Best Free Real-Time Stock Charts
TradingView provides real-time stock charts that are visually appealing and can be customized with hundreds of technical indicators.
TradingView is also a social media site. Traders can easily share their charts and ideas with each other. You can even follow other traders and discuss stocks and other markets.
Just beware of who you're watching because not everyone sharing charts and ideas will be a profitable trader.
Traders can create watchlists and alerts, see which stocks are hot, and even trade directly from TradingView charts by connecting with a broker. You can use the Strategy Tester to test a built-in strategy for a particular stock and time period. The Pine Editor feature also lets you create your own strategy to test.
TradingView also lets you chart indexes, stocks, bonds, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, contracts for differences (CFDs), economic data, and global data, although futures data are delayed. You can pay for upgraded options that provide additional features and official real-time data for stocks and futures markets around the globe.
TradingView offers a very extensive list of markets, indexes, and economic data. You won't have to switch charting platforms to view charts from other markets. It's also the most socially integrated real-time stock charts of the free providers on our list.
Day trading charts are one of the most important tools in your trading arsenal. But understanding Renko from Heikin Ash, or judging the best interval from 5 minute, intraday or per tick charts can be tough. Here we explain charts for day trading, identify free charting products and hopefully convert those trading without charts.
This page will break down the best trading charts for 2021, including bar charts, candlestick charts, and line charts. It will then offer guidance on how to set up and interpret your charts. Finally, you’ll get top tips on where to get the best free and paid for charting software.
Brokers with Trading Charts
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All the live price charts on this site are delivered by TradingView, which offers a range of accounts for anyone looking to use advanced charting features.
Best Charts For Day Trading
There are a number of different day trading charts out there, from Heiken-Ashi and Renko charts to Magi and Tick charts. Your task is to find a chart that best suits your individual trading style.
Each chart has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, day trading using candlestick and bar charts are particularly popular as they provide more information than a simple line chart.
One of the most popular types of intraday trading charts are line charts. But, they will give you only the closing price. You’ll still opt for a time frame, but the chart will only display the closing prices for that period, say five minutes for example.
Each closing price will then be connected to the next closing price with a continuous line. A line chart is useful for cutting through the noise and offering you a brief overview of where the price has been. However, you wouldn’t want to base your trading decisions solely on this data as essential information is missing.
Bar & Candlestick Charts
Most trading charts you see online will be bar and candlestick charts. They give you the most information, in an easy to navigate format. Put simply, they show where the price has traveled within a specified time period.
The size of the bar/candle depends on the time frame you have opted for. Let’s say that the price bar or candle is generated every five minutes. Bar and candlestick charts will show the price of the first transaction that took place at the beginning of that five minutes, plus the highest and lowest transaction prices during that period. In addition, you’ll also see the final (closing) price of that five minute period.
You’ll find more tips on finding the best intervals for day trading charts below.
Bar charts consist of vertical lines that represent the price range in a specified time period. The horizontal lines represent the open and closing prices. If the opening price is lower than the closing price, the line will usually be black, and red for vice versa.
Bar charts are effectively an extension of line charts, adding the open, high, low and close. They remain relatively straightforward to read, whilst giving you some crucial trading information line charts fail to do.
Day trading with tick charts isn’t common, but some traders swear by it. The bars on a tick chart develop based on a specified number of transactions. So, a 415 tick chart creates a new bar every 415 transactions.
They allow you to time your entries with ease, hence why many claim tick charts are best for day trading. They won’t be impacted by time, so in times of high trading activity you may have a bar form every minute, but in slow periods it may take several hours. This means in high volume periods, a tick chart will show you more crucial information than a lot of other charts.
If you’re day trading, a heikin-ashi charts pdf will probably come across your screen at some point. This form of candlestick chart originated in the 1700s from Japan.
So, why do people use them? Because they filter out a lot of unnecessary information, so you get a crystal clear view of a trend. This makes it ideal for beginners. But they also come in handy for experienced traders. The Heiken-ashi chart will help keep you in trending trades and makes spotting reversals straightforward.
If you’re looking to ease yourself into day trading with charts, then consider a Renko chart. ‘Renko’ comes from the Japanese word for bricks, ‘renga’. A Renko chart will only show you price movement. You won’t get any time or volume indications.
Once the price exceeds the top or bottom of the previous brick a new brick is placed in the next column. You’ll see white bricks when the trend heads upwards and black bricks when the trend goes down. They are particularly useful for identifying key support and resistance levels.
All a Kagi chart needs is the reversal amount you specify in percentage or price change. Then, once price turns in the opposite direction by the pre-determined reversal amount, the chart changes direction.
You’ll see different line widths in a Kagi chart. If the market gets higher than a previous swing, the line will thicken. Likewise, when it heads below a previous swing the line will thin.
Kagi charts are good for day trading because they emphasise the break-out of swing highs and lows. It’s also fantastic for finding support and resistance levels, enabling you to track market bias.
Online you’ll see a lot of day trading 1, 5, 15 and 30-minute charts. All chart types have a time frame, usually the x-axis, and that will determine the amount of trading information they display.
Whilst most are based on time, some will focus on numbers of trades. The most common are:
- Price range
A 5-minute chart is an example of a time-based time frame. Every 5 minutes a new price bar will form showing you the price movements for those 5 minutes. Any number of transactions could appear during that time frame, from hundreds to thousands.
Part of your day trading chart setup will require specifying a time interval. If you’re not planning to be glued to your screen all day, you’ll probably want to use a lower time frame. If you plan to be there for the long haul then perhaps a higher time frame would be better suited to you.
This is simply because if you’re trading for just a few hours, a 15-minute chart will only create a limited number of bars. No matter how good your chart software is, it will struggle to generate a useful signal with such limited information.
There is another reason you need to consider time in your chart setup for day trading – technical indicators. Not all indicators work the same with all time frames. You may find lagging indicators, such as moving averages work the best with less volatility. You might then benefit from a longer period moving average on your daily chart, than if you used the same setup on a 1-minute chart.
