Best Free Real-Time Stock Charts

The best charts for beginners and experts

Pros and cons of free real-time stock charts. Pros: Real-time Excellent backup data source Great training tool for new traders Cons: Unofficial Usually comes from sole data provider Isn’t guaranteed for accuracy or timeliness
Photo:

The Balance / Julie Bang

A number of websites and platforms provide real-time stock charting capabilities for one-minute, five-minute, and other intraday charting time frames. Some of them even let you track stocks in real time for free. That could be a great deal, depending on your goals. Before jumping in with free real-time stock charts, keep a few considerations in mind.

Key Takeaways

  • It's possible to find free real-time stock charts, but the data won't be official or guaranteed.
  • Free stock data is useful for new traders looking to experiment and learn how to craft trading techniques.
  • Your options for the best real-time stock charts likely also offer paid and premium services, too, if you decide to upgrade.

Paid vs. Free Real-Time Stock Charts

Free is nice, and the data might be in real time, but it's not "official." Free real-time stock chart data usually comes from one data provider, which means you might not see all the price movements occurring in the stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) you're day trading. You may have to pay if you want to receive official price data from a market.

Free real-time stock chart data also isn't guaranteed to be accurate or timely. When you pay for real-time official quotes, you have some recourse if the data feed is unreliable or inaccurate. With a free site, you have to take the data as is.

That said, free real-time day trading charts are an excellent backup data source on the off chance you lose quotes from your broker. They're also a great training tool for new traders who are looking to study day trading and craft strategies around price movements in real time.

Here are a few of the best free real-time stock charting platforms to check out.

TradingView

TradingView provides free real-time stock charts that are visually appealing and can be customized with hundreds of technical indicators.

TradingView is also a social media site. Traders can easily share their charts and ideas with each other. You can even follow other traders and discuss stocks and other markets.

Note

Beware of who you're watching because not everyone sharing charts and ideas will be a profitable trader.

Traders can create watch lists and alerts, see which stocks are hot, and even trade directly from TradingView charts by connecting with a broker. You can use the Strategy Tester to test a built-in strategy for a particular stock and time period. The Pine Editor feature also lets you create your own strategy to test.

TradingView also lets you chart indexes, stocks, bonds, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, contracts for differences (CFDs), economic data, and global data, although futures data are delayed. You can pay for upgraded options that provide additional features and official real-time data for stocks and futures markets around the globe.

TradingView offers a very extensive list of markets, indexes, and economic data. You won't have to switch charting platforms to view charts from other markets. It's also the most socially integrated real-time stock chart of the free providers on our list.

StockCharts

StockCharts is one of those charting platforms that offer both paid and free options. StockCharts' free capabilities are pretty robust. You can do bar, line, or candlestick charting with more than 40 line studies and modifiable technical indicators.

Note

The free version only lets you plot three indicators at one time.

Data is displayed on either a weekly or daily basis, but you can only go back three years for data unless you have a paid subscription. Other downsides to the free StockCharts option are that you can't save your screens and the graphics are rather bland.

You can pay as little as $14.95 a month for a basic subscription or as much as $39.95 a month for a Pro subscription if you want more bells and whistles. The Extra subscription, with a somewhat more advanced user interface, is available for $24.95 a month. A free one-month trial subscription at the Extra level is available for new customers.

You can upgrade your subscription plans even more by adding a real-time data plan. The free, Basic, Extra, and Pro accounts come with a free data plan with Better Alternative Trading System (BATS) real-time data in the U.S., but all other markets are delayed. For more real-time data, you can choose from a variety of plans that focus on specific stock exchanges. Each costs an additional $9.95 per month.

Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Finance offers free real-time quotes for stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq indexes that are provided by Nasdaq Last Sale. It also offers real-time news. Its free interactive charts are quite good, with a selection of more than 100 technical indicators to choose from.

Yahoo! Finance lets traders create an unlimited list of stocks to follow and offers daily trading ideas. It also enables you to link to your brokerage account to implement trades based on your charted strategies.

For $35 a month or $350 annually, you can upgrade to a Premium service that offers enhanced charting capabilities, third-party investment research, live chat support, and fewer ads, among other features. A 14-day free trial is available to see whether you think the Premium level is worth the money.

Google Finance

It's easy to quickly search for a stock on Google, but you can also see real-time charts for different markets via Google's Finance section. While it's not as advanced as the others on our list, Google Finance offers simple—and free—stock charts.

Note

It may not be the best for advanced investors, but it could be just what beginners are looking for.

You can track specific stocks, local markets, and even world markets, adding whatever you want to your watch list. While the technical indicators are lacking, you can at least see performance over time by changing the date range.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you read stock charts?

There are a few different types of stock charts, and each reads a bit uniquely. Bar and candlestick charts show you the opening, high, low, and closing prices for stocks, so you can see what's happened throughout the day. Line charts only show you each day's closing price, which is more of a summary view.

What is RSI in stock charts?

"RSI" stands for "relative strength index," which is a number that tells you whether a stock is overbought or oversold. Essentially, it measures the speed and direction of price movements, providing more information than just the high and low prices throughout the day. A reading below 30 is typically considered oversold, while a reading above 70 is considered overbought.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. TradingView. "Markets."

  2. StockCharts. "Service Levels, Data Plans, and Pricing."

  3. Yahoo! Finance. "Exchanges and Data Providers on Yahoo Finance."

  4. Yahoo! Finance. "NYSE Composite (DJ)."

  5. Yahoo! Finance. "Yahoo! Finance Premium."

  6. Google. "Google Finance."

  7. Fidelity. "Relative Strength Index (RSI)."

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