Sorting Through the News

I’ve used Yahoo Finance for over 15 years.  I think it is the best single free news source for companies on the web.  If you know a better source, please mention it in the comments.

But there is a lot of low value data in their news feeds, so I created a utility to eliminate the bad stuff.  The link to it is in step 11 below.  I’m sharing one of my tools with you.  I hope it works well for you if you try it.

Procedure

  1. Using your browser, go to Yahoo Finance, and choose one of your portfolios.
  2. Hit the “End” key to go to the bottom of the screen, and hit “Page up.”  You will see a little link on the left labeled “more News” with a caret pointing downward.  If you to go further back in time, click the link.  If you want still more news, just keep repeating “End, Page Up, Click” until you cover the whole time you want news for.
  3. Hit Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C to copy the whole browser window
  4. Ctrl-V to paste into Excel
  5. Ctrl-F, search for “day and time”
  6. Using Shift, press Page Down to highlight all of the stories, Ctrl-C to copy
  7. Paste into a new sheet
  8. Widen Column B a lot, such that the only columns you see are A through D
  9. Click “Merge and Center” to demerge all cells
  10. Click on the Sort A-to-Z button
  11. Open the news screener, hit Ctrl-C to copy
  12. Flip back to the sheet you had open in step 10, and hit Ctrl-V to paste in Spreadsheet at cell D1
  13. Make sure to copy down new paste to cover all of your rows, or delete rows for which there is no news.
  14. Sort on the rightmost column
  15. Delete all the rows labeled “Here” in the rightmost column
  16. Delete all of the columns from “C” to the right.
  17. Enjoy
  18. Optional – With your cursor in cell A1, click the button to create a pivot-table.  Take defaults, hit OK.
  19. Click and Drag “day and time” into the row labels, and values
  20. Then click down arrow next to Row Labels on the pivot table, and choose “More Sort Options”
  21. Click Descending (Z to A) and choose “Count of day and time.”  Click OK, and you are done.
  22. Really enjoy.

After step 17, you would have something that looks like this:

