Best Day Trading Platforms

Read our Advertiser Disclosure.
Contributor, Benzinga
September 13, 2023

Want to jump straight to the best day trading platforms? Benzinga readers love CenterPoint Securities for day trading + Benzinga Pro for fast news.

Day trading involves having fast reaction times and the discipline to take profits or losses appropriately, no matter whether you choose to trade forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies or commodity futures. A day trader needs a reliable day trading broker with fast order execution.

15 Best Day Trading Platforms

Your choice of broker and their supported online trading platforms can impact how efficiently you can day trade and perform market analysis. Some brokers are also better suited for specific markets. Read on for a list of Benzinga’s picks for the best day trading brokers.

1. Best for Stock Market News: Benzinga Pro

Benzinga Pro is the advanced version of the Benzinga.com platform, one of the best money, stock and investing information platforms in the world today. When you sign up for Benzinga Pro, you can listen to the Audio Squawk broadcast, set up your own screeners, get alerts, check out charts and read insights and information from experts that are investing just like you.

Because Benzinga is designed to be useful to all types of investors, novices and experts alike can use Benzinga Pro to get the information they need. Everything is user-friendly, and you can quickly navigate wherever you want without any frustration.

Pros

  • When you use Benzinga Pro, you can set up your own screeners and alerts
  • You can access more than just market news because the platform has the chart room and a massive list of indicators that it can display for you

Cons

  • Investors should make certain that they listen to Audio Squawk between 6 am and 6 pm EST to ensure that they get the info they want for that day as it does not run 24 hours a day 7 days a week

2. Best Momentum Traders: CenterPoint Securities

CenterPoint Securities offers direct access to the markets, level 2 order routing, advanced charting and quality customer service. The platform is perfect for advanced or intermediate traders, momentum traders, high-volume traders and short sellers.

There are built-in scanners you can use to make better decisions, custom alert options and orders are always routed in the most efficient manner possible. You can customize your dashboard, take control of your portfolio and invest at any time of the day or night with CenterPoint.

Pros

  • Built-in scanners
  • Helps short sellers
  • Works for volume traders

Cons

  • May not work for new investors

3. Best for Active and Global Traders: Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers stands out from the pack when it comes to resolute lowest-cost access to a broad global range of products and markets.

The first among online brokers to remove and offer as low as $0 commissions for US stocks & ETFs, Interactive Brokers is also Benzinga’s #1-rated broker for Mutual Funds, Bond, International, Short Trading and more. In addition, IB clients can earn extra income from their fully owned shares via their Stock Yield Enhancement Program, and they enjoy enhanced pricing via IB’s SmartRouting technology.

Plus, Interactive Brokers provides the absolute lowest margin loan rates in the industry. So it’s no wonder that active traders & investors from over 200 countries and territories invest globally in Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Bonds, and Funds from a single integrated account at the lowest cost across Interactive Brokers award-winning platforms.

Pros

  • Available in over 200 countries
  • Access to many markets
  • No commissions on stocks and ETFs

Cons

  • May be overwhelming for novices

4. Best for Beginners: Robinhood

While Robinhood is known very well for helping casual or novice traders access the markets, it’s also a great place for day traders to begin their journey. You won’t feel overwhelmed when using Robinhood because it’s designed to help you jump from your desktop to your mobile device with ease. You can find information you need on all the assets in which you plan to invest, and you get to “dip your toe in the water” before becoming a more established and experienced trader.

You get a randomly selected free share of a major stock when you start, and that’s a good way to start building your portfolio. While investors may grow more and more, requiring more advanced trading tools that experienced traders need, many others can simply hold onto their portfolios within the Robinhood landscape. 

Because you can easily access information on each asset, it’s simple to learn about new stocks you wish to buy or other assets that may work well for you. Additionally, you may wish to invest in other aspects of the Robinhood platform where retirement, gold and/or cash accounts are available, all in an effort to centralize your finances. 

Pros

  • Low to no fees
  • Helps day traders access options, ETFs, stocks and more

Cons

  • Does not necessarily have the enhanced trading tools pro day traders might want

5. Best for Intermediate Traders and Investors: Webull

Webull offers both a mobile-based and desktop app that are highly intuitive and perfect for beginning traders. Webull features fundamental and technical analysis tools that include advanced charting, technical indicators and up-to-date information on every asset.

