December 22, 2018

What Time Does the Stock Market Open?

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Knowing what time the stock market opens could be as important as knowing what price to trade a stock. If you make a trade too early (or too late), your trade is put in a queue. This may mean you don't get the trade you anticipated.

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Keep reading to learn what time the stock market opens, what days it's closed, and the operating hours of stock markets around the world.

Stock Market Opening Times in the United States

Both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have the same operating hours.

The NYSE and NASDAQ officially start their trading hours at 9:30 AM Eastern Time (6:30 AM Pacific). Both exchanges close at 4:00 PM Eastern Time (1:00 PM Pacific).

Stock Market Holidays in the US

The stock market is closed on any of the following holidays if they fall on a regular trading day:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King's Day
  • President's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Stock Market Early Closing Times and Dates

In addition to the holidays, the stock exchanges have certain days that they close early. On these days, the markets close at 1 PM Eastern time. There are only three dates:

  • July 3rd (if it falls on a normal trading day)
  • Black Friday (the day following Thanksgiving)
  • Christmas Eve (if it falls on a normal trading day)

Stock Market Opening Times Around the World

If you are an international trader, you should know the opening and closing times for stock markets around the world.

  • Tokyo Stock Exchange:
    9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Japan Standard Time

  • Toronto Stock Exchange:
    9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

  • Bombay Stock Exchange:
    9:15 AM to 3:30 PM India Standard Time

  • Taiwan Stock Exchange:
    9:00 AM to 1:30 PM Central Standard Time

  • Singapore Stock Exchange:
    9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Singapore Standard Time

Before- and After-Hours Trading

Prior to 1990, traders could only trade during the standard trading hours. Today, though, you may find brokers willing to conduct trades outside of the regular trading hours. The official NYSE and NASDAQ pre-market trading hours are 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Eastern Time. The post-market trading hours are 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Please note, after-hours trading may vary by broker. Some brokers don't offer it, while others do but with limited times.

Is It Smart to Trade Before or After Hours?

Trading volume during non-traditional trading hours is usually lower than the volume during the standard trading times. This may mean more volatile stock prices.

Some traders use this time to make spontaneous trades after an earnings announcement or other company announcements that may affect the company's stock price.

Traders may also place orders on the weekend. You may place an order to "buy or sell at the best possible price." You are at the mercy of the market at that point, though. If the market opens with a skyrocketing or falling stock price, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when the trade completes.

When Is the Best Time of Day to Trade?

Markets are volatile, so there isn't a scientific way to tell you exactly when you should trade. Based on historical patterns, though, there are certain times of day that each type of investor may want to focus on:

  • The first five minutes: The first five minutes the stock market is open tends to have the reputation of being the "most volatile." This is when the market adjusts to any news that came after hours. Seasoned traders sometimes take advantage of those first five minutes to make fast trades. New traders, however, are encouraged to wait out that volatile period.

  • The first hour: The first hour of trading on the stock exchange has the reputation of being volatile as well. Day traders sometimes have a better chance at high (and quick) profits trading during this time. Of course, it depends on the state of the market from day to day and even minute to minute.

  • The afternoon: During the afternoon, volume trading tends to decrease, as does the stock's volatility. It is sometimes considered a "safer time" for new traders to get their feet wet.

  • End of the day: Just like the start of the day, the end of the day tends to be fraught with activity, and therefore volatile. Of course, it also depends on the news throughout the day and the volatility of the market on a particular day.

The Bottom Line

You may be able to make trades before, during, or after the market's trading hours. Familiarizing yourself with the hours and getting acquainted with how the market works either on your own or with a broker will help you make the most of your trades in the stock market.

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