What is After Hours Trading?

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, “After-hours trading refers to stock trading outside the traditional trading hours of the major exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market. The regular trading hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.”

Trading outside of regular exchange hours became available in the 1990s for major institutional players and high-net worth individuals, but the rise of online investing in the late 1990s led to the availability of this service to the ordinary investor. On a normal day after hours trading is from 4 – 8 p.m. EST.