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If you are trading or investing in stocks, then a good stock screener is definitely a must-have because it helps you save time and make your stock search much easier and faster.
Personally, I’ve tried quite a number of stock screeners, and I am going to share with you all the pros and cons of these stock screeners. So, you can make an informed decision about which stock scanner is the most suitable for you.
Best Free Stock Screeners
1. Finviz (Highly Recommended)
Finviz is one of the best free stock scanners out there.
Personally, I’ve been using it for years to help me research and analyze stocks.
The most useful tool on FinViz is the stock screening tool.
If you are a registered user, you can use the “screen preset” to save all your searches.
So next time, you don’t have to set your filters all over again just to narrow down the list of stocks.
There are three main types of filters:
- Descriptive (e.g. capitalization, stock exchange, country, industry, etc)
- Fundamental (e.g. P/E ratio, Debt equity ratio, dividend yield, etc)
- Technical (e.g. above 200-day moving average, RSI, chart pattern, gap, etc)
When you break it down, there is a combined total of over 60 filters for you to play with.
What I love about FinViz is that it makes it so easy and quick to filter stocks based on my own stock selection criteria and helps me save so much time in the process.
To save your searches as a “preset”, you must first register with FinViz using just your email address. (it’s free to register)
I have a lot of “presets” saved, so I don’t have to set the filters every time I want to check on the stocks.
- It’s very easy to use
- It’s also free to use most of its features, which is awesome.
- There are over 60 filters to help you screen stocks
- There are also presets to help you save your searches
- You can get real-time stock data and advanced charting tools as a paid user
- You can get instant e-mail alerts for individual stocks and portfolios as a paid user whenever the alerts are triggered by these events such as News & ratings, Price or New ticker that fits Screener criteria
- If you are not a paid user, then you will have to put up with the annoying advertisements.
Try FinViz for Free Now
Just like Finviz, Morningstar also offers a free and paid stock screener.
The difference is that Finviz’s free version offers much more in terms of filters and preset.
For Morningstar’s basic free version of the stock scanner, you get a total of 18 filters from the following 5 different categories:
- Stock Sector
- Morningstar stock type (Aggressive growth, slow growth, cyclical, distressed, etc)
- Morningstar equity style box (Large value, small growth, large growth, small value, etc)
- Minimum market capitalization
Morningstar stock grades:
- Growth grade
- Profitability grade
- Financial health grade
- 3-year revenue growth
- Return on equity (ROE)
- 5-year forecasted earnings growth
- YTD total return
- 1-month total return
- 3-month total return
- 1-year total return
- 5-year total return
- Trailing P/E ratio
- P/E-to-Earnings Growth Ratio (PEG)
- Dividend yield
Out of these 18 filters, Morningstar stock grade, stock type and equity style are filters that are based on analyst’s opinions.
All the remaining filters are based on hard facts and statistics that are commonly available to everyone.
While the free version of Morningstar stock screener doesn’t really offer much, you will get more filters if you upgrade to the premium account.
As a Morningstar premium subscriber, you will get access to the following:
- Morningstar Rating for Stocks (i.e. the analysts’ star rating of the stocks with five stars being the best)
- The Wide Moat screener for stocks (i.e. competitive advantage of the stock’s underlying company)
- Fair Value Uncertainty for stocks (i.e. level of uncertainty of Morningstar’s valuation of the stock)
- The Medalist screener for funds (equity fund, bond fund, ETFs, mutual funds, etc)
So, the key difference between Morningstar’s stock screener and other stock screeners is that you get access to the stock ratings, wide moat screener for stocks, analysts’ valuation of the stocks, medalist rating for funds according to the Morningstar analysts.
That means you are essentially buying the expertise and knowledge of the Morningstar analysts.
- You get unique filters that are based on Morningstar analysts’ stock rating and analysis as a Morningstar premium subscriber
- Access to analyst’s fund ratings and analysis as a Morningstar premium user
- Access to analyst research report as a Morningstar premium user
- Access to portfolio x-ray which is a tool to help you track and analyze your investment portfolio as a Morningstar premium user
- Much fewer filters for stocks compared with FinViz
Zacks has a free and paid version of stock screener.
