Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? (2024)

Do you know what the futures trading hours are? If you’ve been trading for any time, you know regular market hours are 9:30-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. But what about the Future? Are their hours different from regular market hours? The answer is yes! Which will make the future great for people who work full-time.

When it comes to futures trading hours, it’s important to note that the specific trading hours can vary depending on the exchange and the type of futures contract traded. For example, the trading hours of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), one of the largest futures exchanges, vary based on the product and time of year.

Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? (1)

Futures Trading Course

In this course, you’ll learn how to set up your charts, margin requirements, COT report, indicators, the most popular trading strategies, and prepare for live futures trading action.

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Table of Contents

  • What Are the Futures Trading Hours?
    • Futures Trading Hours Basics
    • Futures Trading Hours /ES Example
  • Equity Indices
    • Evening Hours
    • Futures /CL Chart
    • Energy Indices
  • Benefits of Trading Futures Overnight
    • 1. Access to Global Markets
    • 2. Volatility and Liquidity
    • 3. Reduced Competition
    • 4. First to React to the News
    • 6. Risks of Overnight Futures Trading
    • 5. Diversification of Trading Strategies
    • Final Thoughts: Futures Trading Hours
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Futures Trading Hours?

Futures allow you to diversify your portfolio while gaining exposure to new markets. If you are a day trader, then futures are a great option because you can trade at nearly any time of the day. Investors can trade over 70 futures products virtually 24 hours a day, six days a week. Each specific exchange has its opening and closing times. However, not all hours are optimal.

For those who live in time zones where the NYSE opens at a cringe-worthy hour, futures could solve your problem. If you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning, have you considered trading futures overnight hours? Your dreams just may have come true as futures trade throughout the night.

Futures Trading Hours Basics

Trading hours are in U.S. Central Time unless otherwise stated.

The general hours for the various exchanges of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are as follows:

CME and CBT products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are: Sunday 5:00 p.m. – Friday 5:45 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 5:45 p.m.–6:00 p.m. CST

For CME OTC FX products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are Sunday 6:00 p.m. – Friday 5:45 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 5:45 p.m.–6:00 p.m. CST.

NYMEX and COMEX products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are: Sunday 5:00 p.m. – Friday 4:00 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. CST

When trading, you want to be in a position with more market volume and liquidity. This leads to more opportunities to capitalize.

The great thing about futures is the ability to trade after hours. Make sure you can identify and trade evening star patterns. Candlesticks and patterns are super important. As a result, if you know how to find and trade them, you can trade Futures any time of day. And with success!

Futures Trading Hours /ES Example

Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? (3)

This is a weekly chart of /ES. Notice the Fibonacci retracement levels. In this example, the price currently trades at the 100% level. It’s at the top of a rising wedge pattern, showing the near resistance, and might be looking to pull back. It’s important to map out important support and resistance levels on the large time frames before zooming in on the charts and day trading futures.

Equity Indices

United States equity index futures trade around the clock, with a one-hour and fifteen-minute break each day. Understanding the best equity means understanding two separate trading sessions. The morning overlap is session one, and the U.S. going into the close is session two.

Morning Overlap Session all CST:

  • 8:30 AM – the markets open for U.S. session trading
  • 10:30 AM – European equity markets closed for trading
  • 8:30 – 10:30 AM is the most liquid session and is called the U.S. and EUR “overlap.” this can extend to noon daily.
  • European traders will close their positions, forcing an increase in the volume.

Afternoon Closing Session:

  • 1:00 PM – institutional/professional trading volume picks up
  • 3:00 PM – market on close orders are processed (MOCs), and the U.S. closes officially
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM is the most liquid part of the afternoon as professional traders balance their books into the close, the last 20 minutes or so into 3:00 PM, the highest volume
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Evening Hours

For night owls, there is an evening session with decent volume and opportunity when the London session overlaps with the Asian session, from 1:00 AM. If news is out of Asian markets, such as China, volume will increase. Please take our futures trading course to learn how to trade during evening hours.

