4 of the Best Free Stock Screeners for Day Trading
Find the day-trading stock you're looking for
A stock screener is a software designed to search for stocks using criteria provided by the user. Day traders use stock screeners to narrow the list of thousands of available stocks to a small list of equities that possess the characteristics they're looking for.
The software accomplishes this by applying various filters to all the stocks on the U.S. exchanges. Only stocks that meet the requirements you set will be shown on the stock screener list. Traders use many popular filters, including trading volume, chart patterns, stock price, volatility, and recent performance.
Stock screeners are different from scanners. Scanners are designed for constant monitoring, using real-time stock data, for traders that want to information as it happens. Screeners are designed for traders who are not into trading on at-the-moment information.
StockFetcher will take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's one of the most powerful stock screeners available. With StockFetcher, you can select from pre-existing stock screen or create your own.
Using a specific format (some examples are listed on its site), type in the exact parameters for the stock screener. A nearly infinite combination of filters and criteria is possible.
The free version of StockFetcher allows to you see five stocks from the stock screener search results. When day trading, this is usually sufficient for finding a few high-quality day trading stocks. The upgraded version of StockFetcher, which allows you to see all the search results, starts at $8.95 per month.
Use Finviz to reduce the U.S. equity market down to a handful of the best day trading stocks with thousands of potential filter combinations.
The site is easy to use. Simply lick the screener tab and start adding criteria to the three major sections: Descriptive, Fundamental, and Technical. Once you've added some criteria, you'll get a list of stocks that match them. Change the information you see on these stocks by adjusting the view.
There are 14 views to choose from, including Overview, Valuation, Financial, Performance, Technical, Charts, and News. Change the view and sort by information type to see the top- or bottom-ranked stocks on your list.
Finviz is free, using delayed data, which will typically suffice if you run your stock screens at night in search of trade candidates for the next day. If you want a scanner (real-time data), you can upgrade to Finviz Elite. It includes additional features and costs $39.50 per month, or $299.50 per year.
ChartMill gives you the option of finding day-trading stocks based on criteria such as volume, price, technical indicator, or performance.
Like Finviz, the free stock screener is easy to use. The site works on a credit system. You get 6,000 free credits each month, which accumulate if you don't use them.
Running the scanner will cost you roughly a few hundred credits, so the 6,000 monthly credits should allow most users to utilize the site frequently without having to pay for additional credits. Once your credits are gone, you can still use the site, but with very limited functionality.
You can buy credits in blocks of 10,000 ($10), or upgrade to unlimited usage for $29.97 per month or $259.97 per year ($21.67 a month).
Quickly find stocks that are near highs or lows for various time frames, or that are showing a lot of price momentum (up or down). Track which stocks are being bought and sold by popular hedge funds and create custom screens, watchlists, and portfolios.
StockRover also allows for backtesting and creating equations—combining multiple filters into a mathematical equation to further fine-tune results.
Hundreds of functions are available to all users, although paid users have access to additional features such as equations, data exporting, filters, portfolio analytics, and alerts. An entry-level paid subscription is $79.99 per year, the Premium plan is $179.99 per year, and the Premium Plus plan is $279.99 per year.
Maximizing the Effectiveness of Stock Screeners
As a day trader, it's very easy to get caught up in constant research, trying to find the latest stock poised for a big move. While this can be effective, usually it results in burnout and poor performance because the move has already happened by the time you find out about it.
Instead of trying to identify the next great investment, use these stock screeners each night, once a day, or once on the weekend to find a handful of stocks that are suitable for day trading. Then, focus on only day trading between one and three stocks during the next trading session or week. This approach requires much less time than actively scanning. Since you're only watching a few stocks, you're alert and ready to buy or sell at the right times.