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Fortunly's Guide

The Best Platforms for Day Trading: Top Picks

By
G. Dautovic

March 10,2022


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Not all trading platforms are created equal, and finding the best day trading platform is not an easy task. You need a service that can offer low trade fees, a variety of investment options, and is user-friendly.

This is a tall order: Luckily, we have done the legwork for you and come up with a list of the best options available.

This article will compare the most popular platforms on the market and discuss their main features, look at the benefits and drawbacks of using these platforms, and help you choose the one right for you!

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Best for: Experienced active traders

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers Logo
OVERVIEW

Interactive Brokers is a well-known and respected platform with over 40 years of trading experience. Interactive Brokers has become one of the top day trading platforms, primarily thanks to its wide range of investment options, low trade fees, and user-friendly interface. With Interactive Brokers, day traders from over 200 countries worldwide can access more than 135 markets to trade stocks, options, futures, funds, bonds, and forex. Read Review

  • Excellent trading tools
  • Wide range of products
  • Low commissions and fees
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for US-listed stocks and ETFs
Best for: Low-cost trading

Webull

Webull Logo
OVERVIEW

Webull is another popular trading platform offering commission-free stock, full extended hours trading, ETF trading, and more. Although it’s one of the newer online brokers, Webull has quickly gained a loyal following among day traders. The thing that makes Webull one of the best brokers for day trading is its ability to offer fractional shares of even the most expensive stocks. Read Review

  • No minimum deposit
  • Real-time investment quotes
  • Cryptocurrency trading available
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, options, and ETFs
Best for: Beginner traders

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade Logo
OVERVIEW

TD Ameritrade is a renowned company that provides trading and investment services for 11 million client accounts. It offers 24/hour customer service, more than 100 commission-free ETFs, no account minimums, a large selection of investment options, and more. Besides all these features, TD Ameritrade has a mobile app that is very user-friendly for trading on the go. Read Review

  • Large investment selection
  • Excellent educational resources
  • High-quality trading platforms
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs
Best for: Commission-free trades

Firstrade

Firstrade Logo
OVERVIEW

If you are interested in finding the best stock trading platform for day trading, Firstrade is worth considering. This platform offers commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. It comes with no account minimums and has an intuitive interface, making it a good choice for newbies and those who wish to simplify their day trading experience. Read Review

  • Commission-free mutual funds
  • International investing accounts
  • Extended hours trading
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options
Best for: Advanced traders

TradeStation

TradeStation Logo
OVERVIEW

TradeStation is a trading platform popular among active day traders. It offers low trade commissions, advanced charting tools, and a variety of other features for those who want to take their trading to the next level. As one of the best online brokers for day trading, TradeStation also has an impressive mobile app that allows you to check your account, make trades, and track your portfolios via phone or tablet - an excellent choice for those always on the move. Read Review

  • Comprehensive research tools
  • Intuitive trading interfaces
  • Fully functional mobile app
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs
Best for: Margin accounts

Robinhood

Robinhood Logo
OVERVIEW

Robinhood is a commission-free stock trading platform that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Its streamlined interface and abundance of investment options are an excellent choice for those just setting off in the world of trading. With no account minimums nor trade fees, it’s an affordable choice and one of the top day trading platforms for beginners. Read Review

  • Good cash management features
  • No monthly fees
  • Allows fractional share trading
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs
Best for: No-minimum index funds

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab Logo
OVERVIEW

Charles Schwab is one of the leading financial companies in the United States and one of the oldest brokerage firms in existence. It offers a wide range of services, including banking, investing, and retirement planning. The company also provides a straightforward stock trading platform with commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs, making it a perfect fit for those who want to trade stocks on a daily basis. Read Review

  • Free stock and ETF trading
  • Extensive research
  • Network of physical branches
Visit Site
On Official Website
Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, options, and ETFs

Things to Consider When Choosing a Day Trading Platform

We already mentioned a vast number of day trading platforms available on the market. However, not all offer the same services or have equally affordable fees. It is important to do your research: Here are some things that can help you make your final decision and choose the best trading platform for day traders.

Functionality and Ease of Use

The first thing you need to consider is the platform’s functionality and how easy it is to set up. The trading platform should make all the features you need to trade successfully accessible.

Some platforms are geared towards experienced traders, while others are designed for beginners. It’s essential to find one suitable for your level of experience.

