Spread Betting - Sources for Investment Research and Information

Q. Any good sources of instantaneous news on equity prices and other important news?


A: Two of the best sources I know for news trading are Bloomberg and Reuters news terminals. These consist of computers that run on a separate network that is wired directly to the respective Bloomberg or Reuters news rooms so news is almost instantaneous. The problem for most traders is that a Bloomberg or Reuters terminal is very expensive, and cost about $3000 a month - however some spread betting providers do offer streaming news as functionality on their platform to permit clients to monitor the latest announcements. Tradethenews.com also offers live breaking news almost as fast as a Bloomberg and Reuters terminal at a fraction of the cost.

Do keep in mind that trading immediately after an announcement can be somewhat of a toss of coin as the market is likely to be very volatile and could go either direction. It is usually better to wait, say 15 minutes to see where the price moves before opening a position. The use of stops and limit orders will also help to limit the downside risk here.

Q. Can you suggest me any sites or resources from which to obtain the best overview as to what is occurring in the markets throughout the day?

I'm new to day trading and trying to get to grips with it. Can you offer advice as to where to obtain the best overview as to what is occurring in the markets throughout the day. Due to limited finances I can't afford a professional news feed.

A: It's an interesting question, but one thing to perhaps think about is not getting *too* hung up on the news. I source data from company websites and through Google, although admittedly these searches will need to be filtered due to the sheer amount of information available. Bloomberg will also provide you with advance warning of the important stuff - interest rate announcements, CPI figures, trade balances and the like. If your technical analysis is reasonably decent, and you're aware of what is happening in the market, you'll likely be fine. Knowing every minute detail of every bit of news, and how it might relate to what you're seeing on the screen will confuse the hell out of you - it sure did me.

If you're looking to 'trade the news', again, the events that will likely precipitate movement large enough to get a decent profit from will be known about beforehand, in the most part.

The only other exceptions are 'force majeure' incidents like 9/11 or 7/7 where every market goes nuts, and emergency action is needed to secure your positions - but these cannot (obviously) be predicted.

Add to that the fact that the market sometimes just behaves like an @rse regardless of where it should be going, and I feel you may be best getting the important news well diarized, Taking lots, and letting the market do its own thing!

And remember to check our financial directory

Better trading doesn't come from writing things down, reviewing and learning from your own mistakes...it comes from good stock selection, running profits, cutting losses and, perhaps, one might add, having good instincts and learning from those who do it better than us.

Q. Any tips on how to keep up-to-date with RNS notifications?

A: As I'm sure you are aware it is very important to monitor RNS releases for the companies you are invested in. All companies listed on the UK's main lists and AIM are obliged to release data that could effect their stock price using this service. In the United Kingdom the Regulatory News Service (RNS) service starts at 7.00am. It is worth noting that certain announcements are more prone to lead to sharp share price movements than others; especially trading updates that report that trading is above or below the market forecast. Some updates like profit warnings are sudden and unexpected while others like interim and full-year results are usually announced several weeks in advance and then released at about 7.00am on the day in question.

But how do you monitor them given that there are on average more than 500 such regulatory announcements released every trading day in the UK? Company announcement sites like http://www.stockmarketwire.com/ and http://www.investegate.co.uk/ come in useful here. And here's a handy tip I picked up sometime ago. You can configure www.rnsalert.com to send a free Tweet to your Tweeter account, and then you can configure your Tweeter account to send a free text message to your mobile phone anywhere in the world notifying you of an RNS absolutely free.

Q. I was wondering if you can recommend a website that emails company news by sector?

It would be great if they could sign up to receive emails (news, commentary, company reports etc) filtered by their particular sector. Any pointers would be much appreciated.

A: http://www.investegate.co.uk does news by sector. You can setup email alerts as well, but that would be a lot of news for one sector.

You can create a portfolio on www.DigitalLook.com with your sectors of interest and then elect to receive portfolio alerts. You will then be emailed daily or weekly (your choice) news for each sector in your portfolio.

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