Day trading penny stocks is just as much an art as it is a science. If you compare successful traders you will find that, while there may be similarities, no one system or approach is identical. Different investors use different data points to identify stocks they think could be suitable to play.
Some like to trade purely on fundamentals, examining management history, balance sheets, and actual reports to find stocks that are presently undervalued and likely to rise in the future. Other traders prefer a more technical approach, focusing on indicators such as moving average, market cap, and volume to determine when a price breakout is imminent.
In the past, many traders spent days scouring the internet looking for stocks that fit their specific criteria. As one may imagine, the sheer number of publicly traded companies can make this process arduous and time-consuming. Because of this, stock screening programs began to rise in popularity.
A stock screener is a program that allows traders to filter companies based on chosen criteria. For example, let’s say an investor was looking for small-cap companies in the mining sector currently trading at their all-time low – they would simply enter in said criteria and within seconds be presented with a result set.
As it stands, traders have many options to choose from when it comes to stock screeners. Unfortunately, not all are created equal and some offer clear advantages over others. Here we will look at the top 5 stock screeners for penny stock traders.
5. Market Watch Penny Stock Screener
Over the last decade, MarketWatch has become one of the more popular websites that investors use to check stock prices, view news releases, and read op-ed articles on the current state of the market.
One of the lesser-known functions offered by MarketWatch is its free stock screener software. This software allows users to filter stocks based on a set of basic technical and fundamental criteria including P/E ratio, market cap, stock price, volume, and many others.
This stock screener is more likely to be useful to mid to long term investors. Day traders or scalp traders are much less likely to find this software useful as the filter criteria are somewhat limited. Nevertheless, it is still a quality free tool.
Finviz is another great free penny stock screener that offers much of the same functionality as the MarketWatch counterpart, but with a much easier to read and intuitive user interface. Unlike MarketWatch, Finviz shows a live feed of the user’s result set, complete with candlestick charts.
For those who require more functionality, Finviz offers an Elite version that currently costs 24.99 per month. Finviz Elite allows users to break down search results into an even more detailed result set by offering certain filters not included in the free version including technical indicators such as RSI, MACD, and over 100 others.
3. Stock Rover
Created in 2008, Stock Rover is a powerful stock screener that offers both Technical and Fundamental filter criteria and a large, wide-reaching, database of publicly traded companies. It has generally been regarded as one of the most intuitive to use stock screeners on the market, offering a dynamic user interface and is easy to use for both beginners and experts.
One thing that sets Stock Rover above the two previously mentioned screeners is the wealth of filtering metrics available – the company claims to offer over 500 technical and fundamental indicators. Stock Rover also offers broker integration, allowing users to make trades within the software itself.
While a free/trial version does exist, it offers very limited functionality compared to its paid version, which costs $7.99 per month.
2. Black Box Stocks
Unlike other screeners on this list, Black Box Stocks Screener puts a great deal of emphasis on its lively trading community, offering both voice and text chat rooms which are usually quite full. The software also boasts a nice, easy to read, user interface, featuring built-in metrics such as a volatility indicator and institution-grade live charts. The software also has a built-in alert feature; while some users claim to enjoy the alert system, others complain that the software sends out far too many alerts, and reducing alerts to a desirable level can be difficult.
The software also offers users its proprietary volume ratio tool, which can be particularly useful for people trading low float, small-cap stocks – something that penny stock traders may find particularly handy.
Although Black Box Stocks presents itself as one of the premium stock screening tools on the market, it is not cheap. Monthly subscriptions come in at $99.97 per month or $959 for the year.
For over 15 years, Trade-Ideas LLC has offered investors the premier stock screening software. The platform allows investors to develop a highly customizable set of filter criteria to fit their exact trading strategy.
Like other screeners mentioned on this list, Trade-Ideas supports a wide array of technical and fundamental criteria, offering investors a qualitative and quantitative view of the market. It also hosts live chat rooms where investors can discuss their trades and speculate on future market conditions. Unlike some of the other screeners mentioned on this list, Trade-Ideas offers a highly integrated interface for day traders, with fast real-time data, AI algorithm trading options, and integrated broker options.
Trade-Ideas does have a free version, which offers limited functionality, as well as two paid plans- the standard plan at $1068 per year or the premium plan at $2268 per year. While this price point might seem steep to some, it is well worth it. The range of functionality, filter and criteria, and customizability make it the premier stock screening tool for a reason.