Using Xpath to parse a Yahoo Finance page

Stefan Behnel stefan_ml at behnel.de
Mon Dec 3 07:44:07 CET 2012


MRAB, 03.12.2012 03:25:
> On 2012-12-03 01:23, Jason Hsu wrote:
>> I'm trying to extract the data on "total assets" from Yahoo Finance using
>> Python 2.7 and lxml.
>>
>> Here is a special test script I set up to work on this issue:
>>
>>      import urllib
>>      import lxml
>>      import lxml.html
>>
>>      url_local1 =
>> "http://www.smartmoney.com/quote/FAST/?story=financials&timewindow=1&opt=YB&isFinprint=1&framework.view=smi_emptyView"
>>
>>      result1 = urllib.urlopen(url_local1)
>>      element_html1 = result1.read()
>>      doc1 = lxml.html.document_fromstring (element_html1)

The last three lines are unnecessarily complicated code. Just use

    doc = lxml.html.parse(url_local1)


>>      list_row1 = doc1.xpath(u'.//th[div[text()="Total
>> Assets"]]/following-sibling::td/text()')
>>      print list_row1
>>
>>      url_local2 = "http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=FAST"
>>      result2 = urllib.urlopen(url_local2)
>>      element_html2 = result2.read()
>>      doc2 = lxml.html.document_fromstring (element_html2)
>>      list_row2 = doc2.xpath(u'.//td[strong[text()="Total
>> Assets"]]/following-sibling::td/strong/text()')
>>      print list_row2
>>
>> I'm able to get the row of data on total assets from the Smartmoney page,
>> but I get just an empty list when I try to parse the Yahoo Finance page.
>>
> The problem is that you're asking it to look for an exact match.
> 
> If you look at the HTML itself, you'll see that there's whitespace
> around the "Total Assets" part.
> 
> This should work:
> 
> list_row2 = doc2.xpath(u'.//td[strong[contains(text(),"Total
> Assets")]]/following-sibling::td/strong/text()')

Something like "contains(text(),"Total Assets")" is better expressed as
"contains(.,"Total Assets")" because it considers the complete text content
instead of just one text node.

Stefan





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