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Trading Technology

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Andy Webb
Andy Webb
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Second-Tier Data Suppliers Raise the Bar

CQG and DBC are targeting the investment management community with Internet-based products. CQG is adding equities and fixed-income data to its CQG NET feed, while DBC is packing strong fixed-income analytics into DBC/CMS InSite.

cqg lan/satellite feed

CQG LAN is normally installed for clients by CQG, but I had no problems installing it myself. It was tested using one server, though for larger installations, two mirrored servers are recommended for load-sharing and fault tolerance. Clients can be set up in four different ways - Remote Client (thin-client - application files and stored data remain on the server); Local Client (application files on the client machine, stored data on the server); Full Data Client (application files and stored data on the client, live-feed from the server); and Internet Client (for remote access to the server via the Internet). A user can also install personal files (which include information about such things as preferred screen settings and pages) locally on the client. These can be replicated on the server and there is also the option for these files to be synchronized each time that the client logs on.

One of the most useful features of CQG LAN is that the maximum number of installed clients (as standard, CQG allows for 100) can be far in excess of the number of user licenses. Though the total number of clients actually logged onto the server cannot exceed the number of user licenses a client has paid for, clients can continue to log on until the maximum number of user licenses has been reached. The service can also be set up so that certain clients who must have guaranteed access can be given priority at log on. CQG LAN also comes with a comprehensive set of network management tools, which covers most troubleshooting and maintenance eventuality.

Market coverage in CQG LAN has a slightly different slant from InSite. Bond coverage, courtesy of GovPX and Securities Information Corp is very strong on international government bonds, but doesn't offer coverage of municipal or corporate issues. In other areas CQG is sound, coverage of U.S. equity and derivative markets is solid and it offers virtually any derivative exchange globally as well as a respectable selection of equity markets, including Russia, France and Germany. (Though not as yet London, which should come online in 1999.)

Real-time data delivery is faster in CQG than in InSite, particularly after U.S. markets open. I tested both feeds on a selection of different machines and also benchmarked them against Reuters. CQG and Reuters were indistinguishable, with InSite marginally slower. Since I tested InSite using dual channel ISDN connecting via PSINet (a first-tier Internet backbone provider), these results were indicative of real life conditions.

CQG has approached the investment manager market from a different perspective than InSite. The BondEdge legacy puts InSite in a strong position with its breadth of fixed-income coverage. CQG doesn't have quite the range of fixed-income analytical tools, it does have a few tricks that InSite doesn't, such as a wide choice of yield models, including Moosmuller and BraessFangmeyer. The CQG charting engine is tremendous and can be used for displaying such things as candlestick charts of multiple yield spreads among cash bonds and/or futures.

Quotes can be displayed in a variety of ways. Apart from a default quote window there are three customizeable full-screen quote displays (Custom Quote Board, MarketWatch and Quote Spreadsheet) and a floating SnapQuote box that allows the user to focus on a foreground window, but still keep an eye on another contract at the same time, without having to switch or tile windows. The Quote Spreadsheet has an auto-listing function. For example, you can enter a generic code for 10-year German government bonds and it will automatically display all bonds in that category.

The Account Tracking screen allows multiple accounts and sub-accounts containing any mix of securities to be created and updated in real time. The display is in the form of a tabbed workbook, which maintains separate sheets for open positions, closed positions, and a combination of the two. The charting in CQG is of comparable or better quality than specialist programs such as TradeStation. In addition to having an enormous selection of bar and display types CQG LAN also includes more than 100 technical studies. These go way beyond the usual canned tools and include proprietary tools from leading market technicians such as Tom Joseph, Tom DeMark and Bill Williams.

The Market Scan window, which performs extensive searching and screening of user defined conditions, has been considerably enhanced. A Wizard function simplifies a sophisticated tool that supports a combination of both predefined and user custom functions. A selection of "Q Formulas" also permits the inclusion of popular intermarket spreads, such as the soybean meal/oil spread. All these functions can also be tested for effectiveness either alone or as part of a formal trading system in the Signal Evaluator window. This is one of the most sophisticated tools of its kind and goes way beyond the standard system testing set-ups included with most analysis packages, and it includes portfolio, distribution of returns and drill-down reporting.

Investment managers active in the option market for arbitraging/hedging or even straight position taking will find those bases well covered by two applications in CQG LAN. The Options Calculator provides seven popular option pricing models combined with what-if analysis, which can be used for both theoretical values and implied volatilities, and a tabbed selection of graphical displays for each of the Greeks. It's an impressive application, but doesn't as yet handle multi-legged positions. That requirement is covered by the Strategy window, which includes no fewer than 42 common option strategies, plus the ability to model any combination of cash futures and option positions as custom strategies.


Whichever datafeeed you pick will be down to the type of investment manager you are. Those with a penchant for fixed-income securities outside the sovereign area should go for InSite, as it delivers the goods particularly well in those areas. Managers with a more technical bias who also make extensive use of derivatives will be prepared to pay the extra for the tremendous analytics and clean, fast data from CQG. On that note, one major gripe about InSite is its coverage of London equities - it's awful. A mile late in comparison with Reuters (at times it seemed to give up completely) and occasionally in the "pick a number, any number" category. Once CQG adds London equities (and assuming the quality matches the rest of its feed and CMS doesn't improve its coverage in the meantime) the manager with major interests there will find choosing between these two feeds a no-brainer. That's a shame, as it's the one thing that seriously lets down InSite's otherwise very creditable service.


201 Centennial Street
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Tel: 800.525.7082
Web: www.cqg.com

Pricing: (all prices per month and not including exchange fees) First system $630 (futures, forex and commodities), additional systems thereafter: $400. Additional charges: Account Tracker — $30, Options Strategy — $95, real-time equities — $90, daily & weekly equities — $90.
CMS InSite Capital Markets
Capital Management Sciences
757 Third Avenue
17th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 877.446.7483
Web: www.cms-info.com
Pricing: (all prices per month and not including exchange fees) $495 per system, 15% discount for over 10 systems, and approx. 50% discount for more than 50 systems. (Separate pricing also available for InSite for Equities — $175 or InSite for Fixed Income —a $350.)

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