Best Free Real-Time Stock Charts
For Beginners and Experts
A number of websites and platforms provide real-time stock charting capabilities for one-minute, five-minute, and other intraday charting time frames. Some of them even do so for free. That could be a great deal, depending on your goals. Before jumping in, keep a few considerations in mind.
Paid vs. Free Real-Time Stock Charts
Free is nice, and the data might be in real time, but it's not "official." Free real-time stock chart data usually comes from just one data provider, which means you might not see all the price movements occurring in the stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) you're day trading. You may have to pay if you want to receive official price data from a market.
Free real-time data also isn't guaranteed to be accurate or timely. When you pay for real-time, official quotes, you have some recourse if the data feed is unreliable or inaccurate. With a free site, you have to take the data as is.
That said, free real-time day trading charts are an excellent backup data source on the off chance you lose quotes from your broker. They're also a great training tool for new traders who are looking to study day trading and craft strategies around price movements in real-time.
Here are a few of the best free real-time stock charting platforms to check out.
TradingView provides real-time stock charts that are visually appealing and can be customized with hundreds of technical indicators.
TradingView is also a social media site. Traders can easily share their charts and ideas with each other. You can even follow other traders and discuss stocks and other markets.
Just beware of who you're watching because not everyone sharing charts and ideas will be a profitable trader.
Traders can create watch lists and alerts, see which stocks are hot, and even trade directly from TradingView charts by connecting with a broker. You can use the Strategy Tester to test a built-in strategy for a particular stock and time period. The Pine Editor feature also lets you create your own strategy to test.
TradingView also lets you chart indexes, stocks, bonds, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, contracts for differences (CFDs), economic data, and global data, although futures data are delayed. You can pay for upgraded options that provide additional features and official real-time data for stocks and futures markets around the globe.
TradingView offers a very extensive list of markets, indexes, and economic data. You won't have to switch charting platforms to view charts from other markets. It's also the most socially integrated real-time stock chart of the free providers on our list.
StockCharts is one of those charting platforms that offer both paid and free options. StockCharts' free capabilities are pretty robust. You can do bar, line, or candlestick charting with more than 40 line studies and modifiable technical indicators.
The free version only lets you plot three indicators at one time.
Data is displayed on either a weekly or daily basis, but you can only go back three years for data unless you have a paid subscription. Other downsides to the free StockCharts option are that you can't save your screens and the graphics are rather bland.
You can pay as little as $14.95 a month for a basic subscription or as much as $39.95 a month for a Pro subscription if you want more bells and whistles. The Extra subscription, with a somewhat more advanced user interface, is available for $24.95 a month. A free one-month trial subscription at the Extra level is available for new customers.
You can upgrade your subscription plans even more by adding on a real-time data plan. The free, Basic, Extra, and Pro accounts come with a free data plan with BATS real-time data in the U.S., but all other markets are delayed. For more real-time data, you can choose from a variety of plans that focus on specific stock exchanges. Each costs an additional $9.95 per month.
Yahoo! Finance offers free real-time quotes for stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq indexes that are provided by Nasdaq Last Sale. It also offers real-time news. Its free interactive charts are quite good, with a selection of more than 100 technical indicators to choose from.
Yahoo! Finance lets traders create an unlimited list of stocks to follow and offers daily trading ideas. It also enables you to link to your brokerage account to implement trades based on your charted strategies.
For $34.99 a month or $349.99 annually, you can upgrade to a Premium service that offers enhanced charting capabilities, third-party investment research, live chat support, and fewer ads, among other features. A 14-day free trial is available to see whether you think the Premium level is worth the money.
It's easy to quickly search a stock on Google, but you can also see real-time charts for different markets via Google's Finance section. While it's not as advanced as the others on our list, Google Finance offers simple—and free—stock charts.
It may not be the best for advanced investors, but it could be just what beginners are looking for.
You can track specific stocks, local markets, and even world markets, adding whatever you want to your watch list. While the technical indicators are lacking, you can at least see performance over time by changing the date range.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you read stock charts?
There are a few different types of stock charts, and each reads a bit uniquely. Bar and candlestick charts show you the opening, high, low, and closing prices for stocks, so you can see what's happened throughout the day. Line charts only show you each day's closing price, which is more of a summary view.
What is RSI in stock charts?
"RSI" stands for "relative strength index," which is a number that tells you whether a stock is overbought or oversold. Essentially, it measures the speed and direction of price movements, providing more information than just the high and low prices throughout the day. A reading below 30 is typically considered oversold, while a reading below 70 is considered overbought.