The opening bell refers to the moment a securities exchange opens for its normal daily trading session. The time and conditions of the opening bell differ from one exchange to another. Since 1985, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has used the opening bell to start its trading session at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. At the NYSE there is a physical bell and an automated ringer that sounds at the beginning of each trading day. On the Nasdaq exchange, where this is no physical trading floor, the opening of the market is referred to as the opening bell, but it is symbolic in significance.
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