Close
FEATURED STRATEGY

Are You On This List? Check Now…

Are You On This List?Every week, we release an email to more than a thousand of our readers. It includes some special trading instructions. Have you been getting it? If not, you’ve been missing out on the chance to receive payments of $1,150… $1,500… even $2,800… right into your trading account. Get the full details (and check and see if you’re on the list by clicking here.

 

Best Stock Screening Tools on the Web

How does one pick stocks to invest in? One great way is to find a knowledgeable and talented investment advisor such as those we have here at Investing Daily. You just can’t find better investment talent than Investing Daily‘s team of fundamental analysts. So, at least for the bulk of your “serious” money, sticking with the experts is the way to go.

But if you’re like me, you are also somewhat of a “do-it-yourselfer” and enjoy getting down and dirty investigating and analyzing potential investment ideas of your own. As I wrote in How to Pick Industry Sectors, there are two main ways to pick stocks: (1) top-down, where you start by analyzing macroeconomic themes and then zero in on individual stocks that fit those themes; and (2) bottom-up, where you focus on analyzing individual companies and select a portfolio of stocks based solely on their individual business performance without regard to their industry sector.

Top-down investing requires the mind of a philosopher, economist, scholar, and industry expert. It’s best left to professionals who have the time to see the big picture and forecast the future.  But bottom-up investing is more manageable, especially if you’ve isolated a fixed set of fundamental and technical criteria that you can screen for over a universe of stocks.

This segues beautifully into today’s topic: the best stock screening tools on the web that are FREE.

1.  Best General Stock Screener

My choice for best general stock screener is Finviz.com. It’s got a tremendous number of data fields that you can select for filtering, ranging from descriptive (e.g., market cap, industry sector) to fundamental (e.g., PE ratio, return on equity) to technical (e.g., crossing above 50-day moving average, head and shoulders pattern). If my employer didn’t provide me access to a Bloomberg terminal, Finviz would be my first stop in stock screening.

A few years ago, my answer would have been MSN Deluxe Stock Screener. But Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) in its infinite stupidity decided to discontinue this fabulous free tool back in November 2009. All that’s left are some mediocre non-backtested screens.

2. Best Earnings Surprise/Revision Screener

Chicago-based Zacks Investment Research believes in the predictive power of a company’s earnings momentum. Specifically, a company’s stock has a tendency to rise after reporting earnings that are higher than analyst estimates, as well as after analysts raise their earnings estimates for an upcoming quarter. If you agree, then you’ll love Zacks.com’s stock screens for earnings surprises and earnings revisions.

3. Best Mutual Fund Screener

Morningstar is no surprise here. It’s not as good as Morningstar’s premium fund screener (duh), but it provides access to Morningstar’s five-star rating system, as well as expense ratios, equity style, and management tenure. Not bad, and the price is right.

4.  Best ETF Screener

Etfdb.com is the winner. Its database is comprehensive with 1658 ETFs. You can sort the entire ETF database by a number of data fields, including expense ratio, market return, beta, and dividend yield. I can’t stress enough the importance of the sort function. Without that, it wouldn’t be nearly half as useful. With one click, I discover that the ETN with the highest dividend yield is UBS ETRACS 2x Leveraged Long Wells Fargo Business Development Co. (NYSE: BDCL) at 18.06% and the ETF with the cheapest expense ratio is Schwab U.S. Broad Market (NYSE: SCHB) at 0.04% per year.

5.  Best Seasonality Screener

It’s hard to find a free tool on the web that tells you which stocks perform best during particular months of the year. In fact, I am aware of only two, so they win: equityclock.com and paststat.com. Unfortunately, even these tools don’t give you a ready-made list of best-performing stocks in a given month; you must input your own individual stock symbols and see how they have performed in each month of the year. Better than nothing, and if you input enough tickers, you’re bound to find one that performs well in the upcoming month.  For example, through trial and error, I’ve discovered that Oracle (NasdaqGS: ORCL) performs best in the month of June.

6.  Best Popularity-Contest Screener

Motley Fool CAPS rates stocks on a 1-5 scale based on the “outperform” and “underperform” votes of its 74,000 players. The more players that vote a stock “outperform,” the higher the stock’s rating and vice versa. Popular stocks sometimes do well in momentum-driven bull markets, but usually get slaughtered in choppy or bear markets. Consequently, I don’t think rating stocks by popularity contest has any value over a full market cycle, so I ignore the CAPS stock ratings. But the CAPS screener lets you dig deeper and focus only on the “all-star” voters – those people whose stock picks have outperformed at least 80% of the other players – and I like to see what stocks these all-stars have given “thumbs up” to.

