A:

Traditional stock market trading hours in the United States run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. For just over a decade now, extended trading hours have been available in the mornings and late afternoons/early evenings. The a.m. session runs from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. The p.m. session extends from 4:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Certain pre-market trading takes place as early as 6:00 a.m. during regular trading days and can last until the market opens in the morning.

The above trading times should cover the vast majority of market participants trading in U.S. markets. But with electronic and related networks spanning the globe, there are opportunities to trade many stocks and other assets 24 hours a day. A U.S.-based investor could trade on the Australian exchange until 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, move to European exchanges in Austria and France until just before noon, then start back up in the evening in Hong Kong and Japan once regular trading hours close.

Bond trading hours generally track stock trading times. Normal New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) hours for bond trades mirror stock market trading hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the late trading hours are also similar from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, early trading hours start at 4:00 a.m. and last until the regular opening hours. It also offers bond auction times at 4:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Again, opportunities abound to trade bonds throughout the globe at any time of the day or night.

The Bottom Line

It is important to note that trading outside of regular trading hours carries additional risks. If you are a novice investor. it's recommended that you trade during the regular trading day hours, unless you think there is enough extra opportunity to justify the extra risk you might encounter in after-hours trading.

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