Consumers can trade over 5,000 stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs,) stock trading or options trading on Webull’s platforms free of commissions. You can open an account without a deposit and use the paper trading option so that you can practice without putting your money on the line. 

You can even open a margin account where you can short stocks — although you’ll be required to deposit a minimum of $2,000. Plus, Webull offers promotions that will help you build your portfolio and get more from your investing throughout the year.

Pros

  • Over 5,000 stocks available
  • Easy to access information on assets
  • Can short stocks

Cons

  • High minimums

6. Best for AI Investing: Magnifi

Magnifi is a marketplace that allows you, as the investor, to use common brokerage tools and AI to make the best decisions for your portfolio. Because you can pull up all the information you need on a given asset, you can easily invest in the assets that will give you the results you deserve and better match your day trading strategy.

Search for the investment options that meet your needs, invest in specific categories or scan for assets in a price range that’s affordable for you.

Best for long-term investors and those who require a bit of client support, you can also learn more about investing from this platform, utilize the AI-powered investing assistant, enjoy commission-free investing, try the mobile app and take advantage of over 15,000 possible investment options. This makes Magnifi a good place to trade for both seasoned and novice traders.

Pros

  • Lots of client support
  • Over 15,000 investment options
  • Very functional mobile app

Cons

  • AI investing is not for everyone

8. Best for Active Traders: Moomoo

Our pick for promotional offerings is Moomoo, a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices.

Moomoo is another excellent alternative to Robinhood. It is a great trading platform if you want to dive deep into smart trading. It offers impressive trading tools and opportunities for new and experienced traders, including advanced charting, pre and post-market trading, international trading (Chinese and Hong Kong Markets), research and analysis tools, and most popular of all, free Level 2 quotes.

Moomoo offers Level 2 quotes from NYSE Arcabook, NYSE Open book, and Nasdaq Total View, covering order books from electronic securities exchanges with top 3 trading volumes. In addition, it often has free NYSE Arcabook data promotions, which is super competitive because the industry usually charges fees for it.

It also has the most extended hours for trading compared to the majority of competitors. So you can jump in and out of positions from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Pros

  • Extended trading hours
  • Access to several markets
  • Good for volume trading

Cons

  • May offer so many options that investors get overwhelmed

9. Best for Demo Accounts: eToro

  • eToro Stocks
    Best For:
    Demo Accounts
    securely through eToro Stocks's website

    eToros securities trading offered by eToro Securities, Inc, (“the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk.

When you want to day trade, there’s more than one way to make money on the open market. eToro has a broad-ranging product selection that allows you to invest in diverse assets like crypto, stocks and ETFs. Because this platform allows you to invest in so many different things, you have more flexibility than normal.

Aside from the well-known crypto trading platform, you can also look into stocks and ETFs. The benefits of the platform include:

  • Invest in stocks and fractional shares for as little as $10
  • Buy into a strong group of cryptocurrencies
  • Mix crypto and stock holdings to build a diverse portfolio
  • Check out price charts, indicators and technical analysis
  • Pay zero commissions

Pros

  • Buy in for as little as $10
  • Keep assets all in one portfolio
  • Zero commissions

Cons

  • Mixing assets may confuse some investors

10. Best for Options Trading: TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade lets you trade stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, futures and forex. The broker offers clients free extensive research on several markets and educational resources for novices. 

No minimum deposit is required to open an account, but if you are a day trader based in the U.S. and plan on day trading stocks, you’ll need to fund the account with the $25,000 minimum required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).   

TD Ameritrade offers commission-free trades on U.S. stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Trades over their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone system cost $5, and it charges a $25 fee for broker-assisted trades.

Options trades cost $0.65 per contract, while over-the-counter (OTC) trades for stocks not listed on U.S. exchanges cost $6.95 per trade.  

