To be able to start trading and make profitable income from it, the first step you will need to do is identify a few financial websites and journals that you may want to regularly follow. To identify a good news and stock analysis resource start with identifying which market you want to trade in. A plausible market would be one which has high volume and reasonable volatility. Avoid high volatility markets and ones with lower volumes. Some markets or exchanges that satisfy the above criteria are the NYSE, NASDAQ, LSE, TSE.
Once you have identified which stock exchange you want to stick to, identify the websites and journals that are usually most preferred for those exchanges. For NYSE and NASDAQ, I prefer to follow yahoo finance and NASDAQ websites.
I also like to read analysts opinions over major stocks and track down recent downgrades and upgrades.
In addition following a live Business News channel can sometimes be helpful as well. I keep my CNBC on when I am trading, to get live news updates.
Now coming to the tools required to start trading, you would need a trading platform like Etrade that would allow you to execute trades online. Do note, that a lot of banks provide you a trading platform when you open a securities account with them. But a customised and professional trading platform can provide you additional features that can come handy. You can also use a broker to execute your trades, but I personally think executing trades using your own platform is a better option.
Once you have practiced trading in a Demo account, opened your own trading account, finalized your trading platform that you will be using, the next step is to finalize your trading strategy and the tools you will be using to help in your strategy. And remember always to try out your strategy first in your Demo account, before you proceed to make actual trades using the strategy. The more you test your strategy, the more robust it is likely to become over time.
In order to come up with a trading strategy it is very important to understand the fundamentals of technical analysis and how it can help you in identifying when to execute your trades. Profitable trading in one sentence is about knowing roughly when to buy and when to sell!