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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Stocks Trading

How many trading days in a year: A 2024 guide

How many trading days in a year: A laptop displaying stock market data.

For traders and investors, understanding the structure of the trading year is essential for planning and strategy. The number of trading days in a year can vary, influenced by weekends, public holidays, and special trading hours. This article explores the concept of a trading day, provides insight into how many trading days there are in the US in 2024, and explains who sets the trading schedule.

What Is a trading day?

A trading day refers to any day when the stock exchanges are open for trading. Typically, this excludes weekends and public holidays, with trading hours set by the exchange. In the United States, a standard trading day runs from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Time.

While stock exchanges are typically open from Monday to Friday, there are some instances where the stock market may not open even though it’s a weekday. For example, when there are public holidays or days scheduled for a state function, such as a state funeral of a head of state, the market doesn’t open. Several other special circumstances could lead to a shortened trading day, whereby the market closes at 1:00 PM, instead of the usual 4:00 PM.

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How many trading days in the US in 2024?

The number of trading days can vary each year. In 2024, the expected number of trading days in the United States is approximately 252. This accounts for weekends and public holidays recognized by the U.S. stock exchanges, though it's always wise to check the specific calendar for any changes or adjustments.

The holidays

While the U.S. recognizes several federal public holidays, not all result in the stock market closing. Notably, the market remains open on Veterans Day and Columbus Day, yet it closes on Good Friday, which isn't an official federal holiday. Overall, the stock market honors nine specific holidays annually, listed as follows:

  • New Year’s Day: Celebrated on January 1st.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Observed on the third Monday of January.
  • Presidents’ Day: Marked on the third Monday in February.
  • Good Friday: Falls on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday.
  • Memorial Day: Commemorated on the last Monday of May.
  • Independence Day: July 4th.
  • Labor Day: The first Monday in September.
  • Thanksgiving Day: The fourth Thursday of November.
  • Christmas Day: December 25th.

Should these holidays land on a weekend, the stock market adjusts by closing on the nearest Friday or Monday to observe the occasion.

Who sets the trading schedule & calculation?

The trading schedule is set by the stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, in compliance with federal holidays and operational considerations. 

The calculation of trading days considers the total days in the year, subtracts weekends (104 days), and public holidays (usually 9 days in the U.S.), and may adjust for special circumstances like severe weather or national events.

Generally, this is how to calculate the number of trading days in a year in the U.S. market:

Number of days in the year — number of weekends — number of holidays = Total trading days in the year

There are 104 weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) and 9 market holidays when the stock exchanges are closed. So, the calculation for the total number of trading days will be as follows:

365 days — 104 days — 9 days = 252 days

How do you start trading?

Starting your trading journey involves a few key steps:

  1. Educate yourself : Understand the basics of trading, including market analysis, trading strategies and risk management
  2. Choose a broker: Select a reputable broker that offers access to the markets you're interested in and suits your trading needs. Platforms like Skilling provide a user-friendly interface and a range of resources for traders.
  3. Develop a trading plan : Define your trading goals, strategies, and risk tolerance.
  4. Practice with a demo account : Many platforms offer demo accounts where you can practice trading without financial risk.
  5. Start trading : Once you're comfortable, you can begin trading with real funds. Start small and gradually increase your exposure as you gain experience.
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FAQs

1. How does the stock market schedule affect trading days?

The stock market schedule directly influences the number of trading days in a year. Excluding weekends and public holidays when the market is closed, the schedule determines the actual days available for trading.

2. Why does the stock market close on Good Friday, a non-federal holiday?

The stock market's closure on Good Friday is a tradition that predates many of the current federal holidays. It's one of the stock market's quirks, reflecting its historical practices rather than federal or religious observance.

3. What happens if a stock market holiday falls on a weekend?

When a stock market holiday falls on a weekend, the market will close on the nearest weekday. Typically, if the holiday falls on a Saturday, the market closes on the preceding Friday. If on a Sunday, the market closes on the following Monday.

4. Are there half-days in the stock market?

Yes, the stock market has half-days, typically closing at 1:00 PM ET. These usually occur on the day following Thanksgiving (Black Friday) and sometimes on Christmas Eve, depending on the calendar year.

5. How can I keep track of the stock market holidays?

Most trading platforms and financial news websites provide a calendar of stock market holidays. Additionally, the official websites of major stock exchanges, like the NYSE and NASDAQ, list their holiday schedules.

Curious about how trading days and market holidays might impact your trading strategy? Join Skilling to gain access to a wealth of trading resources, real-time market data, and a community of traders.

This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.

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