What time do Nasdaq futures close?

by Jennifer

The financial markets operate on a schedule that is both intricate and critical for traders and investors to understand. Among the various instruments traded, Nasdaq futures hold significant importance for market participants looking to hedge risks or speculate on the future movements of the Nasdaq 100 index. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the closing times of Nasdaq futures, the factors that influence these times, and the implications for traders and investors.

What Are Nasdaq Futures?

Nasdaq futures are financial contracts that derive their value from the Nasdaq 100 index, which comprises 100 of the largest non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. These futures contracts are used by a wide range of market participants, including institutional investors, hedge funds, and individual traders, to speculate on the future direction of the index or to hedge existing positions in Nasdaq-listed stocks.


The Trading Hours of Nasdaq Futures

Understanding the trading hours of Nasdaq futures is essential for effective trading and risk management. The primary futures contract for the Nasdaq 100 index is the E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures (ticker symbol: NQ), which is traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).


Regular Trading Hours

The regular trading hours (RTH) for Nasdaq futures are as follows:

Monday to Friday: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Time (ET)

During these hours, the trading activity is typically highest, as it coincides with the regular trading hours of the U.S. stock market. The closing time of 4:00 PM ET marks the end of the trading session for the day.

Extended Trading Hours

In addition to the regular trading hours, Nasdaq futures also trade during extended hours, which include both pre-market and post-market sessions:

Sunday to Friday: 6:00 PM to 9:30 AM ET (next day)

This extended trading period allows for nearly 24-hour access to the futures markets, providing greater flexibility for traders to react to news and events occurring outside of regular trading hours. It also accommodates traders in different time zones around the world.

Daily Closing Times and Settlement

The daily closing time for Nasdaq futures is 4:00 PM ET, which coincides with the close of the U.S. stock market. However, the futures market operates almost continuously, with a brief break from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET each trading day. During this break, the market undergoes daily settlement and maintenance activities.

Daily Settlement

The settlement process is crucial as it determines the final closing prices of the futures contracts for the day. This price is used to mark-to-market the positions of traders, meaning that profits and losses are realized based on this closing price. The settlement process ensures that all open positions are valued accurately, which is essential for margin calculations and risk management.

Factors Influencing Nasdaq Futures Trading

Several factors can influence the trading of Nasdaq futures, particularly around the closing times:

Market Volatility

Market volatility often increases as the regular trading hours come to an end. This is because traders and investors are looking to finalize their positions based on the day’s news and events. The final hour of trading, known as the “power hour,” can be particularly volatile as large institutional traders execute orders that can significantly impact prices.

Economic Data Releases

Key economic data releases, such as employment reports, GDP figures, and inflation data, can have a substantial impact on Nasdaq futures. These releases often occur before the market opens or during the trading day, influencing the trading activity and closing prices of futures contracts.

Corporate Earnings Reports

Earnings season, when companies report their quarterly financial results, can lead to significant volatility in Nasdaq futures. Positive or negative earnings surprises from major Nasdaq-listed companies can influence the overall index and, consequently, the futures contracts.

Global Events

Global events, such as geopolitical developments, central bank announcements, and macroeconomic trends, can affect Nasdaq futures trading. Since the futures market operates nearly 24 hours a day, traders can react to global events in real-time, which can influence the closing prices.

Strategies for Trading Nasdaq Futures Around Closing Times

Traders employ various strategies to navigate the complexities of trading Nasdaq futures, particularly around closing times. Here are a few strategies that can be effective:

Intraday Trading

Intraday traders focus on capitalizing on short-term price movements within the trading day. These traders often take advantage of the increased volatility during the final hour of trading to execute quick trades that can yield significant profits. They rely on technical analysis, chart patterns, and momentum indicators to make informed trading decisions.

Swing Trading

Swing traders hold positions for several days to weeks, aiming to profit from intermediate-term price movements. These traders pay close attention to the daily closing prices and settlement data to identify potential entry and exit points. Swing traders often use a combination of technical and fundamental analysis to guide their trading decisions.

Hedging Strategies

Institutional investors and hedge funds use Nasdaq futures to hedge their exposure to Nasdaq-listed stocks. By taking positions in futures contracts, they can offset potential losses in their stock portfolios. Understanding the closing times and settlement process is crucial for effective hedging, as it ensures that positions are accurately valued and risk is managed appropriately.

Position Trading

Position traders hold futures contracts for longer periods, ranging from several weeks to months. These traders are less concerned with daily price fluctuations and focus on the broader trends in the market. Position traders use the closing prices to assess the overall direction of the market and make adjustments to their positions accordingly.

Risks and Considerations

While trading Nasdaq futures can be profitable, it also comes with inherent risks that traders must consider:


Futures contracts are leveraged instruments, meaning that traders can control a large position with a relatively small amount of capital. While leverage can amplify profits, it can also magnify losses, making risk management essential.

Market Volatility

The volatility of Nasdaq futures can lead to rapid and unpredictable price movements, especially around closing times. Traders must be prepared for sudden changes in market conditions and have strategies in place to manage risk.


While Nasdaq futures are highly liquid, there can be periods of reduced liquidity, particularly during the extended trading hours. Reduced liquidity can lead to wider bid-ask spreads and increased slippage, affecting the execution of trades.

Economic and Political Events

Unforeseen economic and political events can have a significant impact on Nasdaq futures. Traders must stay informed about global developments and be prepared to react to sudden changes in market conditions.


Nasdaq futures play a vital role in the financial markets, providing traders and investors with opportunities to hedge risk and speculate on the future movements of the Nasdaq 100 index. Understanding the closing times, trading hours, and settlement process of Nasdaq futures is essential for effective trading and risk management.

The regular trading hours for Nasdaq futures are from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET, with extended trading hours from 6:00 PM to 9:30 AM ET. Factors such as market volatility, economic data releases, corporate earnings reports, and global events can influence the trading of Nasdaq futures, particularly around closing times.

You May Also Like


Bnher is a comprehensive futures portal. The main columns include futures market, futures exchanges, futures varieties, futures basic knowledge and other columns.

[Contact us: [email protected]]

© 2023 Copyright – Futures Market, Investment, Trading & News