Market Watch is a website which offers real time stock market information, analysis, financial data, and news. In addition to The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Online, it’s a division of Dow Jones & Company, an investment firm founded by stock broker Allen & Co. It covers the U.S. equities markets as well as the London Stock Exchange. The company is known for its simple yet very popular interface and ability to give early alerts on changing trends and developments in the marketplace. However, does Market Watch really offer the value that people are looking for?
The first impression of Market Watch is that it provides a great platform for investor’s to get information and participate in the market without having to study the technical or fundamental charts. This impression may be right, however, you won’t actually gain much from it if you don’t have the discipline to use it properly. To start with, you should note that Market Watch does not provide any ‘real time’ information on prices. It simply displays price data as presented by the broker’s program in a different format than that of the actual stocks. This is good if you are still learning the ropes, but not so helpful if you already have a deep understanding on interpreting market graphs and symbols.
The second impression of Market Watch is that it provides useful tools for investors and traders to manage their own portfolio, in addition to analyzing the financial instruments owned by the trader. Although there is no such feature available in the software, it can be helpful in giving you basic knowledge about how different stocks behave based on their relative histories, current prices, and other indicators. The most prominent part of the context menu which appears upon clicking on the ‘start’ button is the ‘stock chart’ section, which provides a graphical representation of the individual symbols within the portfolio. It lists down the name, type of stock, start date, end date, number of days since last trade, risk/reward level, symbol used, and quantity of units held. You can hover your mouse cursor over any of the symbols to get more information about the associated contract, including the current market value, volume traded, the highest price traded, and current open interest.
In addition, Market Watch offers a handy way to access a table of all current market data worldwide, which you can sort and view according to currencies, product groups, and categories. You can also look up the current market values of listed symbols for each category. This feature comes in very handy when looking at data for multiple markets, as it allows you to easily compare data for different time frames. Another nice feature of this tool is the inclusion of currency-specific symbol sets, which allow you to view data in different currency types. For example, the EUR/USD pair, USD/JPY, GBP/EUR, and USD/JPY are the most popular pair types in the forex market, so having these sets available in your trading applications would be most convenient. Moreover, they are divided into different currency pairs for easier browsing.
The Market Watch context menu also features an extensive help function with a list of frequently asked questions and a long list of frequently mentioned terms and acronyms. You can tap on the question button to receive detailed explanations on certain topics, including what each symbol stands for (if there are any), common definitions, and other useful background information. If you’re confused by a symbol’s meaning, you can always click on the word next to it in the pop-up menu to get help. On top of that, if you want to quickly navigate through the settings of the tool, you can drag the icons to the right or left of the window to switch between the toolbar and the main viewing area.
Overall, Market Watch is an excellent program that should make it really easy for anyone to check up on global markets. However, please read the terms and conditions before using the software. The intention of having this tool is to provide potential traders with accurate, real-time, up-to-the-minute stock information that should be considered very important in making investment decisions. Please use it for this purpose only.