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Thomson to offer quotes

In a move that may push a change among stock sites, Thomson Financial Services and DigiTrade will announce they are offering free real-time quotes.

In a move that may push a change among financial information sites, Thomson Financial Services and DigiTrade will announce Monday they are offering free real-time quotes.

Free stock quotes is nothing new on the Net and elsewhere, but most sites have a 15-minute delay on the data. Meanwhile, many financial sites like DBC, Quote.com, and Schwab require either users pay a subscription fee or be a customer for access to real-time quotes.

Thomson's new site comes at time when online trading is gaining in popularity with many brick-and-mortar brokerage firms offering new Internet-based services.

Investors accessing Thomson RTQ can receive up to 50 free real-time quotes a day on Nasdaq, Amex, and the New York stock exchanges.

On the page that the quote appears, users will also find the company's intraday and 12-month stock charts, First Call's analyst recommendation trends, Investnet Insider Trend Index, quantitative analysis by Innovest, and information from current price-earnings ratios to total market values. Online trading is also available on the site through a third party.

Thomson is providing the data and DigiTrade is supplying the real-time quotes.

"We are positioning this market for the active trader, not the professional trader," said Ray Kingman, president of Thomson Investors Network.

He added Thomson is the first to offer real-time free quotes for users who are not subscribers or access the information via their brokerage account.

Kingman is not concerned about others quickly following in Thomson's steps. "We believe it takes a degree of expertise on the back end to recreate this and there is also a lot of data on these pages. Since Thomson has other [divisions and companies] to pull from for data on the site, we don't have to worry about overhead or licensing fees for content."

Thomson will receive revenues via three means. One is through advertising by sponsors and banner ads. A second source will come from companies paying fees to "private label" the site and a third is thorough offering the free real-time quotes feature to other high-volume sites or sharing in advertising revenues with those partners.

In less than a week, Kingman said the site has raised a couple hundred thousand dollars from selling banner ads and sponsorships.