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.
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 certain markets. Read on for a list of Benzinga’s picks for the best day trading brokers
Best Day Trading Platforms :
- Best Overall: Moomoo
- Best for Stocks: TD Ameritrade
- Best for Forex: FOREX.com
- Best for Commodity Futures: TradeStation
- Best for Cryptocurrencies: Coinbase
Best Overall: Moomoo
Our best overall pick for a day trading broker is Moomoo, a commission-free mobile trading app available on Apple, Google and Windows devices.
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.
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. It often has promotions of free NYSE Arcabook data, which is super competitive because the industry usually charges fees for it.
It also has the longest hour for trading compared to competitors. You can jump in and out of position as soon as the news comes out from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
Best for Stocks: 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 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.
Best for Forex: FOREX.com
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).
This means that such brokers must limit the leverage on forex trading positions to 50:1 on the major currencies and 20:1 on minor currencies.
You will need $50 to open a trading account that lets you start day trading 80 currency pairs.
Any client can use FOREX.com’s own Advanced Trading Platform, while clients based outside of the U.S. can use the popular MetaTrader suite to trade currency pairs with.
Best for Commodity Futures: TradeStation
TradeStation offers an advanced trading platform with access to trading in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options and futures. TradeStation’s futures platform lets you trade futures 24 hours a day, 6 days a week and provides access to more than 150 futures products.
The broker allows leverage on trades that depends on your account type, balance and the type of asset you plan on trading in the account. Futures trades cost just $0.85 per contract, and options on futures are also available. The broker offers extensive educational and research resources for beginning traders and has a mobile app for its trading platform.
Best for Cryptocurrencies: Coinbase
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency trading platform for buying, selling and storing over 30 cryptocurrencies. The Coinbase platform includes all the key features important to a day trader and offers an easy-to-navigate interface, log books and advanced technical analysis capabilities.
The platform even lets you access historical cryptocurrency prices and allows for backtesting trading strategies. This can be invaluable if you’re still developing and fine-tuning your day-trading strategies.
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.
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Pattern Day Traders
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 a 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 4 or more day trades made within a 5-day period if the number of day trades is over 6% of the total trades made in the account. Therefore, if you make 1-day trade each day of the business week, then you would be subject to the increased minimum capital requirement of a pattern day trader.
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. The call must be met with the minimum balance made up either by depositing cash or marginable equities (stocks, bonds, etc.) into the account. If the call is not met within 5 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., then you can probably trade U.S. stocks via an international broker like Interactive Brokers.
Cost of Day Trading
Most online forex brokers require you to make a minimum deposit to open up a trading account, although you will need to fund it adequately to be able 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 typically 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, although 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 you’re 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 largely 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 in large part on your trading style. Part of your trading plan can include education about market analysis and practice trading in a demo account. Click here to 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, which can depend 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 usually easily open a demo account at a broker to begin developing a trading strategy and learning how to use their trading platform.
Turn to Webull
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.