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What is 'After-Hours Trading - AHT'

After-hours trading (AHT) is trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks (ECNs) has greatly facilitated after-hours trading, which is no longer restricted only to large institutional investors but is now available to any investor. Also known as the "after-hours market."

BREAKING DOWN 'After-Hours Trading - AHT'

After-hours trading volume in specific stocks often surges upon the occurrence of market-moving events, such as earnings reports, pre-earnings announcements or M&A activity. Lower liquidity and wider bid-ask spreads are a common feature of after-hours trading. However, investors may consider this a small price to pay for the privilege of exiting a losing position before regular trading commences, or initiating a new position ahead of the crowd. After-hours trading is heaviest in the first hour or two after markets close, before tapering off sharply. As financial markets become increasingly integrated with the advent of globalization, after-hours trading is likely to expand going forward.

To learn more about the history of after-hours trading, check out Why does after-hours trading exist?

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