NYTimes Gives Google a Real Run for the Money 1 – Market Overview

September 14, 2009
By

Taketh5th has been featuring articles about the high caliber of Google’s free stock and financial information services. Well almost stealthily the NYTimes has really polished its equivalent stock and financial services such that All the News Fit to print appears to be giving Google a real run for its money. Go to the NYTimes Markets Start page and be prepared to be very pleasantly pleased at what you get for free. You have to register at the NYTimes website but in the past 5 years I have never received any gratuitous emails or offers from the NYTimes.


Markets Start Page

I have highlighted the three key info access points: 1)Search to get a story or a stock quote [over 10,ooo listed stocks];  2)Financial Tools Pulldown takes users to a top notch stock charter,  complete financial statements, a good stock screener, very useful stock alerts tool, and a handy portfolio manager and 3)Markets Tabbed Overview with broad coverage of commodity, bond and fund markets, the US and World Markets, plus Consumer interest rates. The breadth and depth of these latter tools really put   both Google and my stock broker’s tools to shame. Lets look at the Markets Tabbed Overview first. To the right there is a quick tabbed visual summary of the markets in the US, Americas, Europe, Asia, Bonds and Commodities [the latter two have quotes delayed by 15 minutes]. Now let us explore three of the Markets tabs.
Commodities

Now I happen to follow oils and gold but let me assure readers that the NYTimes has a complete roster of Metals, Agricultural, and other commodity markets. The data is time delayed – so active traders will have to look elsewhere. But for the investor tracking general trends – this is the place to be. The Daily and Lifetime Low High quotes at the right are invaluable.
Mutual Funds

The Mutual Funds information just knocked my socks off. Yes, these are primarily US Funds and the data is supplied by the very competenet MorningStar site. But this depth and coverage is just not to be found from Google or my stock brokers website. The above 1 year and 5 year chart shows how badly the Mutual Fund industry was hit by the 2008 Fall Financial downturn.  Problem: the funds were very slow to get out of stocks and make themselves cash rich before the 2008 downturn.  Nonetheless this is invaluable funds information.
Consumer Rates

Again the rates here are US based but the screenshot gives only a cropped view of all the information available. If I only had this info – especially the highest saving rates seen in the upper right of the screenshot -that would have been very helpful.
Now this quick review of the Markets Tab has omitted the Bonds, US Markets, and Foreign Markets tabs which each have a novel approach to displaying information about their market situations. This is the attraction to me in what the NYTimes has done in their Financial information display and charting. The Times has taken an innovative approach to display data in each area using tabs, charts, and simple sliders plus other widgets to give readers a very useful summary and easily navigated summary of whats going on. They have certainly taken into account the 7 Dimensions of Information well. NYTimes have also gone and done deals with excellent info providers such as Bankrate.com and Morningstar.com and pulled the info into highly delectable information bites.


Summary
So far the NYTimes has shown a penchant for delivering free and highly useful financial + market information that other free resources like Google, SEC’s EDGAR, Microsoft Money, Reuters and others are hard pressed to match for the convenience, comprehensiveness, and innovative formatting and display. In the next installment, we investigate how well the NYTimes invades one of the Google Financial information strengths – their stock charting and fundamental company financial information sources[SEC Chairman, take a look at this for some improvements in EDGAR and other SEC public information services].

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