Looking to break into the world of trading and investing? You'll need to know a lot of different time periods to get the best sense of when you should be doing your trading.

For starters, you'll definitely need to know the standard trading hours on U.S. stock exchanges like the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange. But what if you're investing in something available elsewhere, based in another country? When are the markets from that country open? And what if you're looking to do some additional trading before or after? Can you do it, and should you?

Here is what you need to know about when the stock market opens, and when it closes.

What Time Does the U.S. Stock Market Open and Close?

As mentioned, the two major stock exchanges in the United States are the Nasdaq and the NYSE. If you're trading on both of these, you're in luck; they both have the same market hours.

The Nasdaq and NYSE, from Monday through Friday, open at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time and close at 4:00 p.m. ET. With occasional exceptions for holidays, of course.

Holidays When Stock Exchanges Are Closed

Both Nasdaq and NYSE have their holiday schedules available online, and are closed on nine specific holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas

A few of these holidays also lead to early closes on additional days. For example, on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, the stock market closes after 1:00 p.m. ET. If Christmas Eve or the day before Independence Day fall on a weekday, those days are also subject to early closes, with the market again closing at 1:00 p.m. If Independence Day is a Saturday, then Friday, July 3, is still recognized as a holiday and the exchanges are closed.

Can You Trade Before and After Trading Hours?

But what if you want to trade or make an investment outside of the standard market hours? It's possible, but a risky endeavor should you choose it - far fewer people trading can have a big effect on stock prices.

In the U.S. there are premarket hours where you can trade on the market for several hours before it opens, from 4:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m ET. There are also several hours after the close of the market known as aftermarket hours that allow trading, and those are 4:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. ET.

American stock exchanges aren't the only ones with extended trading hours. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, for example, allows for a premarket session from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. local time prior to the market opening. The Toronto Stock Exchange gives traders a full hour after the close of the market, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time, to do additional trading.

These extended hours may be helpful for someone looking to make a move when big news breaks on a company outside of market hours. After all, news doesn't always break at the most opportune time. But aspiring investors should still approach premarket and aftermarket hours with great caution. There are significantly fewer people trading during these extended hours, which can often mean greater volatility in stock price.

Having so little trading going on can also have a big effect on the liquidity of a deal. With so much less volume, it can be harder to buy and sell shares in exchange for a liquid asset like cash.

What Time Do Global Stock Markets Open and Close?

It's also of great import to know when other stock exchanges around the world are open for trading, if your investment is international. Here are the standard hours of some global stock exchanges in local time.

  • Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is open from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is open from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with an hour lunch of no trading from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
  • The London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the United Kingdom is open from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) is open from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is open from 9:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is open from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • The Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) is open from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • China's Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) is open from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with a 90 minute lunch from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. with no trading.
  • The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) is open from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., with an hour lunch from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. with no trading.