In business, the trading day is the time span that a particular stock exchange is open. For example, the New York Stock Exchange is, as of 2015, open from 9:30 AM Eastern Time to 4:00 PM Eastern Time. Trading days are usually Monday to Friday. When a trading day ends, all share trading ends and is frozen in time until the next trading day begins. There are several other special circumstances which would lead to a shortened trading day, or no trading day at all, such as on holidays.
The NYSE has about 252 trading days in a year. This is from 365.25(days on average per year) * 5/7(proportion work days per week) = 260.89 - 9(holidays) = 251.89 ~ 252. The holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Three of the trading days (the days before Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day) are shortened i.e. open from 9:30AM-1:00PM.
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