smtm(1) Display and update a configurable ticker of global stock quotes


 smtm [options] [stock_symbol ...]


 --time min      minutes to wait before update 
 --file smtmrc   to store/retrieve stocks selected 
 --proxy pr      network address and port of firewall proxy 
 --fwall [id:pw] account and password for firewall 
 --chart len     select length of data interval shown in chart
                 (must be one of b, w, 3, 6, 1, 2, 5, m or t)
 --timeout len   timeout in seconds for libwww-perl UserAgent
 --wide          also display value changes and holdings
 --percent       show relative performance in percent instead of bps
 --sort style    sort display by specified style
                 (must be one r, a, p, v, n, v, V or h)
 --columns set   choose the columns to display (can be any combination
                 of s, n, l, a, r, v, p, V, R, h)
 --nookbutton    close other windows via left mouseclick, suppress button
 --help          print a short help message


smtm, which is a not overly clever acronym for Show Me The Money, is a financial ticker and portfolio application for quotes from exchanges around the world (provided they are carried on Yahoo!). It creates and automatically updates a window with quotes from Yahoo! Finance. It can also display the entire variety of charts available at Yahoo! Finance. When called with one or several symbols, it displays these selected stocks. When smtm is called without arguments, it reads the symbols tickers from a file, by default ~/.smtmrc. This file can be created explicitly by calling the Save option from the File menu. Beyond stocks, smtm can also display currencies (from the Philadephia exchange), US mutual funds, options on US stocks, several precious metals and quite possibly more; see the Yahoo! Finance website for full information.

smtm can also aggregate the change in value for both individual positions and the the entire portfolio. For this, the number of shares is needed, as well as the cross-currency expression pair. The standard ISO notation is used. As an example, GBPUSD translates from Pounds into US Dollars. To compute annualised returns, the purchase date and purchase price can also be entered.

smtm displays the full name of the company, the absolute price change and the relative percentage change in basispoints (i.e., hundreds of a percent) or in percentages if the corresponding option has been selected. Other information that can be displayed are the traded volume, the profit/loss, the aggregate positon value, the holding period length, the annualised return, the drawdown, the earnings per share, the price/earnings ratio, the dividend yield, and the market capitalization. Note that the return calculation ignores such fine points as dividends, and foreign exchange appreciation or depreciation for foreigns stocks. All display columns can be selected, or deselected, individually.

Losers are flagged in red. smtm can be used for stocks from the USA, Canada, various European exchanges, various Asian exchanges (Singapore, Taiwan, HongKong, Kuala Lumpur, ...) Australia and New Zealand. It should work for other markets supported by Yahoo. US mutual funds are also available, but less relevant as their net asset value is only computed after the market close. Some fields might be empty if Yahoo! does not supply the full set of fields; the number of supported fields varies even among US exchanges. The sorting order can be chosen among eight different options.

The quotes and charts are delayed, typically 15 minutes for NASDAQ and 20 minutes otherwise, see for details. New Zealand is rumoured to be somewhat slower with a delay of one hour. However, it is worth pointing out that (at least some) US) indices are updated in real time at Yahoo!, and therefore available in real time to smtm. Intra-day and five-day charts are updated during market hours by Yahoo!, other charts with longer timeframes are updated only once a week by Yahoo!.

smtm supports both simple proxy firewalls (via the --proxy option) and full-blown firewalls with account and password authorization (via the --fwall option). Firewall account name and password can be specified as command line arguments after --fwall, or else in a pop-up window. This setup has been in a few different environments.

smtm can display two more views of a share position. Clicking mouse button 1 launches a detailed view with price, date, change, volume, bid, ask, high, low, year range, price/earnings, dividend, dividend yield, market capital information, number of shares held and annualised return. However, not all of that information is available at all exchanges. Clicking the right mouse button display a chart of the corresponding stock; this only works for US and Canadian stocks. The type of chart can be specified either on the command-line, or via the Chart menu. Choices are intraday, five day, three months, six months, one year, two years, five years or max years. The default chart is a five day chart. The middle mouse button opens an edit window to modify and augment the information stored per stock.

