Trade the Stock Market After Hours? Is It Possible?

what is extended hours trading

This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear), with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. SuperMoney strives to provide a wide array of offers for our users, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products. The availability depends on the brokerage and the specific stock’s trading volume. Yes, after-hours trading can be riskier due to factors like lower liquidity, higher volatility, and wider bid-ask spreads. Engaging in after-hours trading can be a part of a broader investment strategy.

  1. Extended hours trading systems are not linked, and the price of a stock displayed on one trading system may not reflect the price of the same stock displayed on another trading system.
  2. Buyers and sellers trading through electronic markets may experience significant delays before their orders are filled, and some orders may not be executed at all.
  3. An Electronic Market may have the ability to execute some orders on other Electronic Markets and may attempt to do so if executing your order on another Electronic Market is to your benefit.
  4. Orders for the regular market can be placed anytime before, during, or after the extended hours sessions.
  5. While we strive to provide a wide range of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.

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For trades of certain index-based products, the underlying index values are not calculated by the broader market in the extended hours trading sessions. Again, it depends on the investor’s personal preferences and risk tolerance. The after-hours market typically sees fewer traders compared to regular trading hours.

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Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. This can make the after-hours market challenging for less experienced traders, as they might find themselves at a disadvantage in terms of information and strategy.

Wider Bid-Ask Spreads

Off-hours trading can be convenient because it allows you to invest when the market isn’t open. But the lower volume of trading also creates pitfalls such as higher volatility. However, it has its challenges, including increased volatility, limited order types, and a dominant presence of professional traders. Engaging in after-hours trading allows investors to capitalize on these shifts, potentially leading to profitable outcomes.

Extended-hours trading sessions won’t occur on official local holidays where the exchange is closed (like Thanksgiving Day for the US) or when the sales close early. The ability to trade during extended hours can allow investors and traders to react instantly to the news which comes out when the exchange is closed. If a company reports poor earnings, the stock will likely drop, and the trader can exit their position sooner rather than wait for the exchange to open. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site.

The following chart shows the extended trading session for ABC Company on a typical day with no company announcements. Keep in mind, other fees such as trading (non-commission) fees, Gold subscription fees, wire transfer fees, and paper statement fees may apply to your brokerage account. Liquidity—Lower trading activity may result in a lower likelihood of your order being executed. In addition, there may be a number of orders ahead of yours that will be filled by incoming matching orders before your order can be filled. It is possible that your order will not be executed at all, or only partially executed.

Accordingly, you may receive an inferior price when comparing prices between the different trading systems that could be used during extended or overnight hours. These price changes may or may not carry over into the next regular trading session, depending on investor sentiment and other market conditions. In either case, the opening price for a stock the next day may be quite different from the after-hours price of the previous day. If the system can’t find a match, the order will be canceled or held until regular trading hours. After-hours trading allows investors to explore the stock market outside its standard operating hours.

Such announcements can significantly affect trading during extended hours and subsequent opening prices. Amongst those, some markets do not close, such as the cryptocurrency and forex markets (it has different hours in different countries, but they overlap, allowing one to trade 24/7). Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all customers. Customers must read and understand the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before engaging in any options trading strategies. Options transactions are often complex and may involve the potential of losing the entire investment in a relatively short period of time. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk, including the potential for losses that may exceed the original investment amount.

As a result, your order may only be partially executed, or not at all. Assume an investor wants to sell her shares of a company—call it XYZ Co.—for $250 in the session after the regular markets have closed. Due to the illiquid nature of the after-hours market, the highest bid price from the sparse number of buyers is $240. She can either change her limit price to $240 to sell right away, or she can keep her original price and run the risk of a partial order or a not-filled order.

The overnight trading session in thinkorswim is limited to a select number of securities. You can view and monitor the securities eligible for overnight trading in thinkorswim using Watchlist. Open the Watchlist menu, select “Public,” then select “24 Hour Trading” to load the symbol list. Extended trading has two components, pre-market and after-hours trading, which take place before and after the regular trading hours. However, the vast majority of after-hours trading takes place from 4 p.m. To 6 p.m., so be extra careful if you intend to trade in the final hour or two of the after-hours trading session.

