7 Misconceptions about Stock Market Trading Hours and Holidays

Updated Tuesday, January 17, 2023 by Alan Reed

7 Misconceptions about Stock Market Trading Hours and Holidays

When I started TradingHours.com back in 2015, I had no idea how complicated it was to accurately track when financial markets were open or closed.

Initially, the goal was to merely make a countdown showing the status of each market. The first version of the website covered only 10 stock markets. Today we cover over 900 different markets with over 100 available for free on our website.

As we added more markets, we had to evolve our data model in order to capture the new edge cases we encountered. Today, as a company, we consider our data model one of our most valuable assets.

Reduce operational risk with the most trusted Market Holidays and Trading Hours data available. Reliable and accurate data at an affordable price. Learn more »

Below are misconceptions we had about trading hours and market holidays. Today, our database is able to capture all of these edge cases. This allows us to make our data fully machine-readable and available via our API.

1. Stock markets are open Monday to Friday.

False. Most markets in the Middle East are open Sunday to Thursday. This includes Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and others. Also, US and European derivative markets actually start pre-trading on Sunday night.

2. Stock markets have one primary trade session each day.

False. Many markets close for lunch and then reopen for trading in the afternoon. This mostly affects markets in Asia, like the Tokyo Exchange. However, the London Stock Exchange has a brief, 2-minute intermission at noon.

3. Markets do not trade at night.

False. While most markets only trade during the daytime, many derivative markets (like CME, NYMEX, and ICE) have overnight trading sessions. Schedules on these markets vary by underlying security.

Also many stock markets have pre- and post-trading sessions that allow transactions during the early morning or late into the evening.

4. Markets are always closed on weekends.

False. Some markets have “working weekend” holidays. For instance, commodity markets in China are open on the Saturday and Sunday following Chinese New Year, allowing them to recover from the week-long holiday period.

5. Trading hours are the same throughout the year.

False. Some markets have different trading hours for winter and summer. For example, Bolsa de Valores de Lima, in Peru, wants to have the exact same trading hours as the NYSE. Because the US observes Daylight Saving Time and Peru does not, Peru changes their trading hours each winter to ensure their primary trading session matches the US markets’ hours.

6. Exchanges announce their holidays well in advance.

False. Holidays in Muslim and Hindu religions are determined by the lunar calendar. In certain countries calculating the moon’s position is not considered sufficient. For example, Pakistan announces the predicted holiday dates in advance, based on the calculated position of the moon. However, the final date is only confirmed the night before, when an Imam physically observes the moon.

7. Markets are always closed on public holidays.

False. Public holidays are different from trading holidays. For example, in the US, Good Friday is a market holiday, but not a public holiday. The reverse is also true. Columbus Day and Veterans Day are public holidays, but not trade holidays.

Interestingly, Columbus Day and Veterans Day are currency holidays in the US. That means that although trading can occur on these public holidays, settlement will be delayed.

That concludes our list of the 7 major misconceptions about stock market holidays and trading hours. There are also dozens of other unforeseen edge cases we’ve encountered along the way which we now cover as well.

All of these edge cases are stored in a machine-readable format in our database, making it easy to access and understand. For example, when it comes to Veterans Day, other commercially available calendars may only mention in a memo or text field that there is no settlement on that holiday. However, in our database, we have a specific flag that clearly indicates whether or not there is settlement on that specific date.

This approach simplifies implementation and eliminates the need for guesswork or manual checking by our clients.

Our data is available for licensing, allowing you to integrate it into your own system. Clients use our data to minimize operational risk, increase efficiency, and backtest trading algorithms. All data is thoroughly researched, verified, and sourced directly from primary sources. To know more about it, please reach out.

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