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Pinpoint Stocks That Fit Your Trading Style With a Real Time Scanner:

With thousands of stocks to choose from, serious traders and investors have to establish methods for quickly and easily identifying stocks that fit their specific parameters. Having to manually sift through every single ticker would be an agonizing process.

What is a Real Time Stock Scanner - Find the Best Stocks to Trade

For example, a day trader looking to capitalize on small cap short squeezes could create a scan that filters through every available stock and generates a short list of only the ones that are priced from $1-10, have a market cap under $2 billion, and a short float over 25%. With this custom scan in place, producing a manageable list of stocks that fit your specified criteria takes less than a couple seconds.

The reason why stock scanners are so important, especially for day traders, is because timing is critical. The last thing you want to do is waste time manually filtering through an endless number of stocks just to miss every big move. You want the ones with the highest  potential for outsized profits to be on your radar before major moves even take place. This way, you can react before the masses.

There’s no doubt that powerful tools like stock scanners/screeners can have a profound impact on your profits and losses. Just imagine the drastic monetary difference between receiving real time, actionable information and delayed, useless information.

Top 3 Benefits of a Real Time Stock Scanner – Less Time, Less Effort, and More Money:

The main benefits of a robust stock scanner/screener are reduced time and effort, along with increased profits.

1. Less Time Scouring Through Data For Stocks That Fit Your Trade/Investment Parameters

Without a stock scanner, generating a list of stocks that fit your specific criteria would be a long, tedious process. With the technology available these days, it’s hard to even imagine having to manually perform this type of task. It would honestly be unbearable.

So it’s safe to say that stock scanners on the whole save an unbelievable amount of time – hundreds of thousands of hours. In all reality, I don’t know of any stock trader who doesn’t use some sort of free or premium scanner/screener. You can’t really compete without one.

2. Less Effort Researching – Only a Small Handful of Stocks to Analyze Instead of Thousands

Stock scanners also allow you to save an enormous amount of effort. Trading success requires a high level of concentration, so going in too many different directions would be confusing. Instead, you can focus solely on stocks that pass your initial screening.

Scanners don’t completely eliminate effort because not every ticker that meets your parameters is necessarily an automatic buy/sell. Each stock that comes up might require some deeper research before making a decision, but scanners vastly reduce the workload.

3. More Money Thanks to Fast, Actionable Information Instead of Slow, Outdated Information

With slow, outdated information there’s probably no point in trading. Just like making any decision in life, doing so with late, inaccurate data would just be gambling. If your decisions are based on unreliable data, then your results will also be unreliable.

So assuming that you have the core skills required for durable market success, real time stock scanners can help take your results to the next level. Simply subscribing to one is no guarantee of making more money, but scanners are powerful tools in the right hands.

Best Real Time Stock Scanners For Short-Term Traders and Even Long-Term Investors:

In my personal opinion, the 2 real time stock scanners listed below are most suitable for active traders (like day and swing traders, for example), but long-term investors could potentially see massive benefits in using them as well.

Best Day Trading Stock Scanners - 2 Top Rated Tools

Just because time is far more flexible when it comes to long-term investing (as opposed to minutes or possibly even seconds making all the difference in day trading), investors are still interested in saving time and effort, as well as making more money.

TRADE IDEAS – Top Rated Market Intelligence Software |Read Full Review|

Best Day Trading Stock Scanners - Trade Ideas

Trade Ideas has been a force in providing customers with high-quality trade opportunities since 2003. At this point in time, they’re arguably the best stock scanner and overall market intelligence software in the game. There are many stock scanners currently available on the market, but in my opinion, there are two main factors that make the Trade Ideas platform stand out.

The first is that it offers numerous preset layouts known as channels, which allow users to find scanners already built for specific sectors and trading styles – such as pre-market/after market, crypto, short squeezes, and many more. But if the preconfigured scanners or channels don’t fit your individual needs, you can partially or fully customize to your own unique specifications.

The second is that the Trade Ideas scanners are dynamic – meaning they continuously update on their own. Many stock scanners claim to be real time because the results are based on real time data at the moment you run them, but then you have to keep clicking the button to run them and get the most up-to-date information as stocks and the overall market fluctuate throughout the day.

This description fails to even mention many other amazing tools like AI engine Holly, OddsMaker for backtesting, and Simulation Mode.

BENZINGA PRO – Top Rated Stock Market Newsfeed |Read Full Review|

Best Day Trading Stock Scanners - Benzinga Pro

Benzinga Pro is mainly known for its fast and reliable newsfeed, but it also offers classic scanner/screener functionality based on various technical and/or fundamental data. But I don’t want this to overshadow the newsfeed as a scanner in and of itself.

Breaking news is something that can drastically impact the price of a stock and even the entire market – so imagine receiving that news before the majority of market participants. How beneficial would it be to your account balance to be in-the-know on earnings & guidance, SEC filings, analyst ratings, press releases, mergers & acquisitions, and more before the vast majority of traders?

This is what the Benzinga Pro platform allows you to do. And again, it’s a tool that you can customize to fit your specific approach. For example, you can filter the newsfeed to only show news items related to specific sectors, categories, or only the stocks on one of your watch lists. Additional features include Movers, Details, Calendars, and Audio Squawk.

But my absolute favorite feature of Benzinga Pro which I mention all the time (besides the newsfeed) is Signals. This feature allows you to track new highs, price spikes, gaps, halts/resumes, block trades, and options activity. Specifically, I like to track block trades and unusual options activity because it could signify “big bets” being placed by banks, hedge funds, and other large institutions.

The Wrap Up – Real Time Stock Scanners Are Crucial For Active Trading Success:

In order to save thousands of hours of time and effort, and actually have a chance at stock trading success, some sort of scanner is pretty much a necessity. Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro are both premium tools, but there are also free options like Finviz.

What is Training For Trading - Best Day Trader Training

The scanner you choose mainly depends on personal trading/investing style and preferences. If you want a robust scanning tool, artificial intelligence suggestions, backtesting capabilities, simulator, and even the ability to trade directly on one single platform through brokerage integration, then Trade Ideas might be right for you. But if your strategy relies on taking advantage of the latest news catalysts, then Benzinga Pro might be a better choice. Luckily, both of these platforms offer trials for testing them out.

Again, there are many stock scanner options available online – many brokerages even offer scanners/screeners of their own. But in my personal experience, Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro are the best. It’s not only about the scanners themselves, but the supporting features that go along with them as well. The platforms I use are ideally as close to a one-stop-shop as possible – this way you don’t have to be hopping from one platform or tab to the next as the trading day progresses. Simplicity is the ultimate goal.

Please leave your comments or experiences with Trade Ideas, Benzinga Pro, or any other stock market scanners below.

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

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Matt Thomas

Founder of, Creator of the Trading Success Framework Course & Trading Paradigm Skool Community, and Intraday Futures Trader Using Auction Market Theory & Profiling (Volume & Market Profile).


  • Misty says:

    I am a newbie when it comes to stocks and day trading.  I am more comfortable with long term investing so I was pleased to read that the scanners you recommend can be used for this.   Are they both fairly intuitive or is there a steep learning curve to use for beginners?  

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Misty – both Trade Ideas and Benzinga Pro might seem a little bit overwhelming when you first start using them, but that’s the case for anything new. After just a few days – or a week or two at most, the majority of users easily acclimate to the platforms. In order to test them out yourself, Trade Ideas typically runs a quarterly test drive, which allows anyone to gain access to the premium software for around $10 for 2 weeks – and Benzinga Pro offers a 2-week free trial.

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