day and time

symbols

AIZAIZ Crosses Above Key Moving Average Level at Forbes04:15pm EST
AIZDaily Dividend Report: WAG, AIZ, CPNO, RRD, FSP at Forbes12:57pm EST
AIZAssurant Board of Directors Declares Quarterly Dividend of $.21 per Common Share Business Wire11:52am EST
BPBP seeks judge’s ruling on size of Gulf oil spill AP05:53pm EST
BPMedical-benefits portion of BP Gulf settlement gets approval, Bloomberg says at theflyonthewall.com05:24pm EST
BPBP: Government overestimated size of spill AP04:32pm EST
BPCourt revives call for oil spill pollutant list AP01:24pm EST
BPSecond Acts in Finance and Business: The 5 Most Astonishing Comeback Stories at Minyanville12:00pm EST
BRK-BLessons From The Aborted Fiscal Cliff Drop And Seven Stocks For The Next Doomsday Debt-Ceiling Scenario at Forbes03:36pm EST
BRK-BWells Fargo: Q4 Record Profit, But Rock-Bottom Low Interest Rates Both Helped And Hurt at Forbes08:27am EST
CSCOMost active Nasdaq-traded stocks AP06:02pm EST
CSCOCisco “Surprised” at Trademark Lawsuit From University at AllThingsD05:04pm EST
CSCOU.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate Reuters04:53pm EST
CSCONo End to Set-Top Boxes in Sight at The Wall Street Journal03:42pm EST
CSCOEast Carolina University sues Cisco over slogan Reuters02:43pm EST
CSCOGet Ready to Profit From the “Dot-Com Boom 2.0″ at Investopedia02:31pm EST
CSCOUPDATE 1-U.S. warns on Java software as security concerns escalate at Reuters11:21am EST
CSCOU.S. government warns on Java as security concerns escalate at Reuters11:03am EST
CSCOECU sues Cisco over ‘Tomorrow Starts Here’ at bizjournals.com11:02am EST
CSCOCisco sued by Eastern Carolina University for trademark infringement at bizjournals.com10:35am EST
CSCOUPDATE 1-East Carolina University sues Cisco over slogan at Reuters10:01am EST
CSCOCisco Sued for Trademark Infringement Over Marketing Slogan at AllThingsD09:54am EST
CSCOWhy Silicon Valley needs its new ANA route to work at bizjournals.com03:01am EST
CSCOTim Cook: China will be Apple’s top market at CNNMoney.com02:40am EST
CSCOSales Moves Beyond Face-to-Face Deals, Onto the Web at BusinessWeek09:30pm EST
CSCOForbes: Raleigh-Cary ranked 5th among new tech hot spots in the U.S. at bizjournals.com07:20pm EST
CVXAustralian Heat Wave Adds to Fire Risk in New South Wales at Bloomberg09:38pm EST
CVXChevron leads energy sector to slim gain at MarketWatch04:57pm EST
CVXYen Extends Weekly Slump While U.S. Stocks Little Changed at Bloomberg04:51pm EST
CVXChevron Strikes Optimistic Note for Quarterly Earnings at Bloomberg04:10pm EST
CVXStocks End Flat but Post 2nd Weekly Gain; BBY Soars 16% at CNBC04:00pm EST
CVXDow Now: Merck to Pull Ineffective Cholesterol Drug at Minyanville01:38pm EST
CVXStocks Struggle For Direction; On Assignment Jumps at Investor’s Business Daily01:35pm EST
CVXBernstein predicts return of oil M&A bonanza at Reuters12:21pm EST
CVXStocks Slip Near Midday; Watson Slumps On Downgrade at Investor’s Business Daily12:09pm EST
CVX Friday, Jan. 11: Global Markets Preview at MarketWatch09:55am EST
CVX Friday, January 11: Keep Your Eye on These at MarketWatch09:53am EST
CVXCramer’s Six in 60: CMI Gets Ahead of Itself CNBC09:53am EST
CVX Cramer’s Six in 60: CMI Gets Ahead of Itself at CNBC09:53am EST
CVXStock futures flat; Wells Fargo profit rises at MarketWatch09:20am EST
CVXIraq threatens to seize oil shipments, sue dealers AP08:08am EST
CVXAnalyst nudges up Chevron earnings view at MarketWatch07:57am EST
CVXAustralia Faces Soaring Temperatures as Fire Bans Enforced at Bloomberg01:14am EST
CVXIndonesia – Market factors to watch on Jan 11 at Reuters09:42pm EST
CVXChevron shares gain, Amex turns lower after hours at MarketWatch07:28pm EST
CVXChevron expects 4Q profit to beat 3Q AP06:50pm EST
CVX[$$] Chevron Sees Asset Gains, Higher Output Boosting Profit at The Wall Street Journal06:29pm EST
CVXTesoro, Valero lead energy stocks higher at MarketWatch06:18pm EST
CVXAfter-Hours Buzz: AXP, BA & More at CNBC05:51pm EST
CVXChevron sees higher fourth-quarter earnings at MarketWatch05:42pm EST
CVXUPDATE 1-Chevron sees higher 4th-qtr profit as output rises at Reuters05:29pm EST
CVXChevron says Q4 profit will be ‘notably higher’ than Q3 at bizjournals.com05:24pm EST
CVXChevron sees “notably higher” Q4 profit as output grows at Reuters05:09pm EST
CVXChevron Says It Expects Q4 Earnings to Be ‘Notably Higher’ Than Q3 at CNBC05:08pm EST
CVXCHEVRON CORP Files SEC form 8-K, Results of Operations and Financial Condition EDGAR Online05:02pm EST
