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Processing Excel data sources in Python

The Python Excel library provides a convenient api for working with Excel spreadsheets in Python.

Within the library, the xlrd module contains functionality for reading Excel spreadsheets.

For instance, Standard and Poors make available spreadsheets of all constituent members of their different indices. The below extract is taken from their S&P500 list.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 06.56.33

You can use the following code to download, and then process this data.

import urllib2

import xlrd

def _parse_response(response):
    book = xlrd.open_workbook(
    sheet = book.sheet_by_index(0)

    headers = sheet.row_values(9, start_colx=0, end_colx=2)
    if headers == [u'Constituent', u'Symbol']:
        symbols = []
        for i in range(10, sheet.nrows):
            symbol = sheet.row_values(i, start_colx=1, end_colx=2)
            if symbol[0] is not '':
        return symbols
        print('Invalid sheet format')

def _write_symbols(symbols, destination):
    with open(destination, 'w') as f:
        for symbol in symbols:
            f.write(symbol + '\n')

def main():
    response = urllib2.urlopen('')
    symbols = _parse_response(response)
    _write_symbols(symbols, 'symbols.txt')

if __name__ == '__main__':

Categories: Development Python Symbols


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