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Interested in CAPS Data or Development?



March 15, 2011 – Comments (23)

Hey Fools,

Are you a developer, know a developer, or are just interested in playing with financial data? We’re discussing making some public CAPS APIs and would love to know if there are interested folks here in CAPS. If that sounds like something that you would check out, drop me a line at or mention it in the comments.

To give you an idea about what could be done with a CAPS API, here’s a list of some of the things that we’d talked about including:

·         Player Rating history (possibly for charting)
·         Favorites by player
·         Stock of the Day
·         Sector breakdown by player
·         Active Picks
·         Pitches by player
·         Stock Star Rating
·         Stock Tags (including sector, style and user generated)
·         Players with similar profiles
·         Players with similar ratings
·         Performance of a particular tag, market cap or sector
·         All stocks currently rated N stars

Also, if you have ideas for interesting apps or widgets that you’d like to see, using this data or other data like it, mention it in the comments or send it to me directly.

Fool on,

23 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM, ChrisGraley (28.63) wrote:

Have the powers that be consider open source TMFHarris.

You've seen how powerful it is in the investment community. If you do the same thing with the code, it will take this site to the next level.


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#2) On March 15, 2011 at 6:24 PM, Slider08 (< 20) wrote:

I want to be able to track how my portfolio does compared to the market for whatever period I select, but I haven't been able to find anything out there that accounts for periodic cash inflows and portfolio adjustments.

I've looked into developing an app to do this, but I don't know of a good, free/cheap way to get historic performance for a stock (including special events like dividends, splits, ticker changes, etc), so I've put the idea on hold for now. It would be cool if I could get that info through you, but that doesn't seem to be the direction you're heading.

The other data you're discussing seems interesting, and the only other functionality I can think of (off the top of my head) is querying for all players who have favorited a stock (with some way to filter on player rating).

Out of curiosity, under what sort of terms/license are you thinking about supplying this.

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#3) On March 15, 2011 at 7:23 PM, familyfund2 (< 20) wrote:

I think it would be great to search players by charms. Not one charm at  a time, but for instance, yes men with the pioneer charm and a blog charm.

Also, it would be cool to have more charms to do that with, like the 'energy allstar charm', or other sector all star charms. Or who has the most score leader charms.

But mostly, i want to be able to see my comments on my limit orders page, and . . .

I WISH WHEN A STOCK WAS ON MY WATCHLIST, IT JUST SAID THIS STOCK IS ON YOUR WATCHLIST ON ON THAT STOCKS PAGE. I'm tired of clicking the link that says 'add this stock to your watchlist' just so it can give me a window that says 'this stock is already on your watchlist'. ALSO, WITH THAT, sometimes i keep a stock on my watchlist even though i picked it, but when i close  a stock, i have to go to my watchlist to see if i want to take it off or keep it on.

Can't we just have the little link on each stocks page that says 'Add Stock to CAPS Watchlist' turn into a link that says 'Remove this stock from your Watchlist'?

I don't even really know what an API is, but i've often wanted to prowl through my caps performance through the years, and compare it to the S&P

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#4) On March 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM, zymok (27.17) wrote:

Definitely interested.  For what platforms/languages do you forsee supporting the API?

I'd really be interested in being able to retrieve free text entries by players, e.g. blog entries and pitches, filtered by player name, date of entry, keyword, etc.



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#5) On March 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM, zCreator (93.45) wrote:

I'm a full time programmer, I'd be interested in fooling around with your API, whenever I have some time.

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#6) On March 15, 2011 at 9:34 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

Interested.  but I would need an ulimited suppy of 'hot pockets' and 'zena' tapes, lol.

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#7) On March 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

oops, xena, you get the picture, lol


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#8) On March 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM, doug007 (< 20) wrote:

  Slider08 wrote:

I've looked into developing an app to do this, but I don't know of a good, free/cheap way to get historic performance for a stock (including special events like dividends, splits, ticker changes, etc), so I've put the idea on hold for now. It would be cool if I could get that info through you, but that doesn't seem to be the direction you're heading.

FYI:  You can get historical prices easy enough through yahoo.  Something like will get you the historical prices for a stock (SPY, in this case) in CSV format.  It's fairly easy both to make the call and parse the response in most languages.  

 You can make a similar query to get dividends.  The div info is hit or miss, though.  Some stocks are missing a dividend or all dividends. I don't know about splits.

You can do something similar at google as well - no dividends.

In fact, I haven't found a good, consistant source of dividends and just recently asked that question in my blog -

Back on topic - I'm not much interested in the "CAPS" data listed right now - I just can't think of any pressing need to programatically manipulate it right not.  I might be interested in the "star" rating eventually though.


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#9) On March 15, 2011 at 11:39 PM, Imperial1964 (94.08) wrote:

As a programmer, a CAPS API sounds pretty cool, but I haven't really thought about what I could do with it. 

As far as other enhancements, I would like to be able to search my picks, past and present, without searching by hand.  If I want to find what I said about a stock I picked months or years ago or how I did on a closed pick, it is a pain to search through pages of current or closed picks to find it.

