Whether you want to day trade the stock market or buy funds for your retirement, it’s important to know the stock market’s hours of operation and the days the markets are closed.
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Also, there are a few different markets you should be aware of and depending on where you are in the world, trading hours can be very different.
This post will focus primarily on the major US stock exchanges, but this will be important for any successful investor or day trader to know.
Lastly, gaining access to any of the markets and extended trading hours will require you to open a brokerage account with a financial institution.
there are many options to choose from, but this type of account can be for daily operations or to open a retirement account.
now, let’s dive in!
What time do the stock markets open?
Two of the largest trading markets in the world and the United States are the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is headquartered in New York City and has normal business hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. to 4 p.m. m. est, Monday through Friday. the only reason it would change is if there was a holiday or early closing for a holiday.
and the nasdaq is also an american stock exchange which is the electronic market for trading. Like the NYSE, trading hours begin at 9:30 a.m. m. and ends at 4 p.m. m. its T.
the nasdaq offers additional trading hours, which are called pre-market trading hours. these work from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. m. its T.
- Stock Market Hours Central Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. cst – 3:00 PM m. cst
- Stock Market Hours Mountain Time: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. mst – 2:00 PM m. mst
- stock market hours, pacific time: 6:30 a.m. m. pst – 1:00 PM m. pst
Is the stock market open on weekends?
Although there is trading outside of business hours thanks to advances in technology to be able to trade electronically, the stock market is not open on weekends.
These exchanges used to be open on Saturdays and followed bank operating hours. but in the 1950s that changed and the stock exchange was no longer open on weekends.
Even with technology that makes trading easier, markets are still closed on weekends. the motley fool covers a bit more of the story here.
What days is the stock market closed?
Now that you know the hours the market is open, what days is the stock market closed? for those stock exchanges in the usa markets. In the US, you will find them closed during the following holiday hours:
- new years day
- martin luther king day
- presidents day
- good friday
- day of the memorialized</li
- independence day
- labor day
- thanksgiving day
- christmas day
Sometimes some of these holidays fall during a weekend, but the markets will not observe them on the following Monday.
If anything, you may find that trading leading up to some of these holidays on a given calendar day is slower as people are not as focused on the markets.
Also keep in mind that the global market may be slightly different pending your own customary holidays. So if you’re active in markets outside of the United States, make sure those markets are closed.
Are there dates when the stock market closes early?
In addition to the holidays that the markets are closed, the stock exchanges also close early for some of them.
For example, the day before a major public holiday you can close a few hours earlier to give merchants a jump on holiday time.
These pre-holiday closings typically occur at 1:00 p.m.
these are some of the dates that usually close before the holidays:
- July 3, if it falls on a normal trading day
- Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve, if it falls on a normal day negotiation
These days, it’s best to ignore the trading markets and relax a bit. this is especially true if you are day trading. The reason is that the trading volume in the days before the holidays is usually quite low and there is rarely any action in the markets.
what is the best time of day to trade stocks?
As you know, the usual trading hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. to 4:00 p.m. m. Eastern Standard Time. this is a fairly wide window of time to make purchases and sales of stocks.
but a common question for new investors is if there is a better time of day to buy and trade stocks when the markets are open.
The short answer is that there is no exact time that is best for you to make a purchase. it depends on your investment strategy, your goals and what you might be looking to buy, sell or short.
However, there is some data that suggests some ideal times when the action might be at its best.
the first hour (9:30 am EST – 10:30 am EST)
In general, stock trading during the first hour or two when the market is open is usually the strongest.
tends to be the most volatile and where most of your opportunities will be. usually follows any news from the night before, so more people get in on the action early.
This is where professionals and experienced investors can make money fast. But for newer investors, you may want to sit back for a bit and let the startup cool down first to avoid costly mistakes.
If you’re just investing long-term in ETFs or index funds, it may not matter much how long you invest, since you’re probably not worried about making money right away.
medium (11:30 am EST – 3:00 pm EST)
Once lunchtime and early evening approaches, many professional day traders end up not trading or slowing down.
Usually 11:30 onwards is when trading volume and volatility will begin to decline.
This means that any trades you have may take longer to execute and prices don’t fluctuate as drastically.
the last hour (3:00 pm EST – 4:00 pm EST)
many day traders also operate in the last hour of the day, from 3 to 4 p.m.
The last hour can feel a lot like the first, when you look at common stock market patterns and determine your next move. this time it may be full of big moves and strong trend reversals.
Just like the first hour, many amateur traders jump into the last hour, buying or selling based on what has happened so far that day. the last few minutes before closing can also be a crazy time with lots of volume.
Can you buy shares outside of business hours?
yes, you can buy and trade shares outside of business hours. there are some trading session limitations and depending on the financial institution you choose, your options for buying after hours may be limited.
Furthermore, after hours and any pre-market trading is conducted via electronic trading only. If you are looking to buy or trade stocks outside of business hours, this is typically between 4:00 p.m. m. and 8:00 p.m. m. its T.
However, each online broker will have their own rules and various time periods within that standard time frame in which they will allow transactions.
For example, a broker may trade after hours of 4:00 p.m. m. to 6:00 p.m. m. while another may operate from 4:00 p.m. .
cost of trading stocks outside business hours
Although you can trade stocks before and after the market, there may be an additional cost for your early or late trades. Usually when you buy stocks online, you will have a commission fee.
Many of the online brokers are now starting to offer commission-free trading. but after hours maybe a little different.
fees will be relatively small and extended hours orders may not be filled completely or at all due to limited volumes.
Is it a good idea to trade stocks before trading?
many investors or day traders are anxious some days to buy or sell assets. But a general rule of thumb is that no, it’s not a good idea to trade stocks before the trade.
It’s up to you and your level of experience if you want to try pre-market trading, but approach it with caution. the reason it is high risk is because there is a lack of volume and unpredictability.
The stock market can never be completely 100% what you might expect. and pre-market action is not guaranteed to reflect the same when the market actually opens.
And because the volume is so much lower, it can be more difficult to execute a sale. this could cause you to get stuck and not be able to sell if necessary until the open.
some brokerage accounts to consider
Whether you currently have an online brokerage account or are looking for a new one, you have many options to consider.
It is important to do your research before opening a blind account, especially if it is your first investment account.
some things to look for include:
- account minimums and platform fees
- security and money protections
- types of account options and investments
- historical fund performance
- platform and investment reviews from other users
- financial history of the brokerage company
- access/usability of the website and applications
While I won’t go into detail about all of these top brokers below, here are some of the best to consider if you’re going to be day trading, passive investing, or trading in a retirement account.
- ally invest
- fidelity investments
- td ameritrade
- interactive brokers