There is no wrong and right answer when it comes to time frames. Just bear in mind when you’re reading charts for day trading, firstly, how long will you be at your screen, waiting for signals to show? Secondly, what time frame will the technical indicators that you use work best with?
Understanding Day Trading Charts
So, you’ve set up your chart. But, now you need to get to grips with day trading chart analysis. There’s no use having a chart with all the answers if you can’t decipher the lines, ticks, and bars to get your hands on them.
Add too many indicators and you’ll be left with a sea of colours and lines that will only slow down the decision making process. Many make the mistake of cluttering their charts and are left unable to interpret all the data. Instead, consider some of the most popular indicators:
- Volume indicator – It won’t tell you which way the price will go, however, it will let you know if there is a significant number of transactions being made, and whether the big players are in the game.
- Simple moving average (SMA) – A 10-period moving average is one of the most prevalent indicators amongst intraday traders. It will highlight a significant price move early and show you in which direction. Opt for a slower moving average and you may lose profit when the trends ends or reverses.
- Average true range(ATR) – This paints an accurate depiction of volatility based on the actual price of the instrument. This gives you no choice but to assess each security on an individual basis. This helps ensure accurate trading decisions are made.
- Oscillators – This is a group of indicators that usually flow between the upper and lower bounds. They come in handy when a trend is not clearly visible. The most popular of which are RSI, MACD, and Commodity Channel Index (CCI).
With thousands of trade opportunities on your chart, how do you know when to enter and exit a position? You have to look out for the best day trading patterns. Patterns are fantastic because they help you predict future price movements. They work on the basis that, ‘history repeats itself’.
Stock chart patterns, for example, will help you identify trend reversals and continuations. You’ll usually find two themes in your chart analysis, breakouts and reversals. The former is when the price clears a pre-determined level on your chart. The latter is when there is a change in direction of a price trend.
Some of the most popular patterns are listed below.
- Morning consolidation
- Late consolidation
- Little to no price retracement
- Spring at support
- Outside bar at resistance or support
- Cup and handle
- Ascending triangle
- Descending triangle
- Triple bottom
- Head and shoulders
You can also find a breakdown of popular patterns, alongside easy-to-follow images.
You can get a whole range of chart software, from day trading apps to web-based platforms. Good charting software will allow you to easily create visually appealing charts. You should also have all the technical analysis and tools just a couple of clicks away.
Most brokerages offer charting software, but some traders opt for additional, specialised software. If you’re new to day trading using charts then the standard software you get from your broker should cut the mustard.
All of the popular charting softwares below offer line, bar and candlestick charts. They also all offer extensive customisability options:
- MetaTrader – It’s ideal if you’re looking for forex daily charts. Trading with these MetaTrader offers in-depth and easy to navigate charts. You also get a numerous time frames to choose between.
- eSignal – eSignal offers extensive customisability, but a relatively limited selection of technical indicators. It’s ideal for beginners looking to familiarise themselves with trading charts.
- NinjaTrader – This low cost integrated trading and charting software system offers crystal clear charts in every format under the sun. You’ll also benefit from research tools and a handy trading simulator.
- Sierra Chart – This trading platform not only offers easy to set up charts, but you also get extensive technical analysis tools. It also offers a demo account, plus real-time and historical data.
- TradeStation – You benefit from flexibility and multi data charts. On top of that, you get access to indicators with alerts and a number of intelligent drawing tools.
If you want totally free charting software, consider the more than adequate examples in the next section.
The good news is a lot of day trading charts are free. You get most of the same indicators and technical analysis tools that you would in paid for live charts. You’ll also find some of the free options offer a space for traders to follow experienced traders, and discuss instruments and markets with each other.
These free chart sites are the ideal place for beginners to find their feet, offering you top tips on chart reading. Some will also offer demo accounts. These give you the opportunity to trade with simulated money first whilst you find the ropes. They’re ideal for trying a host of different charts until you find the right one to compliment your trading style.
Some of the most popular free online trading charts are:
- Technician – You’ll get real-time day charts for all US equity markets and forex. In addition, you’ll get delayed data from global stock exchanges and futures markets.
- TradingView – You’ll get real-time stock charts on 1, 3, 5, and 15-minute time frames. You can also get forex and bitcoin charts, whilst futures data is delayed. You’ll get access to hundreds of technical indicators and the ability to set up watch lists and alerts.
- FreeStockCharts –You get trading charts for crypto, futures, stocks and all the other big markets. You’ll get 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, and 15-minute time frames to choose between. You can save portfolios, create various chart layouts and benefit from a whole host of technical indicators and drawing tools.
This page has explained trading charts in detail. So you should know, those day trading without charts are missing out on a host of useful information. Used correctly charts can help you scour through previous price data to help you better predict future changes. There’s a host of charting software out there, including several free options. Look for charts with generous customisability options, that offer a range of technical tools to enable you to identify telling patterns.
How does the free 1-month trial work?
With our trial, the first month of service is totally free. You may cancel at any time during the trial month and will not be billed. All new trial accounts begin at our Extra service level, but you may upgrade or downgrade at any point during the free month. After that period, we will charge your credit card for another month of whichever service level you last selected. Refunds are available only for whole months of remaining service and do not apply to data plans.
How much does it cost to subscribe to StockCharts?
The cost of subscribing to StockCharts depends on the Service Level and Data Plans that you choose. As a Basic member, you'll pay $14.95 per month. As an Extra member, you'll pay $24.95 per month. As a PRO member, you'll pay $39.95 per month. If you choose to sign up an annual subscription, you'll pay for 12 months of service and we'll give you the 13th month for free.
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Do I have to sign up for a long-term contract?
No. StockCharts accounts are typically billed on a month-to-month basis. If you cancel, you will be billed for the current month but you won't be billed again. You do also have the option to sign up for an annual billing plan, which allows you to prepay for 12 months of StockCharts service and receive the 13th month free of charge.
Will I also have to pay exchange fees?
You have the option to add official real-time data for the US, Canada, the UK and India to your account. The official exchange fees for the country (or countries) that you select will be billed to your account in addition to the cost of your monthly StockCharts membership.