Some trading platforms may include mobile trading apps, but not all. If you decide to go with an exclusively web-based service, you will be able to connect from anywhere and avoid any maintenance costs.

On the other hand, a desktop platform will have more capabilities than a mobile one, but tie you to your computer. Think about how much flexibility you need and if that is more important than having abundant features.

Fees and Deposit Requirements

Another thing to consider about a day trading platform is its trading fees and minimum deposit requirement. Some platforms charge a flat rate per trade, while others charge a percentage of the total amount. This can be crucial, especially if you are a frequent trader.

You need to make sure that the fees are not too high and that you will be able to meet the minimum deposit requirement without any problems. Not all platforms require a minimum deposit; however, this is still something to keep in mind if you are starting with a small amount of money.

Analytical Features

The number of features at your disposal can make or break a deal with any product or software. When it comes to trading platforms, analytical tools will help you make the best possible decisions, and you should pay close attention to them when deciding which platform is best for day trading.

These features include charting tools, indicators, and other research materials to help you make informed decisions. The more information you have, the better your chances of profiting. Pattern recognition tools are also important, as they can help you predict future movements and take advantage of market trends. Some platforms offer more comprehensive analytical features than others.

Investment Options

Trading platforms also offer different investment options. For example, most trading platforms offer forex trading and stocks, but some may also provide options like CFDs, ETFs, and futures contracts. Some of the best platforms for day trading also offer cryptocurrency trading and the possibility to short sell. Ensure the trading platform you choose provides the specific investment options you’re interested in.

Platform Customization

All the previously mentioned features and tools won't be of much use if you cannot customize them according to your preferences. A flexible enough platform will allow you to tailor its interface, charts, and other tools to your liking. You should also be able to save your settings for quick access.

In other words, for a platform to be the best, a broker platform for day trading should possess as many customization tools as possible.

Order Execution

Last but not least, make sure the platform you choose offers fast and reliable order execution. Some platforms offer real-time market data while others do not; in either case, study up on order execution speeds of each platform before making your final decision.

You should also pay attention to the available order types, including market, limit, stop, and stop-limit orders, as well as trailing stops.

Quick Breakdown

Top Day Trading Platforms for 2022

  • Interactive Brokers - Best for experienced active traders
  • Webull - Best for low-cost trading
  • TD Ameritrade - Best for beginner traders
  • Firstrade - Best for commission-free trades
  • TradeStation - Best for advanced traders
  • Robinhood - Best for margin accounts
  • Charles Schwab - Best for no-minimum index funds

Reviews

Interactive Brokers

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for US-listed stocks and ETFs

If you are interested in an advanced trading platform with an intuitive interface and wide selection of investment options, Interactive Brokers might be just the thing.

The Interactive Brokers Group was founded in New York City in 1978, and has since become one of the most respected online brokers. With access to over 135 markets worldwide, this is one of the most popular day trading platforms.

Functionality and Ease of Use

Interactive Brokers is hard to beat in this category: Its impressive range of analytical tools includes a wide variety of indicators and charting tools. It also offers excellent customization options, so you can tailor the platform to your needs and preferences. If that's not enough, the platform also offers a paper trading account, so you can test out your strategies before putting real money on the line.

In addition to having a well-developed web platform, this provider also offers mobile trading apps for iOS and Android devices. Another thing we liked about Interactive Brokers is that it allows users to open an account without funding it right away. They have 90 days to develop their strategies before their account is automatically closed.

Fees and Requirements

Those looking for the best low-cost day trading platform might not be so impressed with Interactive Brokers. It charges a commission of $0.0005 per share with a minimum of $0.35 per order and a maximum of 1% per trade. However, they offer some of the lowest margin rates in the industry, starting at only 0.75%.

This could be a good option for those just starting out, if they have enough money, but those looking for the lowest commission rates might find some better solutions.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

To be the best day trading platform, a company must offer a wide range of analytical features and reliable order execution. Interactive Brokers delivers on both fronts. It is an advanced trading platform with plenty of analytical and free tools, including:

  • Large selection of technical indicators
  • Advanced charting tool
  • Extensive backtesting capabilities

Investment Options

Interactive Brokers offers investing in stocks, bonds, futures, options, and forex. Traders can explore all these options and trade on margin for greater profits. And if you are looking for the best day trading platform for your crypto assets, Interactive Brokers will have you covered as it offers the possibility to trade cryptocurrencies.

