When Is the Stock Market Closed?

By Emma Diehl · August 19, 2022 · 6 minute read

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When Is the Stock Market Closed?

Generally, investors can buy and sell stocks Monday through Friday between 9:30am-4pm ET, but the exact schedule can vary based on time zone, market, and holiday season. The stock market is closed on weekends and many holidays. Additionally, the major stock exchanges may close or stop trading unexpectedly due to several reasons, like natural disasters or technical glitches. It’s all a part of how the stock markets work.

While a person can always access stock market data, the stock exchanges have strict operating hours during a typical work week. Knowing the stock market schedule and when the stock market is closed can help investors make better investment decisions.

U.S. Stock Market Holidays 2022

Even with standard operating hours, stock markets will close their markets completely for certain holidays. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq recognize the following holidays:

•   New Year’s Day

•   Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 17

•   Washington’s Birthday – Monday, February 21

•   Good Friday – Friday, April 15

•   Memorial Day – Monday, May 30

•   Juneteenth National Independence Day – Monday, June 20 (observed)

•   Independence Day – Monday, July 4

•   Labor Day – Monday, September 5

•   Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24

•   Christmas Day – Monday, December 26 (observed)

Additionally, the stock market closes early (at 1pm ET) on the following dates:

•   Black Friday

•   Christmas Eve, if the holiday falls on a weekday

Stock exchanges in other countries might have different national holidays and operating schedules.

Is the Market Closed the Following Monday After a Holiday?

For holidays with a fixed date, like Juneteenth (June 19), Independence Day (July 4), and Christmas (Dec. 25), the stock market will be closed on the preceding Friday if the holiday falls on a Saturday or the following Monday if the holiday falls on a Sunday.

However, if New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) falls on Saturday, the holiday is not observed; the stock market will be open on the preceding Friday and the following Monday.

Other Times the Stock Market Closes or Is Halted

In addition to planned holidays, historically, the stock market has closed trading in times of crisis or technical challenges.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, markets were halted multiple times due to unprecedented drops in the market. Called trading curbs or circuit breakers, these are temporary pauses mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012. Each level follows different criteria:

•   Level 1: A 7% drop in the S&P 500 Index compared to closing the day before will trigger the market to be paused for at least 15 minutes.

•   Level 2: A 13% drop in the S&P 500 compared to closing the day before will trigger at least a 15-minute pause in the market.

•   Level 3: A 20% drop in the S&P 500 compared to closing the day before will trigger a premature close on trading for the rest of the day.

Trading curbs can occur for a single stock and a whole market. It’s more common for the curb to be tripped on a single stock, but unprecedented events can spark a whole market pause. Covid-19 caused three trading curbs in just over a week.

The stock market may also close unexpectedly due to unprecedented events. For example, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, caused the NYSE to close for a week, while Superstorm Sandy forced the NYSE to close for two days in Oct. 2012.

Additionally, the markets may close down to honor the death of a world figure, as was the case with George H.W. Bush and Martin Luther King Jr.

The market has also closed unexpectedly due to technical glitches and cybersecurity threats; in July 2015, the NYSE temporarily stopped trading because of a technical issue on the floor.

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Stock Market Operating Hours

In the United States, the major stock exchanges are generally open Monday through Friday, with core trading hours between 9:30am-4pm ET. The stock market does not operate during the weekend.

Because the different stock exchanges operate on eastern time, these trading hours are different throughout the U.S., depending on time zones and daylight savings time.

However, with so many global stock exchanges, a market may always open if an investor is interested in trading in foreign markets. Most markets operate during their time zone’s business hours.

💡 Recommended: Pros & Cons of Global Investments

Why Does the Stock Market Close Each Day?

The stock market closes each day for several reasons, notably because it allows for the settlement of all trades that have occurred. The close gives market professionals time to calculate the day’s trading results and prepare for the next day.

Additionally, the stock market close is helpful for investment brokers and traders to catch up on paperwork and other administrative tasks.

While the stock market closes each day at 4pm in the United States, other markets, like cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets, offer trading 24 hours a day.

💡 Recommended: Is 24/7 Stock Trading Available?

When Does the Market Open for Premarket Trading?

The market opens for premarket trading at 4 am ET and operates until 9:30 am ET.

While most stock trading occurs during the normal 9:30am-4pm ET operating hours, investors can also take advantage of extended-hours trading. Investors may be interested in trading during the premarket because of the release of economic data, company earnings reports, and other major news events.

Investors must use an alternative trading system known as electronic communication networks (ECNs) to make trades during premarket trading.

However, investors must be aware of the risks associated with premarket trading. Because fewer buyers and sellers operate during the early hours, there is lower liquidity and higher volatility.

Premarket trading probably isn’t for a beginner investor; if you don’t need to buy or sell a stock immediately, you might prefer to wait until regular trading hours.

💡 Recommended: How to Invest in Stocks: A Beginner’s Guide

After-Hours Trading

The closing bell for the major U.S. stock exchanges might ring promptly at 4 pm ET, but there’s still after-hours trading: it’s possible to buy, sell, and trade stocks between 4pm-8pm ET. Electronic trading tools like ECNs mentioned above make it possible to conduct business after hours, but making moves during after-hours trading comes with its own risks, just like during premarket trading.

The Takeaway

Investors should be aware that the stock market is closed on weekends, designated holidays, and for world events and other disruptive circumstances. When the stock market is open, the exchanges generally operate on a 9:30am-4pm ET schedule, Monday through Friday. Knowing when the stock market is open and closed can allow investors to strategize the best time to make trades and investments.

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Is the stock market closed on holidays?

The stock market is generally closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

When is the stock market closed and opened?

The stock market in the United States is closed on weekends and some holidays. The stock market is generally open Monday through Friday from 9:30am-4pm ET.

Is the stock market open for extended hours?

The stock market is open for extended hours, from 4am-9:30am ET for premarket trading and 4pm-8pm for after-hours trading. However, trading during this period can be risky.

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