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What types of charts can I create?
StockCharts allows you to create intraday, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly Price Charts, Point & Figure Charts, Seasonality Charts, Relative Rotation Graphs (RRG), Interactive PerfCharts, and more.
Which exchanges does StockCharts cover?
We provide high-quality financial charts for US stocks (NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX), US Mutual Funds, Canadian stocks (TSX, Venture), UK stocks (LSE) and Indian stocks (NSE). We also provide over 1000 technical market indicators and indexes as well as end-of-day charts for most US commodity contracts.
Do you provide real-time streaming charts?
We provide real-time charts that automatically update just like streaming charts, but without forcing you to install complicated software packages or browser plugins. Our charts automatically refresh every 5 seconds (Pro) or 15 seconds (Extra & Basic). However, they can be manually refreshed as often as you need just by clicking the "Update" button.
Day Trading Method
Today we’re going to take a look at day trading: 1-minute, 3-minute, and 5-minute charts.
I’ll show you an actual example here on day trading. If you have a specific question you want me to answer, contact us at tradersfly.com or submit a voice question here!
Here’s the question:
“Hi, Sasha. I enjoy your video regarding day trading and one of your video issues on how to choose stocks for day trading. I have a few questions because your video doesn’t answer some of the questions I have in my mind.
The first question is for day trading on a one-minute plan with reference to five minutes. And also the daily charts for support and resistance. How do we trade it to prevent false breakup?
And the next question is, how do you scan for the high bull stocks for day trading on a very small timeframe in one minute and five minutes. I will appreciate if you can show it to us. Thank you!”
Let me give you some insight on the screen. Typically if I’m doing day trading, I don’t do day trading a ton.
I’m looking for a three-screen version like this.
There you can see:
- daily chart
- monthly chart
- 15-30 minute chart
What does this do?
Well, the big-picture chart gives me the big picture where’s this stock. The daily chart gives me more of an intermediate what’s going on here recently. And the 15-30 minute will give you the exact entry-exit point.
If I’m looking to day trade Facebook, I know long term right now. This first chart right here tells me long term stocks been heading higher — a little bit of a couple of pullbacks there.
A medium-term, which is the middle chart, the daily chart (each candlestick represents a day) overall, it’s been heading higher. But then recently we continue to head lower.
And more recent also the 10 minute 15-minute is heading lower. And I can see that with this line right here.
It’s breaking this support line of when it gapped up.
What’s my opinion?
If I’m looking for this stock to go long, I’m looking for where’s the bounce going to happen.
I would much rather look for a turnaround bounce, maybe around 181.25. If I’m looking to go short, well, I’m going to go short for a smaller period. That’s because most of these are heading higher.
What does this tell me?
It’s telling me that two out of three, in a way, the stocks heading higher. One more recent one is heading lower. If I’m shorting it for a day trade, I only have one thing in my favor. I would much rather have multiple things in my favor.
Let’s take a look at Apple. Overall, stocks been heading higher.
Recently we’re heading lower and short-term for the trade we’re heading lower. What I would rather do is have all three of these where stock is heading lower long-term medium term and short term.
That’s the typical approach I would like. But if that doesn’t pan out and it doesn’t work out well, ask yourself how many things are in my favor.
The more things in your favor, probably the larger the position starting you’d want to do.
This one’s been heading higher. Now it’s topping out, and maybe it’s pulling back. This might be an interesting one. Overall, the long term has been heading higher, but then here we’ve been heading a little higher, and now we might be topping out around 75.
You can see that over here as well.
And now recently we’ve been heading lower. In the short term, we’re heading a little higher, so now we might be rolling over. If I’m looking at a 10-minute 5-minute chart, you say it’s at the top range.
If I’m looking short, let’s say I do 300 shares as an example. Go ahead, confirm and send that in, and it’s filled.
Now I go to Best Buy, and now there is my position.
I didn’t make my decision, as you can see, based on this exact last bar. Why? That’s because I have longer time periods available.
This last bar could be heading higher. But the longer plays I know is heading lower.
You don’t want to psych yourself out with these kinds of things that you see. It’s a green bar. That’s where people go wrong.
This is my resistance level. And I’m basing it on that.
I’m not basing it on that is a recent bar. It’s heading higher.
Don’t get psyched out. You have to give it room to wiggle. Now, as it continues lower or if it goes above that bar, I’m out. I might be out about $186, but if it heads in my favor, it continues to head lower, I’ll start buying back these shares.
I might only do 100 at a time. And I’m not doing the full scope for you. I’m just doing a 100 shares at a time. That’s the case because if you are getting rid of the full amount, you’re not letting the stock go and work in your favor.
With time what you’re doing is you’re getting rid of 100 shares, 100 shares, and 100 shares. When you’re ready, you hit confirm and send.
You get rid of 100 shares. And then you let this continue to work in your favor. And then you do another 100 shares, and you might do that two or three times throughout the day. And then you close out your position.
That’s what happens in 6.5 trading hours, but you might only be in the trade 2 or 3 hours if you’re making a day trade like this. That’s how you would approach it, and when you finally close out your position.
I wanted to show you how I would approach it. If you approach it differently – that’s fine. However, I always tell people to take profits in the strengths; you’re taking money off. In this case, you’d be taking shares off.
One minute is just too quick. If you’re doing the one-minute, you’re better to use the active trader. There’s an active trader right here.
You have these buttons:
There’re even hotkeys you can set up. And then you trade this way. But I don’t like to do it that way because typically it’s quick enough.
You’re just trying to do a bunch of trades, commissions start to add up real quick, and it’s a stressful thing to do. You have to be on the screen and watching it like a hawk, and I don’t enjoy that lifestyle too much.
Sometimes it might be fun to do, but once you have kids and those kinds of things, you prefer option trades and stable trades. These are the things that you’re in for a handful of days. And these things don’t whip you around, and you don’t have to focus in as much. I’m getting older, and I don’t want to be always at the computer screen all the time.
