Our previous review of the NYTimes Markets found it to be well ahead of the competition [including Google, Microsoft Money, Reuters, SEC’s Edgar and others] in providing broad [and free] Markets data in a comprehensive yet concise essential summaries. But this is only the broad Markets data. This review will look at the fundamental stock charting, financial statements data provided by the NYTimes and Google. Here there is no clear leader – there are trade-offs between the two. But note that Google’s tools have appeared to be the best free stock charting tools on the market.
Google Charting Tool
NYTimes Charting Tool
Now both Google and NYTimes have five key features. First, the ability to hover your mouse over a paper icon and see a Tweet-like summary of the news item [Google leads because NYTimes only has its own stories]. Second, hover your mouse over the closing price curve and see the open, close, high, and low prices for that day at the top right of the chart. Third, the ability to see just below the prices the trading volume for each day [cutoff in our screenshot of the NYTimes chart]. Fourth, the ability to change the chart time line from one day thru 3 months to maximum no of years for which data is available[Google has any range sliders but NYTimes provides a choice of chart plot methods]. Fifth, the ability to add overlays to the charts which separates both providers from most competitors .
NYTimes leads with Event Overlays plus Technical Indicators – choose from 24 popular technical analysis methods for Price Trends, Volume and Momentum. But Google counters with summaries and links to blogs, discussions, and RSS sources for the company plus a list of a dozen competitors with a chart of their price movement. Also Google gives the quotes on the latest day trades right on its charts; NYTimes does not. Also on the charting side give top marks to Google for supplying a wealth of external news and views; credit NYTimes for its nifty overlays and wide range of charting styles. Give credit to both for condensing a lot of stock information within one page – with NYTimes getting the nod for no need to page/slide down to see all the details. Importantly both provide very fast response time. Finally I did not check either for the comprehensiveness of the stocks/companies listed. I tried a few foreign markets and companies and found the Canadian results good but other foreign markets more mixed. In sum, call Google and NYTimes ahead of the pack but mixed in comparison to each other in their charting prowess.
Google Financial Statements are the regular mix of Income Statement, Cash Flow and Financial Position in either Quarterly or Annual format – same as the NYTimes [see screenshot below]. Neiher had the latest quaterly data from Adobe and others that reported in the last two days. The NYTimes had a few more detailed line items in the PNL, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet. Google had a link to Reuters for more detailed statements. I liked the fact that the NYTimes Financial Statements were an obvious Tab on the Chart page whereas Google’s required finding a link to Financials in the upper left corner of the Google chart page. Give NYTimes a slight advantage in Financial Statements because of a)more financial line item details, b)a tab for SEC Filings data, and c)a tab for Fundamental ratios
The aspect that I like about both Google and NYTimes is that they condense financial charts and statements to one page [okay 2 in the case of Google] jammed pack with financial information. For example, Google’s list of 8-10 competitors with their thumbnail charts just below the main chart is very handy for comparing stocks. Also the NYTimes charting is so powerful I often have two copies of a company’s chart open – one with technical analysis and the other with overlays of key competitors. It this type of capability that puts Google and NYTimes ahead of the pack – and for me because of the convenience and refined details of the NYTimes Financial Statements I simply use it more often than Google for charts and financial statement details. But for latest up to date stock pricing info, I use Google. Our next comparison will look at the Stock Screening tools provided by each vendor.