Last Updated on April 28, 2020
If you have used a stock screener before, then you’ll agree that calling it a stock trading tool is an understatement. Stock screeners—not to be mistaken for stock scanners—are heaven-sent. With the ever-rising number of equity securities and other financial assets in the markets, stock screeners couldn’t have come at a better time. They’re essential for both day traders and long-term investors to have leverage on their competition.
The primary difference between stock screeners and scanners is that the former uses delayed market information. However, several top stock screening apps have in-built stock scanners. Seeing that real-time stock market data is expensive, users only get access to such stock scanners by purchasing a premium version of the charting software.
The stockbrokers, for instance, must have a subscription to the over-the-counter (OTC) markets group. Membership fees entail a one-time joining fee, annual registration fees, and the recurring subscription renewals. The length brokers go to avail real-time data gets rewarded by the premium plans and trading commissions they charge.
Look at a stock screener such as TradingView. It offers real-time data. Most stock analysis platforms provide data delayed quotes, which lag by 10 to 15 minutes or more. That trading window can make or break a day trader. In such a case, a paid plan is the price that a stock screener user pays to have a leg up on competitors.
The alternative would be to get real-time data from NASDAQ and other exchanges. Or news sites such as CNN and Yahoo, then import it (if possible), screen it manually, and finally make a trade. All this has to happen fast because the market isn’t easy to time.
What’s the point of going through such torture only to get burnout and possibly a poor stock portfolio performance? Just go for a well-equipped stock screener.
The magic of stock screeners lies in the ability to sift through massive amounts of equity securities and filtering them in whichever way you want. You can use a predefined criterion (canned screens) or create a personalized one. You can use virtually any equity securities financial metric to create a defined data set. Here are some examples of screening criteria—you can screen by:
- Market capitalization (‘market-cap’) – low float and high float stocks
- Fundamentals – management efficiency, dividend yield, earnings per share, 5-year revenue growth, etc.
- Industry/sector – technology, banking, manufacturing, service, etc.
- Technical Indicators – price and volume movement and momentum over a specific time, relative strength indices, Fibonacci retracement (used in finding support and resistance levels), etc.
The examples are just a few screening metrics, and they don’t even come close to exhausting the level of stock screening possible on various screening software. You can also base your criteria on an exchange-traded fund (ETF), use Warren Buffet’s stock portfolio, or Ross Cameron’s best day trading stocks. Ultimately, it’s up to you.
For more on best free stock screeners and apps, check the listing below:
You can open as many free stock trading accounts as you want on the TC2000 app. It’s allowed to practice stock screening. The demo accounts have play money, so you can screen stocks by price and make practice trades. TC2000 users will also appreciate the nuts and bolts free nation-wide stock trading course that’s a gem for beginners looking to know about stock screening.
The screener seamlessly integrates the TC2000 scanner and the parent online brokerage platform. But the full suite of stock trading tools only comes with the Platinum plan. A silver TC2000 account gets you a robust stock screening tool and access to 100 plus fundamental and technical preset stock screening formats.
The TradingView app has it all, including stock and other financial instruments (forex, crypto) screeners. The stock screener, in particular, has several preset criteria, including:
- Performance metrics – income statement and balance sheet items such as margins, dividends, debt and asset financial ratios
- Extended hours/specific trading periods – pre-market close, pre-market capitalization, and pre-market volume
- Oscillators and,
- Trend-following stocks – strong buy, buy, strong sell, sell, and neutral trends
You can also choose stocks from different global markets, customize a screen and save it, and even export CVS files of a stock screen. The screener features both fundamental/economic and technical indicators. The app also provides esoteric criteria such as goodwill and enterprise valuation for interested stock traders.
Stock traders targeting US and Canada exchange-listed stocks will fall in love with Stock Rover’s stock screener. Use Stock Rover to scour NASDAQ, the New York stock exchange, and Toronto exchanges for your ideal stock picks.
Enjoy over 500 stock screening data items ranging from price indicators, financial and operational performance metrics to industry and sector dynamics.
Free Stock Rover gives you access to 10,000 stocks in North American markets, 3,000 ETFs, and 40,000 mutual funds. You can screen stocks in real-time, but you’ll have to sign up for one of the three premium plans available. Fees start at $7.99 per month.
The screening power of Finviz can enable you to reduce the entire US stock market to a select collection of stocks for your day trading or long-term investment strategy. Finviz is extremely useful for technical analysts. It has a decent amount of fundamental and technical indicators to use.
In addition to indicators, users can use a descriptive metrics criterion to find stocks, for instance, specific dates such as earnings and IPO dates, analyst recommendations, country/market, etc. The user interface and tab arrangement are pretty easy to grasp, and the process to create, edit and save screens is highly simplified.
You can single out an individual stock on your screen and get a close up of the selected indicators and metrics. Also, viewable is the current company news, compressed market reports, and a candlestick chart of the highlighted stock. The stock quotes delay, but Finviz Elite (paid plan) offers real-time stock quote streams.
Zacks is a product of the Zacks research and investment firm. The Zacks stock screener isn’t only free but comes with free access (for a limited time) to the Zacks Research Wizard.
The wizard is a best in class tool that helps you back test stock capital gaining potential based on your stock screen. And you can find out how profitable your stock screen is in varying stock market trends.
Working with the Zacks Global X Guru Index ETF can make you a promising stock portfolio. That’s because it tracks high-value equity holdings in the Solactive Guru index. Zacks predefined stock screening metrics suit both fundamentalists and technicians.
You would be crazy not to use a stock screener, especially with such an array of above-average free stock screeners. Besides, using cumbersome stock analysis techniques defeats the purpose and technological capacity that stock screeners bring to the table.
It’s worth noting that several news websites have free stock screeners, including:
- Yahoo Finance
- MSN Money
- CNN Money
- Google Finance
The one advantage you would probably have when using these stock screening resources is access to real-time stock quotes. But these websites are primarily news sources. The fundamental and technical indicators they offer don’t compare to enhanced stock screeners, say, Finviz or TradingView, for instance. All in all, there’s no harm in using several free apps to compare stock screens before making a final decision.