OMAHA, Neb. — Advances in technology have already reshaped stock trading, and now investors with TD Ameritrade can trade stocks around the clock during the week.

The online brokerage began expanding after-hours trading this week for a dozen popular exchange-traded funds.

In recent years, live trading floors have been closed at the stock market in Hong Kong and commodity futures markets in Chicago and New York. And the growth in mobile trading has nearly eliminated the seasonal ups and downs of trading.

TD Ameritrade’s Steve Quirk said the change will allow more individual investors to place trading orders when they are doing their research. The company says 70 percent of its clients do research when the markets are closed.

Quirk said the change seems natural with trades being handled electronically and 23 percent of the trades TD Ameritrade handles being made on cell phones or tablet computers.

“We think this will be transformative for the industry,” said Quirk, who is executive vice president of trading and education at the brokerage. “I think three-to-five years from now we’ll probably say ‘why did the market ever need to close?'”

The expanded trading hours will run from 8 p.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Friday at TD Ameritrade, based in Omaha, Nebraska. Previously, each day’s trading stopped at 8 p.m.

All of the orders placed after-hours must be limit orders that include the price for which TD Ameritrade investors are willing to pay.

Traditionalists worried about the end of an era can take heart that Quirk said TD Ameritrade doesn’t have any immediate plans to expand trading into Saturdays and Sundays.

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JOSH FUNK
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