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Stock market after-hours trading

Fees, order limitations and reduced liquidity can impact the success of after-hours trades.

Updated . What changed?

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It’s possible to trade after the market closes — if your platform supports it. But before you engage in after-hours trading, weigh the benefits against the risks.

Can you buy stocks after hours?

Yes, you can buy stocks after the market closes as long as your broker allows it. Not all trading platforms offer pre- and post-market trading, and those that do limit extended trading to set time windows that vary by broker.

Can you buy stocks on the weekend?

Thanks to the time difference, it’s possible for US investors to trade in Australian and Asian markets on Sunday evenings.

Traders can also use electronic communication networks (ECNs) to trade on the weekend in the same way after-hours trades are conducted during the week. The network attempts to match potential buyers and sellers based on the trades they want to execute, but fills aren’t always possible — or profitable.

How does after-hours trading work?

Extended trading hours vary by platform and trades are facilitated by electronic communication networks (ECNs) instead of stock exchanges. Trades run through the platform’s partnered ECN and buy and sell orders are matched by price.

Typically, there aren’t as many traders after hours. Not all platforms offer pre- or post-market trading and most active traders restrict their activity to regular market hours. There are perks to after-hours trading, but for many, the risks — primarily low liquidity — outweigh the benefits.

What’s considered after hours?

Any trade that takes place before the market opens or after it closes is considered an after-hours trade. Standard hours and after-hours vary by market:

NASDAQ
  • Early trading. Weekdays from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
  • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Late trading. Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
NYSE
  • Tape A
    • Pre-opening. Weekdays starting at 6:30 a.m. ET.
    • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Tapes B & C
    • Pre-opening. Weekdays starting at 6:30 a.m. ET.
    • Early trading. Weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
    • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • American Equities, NYSE Chicago, NYSE National
    • Pre-opening. Weekdays starting at 6:30 a.m. ET.
    • Early trading. Weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
    • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
    • Late trading. Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • Arca Equities
    • Pre-opening. Weekdays starting at 3:30 a.m. ET.
    • Early trading. Weekdays from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
    • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
    • Late trading. Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
AMEX
  • Pre-opening. Weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. ET.
  • Early trading. Weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
  • Normal hours. Weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Late trading. Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
CBOE
  • Order acceptance. Weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. ET.
  • Early trading. Weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. ET.
  • Pre-market. Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
  • Normal hours. Weekdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • Late trading. Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
International exchanges

While hours for international stock exchanges vary, most open between 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and close between 3:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m. in their local time.

Our pick for after-hours trading: Webull

Create custom watchlists, charts and screeners to make informed trades.

  • Real-time market data
  • Timely customer service
  • No minimum amount for opening
Go to site
on Webull's secure site

Read review
Available asset types Stocks, Options, ETFs
Stock trade fee $0
Option trade fee $0
Annual fee 0%

What brokerages allow you to trade after hours?

Broker After hours trading available? After hours trading time
Ally Invest Yes 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
Charles Schwab Yes 4:05 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET
Chase You Invest No N/A
E-trade Yes 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Fidelity Yes 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Firstrade Yes 4:05 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Gatsby No N/A
Interactive Brokers No N/A
Merrill Edge Yes 4:01 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Robinhood Yes 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET
SoFi Invest Yes 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Stash Invest No N/A
Stockpile No N/A
Tastyworks Yes 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET
TD Ameritrade Yes 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday, for select securities only
Tradestation No N/A
Vanguard Yes 4:15 – 6:30 p.m. ET
Webull Yes 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Wellstrade Yes 4:05 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Zacks Trade Yes 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

What happens if I place a trade after my broker is closed?

It depends on your broker. If your trading platform allows after-hours trading, your order is submitted. If your platform doesn’t offer extended hours, your order will be executed at market open the following trading day.

Some orders are riskier than others when executing an after-hours trade. A market order instructs your broker to buy or sell stock at the prevailing market price: While you have no control over the price, trades are executed quickly. Market orders placed after the market closes are executed the following morning.

The risk of placing a market order after the market closes is that if anything happens overnight to affect the stock price, you could face a drastic loss.

To mitigate this risk, you could opt for a limit order: You tell your broker what price you’re willing to buy or sell and your order is only executed if those conditions are met. The trouble with limit orders is that the trade isn’t guaranteed — if the stock never hits the price you specify, the order won’t be executed.

Pros and cons of after-hours trading

Before you engage in after-hours trading, consider the following:

Pros

  • Convenient. Schedule restrictions and daily activities may limit an investor’s ability to execute trades when the market is open. After-hours trading allows investors to trade at a time that may be more convenient for them.
  • News. After-hours trading offers investors the opportunity to react to important news events before markets open or after they close. Earnings reports, economic indicators and breaking news all have the potential to impact the market after hours.
  • Competitive pricing. After-hours volatility tends to lend itself to increased risk, but this volatility can also work in a trader’s favor if stock prices move in an advantageous direction.

Cons

  • Less liquidity. Since fewer trades are executed after hours, it’s more difficult to buy and sell shares.
  • Wide spreads. After-hours trading tends to have wider spreads between bid and ask prices. For traders executing limit orders, this could mean fewer trades.
  • Order limitations. Most brokers don’t allow traders to swap mutual funds, bonds or options after hours, limiting trades to the buying and selling of stocks. Stop orders or all-or-none orders are also prohibited after hours, restricting traders to unconditional limit orders.
  • Extra fees. Some brokerages charge additional fees on after-hours trades.

Compare stock trading platforms

Name Product Stock trade fee Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee
Vanguard
$0
Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Forex
$1
$20 per year
Get a personal advisor when you open an account with at least $50,000.
Sofi Invest
$0
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
N/A
0%
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Robinhood
$0
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
0%
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Interactive Brokers
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, Index funds, ETFs, Futures, Cash
$0 + $0.65/contract, $1 minimum
0%
IBKR Lite offers $0 commissions, and IBKR Pro offers advanced tools for professional traders.
TD Ameritrade
$0
or $25 broker-assisted
Stocks
$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
TD Ameritrade features $0 commission for online stock, but watch out for high short-term ETF and broker-assisted trading fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

After-hours trading comes with unique benefits and risks. Investors have the opportunity to react to news events and trade at a time that’s potentially more convenient — but reduced trading volume means more volatility, wider spreads and ultimately, greater risk.

If you’re interested in after-hours trading, find a brokerage account that offers extended hours alongside the features best suited to your investment goals.

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