Markets

Stock Market Trading Hours: What Time Is the Stock Market Open Today?

When does the stock market open? While the market does have regular hours, trading doesn't stop when the major exchanges close.

When does the stock market open? It's a simple question with more answers than you'd think.

Regular trading hours for the U.S. stock market, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq), are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays (except stock market holidays). On early-closure days, typically right before or right after a market holiday, regular stock trading ends at 1 p.m. ET.

That's the easy part.

Thing is, trading also can occur outside of normal stock market hours. On days with a regular session, for instance, there is "pre-market" trading; while hours vary, they can extend as early as 4 a.m. and go through the market open at 9:30 a.m. Then there are "after-hours" sessions, which span from 4 to 8 p.m.

These trades are performed on "electronic communications networks," or ECNs, and directly pair buyers and sellers rather than using a middleman. While this kind of trading once was only accessible to large institutional buyers, today brokers such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab facilitate this kind of trading.

As for the weekends: There are no regular trading hours for stocks on Saturdays or Sundays. However, if you read a headline on a Sunday night saying that stock futures are down, that's because most futures contracts (including equity futures, but also oil, agricultural products, commodities and other investments) begin trading at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sundays.

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