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What Are the Different Types of Stock Software?

Most stock trading software is designed by well-regarded experts in the industry.
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  • Written By: Dana DeCecco
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2014
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Stock software is available for trading, tracking, sorting and a variety of trading services. The scope and diversity of software programs relates to every conceivable aspect of equity trading. Online resources provide stock software for sale or rent from vendors and developers. Many resources are available for free, and many are provided by stock brokers. Software programs can be sorted into fundamental or technical analysis services.

Technical stock software is provided in the form of charting software and electronic trading platforms. Fundamental programs include rating, ranking and sorting systems developed specifically for the equities markets. In either case, the trader has a vast array of choices available at prices ranging from free to very expensive.

Many technical charting programs are available for free online. Most charting services offer a portion of their charting packages for free, with premium services available for a monthly fee. Premium services generally offer interactive charts with advanced indicators. Many stock brokers offer premium charting as an incentive to attract new clients. Specialized and highly advanced charting programs are sold or rented by online vendors.

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Technical stock software programs are available in the form of analysis and system development packages. Trading systems can be developed and back tested using this type of software. Data feed programs are needed with development packages as well as charting programs in general. Data feed programs are typically rented on a monthly basis and include historical data. These data feeds are provided in time frames as small as one tick, which is the smallest price change trackable.

Stock screening software is available that automatically performs technical analysis on a group of stocks and displays the results. An example of this might be all stocks in a particular industry that are trading above their 200-period moving average. This type of program can save countless hours of research sifting through thousands of stocks to find possible trading candidates. Many different indicators and studies are possible with this kind of automated software.

Stock software is available that provides fundamental market analysis of publicly traded companies. These programs determine the financial health of companies and how the market values the stock. Stocks are ranked and rated in several categories. A few of these categories are dividends, earnings and sales. Earnings report software is another type of program that can be valuable in timing stock purchases.

Key ratios are determined combining different values. The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio and the earnings per share (EPS) are two of the more popular ratios used. Some software programs can sort stocks according to industry, market capitalization, average trading volume and hundreds of other variables. What would take countless hours of research for a person can be done in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

The price of stock software is not always indicative of the quality of the program. Many top-notch programs have been around for quite a while and are comparatively inexpensive. Deciding which technical and fundamental software to use might be similar a kid trying to make a choice in a candy store. The trader should narrow down the choices by deciding which software programs will enhance his or her style or system of trading.

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