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Stock Market APIs - What you need to know

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Peter Aling


Stock market APIs provide users with accurate, relevant and up-to-date stock market data for a variety of use cases. Find out why you should use a stock market API and how to select the right one.

What is a Stock Market API and Why You Need It?

The stock market is a large and complex landscape where changes in company fundamentals can have a significant impact on the stock price. Institutional and individual investors need to stay on top of the changing information to make effective investment decisions.

Stock market APIs solve the challenge by providing relevant, accurate, standardized, and up-to-date stock market data. That’s why stock market APIs are are becoming more common within the financial sector.

But what is a Stock Market API?

API stands for "application programming interface", a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing and retrieving data from a database or application.

In the context of stock market, APIs typically provide access to a comprehensive set of stock market data, parsed and compiled from multiple sources, for users to monitor or incorporate into their own tools.

Using a stock market API speeds up analysis and investment decisions, as investors would otherwise have to spend time collating the data from separate sources.

Why Do You Need a Stock Market API?

Typically, users of a stock market API fall into one of two categories:

Developers: Building Stuff

Whether it's a stock dashboard, recommendation engine, trading algorithm or other fintech app, developers need access to accurate data, which is exactly what stock market APIs provide. Stock market API's allow developers to focus on the core development problem rather than having to compile the various data sources on their own.

End Users: Making Investment Decisions

Traders, investors, brokerage firms, and the like all require stock market data to make decisions. They want consolidated, relevant financial information from a solid data source.

Stock market APIs are useful for anyone involved in the financial markets, whether for personal investment, model development, investment management, or innovation.

The Benefits of Stock Market APIs

Investment outcomes are the product of the speed and quality of the underlying investment decisions. Stock market APIs improve these dimensions in the following ways:

1. Accessibility of Data

Data is collated from numerous sources, standardized, cleaned and provided in an easy to use, consumable format for thousands of stock tickers, a task that would be virtually impossible manually.

2. Easy to Get Started

APIs are plug-and-play by design. They don’t require complex coding and are easy to test, roll out and integrate.

3. Scalability

The right stock market API can provide comprehensive data for a single stock, a niche subset of stocks or the entire market.

4. Cusomization

Most APIs provoide the ability to filter results via query parameters so investors can easily shape the API for their purposes. They can get started with a basic query and modify it to extract the exact insights the need.

5. Confidence

The right API providers give investors and developers confidence in the quality of the data so they can focus on the financial decisions the data supports. Reference grade providers pride themselves in being able to reconcile the data provided back to the original source documents.

How to Pick a Reliable Stock Market API

Choosing the right stock market API depends entirely on your use case. Some questions to consider when choosing a stock market API include:

What is the Market Scope?

Determine which markets are covered by the API. For example, does the API provide data for a specific market or does it cover multiple markets? This is crucial for those needing data on international markets or specific local exchanges.

What Instruments are Covered?

Check if the API includes various financial instruments like stocks, bonds, ETFs, and derivatives. A wider range of instruments means more comprehensive market insights.

What History is Provided?

Look for APIs offering extensive historical data, crucial for back-testing trading strategies and analyzing market trends over time. Assess the level of detail in historical data, such as daily, hourly, or minute-by-minute data points, to suit detailed analysis needs.

Is the Data Free of Survivorship Bias?

Ensure the API provides historical data on delisted or merged companies. This is important to avoid survivorship bias, which can skew analysis and back-testing results.

How is the API Priced?

Investigate if the pricing is based on usage, a flat rate, or tiered levels. Understand how the pricing aligns with your data needs and budget.

Is the API robust?

If you're dependent on the API to make investment decisions or power a user facing application, the following questions are important to ask:

  • Is the stock market API secure?
  • What is the stock market API's uptime?
  • Can the stock market API handle spikes in requests?
  • What format is the stock data delivered in?
  • Which operating systems and programming languages is the stock market API compatible with?

What Support is Provided?

Consider the quality of the documentations and the level of support offered, such as 24/7 assistance, technical help, and response time for queries.

findl.com's Stock Market API Solutions

findl.com provides reference grade Fundamental, End-Of-Day Prices and Institutional Investors and Insiders data for US public companies. Access the comprehensive documentation or register to get started.


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