Pros

  • Properly regulated
  • Access to many different assets
  • IVR is available for trading

Cons

  • High minimums

11. Best for Forex Trading: FOREX.com

  • Forex.com
    Best For:
    Forex Trading in and Outside the U.S.
    securely through Forex.com's website

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FOREX.com ranks No. 1 as our choice for the best forex broker for U.S.-based traders. Although the forex market is largely unregulated, U.S.-based retail forex brokers like FOREX.com are strictly overseen by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

It means that they must limit the leverage on forex trading positions to 50:1 on the major currencies and 20:1 on minor currencies. 

You will need $100 (or 100 of your selected base currency) to open a trading account that lets you day trade over 80 currency pairs.Any client can use FOREX.com’s own Advanced Trading Platform, while clients can also use the popular MetaTrader suite.

Pros

  • Well-known platform
  • Over 80 currency pairs
  • Regulated by multiple entities

Cons

  • Limited leverage

12. Best for Advanced Futures Trading: NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader offers an advanced trading platform. NinjaTrader’s brokerage services cater directly to futures traders. It's the ideal destination for those both active and new, with unlimited free use for advanced charting, market analysis, and simulation trading.

The NinjaTrader platform provides a high-performance backtesting engine which allows users to test and verify futures trading strategies using historical data. A wide range of useful educational materials are available if you're unfamiliar with its platform and wat to enhance your skills.

Pros

  • Backtesting is available
  • Simulations available
  • Educational tools

Cons

  • May take some time to learn the platform

13. Best for Short Selling Over $25K: Cobra Trading

Cobra Trading is an excellent broker for short selling because they offer access to margin accounts and direct access routing. Essentially, Cobra lets you jump on opportunities so that you can profit quickly. Cobra has been in business for around 2 decades, but they still offer the boutique service their loyal customers have come to love.

Remember, Cobra opens accounts over $25,000 in all cases.

Pros

  • Easy to make snap decisions
  • Direct access routing
  • Boutique-level service

Cons

  • $25,000 minimum

14. Best for Those Seeking Trading Indicators: Global Trading Software

Global Trading Software connects you with the indicators you need to make wise decisions, along with a host of options for value traders, scalpers, swing traders, day traders, prop traders and anyone who prefers to complete a full technical analysis of assets before making moves. You can use MT4, TradingView, NinjaTrader and other platforms as a conduit for your trades, and this allows you to set up a hub for trading information that doesn’t require 3 screens and a lot of back and forth.

Pros

  • Finding technical indicators is perfect for those who are trying to make split decisions about their assets
  • Because you can change styles and still use this platform, you can manage different parts of your portfolio in unique ways

Cons

  • The platform may feel very complicated for newer traders, even though it is designed to make life simpler. Decide if you’re happy with the way the platform works before signing up.

15. Best for Mobile Users: Plus500

Plus500 is a global multi-asset fintech group that operates trading platforms globally, offering a range of trading products including CFDs, Share dealing, and Futures trading (US).

Highlights of this platform include:

  • Quick onboarding
  • Simplified mobile trading
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Offers 2800+ CFDs, 2700+ Shares, and a variety of Futures (Metals, Crypto, Agriculture, Forex, Interest rates, Energy, Equity Index)
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • $100 minimum
  • 0.7% currency conversion fee per transaction, when the currency in your account is different from those traded

Because Plus500 doesn’t charge a commission and only profits on spreads, you save money and don’t have to worry about overpriced fees. If you’re a beginner, there are insights, the Trading Academy and webinars you can check out on YouTube. You can jump into Plus500, make the most of your expertise, build your portfolio and quickly turn a profit.

Pros

  • Only charges spreads
  • Low minimums
  • Free deposits and withdrawals

Cons

  • Remember that CFDs can be quite risky and you should manage your portfolio accordingly

Current Stock Movers

Benzinga offers up-to-the-minute feeds on the biggest stock market winners and losers. Check out the following current stock movers list if you’re looking for day trading opportunities.

Stock Movers

Gainers

Loser

Session: Mar 1, 2024 4:00PM EST - Mar 4, 2024 3:59PM EST

The SEC regulates trading in U.S. stocks and restricts day trading to prevent “pattern day traders” from operating unless they maintain a minimum trading account balance of $25,000. Also, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) allows for maximum leverage for stock-related day trades of 4:1 in a day trading margin account. 

