Do Stop Losses Work in Extended Hours?

Stop orders typically do not execute during extended-hours. The stop and trailing stop orders you place during extended-hours usually queue for the market open of the next trading day.

Orders created during regular market sessions generally do not get executed in extended sessions. If you want an order to be completed outside of regular market hours, you must create a new order during an extended session.

What Types of Orders Are Allowed in Extended Hours?

Most brokers allow only limit order to buy, buy to cover, sell or sell short during both extended sessions. Additionally, time-in-force limitations usually only extend until the pre-market or after-hours session ends. Many brokers also require approval before an account can trade extended-hours.

Why Are There Limitations in Extended Hours?

Trading in extended sessions is considered riskier than regular hours. This is due to higher price volatility and spreads due to a lack of liquidity as fewer traders are making moves in the market.

What is Considered Extended Hours?

The markets open up at 9:30 AM EST and close at 4:00 PM EST except on market holidays. There are also a pre-market and an after-hours trading session that are considered extended hours (in EST):

Market Session Hours (EST)
Pre-Market 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM
Regular Market 9:30 to 4:00 PM
After Hours 4:00 to 6:00

This timeframe is expanding as most major brokers are now offering even longer pre-market and after-hours trading sessions. See the below Extend Hours trading table.

Brokers Extended Hours Schedules & Policies

Broker Extended Hours
Fidelity Yes
Interactive Brokers Yes
Schwab Yes
TD Ameritrade Yes

Why Do Brokers Offer Extended Hours

Most brokers offer extended hours to provide “flexibility” for their customers to react to earnings releases and market news. Also, they make money every time you transact on their platform, which is another reason market sessions are expanding.


Leo Smigel

Based in Pittsburgh, Analyzing Alpha is a blog by Leo Smigel exploring what works in the markets.