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TD Ameritrade Extends Trading Hours for Some ETFs

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TD Ameritrade has extended market trading hours for 12 widely held U.S.-listed equity ETFs.

Retail investors who use its thinkorswim and Mobile Trader platforms can now execute limit order trades on stock ETFs such as SPY (SPDR S&P 500), EEM (iShares MSCI Emerging Markets) and QQQ (PowerShares ETF based on the Nasdaq 100 Index) 24 hours a day, five days a week, from 8 p.m. ET Sunday to 8 p.m. ET Friday.

Advisors will also have access to extended trading overnight (EXTO), but they will need to open a separate approved account and can contact TD Ameritrade for details.

(Related: TD Ameritrade Jumps Out of Gate With Bitcoin)

The broker, which has more than 11 million client accounts with total assets topping $1 trillion and provides custodial services to more than 6,000 RIAs, expects to add additional securities to trade 24/5 over time, including ETFs and individual stocks.

“This is a monumental first for our industry and retail investors,” said Steve Quirk, executive vice president of trading and education for TD Ameritrade, in a statement. “Online trading made the markets available to anyone, mobile trading made the markets available from anywhere, and now 24-hour trading will make the markets available anytime.”

After-hours trading is especially important when markets move on breaking news: “During events like Brexit or the U.S. election, futures were the only product available to investors looking to reposition their portfolios as the markets moved after hours,” said Quirk.

(Related: TD Ameritrade Rolls Out ‘Amazon-Like’ Portfolio Shopping Center)

The extended trading hours also provide a convenience for investors who have researched potential trades and then want to act on the results they’ve found, without delay.

“Investors today expect the same on-demand access and convenience they’re used to with other online services,” said Quirk. “Technology has enabled many other industries, like retail for example, to allow people do their consumer research and act on it at the same time. We want to bring investing into the same realm.”

Nearly 70% of clients who use TD Ameritrade’s research and education resources do so outside of regular trading hours and have to wait until the next day to transact based on their research findings. In addition, Asia-based investors interested in investing in U.S. markets must do so during U.S. daytime hours, which is their nighttime.

In addition to the three ETFs listed above, the dozen ETFs included the 24/5 trading hours include FXI (iShares China Large Cap), GLD (SPDR Gold Shares), SLV (iShares Silver Trust), DIA (SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF), UNG (U.S. Natural Gas Fund), TLT (iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF), IWM (iShares Russell 2000), USO (U.S. Oil Fund) and SH (ProShares Short S&P 500).

Extended Hours Overnight orders, which must be limit orders only, remain active up to 24 continuous hours and expire at 8 p.m. An EXTO order placed at 2 a.m. Monday morning, for example, would remain active until 8 p.m. Monday night. A trade placed at 9 p.m. ET Monday night would  remain active until 8 p.m. ET Tuesday night.

To participate during extended hours overnight, TD Ameritrade clients need to confirm their account is enabled for advanced features, and can access EXTO in the order dropdown list on the TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader or thinkorswim platform.

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