This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ask TheStreet: Late Trading

Ask TheStreet is designed to answer questions about the market, strategies, and investment methods. Please email us to ask a question, but keep in mind that we cannot offer specific investment advice.

Reader: Every night I watch Cramer's "Mad Money" and watch the stocks he talks about soar in after-hours trading. Who is making those trades, amateurs or professionals? How do these people have access to this type of trading? --T.D.

Gregg Greenberg: Wall Street knows investors never stop worrying about their holdings. That's why the major exchanges offer extended-hours trading.

The regular trading day, of course, starts at 9:30 a.m. EST and finishes at 4 p.m. But as the earnings avalanche of the last few weeks has shown, it's not as if companies stop making news outside those hours. In fact, the vast majority of big news releases are issued either early in the morning or after the close.

So for those who can't stand to wait until the next day to pull the trigger on a trade, there's pre-open and postclose trading on the Nasdaq, as well as a brief late-day "crossing session" on the NYSE.

Institutional investors have long been able to trade after the market, but it's only been about five years since individuals got the privilege. The Big Board and the Nasdaq took up their cause in the late 1990s as electronic networks known as ECNs were expanding their hours and coverage, threatening to take some of the established exchanges' coveted customers.

So when Google (GOOG) or Yahoo! (YHOO) puts up its earnings on a Wednesday afternoon or if Jim Cramer's recommendation moves a stock, extended-hours trading gives you a chance to get in on the action before the market has had hours to digest the latest developments.

That said, most professionals caution that individual investors shouldn't wade into these waters without taking stock of the many risks. Stocks that trade heavily after hours tend to be more volatile and to be strongly influenced by breaking news, and volume can be scarce even in some of the bigger names. These factors can lead to wider bid/ask spreads that can drive up the cost of trading in pre-open or postclose markets.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs