Data

Benzinga increases client engagement & trade-lift with actionable alerts, rumors and unusual activity. Articles cover micro to macro-cap's across all sectors.


Corporate Logos

What are Corporate Logos?

Corporate Logos are designs or symbols that distinctively identify a specific company. These logos are typically trademarked, to deter others from its use. A logo has many different aspects. This includes color, shape, typeface, and symbol. Logos serve as a branding solution for firms. A great example of this is Nike. Nike’s corporate logo is the ‘’Swoosh.” It is simple with its monochromatic black and white design but also expresses motion with its fluidity.

What’s so Important About a Logo?

Logos are a powerful and influential tool in the business world. Logos are easily recognizable to the public, so individuals can make mentally connect a logo to a company, or vice versa, without difficulty. This is called brand identity and it’s extremely important in today’s financial space. Brand identity is an important aspect of a company as it gives consumers a simple understanding of what your company is and what it’s about.

The Benzinga Corporate Logo Package is now available on the BZ Cloud. Because of our full data catalog, we can provide over 2,000 corporate logos. Corporate logos are altered every day as older companies are always modifying their old designs to give a new and innovative look. In 2017, there were 160 IPOs of nascent companies with logos new to the financial space. Because of the introduction of new logos and their changes, our library of logos constantly updates. We offer a wide range of logos from most companies on major exchanges.  Our corporate logos are easy to integrate. They’re available via API and in many different formats like XML or JSON. The Benzinga Corporate Logo API is designed to be flexible with client sizing requirements. Custom filters can be applied to resize the logo and returns a variety of identifiers like ISIN and CUSIP.

 

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Financial Data APIs

What Are the Different Types of Financial Data APIs?

In an earlier blog post, we talked about what APIs are, in particular, stock and market data APIs, and some of the popular financial data APIs Benzinga offers.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss all of the different types of financial data APIs, and where you can buy them.

Let’s Refresh – What is a Financial API?

An API, application programming interface, is used as a tool to plug your website into another. There are countless financial and stock APIs in today’s world and they function as an excellent instrument to obtain information.

What Data Sets are Available?

Some of the many financial APIs that are available include:

  • FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
  • Dow Jones Historical Data
  • Real Estate Data
  • Alternative Data
  • Bitcoin Data
  • Futures Data
  • Treasury Yield Curve Data
  • Gold, silver, aluminum, copper, rhodium, iridium, and coal prices/data

Financial APIs are essential for funds, institutions, and regular investors. These datasets are important because they allow you to access large amounts of information; this information can be processed in a way to be tailored to your goals.

Where to Get Financial APIs?

Financial APIs can be found in many places online. There are free APIs available on the internet; however, the best financial APIs usually will cost you some money. Data sets are obtainable through companies like Benzinga and Quandl. Depending on the source, these APIs can be as granular as needed.

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Futures Contracts Data

What are Futures Contracts?

Futures contracts, or futures, are financial agreements between two parties to typically either buy or sell a security or commodity at a date set in the future. The intended purpose of futures contracts was to mitigate risk; now, futures have many different uses. The two most common uses for futures contracts are for hedging and speculation.

Why Use Futures Contracts?

Let’s say you know you need to buy 1,000 of barrels of crude oil (or some coal, steel, copper, gold, silver, or even bitcoin futures) for your company in six month’s time (crude oil futures contracts are traded in lots sizes of 1,000 barrels). You wouldn’t want to buy 1,000 barrels of crude oil now. Instead, you would want to buy it in six months when you need it. Why? To avoid liquidity issues. If the spot price, the current marketplace price, of crude oil is more than that of the futures price, it would be advantageous to buy a six-month futures contract if you believe crude oil price will rise, or even stay the same, in the next six months. When you enter a futures contract, you are locked into a price to buy, or sell, a commodity/security on a set date.

If you’re interested in crude oil and how it moves, check out our blog post on Crude Oil Prices.

What Type of Futures Data is Available?

Market Futures

  • Historical Futures Data

Index Futures

  • DAX Futures Data
  • VIX Futures Data

Commodity Futures

  • Wheat Futures Data
  • Milk Futures Data
  • Fat Cattle Futures Data
  • Cocoa Futures Data
  • Crude Oil Futures Data

Futures data is accessible via financial API from our data catalog at https://cloud.benzinga.com/news-data-catalog.

Hopefully you learned something about futures contracts in this post!

If you have any unanswered questions please send us an email at licensing@benzinga.com and we’d be happy to answer them!

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Alternative Data

What is Alternative Data?

