The New York Stock Exchange may be open from 9:30 a.m. ET to 4 p.m. ET, but nowadays much of the trading action takes place at the very end of the trading day, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
More than 25 percent of all trading at the NYSE happens after 3:30 p.m. ET, the final half-hour of trading, the Journal reported, citing data from research firm ITG. The newspaper also said that more than 8 percent of total trading in S&P 500 stocks last year happened at the close, citing data from Credit Suisse.
The data signals liquidity is at its highest at the end of the day, meaning investors can buy or sell large amounts of shares with a lesser likelihood of causing a big move in the stock price.
The shift toward late-day trading has also increased the closing auction's importance, where more than $10 billion worth of stocks are traded on average.