TD Ameritrade 300

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


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



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.

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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.

Merrill Edge Commissions, Fees, Minimum Deposit, and Set Up


To understand Merrill Edge and how a high fee personal advice wealth management company evolved into a low fee brokerage, you need to understand the impact Vanguard had on investing and investor behavior over the past two decades. Vanguard triggered a revolution that not only redefined brokerage fee structures, but also changed the way investors view fees. Over the past 20 years, online brokerages found themselves having to slash fees, provide access to no commission index funds and ETFs, and automate an enormous amount of advice and screening utilities. An investor today may not realize it, but regardless of which brokerage they ultimately pick, they are going to benefit from the Vanguard fee revolution.

Merrill Edge’s fee schedule is streamlined and incredibly easy to understand. All retail investors, regardless of trade frequency or account balance, pay $6.95 to trade stocks and ETFs over the automated phone system, website, or mobile application. Live customer support can be used to place trades for a fee of $29.95 per trade. Penny stock traders are not charged special assessments, fees, or premiums to trade stocks with ticker prices less than $1.00. Overall, the Merrill Edge fee structure is higher than average among brokerages. Majority of retail investors can find more competitive choices.


Updated on 8/14/2017.



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