Alternative data, or alt data, is the data found outside the typical structure for an investor. Data that investors use within that structure is called traditional data which includes information like earnings, guidance and dividends. Everything else is alternative data. This information is sometimes classified as big data, complex information that can’t be processed by typical software. Examples include social media posts about bitcoin data and prices, degree of political leanings, web usage for specific sites, and credit statements.

Alternative data is evaluated by:

  • Scarcity
  • Specification
  • History
  • Structure
  • Reporting

Alternative data is becoming an increasingly popular commodity. The primary users of alternative data are investors, specifically quantitative hedge funds, known as quants or quant funds. These quant funds are quickly looking to buy as much of this data as possible. Their hopes are to use this alt data to increase alpha and profitability. If this information can be processed, sorted, and quantified in a practical method, then it would be considered to be an indispensable tool for these quant funds.

Why is Alternative Data Important to Me?

Why does someone need to know why quant funds and other investors are buying up vast amounts alternative data? A typical individual won’t find the information from alternative data sets useful, but it’s important to know where this information is coming from. Alternative data is data from consumers. Consumers willingly, but usually unknowingly, give up access to their privacy. This is done via mobile phone apps and web usage (think Facebook). Companies can gain access to this information and leverage it to increase profits. Consumers should be vigilant of this practice.
Alternative data is available through many different formats. One of the more popular applications to transfer datasets is API. For more information about APIs, please read our other blog posts here https://cloud.benzinga.com/2018/06/what-is-a-stock-api-and-market-data/.  More information regarding alternative datasets can be found at Benzinga’s data catalog at https://cloud.benzinga.com/alternativedata/.

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What is a Stock API and Market Data?

Today we will talk about Market Data and Stock APIs. We’ll split this post into two sections:

1) What is an API?

2) Market Data and Stock APIs

Part 1: What is an API?

        API, or application programming interface, basically describes one way to plug your website into another. Commercial sites make some parts of their code available to developers so that they can build tools for the site. The code they expose is called the API and the stuff they build, such as widgets, are called applications. Developers can use different APIs in different ways to build different things. For example, let’s look at KAYAK, a fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine which aggregates information from a number of different airline databases. The travel service interacts with an airline’s API. The API is the interface that can be asked to get information from the airline’s database to book seats, baggage options, etc. Then, the API takes the airline’s response to your request and sends it back to KAYAK, which then shows the updated and relevant information to its customers.

Part 2: Market Data and Stock APIs

        Now that you have a basic understanding of how APIs work and what they can be used for, let’s talk about how APIs are useful in the world of stock trading. There are countless APIs offered for financial data. We’ll use Benzinga as an example because we offer over 60 financial data APIs on our website, https://cloud.benzinga.com/. Similar to how KAYAK interacts with airline’s APIs to obtain the relevant and updated information, Benzinga’s customers can purchase access to our APIs and use them on their website, platform or application to receive market data, news and other types of financial data. For example, say a customer wants to buy access to our Analyst Ratings API to use on their trading platform. Once purchased, our Analyst Ratings data is available to the customer through our API, which would then show up on their platform for their customers to see.

       You may wonder, what are the different types of market data and stock APIs? Benzinga’s data catalogue lists industry-leading stock, market data, news and other types of financial APIs. Here’s a list of some popular financial APIs from our website:

  • U.S. Real-time and Historical Quotes
  • Analyst Ratings
  • Market Data (equities pricing for equities listed on NYSE, AMEX, NASDAQ, OTC exchanges)
  • Charts for U.S. Equities
  • Options, Futures, FOREX, Indices Data
  • Cryptocurrency Data
  • Fundamentals, Balance Sheets, Cash Flows, Income Statement data for U.S. Equities
  • Benzinga Newswire & Signals Newswire (headlines, price movements, rumors)
  • Dividends, Stock Splits, Guidance, Conference Calls, Earnings & Future Earnings Dates

This is a small section of the data products Benzinga offers in API format. Hopefully you learned something about APIs and Market Data/stock APIs in this post! If you have any unanswered questions please send us an email at licensing@benzinga.com and we’d be happy to answer them!

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Commodity and Index APIs

What is a Commodity?

A commodity is raw material that is typically traded on a market. These commodities can be categorized into 4 main groups: metals, energy, livestock, and agricultural. These commodities are worth their spot price, or the price that it can be traded at any time in the market.

What is an Index?

An index is an average of a certain section of the market that is used to measure the market as a whole. Some of the different indices include the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 100, Russell 2000, and the CBOE Volatility Index.

