When you first begin trading stocks, one of the challenges that you may run into is finding stocks worthwhile to trade and invest in. The stock market is both vast and complex, which can make it notoriously challenging to navigate. Fortunately, there are some smart tools available that can help with this. While you can find a wealth of trading tools out there, Finviz is one of the most powerful around.
Before we dive into Finviz and how to use its stock screener, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the ins and outs of day trading and swing trading and why a stock screener would be useful. Then we’ll look at how to use Finviz’s stock screener to do this. First thing’s first, though — we need to know the difference between day trading and swing trading and how a stock screener can benefit you when developing trading strategies of your own.
Day Trading vs. Swing Trading
Essentially, traders are grouped between the two categories of stock trading: day traders and swing traders. While both are short-term trading ventures, the biggest difference is that day traders buy and sell stocks or options within the same day. In other words, if a day trader sees a catalyst event, such as an activist investor buying a stock, they would look to buy shares and sell them before the end of the trading day.
It’s also important to note that day trading requires you to be at your trading machine all day, continuously viewing the screens and watching the tape. Another important difference between day trading and swing trading is that you’re required to have at least $25K in capital. This is because the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposes capital requirements specifically for day traders. Additionally, if you’re buying and selling, short selling, and covering the same security within the same trading day at least four times within five trading days, the FINRA will consider you a pattern day trader.
Swing trading, on the other hand, is where you would buy and hold onto the stock or option for several days or even a few weeks. During the time they hold the stocks or options, they would either take in profits or sell out of the trade.
That said, swing trading can be a better option for small accounts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money through swing trading. For example, when I first started out, I only had $15K in trading capital. However, after learning from my mentor Jason Bond, I was able to turn that into over $5M in just a few short years.
Now that we’ve discussed the difference between swing trading and day trading, let’s break down what a stock screener is.
Understanding Stock Screeners
Simply put, a stock screener is a useful tool that filters stocks based on various criteria that you set within the tool’s features. You can find tons of free stock screeners out there, and there are numerous websites and trading platforms that offer different types of subscriptions.
Finviz is one such stock screening tool that lets you toggle different search options so that you can find the stocks or options you want to check and analyze. If you want real-time data on the activity of various stocks, Finviz provides it.
What is Finviz Futures?
The Finviz stock screener is a powerful financial visualization tool that gives you detailed stock information. Finviz futures is one aspect of this tool that you can use to access insightful Finviz futures charts. In addition to Finviz futures (a look at the futures prices of major stock market indices), you can also access a filter for stocks to trade as well as handy research options.
What’s best of all is that the Finviz stock screener is free to use. However, if you want to explore the platform’s more advanced features and tools, Finviz does offer its Elite service, which costs around $25 a month if you subscribe for the year. If you select the month-to-month payment, it costs around $40.
Now, you don’t have to use Finviz Elite, but it’s extremely useful for staying current with real-time data, email alerts, and fundamental charts. For the most part, I find the free service is great if you’re swing trading and specifically looking for chart patterns. That said, let’s take a look at how to use the Finviz screener for swing trading.
How to Use Finviz Stock Screener for Swing Trading Success
Before we get into the process for using Finviz’s screener tool, head over to the website. Once you’re on the Finviz homepage, follow the steps listed below to view different data, stock options, industries, and more.
- Look to the navigation bar under the search bar. You’ll see an option for Finviz’s “Screener,” which is located to the right of the “News” option and on the left of the “Maps” option.
- Click on the “screener” tab. When you click on the tab, you’ll be brought to a page that looks like this. Without filtering the results, you’ll notice there are over 7,000 different symbols. This is a lot to look through, almost like finding a needle in a haystack, especially if you’re looking for specific stocks. The good news is we can make this list much smaller by filtering our results. Here is where you can set up the specific criteria to find stocks.
