The New York Stock Exchange first established regular trading hours in 1871, when it began its auction system of matching orders to buy or sell stocks. Before then, trading was done in separate morning and afternoon sessions. In 1887, the trading day was set at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closing was extended, and opening moved up until 1985, when the present 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule was set. Now, however, there are options to trade before and after official New York Stock Exchange hours.
The New York Stock Exchange is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, although before and after hours trading is also available. It's closed for a number of official holidays and closes early the day before some holidays.
Basic Operating NYSE Hours
The New York Stock Exchange now is NYSE Euronext, with a merger of New York and European markets and subsequent acquisition of the American Stock Exchange and some regional exchanges. NYSE and Amex trading is done in New York from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Euronext markets are open stock market hours of 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. European time.
Evaluating Extended Sessions
There are also extended after-hours and before-hours sessions that enable you to make limited trades outside of these traditional opening hours.
An electronic trading system, NYSE Arca, operates from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. New York time to match buy and sell orders. These "crossing" sessions execute only orders that match, in which a seller and a buyer have orders for a stock at the same price. The first extra sessions began in 1991 and were extended to the present hours in 2004.
The NASDAQ market has the same open and extended hours as the NYSE.
Exclusions for NYSE Holidays
Both the NYSE and its Euronext division close early on the day before July Fourth, the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. They observe the same traditional holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Naturally, other markets based in other countries observe local holidays in those countries. If you're planning to trade in overseas markets, check their schedules to make sure you're not surprised by a holiday closure.
After Hours Trading
NYSE Arca follows the same holiday schedule. However, it continues its after-hours operations on days when the NYSE closes early. On days the NYSE floor closes at 1 p.m., crossing session order entry begins at 1 p.m. These are executed until 1:30 p.m. Trades executed during these extended hours are based on the 4 p.m. closing prices. Orders whose prices don't match are referred to the trading floor.
Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.