How to Scrape Stock Market Data
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Adomas Sulcas

May 18, 2020 6 min read

The stock market is one of the most volatile things out there. The recent pandemic has proven that the stock market can change within the blink of an eye. As such, it has accumulated quite a lot of interest. At the moment, stocks are cheaper than they used to be, and this has brought quite a few people into the stock market.

In our blog posts we talk about scraping data that is applicable to a very wide audience. Stock market data is different – it is more niche and useful only to a small set of professionals. If starting a web scraping project on financial instruments is your goal, then read on!

What is web scraping?

Web scraping is the process of accumulating as much data as possible from a preset index of sources or websites. If a corporation has an expanded index on a demographic, scraping it for particular data is going to reap accurate, viable information that the company can use for many things.

Commercial and marketing companies aren’t the only entities that can benefit from data scraping as stock market data acquisition is a profitable process by itself. Stock market data in the investing world is vital and can give investors information on:

  • Stock market trends
  • Price changes
  • Real-time data
  • Investing possibilities
  • Price prediction

Scraping the stock market isn’t the simplest thing in the world, but if done correctly, it could reap some fantastic results. It could give investors critical insight into a multitude of things, all of which can serve as relevant information for smart investing. 

How businesses can benefit from stock market scraping

Stock market data benefits businesses
Stock market data scraping can be beneficial for businesses

Businesses can benefit from any form of scraping – user information, economic trends, and finally, the stock market. When it comes to stock market data, investment firms commonly utilize web scraping tools. Investing firms need an in-depth piece of data to make a proper assessment in order to invest in a particular stock.

Yet, safely investing in the stock market isn’t the easiest thing in the world. The stock market is quite complicated and consists of multiple volatile variables. Each variable can have a large and unpredictable impact on the value of the stock. When all of these are analyzed based upon the accumulation of data, investments can become significantly safer.

A great way to accumulate as much data as possible is to practice stock market data scraping. That means gathering as much data as possible on the stock market through the use of a web or stock market scraper.

This software will automatically collect all viable information that can later be parsed to make smart and studied investments in the stock market.

Where to get stock market data?

There are several APIs that professionals use to acquire stock market data from the web. Back in the day Google Finance could be used but the project has been deprecated since 2012.

One of the most popular options is Yahoo Finance. Their API has been working on and off for years as it has been both deprecated and revived several times. Several private companies offer APIs for those looking for more answers on where to get stock market data if neither Yahoo Finance doesn’t seem to mesh well with your project.

The tools associated with stock market scraping

Investment firms and other businesses looking to increase their profits through stock market investment will have to use the tools required in data scraping. Data scraping isn’t a straightforward process and requires multiple different tools to collect data, remove the variables and redundancies, and provide viable, useful data.

The first thing companies need when they’re trying to scrape stock data from the stock market is a web crawler or data scraping tool. These tools are readily available for purchase.

Companies that are looking for specialized tools to scrape stock market data will have to invest in their tools, resources, and indexes. It can be quite expensive depending on the amount of data they intend to harvest.

The second thing that is needed for stock market scraping is the prerequisite data sources. These are indexes of data that consist of stock market websites. A data scraping tool will scrape these sources for all types of data and will collect all the raw data necessary.

Once the data scraper collects the raw data through an index – it will need to be analyzed and refined for redundancies. That is a process that is mostly included within more high-end data scraping tools, but building an in-house data parser is not too difficult.

Analysis and refinement will remove all the redundancies from the data, leaving only the usable data. This useful data is later analyzed with industry-specific software to give even more precise results.

These results are then used to make informed decisions on investment. This entire process can be done with a single high-end web scraper tool, a few data analysts and some stock market specific software.

The troubles associated with stock market scraping

Stock market scraping
Stock market data scraping is not without challenges

Web scraping isn’t the simplest thing in the world, as mentioned above. It’s a careful collection of steps that need to be done in an accurate and timely manner to result in viable information and data. At times, there are preventive measures put in place to cut down data scraping.

That is why most high-end companies choose to create their tools, as there are plenty of obstacles that can obstruct the flow of the web scraping process. One of the most common issues associated with stock market data scraping is blocked IP addresses. These will prevent the tool from accessing the directory, thus reaping no information.

Most of these issues are avoided by programming the stock data scraper in-house and outsourcing the resources such as proxies. While some of these issues are ultimately unavoidable, making a private web scraper tool allows businesses to bypass some of these restrictions.

Real-time data scraping

The stock market is extremely volatile and changes quite frequently. That’s why it’s best to use a real-time data scraper. A real-time data scraper is a data scraper that will collect, refine, and analyze the data in real time. 

These are more expensive than their slower counterparts but are ultimately the best options for investment firms, or any business dealing with precise, abrupt, and quick stock market investment.

Conclusion

Using a scraper tool for scraping for stock market data is essential for any serious investment firm, or any company looking to make informed decisions about stock market investment.

While there are a couple of issues associated with these tools that can hinder their operation, using one within your company’s arsenal is integral to proper investment.

Scraping the stock market for data is as easy as indexing many different stock market websites and APIs, using a web scraper tool to scrape the directories for data – refining, analyzing, and finally using the resulting data.

Want to find out more about web scraping and data acquisition? Read our blog for more web scraping ideas! We have plenty of information on almost every data gathering method out there.

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About Adomas Sulcas

Adomas Sulcas is a Content Manager at Oxylabs. Having grown up in a tech-minded household, he quickly developed an interest in everything IT and Internet related. When he is not nerding out online or immersed in reading, you will find him on an adventure or coming up with wicked business ideas.

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All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.