Wednesday, April 6, 2011

CNBC Real-Time for the iPad

Since there seems to be such a large supply-demand imbalance (little supply, lots of demand) regarding information on trading apps for the iPad, I have decided to devote a little time to drilling down on some of these apps.

First up is CNBC Real-Time for iPad, which offers a large amount of content ranging from market data and graphics to news and videos. For the investor whose primary goal is to monitor the markets when he or she is not at a desk, this app is an excellent choice. The market data goes beyond just stocks and the major market equity indices and includes commodities, currencies and bonds. As the app name indicates, quotes are in real-time and even include a separate Pre-Markets tab with equity futures data. The graphic below shows the menu structure and various tabs available. In the screen capture, I have elected to highlight the Markets > Movers > S&P data. A similar tab, Dow Impact, ranks the five stocks with the largest positive impact and negative daily impact on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, along with the point impact for each stock.

Looking at other features, the news and video content are what you would expect from CNBC: high quality, voluminous and current.

For portfolio monitoring, the My Stocks content pulls charts, news and videos together for each watch list entry. The charts use real-time NASDAQ and NYSE data and make it easy to compare a security to a variety of indices, as well as utilize technical indicators such as moving averages (SMA, EMA, WMA), Bollinger bands, MACD, RSI, DMI and a handful of others. In short, the market technician is well-served here, though it would be nice to have some ability to customize the default settings on the technical indicators.  One thing that is lacking is an ability to enter share and cost basis information so that investors can easily track changes to their portfolio in dollar terms across the full range of their holdings.

Even with these small caveats, all in all the CNBC Real-Time for iPad is an excellent ‘do everything’ app for those who wish to monitor the markets remotely and do not need to trade directly from their market monitor platform. Of course, there is nothing stopping this person from keeping their favorite broker-based application open at the same time and becoming an opportunistic trader as well.

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[graphic: CNBC Real-Time for iPad]

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