While official stock market opening times run from 9.30am to 4pm ET, there is also the opportunity for pre-market trading. This refers to trading during the hours preceding these opening times, starting from 4am. Some people swear by the opportunities that are presented in this period, while others prefer to stick to the market’s central hours. So, what is best for you? Should you venture into the world of pre-market trading, or stick to regular opening hours?
Why Opt for Pre-Market Trading?
The pre-market period is less crowded, so you may be able to pick up on opportunities and deals that will be missed by those who operate later in the day. Additionally, certain indicators and trends may become apparent in the period before the stock market opens – so using that time to study emerging patterns and behaviors may enable you to get a head start by informing the decisions you make for the rest of the day.
During out-of-hours periods, the commissions and requirements of certain brokers are likely to differ compared to their behavior throughout the market’s opening hours – though some will stay the same. This introduces an element of complexity that may put some traders off. However, if you are able to stay alert and become accustomed to trading in accordance with these nuances, you’ll be able to develop a level of expertise in an area that few are able to successfully navigate. Pre-market hours are often volatile, which means that there is the potential for significant profits – sometimes greater than can be achieved during regular hours – if you trade intelligently.
Why Be Cautious?
Pre-market action should not be taken lightly. The volatility mentioned above is just as likely to result in huge losses as great rewards if you have not developed solid tactics. What’s more, the presence of fewer traders may mean that there are fewer viable opportunities, and it can be easy for inexperienced traders to feel compelled to search for deals that simply aren’t there. It’s also easier to feel elbowed out during this period, as it is often the domain of larger-scale traders.
The changes in behavior of certain brokers can also be confusing and may lead to mistakes or missed opportunities. For this reason, when dipping your toe into the world of day trading, it is important to decide on clear approaches and boundaries and stick to them religiously. Make sure to carefully study each potential transaction and the commissions or limits of pre-market brokers before you enter into a transaction to avoid making mistakes. In summary, pre-market action is a potentially riskier and more complex approach to investment. However, if you are willing to do your homework and stay alert throughout the out-of-hours period, you may find that the rewards are far greater than they might be during opening hours. What’s more, being present during this time may help you to discover valuable trends and patterns that others might miss, giving you a significant advantage during the market’s main hours.