How Many Trading Days In A Year? [Details for 2023 & 2024]
An investor must know how many trading days are in a year and when holidays impact the trading sessions. Imagine you day trade with big position sizes, and all of a sudden, the trading session ends in the middle of a day because you were unprepared and ran into a shortened trading day without knowing it.
In the U.S., we have three different types of weekdays on the stock exchanges:
- Regular session trading days
- Shortened trading days and
- Market holidays.
Their impact on the number of actual trading days varies yearly, and that’s why investors frequently ask Google how many trading days there are in a year, how many trading weeks are in a year, and how many trading days are left in 2023.
What is a trading day?
A trading day is when the primary trading market is open for business, allowing investors to place orders for securities, such as buy and sell orders. The number of trading days a year varies, but on average, there are 252 trading days. Stock exchanges, including the NYSE and Nasdaq, have regular trading hours. These hours are 9:30 am to 4:00 pm Eastern Time.
However, extended trading hours are outside this window, allowing further trading opportunities. The number of trading days can be affected by holidays and exceptional circumstances, such as shortened trading days due to public holidays or unplanned market closures.
Number of Trading Days in a Year:
Trading days are the days on which stocks, bonds, commodities, futures contracts, options, and other securities are traded on exchanges such as the NY Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq.
Stock Market Holidays: A Closer Look-
Stock market holidays are non-weekend events where trading does not occur, with two partial trading days where trading ends early at 1 pm Eastern Time. Standard holidays include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
When a holiday falls on a weekend, the stock market typically observes the holiday on the preceding Friday or the following Monday. Traders must be aware of these holidays and plan their trading activities accordingly.
Number of Trading Days In 2023 and 2024 In the United States (NYSE):
|Month||Trading Days 2023||Trading Days 2024|
|March||23 (62qtr)||20 (61qtr)|
|June||21 (62qtr)||19 (63qtr)|
|September||20 (63qtr)||20 (64qtr)|
|December||20 (63qtr)||21 (64qtr)|
Number of Trading Weeks per Year:
A calendar year has 52 calendar weeks. Mathematically, you divide the calendar year with 365 days by seven and get 52.1428571, to be more exact.
Around Christmas and New Year Holidays, the trading weeks can be relatively short due to the limited number of week trading days.
In addition, the end of a year is used by institutional investors for window dressing, buying, and selling stocks to let their investment funds look better in terms of what supplies they pick. The overall market momentum can be relatively light. So, it’s worth considering taking off the last week of the year and the first week of the new year.
Types of Trading Days:
- Regular session trading days: On those days, executing orders during regular trading hours between 9:30 am & 4 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) is possible. In addition, it’s possible to trade during pre-market and after-hours sessions. However, the time for trading hours outside the regular trading hours depends on the offered times by your broker. The pre-market can start at 4 a.m. EST until the RTHs start at 9:30 a.m.
- Shortened trading day: Those days are often the Friday before a regular holiday, and the trading day ends after half the session.
- Holidays: Holidays include national holidays like Christmas Day or Thanksgiving Day, where no exchange activity occurs for that day, so those also don’t count towards the total number of trading days in a year either. During these times, trades may only occur once the markets reopen after the holiday ends.
Calculating Trading Days:
The number of trading days per year varies and depends on market holidays, plus unpredictable factors that affect market opening times.
The best way to start is by counting a particular calendar year’s trading weeks and weekdays. Weekdays are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday.
Please write it down into a list using a spreadsheet to automate the calculation later on. You can also add monthly sums.
Now, you list public holidays, such as New Year’s Day or Christmas Day. This way, you reduce the total trading days for the calendar year.
In addition, if you consider trading on shortened trading days, differentiate those holidays that cause the markets to be closed from those that cause the need to have compressed trading.
However, since trading volume is deficient during shortened days, it can be beneficial if those days are excluded. However, this decision is entirely up to you.
Valid Trading Days for Trading Systems:
Various market news remarkably impacts the profitability of automated trading-based systems and strategies. For example, earnings announcements often cause a stock to gap significantly. Sometimes, we see a gap fill, sometimes a gap and go pattern.
Therefore, it can make sense to exclude those days from the list. Exclude the following trading day if a company announces earnings after market hours. Exclude the earnings announcement day if a company reports its earnings on the same day before the market opens if your backtest results suggest doing so.
National elections, major economic reports, or news that heavily impact the markets cause regular trading days to become closed markets or reduce the number of trading hours daily. Those days can only be planned sometimes. Stay informed about the latest news & read the latest information before trading.
And remember, news releases from specific companies can also cause market halts and a circuit breaker. So, while the overall market might trade further, some particular stock tickers get halted and resume trading later or get suspended for trading until the end of the trading day.
For those types of trading halts, monitor the performance of a stock intraday. If a stock moves up or down sharply in seconds, it will likely get halted.
Most Volatile Trading Days in a Year:
Economic news and institutional buying have an impact on market volatility. Typical events are:
- Institutional investors frequently use the first and last time of the month for window dressing.
- Job reports on the first Friday of every month announcing the Non-Farm Payrolls
- Option expiration Friday
- Earnings announcements
- FOMC announcements, FED decisions
During such days, it can make sense to sit on hands neither buying nor selling stocks or other financial assets.
Knowing the trading days in a year is essential for a successful day trader. Awareness of shortened trading days and market news that can cause the stock to be suspended from trading is necessary. In addition, knowing about the trading days helps investors identify the best day to buy supplies and focus on those days when the stock market is open.
Read also: All Sierra Trading Post Locations.