What Is After Hours
If you're planning on trading stocks,
it's important to know what time each stock exchange is
open and closed, market hours for stock exchanges vary
depending on the country. By knowing the stock market
trading hours, you can figure out which markets provide
the best trading opportunities.
Here is a brief overview of after
The New York Stock Exchange has one
set of market hours for the stock market, these hours
are between 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m Monday through Friday
except for a few holidays.
The NASDAQ stock market has three
trading session, a pre-market session, a market session,
and an after-market hours trading session. Quotes and
order entries are from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., and quotes
are firm and open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The
Pre-market trading hours run from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
Then market hours run from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
In the early '90's things changed and
larger financial institutions and individuals with
extremely deep pockets were allowed to trade after hours
online. Eventually after hours trading was opened up to
anyone who wanted to use it.
The Electronic Communications
Networks, or ECN's, are what has made it possible for
investors to make trades after the stock market has
closed. This is all done over the internet. If you want
to make trades after hours you will need to have a
broker working for you whose firm has an ECN. Not all
ECN's are regulated by the exchanges. The role of the
brokers is to use their ECN to match your order with
another investor who wants to sell. If there are no
takers, your order will be posted and hopefully there
will be a seller that is interested.
Here are the basic steps you will need to follow to
start trading after hours:
1. Find a brokerage firm that has after hour
trading and open an account with them. It's important
that you fully understand all the fees associated with
any trades you may make, and many brokerage firms will
have a minimum amount required for opening an account.
All firms will also have specific rules for after hour
trading so make sure you find out all the ins and outs
before you get started.
2. Once you've opened your account, you will need
to make sure it is funded. While you can put as much in
it as you like, per the brokerage house's rules at
least, you will more than likely have a minimum amount
3. Take some time to find which stocks you want
to trade. It's important that you learn how to properly
research stocks before you start risking your money.
There are a lot of places that can teach you the basics
of stock market investing, this is a very valuable
education and not something you want to skimp on.
4. Make sure you know exactly what you want to
pay for the stock, or what you want to get for it if you
are selling, before you place your orders. Most after
hours markets only allow limit orders ( which means that
you have to specify the exact price you are willing to
5. Place your market trade. Once you've set up
your exact price you can place your order on the
brokerage firms ECN.
6. You will receive an order acceptance by a
member of the ECN who wants to buy or sell the same
stock you are looking for.
7. If your trade was successful you will receive
a receipt informing you of that fact.
We hope this brief tutorial on what is after hour
trading has clarified things for you at least a
little. Just remember, that the after hours market
isn't as closely regulated as the regular market and
it could lead to problems. Be very careful and make
sure you understand the rules and fee schedules
before you risk your hard earned money.
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RULE 4.41 – HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED
PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS.
UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED
RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO,
SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE
RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR
THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS,
SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING
PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT
THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF
HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT
ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT
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