A stock screener for options trading is a tool that helps traders look for options contracts to trade. It takes the hundreds of thousands of options contract possibilities and filters them down to a manageable amount that you can further analyze.
Options trading can be a great trading strategy if you know what you’re doing. But a great strategy is worthless if you can’t find stocks that fit that strategy… That’s where options stock screeners come in.
What are the best stock screeners for options trading, and why do you need one? Let’s dive right in!
What Is Options Trading?
Options trading is a trading method where you buy and sell options contracts. Options contracts are documents that give you the right to trade a stock at a predetermined time and at a certain price — called a strike price.
Understand — trading options isn’t the same as trading the assets themselves. You’re trading the rights to buy or sell the asset in the future. So, this is a projection-based trading method where you can potentially trade assets at better prices than the market value.
What Is a Stock Screener for Options Trading?
A stock screener for options trading is a tool that helps you find stock options to trade. You can input criteria that match your strategy and filter thousands of stocks by them
Are you an options trader who looks for high-volatility plays or other indicators? If so, you need a stock screener for options trading!
Read my guide to stock screeners to learn more about the basics of this useful tool.
Importance of Using a Stock Screener for Options Trading
Using a stock screener for options trading is essential to finding the options contracts that match your trading strategies. A screener curates the thousands of available stocks and their options contracts so you can research their inner workings further. Knowing more about how stock prices behave means you’re more likely to make smart options trades.
Why Do You Need an Option Stock Screener?
You need an option stock screener to manage the flow of information coming in from the stock exchange.
Receiving all the information from stock exchanges without a screener is like drinking from a firehose — you’re bound to spill a lot of water doing it. But doing it with a screener is like drinking from a tap — you can control how much or how little you drink without spilling water.
An option stock screener does this by giving you fine control over your screens. You dictate the parameters, and the screener will find the stocks that fit those criteria to a T.
Different stock screeners cater to different kinds of trading needs. Check out my stock screener picks for undervalued stock traders and picks for dividend stock traders. You can also read my best overall stock screener picks.
Advantages of Options Trading Stock Screeners
The number one advantage of an options trading stock screener is its fine control over what you screen for. You can build your own filters and set your own parameters to ensure you only find the stocks you’re looking for. This means you can cast a net as small or as wide as you want.
Stock screeners can also save your custom preferences, meaning you don’t have to rebuild the screener every day. You can build multiple screeners to run for different scenarios and strategies.
How We Evaluated These Best Stock Screeners for Options Trading
There are lots of stock screeners available, but not all of them are great for options trading. That’s why you gotta separate the wheat from the chaff.
Here are two criteria to use when looking for options trading stock screeners:
- Pricing: People usually prefer paid options stock screeners because they have more complete features. But I highlighted some lightweight, free screeners in this list — so choose a screener that suits your budget while still fulfilling your needs.
- Customizability: A stock screener is only as good as its indicators. Find a screener that is customizable enough to fit your trading strategy.
These aren’t the only criteria I use. Check out my complete guide to the best stock screener criteria to help refine your search.
Best Option Stock Screeners for 2024
Here are my picks for the best options stock screeners:
- StocksToTrade — Best Future Options Stock Screener
- Barchart.com — Best Options Stock Screener for Customization
- ZACKS — Best Options Stocks Screener for Research
- Market Chameleon — Best Options Stock Screener for Options Chain Analysis
- OptionVisualizer — Best Options Stock Screener for User Feedback
Many of these tools are free, lightweight options scanners you can run on your browser or mobile device — though some of them offer optional subscription packages. If you want more choices outside my list, check out the options scanner that comes with your brokerage account — they can sometimes be great alternatives.
That said, you’re not getting married here. Try them all and see which one works best for you! Now let’s dive in.
1. StocksToTrade — Best Future Options Stock Screener
My first options stock screener pick is StocksToTrade.
Technically speaking, it isn’t an option right now. But when StocksToTrade finishes its options scanner feature, I know it’s gonna be my top options stock screener pick.
StocksToTrade is already an insanely customizable and powerful stock screener with easily-implemented trader-built screens. You can also choose from loads of criteria to build your own stock screens!
Once you have a watchlist going, its charting and news scanner features will keep you on top of the market at all times.
Another thing to love about StocksToTrade is Oracle, an algorithmic chart analysis tool. It’s a great piece of tech that gives you actionable trade signals for the day’s most tradable stocks. Get a taste of Oracle now — sign up for NO-COST Oracle trade alerts!
2. Barchart.com — Best Options Stock Screener for Customization
My second options stock screener pick is Barchart.com.
Customization is essential for a stock screener — and Barchart delivers this in spades. You can create your own layouts, so you can display only the information you need and nothing else. This helps you focus on the data that matters and minimizes clutter on your screen.
Aside from its great personalization, Barchart is also a multi-purpose screener. You can screen for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and more asset types. You can tweak its pre-built screener filters or make new ones that fit your needs.
One thing to note — free users only get to save five custom screens. You’ll need a paid subscription to save more.
3. ZACKS — Best Options Stock Screener for Research
My third options stock screener pick is Zacks.
Fitting its reputation as an investment research firm, the Zacks screener offers you lots of research material to sink your teeth into. You can get over 20 investment publications at no cost, plus an additional 80 publications you can subscribe to. With this wealth of market data and research material, you’ll have lots of help making smart, well-educated trading calls.
Another notable thing about Zacks is its extensive suite of tools. You have features like the Options Strategy Lab and Probability Lab that helps you create complicated multi-legged options orders and calculates the probabilities of your options hitting the strike price. The app’s interface is also customizable enough for you to only put up the tools you want, so you don’t get overloaded by information.
4. Market Chameleon — Best Options Stock Screener for Options Chain Analysis
My fourth options stock screener pick is Market Chameleon.
Market Chameleon has multiple features to help you choose which options to trade. First, you can use the built-in options volume screener to find potential options to trade. Once you build a watchlist, you can delve deeper into your watchlist picks through this scanner’s in-depth options chain analysis tools. This increases your likelihood of making smart trading decisions.
Market Chameleon also offers trade cards that might give you actionable trading ideas. You still need to do your due diligence to make sure they’re smart trades — but it’s a good start.
5. OptionVisualizer — Best Options Stock Screener for User Feedback
My fifth options stock screener pick is OptionVisualizer.
Unlike most choices in this list, OptionVisualizer was created by a relatively small team — and it’s still in active development. But for what it is, it’s a solid options stock screener if you’re looking for something lightweight and free.
OptionVisualizer has all the things you’d expect from an options stock screener — pre-made screens, custom filters, trade ideas, and so on. One of its major appeals is that the free plan is robust enough to use as-is, without a subscription needed.
Another interesting thing about OptionVisualizer is how the developer is active on Reddit and frequently takes user feedback — and implements it on the platform.
An options stock screener can help you find options contracts that fit your trading strategy. It can screen thousands of stock options and filter them down to a manageable handful you can dive deeper into.
No one options stock screener works for everyone — every trader has their own needs and requirements. That’s why you gotta try multiple screeners and pick the one that suits you best.
Here’s an extra screener recommendation for you: the Alpha Scanner by millionaire trader Matt Monaco. Before he was a millionaire trader, Matt was a software engineer — and those skills helped in his trading journey. Now, he’s bringing those skills back to build a screener based on his trading style.
Matt’s Alpha Scanner is filled with trading alerts, live mentoring, and so much more. Can his Alpha Scanner give you an edge in trading? Here’s how you find out…