Most importantly, not all order types are usually available during after-hours trading. For example, limit orders may not be available, and market orders may only be partially filled due to illiquidity of the order book. For example, Charles Schwab does not allow stop, stop-limit, fill-or-kill, immediate-or-cancel, or all-or-nothing orders. The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of brokerage, banking and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Inc. (Member SIPC), and its affiliates offer investment services and products.

Most brokers require traders to enter limit orders during extended trading sessions. Over-the-counter securities, many types of funds, some options, and other markets may not be allowed during extended trading hours. Normally, issuers make news announcements that may affect the price of their securities after regular market hours.

Extended Hours Trading Sessions will not take place on official Exchange holidays or when the Exchanges close early. Schwab reserves the right to change or modify hours of operation for extended hours trading at any time. A Schwab Extended Hours Trading Session, or any security traded therein, may be temporarily or permanently suspended without prior notice at any time at our discretion.

what is extended hours trading

With fewer traders active, there’s less stock being bought and sold. This decreased liquidity can make it difficult for investors to buy or sell large quantities of stock without significantly impacting the price. As discussed above, because after-hours trading is usually done with a low amount of available shares, after-hours trading may result in stock movements that do not resolve until the subsequent day.

As a result, your order may only be partially executed, or not at all, or you may receive an inferior price when engaging in trading during extended or overnight hours as compared to regular market hours. The ability to place trades and have them filled in trading sessions that occur after normal stock exchange business hours can be important to some traders and investors. Liquidity refers to the ability of market participants to hotforex buy and sell securities. Generally, the more orders that are available in a market, the greater the liquidity. Liquidity is important because with greater liquidity it is easier for investors to buy or sell securities, and as a result, investors are more likely to pay or receive a competitive price for securities purchased or sold. Lower liquidity may occur during extended or overnight hours as compared to regular market hours.

The period of time in a day when trading activity takes place is known as the trading session. For most stock markets, the main trading session takes place during the daytime, when one trading session represents a single day of business. The beginning of the session is marked by the opening bell, which signals that the market is open. Prices—Due to limited trading activity, stocks may experience greater price fluctuation and wider spreads during Extended Hours than during standard market hours. During normal trading hours, plenty of sellers might be available to meet your bid price of, say, $100 per share. With fewer sellers around during after-hours trading, however, perhaps the lowest you could buy the stock for is, say, $100.10 per share—even if that’s more than what the stock trades for during normal hours.

Extended trading is the trading that takes place before and after normal stock market hours. While the markets might be officially closed, trading can still take place earlier in the morning or later in the evening through other trading systems. Because of these factors, it can be harder for traders to execute trades quickly and at their desired prices, compared to trading during the normal market hours. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments. Extended-hours trading is not for everyone, so you may want to learn more about it and discuss the risks and potential advantages with an investment professional before trying it out.

In addition, each brokerage firm that offers after-hours trading may have varying hours, so ensure you understand when after-hours trading is allowed. In other cases, investors may actively seek out volatility as this may present greater income opportunities for traders. Due to the low volume of trading that occurs after-hours, traders may find better prices in the pre-market or may experience greater pricing swings due to the lack of available shares to trade.

Professional traders, such as those who trade for big financial institutions, have been using Electronic Markets for over 15 years now. One option, which might be required by your broker, is to place limit orders instead of market orders. With limit orders, you specify the exact price at which you’re willing to make the transaction.

Because of limited trading activity in the extended hours, the difference, or spread, between available buy and sell orders is likely to be greater than during regular market hours. But remember, when you place an extended hours limit order, although there is no guarantee your order will be filled, you are ensured your limit order price or better if your order is executed. Trading after normal market hours comes with unique and additional risks, such as lower liquidity and higher price volatility. In these extended trading sessions, electronic communication networks (ECNs) match potential buyers and sellers without using a traditional stock exchange. The trading volume during the after-hours trading session tends to be fairly thin.

