May. 16, 202413 min read

Top 5 Best Stock Screeners for Volatility in 2024

Tim BohenAvatar
Written by Tim Bohen

A stock screener for volatility helps traders find the volatile stocks they want to trade. It can scour through thousands of stocks quickly, returning with a handful of tickers that match their trading criteria.

Volatile stocks can change prices drastically in a really short time. Wasting time might mean losing out on potential trading opportunities — which is why stock screeners are essential when trading volatile stocks.

What are the best volatile stock screeners and why? Let’s get into it!

What Is Volatility in Stocks?

Volatility in stocks refers to the amount a security’s price changes over a certain time period.

Many traders and investors fear volatility — which is normal because volatility represents the unknown. We fear what we don’t understand.

But remember — volatility leads to opportunity. Frequent price changes give you more trading entry and exit points, increasing your likelihood of making money. Trading volatile stocks also encourages you to understand risk and sharpen your trading skills.

Embrace volatility — make it your friend. See the opportunity it provides instead of fearing the potential losses it can lead to.

How to Evaluate Volatile Stocks

You can evaluate volatile stocks by checking the indicators. Here are two example indicators used when evaluating stock volatility:

  • Average True Range: This indicator shows a stock’s daily trading range over time. A high average true range means the stock is more volatile because its trading range is wider.
  • Bollinger Bands®: This indicator consists of two lines or bands representing standard deviation, located above and below a line representing the 20-day moving average. Widening bands represent increased volatility while narrowing bands represent decreased volatility.

Some stock screeners also come in with built-in filters for high-volatility and low-volatility stocks. Here’s a quick overview of both filters:

  • Stock screener for high volatility: This screener scans for the most volatile stocks of the day, meaning you’ll see stocks that have had big price swings over a certain time period.
  • Stock screener for low volatility: This screener scans for the least volatile stocks of the day, meaning you’ll see stocks that have been relatively stable over a certain time period.

What Is a Stock Screener for Volatility?

A stock screener for volatility is a tool that helps you find the stocks that match your preferred volatility levels and other trading criteria. It cuts through the noise of thousands of stocks and presents you with the stocks that fulfill your trading criteria. 

From there, you can dig deeper into the details of each stock and its issuing company to determine whether they’re worth trading.

A good trader should always know the tools of their trade. Read my article about the basics of stock screeners to learn more.

Importance of Using a Volatility Stock Screener

Using a volatility stock screener helps you find stocks that match your trading criteria. You can tweak the filter’s parameters according to your trading needs, so you’ll only find the stocks that match your strategy and nothing else.

Volatility is a trader’s best friend. Where there’s movement there will always be opportunity.

Why Do You Need a Stock Screener for Volatility?

If you’re a trader, you need a stock screener for volatility to find stocks that are really moving!

Some of these stocks will show up on a top gainers scan. 

Others will only show up on a volatility scan…

These are stocks that could fly under the radar until they break out!

Different stock screeners are good for different types of trades. Check out my choices of the best stock screeners for 5-year performance and the best premarket stock screeners. You can also read my list of the best overall stock screeners.

Advantages of Volatility Stock Screeners

The biggest advantage of a volatility stock screener is fine control over what you’re screening for. You can input as many search criteria as you want to find the stocks that fit your trading preferences.

Your stock screener can also save multiple filter configurations, so you don’t have to make them from scratch every day. You can save all the filters you frequently use and deploy them as the situation requires.

How We Evaluated These Best Stock Screeners for Volatility

There are lots of stock screeners on the market — but not all of them are cut out to screen for volatility. You gotta separate the wheat from the chaff before making your picks.

Here are two criteria for evaluating volatility stock screeners:

  • Pricing: Almost all volatility stock screeners are paid products. Find a screener that caters to your needs while still being within your budget.
  • Customizability: A stock screener lives and dies by its indicators. Find a stock screener that’s customizable enough and offers indicators that cater to your trading strategies.

These aren’t the only criteria I use when evaluating screeners. Check my guide to the best stock screener criteria for more ways to refine your search.

