"Past performance is no guarantee of future results." This statement is so ubiquitous in stock market literature that it cannot be attributed to one speaker. Still, past prices of stocks and bonds are studied by individual investors, chartists and market trend watchers because history often repeats itself. Many statistical inferences can be drawn from historical data and used to predict future prices and investment strategies. Price data on stocks and bonds are available free on most major search engines.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Go to a major search engine site such as Yahoo, Google, MSN, or Daily Finance (AOL Money).
Enter the stock or bond you want to research in the "Get Quotes" window found near the top of the site.
Find the chart for the stock or bond you entered. The times frames along the horizontal access range from 1 day, 5 days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years and maximum. Use the site to re-draw the chart to access your dates of interest and see prices, price changes and trade volumes.
Locate historical price tables. Most sites have a column on the left side with "Historical Prices." You can set a date range and see prices in a table format including prices for the open, high, low, close, volume, and adjusted closed which is adjusted for dividends and splits. Some sites enable you to download these prices to a spreadsheet.
Locate bond yield curves in the Yahoo "Bond Center" under the "Investment" tab, or in Daily Finance under "Market News."
Tips and warnings
- From the home page of treasurydirect.gov, you can research historical auction results and get interest rate data for U.S. Treasury Bonds.
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