Pre-Market Access Guide

Here you can find the information you need to get set up with pre-market and after-market access on your brokerage and trading platform.

How to Get Pre-Market Access on TradeStation

Enabling Extended-Hours Trading

TradeStation offers pre-market trading for an hour and a half, from 8:00 am until 9:30 am, EST. The broker’s after-hours session lasts four hours, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm, EST. There is no surcharge to place a trade during these times. The broker charges only its regular commission for extended-hours trades. Equity accounts are automatically enrolled for extended-hours trading, so there are no forms to fill out.  You can access extended-hours by selecting GTC+ in the duration selection area on the TradeStation platform.  Below are examples of the GTC+ selection on their desktop and mobile applications.

How to Get Pre-Market Access on TD AmeriTrade Thinkorswim

TD Ameritrade Extended-Hours Trading Time and Fees

If you have a TD Ameritrade (TDA) brokerage account, you have the ability to trade outside of normal session hours. These are from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, EST. TD Ameritrade provides access to the pre-market session, which is from 7 am until 9:28 am, and the after-hours period, which lasts from 4:02 until 8 o’clock. Even better, the broker does not charge anything extra for trading during these special periods. The broker’s regular $0 commission is assessed against all trades.

TD Ameritrade 24/5 Trading

TD Ameritrade also offers trading 24 hours per day, 5 days per week on thinkorswim platform and Mobile Trader app. The list of securities available to trade right now includes FXI, SPY, EEM, GLD, SLV, DIA, UNG, TLT, IWM, QQQ, USO, SH, RWM, PSQ, AGG, DOG, EWA, EFA, EWJ, IJH, VTI, XLF, XLE, and XLK. Other securities will be added to the list over time.

How to Enter Extended-Hours Orders at TD Ameritrade

An order at TD Ameritrade can be flagged to remain in force just for the pre-market session, the after-hours session only, or the regular session plus both extended-hours periods. You can easily choose whichever option you want during the order-entry process by selecting your choice in the drop-down menu. An order that includes the extended-hours period must be submitted as a limit order at TD Ameritrade, and special conditions cannot be added to orders. All TD Ameritrade extended-hours orders expire at the close of business at 8 pm if they aren’t filled.

Trading Tools

There are some excellent trading tools available to TD Ameritrade customers who plan to buy and sell securities during extended hours. A handy trade bar called SnapTicket appears at the bottom of the browsing window on the broker’s well-designed website. Vital data, such as bid-ask spread, are displayed. The bar can show a small graph. SnapTicket can be used during the regular session as well. In addition to the website, TD Ameritrade provides a sophisticated desktop platform called thinkorswim. Remarkably, it does not have any account minimum or frequent trader requirement. It boasts 400 technical studies and a host of drawing tools. The company’s mobile apps (it has three of them) can be used to place orders during the extended periods. One of the apps is a thinkorswim version that has very advanced charting tools. There is also a TD Ameritrade platform for Apple Watch. TD Ameritrade warns its clients that there are certain risks associated with trading during these special time slots. For example, there is lower liquidity during extended hours, which could make it more difficult to find a buyer in a short amount of time. Bid-ask spreads also tend to be wider during these sessions, which increases the cost of buying and selling. Higher volatility also means more frequent price swings, which can lead to the execution price being far from the current price.

How to Get Pre-Market Access on Tastyworks

Pre-Market and After-Hours Orders (Extended Hours)

To line up a stock order during the pre-market or after-hours session, all you need to do is select EXT in the Time-in-Force (TIF) drop-down menu in the order ticket. EXT orders can only be a Limit order. Additionally, stop-orders are not active during the pre-market or after-hours trading session. Extended hour trading is only available for stocks/ETFs, you cannot place an extended hour trade on equity options.

Extended Hours Trading Session (Chicago time)

OUR EXTENDED HOUR SESSION IS AN HOUR BEFORE THE OPEN AND AN HOUR AFTER THE CLOSE


Pre-Market Trading Session: 7:30 am to 8:30 am Central Time.

After Hours Trading Session: 3:00 pm to *4:00 pm Central Time.

*These hours also pertain to orders by phone, e-mail, or chat to our trade desk.

 

Extended hours trades entered during the pre-market or normal trading session (8:30 am to 3:00 pm) will continue to work and expire at 4:00 pm the day it was entered. Also, please be aware that stop orders do not carry over into extended hours.

Lastly, you may experience the following, but not limited to, when trading during extended hours:

  • Lower liquidity
  • Higher volatility
  • Price changes due to news announcements, such as earnings.
  • Wider spreads

 

*Please Note: Options do not trade during extended hours, except for a handful of ETF options that trade until 3:15 pm, or 15-minutes after the close of the market.

How to Get Pre-Market Access on Interactive Brokers

Extended-Hours Trading at Interactive Brokers

If you have an Interactive Brokers account (either IBKR Lite or IBKR Pro), you can place trades during both the regular market session and extended-hours periods. The firm has a pre-market session and an after-hours period.

Extended Hours Time and Fees

The regular market session in New York is from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. Traders at Interactive Brokers IBKR Pro plan can start at 4:00 am and go until 8:00 pm. IBKR Lite plan has shorter, 7:00 am until 8:00 pm time period. There are no surcharges at IB for orders placed outside of normal market hours.

Extended-Hours Trading on the Desktop Platform

Interactive Brokers customers can place orders any time of the day or night on the company’s desktop platform. Orders can be specified to fill only during the regular session, which is the default setup.

 

Traders who want orders to fill in the pre-market session can select “Allow pre-open” on the order ticket. This option is in the drop-down menu for duration. Another choice is “Fill outside RTH,” which will allow an order to be filled outside of regular trading hours. This second option permits orders to be filled in either the morning or evening session.

The exact hours a specific instrument can be traded is shown on the order ticket. Just click on “advanced +,” and the software will generate a drop-down menu. Here, click on “Check Margin” and you’ll get another window with information on margin requirements and extended-hours sessions that are available for the ticker symbol entered.

Extended-Hours Trading on the Portal

The broker’s browser-based portal is another place where extended-hours trades can be submitted. During our exploration, we found the software to be a little easier to use than the desktop system.

 

To submit an extended-hours trade on the web portal, first you need to go to a stock’s or ETF’s profile page. You can do this in one of several ways. The first is to run a scan using the broker’s security screener. It can be accessed by clicking on the icon with three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner. Another method is to click on a security’s name in the platform’s watchlist. And a final method is to enter a ticker symbol in the search field.

 

Once you’re on the profile page, there’s a trade button in the upper-right portion of the screen. Click on this and you’ll have the software’s trade ticket. On the trade ticket, there’s a switch to turn on extended-hours trading. It will say “Outside RTH.” Turn this on and the order will fill in either the regular market session or during extended hours.

Extended-Hours Trading on the Mobile App

The IB mobile app has some very different features compared to the portal, but its trading ticket is very similar. The same switch exists for extended-hours trades. Getting to the order ticket requires the same steps mentioned for the portal.