Instead of scouring around to find what stocks are moving a lot each day, consider day trading only one or two stocks that tend to consistently move a lot each day.
If you want to day trade stocks with lots of movement each day, I’ll show you how to find them. Then, pick one or two to trade all week, month, or until the stock no longer matches your ideal amount of movement.
I provide several of these stocks each week on the Best Stocks for Day Trading page, under the Consistent High Percentage Movers section. Here’s how to do it yourself.
Scan for Stocks with High Percentage Daily Volatility
Using scanning software we can search for stocks that move more than 5% per day, and have been able to average that for 30 day, 50 days, or 100 days or more.
That means you don’t need to research each morning what stock is up 7% or 10% (moving big). You can have a list of stocks that typically move that much almost every day!
In addition to scanning for daily average percent movement, you may also want to filter the stocks based on price, volume, and possibly exchange.
Here is a scan that I run on StockFetcher.com.
It is a simple scan but it shows stocks that move more than 5% on average, based on a sampling of the last 300 trading day. 300 days is a long time, so the scan also makes sure the stock is still moving lots over the last 10 sessions. Any stock that shows up on the list has a long history of volatility and still has lots of movement now.
I also put in a price parameter so that I don’t end up with a bunch of penny stocks on the list. A penny stock may appear like it moves a lot because if it goes from $0.015 to $0.02 that’s a 33% increase, yet the price may not have even moved. It may just be hitting the bid at 0.015 and the offer at 0.02. You could do that sort of trading as well—sitting on the bid and offer all day—but that is not what this scan is for, hence the stock price parameter.
I have also added in volume requirements. These assure that the stock has been doing lots of volume over the last 10 days and over the last 50.
Exchange is not Amex, on StockFetcher, means ignore ETFs and just list stocks. If you use a different scanner you may want to input “stocks only”.
The “add column” criteria are there to sort the data once you acquire it.
Here is a sample of the results.
This list has been sorted by Average Day Range (30). The top daily moves are the top of the list, so you know those are the stocks moving the most. [Note: I have sometimes found that the names on stocks are sometimes out of date on StockFetcher: WKHS is WorkHorse Group Inc., not Amp Holdings.]
Down toward the bottom of the list is Twitter Inc. (TWTR), which has a 30-day average of moving 4.43% per day. Although, to be included on the list we know that it also must move more than 5% over the last 10 and 300 sessions.
THIS STATISTICS OF THESE STOCKS WILL CHANGE DAILY, YET THE SAME STOCKS TEND TO APPEAR ON THE LIST FOR MANY WEEKS.
There is also a chart view on StockFetcher. The following daily chart shows an example of Gap Inc. (GPS), it falls more in the middle of the above list. It has daily average movement of about 8%. The chart shows that the day range has barely dropped below about 5.5% for the last few months. That’s very helpful. When you are day trading you can see the daily movement often climbs above 10%, but rarely falls below 5.5% at the time of this snapshot. If the stock stops moving as much, move on to day trading another stock on the list.
These charts can also be helpful in picking what stock to trade. A stock may have a high daily movement average, but that is only because it has really big moves once in a while. Another stock may move a lot every day…which is more what we are looking for.
Stocks like this, which tend to move a lot, work well with the Stock Day Trading Trend Strategy.
I like day trading with a one-minute chart, but you may prefer another timeframe.
Make Adjustments as Required
The parameters on the scan may need to be adjusted from time to time. During quiet months in the stock market, you may need to drop to a 4% daily average, or you may need to drop the volume requirements to 5 million, for example.
During volatile times, you can increase the parameters to 6% and 15 million in volume and you’ll still likely get a handful of stocks to choose from.
Here is the scan during a more volatile time (January 2021):
show stocks where the average day range(300) is above 6%
and average day range(10) is above 6%
and Price is between $10 and $125
and Average volume(50) is greater than 10000000
and average volume (10) is greater than 10000000
and exchange is not amex
add column Average Volume(30)
add column Average Day Range (30)
Pick One or Two Consistently Volatile Stocks for Day Trading
Go through the list and find one or two stocks that appeal to you. The most volatile may not necessarily be best. Pick a stock that moves in a way that suits your strategy.
For example, if you want to actively trade trends throughout the day, then you will want a stock that tends to have big intraday trends.
As an alternative method, you can look each day for stocks that are moving big after the open. Here is how to scan for those in real-time throughout the day.
Cory Mitchell, CMT
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is personal investment advice, or advice to buy or sell anything. Trading is risky and can result in substantial losses, even more than deposited if using leverage.