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The US stock market is one of the busiest, with a daily trading volume amounting to billions of dollars. Most Indian investors prefer to buy and sell international shares, helping them diversify their investment portfolio.


However, understanding the US trading hours is crucial if you are interested in investing in the US stock market. With the RBI permitting Indian residents to remit up to $250,000 in a financial year, the US stock market has become the preferred trading destination for Indians.

US Stock Market Timings

Here’s an overview of US stock market timings, including regular trading hours, pre-market and after-hours trading in Indian Standard Time - 

Market Hours



Pre-market Trading

1:30 AM - 7:00 PM

1:30 AM - 7:00 PM

Regular Trading

7:00 PM - 1:30 AM

7:00 PM - 1:30 AM

After-hours Trading

1:30 AM - 5:30 AM

1:30 AM - 5:30 AM

Pre-Market Trading Hours

Pre-market trading hours refer to the period before regular trading hours begin, allowing you to trade securities before the markets officially open. The pre-market trading hours in the US stock market are from 4:00 AM to 9:30 AM Eastern Time. 


These hours have become increasingly popular among investors because they offer flexibility and enable you to react to breaking news or events that may impact the market. However, pre-market trading hours are subject to lower liquidity and higher volatility than regular trading hours, making it harder to get a reasonable price for your trades. 


Due to lower trading volumes and fewer market participants during pre-market hours, bid-ask spreads may widen, increasing the cost of trading. It is also essential to remember that not all stocks are available for trading during pre-market hours.


Moreover, since trading during pre-market hours is less liquid, the market orders placed by investors may not get executed immediately, which can cause the price to increase significantly. 


Hence, it is recommended that you exercise caution while trading during pre-market hours and have a solid understanding of the risks involved before making any investment decisions.

Regular Trading Hours

Regular trading hours are the most active trading hours in the US stock market. During these hours, the US stock market opens to investors from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except on market holidays. 


These hours are also called ‘core trading hours,’ as this is the period when most trading activity takes place. You can buy and sell stocks and other securities through stock exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq during regular trading hours. 


Stock prices are continuously updated based on buying and selling activity, which fluctuate rapidly during these hours. As a result, many investors choose to trade during regular trading hours because they believe this is when they can get the best prices for their investments. 


As more investors are active during these hours, there is higher liquidity, which means more buyers and sellers are in the market, making it easier for investors to buy and sell stocks. Note that the US share market open time in IST (Indian Standard Time) is from 7:00 PM to 1:30 AM.


However, it is important to note that stock prices during regular trading hours can be highly volatile due to various economic and political factors and sudden market movements can result in significant losses. Hence, you need to have a solid understanding of the market and their investment strategy before executing any trades during regular trading hours. 

After-Hours Trading Hours

After-hours trading hours allow you to trade securities after regular trading hours. The after-hours trading hours in the US stock market are from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time. After-hours trading hours are sometimes referred to as ‘extended trading hours’ or ‘after-hours market.’


After-hours trading hours can benefit investors who cannot trade during regular trading hours due to other commitments or who want to take advantage of new information that has emerged after the markets close. 


For example, if a company releases its earnings report after regular trading hours, you can execute trades during after-hours trading hours. However, be aware that after-hours trading hours are subject to lower liquidity and higher volatility than regular trading hours, making it more challenging to get a good price for your trades. 


This means that the bid-ask spreads can be wider during after-hours trading hours, which can result in you paying a higher price for buying and receiving a lower price for selling securities.


Moreover, after-hours trading hours are generally unsuitable for inexperienced investors, as the market moves can be more unpredictable, leading to more significant losses. Hence, you need to understand the risks involved and have a well-planned strategy before making trades during after-hours trading hours. 


In addition, not all brokerage firms offer after-hours trading, so check with your broker before trading during after-hours.

Things to Consider

Understanding the differences between regular, pre-market, and after-hours trading hours before investing in the US stock market is essential. Here are some important things to keep in mind:


  • Regular trading hours are the most active trading hours and generally provide the best prices for securities

  • Pre-market and after-hours trading hours offer more flexibility but can also be subject to higher volatility and lower liquidity

  • Understand that trading during pre-market and after-hours trading hours may expose you to greater risks and may not be suitable for all investors

  • A solid understanding of your investment strategy and goals is vital before making any trades during any trading hours.


Understanding the US share market time is critical for investors who want to buy and sell securities. Regular trading hours, pre-market trading hours, after-hours, and extended trading hours have advantages and disadvantages. 


So, be aware of these differences and determine which trading hours suit your investment strategy and goals.

FAQs on American Stock Market Time

What is the best time to trade stocks in the US market?

The US stock market timings are from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The best time to trade stocks is during the first hour of the trading day, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, and the last hour, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. These hours are typically the most active and have the highest trading volume.

Can I trade stocks outside of US market hours?

Yes, some online brokerages allow trading outside of US market hours, but there are typically limitations and potential risks. The availability of stocks to trade may be limited, and there may be wider bid-ask spreads and lower liquidity during off-hours trading.

What happens to stock prices outside of US market hours?

Stock prices can still change outside US market hours due to news releases, economic data, and events happening in other markets around the world. However, trading volume is usually lower during off-hours, which can result in wider bid-ask spreads and higher volatility.

Is the US stock market open on weekends?

No, the US stock market is closed on weekends, including Saturdays and Sundays.

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