Thanks to the Internet, today's investors have access to real-time fundamental and technical analysis data on which they can base informed investment decisions. In addition to a wealth of information that includes price quotes and historical charts, many financial websites also have communication tools such as RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook updates, and newsletters to keep investors on top of dynamic market conditions. Here is a look at the top websites that allow investors and traders to quickly, easily and reliably find financial statistics.
TUTORIAL: Financial Tables
Bloomberg - Energy and Agriculture
Investors can find a quick view of the markets at www.bloomberg.com/markets. A market snapshot appears at the top of the page showing U.S., European and Asian market data. Indexes from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions can be readily accessed. Data for certain futures, commodities, bonds and currencies is also available. By selecting "Economic Calendar" under the "Market Data" heading, investors can view current and upcoming economic announcements such as the EIA Petroleum Status Report.
Delayed price quotes and historical price charts are also provided.
Google Finance - Splits and Dividends
Google Finance offers investors real-time quotes, financial news and international market data at www.google.com/finance. Similar to Yahoo! Finance, Google allows users to find current quotes, research historical data like price charts, splits and dividends, select technical analysis techniques and compare different trading instruments. Investors can find company-specific information regarding annual and quarterly financials, key statistics and ratios, external links for analyst estimates, SEC filings (EDGAR Online) and transcripts. (For related reading on technical indicators, see How Market Psychology Drives Technical Factors.)
Kitco - Precious Metals
Kitco brings real-time market information like price quotes, trends, market commentary and exchange rates to investors and traders via http://www.kitco.com/. Investors can quickly find real-time price quotes for precious metals, the top five performing gold equities and exchange rates on the website's home page.
Under the "Charts & Data" tab on the home page, investors can find live, historical and technical charts for precious metals. In addition to news and usable market data, Kitco has an online precious metals store called Kitco Metals Inc. It is a retailer of precious metals including gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. Kitco is also a leading supplier of refining services, labware for mineral analysis and precision-crafted devices for manufacturing processes.
SEC - Reports and Financial Statements
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) database provides free public access to corporate information including registration statements, prospectuses and periodic reports filed on Forms 10-K (audited annual financial statements) and 10-Q (unaudited quarterly financial statements). Investors can also find information regarding recent corporate events including preliminary earnings announcements that have been reported on Form 8-K.
Users can access the EDGAR database at www.sec.gov/edgar to search by companies and filings, by all SEC-registered companies in a particular state or country, or with a specific Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. Current as well as historical EDGAR archives can be researched.
Yahoo! Finance - Real-Time Quotes and Historical Charts
Investors can find free real-time quotes, current news and international market data at http://www.finance.yahoo.com/. Yahoo! Finance's home page shows U.S., European and Asian market summaries. It also shows currency rates, has a currency converter and lists the day's top stories. Investors have access to real-time price quotes using the "Get Quotes" option on the home page. From here, investors can select from a variety of historical price charts ranging from one-day to several decades, with the option to include splits, dividends and a modest assortment of popular technical indicators. Investors can also compare historical data for two or more stocks by using the "Compare" feature.
Price charts using relative percentages illustrate the historical performance of the selected instruments. (For related reading, see Where Can I Find Historical Stock/Index Quotes?)
XE - Foreign Exchange
XE's focus is on currency services, and investors and traders can find real-time currency quotes, currency news and analysis, currency converters and a variety of currency calculators at http://www.xe.com/. Users can subscribe to free daily email updates with currency rates, news headlines and central bank interest rates. XE posts updates on Facebook, and users can also download XE Currency apps for iPad, BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows phones.
TUTORIAL: Stock Basics: How To Read A Stock Table/Quote
The Bottom Line
The Internet and evolving technology have created an atmosphere where seasoned investors and greenhorns alike can access real-time market data, news and analysis to help shape their investing decisions. A growing number of user-friendly websites exist to provide in-depth information regarding U.S. and worldwide financial markets.
These six are among the growing number of helpful financial websites that provide users easy access to reliable market data.