Extended hours trading sessions are completely independent from the regular trading sessions, and you must specify which type of trading session (regular or extended) you intend for your order. It’s important to note that an extended hours quote is different from a regular market quote. One significant difference is that there is currently no accurate trade volume available for extended hours trading on Extended hours quotes reflect the best bid and ask orders currently available.

Publicly-traded companies only make major news announcements, such as earnings reports or stock splits, when markets are not operating during regular trading hours, like early in the morning or late at night. Quotes and last transaction prices across all electronic markets are normally consolidated and displayed. However, that isn’t the case for quotes and prices during extended hours, as it may be specific to the one electronic market currently open under extended hours. You should consider the following points before engaging in the extended or overnight trading sessions. The exact hours of extended trading are up to the electronic market provider.

However, they must consider the lack of order options, which may not allow them to palace the trades they want, and the inability to fill said orders wholly or timely. The Robinhood Cash Card is a prepaid card issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard® International Incorporated. RHF, RHY, RHC and RHS are affiliated entities and wholly owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. Securities products offered by RHF are not FDIC insured and involve risk, including possible loss of principal. Cryptocurrencies held in RHC accounts are not covered by FDIC or SIPC protections and are not regulated by FINRA.

Keep in mind that a limit order won’t execute if it can’t be filled at the limit price or better. During extended hours, the price shown on a stock’s Detail page is the stock’s last trade price on a Nasdaq exchange (the Nasdaq Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX, or NASDAQ OMX PHLX). Orders made outside market hours and extended-hours trading are queued for the start of the next regular market session, according to your instructions. Most brokerage firms only accept limit orders in after-hours trading to protect investors from unexpectedly bad prices that may result from the lower trading volumes and wider spreads during this session. It really depends on a number of factors, including your risk tolerance, trading strategy, and whether you are entering or exiting a position.

This process may move the existing price of a stock after-hours as each side sees what sentiment of a stock may be prior to its opening the following trading period. If this isn’t possible, a broker may find it necessary to cancel all orders entered for the after-hours session. If liquidity and prices weren’t enough to make after-hours trading risky, the lack of participants may do the trick. That’s why certain investors and institutions may choose not to participate in after-hours trading, regardless of news or events. Equity orders placed during regular hours using “Day + Extended” on will carry over into that day’s extended hours session.

Traders and investors engage in after-hours trading for a variety of reasons. They may prefer trading with fewer market participants or their schedules may require it. They may want to take positions as a result of news that breaks after the close of the stock exchange. Or, they may want to close out a position before they leave on vacation. Institutional traders have been participating in extended-hours trading for many years.

The negatives here mostly have to do with the risks of this trading strategy, of which there are many. The stock market is inherently risky, of course, and by actively stock trading, you’re coming to terms with that risk. But after-hours trading both enhances the standard risks of the market and introduces additional risks. Both institutional and retail investors can engage in after-hours trading, provided their brokerage offers this service. Many brokerages, for instance, only allow limit orders during these times. A limit order ensures that a trade is only executed if the stock reaches a specific price point.

At the end of the trading session at 8 p.m., all unexecuted orders are canceled. News—News stories released after the close of the markets may create wide price fluctuations in extended hours trading. Schwab recommends that you check the news available at as well as other news services before trading in the extended hours sessions. Because of limited trading activity in the extended hours, the difference, or spread, between available buy and sell orders is likely to be greater than during standard market hours. But remember, when you place an extended hours limit order, although there is no guarantee your order will be filled, you are assured your limit order price if your order is executed.

The prices of securities traded during extended or overnight hours may not reflect the prices either at the end of regular market hours, or upon the opening of regular market hours on the next trading day. As a result, you may receive an inferior price when trading during extended or overnight hours as compared to regular market hours. While regular market hours capture the lion’s share of trading activity, the significance of after-hours trading has grown, especially with the rise of digital trading platforms.


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