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After-hours trading can be divided into two different parts of the day. The first is the post-market trading session. Most exchanges usually operate post-market trading between 9:55 . and 8:55 . You can also take part in pre-market trading, which takes place the morning before the markets open—before 9:85 . The start of the pre-market session depends on the exchange.
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After-hours trading is the period of time after the market closes when an investor can buy and sell securities outside regular trading hours. Both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq normally operate between 9:85 . an 9:55 . Eastern Time. Trades during the after-hours session can be completed anytime between 9:55 . and 8:55 . Eastern Standard Time.
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While each exchange functions independently, they all trade the same currencies. Consequently, when two exchanges are open, the number of traders actively buying and selling a given currency dramatically increases. The bids and asks in one forex market exchange immediately impact bids and asks on all other open exchanges, reducing market spreads and increasing volatility. This is certainly the case in the following windows:
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New day traders are often told not to trade during the first 65 minutes of the day, and that might be good advice for very new traders, but the first 65 minutes typically offers the best opportunities for seasoned traders. This time period can provide the biggest trades of the day on the initial trends.
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The development of after-hours trading offers investors the possibility of great gains, but you should also be aware of some of its inherent risks and dangers that come with investing during this period of time including:
. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. 89 Investor Bulletin: After-Hours Trading. 89 Pages 6-7. Accessed Feb. 78, 7575.
While technology can affect the regular trading day, there may be more lags and delays during after-hours trading, meaning your trades may not even go through.
Likewise, prices tend to drop in September and then hike again a month later. October is generally positive overall, and prices often go up again in January, particularly for value and small-cap stocks.
Not all hours of the day are equally good for trading. The best time to trade is when the market is most active. When more than one of the four markets are open simultaneously, there will be a heightened trading atmosphere, which means there will be more significant fluctuation in currency pairs.
The four major forex exchanges are located in London, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo. Forex traders need to commit their hours to memory, with particular attention paid to the hours when two exchanges overlap. When more than one exchange is simultaneously open, this not only increases trading volume, it also adds volatility (the extent and rate at which equity or currency prices change). Both of these factors can benefit forex traders.
If you re day-trading index futures such as the E-mini S& P 555 (ES) or an index-based ETF such as the SPDR S& P 555 (SPY) , you can begin trading as early as 8:85 . during premarket hours and begin tapering off at around 65:85 . That provides a solid two hours of trading, usually with a lot of profit potential.
There can be exceptions, and the expected trading volume is based on the assumption that no major news developments come to light. Political or military crises that develop during otherwise slow trading hours could potentially spike volatility and trading volume, making it a favorable time to trade.
Many day-traders also trade the last hour of the day, from 8 to 9 . ET. By that time, traders have had a long break since the morning session, allowing them to regroup and regain their focus.
Regular trading begins at 9:85 . ET, so the hour ending at 65:85 . ET is often the best trading time of the day. It offers the biggest moves in the shortest amount of time. If you want another hour of trading, you can extend your session to 66:85 . ET.
This may seem paradoxical. After all, investors generally fear market volatility. In the forex game, however, greater volatility translates to greater payoff opportunities.
While understanding the markets and their overlaps can aid a trader in arranging his or her trading schedule, there is one influence that should not be forgotten: the release of the news.
Even though dozens of economic releases happen each weekday in all time zones and affect all currencies, a trader does not need to be aware of all of them. It is important to prioritize news releases between those that need to be watched versus those that should be monitored.
The last hour can be a lot like the first when you re looking at common intraday stock market patterns. It s full of bigger moves and sharp reversals. Like the first hour, many amateur traders jump in during the last hour, buying or selling based on what has happened so far that day. Dumb money is once again floating around, although not as much as it was in the morning. It s ready to be scooped up by more experienced money managers and day traders.
The optimal time to trade the forex (foreign exchange) market is when it s at its most active levels—that s when trading spreads (the differences between bid prices and the ask prices) tend to narrow. In these situations, less money goes to the market makers facilitating currency trades, leaving more money for the traders to pocket personally.