Choosing amongst thousands of stocks is a challenge. No investor can evaluate the fundamentals of every single stock on the market. But where do you start? A stock screener is a helpful tool, making it easier to narrow down your options to stocks that have an upside. Read on to discover everything you need to know about stock screener apps.
What is a stock screener
The goal of a stock screener is to whittle down the almost limitless number of NYSE- and NASDAQ-traded stocks to a manageable selection of companies. It is much more practical to do an in-depth investigation on a smaller number of stocks. A stock screener is effectively a filter: you set the parameters you want to screen against, and the stock screener filters stocks accordingly.
Factors you can filter against including market capitalization (to find small companies for example), dividend yield (useful if you are an income investor) and a low PE ratio (signaling undervalued stocks). A stock screener app lets you set a mix of filters to display only stocks that fit your personal trading strategy.
It’s worth noting that stock screener apps can be relatively complex and display a lot of data. While there are plenty of good stock screening apps for your phone you should consider using a website too as website apps can offer better features for heavy-duty stock screening workloads.
Best stock screener for day trading
Stock screener apps are currently not cross-platform, in other words, you will often find a good stock screener app for Android, but with no iOS version of the app, and vice versa. Nonetheless, we will give you a good example for each platform.
Stock Screener by Mobile Interactive LLC
Available only for iOS, this stock screener makes a solid option for investors who have their fingers on the pulse of the day trading market. You can perform both fundamental and technical screening with the app, with a combination of over 1,500 filters and scanners at your disposal. Everything from key financial ratios to ETF holdings are easy to filter against.
The app is free, scoring an average of 3.8 / 5 on the App Store. Users are happy in general, saying that the app works well and does what it promises. However, one user mentioned that the app promises to deliver pre-market and after-hours data, but that this was not visible when they attempted to access this data.
Stock Screener: Find Stocks. For Android, this app by A-Life Software lets users easily find stocks according to criteria such as industry, dividend payouts, and analyst ratings. It displays stocks in a wide range of countries, including the US, Canada, China, Australia, and most European countries. You get full stock information, including charting plus a financial news feed.
The app has 614 ratings from Android users, scoring 4.4 / 5 with users liking that the app provides a real-time market data feed, even though it is refreshed only every 10 to 15 minutes. Users also enjoyed the mock trading features, saying the app is a great tool of beginners. However, some users complained that the stock screener functionality is not customizable enough – the developer is promising further features in time.
Available for desktop in-browser use only, Finviz is a very sophisticated tool that makes it easier to screen stocks. Simply start with the Screen tab, adding criteria until you have sufficiently narrowed down your selection. The website allows you to save presets, making it easier to go back to filter settings you’ve previously used.
The data provided by Finviz is delayed, if you want real-time data you need to pay the $39.50/month subscription fee. Because it is a website you won’t find user reviews of Finviz, but the website is widely cited by investment gurus and we suggest you give it a go if you want a desktop tool that displays more information on one screen.
Technical stock screener
Sometimes investors prefer to invest based on technical factors such as volume, stock price and trading signals rather than fundamental factors such as the PE ratio and cash flow per share. Most apps will offer a mix of fundamental and technical screening, but it helps to cut to the chase and simply screen according to fundamental factors. The following app is a good place to start:
Stock Screener by Finacept
Exclusively for Android, Finacept’s app makes it really quick to cut down to fundamental analysis including filters by price, trading volume and more complex technical factors such as moving averages and Bollinger Bands. It is best used by traders who are experienced, including day traders.
Android users give the app 4.3 / 5, users appreciate the fact that the app is designed for a highly technical audience, rather than beginners. One user said that they like the ability to search by specific candlestick chart criteria.
Best paid stock screener
Everyone knows that free apps generally give you access to more limited features than paid apps. Interestingly, in the context of stock screeners, you can get a really good feature set without paying a single dollar. However, some apps offer additional features in the paid edition.
For example, Stock Screener by Mobile Interactive LLC, for iOS; offers additional capabilities if you pay for in-app purchases. Likewise Stock Screener by Finacept, the Pro version of the app may appear expensive, but for many stock traders the ability to combine multiple technical indicators in a search and the absence of ads will be well worth the money. Also consider paying the monthly fee for Finviz, which gives you access to real-time data.
Google stock screener
Google Finance used to be one of the most popular websites for investors wanting to keep up to date with markets. One of the reasons was that Google was one of the first companies who provided live NASDAQ prices on its website, back in 2008. However, Google has neglected Google Finance over the years, with only a minor facelift in 2015.
In 2018 Google decided to incorporate Google Finance within its search engine. Now, when you try to access Google Finance, you are simply redirected to the Google Finance page on Google search. You will still see a market report, suggested stocks and top stories but you won’t get a stock screening option. Interestingly, Yahoo has chosen to keep its stock screening page alive and kicking.
Choosing your stock screener
So many of the tools we mention are free of charge, so we recommend that you simply try the apps out and see which stock screener offers you the capabilities that you need. You may decide that it is worth using an app on your phone for when you want to make decisions on the fly while using a desktop app for more serious research. Either way, you have plenty of options – try them out!