Feb 11, 2010

Stock Scanner, Stock Screener, Stock Filters: Know the difference

Written by Katie Gomez

We find that many people today are confused about the difference between common industry terms that describe software that helps to identify trading opportunities. This blog post is to help clear up this problem. Let’s start at the top.

Stock Scanner – A stock scanner, like the Trade-Ideas real time stock scanner is software that watches the market in real-time and then displays events in a streaming format. That means you do not have to manually do anything to get new information. As new stock alerts occur they are streamed directly to your desktop.

Stock Screener – A stock screener, like the one found in the Trade-Ideas trader’s area section gives the end user a list of filters like price, volume, and many other criteria by which to limit the search. Once the user inputs all of the appropriate stock filters, the software goes to the database and retrieves a static list of all of the stocks that met the criteria. The most important thing to note is that stock screeners are static, that means they do not update unless you refresh the page or manually adjust the filter criteria.

Stock Filters – Stock filters, like the ones found in the Trade-Ideas help section are used to limit the criteria by which to search for opportunities. Examples of stock filters include, price, volume, EPS, beta, or even a customized symbol list. Stock filters are very helpful in refining scans or screens in order to not be inundated with tons of information.

We hope this helps to clear up what you are actually looking for when evaluating trade detection software.