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Webull

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, options, and ETFs

Next, we have Webull, a commission-free online brokerage with no deposit minimums and a wide range of features for both beginners and experienced traders. This trading platform was established in Delaware in 2017, has since been providing an excellent service for trading stocks, options, and ETFs.

As one of the best brokers in the industry, Webull offers a wide variety of technical indicators and charting tools. Users can customize their trading experience, as this is an advanced platform.

Functionality and Ease of Use

What stands out about Webull and makes it one of the top day trading platforms is its easy-to-use interface. The platform was designed with the beginner trader in mind, so it is simple to navigate and understand. However, this does not mean that experienced traders will not find what they want, as Webull offers plenty of features and tools.

To use the platform, you first need to create an account, which takes just a few minutes. Provide some basic information, verify your identity, and you can start trading.

The platform has a desktop and mobile version, and those looking for the best mobile platform for day trading should definitely check it out. The app is available for iOS and Android, and offers all the desktop features.

If you have any trouble accessing your account, you can reach the site's customer support via email, phone, and social media. Whether you are a newbie or a trader with a few tricks up your sleeve, Webull will not leave you disappointed.

Fees and Requirements

Webull is a commissionless platform for trading ETFs and stocks. It also has no inactivity or monthly maintenance fees. If you are interested in finding the best platform for day trading options, Webull might be just what you need.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

In terms of order execution, Webull offers a great experience. The platform is fast and reliable, and it doesn’t fall short when it comes to analytical features, either. It provides all the standard indicators and charting tools, as well as unique options perfect for getting the most out of your trading experience.

For example, Webull’s “paper trading” feature is a great way to test your strategies without putting any real money at risk. Another thing that makes Webull potentially the best platform for day trading is its research feature that provides insights and analysis from industry experts. You can use it to learn more about a particular stock before investing in it, which can be extremely helpful, especially for non-experienced traders.

Investment Options

Webull offers a great selection of investment options, and you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, and even cryptos. So, whether you are looking for a place for day trading stocks or the best choice for trading cryptos, Webull has it all. And if you want to learn more about how to trade different assets, the platform offers plenty of educational resources to help you get started.

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TD Ameritrade

5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs

TD Ameritrade is a full-service trading broker, and is one of the most popular day trading platforms on the market. For over 45 years, TD Ameritrade has been helping traders of all levels achieve their financial goals and stay in control of their finances.

Today, this platform provides investing and trading services for 11 million client accounts, with more than $1 trillion in assets. It offers a wide range of investment options, access to global markets, and margin trading.

Functionality and Ease of Use

TD Ameritrade is a platform that can be used on Windows and macOS desktops. Thanks to its intuitive interface, it’s ideal for those who want complete control over their trading experience.

To be the best, a mobile platform for day trading must offer a seamless experience and the same level of functionality as the desktop version; this is no issue with TD Ameritrade. The app is available for iOS and Android devices and offers all the platform's desktop version features.

Fees and Requirements

Like some of its competitors, TD Ameritrade offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs. It also has no account minimum, so you can start trading with as much as you can afford. TD Ameritrade’s fees are very competitive: It charges $0 per trade for stocks and ETFs and $0.65 per contract for options. So if you are looking for the best stock platform for day trading, TD Ameritrade should be at the top of your list.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

TD Ameritrade includes all the charting tools and indicators you would expect from a top-notch day trading platform. It also offers some unique features, such as the ability to trade directly from the charts and create your own indicators.

The bond wizard is another great tool that allows you to research and trade bonds. When it comes to order execution, TD Ameritrade is one of the best on the market, with no requotes.

Investment Options

With TD Ameritrade, you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and forex on many international markets. So, if you are looking for the best platform for day trading, you will find everything you need with TD Ameritrade.

And if you are looking to expand your trading knowledge, the platform offers plenty of educational resources to get you started on the path to becoming a successful trader.

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Firstrade

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, ETFs, and options

Firstrade is an online broker that offers a full line of investment products and tools to investors worldwide. It has been helping traders of all levels achieve their financial goals for over 35 years.

With Firstrade, you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and forex. The platform also offers a wide range of analytical instruments to help you make informed trading decisions.

Functionality and Ease of Use

If you are looking for the best day trading platform as a Mac or Windows user, Firstrade is a great option. If you wish to access your account while on the go, you can download the Firstrade mobile app available for iOS and Android.