Instead, I enjoy making these posts and videos for you guys. It’s much more fun and engaging.
I’d rather put on an option spread like Amazon.
In this case, you let this thing sit and work, and it doesn’t matter if it hits it perfectly, you’re still on a $5,000 investment you might be up to $600.
That’s much more favorable for me.
If you enjoy day trading, there’s nothing wrong with it.
It’s just a different approach, but you have to spend time watching the ticks and watching the screen very carefully.
Charts stock 3 minute
Which Time Frames to Watch While Day Trading Stocks
New traders often wonder which time frames to watch while day trading stocks. Do you use tick charts and a five-minute chart for context, or is it better to use a one-minute chart instead? Is a 15-minute or hourly chart more effective at monitoring major support or resistance levels created over the last several days?
Before answering these questions, it's worth noting that the best time frames to monitor and trade should be laid out in your trading plan. If you haven't created a trading plan yet, use this information to learn more about your options for day-trading strategies.
If you already have a trading plan, it's time to scrap the confusion and learn about the best time frames to watch while day trading.
- Chart time frames change information intervals and the amount of information you see.
- When trading volume is high, increase your time frame to decrease details.
- Decrease your time frame when trading volume is low to improve details.
- Later in the trading day, extend your time frames to observe trends.
Chart Time Frames Don't Change Market Volatility
If you hear someone say, "One-minute charts are too volatile," don't take advice from that person. How data is viewed doesn't change how volatile a market is—all that changes is how much information you see.
A tick chart shows the most data because it creates a bar for each transaction (or a specific number of transactions, such as 30 or 500). One-minute charts show how the price moves during each one-minute period. A five-minute chart tracks price movement in five-minute increments. The five-minute chart isn't less volatile than the one-minute, even though the chart may appear calmer. Each five-minute bar is equivalent to five one-minute bars. The one-minute chart may appear more erratic, but that's only because it reveals more detail about trading.
Which Time Frames to Monitor
Just as time frames don't affect volatility, time frames don't impact the information you see—though they will display that information differently. Shorter-time-frame charts reveal more detail, while longer-term charts show less detail. The detail is still included in the long-term chart, but the chart zooms out to emphasize long-term trends rather than short-term detail.
When day trading stocks, monitor a tick chart near the open. So many transactions occur around the market open that you could have several big moves and reversals within a few minutes. These are tradable moves, but they occur so quickly that traders may miss them if they're viewing a one-minute chart. Despite the high volume of trading, only one or two one-minute bars may have formed, making it difficult to determine trade signals. On the other hand, traders viewing tick charts may have 10 or 20 bars form within a couple of minutes after the markets open, and those bars could provide multiple trade signals. This scenario is especially likely when trading high-volatility stocks.
Once you determine the number of ticks per bar that best suits the stock you are trading, you can continue to trade off the tick chart throughout the day. It provides the most detailed information and will also let you know when nothing is happening. If only a few transactions are going through, it will take a long time for a tick bar to complete (and for a new one to begin).
A one-minute chart, on the other hand, will continue to produce price bars as long as one transaction occurs each minute. This can create the illusion of activity during slow trading periods, but traders who see that the tick chart isn't creating new bars will know there is little activity. Therefore, they may decide that it's better to sit on the sidelines. Day traders want movement and volume—those factors boost liquidity and profitability.
As the Day Progresses, Extend Your Time Frame
As the day progresses, your tick chart is going to accumulate a lot of bars, especially if it is a volatile and high-volume trading day. This can create too much detail. When zoomed in, it may be difficult to see the entire price range for the trading day or even the entire current trend. That is when it helps to open a one-minute or two-minute chart. It acts as a summary of the tick chart, giving traders more context about the activity.
The one-minute and two-minute charts are especially helpful in assessing trends, monitoring major intra-day support and resistance levels, and noting overall volatility.
Take a Break for "Lunch," Then Continue Extending Your Time Frame
Most day traders trade near the open, but stop trading by about 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. ET, just before the New York lunch hour. The lunch hour is typically quieter, so day traders usually take a break, as there are fewer quality trade opportunities.
Day traders will resume day trading after the lunch hour. Some traders begin around 1:00 p.m. ET, while others prefer to wait and resume trading closer to the market close.
In either case, the tick, one-minute, and two-minute charts may not show the entire trading day (or, if they do, the chart will appear squished). Therefore, continue to trade on your tick chart, but have a four-minute or five-minute chart open. Late in the day, these longer-term charts will help show the day's overall trend. They will also make major support and resistance levels clearly visible.
Day Traders Rarely (but Do Sometimes) Monitor Prior Days
Day traders spend the bulk of their energy looking at today's data. When they open their charts for the day, they see what has happened in the pre-market, and maybe a little bit of the prior session, but that is it. Typically, that is all that is needed. Day traders must be focused on what is happening now. Looking at loads of history isn't going to reveal much worthwhile information to a day trader.
The only time a day trader would monitor what has happened on prior days is if that trader's personal trading strategy requires it. For example, the "dead cat bounce" strategy looks for trading opportunities based on price gaps. Signals for this strategy may occur days after the price gap occurred, so recognizing trade signals depends on the use of a chart that includes several days of price history.
The Bottom Line
For most stock day traders, a tick chart will work best for actually placing trades. The tick chart shows the most detailed information and provides more potential trade signals when the market is active (relative to a one-minute or longer time frame chart). It also highlights when there is little activity. Always trade off the tick chart—your tick chart should always be open.
While your tick chart should always be open, it shouldn't be the only chart you're watching. You may not be able to see all the price data for the current day on your tick chart. Seeing what has occurred throughout the day is important for monitoring trends, overall volatility, tendencies, and strong intra-day support and resistance levels. To reveal all the price data for the day, open a separate one-minute or two-minute chart to reveal the entire day's price action.
As the day progresses, you may need to increase the time frame of your chart to see the whole day. Increase in steps, from three-minute to four-minute to five-minute. The specific time frame isn't the most important aspect; you just want to be able to see as much detail as possible while still being able to view the entire day's price action. The shorter the time frame, the more detail becomes visible, but the harder it becomes to fit an entire day of action onto a single chart.