The SEC defines a day trade as a position opened and closed the same day. Pattern day trading is defined as four or more day trades made within five days if the number of day trades is over 6% of the total trades made in the account.  Therefore, if you make a one-day trade each day of the business week, you would be subject to a pattern day trader’s increased minimum capital requirement. 

If you are a pattern day trader and your account falls below the $25,000 minimum, you will get a day trader equity call from your broker and will not be permitted to day trade until the balance is restored. The call must be met with the minimum balance made up by depositing cash or marginable equities (stocks, bonds, etc.) into the account. If the call is not met within five business days of its issuance, the account could be restricted for 90 days. 

If you live outside of the U.S., you would not be subject to these and other U.S. day trading restrictions. If you plan to day trade from a country other than the U.S., you can trade U.S. stocks via an international broker, such as Interactive Brokers

Cost of Day Trading

Most online forex brokers require you to make a minimum deposit to open up a trading account. However, you will need to fund it adequately to enter into and maintain the positions you want to take. Ideally, plan on having a minimum of $500 in risk capital you can afford to lose before starting to day trade the forex market. 

Keep in mind that you can make more day trades in the forex market, although the inherent volatility of the currency market is typically less than that seen in actively traded stocks. Although you can open an account that does not charge trading commissions, you’ll still probably need to pay away a dealing spread when you trade forex. Therefore, the tighter the dealing spreads your broker offers, the lower your transaction costs. 

Many brokers require a minimum deposit of at least $5,000 to trade commodity futures. Still, a deposit of $10,000 would probably give you more room to meet opening and maintenance margin requirements that can vary among commodity futures contracts. Futures contracts and options on futures contracts also cost approximately $0.75 to $1 per contract to trade, depending on your broker and the exchange they are listed on.  

If based outside of the U.S., plan on having at least $2,000 of risk capital available to fund stock day trading strategies.  Due to SEC regulations, U.S.-based traders need to maintain a hefty $25,000 minimum balance in their account. Many U.S. brokers now offer commission-free brokerage, but if you live outside the U.S. and want to trade in other stock markets, you’ll need to check what brokers in your locale charge per stock transaction.  

Cryptocurrencies are not subject to day trading minimum deposit regulations, so you’re just limited by the amount of risk capital you have available to trade with. Your crypto trading costs will generally depend on the dealing spreads if you use contracts for difference (CFDs) to trade them with, and you can often trade them on margin.  If you do not use CFDs, you might need to pay for a wallet to store your cryptocurrencies in. 

Learn to Day Trade

The best type of day trading strategy for you to learn to use will depend mainly on your temperament and risk tolerance. Remember that day trading is not for everyone — it requires patience, attentiveness, discipline and remaining willing to pull the trigger quickly on a trade when a good opportunity presents itself. 

Day trading ideally requires a plan or a strategy, such as using technical analysis indicators or chart interpretation. Relevant news could also give valid trading signals, so it depends largely on your trading style. Part of your trading plan can include education about market analysis and practice trading in a demo account. Learn more about using technical analysis when day trading stocks.

Is Day Trading for You?

Day trading has many advantages. One of the primary benefits of day trading is that you avoid carrying positions overnight, so you can usually get a good night’s sleep. 

You also have considerable leeway as a day trader regarding how often you want to trade, depending on your temperament and how much time you have available to devote to day trading. 

If you think day trading might suit you, you’ll want to put together enough risk capital to get started. You can also easily open a demo account at a broker to develop a trading strategy and learn how to use their trading platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can I make $1000 a day day trading?

A

Making $1000 a day day trading is possible, but it is not likely for beginning traders. Day trading involves taking advantage of short-term price movements in the market, and these are often very unpredictable. While there have been some traders who have made substantial profits from day trading, it has taken them many years of practice and experience to do so.

Q

How many day traders get rich?

A

It is a common misconception that day traders make a lot of money and get rich quickly. The truth is, while it is possible to make a good living as a day trader, it takes time, dedication, and hard work to become successful. It’s also important to understand that not all day traders get rich.

Q

What market is easiest to day trade?

A

Day trading is a popular investing strategy that involves buying and selling stocks, currencies, or other financial instruments within the same trading day. When it comes to determining which market is easiest to day trade, it depends largely on the experience of each individual day trader. However, some markets are generally more suitable for beginners than others.