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Christmas Tree Stock Ticker

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Picture of Christmas Tree Stock Ticker
The Tannenbaum Ticker is a Christmas tree ornament that changes color based on how your stocks are doing.  Here's a little demo;


US and international stocks, commodities, and bonds can be tracked, including market-wide and industry indexes  Trade data is polled every 30 seconds during the trading day.  The ticker goes from dark red ( > 4% drop from open), to green (within 0.2% of open), to blue ( > 4% increase from open).  First, I'll answer a few questions, then I'll show you how to make your own!
 
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Step 1: FAQ

Picture of FAQ
How does it work?
Every 90 seconds, the Tannenbaum Ticker grabs the most recent quote from Google for the symbol you want to track.  The page is parsed and the '% change' value is used to adjust the color of the ornament.  US quotes are real-time, International quotes are delayed 20 minutes. 

A Propeller Platform USB runs everything, parsing the page and changing the color of the light.  It uses an E-Net module to connect to the Internet.  If there's a data connection problem, that also gets reported by turning the ornament purple. 

Why not just use my phone / computer / TV to get quotes?
If you're already checking quotes several times a day, this ticker may be a cool visualization, but you're probably already set.

Personally, I'm a 'set it and forget it' investor — I check stock quotes maybe once a week.  The Tannenbaum Ticker is handy because brings updated quotes to me, without having to even think about it.  It's also passive, so it's easy to ignore.

What about tracking something else?
For sure!  For this project, we're parsing a web page for a stock quote, but we could parse a page to grab news, sports, weather, or whatever else.  I'll give you a few ideas when I go over the code.  Speaking of which, the whole project is open source and you can grab the sourcecode right here.

Let's start by getting all the parts together!
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