In an effort to garner a larger audience by rounding out the services and information offered by Google Finance, Google announced Friday morning that its market watching page will now pull in streaming financial news to display alongside quotes. The real-time stream will only update from 8am-5:30pm ET (Google chose this time block because it starts and ends 90 minutes before and after U.S. trading hours, respectively).
From the announcement:
"Financial information doesn't exist in a vacuum. News can stimulate trades, and trades of one stock can have broad market effects. Figuring how to organize all of that information and make it useful is crucial — and that's what we're working on."
Company pages, for example, automatically update stock prices, index and sector comparisons in real-time (during market hours). These pages also feature interactive charts (updated in real-time, of course) that allow users to take a closer look at all the financial data available to them.
Browsing throughout the site's many pages, users will always have close access to their most recently observed quotes, which Google presents in the left sidebar. Google also allows users to compare companies along a spectrum of parameters.
All in all, Google Finance appears to be a well-developed Web service for delivering comprehensive market news and numbers.