Why Reliable Trading Hours Data is Necessary

Published Saturday, December 9, 2023 by Alan Reed

Why Reliable Trading Hours Data is Necessary

If you sell stock on the NYSE on Monday, the cash will land in your account on Tuesday. That is unless you happen to be trading on a particular Monday in mid-October when US markets are open, but the Federal Reserve is closed for Columbus Day.

That delay can have major economic implications. The money will not start earning interest as soon as expected and may cause liquidity problems.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of headaches caused by irregular financial calendars.

Unexpected market closures also happen all the time. Recently there have been typhoons that closed Hong Kong’s markets. A computer glitch delayed the opening bell in Japan. The war in Ukraine closed markets, although they are back open now. When a sovereign dies, markets usually close for a day.

Sports can even have an impact. Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in the first round of the 2022 World Cup. It was such a big upset, Saudi Arabia announced a national holiday and markets closed for a day.

The date of Islamic holidays are based on the visibility of the moon in the sky. In some cases, the exact date is not known until the night before and depends on local weather conditions.

Trading between New York and London can be particularly troublesome. Because Daylight Saving Time starts and ends at different times in the two countries, there are 4 time changes throughout the year. If you’re also trading in Asian markets - good luck!

Some markets in South America have different schedules in the summer to align with US markets during Daylight Saving Time.

Then each country has its unique way of determining when holidays are observed. If a holiday falls on the weekend is it observed the preceding Friday, the following Monday, or not at all? It depends on the country and the holiday.

Even weekends are not the same across the globe. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and others in the Middle East are open Sunday to Thursday.

TradingHours.com was originally created as a simple dashboard showing when different markets around the world were open or closed all on one screen. We quickly found others looking for the same thing. It wasn’t long until investors were asking for direct access to the calendar data underpinning our dashboard.

Investors can get lists of holidays and trading schedules from their broker or Bloomberg terminal. But it is a manual process of loading the holidays for each market if you want to incorporate this data into your computer systems.

The key feature of TradingHours.com is that all market calendars are available in one consistent, machine-readable format with coverage of over 900 markets across 103 different countries. The website covers global equities, derivatives, and currency holidays.

Typically clients start out hard-coding holidays into their software. They switch to using our API after getting burned by one of the many holiday changes that happen throughout the year.

We are currently in the process of updating our 2024 holiday calendars - so you don’t have to.

About the Author

Alan Reed is the founder and CEO of TradingHours.com. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from East Stroudsburg University. Alan specializes in all things data. He has founded multiple data service companies including a company in the cryptocurrency space which was sold in 2022. He is now focused on using his expertise to create the most accurate and reliable financial calendar reference data available in the industry. 

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