Want to jump straight to the best? Most of our users prefer Interactive Brokers for stock trading.
Day trading might sound like a fun way to make a living, but it’s a hard game for new traders to break into. Not only do day traders need high-tech stock scanners to locate stocks with potential, but the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has strict rules in place limiting who can day trade.
Unless you have an account balance of $25,000, you’ll be limited to 3 day trades in a rolling 5-day period. That means if you complete 3 day trades on Monday and open a new position on Tuesday, you’ll need to hold that position overnight to avoid getting flagged with a pattern day trader (PDT) violation. But most brokers won’t even let a 4th day trade execute — and you could be stuck holding the bag.
To avoid these FINRA restrictions, many investors use swing trading. Swing trading is still a short-term trading strategy but stocks are held overnight to avoid the PDT rules. Swing traders hold stocks for 24 hours to 2 days hoping to profit off high volume swings like short squeezes or earnings beats (misses).
Overview: Swing Trade Stocks
Swing traders expose themselves to the most volatile moves by holding overnight, however the profits can be exponentially higher, especially if using options. The best stocks for swing trading are ones with known catalysts, high volume and enough volatility to make short-term trading profitable.
Sectors matter little when swing trading, nor do fundamentals. This is not investing for the long-term, so technical signals matter more than price ratios and debt loads. A company with a mountain of long-term debt and dry cash flow can still be a perfectly profitable swing trade.
Successful swing traders have to be nimble with their convictions — a stock with accumulating volume ahead of earnings might be one to sell short instead of buy. Swing traders use a variety of different strategies to enhance profits, but the stocks they look for all share a few common characteristics.
You can find options online to help you get started swing trading. Mindful Trader provides stock picks and options picks, but it can also teach you the trading strategy behind them. The Mindful Trader approach is based on data and statistics. Sign on for support from Mindful Trader for just a flat $47 per month.
Best Online Brokers for Swing Trade Stocks
Swing trading and long-term investing are completely different animals, so you’ll need a broker that fits your needs. Swing traders should look for brokers with $0 commission or discounts on high-volume trading.
You don’t need a $25,000 account balance to swing trade, but you’ll likely need a margin account if you want to sell short or swing trade with options. And since the best swing trading stocks are often thinly-traded small caps with only a handful of shares available, make sure your broker has a wide assortment of stocks to trade.
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.
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- Advanced traders
- No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
- No charges to open and maintain an account
- Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
- Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks
SoFi’s mission is simple: to help reach clients like you reach their financial independence and realize their ambitions. SoFi knows that this independence comes from making decisions that help your money start to work for you in the long run. The brand helps individuals make these decisions through personal financial products such as personal loans, student loans and automated and active investing.
The brand additionally provides in-person experiences such as educational and networking events, personalized guidance from experienced financial planners and one-on-one advising with professional career coaches. SoFi’s services have been highlighted in outlets such as Forbes, Medium, and CNBC’s Make It.
- IPO Investing
- Mobile Investing
- U.S.-based customer service
- Highly-rated mobile app for iPhone and Android
- Only available in the U.S.
Moomoo is a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices. A subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd., it’s backed by venture capital affiliates of Matrix, Sequoia, and Tencent (NASDAQ: FUTU). Securities offered by Futu Inc., regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Moomoo is another great alternative for Robinhood. This is an outstanding trading platform if you want to dive deep into smart trading. It offers impressive trading tools and opportunities for both new and advanced traders, including advanced charting, pre and post-market trading, international trading, research and analysis tools, and most popular of all, free Level 2 quotes.
Get started right away by downloading Moomoo to your phone, tablet or another mobile device.
- Cost-conscious traders
- Active and Advanced traders
- Over 8,000 different stocks that can be sold short
- Access trading and quotes in pre-market (4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET) and post-market hours (4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET)
- No minimum deposit to open an account.
- No chat support
This latest groundbreaking technology is IBKR GlobalAnalyst, a new trading tool that helps investors compare the rate of PEG or price-earnings growth valuations and provide more immediate and comprehensive financial metrics of stocks, globally.
Recognizing that stock selection can be challenging for investors to compare the valuations of domestic and international stocks, Interactive Brokers created GlobalAnalyst to offer investors a simple, yet powerful tool to easily evaluate investment opportunities around the world.
Using GlobalAnalyst, investors can search for stocks by region, country, industry, market capitalization and currency to uncover undervalued stocks worldwide. The resulting table displays the current market and financial metrics, including the PEG Ratio. The PEG Ratio is the PE ratio divided by the three-year compound earnings growth rate, and smaller PEG Ratios typically indicate undervalued companies.
- Price earnings growth valuations
- Easily evaluate investment opportunities
eToro is a broker that offers access to over 25 of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, forex and over 1600 stocks. They have a few unique education and useability tools. Traders can begin buying and selling in as little as 10 minutes.
eToro’s unique CopyTrader feature allows new investors to “copy” the buy and sell orders of professional investors, while the company’s eToro Club feature provides investors with a range of additional education tools and resources.
- Traders looking for an easy-to-use platform
- Traders who want to practice their trades using a virtual account before entering the market
- Simple platform that is easy to master
- CopyTrader feature that allows new traders to copy the same strategies used by professionals
- Virtual dummy account that gives you $100,000 to practice trades
- High non-trading fees
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.
- Active traders
- Derivatives traders
- Retirement savers
- Sophisticated trading platforms
- Wide range of tradable assets
- Exceptional customer service
- Limited currency trading
- Higher margin rates than competitors
- No paper trading on its standard platform
Features to Look for in Swing Trade Stocks
When searching for swing trading stocks, don’t look at debt levels or price-earnings ratios. Those stats might matter for a company’s long-term prospects, but swing traders care about where a stock will be a couple of days, not a couple of years or decades.
Here’s what to look for if you want to get into swing trading.
- Catalyst: Most swing trades begin by locating a catalyst that could trigger a powerful move in a stock. This could be a clinical trial in a pharmaceutical company, an unexpected earnings miss or beat, or even the removal of an executive or CEO.
- Volume: Big moves in short time frames are impossible without significant volume in the stock. Sure, lightly-traded stocks can be coerced into big moves without much volume. But in the majority of your swing trades look for stocks with more volume than usual.
- Volatility: With great volume comes great volatility. Volatile stocks are good swing trading stocks because swing traders profit from large, short-term moves. A stock trading in a tight weekly range likely won’t produce a ton of opportunities for profit. But if 5% moves are occurring daily, you’ll find plenty of chances for swing trades.
Swing Trading for Short-Term Profits
Swing trading is not a long-term investing strategy. In fact, it’s not even really investing at all. The stock market is an accounting system for long-term financial prospects and investors use it to get a piece of those (eventual) profits. But swing traders look at the market differently. By using technical trading signals in volatile markets, swing traders can make great profits in short time periods. Swing trading requires precision and quickness, but you also need a short memory. You will have a trade blow up when swing trading; how you react determines how successful you can be as a swing trader in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you become wealthy swing trading?
Swing trading can produce higher returns than the averages, but you must have a good strategy and be alert for changes.
How much do you need to start swing trading?
The best amount is between $5,000 and $10,000.