You can create watchlists and use the built-in stock screener to find the stocks that meet your criteria. Besides this, you can also use Firstrade to research individual stocks, find the best mutual funds, and read market news.

Fees and Requirements

Firstrade is an affordable solution: It offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs, no account minimums, and $0 per trade for options. So if you are looking to find the best online trading platform for day traders with a wide range of investment products, Firstrade should be one of your top picks.

When it comes to margin trading, Firstrade has some of the lowest rates in the industry, which go as low as 4.50%. In addition to being one of the most affordable brokers on the market, Firstrade also offers various special services, such as IRA accounts, education planning, and more.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

Firstrade makes quick executions, so you never have to worry about requotes. Plus, you can trade directly from the charts and use the built-in technical indicators to make wise trading decisions. To become the best forex day trading platform, an online broker must implement various analytical features, and Firstrade understands that perfectly.

Its wide range of analytical tools, such as the heat map, stock screener, and option chains, will give you detailed information about any security.

Investment Options

Firstrade pretty much offers the same investment products as the other brokers from our list. You can trade stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. There are, however, a few cons to this brokerage firm, such as the lack of forex trading options or cryptocurrencies. There's also no futures trading, which might be a deal-breaker for some traders.

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TradeStation

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs

Next on our list of the top trading platforms is TradeStation, an online broker specifically made for active and frequent day traders. Its trading tools and services help clients monitor, optimize, and automate trading strategies.

This trusted, versatile platform is perfect for traders looking to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and futures, all in one place. Traders can always rely on TradeStation’s multi-channel 24-hour customer support if they need assistance.

Functionality and Ease of Use

The TradeStation platform is user-friendly; those looking for the best day trading platform for beginners will appreciate its simplicity. The platform is available in three different versions: Desktop, web-based, and mobile. Best of all, it doesn't matter which device you use to access TradeStation, because your information will be synchronized across all of them. No data losses when switching from one to the other with TradeStation!

The main navigation menu is located on the left side of the screen, while all the features and tools are neatly organized in tabs. You can customize your workspace to accommodate your needs.

TradeStation also offers plenty of charting tools and technical indicators for flawless trade execution. You can also use the platform for backtesting your trading strategies to see how they would have performed in the past.

Fees and Requirements

Now let's take a look at TradeStation’s costs: For one, there is no minimum deposit, meaning you can start trading and investing with smaller amounts. The existing fees are quite reasonable, especially compared to some other brokers on this list.

There is no commission for stocks and ETFs, while the commission for stock options starts at $0.60 per contract per side, and futures and futures options start at $1.50 per contract per side. Overall, we can say that TradeStation is a top-notch trading platform worth considering.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

“What is the best platform for day trading?” is a question often asked by aspiring investors, but the answer will always vary depending on individual needs. Nonetheless, TradeStation’s versatility makes it a strong contender for most potential clients.

The analytical features in its arsenal are on par with other top dogs in the industry, and order execution is certainly TradeStation’s forte. The speed is nothing to sneeze at, and you can choose between several order types (e.g., market, limit, and stop-loss orders).

Investment Options

TradeStation offers various investment choices, including stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and forex. And, if you are looking for the best platform for day trading cryptocurrency, you will be happy to know that the TradeStation Crypto app is designed precisely for that. The app is the perfect platform for day trading Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies.

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Robinhood

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks and ETFs

Robinhood is a commission-free stock trading app created in 2013 to help people achieve financial freedom and start investing on their own terms. The company quickly gained a following and became one of the most popular stock trading apps on the market. The app has since expanded to include options trading, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Functionality and Ease of Use

Robinhood is one of the best day trading platforms with no minimum deposit. It has a desktop version and a mobile app, and it’s available in all US states. The app’s clean and intuitive design makes it easy to navigate, with everything organized in tabs, so you can quickly find what you need.

The app also has a built-in news feed providing up-to-date information on the latest market movements. Even first-time traders will be able to figure out how to use the app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and anyone can use it for free. Once you download it, all you need to do is create an account, deposit some money, and you can start trading immediately.

Fees and Requirements

Although there is no straightforward answer to the question: “What is the best trading platform for day traders?” we can say that Robinhood is a great option, especially for those just starting out. It does not charge any commissions or fees for stock and ETF trades.

