Picking out a stock to add to your portfolio is a challenging ask.
With so many companies and securities to choose from, it can seem like an impossible task. Luckily, there are many tools available to help you pick the right stock.
Specifically, we’re talking about stock screeners. For anyone who’s interested in day trading,stock screeners are a must.
Stock screeners help you narrow all the stocks available in the world (too many) to a list of stocks which have all the characteristics you’re looking for (just right).
Numerous websites offer free stock screeners, but some are more useful than others. The best ones offer flexibility, functionality as well as insight, so read on to the find out which screeners you should be using.
Google Finance is a behemoth, offering a comprehensive investment tool for anyone with an internet connection. Google’s stock screener shines in its breadth. Where most online screeners focus solely on the U.S., Google allows you to screen across 30+ countries.
If you are interested in investing outside the U.S., Google Finance has to be in your toolkit. The other really fun thing about Google’s screener is that it shows the distribution of companies that fall within your chosen filter. It’s a handy, instant visualization that will keep you coming back to Google day in and day out.
Finviz has thousands of combinations you can filter on, and their screener is really easy to use. It’s also got a nice, clean design which is a huge plus.
Simply go to the Screener tab on the website and start selecting filtering criteria from the drop-down menus. There are three categories to choose from: descriptive, fundamental and technical. Finviz is unique in that it lets you combine technical and fundamental metrics. It’s hard to find a screener that will let you do that elsewhere.
Zacks’ screener is one of the best in the business, especially for investors interested in U.S. equities. Choose from over 100 fundamental metrics to filter on, and easily export the results to a spreadsheet.
They also provide predefined views, so you can see what Zachs themselves filter on. They even have tests you can take to evaluate your custom screens and find out how profitable (or not) they are.
ChartMill offers a super stock screener which allows investors to find stocks based on technical metrics. They even offer up proprietary filters such as “Pocket Pivots”, “Squeeze Plays and “Trend Intensity”. Some of these filters, like the Squeeze Play, are based on classic day trading strategies, so they can be useful to examine.
It’s easy to use, and it’s free. You get 6000 credits when you sign up and they get replenished each month. Using the scanner costs a few hundred credits, so it’s not like you have to be super stingy with your credits either.
Yahoo Finance is a great place for when you want to narrow down to a potential list of stocks. It’s basically Google Finance with a different skin. Filter stocks on criteria like sales, valuation ratios and growth estimates. They also offer some pre-defined screens for you to get ideas for day trading.
The Motley Fool screener has less metrics you can filter on than some of the above options, but it does have a few that the others lack. For example, the Motley Fool includes their CAPS rating for stocks. The CAPS rating is a rating from one to five on a particular stock, and is curated through the community of investors on the website. Think of it like an Amazon review for stocks.
StockFetcher’s screener is a powerhouse, but may take some getting used to. You build your own screens, choosing from a list of over 120 filters. The free version only allows you to see five stocks from your screener results but that should be sufficient if you’re looking to simply generate a few high-quality leads.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of filtering stocks on criteria like 25-day moving averages or linear regression channels, then MarketWatch’s stock screener is a good place to start. The platform is simple and very intuitive to use.
It displays its filters in the form of sentences and lets you input the variables. For example MarketWatch may prompt you to show stocks which have gone “up/down” in price by X% or more. Simply fill in the blanks and check out your results. It’s a bit like playing financial mad libs.
CNBC’s stock screener is useful in that you can save your custom screens. Select your filters within categories such as growth trends, performance history, and many more, before saving your searches to access them later.
PastStat is a fantastic stock screener app. What sets it apart is that you allows you to easily test your ideas. Once you’ve narrowed your results to a few stocks you can see how the strategy would have fared historically. This sort of analysis is extremely powerful and the fact that is provided free on PastStat is mind-blowing.