7.  Best Mechanical Investing Screeners

Sometimes it’s better to rely on proven stock-screening strategies and not try to reinvent the wheel.  Meetinvest.com offers 12 stock screens based on the investment strategies of famous academics and money managers that have market-beating backtested results. Just click on “Run Strategies” and “Create New Basket” to get daily or weekly emails with lists of the stocks that currently satisfy the screening criteria of each investment strategy.

In addition, weekly posts by rebel2011 (screen definitions) (Value Line data fields) and Bill2m (screen definitions) (AAII Stock Investor Pro data fields) provide you with several weekly stock screens that have been back-tested and proven to perform well – if you buy all of the top ten stocks in the screen. No cherry-picking allowed, because that would negate the screens’ back-tested performance numbers. Value Line screens focus on large-cap stocks and the AAII SIPro screens focus on smaller-cap stocks. Backtest.org and gtr1.backtest.org/2013 provide back-tested performance results for the Value Line and AAII SIPro screens, respectively.

8.  Best Dividend Screener

Dripinvesting.org isn’t really a screener, but it provides a monthly updated list of stocks that have increased their annual dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. In these uncertain times, dividend consistency is reassuring.

[Related: Stock screen uncovers 5 high-yield stocks set to rise]

9.  Best Value Stock Screeners

A value stock screen based on academic research sounds good to me, so I like to check out the Value 40 screen developed at the University of Michigan business school. I also like a small-cap value screen that uses data points that make sense to me (e.g., high insider ownership, strong returns on invested capital).

  • Editors note: If you’re a DIY value investor like me, check out my Undervalued Stocks report, which uncovers the 4 secrets to finding great value investments. 

10. Best Closed-End Fund Screener

Cefconnect.com has a screener for closed-end funds (CEF) that is similar to etfdb.com’s ETF screener. You start with a list of its entire CEF database of 577 names. Then you can sort by data fields such as premium/discount (very important) and distribution rate. When you click on a CEF of interest, it takes you to a page that lets you compare the annual price performance of that CEF against the performance of a relevant peer group. Useful stuff.

11.  Best Options Screeners

Since I’m an options fanatic, I couldn’t end this article on stock screens without talking about options screeners as well.

Yahoo! Finance and MarketWatch offer scaled-down versions of options tools from Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW) subsidiary Optionetics: (1) a “Trade Search” that provides recommended options strategies based on your directional bias; and (2) an “Options Screener” that ranks by option volume, put/call ratios, and changes in historical and implied volatility.

The Optionetics website ranks stock options by comparing their current implied volatility compared to their 52-week range, so you know which options are expensive (i.e., good candidates for selling) and which are cheap (i.e., purchase candidates).

Optionistics has a “strike pegger” application that calculates the strike price that generates “max pain” for options owners in a given expiration month. Studies have shown that stocks tend to get “pinned” at the strike price where the most options contracts expire worthless. 

McMillan Analysis Corp. offers a “probability of expiration” calculator, as well as implied-volatility data on stocks, including 52-week high/low percentiles.


You might also enjoy…

 

Retirement Woes Are About to Vanish

Will I have enough money in my retirement years?

That’s the question on the minds of so many Baby Boomers nowadays. But you can set those worries aside.

Because master trader Jim Fink is releasing step-by-step instructions on how to collect a $1,692.50 payment on Thursday… and every Thursday after that.

Jim explains everything in a new presentation—but you only have a few more days to watch it.

Watch it here while there’s still time.

Stock Talk

avatar

wie

Daer sir
A GOOD BOND SCRENER?
Thanks

avatar

Jim Fink

avatar

Marjorie Erlinger

Is this the same stock analysis program offered by Scottrade or NAIC?

avatar

Art Winters

Where is the best Screener if I want to find the PEG Ratio of a Stock?

