After the bell" is financial slang for activity occurring after the close of the stock market, including after-hours trading, illegal late trading of open-ended funds (during the mutual fund scandal of 2003), earnings announcements, acquisition plans and merger agreements. The term originates from the ringing of the bell on the NYSE, which denotes the open and close of trading sessions.

Generally, important, company-specific news is released after the bell to give investors time to dig through the information and make informed buy and sell decisions. In addition, announcements after the close of trading provide order and stability to the markets. News released during the trading day or before the bell (prior to the start of the trading session) could generate negative consequences, like panic-selling, unbridled speculation and buy/sell imbalances. Pertinent news announced after the bell leads traders to trade stock based on the fresh information, although in very thin markets. However, it should be noted that traders may trade stock after the bell for a variety of reasons, which may not be related to company news releases. (For more on this topic, read What is after-hours trading?)

This question was answered by Justin Bynum.

  1. What is the history behind the opening and closing bells on the NYSE?

    Similar to the school bells that most of us heard during our school days, the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) opening and ... Read Answer >>
  2. What trends and data influence after-hours traders the most?

    Learn about the specific information that after-hours traders review to influence their trading. Read Answer >>
  3. How can my stock's price change after hours, and what effect does this have on investors? ...

    Most investors know that the major stock exchanges have standard trading hours - set periods of time each day when trading ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why don't stocks begin trading at the previous day's closing price?

    Most stock exchanges work according to the forces of supply and demand, which determine the prices at which stocks are bought ... Read Answer >>
  5. Why is the 1982 AT&T breakup considered one of the most successful spinoffs in history?

    AT&T had a history reaching back to 1885 and, as a government-supported monopoly, was a highly profitable company. Colloquially ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is late-day trading? Why is it any different from buying and selling stocks ...

    Late-day trading is the illegal buying and selling of mutual funds after regular market hours. This practice is wrongful ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Trading The Most Volatile Stocks After Hours

    The stock market has an official open and close, but trading takes place outside these hours, often in the most volatile stocks.
  2. Investing

    What is a Bell Curve?

    The bell curve is the most common type of graphed data distribution.
  3. Trading

    What Is The Difference Between After-Hours Trading And Late Trading?

    “After-hours” trading and “late trading” both refer to investments made outside of normal business hours. While the two activities sound similar and often take place in similar time frames, the ...
  4. Investing

    What's After-Hours Trading?

    After-hours trading occurs on major exchanges outside of regular trading hours, and takes place between 4:30 and 8 p.m. Eastern time.
  5. Investing

    Taco Bell Has Already Ended Its Sales Slump

    Last quarter was the first time in more than three years that Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) Taco Bell had a drop in same-store sales, but it has already turned things around. On Thursday, the company ...
  6. Markets

    Yum! Brands Accelerates Taco Bell’s Expansion

    Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) recently revealed plans to expand its Taco Bell brand over the next six years. The company plans to have 8,000 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2022, compared to its ...
  7. Investing

    Yum! Brands' Taco Bell Steps Up Breakfast Battle

    When Yum! Brands' (NYSE: YUM) Taco Bell first started offering breakfast in 2014, its commercials made it very clear that it hoped to take customers from McDonald's (NYSE: MCD). Now, the Mexican ...
  8. Investing

    Can I Sell A Stock At The After-Hours Price?

    Most major exchanges trade from 9:30 am to 4 pm Eastern Standard Time, but you’re not limited to selling stock between those hours.
  9. Investing

    Can a New Look Change How People See Taco Bell?

    The restaurant chain that once pushed the gluttony of "Fourth Meal," a fast-food purveyor that has generally marketed itself to younger customers based on value, now wants people to take it ...
  10. Insights

    The Cost of Buying a Taco Bell Franchise (YUM)

    A Taco Bell franchise is one of the most expensive to buy and operate in the fast food business.
  1. After The Bell

    A phrase used to describe news, earnings reports and other activities ...
  2. Opening Bell

    A bell that is rung to signify the start of the day's trading ...
  3. Closing Bell

    A bell that rings to signify the end of a trading session. The ...
  4. Trading Session

    A period of time consisting of one day of business in a financial ...
  5. Baby Bells

    A common nickname given to the U.S. regional telephone companies ...
  6. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Federal Debt

    The total amount of money that the United States federal government owes to creditors. The government's creditors include ...
  2. Passive Management

    A style of management associated with mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETF) where a fund's portfolio mirrors a market index. ...
  3. Series 7

    A general securities registered representative license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ...
  4. Compound Interest

    Compound Interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods ...
  5. Expatriation Tax

    An expatriation tax is a tax on someone who renounces their citizenship. In the United States, the expatriation tax provisions ...
  6. Earnings Stripping

    Earnings Stripping is a commonly-used tactic by multinationals to escape high domestic taxation by using interest deductions ...
Trading Center