While you will extend your time frame later in the day, don't worry about monitoring longer time frames (15-minute, hourly, or daily charts), unless your strategy specifically requires it. In that case, open a separate chart for that time frame.
Keep your trading simple. Focus on today and what is happening now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you use candlestick charts in day trading?
Each candlestick gives you five pieces of information that you can use in your trading strategy. The color will tell you whether the price is moving up or down. The top of the wick tells you the highest price reached in the time frame. The bottom wick tells you the lowest price. The lefthand side of the candle's body tells you where the price opened for that time frame, and the righthand side tells you where it closed. Combined and analyzed in the context of surrounding candles, these five data points can help you understand the strength and direction of price action.
Where can you find candlestick charts for day trading?
There are many ways that day traders can access candlestick charts. Many brokerages offer these charts, as well as sites like TradingView and Yahoo Finance. Try a few and see which you like best, but ensure that you're using live charts that update prices in real time.
What charts should I use for day trading forex or cryptocurrencies?
Day-trading strategies aren't exclusive to a specific type of security, so the guidelines for stock day traders are the same for forex or cryptocurrency traders. Of course, stocks move differently from bitcoin, which moves differently from the USD/JPY pair. You should carefully test a strategy on new markets before assuming that your past success will transfer.
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Depending on how you trade and which indicators you use most often, you may or may not need a paid subscription for charts useful for planning your next trades. Paid options on a stock graph offer additional charting tools or the ability to split your screen into several charts for a full analysis. You can get more charting tool options with paid options, but some of the better free charting options provide many commonly used technical indicators.
Best Stock Charts
You want the best possible stock graph with a premium on easy-to-use features, tip-top functionality, real-time data and more. Here are Benzinga’s top picks.
Note: Our favorite charting tools may or may not be available with free charting platforms.
1. Best for Both News and Charts: Benzinga Pro
Benzinga Pro is a real-time news streaming services packed with trade alerts, market screeners, audio alerts and much more. It’s designed for fast-paced traders who need access to the right information at the right time.
The major benefit of Benzinga Pro is its ability to deliver real-time streaming news. The platform is designed to help traders get access to breaking news in real-time. but you can also sign up for trade alerts, audio alerts and more.
Benzinga Pro has TradingView charts within the platform, including all indicators. The only thing it lacks is the ability to share indicators and charts.
Choose the Basic plan for $99 per month or the Essential plan for $147 per month. You can save 20% on both plans when you opt for an annual subscription.
Get started with a FREE 2 week trial.
2. Best Mobile App: StockClock
Powered by Benzinga, StockClock’s fast financial newsfeed lets you gather insight way before stocks start moving. You can filter stocks by the criteria important to you, including price, market cap, movement more.
Build your own watchlist with powerful segmenting tools and get real-time price alerts sent directly to your smart device with push notifications. You’ll know exactly when a stock hits a certain price.
You can access StockClock for just $10 per month and you can save 20% by billing annually. Start your 7-day trial now.
3. Best Free Version: Stockcharts.com
Despite its decidedly old-school feel, Stockcharts.com offers clean charts with lots of indicators that are easy to find and apply to your chart. The free version of StockCharts.com limits overlays and indicators and also limits the size of the chart. Depending on your screen size and charting needs, the paid version may be a worthwhile investment if you enjoy StockCharts.com’s functionality.
Paid subscribers are treated to more charting tools as well. StockCharts.com also several other free tools and other goodies, including predefined scans so you can find stocks with bullish or bearish chart indicators as well as StockCharts TV, which analyzes live charts of current price action in the markets. Subscription prices for stockcharts.com currently range between $14.95 and $39.95 per month and you can kick off your subscription with a free 1-month trial.
4. Best for Portfolio Tracking: Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is an all-inclusive financial platform that helps you track your portfolio, study financial instruments and learn about the markets. With a powerful newsletter and email alert system, you get a holistic view of stock market. Plus, the site allows you to check stock charts for any asset.
Using the power of TradingView, Seeking Alpha ensures that traders can review the activity of any security up to 5 years in the past, using a range of indicators that appear on the screen along with the stock’s current trajectory. The chart sits on a light background, the orange coloring is easy to read and it sits in stark contrast with indicators that you might choose to display. Plus, you can use the site’s charts whether you’re a member or not.
5. Best Subscription: TradingView
TradingView’s free version provides access to 3 simultaneous indicators. You can also apply indicators created by other TradingView members. We found TradingView’s interface a bit more difficult to read and to navigate than some other charting options but liked TradingView’s snapshot gauge display that clearly indicates combined buying signals (or selling signals).
Tradingview allows you to find your inner Picasso, allowing you to draw anything you’d like on your chart, including notes, price direction arrows or anything else that you find useful when making a trading decision. Many other charging options only allow you to draw straight lines, such as those used to indicate resistance and support. You can also display multiple charts at once, splitting your display so you can take in the big picture.
To access all of TradingView’s features, you’ll need a subscription, with a pro plan starting at $14.95 a month and additional plans ranging up to $59.95 per month.
6. Best Technical Analysis: FINVIZ
FINVIZ also offers very useful charts. Automatically generated technical analyses, including a candlestick chart, support and resistance levels, and moving averages are available.
An upgrade to FINVIZ Elite will buy you real-time data, intraday charts advanced charting tools. For simpler analysis and trend trading, running a chart after market close is often enough to be a useful tool for trades you plan to execute the following day. However, free charts can’t be modified with FINVIZ.
FINVIZ’s clean charts and quick overview — even the free versions — are also a great way to confirm or disprove your analysis from other charting data. FINVIZ charges a $39.50 monthly cost and $299.50 annual cost. Both offer Elite feature access and provides access to real-time and pre-market data, advanced charting capability an advanced screener. You can also unlock backtesting so you can see which indicators matched up with actual market events.
What is a Stock Chart?
