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Real Time Stock Ticker for PHP

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For the last week or so, I have been looking for a good real time stock ticker to put up on a client’s web site since their feed with Yahoo kept failing intermittently. About 30% of the time, it would return an error that read “Received Failure” which while amusing, the client didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

So I spent a few hours going to different sites to see if they had a feed and none would give me what I wanted. All I needed was the current price, value change, percentage change and time last updated. Seemed impossible. Then I had the idea to just scrape data from Google’s Financial site and the rest is history.

I found this PHP project called PHP Simple HTML DOM Parser and used it in my code. Super simple.

include('simple_html_dom.php');
$tickerCID = '22144'; //This is Apple (AAPL) ticker ID on Google
$stockSymbol = 'AAPL';
$html = file_get_html('https://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:' . $stockSymbol);
$price = $html->find('span[id=ref_' . $tickerCID . '_l]', 0);
$lasttrade = $price->plaintext;
$spanChange = $html->find('span[id=ref_' . $tickerCID . '_c]', 0);
$change = $spanChange->plaintext;
$spanPercChange = $html->find('span[id=ref_' . $tickerCID . '_cp]', 0);
$percChange = $spanPercChange->plaintext;
$rightNowDate = date("M j");
$quoteTime = $html->find('span[id=ref_' . $tickerCID . '_ltt]', 0);
$rightNow = $rightNowDate . ' ' . $quoteTime->plaintext;

Then when I need to access that data, I just have this DIV in the body:

NASDAQ: AAPL

$      

It was that easy once I got the hang of it. Hope this can help someone with the same crap I had to go through.

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