How to Install A Real-Time Stock Ticker On Your Desktop

by Eric Bank ; Updated April 24, 2018
A paper stock chart.

A real-time stock ticker is a program that provides a continuous stream of the prices and volumes of exchange-based stock trades. Although these tickers are called "real time," many free ones introduce a 15-minute delay. Your brokerage account may offer a stock ticker tool, or you can choose among free or fee-based tickers from financial companies, software providers and stock exchanges.

Browser Plug-in

The easiest way to install a stock ticker tool is as a browser plug-in that runs on the browser's server. For example, the NASDAQ Toolbar plugs into Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. You'll have to select a plug-in that works with your favorite browser. Normally, the tool provider has a download button on its webpage that you click to begin the installation process. Your browser requests permission to install the tool and then starts a script or wizard that requires you to accept the terms of the tool's licensing agreement. The NASDAQ Toolbar loads quickly and requires you to restart your browser. Once it's installed, you usually can configure a stock ticker by selecting colors, favorite stocks, news feeds and other options. NASDAQ's ticker automatically updates every three minutes, but you can also manually refresh if you aren't sure if you've checked it recently. Many tickers allow you to set price alerts on stocks you want to monitor.

Downloaded Apps

You also can get stock ticker apps that run on your desktop's CPU. Some of these applications are free, while others requires a subscription or an outright purchase. Each app provider describes how to perform the download and use the ticker. CNET has a stock ticker. In the Microsoft Store, you'll find ticker apps that not only keep you updated on your stocks, but news and other information, as well.

Mobile Stock Tickers

Since you don't spend all day sitting at your desktop computer, you likely could benefit from a stock ticker for your favorite mobile device. Whether you own an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone, there are multiple apps that will put stock tickers right on your smartphone screen. Although these won't sit on your screen where you can see them throughout the day, you'll be able to open the app at any time and manage your portfolios, view stock tickers and more. You'll even be able to set up alerts that will notify you if anything changes with one of your stocks during the day.

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About the Author

Based in Greenville SC, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles since 1985. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University. You can see samples of his work at ericbank.com.

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