When it comes to investing in the stock market, market information is something that you can never get enough of. Regardless of whether you are new to investing in stocks or you've been doing this for many years, having sufficient market data is crucial to making profitable trades. This market data is necessary to know when to enter and profitably exit trades.

Most people just don't have the ability to spend hours upon hours scouring the news looking for any scrap of information about a stock, although there are a lot of people who do exactly that. The majority of people who trade stocks do so on the side. These people typically have full-time jobs that consume the majority of their time and only trade stocks to fund their retirement account or for an extra side income. The reality for most people is that they simply don't have any extra free time to put into market research.

Fortunately, a lot of truly great companies are now making very powerful computer programs that can automate much of this tedious market research work for you. The computer programs are capable of doing all of your stock market research for you, letting you breath a big sigh of relief so you can have more free time for your family, friends, or even a hobby.

One of these great software programs is known as Optimal Trader. Optimal Trader is a very new offering in the stock market analysis genre, having only been offered since 2007. Optimal trader has the ability to evaluate thousands of stocks based on their technical indicators and other factors. In addition, the software lets you input your own search parameters so that you can eliminate the stocks you know you wouldn't be interested in before even conducting a scan. After you have used Optimal Trader to find a few great stocks to purchase, the software will then analyze those stocks with statistical and technical indicators to tell you exactly when to enter and exit a trade.

Metastock is another popular stock analysis software program. Metastock has a substantial history, having been on the market for about 25 years. As such, it has a very large following. Like Optimal Trader, you can quickly scan through thousands of stocks to locate the ones that meet your search criteria. In addition, Metastock also has the ability to back test a particular strategy to see if it measures up. Back testing simply involves taking a strategy and applying it to what has already happened in the past. This makes it very easy to see if the strategy is a good one. There is one negative to Metastock....and it's a big one. Metastock is very expensive. The most affordable package, which is the end-of-day package, runs $499 per year. In addition, to use Metastock you will have to subscribe to a data service that comes in at more than $500 per year. Ouch!

Optimal Trader and Metastock represent two great stock market analysis programs that have the potential to take your trading to the next level. Keep in mind though that these are just two of the many great programs that are available. Definitely take your time and research the many great programs before purchasing one.