Stock charts provide a graphical way to display stock data, including price and volume. The simplest charts display price data plotted on a line graph as it changes over time. Candlestick charts indicate trading volume in addition to price data. More complex charting tools allow you to set additional indicators to fully understand the trading activity for equity or index.
Stock Chart Indicators
If you put 100 traders in a room and place a stock graph in front of them, you might get 100 different answers on which indicators are the best for trading. But, a few indicators have proven their worth over time. Some of the more reliable indicators focus on short-term to long-term trends as opposed to intraday price movements.
Trend trading, in many cases, misses the highs and lows for a stock or index because the buy or sell signals happen after a trend has started. This approach can limit returns but has the advantage of waiting for a trend to be confirmed before you make a buy or sell decision. You can ride the price up, then exit the trade when a decline is confirmed — you can miss the lows if the trend continues down. While this creates an admittedly slower reaction time for traders, other indicators that try to time trades more precisely may not be as reliable.
Moving Averages (and Crossovers)
A moving average tracks the average price of a stock, commodity index over a given period of time. A 200-day moving average looks back in time, averaging the price over the last 200 trading days. A 50-day moving average does the same, but with a shorter time frame for the average. These 2 indicators are often used to find buying or selling signals. For example, when these 2 lines cross on a chart, it’s usually seen as a confirmed trend, sending a buy or sell signal depending on the value of the 50-day moving average relative to the 200-day moving average.
- When the 50-day moving average falls below the 200-day moving average, it’s a sell signal.
- When the 50-day moving average rises above the 200-day moving average, it’s a buy signal.
Daily stock prices compared to the 50-day and 200-day indicators are also sometimes used to determine a trend. This method can be less accurate and can create false signals because daily pricing is more volatile and intraday stock prices can be pushed around by news or large orders on thinly traded stocks.
Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)
The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator is an oscillator indicator and is a bit more complex than simple moving averages, but still uses data from moving averages to signal potential entry points or exit points. The MACDshows both trend and momentum, helping to differentiate stronger buying or selling signals from the sometimes unconvincing signals that can come from a chart that isn’t moving decisively and may change direction again. MACD uses 0 as a baseline, with MACD lines above 0 indicating a potential entry point and lines below 0 indicating a potential exit point.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
RSI considers the number of days up versus the number of days down on a chart as a part of calculating the relative strength index. You can find out whether a stock is overbought, potentially indicating near-term profit-taking and an impending swoon for the stock, or whether a stock is oversold and potentially due for a bounce. RSI is shown as a value between 0 and 100. A value above 70 is considered overbought, while a value below 30 is considered oversold.
On-Balance Volume (OBV)
Another popular indicator is on-balance volume, which looks at volume in uptrends against volume in downtrends. This indicator becomes relevant when confirming buying or selling signals. Stock prices can drift aimlessly at low volume, triggering buy or sell signals as they wander up or down the chart. However, without convincing volume, moving averages and crossovers alone can be misleading and direction can quickly change when news hits or normal trading volume returns.
Bollinger Bands are an tool plotted on your standard stock chart, working in pairs to illustrate the range of prices that a stock could see. When you superimpose the bands over the price of a stock, you can see the price bounce within those lines most of the time. In fact, you might see the price fluctuate wildly within the bands, hitting the top and bottom respectively.
A line in the middle of the stock chart the moving average—think of this as a simplified representation of the stock’s movement. As the bands constrict, volatility decreases. If the bands separate, volatility increases, indicating that a price trend may soon some to an end.
Adding Bollinger Bands to your stock charts is also a good way to get your bearings. You might look at the price fluctuation of a stock for the first time and have no idea where it is going. Looking over the moving average in the Bollinger Bands helps you see where the price is likely going. Finally, if the stock price exits the bands, a new trend may be emerging. If the price suddenly comes back into the scope of the bands, that trend is not likely to continue.
Free vs. Paid Stock Charts
There are some great free stock chart platforms out there but most have limitations, often encouraging users to upgrade for additional features or functionality. In addition to a typically limited feature set, free charts may not provide up to date or complete data.
A 15-minute delay is common, which can make free charting tools less useful for day trading. Volume reporting may also be affected for free charts that only display limited exchange information. Paid options provide real-time pricing with live updates, unlock more charting options and may allow additional features like the ability to save charts or use more overlays with your charts.
Whether you need real-time data depends on your trading style. For day traders who might hold a stock for hours, minutes even seconds, real-time data isn’t just valuable, it’s imperative. Active traders are likely to have access to charting with real-time data through their online brokerage account. Trend traders may hold a stock position for days or weeks and real-time data isn’t as important but charting tools that provide the most reliable buy or sell signals is still an important consideration.
Best Stock Brokers
Which online brokers are best? Take a look at Benzinga’s picks for the best brokerage firms for stock trading.
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When it comes to stock trading chart software, you have tons of options. Some aren’t great, while others can potentially help improve your trading skills.
StocksToTrade — a trading and charting platform I helped design — offers awesome features that can help you trade every day. Some Trading Challenge students even say it makes them feel like “masters of the universe.”
(Full disclosure: I helped develop StocksToTrade and I’m a major investor. That said, it’s my dream stock-scanning tool. It’s designed to help save time in finding the best stocks that fit my patterns and strategy.)
Speaking of masters … sign up to get an alert for my next Market Mastery. It’s your chance to see what it’s like to watch me trade live.
That said, there are other stock charting software programs traders can use. Let’s explore how to use trading charts for day trading and the benefits stock charting software can have on your trading strategies.
Table of Contents
What Is Stock Chart Software?
Technical analysis is a huge part of my trading. Other gurus on Profit.ly use technical analysis, as well. So, I want to share some web-based stock-charting tools.
Stock chart software allows you to generate different types of charts based on a stock’s price movements. You can also add various technical indicators — the number and type depend on the quality of the software. And many come with filters.
Free stock chart software often lets you generate charts in 1-, 3-, 5-, and 15-minute increments. These software programs draw information from just one data source, so they’re not complete. But they can help you make trades based on technical analysis.