Futures /CL Chart

Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? (7)

This is a weekly chart example of /CL. Notice that price is currently trading at the 23.6% fibonnaci retracement level and is forming a base. It’s possible that it might be forming a double bottom pattern. Also a potential following wedge. If price reverses and goes bullish then look for resistance between $90-$100.

Energy Indices

Energy has a similar overlap and closing pattern of high volatility. Understanding how sectors and indices work is important, especially if you buy and sell during the day.

Energy Overlap and US Closing:

  • CL opens its “pit session” at 8 AM CST
  • European trading closes at 10:30 AM CST
  • Most liquid, between 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
  • The pit session closes at 1:30 PM CST; floor trading stops for the day
  • Best trading is the last hour between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM CST when institution positions are closed

Benefits of Trading Futures Overnight

1. Access to Global Markets

Trading futures overnight allows traders to trade in different markets in different time zones worldwide. The world is truly at your fingertips. More importantly, this can give you the advantage over others still in bed as you’re the first to hear about news and events in other regions. Why is this important? For starters, geopolitical developments or economic announcements can significantly impact the market. For example, awake traders can react immediately if important news comes from Asia or Europe overnight.

2. Volatility and Liquidity

As you know, volatility and liquidity are the bread and butter for day traders—or, in this case, “night traders.” Overnight futures markets can differ in volatility and liquidity compared to regular trading hours. For example, low trading volume through the night can sometimes cause increased price movements. As you know, large price movements can be opportunities to make money. Traders with the knowledge and expertise to handle market gaps and volatility can make a pretty penny during these hours.

3. Reduced Competition

Because other traders are in Slumberland, you can execute your trades with less slippage and tighter bid-ask spreads. Try it out; you never know if overnight futures trading is the pivot you need.

4. First to React to the News

Overnight futures trading allows traders to take any overnight news and events and use them to their advantage. Traders can react quickly to market-moving information by monitoring global news and economic releases outside regular trading hours. This could help them take advantage of price movements during overnight sessions.

6. Risks of Overnight Futures Trading

It’s important to note that trading during overnight hours also carries certain risks. Lower liquidity, wider bid-ask spreads, and potentially higher volatility are a double-edged sword. For those inexperienced with these conditions, you could find yourself quickly blowing up your account. However, you can easily prevent this scenario if you take the time to educate yourself, practice in simulators, and learn from the best.

5. Diversification of Trading Strategies

Some traders use specific overnight strategies better suited to nighttime market conditions. For example, mean-reversion or trend-following strategies may work differently during overnight sessions compared to regular trading hours. By diversifying their trading strategies across different timeframes, traders can capitalize on a broader range of market movements.

Final Thoughts: Futures Trading Hours

Volume means more opportunity. Make sure to be in the market when it’s best. Therefore, keep that in mind when trading. Never put too much at risk, and as always, we wish you the best of luck with your trades.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Time Limit for Futures Trading?

Futures can be traded almost 24 hours per day. There are short pauses but traders can trade them any time, day or night. The most popular traded hours are 9:00am to 4 pm est.

What Is Dow Futures Trading Hours?

Dow futures trading hours are from 6 pm to 5 pm EST.

Do Futures Trade on Holidays?

Futures may have a modified trading session on the day of the holiday. It's important to check the schedule and product that you're looking to trade.

Are Futures Markets 24 hours?

Futures markets are able to be traded virtually 24 hours a day, 6 days per week. Each futures product has their own times to trade.

What Hours Do S&P Futures Trade?

E-mini S&P 500 futures markets are open from 6:00 pm EST to 5:00 pm EST and trade on the CME Globex platform.

Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? (2024)

FAQs

Futures Trading Hours: When Can You Trade During the Day? ›

What are the trading hours for futures? Futures markets are open nearly 24 hours a day, six days a week.

What hours of the day can you trade futures? ›

Futures markets are open virtually 24 hours a day, six days a week; however, each product has its own unique trading hours. Next, each contract specifies the tick size. Tick size is the minimum price increment a particular contract can fluctuate. Tick sizes and values vary from contract to contract.

