How to Use Scanners

A trader can have all the textbook knowledge of the markets, but they will never profit if they cannot find setups in real-time.

Stock scanners are how we see those setups. Before stock scanners existed, traders would trade off a master watch list which they would make by manually going through charts, which you can imagine was time-consuming.

This is not an effective day trading method because, typically, there are only 5–10 stocks in play each day out of the several thousand stocks available to trade. We consider stock in play if it surges up or down more than 4% with a strong catalyst.

We can choose the specific type of stocks we want to see using stock scanners. We can make complex scanners to look for particular chart patterns, or we can use simple scanners to look for broad matches such as stocks that just reported earnings in the last 24 hours.

Day trading is a challenging career that we can make using the best tools a little easier. One of our favourite features is that scanners include notes on former runner stocks — allowing new traders to consider historical patterns.

We can look back, see all the alerts from a day or week, and review the results. This saves us a tremendous amount of time when watching scanners in real-time.

This is the scanner we should look at first thing in the morning because it shows all the stocks gapping up in the pre-market that fit my pricing and volume criteria.

This scanner is how we build our watch list in the morning, and we can’t stress enough how much time it can save us. Before using this scanner, you would have to go through stocks manually, which took forever.

The high-of-day momentum scanner is the go-to scanner when pre-market activity is light, and we don’t have much to watch. This scanner will pull up stocks, hitting a new intraday high on high relative volume.

This is great for momentum scalps, especially in the first 30 minutes of the market opening.