A data processing and communication system distributes and displays financial market ticker, quotation, news and ancillary information via a plurality of stored program controlled work stations. Stock trade executions, quotations and other ticker plant information is communicated in parallel to a hierarchy of system data processing terminals, e.g., those located at area, branch and individual work station locations. Storage media at the several system data processing levels extracts and stores data base information of differing purport and completeness for the disseminated data to support the system work station users.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, information characterizing a dynamically changing sub-population of the overall ensemble of market securities is maintained at and becomes immediately available to each work station responsive to the pattern of usage at that specific station. Various derivative tasks, such as security price limit alerts, are user programmable and are activated by the contents of the work station data base.