Oliver Stone has a point: Money never sleeps. But people still do, which is why the stock market has a schedule and even closures.
The stock market is a bit of a nebulous term; it actually refers to one or more of the major stock market indices, such as NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange. For this article, however, the focus is on the NYSE.
The NYSE is open from Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST but may occasionally close early. The NYSE also closes down on certain holidays.
- When Is the Stock Market Closed?
- Does the Stock Market Ever Close Early?
- What Happens If a Market Holiday Falls on a Weekend?
- Will NASDAQ Be Open?
- Can You Buy Stocks Even When the Stock Market Isn’t Open?
- Regular Trading Hours vs. After-Hours Trading
No matter if it’s a bull or a bear market, stock market closures are dictated by holidays and weekends. In all, there are nine calendar days per year when the stock markets close. Here’s a look at the stock market holidays from 2020 to 2021 and the dates they fall on.
|Stock Market Holidays Observed by the New York Stock Exchange|
|New Years Day||Wednesday, Jan. 1||Friday, Jan. 1|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||Monday, Jan. 20||Monday, Jan. 18|
|Washington’s Birthday||Monday, Feb. 17||Monday, Feb. 15|
|Good Friday||Friday, April 10||Friday, April 2|
|Memorial Day||Monday, May 25||Monday, May 31|
|Independence Day||Friday, July 3||Monday, July 5|
|Labor Day||Monday, Sept. 7||Monday, Sept. 6|
|Thanksgiving Day||Thursday, Nov. 26||Thursday, Nov. 25|
|Christmas||Friday, Dec. 25||Friday, Dec. 24|
Not all of these holidays are federally recognized — which most banks recognize. Here are the holidays when most banks close, which means you might not be able to place an order on these days.
Indigenous Peoples Day
|Monday, Oct. 12|
|Veterans Day||Wednesday, Nov. 11|
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The NYSE is typically open from Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. According to the NYSE website, however, the stock market closes early on the following days:
- July 3
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Dec. 24
On the days listed above, the NYSE closes at 1 p.m. EST, although “eligible options” will close at 1:15 p.m. Kiplinger also notes that bond markets close early 2 p.m. EST.
If a market holiday falls on a weekend, the stock market will close on the Friday before or Monday after that holiday. For example, July 4 falls on a Saturday in 2020, and so the NYSE will close Friday, July 3. In 2021, July 4 falls on a Sunday, which means the NYSE will close Monday, July 5.
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Per NASDAQ’s own website, the NYSE and NASDAQ trading hours are the same:
- Standard trading hours from 9:30 a.m. EST to 4 p.m. EST
- Observes nine holidays throughout the year
- Pre-market and after-hours trading times available, similar to the NYSE
Technically, yes. The NYSE has a pre-opening session that begins at 6:30 a.m. EST, during which you will be able to enter orders, which will then be queued until the market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST. Additionally, the NYSE offers after-hours trading, which typically ends around 8 p.m. EST. You can also technically trade on weekends through international markets where the time differences might allow you to place orders.
You cannot place orders on holidays or weekends when the stock market is closed, however.
Trading after hours has advantages versus trading during regular hours. The convenience and flexibility allow investors to react more readily to news events that could affect companies. Because companies release earnings after regular trading hours, you could also use that figure to better strategize the orders you do place.
But you need to also consider the limitations of after-hours trading. For one, you can only place limit orders during this time, which means you would either buy or sell a stock at a limited designated price. And because there are generally fewer shares being traded during these hours, there is more volatility concerning share price and liquidity — the spread between the highest asking price and lowest selling price.
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