Thursday, October 29, 2009

Free Online Stock Trading Aids

At the end of a trading day, have you ever looked at the top gainers and regretted not participating in the rally? Have you ever wondered how people find out about the big movers so quickly? Most believe people use sophisticated and expensive trading software to give them an edge. Yes, software of this nature is available and can make stock trading a lot simpler. However, there are a few good trading aids that are available for free online. In my opinion, three of the best are Google Finance, Level 2 Stock Quotes, and Pink OTC Markets.

If anyone else knows of any other free online stock trading aids that don't require viewers to sign up for anything, feel free to include them in the Comments portion of blog.

Google Finance (

- Provides free real time quotes for every stock on the NASDAQ and NYSE
- Has a stock screener
- Updates the best and worst performing stocks of the day in real time grouped by sectors on the NASDAQ and NYSE

- No real time quotes are available for AMEX, OTCBB and Pinksheet stocks; these quotes are only available in a 15 to 20 minute delay

Best Feature:
Google Finance is a great tool for tracking stocks on the big boards. My favorite feature is the function where they breakdown these stocks into a Sector Summary. A lot of people don't utilize this tool, but it's a great way to find out which stocks are hot and cold in real time. If it's not already setup as the default, just click on the Change % heading and that initializes the sorting function. I personally like to follow the Healthcare, Services, Technology, and Financial sectors. These sectors typically have higher volatility, which make them great for trading. Here, you can spot trends and find the big gainers that could potentially spike higher. Also, it is good for finding overdone moves to the downside that may be "bounce candidates". I generally perform checks periodically during the day, but some of the best times to use this function is during the first and last 30 minutes of a trading session.

Level 2 Stock Quotes (

- Displays free real time quotes for every stock on the NASDAQ, NYSE, AMEX, OTCBB, and Pinksheets
- Shows level 2, which displays how each Market Maker is positioned on the Bid/Ask for a certain security.

- Stock screening function is not user friendly
- Requires more advanced trading skill to effectively utilize level 2

Best Feature:
Level 2 Stock Quotes is the only place that I've seen where viewers have access to free real time quotes for AMEX, OTCBB, and Pinksheets without having to sign up for anything. Once you are able to pinpoint that high flying penny stock, this is a good place to go to follow it in real time.

Pink OTC Markets (

- Great intra-day stock screening function for Pinksheets and OTCBB stocks only.
- Screener tells you the number of trades in each stock so you don't follow the illiquid ones
- Good place to go to find the most updated filings of Pinksheets and OTCBB stocks particularly for information like shares outstanding

- No real time function on the screener; results are delayed 15-20 minutes

Best Feature:
If you're looking to trade penny stocks, this is a good place to start. You can sort the stocks by clicking on either Advancers or Decliners to find the big movers. The fact that the results are delayed isn't as crippling as you may think. When it comes to trading penny stocks, often initial pops are quickly followed by a significant retrace. The delay can actually help you avoid getting caught up in that trap. is a good place to pick out stocks you want to monitor. Then, you can follow them in real time on the Level 2 Stock Quotes website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finding News That Moves a Stock Part II (rev 7/5/09)

In the last post we mentioned the four websites you should reference in finding stock trading news:,, and The next thing that most traders want to know is what type of news is "buyable" news. Before giving you a list, it is important to be aware of some key points. First of all, trading the news is typically best suited for smaller cap stocks. These stocks have enough upside potential to realize large gains in a short time frame. Second, there are some scenarios where buying the news may not be in your best interest. There are always exceptions, but in my opinion, it not a good idea to buy the news under any of the following circumstances:

- A stock has already had a steady run-up

- Positive news is expected

- There is an extreme premarket run-up

- The company frequently releases news

- The stock is already at its high end in valuation

Again, if any of the things listed above coincided with a press release, all bets are off. If none of these issues exist, the following type of news is worth chasing:

  1. Extremely positive earnings surprise
  2. Significant debt reduction through a favorable means
  3. Favorable clinical trials results for biotech and pharmaceutical companies
  4. FDA drug approval
  5. Biotech/ Pharma company partnerships
  6. A company announces a deal with a notable, major company (ie. Apple, Walmart, General Electric, etc.)
  7. Substantial resource finding for a small energy or mining company

Remember, no method is fool proof, but it you look for news releases of small cap companies with the the guidelines I have outlined, you'll definitely up your odds of making some quick money in the stock market.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finding News that Moves a Stock Part I (revised 7/05/09)

Welcome to a new blog I've created at called Stock Market Trading Tips. This site is for both new and seasoned investors/traders looking to pick up pointers on how to improve their ability to profit from the stock market. Some of the concepts and ideas discussed, you may already be familiar with, while others might be completely new. I encourage you to direct any interested parties to the site. Knowledge is power and we all deserve the right to make some money especially in such difficult economic times. This first post will address a problem that both new and old investor constantly struggle with.

How many of you have ever been on your computer during the middle of the afternoon and all of a sudden you see that a stock has steadily climbed 50% or more over the course of the day? What's the first thing that comes to your mind? If you're anything like me, you wish you had known about that stock prior to the opening bell. Now sometimes stocks that move like this are the result of email alert pump and dumps. However, often times, gains of this nature are because of very significant news issued by the company.

So, How Do You Find Out About the News before the Opening Bell?

Some investors/ traders pay money for companies to provide them with email alerts on major news in the stock market. Many novice traders who don't want to pay for a service rely on's In Play on Yahoo Finance for a leg up. The downside of In Play on Yahoo is as follows:

  • results are delayed so you miss out on info 30 minutes prior to the stock market's opening
  • the stocks listed are only from the NASDAQ, NYSE, and NYSE Alternext (formally known as the AMEX)

  • often times stocks with lower share prices are filter out

The last two negatives from above are the most critical, because often times, your biggest gainers come from Pinksheets and Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) stocks. Also, cheap stocks that have been severely beaten down usually bounce back the hardest.

So, What's the Best Approach?

There are 4 online public relations websites that provide 95% of the press releases for Canadian Exchanges, NASDAQ, NYSE, NYSE Alternext, OTCBB, and Pinksheets. They are as follows:


All four are completely free, easy to navigate and post news on a minute-to-minute basis. Although there is lots of news to sift through each day, the most prominent news is released between 6-9AM and 4-6PM. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to go through all 4 websites in the morning and about 10 minutes for the afternoon releases. That very small investment of time can result into huge gains.

Be on the lookout for part II of Stock Market Trading Tips: Finding News that Moves a Stock where I'll discuss what type of stock trading news is actually worth chasing. Also, check out my other blog for stocks I think can achieve huge gains.