See for help on Yahoo! Finance charts.

smtm has been written and tested under Linux. It should run under any standard Unix, success with Solaris, HP-UX and FreeBSD is confirmed (but problems are reported under Solaris when a threaded version of Perl is used). It also runs under that other OS from Seattle using the ActivePerl implementation from In either case, it requires the Perl/Tk module for windowing, and the LWP module (also known as libwww-perl) for data retrieval over the web. The excellent Date::Manip modules is also required for the date parsing and calculations. With recent versions of ActivePerl, only Date::Manip needs to be installed on top of the already provided modules.


  smtm CSCO NT

creates a window following the Cisco and Nortel stocks.

  smtm MSFT:Bill SUNW:Scott ORCL:Larry

follows three other tech companies and uses the override feature for the displayed name. [ Historical note: We once needed that for European stocks as Yahoo! did not supply the company name way back in 1999 or so. This example just documents a now ancient feature. ]

  smtm  BT.A.L::10:GBPCAD   T::10:USDCAD \
        BCE.TO::10   13330.PA::10:EURCAD \
        "555750.F:DT TELECOM:10:EURCAD"

creates a window with prices for a handful of telecom companies on stock exchanges in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Frankfurt. Note how a names is specified to override the verbose default for the German telco. Also determined are the number of shares, here 10 for each of the companies. Lastly, this example assumes a Canadian perspective: returns are converted from British pounds, US dollars and Euros into Canadian dollars. Quotation marks have to be used to prevent the shell from splitting the argument containing spaces. [ Historical note: The Deutsche Telecom stock can now also be referenced as DTEGn.DE; similarly other stock previously available only under their share number are now accessible using an acronym reflecting their company name.]


Four menus are supported: File, Edit, Chart and Help. The File menu offers to load or save to the default file, or to 'save as' a new file. Exit is also available.

The Edit menu can launch windows to either add a new stock or delete one or several from a list box. Submenus for column selection based on various criteria are available. Similarly, the Sort menu allows to select one of eight different sort options. Further, one can modify the delay time between updates and choose between the default title display or the wide display with changes in the position and total position value.

The Charts menu allows to select the default chart among the eight choices intraday, five day, three months, six months, one year, two years, five years or 'max' years. Chart sizes can be selected among three choices. Plot types can be selected among line chart, bar chart and the so-called candlestick display. For both moving averages and exponential moving averages, six choices are avilable (5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 days, respectively) which can all be selected (or deselected) individually. Similarly, any one of seven popular technical analysis charts can be added. Logarithmic scale can be turned on/off. Volume bar charts as also be selected or deselected. Similarly, Bollinger bands and the parabolic SAR can be selected. A selection box can be loaded to enter another symbol (or several of these, separated by comma) for performance comparison. Lastly, the gallery command can launch the display of a chart for each and every stock symbol currenly loaded in the smtm display. Note that intra-day and intra-week charts do not offer all the various charting options longer-dated charts have available. Once charts are shown, they are also updated regularly at the same interval the main displayed is updated at.

Lastly, the Help menu can display either the text from the manual page, or the copyright information in a new window.


The main window is very straightforward. For each of the stocks, up to eleven items can be displayed: its symbol, its name, its most recent price, the change from the previous close in absolute terms, the change in relative terms, the volume, the profit or loss, the total position value, the holding period, the annualised return (bar F/X effects or dividends) and the drawdown relative to the 52-week high. The relative change is either expressed in basispoints (bps), which are 1/100s of a percent, or in percent; this can be controlled via a checkbutton as well as an command-line option. Further display options are earnings per share, price/earnings ratio, dividend yield and market capitalization. This display window is updated in regular intervals; the update interval can be specified via a menu or a command-line option.

