The NYTimes Financial Market information services is proof that the old lady can hiphop with the best in the Web 2.0 world including Google. In our two previous postings, the NYTimes showed how novel use of the Tabs , Charts and Thumbnail widgets could a)provide a novel and Google-beating Markets Overview and b) some of the most innovative charting and financial statements info on the markets today. In this article, the stock screening prowess of the two premier, free financial information providers is up for review.
Google Stock Screener
In the stock screeners, the positions are reversed between Google and NYTimes. Google has some better widget features while NYTimes has better coverage of the market data. For example, with Google I find that a)there are more criteria available for screening the stocks and b)the numerical method [including the wonderful chart between the low-to-high values [ see the screenshot above] is just so much better than the NYTimes. But then the NYTimes screener is a)quicker and easier to run, b)has access to mutual funds missing from Google and c)access to analysts opinions which I find valuable. So this is almost the reverse of the stock charting prowess of the two systems although both systems are well ahead of the rest of the free stock screener pack.
NYTimes Stock Screener
Now it is important to compare with other stock screeners like Yahoo, MSN Money [IE dependence is a bummer], CNBC, and Zacks all have less criteria and/or less flexibility than NYTimes and Google which are a cut above. Also the display options tend to be more complete and convenient espcially withthe NYTimes screener. But see also this review of these other stock screeners.
On the downside neither Google nor the NYTimes has a handy way to do two important tasks – save the screenings into an associated portfolio[yet bothprovide very good portfolio systems]. Instead users have to go through the tedium of transacribing the stocks from the screener over to the respective portfolio tools. The second problem is that I cannot control the size of the printout. Most often I want to get as many as possible of the criteria on screen, and all of the companies down the screen. Using a datagrid from EXTjs or Backspace immediately comes to mind … but no data grids available so far. Finally, one provider is going to put their complete financial package into a Web App context – and just run away with the market. The NYTimes comes closest so far but Google has Gears which allows for local storage and offline usage. It will be an interesting race.
Its again a mixed bag choosing between the two stock screeners. I use NYTimes when I am doing a quick screening and want to get its extra info. I use Google when I want to do a concise search with many extra criteria. I am looking forward to the day when I can save my results locally and/or customize the screening sessions in a lot more detail.