretch729 at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2014

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