For the free stock screener, there are quite a number of fundamental filters you can use:
- Company Descriptors (i.e. sector, industry, stock exchange, etc)
- Size & Share Volume (i.e. market cap, etc)
- Price & Price Changes (i.e. 52 weeks high, last close, price as a % of 52-week range, etc)
- Broker Rating & Changes
- EPS Surprises & Actuals
- EPS Estimate Revisions
- EPS Estimates
- EPS Growth
- Sales, Growth & Estimates
- Return on Investment
- Income Statement & Growth
- Margins & Turnover
- Balance Sheet
- Liquidity & Coverage
So, is there anything unique about Zacks stock screener?
Yes, Zacks puts a lot of emphasis on EPS (i.e. earnings per share) as well as analysts’ earnings estimates and earnings estimate revisions.
This is because Zacks’ Founder and CEO, Len Zacks thinks that “Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.”
As a result, Zacks developed its own stock ranking called Zacks Ranks based on this theory.
So, how does Zacks Rank work?
Basically, if the stock’s earnings estimate is revised higher, then the Zacks’ rank of the stock will be high.
Conversely, if the stock’s earnings estimate is revised lower, then the Zacks’ rank of the stock will be low.
There are a total of 5 different ranks:
- Zacks Rank #1 (i.e. Strong Buy)
- Zacks Rank #2 (i.e. Buy)
- Zacks Rank #3 (i.e. Hold)
- Zacks Rank #4 (i.e. Sell)
- Zacks Rank #5 (i.e. Strong Sell)
But you will only get access to Zacks Rank in the stock screener if you subscribe to its premium service.
However, these stock ratings are ONLY for the short term trading (i.e. the next 1 to 3 months), but not for long term investment.
Publicly traded companies are required to report their quarterly earnings, so the “earnings estimate revisions” indicator that Zacks uses is ONLY valid for at most one quarter.
When you get the paid stock screener, you will also get access to Earnings ESP (i.e. Expected Surprise Prediction) Filter.
This filter can be used to search for stocks to buy beforehand that have the highest probability of positively surprising for profitable earnings season trading.
- You get access to quite a large number of fundamental filters in the free version of stock scanner
- Access to Zacks Rank in the paid version of stock screener
- Access to Earnings ESP (i.e. Expected Surprise Prediction) Filter in the paid version of the stock screener
- Focus List of 50 stocks for the long haul
- Its stock ranking is entirely based on earnings estimate revisions
- It’s mostly suitable for short term stock trading
4. Yahoo Stock Screener
Yahoo Finance also offers a pretty cool free stock screener.
It’s essentially a fundamentals stock screener because all its filters are about stock fundamental.
So, if you are a stock investor who primarily uses fundamental analysis to pick stocks, you will find Yahoo Finance Stock Screener very useful.
It has 8 types of filters to help you scan stocks:
- Share Statistics (Price, Volume, Shares Outstanding, Ownership, etc)
- Balance Sheet
- Income (EPS, Revenue, Net Income, EBITA, etc)
- Valuation Measures (P/E, P/B, Book Value/share, P/S, etc)
- Cashflow statement (free cash flow, CapEx, Cash from operations, Days Sales Outstanding, etc)
- Dividends and Splits (
- ESG Scores (
- Sector & Industry
- Financial Highlights (
As you can see from the above, you have to be very familiar with financial statements and accounting jargon to use this stock scanner effectively.
5. MarketWatch Stock Screener
MarketWatch also offers a free stock screener, but it is a much simpler stock screener.
The number of filters is very limited.
There are a total of 10 filters from the following 5 categories:
- Share price
- % up/down in price
- trading below 52 week low or above 52 week high
- Current trading volume
- P/E ratio
- market capitalization
- Outperforming/underperforming their 50 day( or 200 day) moving average
- Outperforming/underperforming the chosen market index below by %
Exchange & Industry
- Industry ( Energy, Basic Materials, Food/Beverage, Agriculture, Financial Services, etc)
Personally, MarketWatch free stock screener is pretty weak compared with all the others here.
