There are a number of different ways to get real-time market data, depending on what you need the data for. If you need data for display or charting a discount stockbroker is probably the best source. If the data is going to be used for analysis by a person, the easiest way to get real-time data is through a spreadsheet add-on. However, if a computer or algorithm will be doing the analysis, then the live data will need to be obtained via an API. The three main categories for real-time data use:
- Display or charting
- Analysis by a person
- Analysis by an computer or algorithm
Get Live Market Data For Display or Charting
If you need live market data for display (i.e. viewing the data on your screen or monitor, real-time stock charts, getting a streaming stock quote), the easiest and cheapest way to get it is from a discount stock broker. Most US brokers offer real-time market data for display purposes. There may be a small monthly cost, depending on your plan, but most brokers have moved away from the business model of charging for real-time data.
In the United States, the following discount brokers provide free real-time market data for their customers:
- TD Ameritrade
- Charles Schwab
- Ally Invest
Get Real-Time Market Data For Analysis By A Person
The easiest way to get real-time data for analysis is to feed it directly into a spreadsheet. The Market Data Google Sheets Add-on allows you to use simple formulas like
INDEXDATA to get real-time stock prices, real-time option prices, and live index prices in your Google Sheets spreadsheet. Use a spreadsheet add-on for real-time analysis of stock prices.
It would be impractical and time-wasting to copy/paste data from websites or your broker platform into a spreadsheet. The market moves quickly and by using an automated solution such as the Market Data Add-on, your spreadsheets will stay automatically up to date with current prices, making analysis much easier.
Get Real-Time Market Data For Algorithmic Analysis
Advanced analysts, algotraders, and quants need market data to feed into their algorithms. The data is normally used to monitor existing or potential trades and to analyze new opportunities.
There are several companies (including Market Data) that can supply live market data for stocks for US markets:
- Market Data API
- Market Stack
- IEX Cloud
- FMP Cloud
If you are looking for pricing data in the United States, Market Data’s real-time market data API offers a low-cost option starting at just $9 per month and it includes stocks, options, and indices. If you need data for China, Europe, or other regions, some of the providers listed above offer excellent alternatives.
How To Get Live Market Data For Free
Market Data offers a Free Forever plan with 100 prices per day at no charge.