Another nice-to-have would be a way to browse my recent blog comments without having followed them.  For example, if I make a post and tomorrow I want to add to it I would like to be able to find it back easily.  It is a bit of hassle to follow and unfollow posts if I just want to follow it for a day, especially if I whether or not I come back tomorrow depends on how busy or boored I am.

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#10) On March 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM, Slider08 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks, Torpex. I'm using yahoo to grab the current price, and I briefly looked into using it for the historic price, but there's not exactly much documentation. It looks like the adjusted close column in the csv is exactly what I'd want, so I guess it's just a question of how bad their split/dividend data is. (I'm guessing it's about as good as you'll find for free... unless caps helps us out :P )

There's still the license question, though. Yahoo, for instance, doesn't allow us to redistribute their stock data, so we can't really use it for anything interesting. A similar stance by caps would make an API worthless to me -- I can't think of a reason to programatically mine any caps info for my own analysis.

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#11) On March 16, 2011 at 3:00 PM, TMFCHarris (98.69) wrote:

@ChrisGraley - in some ways, this would definitely be a step towards open source. I can imagine more than a couple of ways we could build portions of the site around these APIs.

@slider08 - we haven't worked any of that out yet, but I would love to hear thoughts from the community on  what they prefer.

@Imperial1964 - searching picks by player is definitely something  I would like to see in an API. There are some pretty interesting possibilities I see around that (new picks by your favorites as they are made, perhaps).

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#12) On March 16, 2011 at 9:36 PM, MegaEurope (< 20) wrote:

Maybe the TMF programmers should fix the spam first...

If they can't do that within 6 months it would probably take multiple years to create a user API.

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#13) On March 16, 2011 at 10:36 PM, LonghornBoy (< 20) wrote:

Does the data available represent a current snapshot of CAPS data, or is historical data available?  I've often wondered about the efficacy of the CAPS rating system; and think it would be really cool to be able to backtest against the ratings (overall, all-star, etc.) to see how well it performs...



 (can backtest, just add data...) 

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#14) On March 31, 2011 at 11:31 AM, HarrisCasey (< 20) wrote:

I stumbled across this post attempting to find a way to retrieve CAPS Star Ratings for stocks. (So I am interested in that data at the moment, and would definitely take advantage of it if a method were available.)

I am currently using Yahoo Finance data ( to build my own performance reports and charts, and it has turned out great so far. However, I have a "watchlist" report that would benefit from up-to-date CAPS Star Ratings. I'd rather automate it than have to click around and spend time to bring up each stock's CAPS page; that defeats the purpose of having everything quickly at a glance.


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#15) On May 09, 2011 at 12:04 PM, WickedThree (94.97) wrote:

This would be a wonderful addition to the services you provide.

You folks have really put together an amazing infrastructure and I know that myself as well as many of my associates would be extremely grateful to "play" with some of the stock data you have compiled.

Thank you for putting together such an awesome site.


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#16) On May 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM, greensnacks (< 20) wrote:

I re-wrote a custom today and works ok, but it has to parse all the html returned from something like ''. A GET request that would return just an XML document for a given symbol or category like "active player" would be more desirable. This would be part of my wishlist.


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#17) On August 01, 2011 at 10:41 AM, aardvestor (37.25) wrote:

I agree with ChrisGraley: Open source it, and let the community's developers contribute to the work. I, for one, would be happy to help.

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#18) On December 06, 2011 at 4:22 PM, cjavilla (< 20) wrote:

Last post was in August. Has there been any movement in one way or another on this project? Really looking forward to an API of any sort to CAPs data :)

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#19) On December 06, 2011 at 4:43 PM, truthisntstupid (84.72) wrote:

First, I don't know what an API is.

But others have voiced features they'd like to see, so I will, too.

I'd like to be able to view my score graph over more than just the few months it shows, perhaps even be able to view my score-graph history in its entirety.

I also would like to be able to see how I'm doing against other players like me.  NO ETFs and NO ACCURACY BANKING!!!

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#20) On December 06, 2011 at 5:02 PM, truthisntstupid (84.72) wrote:

Even those players that have boasted they could get their ratings in the high 90s without using and close, open and close, open and close..every time they can get a random 5 points served up to them by market volatility.

Needless to say, I'm unimpressed.  For anyone who might wonder why, read this!

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#21) On December 06, 2011 at 5:14 PM, DaveGruska (90.17) wrote:

Sill interested. I'm a .NET developer and played around with the existing API a bit, but found lots of bugs. I tried to report them, but the reporting tool was also broken. I postsed a blog comment about it to another TMF blogger (can't remember the name right now), but didn't hear anything back.

I'd love to even help you guys test, if somebody would respond to me. 

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#22) On December 13, 2011 at 10:23 PM, JustSavvy (94.03) wrote:

i'd be interested from the mobile app development side of things.

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#23) On February 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM, jyurow (67.75) wrote:

I would like to test the hypothesis that the higher the rating of a stock the greater the liklihood that it will overperform the SPY and conversely, the lower its rating, the greater the liklihood that it will underperform the SPY.

I am a newbie to the Fool API.  I know the statistical programming language, R, and would like to use it to perform the analysis. I would like to use the Fool API to grab the data on stocks and their current star ratings as well as the daily stock prices and the price of the SPY.

How do I go about doing this? 


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