iPhone App Review: Wall Street Scanner

iPhone App Review: Wall Street Scanner

May 30th, 2011 by

While most of us wish we could delete the “Stocks” app from our iPhone home screens, some people really do want and need near real-time stock information at their fingertips. The Stocks app is actually fairly robust and attractive, but gives you only the most basic information on each stock. For more in-depth stats, news, and even predictions of a stock’s performance you could try something like Wall Street Scanner from developers OnO Apps Ltd.

The app includes not only pricing information ranging from the current day all the way up to the last two years, but has added information like news related to the stock, a “buzz” meter that charts mentions through all forms of media, a “mood” meter that rates and charts positive or negative mentions, analyst ratings, and gives you a meter showing the Short or Put/Call ratio. The app then analyzes a dizzying array of data and predicts whether the stock will rise or fall the following day.

How It Works

Wall Street Scanner functions much like a cross between the included Stocks app and a sort of police scanner for financial data. You can view at-a-glance information on a list of featured stocks and indexes or build your own favorites list. The main listing shows the listing’s current price and recent change up or down. Tapping on the listing brings detailed information on that stock or index to the details area below, where you can view information on six different tabs.

  • “Price” shows the stock’s ups and downs through the past day, week, month, quarter, year, or two-year period.
  • “News” shows articles mentioning the stock or industry, which you can tap on and read within the app.
  • “Buzz” is a meter that shows the general level of media activity mentioning the stock and whether that has gone up or down recently.
  • “Mood” is another meter, showing whether media and social mentions of the stock are generally positive or negative.
  • “Analysts” is a chart showing the overall analyst rating for the stock (“Strong Buy”, “Hold”, etc.).
  • “Ratios” has two options: “Short” and “Put/Call”. Short ratio shows how many days short sellers would need to cover their positions if the price of a stock begins to rise. Put/Call ratio shows the ratio or trading volume of put options to call options.

Finally, the “Forecast” tab shows the app’s forecast for whether the stock will rise or fall the following day, for the top 2000 stocks, based on historical and statistical data.

Pros And Cons

The most important element in an app like this, besides informational accuracy, is appearance and usability. Wall Street Scanner has an attractive high-tech look that instills confidence in its abilities, which fortunately is backed up by the app’s performance. It is completely stable and gathers information relatively quickly over a 3G connection, making for a smooth and seamless user experience.

The data presented in the app is useful as well, offering pertinent news items for the chosen stock. I selected a stock more or less at random by entering a string of letters, and the news feed had good, relevant articles on the company, while the buzz and mood meters gave me an idea of how the company’s image was faring across traditional and social media.

It’s hard to judge informational accuracy in an app like this, without spending a lot of time tracking down alternative sources of information to back up the app’s data (which kind of defeats the point of having an app that presents lots of collected data to you in the first place). I think anyone interested in stocks and trading would only use this app as a quick way to keep tabs on stocks and would never actually use the information to make a trade without first doing a reality check.

Overall

Wall Street Scanner is a great financial app that presents tons of financial information in a compact and easy-to-use format. I don’t know how the developers plan on pricing the app once it comes out of beta, but while it’s free it is certainly a top-shelf stock app (there is an ad in one of the screenshots in the App Store, but I never saw one while testing it out). Download it now if you’re a would-be Wall Street wizard and impress your colleagues with how much financial information you have rattling around inside your head.

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