What is the day trading rule for futures? ›

Day trading rules for futures

Pattern day trading rules do not apply to futures trading, so you can start trading without having the minimum equity of $25,000 in in your account. You can place as many trades as you like in a week without attracting pattern day trading restrictions.

Are futures traded on 24/7? ›

Futures markets are able to be traded virtually 24 hours a day, 6 days per week. Each futures product has their own times to trade. What Hours Do S&P Futures Trade? E-mini S&P 500 futures markets are open from 6:00 pm EST to 5:00 pm EST and trade on the CME Globex platform.

What is the time limit for futures trading? ›

Yes, electronic futures trading happens almost for 24 hours. If you are trading in India, you can do it in the day time during the usual exchange hours, that is between 9:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. Each commodity segment has separate opening and closing time.

Can you trade futures options after-hours? ›

Most people know the stock market closes at 4 p.m. ET, and some are aware that they can trade in the after-hours session until 8 p.m. However, there are also nearly round-the-clock markets for futures, futures options, and currency products available to qualified account owners.

What time of day can you trade? ›

Day traders need liquidity and volatility, and the stock market offers those most frequently in the hours after it opens, from 9:30 a.m. to about noon ET, and then in the last hour of trading before the close at 4 p.m. ET.

What is the 80% rule in futures trading? ›

Definition of '80% Rule'

The 80% Rule is a Market Profile concept and strategy. If the market opens (or moves outside of the value area ) and then moves back into the value area for two consecutive 30-min-bars, then the 80% rule states that there is a high probability of completely filling the value area.

Do you need $25,000 to day trade futures? ›

Minimum Account Size

A pattern day trader who executes four or more round turns in a single security within a week is required to maintain a minimum equity of $25,000 in their brokerage account. But a futures trader is not required to meet this minimum account size.

Are futures good for day trading? ›

Day trading futures involves the purchase and sale of futures contracts within the same trading day, with the aim of profiting from small price movements. This practice appeals to traders for several reasons, including: Liquidity: Futures markets offer high liquidity, ensuring ease of entry and exit.

Why trade futures instead of options? ›

Futures have several advantages over options in the sense that they are often easier to understand and value, have greater margin use, and are often more liquid. Still, futures are themselves more complex than the underlying assets that they track.

Do Dow futures trade 24 hours? ›

With E-mini Dow futures you can trade nearly 24 hours a day during the trading week and take advantage of potential trading opportunities regardless of market direction.

How much does a 1 ES contract cost? ›

S&P 500 E-Mini Jun '24 (ESM24)
Barchart SymbolES
Exchange SymbolES
ContractE-Mini S&P 500 Index
ExchangeCME
Tick Size0.25 points ($12.50 per contract)
8 more rows

What are futures trading hours? ›

What are the trading hours for futures? Futures markets are open nearly 24 hours a day, six days a week.

Can I trade futures with 200 dollars? ›

Some small futures brokers offer accounts with a minimum deposit of $500 or less, but some of the better-known brokers that offer futures will require minimum deposits of as much as $5,000 to $10,000.

Can I sell futures immediately? ›

In general, you cannot buy and sell a futures contract at the same time. Many exchanges do not allow it. However, you can sell a futures contract any time before the expiration date.

Can I trade futures multiple times a day? ›

As a futures trader, you can express your opinion long or short multiple times a day or week and you do not have to worry about day trading restrictions applicable to equities or the ability to take a short position in the market. So why miss out on another opportunity because of restrictions? Make a move into futures.

Are futures traded at night? ›

Since there are futures on the indexes (S&P 500, Dow 30, NASDAQ 100, Russell 2000) that trade virtually 24 hours a day, we can watch the index futures to get a feel for market direction.

What are the hours for derivatives trading? ›

There are different trading hours for different segments on Indian stock exchanges. It all depends on what segments you trade on. Trading hours for NSE Cash, BSE Cash, NSE, and F&O are from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm. For NSE Currency Derivatives and BSE Currency Derivatives, trading is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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