MathGroup Archive 1997

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Reading data from web pages

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg6465] Reading data from web pages
  • From: penny at (Des Penny)
  • Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 23:00:42 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I'm teaching a class in Mma next quarter. In preparation for this class I'm
creating a demonstration on how to read data from web pages. As an
interesting example I decided to read the financial data from the CNN
Financial page:

If you look at this page you will see that the financial data consists of
the many indices available to track the market. Using Netscape 3.0, I saved
multiple editions of this page as raw HTML text. Each edition had different
values of the financial indices. I then wrote a Mma program to read these
files and to plot the various indices as a function of the time throughout
the day. The resulting plots show how the markets behaved during the given

Everything went smoothly and the program works beautifully, however, I
would now like to go to the next step.

So, here's my question:
Is it possible to have Mma directly access a web page and read the raw HTML
code? Would I have to use MathLink to do this? If this is possible and not
too difficult, could someone give me step-by-step instructions on how to do
this with a Mac.

BTW, if anyone is interested in the program I've written, I'll be glad to
supply a copy. Slight changes in the program would allow plots of market
activity from day to day. Moving averages could be added to the plots to
generate buy/sell prompts etc.


Des Penny

Des Penny
Physical Science Dept.
Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT 84720

VOICE: (Office): (801) 586-7708
       (Home)  : (801) 586-2286
FAX:    (801) 865-8051
e-mail: penny at

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