Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation
Liquidity refers to the ability of market participants to buy and sell securities. Generally, the more orders that are available in a market, the greater the liquidity. Liquidity is important because with greater liquidity it is easier for investors to buy or sell securities and, as a result, investors are more likely to pay or receive a competitive price for securities purchased or sold. There may be lower liquidity in extended hours trading as compared to regular market hours. As a result, your order may only be partially executed, if at all.
Volatility refers to the changes in price that securities undergo when trading. Generally, the higher the volatility of a security, the greater its price swings. There may be greater volatility in extended hours trading than in regular market hours. As a result, your order may only be partially executed, or not executed at all, or you may receive an inferior price in extended hours trading than you would during regular market hours.
The prices of securities traded in extended hours trading may not reflect the prices either at the end of regular market hours, or upon the opening the next morning. As a result, you may receive a price in extended hours trading that is inferior to the one you would receive during regular market hours.
Depending on the extended hours trading system or the time of day, the prices displayed on a particular extended hours trading system may not reflect the prices in other concurrently operating extended hours trading systems dealing in the same securities. Accordingly, you may receive a price in one extended hours trading system that is inferior to the one you would in another extended hours trading system.
Normally, issuers make news announcements that may affect the price of their securities after regular market hours. Similarly, important financial information is frequently announced outside of regular market hours. In extended hours trading, these announcements may occur during trading, and if combined with lower liquidity or higher volatility, may cause an exaggerated and unsustainable effect on the price of a security.
The spread refers to the difference in price between what you can buy a security for and what you can sell it for. Lower liquidity and higher volatility in extended hours trading may result in wider than normal spreads for a particular security.
Halts and Closing Markets. The above risk factors may also apply when trading during opening (delayed or otherwise), halts, and closing markets (premature or otherwise). This is due to the mechanics of a marketplace with fragmented liquidity across multiple entities that might not open, halt or close at exactly the same time, thus causing momentary unusual or adverse liquidity and price discovery conditions.