CVXChevron Issues Interim Update for Fourth Quarter 2012 Business Wire05:00pm EST
CVXStocks Rally, S&P 500 Closes at 5-Year High; Facebook Gains 2% at CNBC04:32pm EST
ESVEnsco Achieves #31 Analyst Rank, Surpassing Teradyne at Forbes11:47am EST
INTCARM CEO East Says Phooey to the ‘Transistor Cliff’ at Barrons.com09:26pm EST
INTCWill CEOs Give the Bulls What They Want This Earnings Season? at CNBC08:40pm EST
INTCIntel planning larger move into mobile at bizjournals.com04:38pm EST
INTCWall Street Week Ahead: Attention turns to financial earnings at Reuters04:37pm EST
INTCMicrosoft may have exited gadget show prematurely AP04:36pm EST
INTCKidder Mathews: Industrial market slowed in late 2012 at bizjournals.com01:18pm EST
INTCWhere are the hot spots for STEM jobs? (Hint: Don’t think Silicon Valley or Alley) at bizjournals.com01:06pm EST
INTC MarketWatch Week Ahead: Earnings Season Kicks Off at MarketWatch12:40pm EST
INTCWorldwide PC Shipments Fell 6.4% In Q4; 2012 Down 3.2% at Forbes11:59am EST
INTCLargest option buying in equities so far optionMONSTER11:29am EST
INTCSlim Gains in Markets Ahead of Earnings Reports at New York Times10:34am EST
INTCWhich Stocks Look Ready to Pop and Drop with Earnings Next Week? Indie Research09:20am EST
INTC10 Things You Need To Know This Morning Business Insider07:08am EST
INTCHoliday PC sales dip for first time in five years Reuters09:28pm EST
INTCUPDATE 2-Holiday PC sales dip for first time in 5 years at Reuters09:20pm EST
INTCInstant View: Holiday PC sales slide for first time in over five years Reuters07:05pm EST
INTCInstant View: Holiday PC sales slide for first time in over five years Reuters06:42pm EST
INTCHoliday sales of PCs slide for first time in five years: IDC Reuters06:40pm EST
INTCHoliday sales of PCs slide for first time in 5 years -IDC at Reuters06:29pm EST
INTCPC sales fall 6.4% in Q4, worse than expected at MarketWatch06:28pm EST
INTCCES: ARM Holdings To Expand Push To TVs, Servers, Networks at Forbes06:16pm EST
INTCApple rises, but Microsoft, Yahoo slide at MarketWatch04:36pm EST
LLoews Adds RG Advisors’s Gendelman as Head of Equity Investments at Bloomberg09:36am EST
LRobert Gendelman Joins Loews Corporation as Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Equity Investments Business Wire09:29am EST
ORCLUS government tells computer users to disable Java AP09:52pm EST
ORCLImpact of Island Air sale on Hawaii will depend on who the buyer is at bizjournals.com08:00pm EST
ORCLSplunk Gains on Speculation IBM May Consider Takeover at Bloomberg04:44pm EST
ORCLTop 5: Bay Area Software Companies at bizjournals.com03:59pm EST
ORCLOracle: Davenport Ups to Buy on Cash Flow, Hardware Promise at Barrons.com02:02pm EST
ORCLMalibu Makes Bid to Be World’s Mega-Mansion Capital at CNBC12:11pm EST
ORCLTop 10 Most-read Web stories of the week: 01/04 to 01/11 at bizjournals.com09:39am EST
ORCLSilicon Valley Exec of the Year for 2013 is… at bizjournals.com09:32am EST
ORCLOracle Announces StorageTek LTO 6 Tape Drives Marketwire08:00am EST
ORCLSAP Challenges Oracle by Boosting Flagship Software Speed at Bloomberg03:18am EST
ORCLGerman stocks – Factors to watch on January 11 at Reuters02:43am EST
ORCLSAP Challenges Oracle by Boosting Flagship Software Speed at Bloomberg07:32pm EST
ORCLSAP Steps on the Gas at New York Times07:11pm EST
ORCLCramer Navigates Treacherous Tech-Scape at CNBC06:12pm EST
ORCLSAP’s Move to Reinvent Real-Time Enterprise at CNBC05:13pm EST
ORCLExperts urge PC users to disable Java, cite security flaw Reuters05:06pm EST
ORCLExperts urge PC users to disable Java, cite security flaw at Reuters05:04pm EST
PSXCramer: This New Trend Multi-Year Game Changer at CNBC06:05pm EST
RGAReinsurance Group of America Larger Than S&P 500 Component SAIC at Forbes04:47pm EST
TELTE Connectivity to Report Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Results on January 23, 2013 PR Newswire04:30pm EST
TELTE CONNECTIVITY LTD. Files SEC form 8-K, Amendments to Articles of Inc. or Bylaws; Change in Fiscal Year, Other Event EDGAR Online07:33am EST
TRV Hate the Company, Love the Stock at CNBC02:30pm EST
VLOValero refineries closed for repairs, maintenance at bizjournals.com08:55am EST
VOD[$$] Save a Bundle on Your Tech Bills at The Wall Street Journal09:28pm EST
VODVerizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Expands In Albany Area PR Newswire02:33pm EST
VODRIM sees BlackBerry Internet Services affected by Vodafone outages, TNW says theflyonthewall.com07:54am EST

