Stock Market Hours and Holidays in the United States

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The stock market in the U.S. opens at 9:30 AM Eastern Time and closes at 4:00 PM on all regular trading days. Trading during the pre-market and after-hours market is also possible if your broker supports extended trading hours trading.

In the following article, you learn more about the stock market hours, the stock market holidays and the days when the stock market is only open for half of the day. In addition, I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions, such as Is the stock market open on weekends, and can I trade stocks after hours?

Is the Stock Market Open Today?

On regular business days (Monday through Friday), the stock market is open except for certain holidays, where the stock market is planned to remain closed. In history, some days, the stock market was closed due to unpredictable events, which can happen again, but you will be aware of it due to the media if that happens.

The stock market remains closed if one of those days is on a regular business day. If the holiday falls on a weekend day, the stock market is closed anyways. That means that it is less important to have a specific date in mind but more important to know the exact event that causes a stock market close.

Here is the list of all stock market holidays:

Month Holiday
January New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February Presidents’ Day
March
April Good Friday
May Memorial Day
June Juneteenth (new holiday just added in 2021)
July Independence Day
August
September Labor Day
October
November Thanksgiving Day
December Christmas

Sorted with the holidays and the specific dates for 2023 and 2024, the list looks as follows:

NASDAQ & NYSE Holidays 2023 2024
New Years Day January 2 (Monday) January 1 (Sunday)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 16 (Monday) January 15 (Sunday)
Washington’s Birthday February 20 (Monday) February 19 (Sunday)
Good Friday April 7 (Friday) March 29 (Wednesday)
Memorial Day May 29 (Monday) May 27 (Saturday)
Juneteenth National Independence Day June 19 (Monday) June 19 (Monday)
Independence Day July 4 (Tuesday) July 4 (Thursday)
Labor Day September 4 (Monday) September 2 (Saturday)
Thanksgiving Day November 23 (Thursday) November 28 (Thursday)
Christmas Day December 25 (Monday) December 25 (Wednesday)

Shortened Trading Days on U.S. Stock Exchanges

Can you trade on every regular business day except the above-listed holidays all day long? Well, no! Besides the holidays when the stock market remains closed, some days the stock market closes early, at 1 PM Eastern Time. Those days are when, even under normal circumstances, only a minority would trade. To be more specific, the shortened trading days on U.S. stock exchanges are:

  • The Day before Independence Day, on Monday, July 3, 2023)
  • The Day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), on Friday, November 24, 2023)
  • The day before Christmas Day (Christmas Eve), on Saturday, December 23, 2023)

What Time Does the Stock Market Open Today?

The New York Stock Exchange opens the regular trading hours (RTH) with the opening bell at 9:30 AM Easter Time. At this time, also the Nasdaq starts trading.

What Time Does the Stock Market Close Today?

The New York Stock Exchange closes the regular trading hours session when the bell rings at 4:00 PM Easter Time (same for Nasdaq).

What Is the Opening Bell at NYSE?

The opening and closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange marks the beginning and the end of each trading day’s regular trading hours. It rings at 9:30 AM EST to start the day and again at 4:00 PM EST to end the trading day.

Sometimes you see people ring a bell at the NYSE, but you can’t see it daily. Why is that? That’s because at certain events, prominent people ring the bell, and you see their company name displayed when they ring the bell.

Such events can be the first day of trading after and popular initial public offering (IPO) when the CEO of the company starts the trading session. But also prominent people and partners of the NYSE are allowed to ring the bell.

Pre-Market Trading vs. Regular Trading Hours vs. After Market Trading

As lined out, the regular trading hours are from 9:30 AM EST to 9:00 PM EST, except for holidays and shortened trading days.

Besides the Regular Trading Hours, there are extended trading hours, which are differentiated by the pre-market trading hours and after market trading hours.

But what in the world does that mean?

Pre-Market Hours Trading

When you start trading with the pre-market hours opening at 9:30 AM EST, you might already miss a move since you can start as early as 4:00 AM EST trading during the pre-market session at the NYSE and Nasdaq.

So, 5 hours and 30 minutes before most others consider trading, you can get in early, far in advance of most other investors.

The only thing that holds you back from doing so is your broker since not every broker allows pre-market trading or at least limits the permitted times when brokerage clients can trade.

Unfortunately, those limitations are more extended than you might think. Let’s say you have an account with TD Ameritrade, and you want to place an order at 4:00 AM EST in the morning. In that case, you will be disappointed since TD Ameritrade only allows pre-market trading from 7:00 AM EST to 9:28 AM EST, before at 9:30 AM EST, the regular trading hours start. But with E-trade, it must be better, right? Nope, unfortunately not, since E-Trade also limits pre-market session trading from 7:00 AM EST to 9:30 AM EST.

The solution?

Use the best broker for pre market trading, which allows you to trade during the full pre-market hours.

After Market Hours Trading

The regular trading hours stop at 4:00 PM EST and proceed directly to after hours, which are officially from 4:00 PM EST to 8:00 PM EST. Luckily, the brokers are not such a big hindrance for after hours trading since they typically allow after hours trading from 4:00 PM EST to 8:00 PM EST (E-Trade) or 4:02 PM EST to 8:00 PM EST (TD Ameritrade).

Advantages of Extended Market Hours Trading

The primary advantage of pre- and after-hours trading is that it enables investors to adjust their stock market portfolio in reaction to events or news outside of regular trading hours (e.g., in reaction to earnings reports, court decisions, and events overseas.)

Risks of Extended Market Hours Trading

The risk of extended market hours trading is the limitation that your broker might not allow you to trade during those times.

Also, while you can use all order types during regular trading hours, you can only place limit orders (but not market orders) during pre market and after hours trading, which makes it more difficult to execute orders.

In addition, the bid-ask spread is wider during extended market hours due to the lack of liquidity, which often leads to pricing volatility when bigger orders are placed, and supply and demand are unbalanced.

Who Dominates the Pre-Market and the After Hours Trading?

Institutions use dark pools and execute trades outside the regular exchanges, and retail investors often don’t have access to brokers that allow trading outside the regular trading hours.

Therefore, retail and institutional investors do little pre-market or after hours trading but may still keep an eye on the trading that occurs during the extended hours sessions to get early clues regarding likely upcoming market action during the next regular trading session.

Still, the extended market hours are dominated by retail investors who only trade small positions since liquidity is limited during those times.

Is the Stock Market Open on Weekends?

No. The stock market in the U.S. is closed on weekends. There are no exceptions. The earliest point where you can execute a trade is during pre-market hours on Monday at 7:00 AM EST, and the latest time is Friday 8:00 PM EST during after hours trading.

Most investors only trade during regular trading hours, so the earliest time to trade is Monday at 9:30 AM EST and the latest Friday at 4 PM EST (the beginning and end of the regular trading hours).

When a holiday or shortened trading day falls on a Monday or Friday, your trading ability might start later or end earlier.

However, most brokers allow their clients to place orders 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, so you can at least prepare your orders on weekends. However, trade execution is not possible if the stock market is closed, which is the case on weekends, holidays, and shortened days and evenings.

Stock Market Hours Summary

It is always a good idea to start the trading day well-prepared. Knowing about the stock market hours and holidays in advance is an advantage.

When you focus on investing, the opening times are less important, but if you are a day trader, please ensure an exact understanding of the trading times and the best time of day to buy stocks. You have to know when you can place your orders, what order types can be used, and when your orders can be executed.