Best Volatility Stock Screeners

Here are my picks for the best volatility stock screeners:

  • StocksToTrade — Best Overall Volatility Stock Screener
  • Finviz — Best Web-Based Volatility Stock Screener
  • MarketScreener — Best Volatility Stock Screener With Pre-Built Screens
  • Market Chameleon — Best Volatility Stock Screener for Trade Recommendations
  • Volafy — Best (Future) Volatility Stock Screener for Options Trading

1. StocksToTrade — Best Overall Volatility Stock Screener

My first volatility stock screener pick is StocksToTrade.

StocksToTrade is my favorite stock screener — I use it all day. It’s a killer screener that’s insanely customizable, meaning you can screen for any criteria you want. Naturally, it scans for volatility indicators like Average True Range and Bollinger Bands®. StocksToTrade also comes with trader-built screens, so you can trade like the pros.

What’s more, StocksToTrade has the Oracle algorithmic chart analysis tool. It’s a cool piece of technology that gives you actionable trade signals based on the day’s most tradable stocks. Get a taste of Oracle now with our NO-COST Oracle trade alerts!

Take StocksToTrade for a spin — see how it changes the way you trade. Sign up for a 14-day StocksToTrade trial for just $7!

2. Finviz — Best Web-Based Volatility Stock Screener

My second volatility stock screener pick is Finviz.

Finviz is a lightweight and simple web-based stock screener. With a free registered account, you can already screen thousands of stocks, save screener configurations, make watchlists, and read news streams.

Upgrading to a paid account gives you everything I’ve mentioned, plus extra perks that help it compete against other paid screeners. Some features you can access as a paid Finviz user include real-time market data updates and advanced screener features.

One knock against Finviz — it doesn’t have pre-built screeners. You need to make your own setups before scanning.

3. MarketScreener — Best Volatility Stock Screener With Pre-Built Screens

My third volatility stock screener pick is MarketScreener.

MarketScreener’s web stock screening tool comes with a pre-built filter that shows you the most volatile stocks. From this simple filter, you can tweak the parameters to refine your searches further and find the stocks that fulfill your trading criteria.

MarketScreener also scans for shares traded outside American exchanges, so you can still use it if you want to branch out from American markets. 

4. Market Chameleon — Best Volatility Stock Screener for Trade Recommendations

My fourth volatility stock screener pick is Market Chameleon.

Market Chameleon is more of an options screener, but it’s still got a robust stock screener that lets you spot trading opportunities. 

However, one of its most interesting features is its trade cards that give you potential trading ideas. You still need to do some research to determine whether the recommendations are worth following, but it’s a great way to start.

5. Volafy — Best (Future) Volatility Stock Screener for Options Trading

My fifth volatility stock screener pick is Volafy

Volafy is a robust enough stock screener for volatility, even if it’s still in active development. Since it’s primarily designed for options trading, you can screen for volatility metrics like historical volatility and implied volatility.

You don’t have to worry about paying for an incomplete product, either — Volafy is completely free for the time being.

Final Thoughts

Volatility stock screeners help you find the stocks that match your preferred volatility levels and other trading criteria. There isn’t a “best volatility stock screener” that works for everyone — only the ones that work for you. Try out as many stock screeners as you can and stick with the ones that work best for you.

Here’s another great stock screener to consider: the Alpha Scanner by millionaire trader Matt Monaco. He brought his old software engineering skills back to build a stock screener that mirrors his profitable trading style. 

Matt’s packed the Alpha Scanner full of live mentoring sessions, trade alerts, and more. Can his life’s work give you an edge in trading? Here’s how you find out…

Sign up to join the next Alpha Scanner LIVE broadcast for more information!

Stock Volatility Screener FAQs

What Are the Key Criteria for Using a Stock Volatility Screener?

To effectively use a stock volatility screener, consider criteria such as 20-day average volume, 20-day historic volatility, and 20-day relative strength. Incorporating additional filters like earnings per share and earnings growth helps refine the search for volatile stocks. Utilizing features like custom filters and column headings can further enhance the screening process.