The Importance of Learning How to Properly Read a Stock Chart
If you’re going to take a deep dive into technical analysis, I recommend finding a software-based system. These platforms often have more features than web-based alternatives.
But keep in mind that they can come with a higher price tag. So if you’re just starting out or not planning to focus on technical analysis too much, consider that in your decision.
The smartest way to learn how to read a stock chart accurately is to look at actual stock charts. Analyze, compare, and assess them. Watch the movements after the chart to see if your predictions were correct. Why does it matter?
If you don’t know how to read a stock chart, you’ll have to make trades based on guesses or emotion. I don’t recommend either one.
How Stock Charts Work
Let’s talk about how stock trading charts work for a minute.
When it comes to chart technical analysis, you’re looking at a chart with a trend line. The trend line shows how the stock’s price rises and falls over a given period of time. It’s often rendered in blue.
Then you have support and resistance.
These are the prices beyond which a stock is unlikely to move. Resistance is the top of the range. When a stock breaks resistance, it climbs higher than expected in price. Support sits at the bottom. The stock’s price is unlikely to fall below that line.
When a stock’s price moves outside its current levels of support and resistance, new lines are drawn. This is how traders make decisions. For instance, if you’re buying a stock, you would want to buy in at or just above the support. If you’re selling, you want to get out before it hits resistance — unless, of course, you’re anticipating a breakout.
When a stock breaks resistance, it rises above that key line and is considered a breakout. If it falls below support, it’s a breakdown. This is often when the real money gets made.
The point here is that chart technical analysis tells a stock’s story. You can look at a chart that spans 10 years or one that represents just one minute of price action. Intraday charts usually break down into far briefer periods of time. That’s because you want to buy and sell before the close of the market.
What Is the Best Stock Charting Software for Beginners?
No matter your trading experience, I recommend using StocksToTrade.
It’s a robust, comprehensive tool that provides far more than stock charting functionality. It has built-in help guidelines to assist you in learning how to use it for better trading.
What Do You Need To Look at Before Choosing a Stock Chart Software?
When choosing stock trading software, consider your budget as well as your personal preferences. And think about longevity. Will the platform you choose work for you as you evolve as a trader?
You don’t want to learn how to use stock trading software only to have to switch when you outgrow it. Some stock trading chart programs lack the nuance and granularity you need to make fast, accurate trading decisions.
Trading penny stocks, for instance, involves capitalizing on volatile stocks with large positions. If you don’t have access to fast charting where you can isolate patterns and view previous price movements, you can miss opportunities to profit.
Struggling with volatility? Check out my free Volatility Survival Guide. I created it to help you navigate and survive any crazy market.
Messy trading charts drive me nuts. They’re painful to look at, any patterns are almost impossible to see. It makes my eyes tired after just a few minutes. Messy charts make it tough to suss out how a stock is performing.
Cleanliness also applies to the software program’s user interface. Can you easily navigate to the screens you need? Are there shortcuts or hot keys to help you work faster? Are the fonts easy to read?
You also need to consider how easy a platform is to use. Does the software allow you to adjust technical indicator parameters? Can you choose from multiple stock types? What about watching multiple securities simultaneously.
Every trader is different. Features I look for in a stock trading chart software program might be completely different from what you want. Make a list of the features you absolutely need the software to have, as well as a list of potential bonus features.
It’s kind of like buying a house. You walk in with your wish list and check off each item. If there are bonuses, you’re more likely to buy.
What Is the Best Stock Chart Software Available?
If you want to learn how to read candlesticks and other chart patterns, consider signing up for StocksToTrade. It’s a highly adaptive trading tool that goes far beyond stock charting software. You can use it to paper trade, develop your trading style, and more.
You can also add on hot features, like the Breaking News chat and Oracle Alerts. Both can help you find hot trades.
6 Best Free Candlestick Charting Software
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know how much I like candlestick charts. They’re easy to read and provide lots of nuance for eagle-eyed day traders.
Those of you who like candlestick charts might like these free charting software options. They all have limitations, but they can be great for beginners on a budget. Let’s take a look at some free chart websites.
I’m a fan of TradingView because it’s practically made for day traders. You can view between one- and 15-minute time frames.
It has a thriving social media component, though not as active as Profit.ly. And the software allows you to set up alerts. You can also view multiple charts on the same screen for comparison.
Like most stock chart programs, TradingView goes by a freemium model. You can upgrade if you want access to more in-depth features.
You can create candlestick charts at StockCharts.com, as well as line and bar charts. The software offers up to three years of data if you have a free account. Upgrading to a paid account gives you access to more data.
The downside is that you must upgrade to a paid plan if you want to use intraday charts.
3. Yahoo! Finance
Yahoo! Finance is also on the simple side in terms of features and aesthetics. You can filter charts based on several technical indicators, which can be handy. You can view stock movements over up to five years in duration and view several comparison charts at the same time.
4. Google Finance
I don’t think Google’s charting software comes close to StocksToTrade. But Google Finance might be a good fit for you if you’re a beginner. And if you use Google’s suite of tools, you might find their interface easier to navigate.
BigCharts.com has been around for a long time. It allows you to use lots of technical indicators as well as several different chart types.
Unlike many other sites, intraday charts are available between one and 60 minutes, giving you far more flexibility when assessing price action. Also, the company offers data all the way back to the mid-1970s. You can find plenty of historical information on long-term companies.
It’s important to understand what “real time” means when it comes to stock charting software like FreeStockCharts.com. If the data is less than 15 minutes old, you’re looking at BATS data, which means that it’s coming from one source and doesn’t represent all exchange data.
However, this site can still be a handy feature. FreeStockCharts.com offers intraday charts as well as weekly, monthly, and yearly options. You can filter your data by up to 80 technical indicators, and you can save your favorite chart layouts as long as you have an account and you’re signed in.
How to Use Technical Chart Analysis
Technical chart analysis boils down to supply and demand. When supply goes up, demand decreases, and vice versa.
