Market data is the trading information generated by exchanges and other marketplaces on both individual securities and overall markets. Active traders rely heavily on intraday data generated by changing prices while less active investors scrutinize closing data summarizing the day's market activity.
Electronic traders usually follow intraday market data by watching an online order book that shows a security's most recent bid and offer prices and sizes. Access to this data is usually provided via the exchanges, especially those with a strong Internet presence. Derivatives-exchange operator the CME Group, for example, offers "top-of-book" or "best bid offer" (BBO) data, including top bid, bid size, top ask, ask size, last trade, trade volume and time-stamp data, for all CME. CBOT and NYMEX products traded on their Globex electronic trading platform. Typical intraday equity market data feeds on the ubiquitous electronic stock tickers usually quote latest bid and offer prices and sizes and the price, size and time of the last sale.
Remains of the day
Closing market data for both individual securities and market benchmarks is much more widely available and ionvestors can tailor it easily. It typically summarizes closing prices, daily volume, percent change, intraday highs lows and performance against the benchmark for equities, derivatives, funds, commodities and currencies. Closing data for market indexes also usually includes total market advancers and decliners.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a U.S. non-government industry regulator, last year launched a comprehensive, independent source of closing and intraday market data on its website aimed at retail investors. The page has an especially strong coverage of fixed income investments, including real-time pricing data for corporate bonds and municipal bonds plus closing data for Treasury bonds.
The trade publication Inside Market Data covers the market data sector of the financial services industry for senior managers of companies that consume, supply and produce market data. The weekly newsletter, part of a stable of products from Incisive Media, has been published for 21 years.