The same goes for options trading. There are no minimum deposit requirements in general, but if you wish to invest on margin, you’ll need to have at least $2,000 or 100% of the security’s purchase price in your account.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

When it comes to analytical features, Robinhood lags behind some of the other platforms on this list and might not be the best day trading platform around. However, it does offer a few basic graphs that can help you develop your trading strategy. And while the platform doesn't have as many order types as others, it does allow you to place market orders, limit orders, and stop-loss orders.

Order execution is reliable and efficient. The only downside is that the platform can be a bit slow when loading data.

Investment Options

Robinhood offers a limited number of securities to trade compared to other platforms on this list. Still, it does include stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, gold, and options trading. It might even be the best platform for day trading cryptocurrency for beginners.

On the other hand, Robinhood does not offer forex or futures trading, so if these are your trades of choice, you might want to look elsewhere.

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Charles Schwab

5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Mobile App:
Yes
Commission:
$0 for stocks, options, and ETFs

More commonly known as Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Corporation is an American investment firm and financial services provider. The company was founded in 1971 by Charles R. Schwab, and has since grown into one of the largest brokerages in the United States.

Today, Charles Schwab is one of the most renowned day trading platforms, with 6.1 million daily average trades and over $7.8 trillion in client assets.

Functionality and Ease of Use

As most top day trading platforms do, Charles Schwab has a desktop version and mobile app for all US residents. The app has a very sleek and uncomplicated design that makes navigation easy, and it is available for all Android and iOS devices.

The desktop version is more complex, but still relatively easy to use. Once you open your brokerage account, you will have access to in-depth analytical tools, educational materials, and multilingual customer support.

Fees and Requirements

Charles Schwab offers free stock trades and charges no commission for options and ETF trades. It provides cryptocurrency trading, too, so if you’re looking to find the best day trading platform for cryptocurrency, you might want to give this online broker a chance.

There is no minimum deposit required to open an account, but if you want to trade on margin, your account balance must be at least $2,000 in cash or marginable securities. There are no trade nor account minimums, and the company always puts customers first. It has a “satisfaction guaranteed” policy and promises to refund all eligible fees and commissions to traders who aren’t completely satisfied.

You can also choose from various account types, each with its own set of features and benefits. These include individual, joint, and custodial accounts. You can also open an IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA account.

Analytical Features and Order Execution

As one of the best day trading platforms, Charles Schwab offers a vast arsenal of analytical features, perfect for experienced and novice traders alike. The tools are easy to use and navigate, and provide all the data you need to make informed investment decisions. You can find everything from real-time quote streaming, to customizable charts and graphs. There is also a wealth of educational materials available on the website.

As for order execution, Charles Schwab is a trustworthy platform. Your orders will be executed quickly and efficiently, and you can rest assured that your trades will go through. There is no risk of slippage or requotes.

Investment Options

Charles Schwab offers many investment choices, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and options. The company also has a robo-advisor service called Intelligent Portfolios Premium. This service offers unlimited guidance from certified financial planning professionals, making Charles Schwab the best day trading platform for beginners who can afford it. This advanced feature comes with a one-time planning fee of $300 and a monthly advisory fee of $30.

You can also trade forex and futures, if you wish. And if you're a day trader looking for new investment options to test your trading strategy, you can always explore the Schwab marketplace.

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FAQ

What is the three-day rule in stocks?

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The three-day rule in stock trading requires investors to wait at least three days before buying stocks whose price has significantly dropped. The 72-hour rule is intended to allow investors time to research the security and make an informed decision about whether to buy it.

Although it's not set in stone, this practice is generally recommended for long-term investors and can help them avoid buying stocks that are likely to plummet in price even further.

What time of day are stock prices lowest?

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Once you find the best stock trading platform for day traders, you should also be aware of the best times to buy and sell them. 

Stock prices are generally lowest in the early morning hours, before the market opens, which is somewhere between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. ET. Most investors prefer to sell their stocks at the end of the trading day to avoid holding them overnight. This usually leads to lower stock prices at the start of the trading hours.

Why do stocks go down on Friday?

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Now that you know what to look for to find the best day trading platform, you should also know about some of the common patterns in the stock market. One of them is that stocks often go down on Fridays; there are a few reasons behind that.

One reason is that many investors sell their stocks at the end of the week so as not to hold them over the weekend. This uptick in sales can cause prices to drop. Another reason is that some bad news might come out about a company on Friday, which could cause its stock price to drop.

Lastly, some investors might simply be trying to "window dress" their portfolios by selling their losing stocks before the end of the week and buying them back on Monday.