There are two sites which I prefer to use when speculating on stocks. The sites are as follows:
Google Stock Screener: http://www.google.com/finance#stockscreener
Yahoo Stock Screener: http://screener.finance.yahoo.com/stocks.html
I have limited funding so I set my sights on stocks lower than $3 and higher than $1. Usually stocks in that range cannot risk going lower as the will be delisted from the NYSE. Also, stocks lower than $1 incur extra charges by some trading sites whaih make them more of a problem than a earning opportunity.
I am not particularly concerned weather a stock pays dividends as I don’t plan on holding it for more than a week if it is profitable. If the stock looses value I usually ride out the wave until I break even and can get out.
Aside from the price he P/E ratio is important as it will depict how the stock has been performing relative to its price. I like this number to be high but not unrealistic. A P/E ratio of between 5 to 20% is fairly realistic for stocks with values under $3.
The stock chart is the visual and easiest to understand, indicator of things to come. I prefer to view charts on Google.com/finance or on ETRADE.com. Google finance is convenient for looking up stocks that may be on various exchanges(NYSE, PINK, OTC…). While ETRADE provides more relevant news on the specific company.
At times you may find a stock out of your price range. BizShark.com is a useful resource in determining the companies competitors. It may not be the company you want bid its the same industry.
Looking at the stock chart, you should expand the view to at least 5 years. If the stock belongs to a market that is seasonal, such as travel, clothing, fruits, back to school, thanksgiving, Christmas etc. the season must be observed over a few years to determine how the stock is expected to perform in the coming season. Therefore you can make a purchase off season and sell at peak season.
More important than using a stock screener or a chart is to keep your ears and eyes open for news pertaining to the industry the stock belongs to. You have to keep informed of weather there is a legal, legislative, public relations, employee relations, weather condition etc. that may affect the consumers choice to buy. The more buzz there is in the consciousness of the people the more the stock will fluctuate. Its like the butterfly effect, everything is connected, and you must view everything as such.
If you like gambling, the stock market is the safest place to do it. You may loose your shirt but then again you might make some money. If you do thorough research you can just about predict what will happen. This will call for you to be well informed. Calculated risk, is a oxymoron but I dont think anyone wold consider wall street millionaires any kind of moron.