If you're an investor with an Internet connection, you probably already know about the various free Web sites that offer stock quotes for free, or in exchange for eyeballing a couple of banner ads. Those who like frequent updates but don't want to keep a Web browser tied up for such tasks will find a handy alternative in Galleon Software's MacTicker.
MacTicker is nothing less than a Web browser engineered for a specific task, using HTTP queries to retrieve stock quotes from free Web services such as PCQuote, Quote.com, and Yahoo (including international data from Yahoo UK & Ireland and Yahoo Australia & NZ). Currently, all of the free services provide stock quotes that are delayed by about 15 minutes, though some offer subscription services for up-to-the-minute quotes.
MacTicker features an array of display options for individual stocks, as well as a movable stock ticker window that maintains a steadily updated stream of current stock prices and change values for stocks you've selected.
MacTicker can display individual stocks three ways: as a tiny floating window with just the stock symbol, current price, and today's change; as a larger floating window with the same information more clearly labeled and with bigger text; or as a still-larger window with not only this information but the stock's full name and a wide array of recent and 52-week stats. Each stock's window may be resized or dismissed independently of the stock ticker, and the windows can either hide or remain visible when MacTicker is in the background. You can also specify colors that mark whether a stock is gaining, losing, or remaining unchanged in value, and set alerts that trigger based on price fluctuations.
The recently released MacTicker 1.1 sports a redesigned graphics engine that lets you view the scrolling information at font sizes up to 156 points. MacTicker 1.1 also supports SOCKS firewalls via Internet Config and can display portions of a dollar as either decimals or fractions.
I'd like to see a feature that allowed users to look up ticker symbols for stocks, but most users probably know the relevant ticker symbols from looking up quotes in newspapers or on the Web.
MacTicker is a $25 shareware application and can be downloaded from the Galleon Web site. Unregistered users can run a full version of the software, though for only 15 minutes at a time. You can purchase MacTicker online from BuyDirect using a credit card or directly from Galleon by check or purchase order in the U.S. and Canada using their toll-free telephone number. MacTicker is available for PowerPC and 68K Mac OS computers running System 7.5 or later and Open Transport 1.1.2 or later. The demonstration version is a 975K download.