After step 22, you would have something that looked like this:

Row LabelsCount of day and time
WFC

153

CVX

32

INTC

22

XRX

20

ORCL

17

CSCO

16

BP

5

VOD

4

AIZ

3

TEL

2

BRK-B

2

L

2

VLO

1

TRV

1

PSX

1

ESV

1

RGA

1

Grand Total

283

The purpose of creating the pivot table is to highlight stocks with a lot of news.  Stocks with lots of news, you typically know what happened.  I set my limit at 10 stories.  If there are more, I do a quick scan of the companies with a lot of articles and see if it is just one story written many times.  In this case, I deleted the stories from WFC and XRX — there was basically one story for each.  WFC earnings, and XRX’s CFO leaving to go to Apple.

That left me with only 110 articles to look at out of 467 at the start of this exercise.  As it was, I chose to read 10 of the articles.  It takes me 3 minutes to use the news screener (once you get used to it, it is fast), and it saves me tons of time, and helps me be more focused in what I read.

This is my way of wading through too many articles, eliminating robotic, and lower quality content.  Note: if you don’t agree with what I think is low value, you can change the headers in my spreadsheet in columns D through N.

I hope you enjoy this.

Full disclosure: long AIZ, BP, BRK-B, CSCO, CVX, ESV, INTC, L, ORCL, PSX, RGA, TEL, TRV, VLO, VOD, WFC, XRX

4 Comments

  • Greg says:

    I am surprised this post didn’t get more comments / “thank you”s. News overflow (a lot of it low quality) is a huge time waster for many investors — both pro and amateur.

    A former colleague wrote some custom software (that he still makes available to people already on his list). His software does everything your spreadsheet does and adds a lot of features like archiving / indexing / cross linking (when you see something in today’s article, you can quickly refer back to older related articles). And it does it automatically throughout the day.

    But as a stand alone “free” tool that uses Excel (something most traders have) — your spreadsheet is really cool.

  • bjdubbs says:

    How about looking only at the high volume/movement stocks? If the news doesn’t move the stock, it’s probably not important. YHOO doesn’t let you filter by higher than avg volume, but Finviz does. Or you can set up an RSS feed via Google reader and get all the official press releases (I’ve set up about 20 stocks and can go days without anything showing up). Thanks for sharing some of your tips and tricks, but there’s got to be a better way.

    • I use this to track companies that I own. If there is a lot of movement, I know what happened. What I like are bits of news that get yawned at, that are misunderstood.

      Different people will need different tools. Thanks for your comment, it helped.