Frequently Asked QuestionsWelcome to the MidnightTrader FAQ. Here you’ll find answers to common questions about extended-hours trading and how MidnightTrader covers the markets. For a list of terms and definitions, take a look at our glossary. If you have a question not answered on this page, please contact us.
What is extended-hours trading?Extended-hours trading encompasses any securities transaction that occurs outside the regular trading session and is universally accepted as the period between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET.
What is after-hours trading?After-hours trading encompasses any securities transaction that occurs after the 4:00 p.m. ET regular-session close and generally extends until 8:00 p.m. ET.
What is pre-market trading?Pre-market trading encompasses any securities transaction that occurs prior to the 9:30 a.m. ET regular-session open, generally accepted as the period running from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
What is regular-session trading?Regular-session trading encompasses any securities transaction occurring between the open of the US equities markets at 9:30 a.m. ET and the close at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Can listed securities (e.g., NYSE) be traded in the extended-hours?Yes. Listed securities are available for trade in both the pre-market and after-hours sessions, as long as there is sufficient investor demand on the buy and sell sides.
Why are stock prices so volatile in the extended-hours market?Lack of liquidity. There needs to be enough traders with a large number of shares on both the buy and sell side to result in an efficient market with narrow spreads. In the extended-hours there are fewer investors engaged in trading, and as a result transactions can occur at prices that are a good deal more or less than what a particular stock closed at during the regular trading session.
How is extended-hours trading conducted?Almost all extended-hours trading is processed through computerized alternative trading systems (ATS) known as Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs).
What is an ECN?ECNs are the "eBay" of the regular-session and extended-hours markets. ECNs are computerized systems that automatically match orders between buyers and sellers and serve as an alternative to traditional market making and "floor trading." They are the major vehicles for extended-hours trading.
Who can trade on an ECN?Initially developed as private trading systems for institutional investors and broker-dealers, ECNs have opened up their systems to varying degrees to include a greater breadth of institutions as well as retail investors. Today, individual investors can trade on the ECNs as easily as institutions.
What stocks are traded on the ECNs?The majority of stocks traded on ECNs are NASDAQ listed securities, but other listed securities are also traded.
How do I trade on an ECN?An individual's trades on an ECN are made through a broker.
What is the order book?Each ECN has an order book, or a listing of the buy and sell orders pending for each stock. Investors can watch on their computer screens as their brokers input the bid or ask in the order book. As buyers and sellers are paired up, trades are executed, and the orders are taken off the book. Viewing the order book before trading enables investors to gauge the "depth of the market" in a stock.
What is depth of the market?The number of orders and price levels on the buy and sell sides.
What is MidnightTrader?MidnightTrader is a premier source of real-time stock market news and consolidated depth-of-market data, analytical services and strategic trading ideas for the retail and institutional investment communities. Our proprietary information products and services empower all types of equity traders to make highly informed and opportunistic investment decisions throughout the entire extended trading day.
What services does MidnightTrader provide?MidnightTrader’s line of products and services delivers:
• Real-time stock news and trading ideas
• Streaming mobile and desktop access
• Proprietary earnings-reaction forecasts and fundamentals
• Interactive trading webinars and strategies
• Complete coverage of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), foreign currencies, futures and commodities
Our signature products include Live Briefs®, Live Briefs® Canada, Earnings Notebook® and MT Pro®. We provide additional services through Earnings Window™ and Quotestream® Extended Hours Edition. To learn more about the specific features of each product, please visit our Individuals and Corporate pages.
What makes MidnightTrader different from Reuters, Bloomberg or other news services?Our proprietary market news, analytics and quantitative models coupled with our passionate interest in equity trading deliver advantages you don’t find elsewhere:
• Unequalled commitment to exceptional customer service
• Decades of thought leadership and market experience underpinning everything we do
• Industry-recognized leadership in extended-hours coverage
• Proprietary information no other financial media service can match
• Seasoned editors and analysts with exceptional expertise
• Time-tested and dynamic new products that capitalize on the latest technologies
What types of customers does MidnightTrader sell its products to?MidnightTrader’s customer base includes thousands of individual investors who subscribe through our Web site and hundreds of US, Canadian and European corporations and financial institutions that license our products. MidnightTrader customers include active equity traders, financial consultants and investment managers, traditional and online brokerage firms, broker-dealers, financial portals and other financial services organizations that want to add value to their businesses with MidnightTrader’s information products.
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