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Finding a stock, index or ETF to trade.

Using scanning software from your broker or online.

There's never a need to buy separate software.

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Short stocks 

     The problem you have after running scans is determining which one to take as a trade. The scan alone does nothing but provide you potential trades based specifically on ONLY those parameters you provided. Most people use so many parameters thinking they're eliminating the worst when in fact they are eliminating perhaps many, many good looking setups. You're still going to have to analyze the stock, the chart, the industry, etc.  Scans are not the holy grail to finding a trade. They are merely one way to quickly look through roughly 6000 plus tradable stocks... no more, no less. Learn how to do that with a coach.
  You need a brokerage site that will give you both charts and some way to manage, review, scan for potential trades. I'll show you the best sites to use for scanning, and they're free. 

     Using the Scan Results* Scanning for stocks is easy, deciding which to trade is the hard part.  There is plenty of software and/or websites available to you to help find trade candidates.

     MarketWatch or StockCharts are very good, as well as StockFetcher

     Most online brokers and web sites provide their own scanning abilities:   These vary in sophistication but the purpose of scanning is just too find a stock that is moving or setting up for a move.  In fact, this type of trading, i.e., when you find a stock this way is called Bottom Up.  This is the opposite of Top Down where we follow a huge sector inside the broader economy.  In Bottom Up the stock may be moving independently of sectors, it may be what's called a 'story stock' in that there is news associated with it.  Try this one for free scanning:  www.stockcharts.com.  Pretty good, isn't it? 

    Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is that scans find stocks that are in potentially promising positions.  As with most forms of financial analysis, nothing is guaranteed.  While a well-designed scan can filter out lots of stocks in unpromising positions, that doesn't mean that all of the stocks it does find will be useful to you.

Here are the steps recommended you follow in order to get the most out of scan results:

  • Determine your trading philosophy - Are you looking for short-term or long-term opportunities? Are you looking for strong stocks that may get stronger or weaker stocks that may be turning around? Do you care about the price of the stock? What about average daily volume? And so on...

  • Understand the scan's indicators - Are the strengths of the indicators in the scan compatible with your trading philosophy? Are the time periods used to calculate the results similar to your time horizons?

  • Review charts of stocks selected by the scan - What percentage of the stocks selected by the scan have charts that look promising to you? How many false results were generated?

  • Track the results for several trading periods - How many of the "promising" stocks actually moved in profitable ways? Would any of the unprofitable stocks have caused you to lose more than you are willing to risk in the market? Did the stocks move primarily due to technical or fundamental factors?

     After a while, you will begin to see patterns in the behavior of the stocks that a particular scan selects. You will develop a sense for the stocks that may repeat those patterns and that can help you trade or invest with more confidence.  While risk and uncertainty can never be eliminated, taking the time to become familiar with the results of a particular scan will usually reduce both."

Manage & Track Markets, Stocks & Options

  
Your online broker will give you a way of tracking your trades.  To manage your watchlists, scan for stocks, and analyze with charts, you need something more: 

 Favoriteswww.thinkorswim.com or Worden or www.interactivebrokers.com
 

   There are endless sources online available for tracking your trades, your watchlist, and following the markets.  The first thing to be aware of is that tracking your trades, keeping a watch list, and charting are features that come with most of your online brokers...it's a matter of degree of detail they provide that makes the difference.  Why do you need to buy expensive software?  You don't.

   You could pay thousands of dollars for some of these software packages.  Some good, some very bad.  If it's just profit/loss tracking you want, your online broker does that for you or you can create your own spreadsheet.
 
   Market and company data can come from an endless supply of sites, see the Useful Sites. I find Yahoo finance and Google finance incredibly useful.
Software is only a tool.  I can use a handsaw, but in the hands of a master carpenter his product will somehow look very different from mine. It is NOT software that determines your trading success.

What you will learn is generally for swing or position trading, if you insist on day trading be warned: Risk in Day Trading 

Recommend this site to a friendend.  

**Source: stockcharts

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