The window title displays the relative portfolio profit or loss for the current day in basispoints, i.e., hundreds of a percent, or in percent if the corresponding option is chosen, as well as the date of the most recent update. If the --wide options is used, the net change and ney value of the portfolio (both in local currency) are also displayed.

Clicking on any of the stocks with the left mouse button opens a new window with all available details for a stock. Unfortunately, the amount of available information varies. Non-North American stocks only have a limited subset of information made available via the csv interface of Yahoo!. For North American stocks, not all fields all provided by all exchanges. Clicking on the details display window itself closes this window. Clicking on any of the stocks with the right mouse button opens a new window with a chart of the given stock in the default chart format. This option was initially available only for North American stocks but now works across most if not all markets, thanks to expanded support by Yahoo!. Clicking on the chart window itself closes this window. Finally, the middle mouse button opens an edit window.


In 'gallery' mode, chart windows are opened for all active securities. These charts are automatically updated whenever the display is updated. This mean that only the intra-daily and intra-weekly chart timeframe selection are meaningful --- all others are updated at the source, i.e. Yahoo!, daily or weekly, and there is no little point in downloading the same chart over and over again.

However, for intra-daily and intra-weekly charts, this is a very useful feature. It should be noted that not all chart size, chart timeframe and chart option permutations actually lead to existing charts. For example, logarithmic scale does seem to exist for shorter-dated time frames. Neither does the 'small' chart size.


Closing the stock addition or deletion windows have been reported to cause random segmentation violation under Linux. This appears to be a bug in Perl/Tk which will hopefully be solved, or circumvented, soon. This bug does not bite under Solaris, FreeBSD or NT or other Linux distributions. Update: This problem appears to have disappeared with Perl 5.6.*.

Problems with undefined symbols have been reported under Solaris 2.6 when Perl has been compiled with thread support. Using an unthreaded Perl binary under Solaris works. How this problem can be circumvented is presently unclear.

It is not clear whether the market capitalization information is comparable across exchange. Some differences could be attributable to 'total float' versus 'free float' calculations.


smtm is (c) 1999 - 2008 by Dirk Eddelbuettel <[email protected]>

Updates to this program might appear at If you enjoy this program, you might also want to look at my beancounter program, as well as the Finance::YahooQuote module at which was originally written by Dj Padzensky, and that is used by both smtm and beancounter.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. There is NO warranty whatsoever.

The information that you obtain with this program may be copyrighted by Yahoo! Inc., and is governed by their usage license. See for more information.


The Perl code by Dj Padzensky, in particular his Finance::YahooQuote module (originally on the web at and now maintained by me at and his Finance::YahooChart module (on the web at were most helpful. They provided the initial routines for downloading stock data and determining the Yahoo! Chart url. Earlier version of smtm use a somewhat rewrittem variant (which still reflected their heritage), newer version rely directly on Finance::YahooQuote now that Yahoo! uses a similar backend across the globe. Dj's code contribution is most gratefully acknowledged.


The remaining sections pertain to the CPAN registration of smtm. The script category is a little mismatched but as there is no Finance section, Networking was as good as the other choices.




On Windows, smtm can use the Perl distribution from On both Unix and Windows, smtm requires the "Tk" module for windowing, the "LWP" module for data retrieval over the web, and the excellent "Date::Manip" module for the date parsing and calculations. Finance::YahooQuote is used for actual data access. Tk::PNG is used to display the png charts since Yahoo! switched from gif to png around May 2005.




smtm is not OS dependent. It is known to run under Linux, several commercial Unix variants and Windows


smtm, which is a not overly clever acronym for Show Me The Money, is a financial ticker and portfolio application for quotes from exchanges around the world (provided they are carried on Yahoo!). It creates and automatically updates a window with quotes from Yahoo! Finance. It can also display the entire variety of charts available at Yahoo! Finance. Fairly extensive documentation for smtm is available at