Some people wonder how many days the exchange is open in the United States. This is a very useful number because many online day traders want to calculate how much money they need to make per day to replace their current salary. The numbers below represent standard trading hours which typically range from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Some futures markets will trade until 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Markets are generally open for the normal trading session Monday through Friday.
I did not include after-hours trading, pre-market trading, currency markets (FOREX), international markets, or GLOBEX.
So let's take a look at the number of trading days in 2008 per month:
January: 21 days
February: 19 days
March: 19 days
April: 23 days
May: 21 days
June: 20 days
July: 22.5 days (0.5 is because July 3, 2008 is a half day for the market)
August: 21 days
September: 21 days
October: 23 days
November: 18.5 days (0.5 is because November 28, 2008 is a half day for the market)
December: 21 days (I counted 0.5 day on December 24, 2008 and 0.5 day on December 26, 2008 as 1 day)
This brings the total number of trading days in 2008 to: 250 trading days in 2008.
So if you wanted to replace a salary of $ 100,000 per year before taxes, we might have to do the following calculation:
$ 100,000 divided by 250 trading days equals $ 400 per day.
The trader is then expected to have an average net profit of $ 400 per day in 2008 (after commissions, software, data services, taxes, and other overhead are factored into the picture.)
Many traders don't trade every day for a wide variety of reasons, but at least you know the maximum number of days you could trade in 2008.