A stock’s price is represented in chart format based on fluctuations. You’ll see the trend line as well as support and resistance levels. Identifying patterns in a stock’s price based on historical performance is a good way to start reading and analyzing charts.
You’re not just looking at price, though. You also have to consider volume. When volume increases, you have more opportunities to make money, either by purchasing stock or shorting it.
With fundamental analysis, valuation matters more than anything else. However, if you’re conducting technical chart analysis, valuation doesn’t matter. What matters is the stock’s trends. You can potentially make money regardless of a company’s or stock’s valuation — even if the stock only costs a few dollars and sells for just a dollar or so more.
How to Read Trading Charts
As mentioned, I prefer candlestick charts to any other stock chart. They’re easy to read and highly intuitive.
As its name suggests, the candlestick pattern resembles a series of candlesticks. Some have wicks — upward shadows — while others have tails. Those with tails look like upside-down candlesticks.
The candlestick itself is called the body. It’s either hollow or filled. If it’s hollow, there’s buying pressure. And a filled candlestick represents selling pressure.
The top of the wick is the high for the stock value at that particular time and the bottom of the tail is the low. The point at which the wick or tail meets the candlestick denotes the open and close prices for the stock.
Trading Candlestick Chart Patterns Explained
To help you learn to read trading charts, let’s go over the most popular chart patterns. The best chart time frame for day trading is the 1-minute or 5-minute chart. But I use other time frames as well. These patterns can appear on any chart time frame.
A pennant is also known as a symmetrical triangle or a flag. It begins with a wide range, then it consolidates tighter to a small range. Your entry is either going long when it breaks out or going short when it breaks down out of the consolidation.
A flag is similar to a pennant but the consolidation area can look more like a channel than a triangle. Your entries will be based on the same idea as the pennant. A flag is a continuation pattern, meaning it’s usually an area of consolidation before continuing in the direction of the trend before the flag formed.
A wedge is a pattern created by price movements consolidated tighter and creating a triangle. It’s known as a reversal pattern because the trend will usually change at the convergence of the triangle. A falling wedge is a bullish pattern and a rising wedge is a bearish pattern.
A triangle pattern is a continuation pattern. These are known as a descending triangle or an ascending triangle. An ascending triangle has a flat top along the highs and an angled trendline along the higher lows. It’s a continuation pattern of an uptrend.
A descending triangle is the opposite and has a flat bottom with lower highs forming an angled top downwards. A symmetrical triangle is similar to a pennant and could break out of the triangle either up or down.
Cup and Handles
A cup and handle is a U-shaped pattern followed by a slight downward move, creating the handle. The move then continues upwards. The pattern is known as a bullish pattern.
Head and Shoulders
The head and shoulders pattern forms when an uptrend makes a high, then a slight retracement, then continues to make a higher high. It then drops again, to the same level as the previous dip, and bounces but makes a lower high. When it breaks below the level that held both dips, it usually continues lower.
A double top is formed when a high is made, followed by a small retracement and then a retest of the previous high. If the stock can’t break through the previous high, it forms a double top. This is known as a reversal pattern and the stock price will usually go down after it fails to break the high.
A gap is a chart pattern where the stock price increases or decreases from the previous days close. This creates a gap in the chart between the two daily candles. A gap can be a move up or down and can change direction within the trading day — meaning a gap up doesn’t always mean the stock will continue upwards.
A reversal pattern is a pattern that indicates that an ongoing trend is about to change directions. I’ve gone over a few above, like the double top (or double bottom being the opposite), head and shoulders, and the rising of falling wedges.
Trading Chart Patterns Frequently Used for Day Trading
I go over the trading chart patterns listed above in my most comprehensive DVD “How to Make Millions” (all proceeds go to charity). In the DVD I also cover catalysts and how they can affect volume and price.
Day traders use any number of patterns to day trade. You can combine trading chart patterns with candlestick patterns … and the possibilities can seem endless. This is why I push students to study. There are so many options, you need to find which patterns make sense to you so you can find your edge.
Trading Chart Patterns Frequently Used for Penny Stock Trading
When it comes to trading penny stocks, I like to keep it simple. The number-one pattern I look for is gap ups.
I’m always looking for big percent gainers, preferably with a catalyst. That doesn’t mean I always trade them. As I said earlier, a gap up doesn’t mean the move will continue throughout the day.
My other favorite pattern is the morning panic dip buys. I have nearly 700 video lessons on buying panics on Profit.ly. Join Pennystocking Silver for access.
I also recommend applying for my Trading Challenge. My top students have made three-, four-, five-, six-, and even seven-figure profits over their trading careers based on what they’ve learned through the Challenge.*
Ultimately, I’d love to help more people become millionaires. My overall goal, though, is to help people reach their goals. Many of my Challenge students are the same — they’re willing to share their experiences, whether it’s in my chat room or by giving live webinars.*
Frequently Asked Questions About Trading Charts
What Are Trading Charts?
Trading charts are a visual depiction of the trades made on a stock. The buying and selling of the security create the candlesticks and the charts on multiple time frames.
Which Chart Is Best for Trading?
A chart with candlesticks is the best chart for trading. Candlesticks show the most information on the trades made. I look at charts with multiple timeframes, such as the daily, 1-minute, and 5-minute candlesticks.
How do You Trade with Charts?
Trading based on charts involves technical analysis. Analyzing where the stock price might go based on the previous price and movements of the stock.
What Trading Charts Do Day Traders Use?
Day traders use charts with candlesticks. Since day traders trade on intraday moves, they’re usually trading on charts with a 1-minute timeframe.
If you’re serious about becoming a trader, you need to understand how trading charts work. These websites for free stock trading charts can help you learn how to read charts accurately and use the data to make smarter plays.
I spend a lot of time reading charts, especially since I focus on penny stocks. There isn’t always much — if any — fundamental information out there. So I have to rely on volume, price movements, and patterns to know when to make my next move.
I urge you to continue your education in reading charts and to spend at least an hour or so — or more — every day studying chart patterns.
Do you use a free stock trading chart software for your trading? Let me know in the comments … I love to hear from my readers!