Best Stock Charts

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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.

Best For
All Trading Levels

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 and 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.

Best For
ETF Traders

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 and 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 and 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 a given 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)

moving average tracks the average price of a stock, commodity or 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 MACD shows 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

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 or 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.

get started securely through Webull’s website
Best For
Intermediate Traders and Investors
N/A
1 Minute Review

Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.

Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Intermediate traders
  • Advanced traders
Pros
  • Commission-free trading in over 5,000 different stocks and ETFs
  • No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
  • No charges to open and maintain an account
  • Leverage of 4:1 on margin trades made the same day and leverage of 2:1 on trades held overnight
  • Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
Cons
  • Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks
Get started securely through Axos Invest’s website
Best For
Sign Up Bonus
N/A
1 Minute Review

It seems like new digital investment management platforms are sprouting up left and right, and for good reason — there’s a great need for easy, straightforward investment management that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in fees or to get started. If you’re new to investing or an old hat who wants to make the switch to a virtual manager, deciding which features you need can be confusing if not overwhelming.

If you want a no-frills financial management platform, Axos Invest (formerly WiseBanyan) takes a traditional but sophisticated approach to automated online investing.

Best For
  • Traditional investors trying out an automated investor for the first time
  • New investors that want to take a hands-off approach to portfolio management
Pros
  • Straightforward automated investing
  • Relatively low account minimum and automated investing fee
  • A solid roster of available investment account types
Cons
  • Not a stand-out from other services if you’re someone who likes all the bells and whistles with your digital financial platform
  • No direct relationship with a human financial advisor
get started securely through public.com’s website
Best For
Trading Ideas
N/A
1 Minute Review

Public.com is an investing platform that helps people become better investors. Members can build a diverse portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto within a single platform. Ownership unlocks an experience of content and education, contextual to their portfolio, created by an over million strong community of investors, creators, and analysts. 

Public puts investors first and doesn’t sell trades to market makers or take money from Payment for Order Flow (PFOF).

Best For
  • New investors looking to learn how to invest
  • Experienced investors looking to grow even further
  • Building a modern portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto on one platform
Pros
  • Fractional shares and crypto
  • Transparency all around, from public portfolios to company beliefs
  • Supportive, educational community
Cons
  • No investing tools like futures, options, or margins
  • Day-trading is discouraged
  • Mobile app-based platform
get started securely through Cobra Trading’s website
Best For
Short Selling
N/A
1 Minute Review

Cobra Trading is a direct access broker focused on access to short opportunities and order execution. Cobra has multiple short locate sources, giving traders access to the best short opportunities in the market. Cobra Trading also specializes in offering comprehensive, responsive customer service throughout the trading day. We recommend Cobra Trading to high-volume traders and short sellers.

Best For
  • Short Sellers
  • Day Traders and Scalpers
  • Traders who are tired of using a “Big Broker”
Pros
  • Affordable commissions
  • The DAS Platform
  • Excellent customer service
Cons
  • No trading under 25K
  • Not a self-clearing firm
get started securely through Tradier’s website
Best For
Inexpensive Options Trading
N/A
1 Minute Review

Tradier is a high-tech broker made with the most active traders in mind. Tradier differentiates itself by using Application Programming Interface (API) technology to partner with popular trading software to offer a wide range of platform choices to Investors. Tradier brokerage offers integration with one of the widest ranges of platforms we’ve seen, including Esignal, Orion Multi Trader, Stockstotrade, 1Option, Evati, and many, many more. 

Tradier offers 2 pricing options — infrequent traders may want to opt for Tradier’s 0 Stocks and $0.35 per Options contract trading, while very active traders can often save money by opting into Tradier’s $30 monthly all-inclusive option and Equity, which cuts commissions entirely.

Tradier TradeHawk platform is exceptionally impressive, combining intuitive 1-click order placements with a vast range of indicators and charting tools. TradeHawk is also completely compatible with both Apple and Android mobile devices. Though we’d love to see Tradier expand into mutual funds and offer a bit more in the way of educational tools, the broker remains a top choice for advanced traders and those looking for enhanced customization options.

Best For
  • Very active options traders who would benefit from a flat-rate monthly charge instead of per-contract fees.
  • Advanced traders looking for a customizable broker with a wide range of platforms that can be integrated.
  • Prominent options traders get high-quality execution, real-time market data and subscription trading.
Pros
  • Wide range of integrated platforms provide an option for any trader.
  • All-inclusive per-month subscriptions available in lieu of per-contract commissions.
  • Platforms are powered by quality real-time market data and execution.
Cons
  • Newer traders may prefer a platform with fewer integration choices and a more streamlined approach.
  • No online mutual funds currently available.
get started securely through Interactive Broker’s website
get started securely through eTrade’s website
Best For
Desktop Trading
N/A
1 Minute Review

E*TRADE is an online discount trading house that offers brokerage and banking services to individuals and businesses. One of the first brokers to embrace online trading, E*TRADE not only survived both the dot-com bubble and Recession — it thrived. You can choose from two different platforms (one basic, one advanced). E*TRADE is a suitable broker for traders of most skill levels, whether you want to buy mutual funds and hold them for decades or dabble in options swing trading. E*TRADE offers a library of research and education materials to help you out.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Derivatives traders
  • Retirement savers
Pros
  • Sophisticated trading platforms
  • Wide range of tradable assets
  • Exceptional customer service
Cons
  • Limited currency trading
  • Higher margin rates than competitors
  • No paper trading on its standard platform

Choose the Best Stock Chart

Day traders or frequent traders benefit from access to real-time data and the more advanced charting options available with paid subscriptions. Trend traders (or if you’re looking for an entry or exit point for a longer-term position) may not need all the features available in the most expensive subscriptions. Yes, a stock graph is powerful, but you should tailor your purchase to your needs.

Paid charting platforms can range from about $10 per month up to as high as $90 per month, depending on the features you add or the subscription level you choose. StockClock is our top choice for affordability, with its flexible, powerful segmenting tools and real-time price alerts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How do you read a stock chart?

1
How do you read a stock chart?
asked
A
1

Reading a stock chart requires looking at the timeframe, prices, moving averages, volume and indicators.

answered
Q

What charts are useful for trading?

1
What charts are useful for trading?
asked
A
1

Candlesticks are useful because they show you the highs, lows, open and close. 

answered

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0 Commissions and no deposit minimums. Everyone gets smart tools for smart investing. Webull supports full extended hours trading, which includes full pre-market (4:00 AM - 9:30 AM ET) and after hours (4:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET) sessions. Webull Financial LLC is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is also a member of the SIPC, which protects (up to $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash) against the loss of cash and securities held by a customer at a financially-troubled SIPC-member brokerage firm.