What Are the Different Types of Commodity APIs and Index APIs

There is a plethora of both commodities and index APIs:

Commodities:

  • Silver price
  • Oil price
  • Rhodium price
  • Coal price
  • Steel price
  • Copper price
  • Coffee price
  • Natural gas price
  • Wheat price
  • Cotton price

Indices:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P Global 100
  • BDI Index (Baltic Dry Index)
  • Investor Sentiment Index
  • Consumer Confidence Index Data
  • Nikkei Index
  • BPI Index (Baltic Panamax Index)
  • CBOE Volatility Index

Why is a Commodity or Index API Useful to Me?

An API may be useful if you are looking for any information related to commodities or indices. These commodity and index APIs contain data sets that contain important figures and statistics. These data sets let you quantify the information and use that information systematically. Quantifiable data is important because investors need to be able to make trades based on that information.

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Crude Oil Prices

What Drives Oil Prices?

OPEC, or Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is composed of about 15 nations that produce half the world’s oil supply and house over 80% of the world’s oil reserves. This gives OPEC a huge international edge regarding influence on oil prices.

OECD, or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is a group of 35+ countries working together to promote international trade. Originating in 1957, the OECD consists of mostly developed countries whose people have higher levels of vehicle ownership than non-OECD countries. Crude oil prices can be affected by various global changes. This includes economic growth, expectations of economic growth, production from OPEC and Non-OPEC countries, ect. Crude oil plays an integral part in the commodity market.

 

Recent News on Crude Oil

June 22nd, 2018 marked the 174th meeting of OPEC in Vienna. Oil prices rose over 5% after the conference. OPEC released a statement that they are adding one million more barrels per day to their output. Why would a supply increase announcement raise prices? Maybe because a larger supply increase was expected than one million. OPEC nations are currently producing oil at maximum levels, and those levels are falling. The outlook for oil indicates a situation where this shortage continues. President Trump has attempted to get other countries to follow suit with the Iranian sanctions while also pressuring Venezuela.

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Interest Rate Hikes and What They Mean for You

Why Does Fed Change Interest Rates?

The Fed changes rates to maintain a healthy economy. If the economy is slowing down or experiencing negative growth the Fed might decide to lower interest rates, which will make money more available to businesses and consumers. If the Fed thinks the economy is growing too quickly, they will raise interest rates to slow things down and limit inflation.

 

What Happens When the Fed Changes Rates?

When the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises or lowers interest rates a chain reaction is set into motion. When the Fed raises interest rates, banks raise their prime rate, which in turn affects mortgage rates, car loans, business loans and other consumer loans.

Lower rates interest rates usually spur the economy by making corporate and consumer borrowing cheaper. Conversely, higher interest rates are intended to slow economic growth or curb inflation by making borrowing more expensive and less attractive.

When the Fed changes rates, it usually is adjusting the Federal Funds Rate. The Federal Funds Rate is the interest rate that banks charge each other on overnight loans.

What Rate Changes Mean for You

When the Fed raises rates, you can expect:

Higher:

  • Prime Rates
  • Credit Card Rates
  • Mortgage Rates
  • CD Rates
  • Money Market Rates
  • Car Loan Rates

Lower:

  • Borrowing
  • Consumer Spending
  • Home Sales
  • Business Profits
  • Stock Market

 

Conversely, when the Fed lowers rates, you can expect:

Higher:

  • Borrowing
  • Consumer Spending
  • Home Sales
  • Business Profits
  • Stock Market

Lower:

  • Prime Rates
  • Credit Card Rates
  • Mortgage Rates
  • CD Rates
  • Money Market Rates
  • Car Loan Rates
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Federal Funds Rate

What is the Fed Funds Rate and Why is it Important?

The interest rate at which banks and credit unions lend money to each other, generally on an overnight basis. The law requires banks to keep a certain percentage of their customer’s money on reserve. Since banks do not earn interest on reserve money, institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances.

The fed funds rate is one of the most important interest rates in the U.S. economy, as it directly affects critical aspects of the economy including employment, inflation and economic growth. The fed funds rate also indirectly influences short term interest rates because lenders often set their rates based on the prime lending rate. The prime lending rate is the rate at which banks charge their favored customers.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) which normally occurs eight times a year. The FOMC uses open market operations (buying and selling government securities) to influence the supply of money to meet the target rate.
For example, if the FOMC wants to increase the fed funds rate, they will decrease the money supply in the system which pushes interest rates higher. This is referred to as contractionary monetary policy.

On the contrary, when the economy is sluggish, and inflation is low, the FOMC will increase the money supply to lower the target rate. This is referred to as expansionist monetary policy.

 

 

 

 

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The Volatility Index

What is the VIX?

The VIX stands for the Volatility Index, an index formed by CBOE, the Chicago Board Options Exchange. It was originally introduced in 1987 as the Sigma Index.

The VIX is tracks the IV, implied volatility, of S&P 500 options and measures the market’s expected 30-day volatility levels. The implied volatility gives you a snapshot of the market’s opinion at the time.