- Look for stocks with an average daily trading volume (ADV) of at least 300,000 and a price that’s less than $15. If you notice, the list just got a lot smaller with a little under 1,000 names. However, there are still too many stocks that we’ll have to sift through, so we can narrow this down even more. Here’s what it should look like on the screen:
- Select the “descriptive” tab and find the “sector” option in the drop-down menu. We’ll be doing this similarly to my A+ setups, where we’ll focus on a specific filter option like healthcare names. Take a closer look:
- Go ahead and select “Healthcare.” Keep in mind, you can trade within any sector you’d like, but for educational purposes, we’ll stick to just this one sector. This will give you a list view:
- Now select the “charts” tab next to the “overview” tab on the main features options. This should pull up around 240 stocks to look through, making it easier to catch any patterns in the stocks’ activity. Here’s what it looks like after you select the “charts” tab:
These steps will give you the charts that track the activity of different stocks that you filter through your criteria. These tools are useful mainly because they give you an overview of what you can expect on a day-to-day basis for different stocks. Again, you don’t have to use Finviz’s tool, but I find it’s easy to use to quickly get a rough idea of what’s happening in real-time.
How to Use Finviz Screener for Spotting Chart Patterns
If you find it to be overwhelming to look through all these charts, that’s okay because Finviz allows you to filter for different chart patterns. You can use these steps for viewing chart patterns on Finviz:
- Select the “technical” tab so that you can see all of the filters. For instance, let’s say you like trading double bottoms. Double bottoms refer to seeing a stock pull into a level, find a bottom, and reverse to pull back into the previous bottom to hold. So if you like trading double bottoms, you can select this as another filter option on the stock screener. Here’s the view after selecting the “technical” tab:
- Select “double bottom” under the “pattern” drop-down menu. You should see something like this on-screen: It’s important to keep in mind that the filters you choose are sorted by the computer software, so it’s possible that it may miss some patterns.
- Now, you can right-click on any chart and choose the “open in new tab” option. You don’t have to do this, but it’s something that I like to do after filtering stocks so that I can view these more easily, as a new tab enlarges the specific chart I’m looking at. I’ll also look for potential catalysts and news updates that can help me develop a trading plan. This is what it looks like:
Now, you might be wondering, “This is great, but how can I put this into action?” Well, let me show you how this works with a trade example.
Finviz Stock Screener Trade Example
You can use the Finviz stock screener to uncover potential Fibonacci retracement plays. Now, Jason Bond is all about the Fibonacci retracement and primarily focuses on three trading patterns that work in nearly any environment.
With the Fibonacci retracement, we’re looking for stocks that have exploded. Head to the “descriptive” tab, and you’ll see a drop-down menu for “performance.” If you want to look for Fibonacci retracement plays, you might have to conduct daily scans and look for stocks that have been up significantly.
Here’s a chart that I really liked for a Fibonacci retracement play.
If you look at the chart closely, you’ll see it more than doubled in a short period and pulled back. This is exactly what we want to see.
Now, I actually traded this stock, and here’s what I was looking at.
The stock had an explosive move, so I bought shares when it pulled into the Fibonacci retracement area, as shown above. Here’s a look at the alert I sent to Biotech Breakouts members.
Now, this was actually a day trade for me. I saw the stock fail to break above $2.20 multiple times, and I figured it could retrace and turn against me. That said, you can see how powerful Finviz really is.
If you’re still looking for potential trades, check out this guide in which I go over the steps and my process for options trading.
Final Thoughts About Finviz Screener
The Finviz screener can be a very powerful tool if you know how to use it. Now, even though you understand how to use the Finviz screener, there’s still a lot to learn about trading. For example, if you find it hard to make money in the markets and have not yet developed the “millionaire trader mindset,” make sure to check out this webinar, which outlines how five traders went from struggling to generating seven figures in the markets.
Understanding how to use the stock screener Finviz will allow you to put a powerful tool in your pocket for improving your trades and better understanding the stock market. Get our free e-book to learn more about how you can improve your stock trading skills.