NBBO Snapshot Quotes: Definition, Examples, and Where to Get it

By Intrinio
July 24, 2023

In the world of financial data, knowledge is indeed power. From institutional investors to retail traders, having timely and accurate information at your disposal can make the difference between a winning strategy and a losing one. Today, we'll be exploring a crucial component of this information realm: NBBO Snapshot Quotes. We'll define what they are, provide examples, and discuss where you can get these essential pieces of financial data.

What is NBBO?

NBBO stands for National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO). The NBBO exists because of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations that require brokers to guarantee that customers get the most advantageous price when buying or selling a stock. 

The NBBO consists of two elements: the highest bid price and the lowest offer price available for a security at a specific time across all exchanges. The bid is the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a security, while the offer (or ask) is the lowest price a seller is willing to accept. By providing the NBBO, traders and investors can make more informed decisions based on the best prices available in the market.

Not all “stock prices” or stock price data feeds are the same, and most don’t search across ALL exchanges to find the HIGHEST bid and ask. The NBBO will look much different from a real-time stock prices feed that is just coming from Nasdaq verses IEX.

Brokers and brokerage platforms are legally required to show the “NBBO” to their users at the point of trade execution. Other places where you might find stock price information (like financial news or investment websites) are NOT required to use the NBBO. They may be using a different kind of stock price that will look different from the NBBO.

What are snapshot quotes?

Snapshot quotes are a type of financial data feed that provide a "snapshot" of the market at a specific point in time. Unlike streaming quotes that offer continuous, real-time updates, snapshot quotes are static and don’t change until the next snapshot is taken. 

Snapshots can be taken at various intervals, such as every second, minute, hour, or even once a day, depending on the user's requirements. For instance, an algorithmic trader might need snapshots every second, while a long-term investor might be satisfied with daily snapshots.

What are NBBO snapshot quotes?

An NBBO snapshot quote is essentially a combination of the two concepts we've just explained. It's a snapshot quote that shows the National Best Bid and Offer for a particular security at a specific point in time.

NBBO snapshot quotes are vital for traders and investors as they provide a clear picture of the market's best available bid and offer prices at the moment of the snapshot. This information can be useful for a variety of trading strategies, such as evaluating market trends, executing trades at the best possible prices, and ensuring regulatory compliance.


For instance, consider an NBBO snapshot quote for Company X at 10:00 AM:

  • Best Bid: $50.00 (Quantity: 100 shares)
  • Best Offer: $50.10 (Quantity: 150 shares)

This snapshot tells us that at 10:00 AM, the highest price someone was willing to pay for Company X's stock was $50.00 for 100 shares, and the lowest price someone was willing to sell the stock for was $50.10 for 150 shares.

Traders can use this information to strategize their trades accordingly. If they wish to buy the stock, they'll know that the best available price is $50.10. Conversely, if they want to sell, they'll know that the highest bid is $50.00.

Where to get NBBO snapshot quotes

Now that we understand what NBBO snapshot quotes are and how they can be used, where can we find this valuable data?

As a leading provider of market data, Intrinio is proud to offer real-time and historical NBBO data via our market data feeds. Our platform provides accurate and reliable NBBO snapshot quotes that can be seamlessly integrated into your trading platform, analytics software, or other applications.

Intrinio's NBBO data covers all US securities from all exchanges, making it a comprehensive solution for traders and investors who need access to the best bid and offer prices across the market.

We offer NBBO snapshot quotes on a 15-minute interval basis through our Silver Stock Prices package. If you’re looking for a shorter interval, we offer snapshot quotes for Nasdaq Basic via our Gold Stock Prices Package. If you are in need of a cost-effective solution, we offer snapshot quotes for the IEX stock exchange in our Bronze Stock Prices Package. If you are looking for full Level 1 NBBO snapshot data, we offer that through one of our trusted partners and can set you up with a free trial. If you are an options trader or are building an options platform, you can access snapshots at 10-minute intervals through our Options Packages.

Our API makes it easy to retrieve NBBO snapshot quotes at your desired interval, whether you need updates every second or every day. This allows you to tailor yoru data package to your specific needs and strategies. We also provide historical NBBO data, giving you the ability to analyze market trends over time and refine your trading strategies based on past performance.

Furthermore, with Intrinio, you get more than just data. Our dedicated customer support team is always ready to help you integrate our data feeds into your applications and answer any questions you may have. We also offer a wealth of educational resources to help you make the most of our data.

In conclusion, NBBO snapshot quotes are an invaluable tool for any trader or investor. They provide a clear picture of the market's best available bid and offer prices at a specific moment in time, aiding in strategic decision-making and ensuring compliance with regulations. And with a reliable data provider like Intrinio, you can easily access these crucial data points whenever you need them.

Whether you're a retail investor, a professional trader, a fintech, or a financial institution, having access to accurate and timely NBBO snapshot quotes can significantly enhance your trading strategy and improve your market performance.

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