Financial Markets Book Financial Markets For The Rest Of Us
An Easy Guide To Money, Bonds, Futures, Stocks, Options, And Mutual Funds
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by Robert Hashemian

Page 157

dollars and cents. For example, $53.03 or $53.72 or $53.86 or any cent value, from 00 to 99.

After-Hours/Extended-Hours Trading

With the voracious appetite displayed by traders, many brokers are now accepting trades beyond the normal trading hours. As you may know, the US stock markets operate between the hours of 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM EST during business days.When the market closes, all trading stops and the dealers go home. Or do they? Well, actually they do. But with the prevalence of computers in the trading world, the pressure from the traders has been mounting for years to extend the trading hours, perhaps even making trading possible around the clock.After all, computers do not need rest and have proven very capable of handling transactions. The NASDAQ market, as we discussed previously, is almost entirely run electronically with no physical exchange, save the AMEX, which NASDAQ acquired a while back.

This is an issue exchanges have to grapple with. Considering the long-standing tradition of fixed trading hours, there are plenty of business and regulatory issues that need to be addressed before the exchanges can institute extended or around-the-clock trading. One important issue is fatigue. Is it wise to allow the market a continuous run? Wouldn't it experience burn-out? The closed market hours is used by many to review the day's activity, get a new perspective, do research, or just perhaps regain their sanity. A severe psychological meltdown could occur if the market were to operate continuously with no cooling-off period. Or what about if during the night hours, when the US traders were asleep, the rest of the world decided to take the market for a ride? Would chaos ensue?


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