Art

avatar

Jim Fink

avatar

joseph oliver

Very useful info. I’m a novice at investing. However, I do have a good understanding of the macro economic factors that affect the valuation of equities on a daily basis. Since the market discounts the news on any given stock way ahead it becomes public it is almost impossible to capitalize on whatever impact those news have on the price of the equity being affected. I tend to favor more a “top down” approach to stock picking.

avatar

Ro Mora

Anybody can advise me where to find a software where we can identify best stocks based on seasonality. In other words, to find the stocks that go up or down during the next 2 months taking some basic criteria how, such as volume, number of years that the had such behavior during the 2 months, etc. Thank you.

avatar

John

Very useful article

paststat

paststat

you can find the May Month seasonality based winning odds in this excel sheet here http://paststat.com/blog/sp-500-stocks-may-seasonality-excel-sheet/

avatar

ling

Do you know any options software has the function to screen different strategies in the past and test the strategies from that date? I know optionetics has that function but they don’t accept new clients anymore since Charles Schwab acquired the company. I like the functionality of back screening and back testing OPTIONS strategies and see how it changes date after date. Most software don’t do that. Some back testing software only calculates the overall performance during the period of time.

avatar

Jim Fink

Hi ling,

You may want to take a look at Oscreener:

http://www.oscreener.com/options_strategy_backtester

Best,

Jim

avatar

Sallie Marsico

Excellent information.
Finviz.com screening choices provided me with WRLS,
which has done well.

avatar

Lenny Grover

Screener.co is not free (it costs $24.95/month after a 30 day trial) but it is much more powerful and reliable than the stock screeners listed in this article. With over 1,000 pre-built variables and the ability to define custom variables, it is much more flexible than even the FinViz paid screener. It also supports global markets in addition to US exchange-traded and OTC stocks. The underlying data set is Reuters Fundamentals, so it is very accurate.

Full Disclosure: I am the founder of Screener.co so I’m a bit biased :-).

Thanks,
Lenny Grover
Founder/CEO
FinToolbox/Screener.co

John McNally

John McNally

Hi Jim,
Superb article. When looking at stock data, I’ve noticed differences between Finviz and Morningstar. Is one more reliable than the other?

Thanks,
John

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi John,

I can’t prove it, but in my personal experience Morningstar data is more reliable.

Best,

Jim

Siva

Siva

I am a new investor and reading What Works on Wall Street. Found the strategy: Value Composite that best suits me. Could you please advise me which software to use to screen for the All Universe stocks($200M and above) in decile 1 for:
1. Price to book
2. Price to Earnings
3. Price to Sales
4. EBITDA/EV
5.Price to Cash flow
6. Shareholder yield

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi Siva,

As I discussed in my book review of James O’Shaughnessy’s fourth edition of What Works on Wall Street, the Value Composite is impossible to replicate using publicly-available screeners. The only way to run this screen is by subscribing to several incredibly expensive databases (Standard & Poor’s Compustat and the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) equity database) and software packages (FactSet and SAS).

http://www.investingdaily.com/14670/what-works-on-wall-street-and-trending-value-best-stock-screen-of-all-time/

Best,

Jim

Mikota

Mikota

Hello Sir,

Is there any futures/commodities screener (specialized for futures purposes) that you might recommend?

Mikota

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi Mikota,

Barcharts has a basic screener for futures that filters based on some technical indicators (e.g., RSI, MACD):

http://www.barchart.com/my/screener/future.php

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/barchartcom-features-new-futures-market-data-and-analysis-tools-100433619.html

Best,

Jim

shunts

shunts

I need a code to write on my stoc kcharts that will screen for higher highs on a daily bases… also I need a code to write on my stock charts that will screen for lower lows on a daily bases.. I can’t find any books that will teach me how to write codes so I figure maybe someone will know how to write a code or help me somehow.

Thanks,

Shirley
rushed@comcast.net

Clint Box

Clint Box

I like that Finviz can easily be exported into Excel, where I can do my own calculations and filtering, to identify what I believe are good value stocks. However, I’ve noticed a number of the values, from time to time, do not match screeners on other websites. Also, some values are missing but available on the other sites. Has Finviz data been reliable in your experience? Lots of people recommend it as their “number one” screener but I wonder if anyone has done analysis to see, on average, how many times the data is wrong. Thanks!

