Stock Market Hours: When Does the Market Open Today?

Table of Contents:

  1. Background on the Major U.S. Stock Exchanges
  2. What Time Does the Stock Market Open and Close?
  3. Can You Trade Stocks After Hours?
  4. Stock Market Holidays
  5. Cryptocurrency Market Hours
  6. The Bottom Line

The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on non-holiday business days. The stock market usually closes at 4:00 p.m. except for stock market half days.
After-hours and pre-market trading are also available. These hours tend to be more volatile and populated by institutional investors.

Here’s what you need to know about stock market hours, and how the time of day can impact your trades.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular stock market hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. EST.
  • The stock market is closed on weekends, meaning trades aren’t executed until the next trading day.
  • There are holidays on Wall Street, too! Note the dates to plan your trades around.
  • Trading outside of regular hours presents more risks related to price volatility, liquidity, and other trading inconsistencies.

Background on the Major U.S. Stock Exchanges

First and foremost, what is the stock market exactly? The stock market is comprised of individuals and companies that engage in the buying and selling of stocks in the open market. They trade on the stock exchange, and those trades are tracked on what’s called an index. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ are among the major stock exchanges and indexes in the United States.

Although Wall Street in New York City is the heartbeat of investing in the United States, it’s important to note that global stock exchanges work in the same way.

What Time Does the Stock Market Open and Close?

The New York Stock Exchange’s opening is represented by what is known as the “opening bell.” It occurs at the start of the trading session each day at 9:30 a.m. EST.

There are two bells on the NYSE that are used to signify the opening. The first is an automated bell, and the second is a physical bell. The physical bell is used when companies trading for the first time are given the honor to ring the bell, or some type of dignitaries are visiting and are given the honor as a ceremonious event.

Despite the fact that the NASDAQ trading floor doesn’t actually exist, the answer to the question, “what time does the stock market open?” is still answered by the opening bell, even though there isn’t actually a bell that rings there. The term is used to signify the beginning of the trading day.

You may also be wondering, what time does the stock market close and what happens when it does? Both the NYSE and the NASDAQ close at 4 p.m., and the bell rings again to signify the end of the session each day.

New York Stock Exchange Hours

The NYSE, like most places, has regular business hours, which consist of:

  • Standard Trading: Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. EST.
  • Pre-Market Trading: Monday through Friday from 8–9:30 a.m. EST.

NASDAQ Stock Exchange Hours

The NASDAQ also has regular trading hours, which consist of:

  • Standard Trading: Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. EST.
  • Pre-Market Trading: Monday through Friday from 8–9:30 a.m. EST.

Although most people trade during regular hours, there is something called pre-market trading. It occurs in the mornings, before the opening bell. Unfortunately, the investors who have access to trade during this time have a limited availability of stocks, which drives costs higher (think of it like supply and demand).

In some cases, a company may report earnings before the opening bell and see a whirlwind of activity during pre-market hours. Although there are both positive and negative consequences to pre-market trading, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) there are several risks exist that you’ll want to be aware of, including:

  • Insufficient ability to see quotes. Firms may only have one system where quotes can be viewed, and it may not reflect accurately. So, when trading, you may find that not only are the prices not what you thought they were, you may not even be able to trade based on those quotes or complete the trade at all.
  • Lack of liquidity. During pre-market trading, some stocks may have less volume, limiting the ability to trade the stocks you want. Of the stocks that can be traded, you have far less options on how many shares are available to you, giving you inconsistent outcomes at best.
  • Quote spreads that may be larger. With less volume, bid and ask prices may be higher than usual during regular trading hours, limiting order execution and making costs higher as well.
  • Pricing volatility. Limited trading ability can produce price fluctuations that can be much greater than fluctuations during regular trading hours, which doesn’t provide much of an incentive for buyers.
  • Unpredictable prices. Stock market prices may not accurately reflect the costs of regular trading hours.
  • Limit orders. Electronic systems that accept only limit orders may lead to orders not being fulfilled, causing you to miss the opportunity.
  • Computer glitches. Glitches during off hours may cause a failure in making or changing trades.
  • Competition. Larger institutions may have more information available to them than individual investors do, giving them a leg up on investing during these time periods.

A variety of things can come into play when learning how to invest in stocks. So before considering pre-market trading, you’ll want to educate yourself so you can save time and avoid unnecessary risk.

Graphic of a window showing a cityscape

Is the Stock Market Open on Weekends?

You would think, with the ability to do just about anything online, you’d be able to trade stocks on the weekends, but it’s not the case for a couple of reasons, including:

  • Tradition. Traditionally, before the use of technology, stockbrokers couldn’t work around the clock, so weekend closings gave them the time off they needed.
  • Emergency preparation. In times of financial crisis, the weekends were used to keep panic at bay and work on the problem.

Although online investing is possible anytime, the actual trades won’t be executed until the opening bell. So, for those eager to trade who may be wondering, when does the market open? Monday morning at 9:30 EST with the sound of the opening bell.

Can You Trade Stocks After Hours?

Just like pre-market trading, you can also partake in extended-hours trading. It occurs Monday through Friday from 4–6:30 p.m. EST for the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

Just like the problems with pre-market trading, after-hours trading possesses the same issues that surround market volatility. So, before participating, it’s a good idea to know what you’ll be getting into.

Engaging in pre-market and after-hours trading may seem like a more convenient option. Still, some of the problems that can arise make it unpredictable at best. Trading during regular hours gives you the peace of mind and control to buy and sell stocks with confidence and avoid unnecessary risk.

Stock Market Holidays

As you would expect, the stock market does close on holidays when they occur during regular trading hours. Stock market holidays include:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • President’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (July 4th)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

There are also shortened trading days on the US stock exchange that include:

  • July 3rd — the day before Independence Day – Trading runs from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. EST.
  • Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving – Trading runs from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. EST.
  • Christmas Eve — Trading runs from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. EST.

Cryptocurrency Market Hours

It’s important to note that, unlike stock market hours, cryptocurrency trades all day every day, making it somewhat riskier due to changes that can occur even when you sleep. Since there isn’t any downtime, those who invest in cryptocurrency should have a planning strategy to guide them.

The Bottom Line

The stock market has its risks; even on the best day and during pre-trading and after market hours, it can become even more volatile, especially if you’re not familiar with the risks that can be involved.

Before trading, you may want to ask yourself, when does the stock market open? You should also be aware of when the market closes for the day, as these are the optimal times to trade. It’s not that you won’t endure any risk; it’s just that being aware of when the market is closed, even during the holidays, can help you to minimize some of the uncertainty involved in trading during off-hours.

You can invest anytime, anywhere using the Public app. Give it a try and see how easy investing can be!

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