Checking out Yahoo Finances other useful features

If you want to take advantage of Yahoo! Finance's other resources, spend some time examining the information page for a specific stock:

1. Get to Yahoo! Finance from the main Yahoo! page by clicking Finance or by using the URL www.finance.yahoo.com.

2. Enter the symbol of the stock or index you want to chart in the bar next to the Get Quotes button, and then click that button.

That click takes you to an information page for the stock or index you've chosen.

In the blue box on the left of the page, you can find many sources of data and other handy functions. Among them is a unique feature that Yahoo! provides for accessing historical daily opening, high, low, and closing price data, with volume information that you can download into Microsoft Excel using the Historical Price choice. (Skip ahead to "Creating Candlestick Charts Using Microsoft Excel" later in this chapter for more info on how to work with candlesticks in Excel.)

For another informative and sometimes fun area of Yahoo! Finance, check out the Message Board section. This area includes discussions that focus on specific stocks. In the case of some controversial companies, the discussions can be pretty heated, to the point of being amusing. But the boards aren't just good for lively conversation. They're also a good place to turn for information and rumors if a stock's price is moving without any apparent reason.

To top it all off, Yahoo! allows you to build your own portfolio, which you can use to monitor news and prices for any stocks you specify. You can also access real-time quotes — most quotes available on the Internet are delayed — for a small fee, and take advantage of excellent financial calendars for upcoming earnings and economic statistics.

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