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi Clint,

A dividend website I respect, http://dripinvesting.org/tools/tools.asp, uses Finviz as its data source and has found no problems with the data except with respect to free cash flow.

http://boards.fool.com/updated-dividend-champions-31231888.aspx?sort=whole#31235716

A discrepancy in the calculation of free cash flow is not surprising because “free cash flow” can be defined in many different ways:

http://www.investingdaily.com/16034/cash-flow-earnings-or-sales-which-more-accurately-predicts-returns/#comment-33664

The gold standard for free stock data is Morningstar because it owns Ibbotson Associates, which has access to the best stock data. The two main wholesale purveyors of stock data are Standard & Poor’s Compustat and Reuters Worldscope:

http://www.portfolio123.com/mvnforum/viewthread_thread,6054

Most retail financial websites get their fundamental stock data from one of these two wholesale sources (or from Morningstar reselling it).

Best,

Jim

pkneeland78

pkneeland78

Hello, looking for a fundamental stock screener (free or paid) that can give me % change in EPS, % change in sales, and % change in profit margins Qtr. over Qtr. for the last 4 quarters (example: %chg from this Qtr to last Qtr, last Qtr to 2 Qts ago, 2qts ago to 3qts ago, and so on). Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be a HUGE help, and I would be EXTREMELY grateful. Thanks for the info on your site, it’s been very useful (unlike most of the junk out there). Keep up the good work!

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi pkneeland68,

The fundamental screening criteria you are interested in are so detailed that they are probably not available from a free stock screener, but some of the paid stock screeners are very powerful and may be of use to you, such as Ycharts Professional ($3,600 per year) or IBD’s MarketSmith ($999 per year).

Good luck!

allan

allan

I think screener.Co is one of the only screeners that will give you access to multiple quarters of Sales and EPS growth for 25 bucks per month.

Morningstar’s premium screener may do it, but it’s a pain in the ass to use and no export feature.

Screener.Co is far more flexible and powerful. You can create almost any formula you like and screen. Take the trial for both.

Investalot

Investalot

Are there any tools where you can search for stocks that performed within a certain range during a certain period of time. For example stock that was within a range of 0%-+40% between Jan 01 2011 and March 23 2013.

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

There are plenty of subscription-based stock screeners that utilize technical criteria (stock-price movement). Examples include stockfetcher.com and portfolio123.com, but there are many others.

Andy Strager

Andy Strager

Hi Jim,

I’m looking for a Mutual Fund screener that will show funds crossing over a 30 day, 50 day moving average etc. Is there such a screener?

Thanks!

Andy

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Hi Andy,

e*Trade’s advanced mutual-fund screener can find funds that exhibit bearish and bullish crossovers of:

5/10 day moving averages

5/20 day moving averages

10/20 day moving averages

10/50 day moving averages

20/50 day moving averages

50/200 day moving averages

It also can find funds with prices crossing over or under 5/10/20/50/100/200-day moving averages

You can screen for crossovers of either “simple” or “exponential” moving averages

https://www.etrade.wallst.com/Research/Screener/MutualFund/?

Best,

Jim

linda liu

linda liu

This is a very comprehensive list of stock screeners. I also like Finviz the best.

A technical-analysis stock screener I have used recently for swing trading is http://www.dojispace.com

Rookie

Rookie

Hi Jim,

Is there a stock screener that uses Fundamental criteria (eg ROE, Average Turnover, Debt /Equity, ROA, P/E…) that also allows you to choose the screening period?

For example, to be able to search the highest ROE’s stocks in 2013.

Thanks a lot for your help and all these work so far!

Jim Fink

Jim Fink

Bloodhound lets you run and backtest historical stock screens, but it costs $995 per year:

http://www.bloodhoundsystem.com/stock-screening.php#

Rookie

Rookie

Thanks for your help Jim

Anna Lee

Anna Lee

Thanks for sharing this list of great stock screeners. I like Finviz, but they don’t have an app where I can use it on my phone. I’m using an android phone and found this stock screener to be perfect for technical screens. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stockmarket.stockscreener&hl=en

Gabe Wagner

Gabe Wagner

For anyone looking for a good free scanner, check out stockbooker.com. It is 100% free, and you can define your own custom screens using some of the most popular indicators out there. You can also back test your screens for free!

Kim Lee

Kim Lee

This is a very detailed list of all the different financial stock screeners, thanks for sharing it. Here’s another one that I use for technical stock scanner. http://www.stock-screener.org, they also have their stock screener apps on both iPhone and Android.

Add New Comment

You must be logged in to post to Stock Talk OR create an account