There is a lot of garbage out there clamoring for your dollars. This seems especially true in the area of trading. Everyone’s paid service will make you more money than the next. For every decent service there are 100 others that are completely useless. This is why it’s nice when you can find useful services that are provided absolutely free.
In “10 Ways to Build a Better Watch List” I described some steps you might take to find stocks to trade before the market opens. The following is a list of free resources that will help you through that process.
Briefing.com is a resource that is widely used in the trading community. Their most well-known service is their live news ticker called “Briefing In Play.” Traders use this news service to generate trading ideas and make decisions before, during, and after market hours. This is a paid service, but here’s a little secret; it’s also available for free. In addition to the free version of “In Play,” Breifing.com also has a set of useful market-related calendars.
- Briefing.com’s Hourly In Play -Unlike the paid version, which runs live, this version only updates on the hour. It’s still a great place to scan for stocks that may be in play for the day.
- Briefing.com’s Calendars – Breifing.com’s free website also offers a variety of calendars including earnings, economic, IPO & Stock Split
Finviz.com is insanely useful, easy to use, and free. Their home page is a clear snapshot of the market at a glance, and things only get better from there.
- Stock Screener – This is the best free scanner I have ever found. (If you know of one better, let me know) It allows you to scan for a combination of fundamental criteria & technical set-ups. The only gripe I have is that the only MAs available are SMA 20, 50 & 200.
- Heat Maps – The Finviz heat maps are a great visual resource for stocks that are having a hot (or cold) day, week, month, or year. They also have a Earnings Date heat map which heats up as earnings approach & a Short Float map that shows what stocks might be hot for a short squeeze.
- Stock Market News & Blogs – This page is a live running stream of news headlines from Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters and others. Alongside the news are the headlines from trustworthy blogs such as Traderfeed, Zero Hedge, and The Kirk Report.
At Stocktwits.com, you can see what traders and investors are buzzing about in the market. It can be a great place to pick up trading ideas. The fundamental and technical analysis done by the community is often top notch. Stocktwits recently released a separate Stocktwits Desktop program which has a number of rich features for all your trading needs. Its most powerful features are:
- Ability to click on stocks to pull up news, tweets, a candle chart as well as charts analyzed by the community
- Stocktwits TV built into the desktop
- Tabbing feature that allows you to separate your information in any way you choose
- On-board web browser that opens links within the desktop
- It’s completely separate from Twitter. When Twitter is down, the Stocktwits community is still buzzing along on the Stocktwits Desktop.
The Stocktwits stream can be noisy at times, but once you hone in on and follow the pros, you really see the power of Stocktwits come through. You can download the Stocktwits Desktop for free here.
It is often true that you get what you pay for, but there are plenty of free resources if you look hard enough. The bottom line is that trading is a business and every expense affects your bottom line, so take what you can get for free when you find it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you know of some useful free resources please share them with us below.