Why is the VIX Important?

The VIX is used as a tool to gauge the market’s fear. As the S&P 500 becomes more unstable, the VIX spikes and vice-versa. Here is a chart of the VIX and the S&P 500, respectively, from 2008 to 2010. Leading up to 2009, the markets begin to crash. Investors are unsure of the future and have high levels of fear, so volatility spikes. From 2009 to 2010, the markets start to stabilize and the VIX does as well.

This index is given in percentage points and illustrates the expected annual movements of the S&P 500 at a 68% confidence level. This confidence level is used because 68% of the area under a standard normal probability curve is within 1 standard deviation of the mean. If the VIX is at 10, that means the annual change of the S&P 500 is expected to be +/- 10%.

 

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Baltic Dry Index

What is the Baltic Dry Index?

Even if you follow the markets and global economic news, you still may not be familiar with the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) and why it matters.

The Baltic Dry Index is a dry bulk shipping index that tracks the cost of hauling different materials or commodities. It is issued by the Baltic Exchange in London which was founded in 1744.

The BDI is composed of three separate indices – Capesize, Panamax and Supramax. These three indices track the change in shipping costs for dry bulk on different sizes of boats, Capesize being the largest and Supramax being the smallest.

Shipping brokers give their valuation of freight costs of 20 separate routes to the Baltic Exchange daily. These 20 routes include five for Capesize ships, five for Panamax ships, and ten for Supramax ships. On March 1st, 2018 the BDI was re-weighted to: 40% Capsize, 30% Panamax and 30% Supramax.

Why is the Baltic Dry Index important?

The Baltic Dry Index is important because shipping is an important indicator of how the global economy is doing.

The BDI is a very useful gauge of global trade, and tells you how much it costs to move goods around the world in large ships. These goods can be pretty much anything: iron ore, grain, coal, rhodium, silver, copper, and so on. Stuff the world needs to continue developing and building.

As such, analysts whose job is to predict the health and future of the global economy like to pay close attention to it.

It is commonly used as a so-called canary in the coal mine for the state of the world economy and how well international trade is doing. If the price of the BDI is low, it suggests that trade is slowing down.

This matters because BDI drops have historically predicted economic crashes.

 

For more information about Indices Datasets, please visit our data catalogue at https://cloud.benzinga.com/cloud-product/indices/.

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Consumer Confidence Index

What is the Consumer Confidence Index?

The Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, Survey is an index by The Conference Board that measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are about the economy in the near future. The Consumer Confidence Index is based around the idea that if consumers are optimistic, they will purchase more goods and services than if they are pessimistic. This increase in spending stimulates the economy as a whole.

The index is a barometer of the health of the U.S. economy and is based on consumers’ perceptions of current business and employment conditions, and their expectations for business, employment, and income for the next six months.

The Consumer Confidence Index is based on the Consumer Confidence Survey, which is a survey of 5,000 households. The survey asks five questions: two are about present economic conditions, and the other three are related to future expectations of the economy.

The CCI is one of the leading economic indicators for the U.S. economy. Leading indicators are used to monitor current economic situations, and act as warning for turning points in economic activity.

For more information about Indices datasets, please visit our data catalogue at https://cloud.benzinga.com/cloud-product/indices/.

 

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Consumer Price Index

What is the Consumer Price Index?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure that looks at the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them.

 

The basket goods and services are broken into eight major groups:

  • Food and beverages
  • Housing
  • Apparel
  • Transportation
  • Medical care
  • Recreation
  • Education and communication
  • Other goods and services

 

CPI is widely used as an economic indicator. It is the most common measure of inflation and indirectly measures the effectiveness of the government’s economic policy. The CPI gives the government, businesses and citizens an idea about how prices are changing in the economy.

 

CPI = [(Cost of Market Basket in Given Year) / (Cost of Market Basket in Base Year)] x 100

 

Two types of CPIs are reported each time.

 

The CPI-W measures the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (Clerical workers provide general office support that assists in the functioning of a company. They might work directly under an administrative assistant and be assigned basic tasks, such as filing or answering phones). The CPI-W primarily reflects changes in the costs of benefits paid to those on Social Security.

 

The CPI-U is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers. It accounts for 88 percent of the U.S. population (the CPI-W accounts for 28% of the population) and is the better representation of the general public. This type of CPI is based on the spending of almost all people that live in urban or metropolitan areas. It includes professionals, self-employed workers, unemployed, those in poverty, and retired people. It also includes urban wage earners and clerical workers.

 

For more information about Indices datasets, please visit our data catalogue at https://cloud.benzinga.com/cloud-product/indices/.

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