How Can Custom Queries Enhance Stock Screening?

Custom queries allow for more precise stock screening by letting users define specific parameters. This includes setting additional criteria like unusual volume and future volatility. By using custom chart templates and adjusting column headings, traders can tailor their screener to match their trading strategies and preferences.

How Do Earnings Announcements Affect Stock Volatility?

Earnings announcements can significantly impact stock volatility, causing sharp price movements. Using a stock screener to filter by upcoming earnings announcements and past earnings growth can help identify stocks likely to experience volatility. Monitoring metrics such as beats revenue and misses revenue can provide insights into how earnings results affect stock prices.

What Role Do Options Play in Screening for Volatility?

Implied volatility is one of the biggest considerations in the pricing of options contracts. Screeners can filter stocks based on options quotes and option strike prices. Utilizing strategies like Iron Condors and 1-day volatility options can help traders capitalize on volatile markets.

How Does Trading Volume Influence Volatility Screening?

Trading volume, especially unusual volume and trading volume in the current session, is a key indicator of stock volatility. Screeners can filter for stocks with high trading volumes to identify those with significant price movements. Analyzing trading volume trends can provide insights into potential volatility.

What Are the Advantages of Using Historical Market Data in Volatility Screening?

Historical market data, including 52-week high and 52-week low positions, helps traders understand past price performance. This data can be used to identify patterns and forecast future volatility. Analyzing historical volatility alongside current market conditions provides a comprehensive view for making informed trading decisions.

How Can Analysts’ Opinions Be Incorporated into Volatility Screening?

Analysts’ opinions, such as consensus ratings and conference presentations, offer valuable insights into stock performance. Incorporating these opinions into a screener can help identify stocks with anticipated volatility based on analysts’ forecasts. Monitoring the opinion of analysts can complement technical criteria in stock screening.

Why Are Custom Filters Important in Identifying Volatile Stocks?

Custom filters allow traders to set specific parameters that match their volatility screening needs. This includes combinations of criteria such as average return, cash return, and Sharpe ratio. Custom filters enable a more targeted approach, increasing the likelihood of identifying stocks that meet precise volatility criteria.

What Is the Importance of Pre- and Post-Market Data in Volatility Screening?

Pre-post market data provides insights into stock movements outside regular trading hours, helping identify stocks with unusual activity. Screeners that include pre-market movers and today’s biggest pre-market stock movers can highlight potential volatile stocks. This data is essential for traders looking to act on early market signals.

How Do Recession-Proof Stocks Fit into Volatility Screening?

Recession-proof stocks, like those identified for the 2024 market, are typically less affected by economic downturns. Including these stocks in a volatility screener can provide stability within a volatile market. Screening for recession-proof stocks helps diversify a portfolio and mitigate risk during economic uncertainties.

What Are the Key Features of a Comprehensive Stock Screener?

A comprehensive stock screener should offer features such as custom queries, access to historical market data, and options quotes. It should allow for the creation of custom chart templates and provide filters for metrics like trading volume and earnings announcements.

How Do Column Headings and Download Requests Enhance Screener Efficiency?

Customizing column headings in a stock screener allows for better organization and visibility of key metrics. Download requests enable users to export screener data for offline analysis and record-keeping. These features enhance the usability and efficiency of the screening process, providing traders with the flexibility to manage and analyze data effectively.

How Can Access to Multiple Markets Improve Volatility Screening?

Access to multiple markets, including European stocks and Canadian markets, broadens the scope of volatility screening. Screeners that consolidate markets allow traders to compare volatility across different regions. This global perspective helps identify diverse investment opportunities and enhances the overall screening strategy.

How Do Public Offerings and Market Conditions Affect Stock Volatility?

Public offerings and market conditions play a significant role in stock volatility. Screeners that track public offerings and adjust for market conditions can identify stocks likely to experience significant price movements. Understanding these factors helps traders anticipate and capitalize on volatile market scenarios.