How to Build a Watchlist for Trading

Thu Sep 10, 2020, 02:45 pm | by Delaney | No comments

While the market open at 9:30 AM eastern time, that doesn’t mean you should roll out of bed get started right before it opens. Successful trading requires research and planning during the pre-market hours before making the trade.

This guide will break down the steps you can take to build your own watchlist every morning, as well as how to create a Watchlist in Benzinga Pro!

Step 1: Use a Screener or Scanner 

Every trader is different—some trade small caps, others only trade biotech, some trade low float. Each trader has their own style and strategy. Think about your own trading strategy, setups, and what gives you the best win rate. Then, plug those characteristics and indicators into a good stock screener/scanner to generate your initial list.

Additionally, it can be a good idea to start out with a broader scan than narrow down the stocks you’re interested in from there. 

Step 2: Start Analyzing Stocks

Depending on your filters on your Screener/Scanner and the time of day, you may have a large or small list. Analyzing stocks is important so you don’t overwhelm yourself with a large amount of stocks to focus on. Around 10-15 is a good amount to narrow your list down. Plus, you don’t want to just blindly trade the stocks that populate on your initial scan.

Go through your scanner list and check out the news, charts, and technical indicators to see if this is something you might be interested in trading that day. Once again, refer to your trading strategy to decide if the stock is something you want to trade. If it is, add it to your watchlist so you can keep an eye on it and potentially make the trade when the market opens.

Step 3: Get Ready to Trade 

Once you’ve gotten your watchlist down to a manageable level, you’ve analyzed them, and have a good idea of what stocks you’re interested in trading, it’s time to get ready to trade if they make the cut for you!

How to Build Watchlists in Benzinga Pro 

Step 1: Use Movers or Screener

Screenshot showing the Movers tool in Benzinga Pro

Use Movers or Screener in Benzinga Pro to create your watchlist. Movers is great if you are only looking for the biggest gainers and losers. It has fewer filtering tools, which include:

  • Session
  • Period
  • Sector
  • Market Cap
  • Price

You can also turn on autorefresh to keep new results coming, or freeze to create a static list.

On the other hand, Screener will be better if you like more control or filters. There are 50+ filters, including volume, margins, float, moving averages and more!

You can then go through the lists and analyze to narrow down stocks to put into your Watchlist!

Screenshot of the Screener tool in Benzinga Pro

Final Thoughts

Building a watchlist in the pre-market is a great way to start your trading day off on the right foot. It’s always good to have a plan you can follow so you stay disciplined in your trading, especially if you are a day trader. You don’t have to follow this guide to a T, but it’s a great starting point so you can build your morning pre-market watchlist routine. 

Click here to start your free, two-week trial of Benzinga Pro today!