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What Is After Hours Trading?

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 hour trading.

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 requirement.

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 take).

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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Earnings Disclaimer

Forex, Futures and options trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in the futures and options markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose. This website is neither a solicitation nor an offer to Buy/Sell futures or options. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this website. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Substantial risk is involved. Forex trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in the Forex markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose. Nothing in our book or website shall be deemed a solicitation or an offer to Buy/sell futures and/or options or Forex. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on our site. Also, the past performance of any trading methodology is not necessarily indicative of futures results. Trading involves high risks and you can lose a lot of money.

CFTC 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 OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.

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