The best FREE stock screener is still FinViz because it has a super easy-to-use platform and there are a huge number of filters for you to choose from.
Best Paid Stock Screeners
6. Trade Ideas (Best for Traders)
Trade Ideas is an artificial intelligence trading software that helps traders and investors scan through the market to look for profitable trading opportunities quickly, so you can be the first to act.
One of the biggest challenges as a trader is to have to look through the massive amount of market data (i.e. stock prices, charts, transactions, volume, news, etc) and find profitable trade ideas to execute in a timely manner.
with artificial intelligence trading software, things are different.
It can watch each and every trade of every stock in the markets and notify you about profitable trade opportunities in real-time during market hours based on your pre-defined filtering requirements and also event trigger settings, so you can be the first to act.
For example, let’s say you are looking for potential trade opportunities to buy stocks that are about to break out of its 20 day trading range.
Trade Ideas is able to scan the ENTIRE market to help you filter stocks that meet your requirements and even send you a price alert, so you don’t miss out on any good trades.
Or let’s say you are looking for potential trade opportunities to short stocks that are going to make new highs but it has a high short float.
Trade Ideas can help you find such trade opportunities in real-time and update you continuously throughout the market hours.
Now, what if you don’t have your own proven trading strategy?
That’s is where Trade Ideas A.I. Technology comes in.
Trade Ideas has a machine learning Artificial Intelligence named Holly that looks at what happened in today’s market and then tests 70 proprietary algorithms after market close.
It looks at everything: long, short, cheap and expensive, fundamental, social, technical data, and everything volume-driven.
Then, it runs over a million trading scenarios overnight, and identify what is working in a down market or in an upmarket.
So, only the strategies with a success rate above 60% and a 2:1 Profit Factor are presented to you the following day, together with suggestions on exactly when to buy or short and when to exit.
One of the most popular stock scanning tools is “Top List Window”.
Top List Windows
So, what is a Top List Window?
What a top list window does is that it shows you all the stocks based on your pre-defined filters.
As a trader, you might want to trade stocks that are liquid and have a high trading volume, and also you might want to trade a stock that is within a specific price range (e.g. above $5 and below $70).
Of course, there are a lot of other filters that you can choose from, depending on your trading strategy and style.
So, once you’ve selected your filters, and then “Top List Window” will show you a list of stocks that satisfy your requirements.
What kind of filters does Trade Ideas offer?
It offers a huge number of technical filters and a decent number of fundamental filters.
Below is just a small sample of technical filters.
Lastly, Top List Window updates every 30 seconds, so you will always stay up to date with the market.
On top of the massive amount of technical filters, you also get access to a lot of indicator-based trading setup filters and price-based trading setup filters.
For example, you can filter stocks that are 75% pullback from today’s lows (Close)
So, what it does is that it lets you know all the stocks that return 75% of the way from the low back to yesterday’s close.
Here’s another example.
It can help you scan for stocks that have shown the green bar reversal (GBR) pattern based on a candlestick chart.
You will get a stock alert when a stock has gone down for three or more consecutive candles, and then it has a green candle.
If you are trading based on technical analysis, then Trade-Ideas is the perfect stock scanner for you.
Lastly, it also provides stock filters based on social media mentions which is very unique to Trade Ideas.
For example, it tracks and monitors interesting events based on the frequency of social media mentions and unusual mention activity.
Let’s say you want to know what stocks are getting mentioned at least 5 times more than usual on social media.
Then, you can set the social media mention filter, and you will see a list of stocks that meet your filter requirements.
- Tons of technical filters for stocks
- Real-time alerts based on the pre-defined filters (indicator-based trade setups or price-based trade setups)
- Access to high probability trading opportunities based on over a million trading scenario simulations
- Great for day traders
- It’s not cheap
- It’s only for stock day trading
Try Trade Ideas Demo for Free Now.