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When does the stock market open? Well ... it depends.

Regular trading hours for the U.S. stock market, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq), are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays (except stock market holidays). On early-closure days, typically right before or right after a market holiday, regular stock trading ends at 1 p.m. ET.

That said, trading can occur outside of normal stock market hours.

For instance, on days with a regular session, there is pre-market trading; while hours vary, they can extend as early as 4 a.m. and go through the market open at 9:30 a.m. There are also after-hours sessions, which typically span from 4 to 8 p.m.

These trades are performed on electronic communications networks, or ECNs, and directly pair buyers and sellers rather than using a middleman. While this kind of trading once was only accessible to large institutional buyers, today brokers such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab facilitate this kind of trading.

As for the weekends: There are no regular trading hours for stocks on Saturdays or Sundays. But if you see a headline on Sunday nights saying that stock futures are down, thats because most futures contracts (including equity futures, but also oil, agricultural products, commodities and other investments) begin trading at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sundays.

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