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NYSE Data Insights

Equities / Options

Data Insights

July 6, 2021

Stefanos Bazinas
Strategist, New York Stock Exchange

After-hours price discovery more robust as pandemic and retail participation provide boost


As discussed in our earlier post on the topic, after-hours trading has been a larger piece of the total trading volume since the onset of the pandemic, with retail presence growing stronger and earnings announcements becoming less of a factor. In this post, we examine the impact of these shifting dynamics on after-hours price discovery and order behavior.

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After-hours trading has been a larger piece of the total trading volume since the onset of the pandemic, with retail presence growing stronger and earnings announcements becoming less of a factor. In this post, we examine the impact of these shifting dynamics on after-hours price discovery and order behavior.

The surge in market volatility and trading volumes since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 has impacted numerous aspects of equity market trading. One less-studied area has been after-hours trading. After-hours has also seen changes in order flow trends and influences, and here we examine trends and shifts occurring in these sessions.

At the end of January, stock market news was everywhere from mainstream outlets to Saturday Night Live, as social media seemed to drive unprecedented trading interest in a few stocks. AMC Entertainment (AMC), BlackBerry (BB), GameStop (GME), and Nokia (NOK) received the most attention and saw their combined options ADV increase from 68K contracts in Q4 2020 to over 426K contracts in Q1 2021 − a 523% increase. Overall multi-list options ADV increased 31.3% in that same time frame.