TD Ameritrade 300

Merrill Edge Extended Hours Trading (Pre Market and After Hours)

Merrill Edge extended hours trading fees, surcharge, time period. Entering broker pre market and after market orders in 2017.

Merrill Edge Extended-Hours Trading Time and Fees

Extended-hours trading is available at Merrill Edge. These are sessions before and after the regular market period in which securities can be bought and sold. Trading during these times can be quite advantageous since listed companies in the US always release earnings outside of normal market hours. If there is a surprise announcement, you can place a trade to sell or buy more before the stock price moves significantly in the regular session.

The government often releases important economic news before the regular market opens. The ability to trade during this early period, before most traders begin buying and selling, could be quite advantageous as well.

Merrill’s pre-market session opens at 7:30 am, EST, and closes at 9:30. This is 2 minutes later than Fidelity’s pre-market session, which closes at 9:28. Although Merrill accepts orders starting at 7:30, they aren’t actually sent to the electronic communications network (ECN) until 8:00. The after-hours period for Merrill customers is 4:01 pm until 8:00 pm. Fidelity’s session opens one minute earlier.

Merrill Edge limits its customers to trading 100,000 shares per order. This maximum is much higher than Schwab’s policy, which limits trades to just 5,000 shares.

Orders submitted during extended hours at Merrill go through ECN’s. As a result of this, risks are heightened compared to regular hours. Prices during both the pre-market and after-hours sessions tend to experience greater swings. Significant price movement could produce an order execution at a price far from what you were hoping to get. Bid-ask spreads also tend to be much larger during special sessions, which increases the cost of trading.

Merrill warns its clients that software problems or other communication breakdowns could occur while trading on an ECN. Prices can also vary between one extended-hours market versus another that’s available with a different broker.

Merrill Edge does not impose any surcharges for trading during the pre-market or after-hours session. Some brokerage houses do charge for buying and selling securities during these times. E*Trade customers, for example, must pay half a penny per share on every order that is filled during these special periods. This is in addition to the broker’s regular $6.95 commission. Merrill has the same $6.95 commission for equities. Bank of America customers who have at least $25,000 on deposit with the bank qualify for 30 free trades per month at Merrill.
Orders submitted during the pre-market or after-hours period do not carry over to subsequent sessions. An order that doesn’t get filled during the pre-market will automatically be canceled at the end of the session and will not be live during the regular or after-hours period.

Merrill’s trading tools can be used to submit orders during extended hours. The broker’s website, mobile app, and advanced desktop platform can all submit orders during both the pre-market and after-hours sessions. Merrill requires its customers to agree to an extended-hours document before trading is allowed.

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Updated on 6/12/2017.

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