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An investor checks her smartwatch as she reviews after-hours quotes on a computer.

What are Pre-Market and After-Hours Quotes?

Written by The Inspired Investor Team | Published on December 5, 2022

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The regular trading day on North American stock exchanges takes place between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays. But as most investors know well, a lot can happen outside of regular trading hours that can affect how markets or securities react when trading reopens.

How can you gauge what's going on outside of regular trading hours? Enter pre-market and after-hours quotes.

You've likely heard market commentators refer to a stock being up or down in pre-market or after-hours trading, particularly if big news breaks before or after regular market hours. They base their information on trading that takes place outside of standard stock-exchange hours, which can signal what may be in store for the next trading session. Some investors monitor pre-market and after-hours trading to see where markets and individual securities may go when trading for the next session opens.

When looking at pre-market and after-hours quotes at RBC Direct Investing to help inform your trades for the day ahead, it's important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Pre-market and after-hours quotes are only available for U.S. markets.
  • Quotes you see reflect trading happening during official U.S. pre-market and after-hours sessions.
  • RBC Direct Investing extended hours quotes for NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ listed securities are based on Cboe One Real-Time Quote, and may not include quote information from all market participants.
  • When using quotes outside regular market hours to help inform your trades, be aware that activity during extended market hours generally has lower trading volumes and thinner liquidity, so large bid-ask spreads can be common.

Read What to Know About About Pre-Market and After-Hours Trading if choosing to trade outside of regular market hours and visit the Investing Academy for more insights and how-to resources.

RBC Direct Investing Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RBC Direct Investing Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Royal Bank of Canada and certain of its issuers are related to RBC Direct Investing Inc. RBC Direct Investing Inc. does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any securities. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions. RBC Direct Investing is a business name used by RBC Direct Investing Inc. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © Royal Bank of Canada 2022.

Any information, opinions or views provided in this document, including hyperlinks to the RBC Direct Investing Inc. website or the websites of its affiliates or third parties, are for your general information only, and are not intended to provide legal, investment, financial, accounting, tax or other professional advice. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Direct Investing Inc. or its affiliates. You should consult with your advisor before taking any action based upon the information contained in this document.

Furthermore, the products, services and securities referred to in this publication are only available in Canada and other jurisdictions where they may be legally offered for sale. If you are not currently a resident of Canada, you should not access the information available on the RBC Direct Investing Inc. website.

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