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All of the stock markets have limited trading days and hours. Why there should be off day? Why are stock markets not run 24/7?

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    $\begingroup$ Counter question, why should it be open 24/7? What would you, or anyone else gain, apart from the pain of having to have a team of traders working all the time. Liquidity is already so thin in after hours trading that it wouldn't make any sense to extend that even longer. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    May 23, 2022 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ What is the loss in this, those who want to trade as before, should do as before, but those who want to trade 24/7 should have an option. Just like in the crypto market. This will increase the volume. $\endgroup$
    – Hadman
    May 23, 2022 at 9:45
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    $\begingroup$ Crypto markets are decentralized. Stocks are listed at an exchange, with all its rules and requirements for regulation, market making, settlement etc (see for example here). There are still a lot of people (hours) involved in trading and people actually do like to go home and spend time with their family. Even after the markets close there is still work (bookkeeping things like trade reconciliation, generate daily PnL reports, ... $\endgroup$
    – AKdemy
    May 23, 2022 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ Of course, one could do all that while markets are open. However, you would need a lot more people for little to no benefit. There is trading after the official market hours, but it is already very thin and not used by many. People like liquidity and trade when liquidity is available, not whenever they feel like it (although most people I know do not feel like sitting in a trading room on Saturday evening). If you would allow 24/7, you would simply add a lot of overhead costs, which need to be paid somehow. $\endgroup$
    – AKdemy
    May 23, 2022 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ FX is said to trade 24/7 but reality you do not see quotes on systems liek Bloomberg on weekends. It starts some time early in the morning in Tokyo and Sydney, and end late at night in San Francisco. If someone form Japan would like to trade FX late at night, they reach out to a desk in London or New York because Tokyo's trading teams are enjoying time with their families. Stocks on the other hand only trade on one physical exchange. You cannot simply move to a different country. $\endgroup$
    – AKdemy
    May 23, 2022 at 11:12

2 Answers 2

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Apart from the official hours (e.g. NYSE has traditionally 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time), there is already trading outside the core trading session with the so called Pre-Opening Session (starts at 3:30 a.m.), the Opening Session (4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.), and Extended Hours (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.).

However, liquidity is already so thin outside the core trading session that it wouldn't make any sense to extend that even longer. There is an SEC publication warning about the risk associated with after hours trading (low price discovery, wide spreads, lack of liquidity,...).

Crypto is decentralized but you can trade almost all stocks on only one exchange. Since stocks are listed at an exchange, they have to follow all its rules and requirements for regulation, market making, settlement etc (see for example here). There are still a lot of people (hours) involved in trading and people actually do like to go home and spend time with their family. Even after the markets close there is still work (bookkeeping things like trade reconciliation, generate daily PnL reports, regulatory requirements...).

Of course, one could do all that while markets are open. However, you would need a lot more people for little to no benefit. People like liquidity and trade when liquidity is available, not whenever they feel like it (although most people I know do not feel like sitting in a trading room on Saturday evening). If you would allow 24/7, you would simply add a lot of overhead costs, which need to be paid somehow.

FX is said to trade 24/7 but in reality you do not see quotes on systems like Bloomberg on weekends. It starts some time early in the morning in Tokyo and Sydney, and ends late at night in San Francisco. If someone form Japan would like to trade FX late at night, they reach out to a desk in London or New York because Tokyo's trading teams are enjoying time with their families. Stocks on the other hand only trade on one physical exchange. You cannot simply move to a different country.

You can look at cntraveler.com/... to see what happens to bid ask spreads when markets are illiquid (Buy and sell EUR 1.18 / 0.99 - in interbank markets, the spread will not show with 2 digits). Many trading desks, and associated teams like programming have to be available whenever the market is open. For FX teams, it can happen (and does more often than you think), that they wake you up in the middle of the night because something happened in Asia or Europe if the team implementing some software is based in New York.

Maybe it will change one day, but as long as there are people involved, and stocks are listed (trade) on one exchange, it will unlikely be useful to have 24/7 trading opportunities. If you really have to, OTC trading might always work. Just like airport exchanges will swap your foreign exchange at any time of the day (as long as the airport is open), there may be someone, somewhere who will trade your desired stock with you. The price will likely be so unfavourable that you may actually benefit from trading during the day, and take a nice restful and peaceful sleep at night, and enjoy your weekends.

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From the reading into it, it seems to be due to an archaic left-over system. Although everything has the potential to be digital, and i believe the majority of the stock market is, people like being inefficient because thats just how its always been done and fair amount of older generation prefer it this way.

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