End of Day Orders: Definition, Strategies, and Real-World Examples


An end of day order is a time-limited buy or sell order for securities that expires at the close of the trading session. This article explores the intricacies of end of day orders, their alternatives, execution options, and the advantages they offer to investors.

Understanding end of day orders

End of day orders, also known as day orders, are a common type of order placed in a brokerage account with a time limit set until the end of the trading session for that day. Unlike Good ’til Canceled (GTC) orders, end of day orders must be transacted by the close of the trading day.

Timeframes and exchanges

The end of the trading session varies depending on the security and the exchange. For instance, stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) close at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Understanding these timeframes is crucial for investors placing end of day orders.

Order options

Investors have two primary timeframes for executing trade orders: end of day orders and GTC orders. Both offer flexibility in choosing from market orders, limit orders, and stop orders, each serving distinct purposes in trading strategies.

Execution options

When placing end of day orders, investors can choose from different execution options:

Market order

A market order is executed at the current market rate for a specified security, typically within minutes during regular trading hours. It doesn’t have a specified price.

Limit order

Limit orders are used to buy below or sell above the market price. Investors set a specified price for buying or selling, allowing for precise execution according to their strategy.

Stop order

Stop orders, particularly stop-loss orders, are employed to limit losses on a security. These orders are initiated with a specified price below the current market price.

Advantages and considerations

End of day orders offer advantages, especially for buyers who don’t need to monitor the order’s progress after the market closes. However, it’s essential to understand the potential drawbacks and consider alternative order types for specific trading scenarios.


Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.

  • Convenient for buyers who don’t want to monitor orders after market close.
  • Allows investors to place conditional trades based on specific prices.
  • Orders not executed by the end of the day are automatically canceled.
  • May not be suitable for all trading strategies.

Examples of end of day orders

Understanding end of day orders is crucial, and examples can shed light on their practical application:

Example 1: Closing a day trade

An investor initiates an end of day order to automatically sell a stock if its value reaches a specific target before the trading day concludes. This ensures a predefined profit or limits potential losses.

Example 2: Risk management with stop orders

Consider an investor holding a volatile stock. They set an end of day stop order to sell the stock if its price drops below a certain threshold, serving as a protective measure against significant losses.

Advanced strategies with end of day orders

Beyond basic executions, investors can employ advanced strategies with end of day orders to optimize their trading approach.

Utilizing end of day orders in swing trading

Swing traders can strategically use end of day orders to capture short to medium-term price movements. By setting conditional orders based on technical analysis, traders aim to capitalize on market fluctuations within the trading day.

Combining end of day and GTC orders for diversification

Investors seeking a balanced portfolio may use a combination of end of day and GTC orders. End of day orders can address short-term goals, while GTC orders provide a longer-term strategy, allowing for a diversified and adaptive investment approach.

Alternative time-limited orders

While end of day orders are popular, alternative time-limited orders offer unique advantages for specific trading scenarios.

Immediate or cancel (IOC) orders

Investors looking for swift execution may opt for Immediate or Cancel orders, where the order is either executed immediately or canceled. This contrasts with end of day orders, providing flexibility for rapid decision-making.

Fill or Kill (FOK) orders

FOK orders require the complete execution of the order immediately or not at all. This type of order suits investors who prioritize full order fulfillment over partial execution, ensuring the entire order is completed within a specific time frame.


In conclusion, end of day orders provide a specific time frame for executing trades, offering convenience for certain investors. However, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against potential drawbacks and consider alternative order types based on individual trading strategies and goals.

Frequently asked questions

How do end of day orders impact after-hours trading?

End of day orders are typically executed within the regular trading hours. They do not impact after-hours trading since the order’s validity is confined to the end of the standard trading session.

Can I modify or cancel an end of day order after placement?

Once an end of day order is placed, it cannot be modified or canceled. It’s essential to carefully set the order conditions and parameters before submission to avoid unintended consequences.

What happens if market conditions prevent the execution of an end of day order?

If market conditions prevent the fulfillment of an end of day order, the order is automatically canceled at the end of the trading session. Investors should be aware of potential market volatility affecting order execution.

Are end of day orders suitable for long-term investors?

End of day orders are typically favored by short to medium-term traders. Long-term investors may find GTC orders more suitable, providing flexibility beyond daily trading sessions to capture optimal entry and exit points.

Can I Place end of day orders for options or other derivatives?

Yes, end of day orders can be placed for options and other derivatives. However, investors should be aware of the specific trading hours and rules governing these instruments on the respective exchanges.

Do end of day orders guarantee the best execution price?

No, end of day orders do not guarantee the best execution price. The order is executed based on market conditions at the close of the trading session, and variations may occur, especially in volatile markets.

Key takeaways

  • End of day orders are time-limited buy or sell orders expiring at the close of the trading session.
  • Investors can choose between end of day and GTC orders, each offering distinct advantages in executing trades.
  • Execution options include market orders, limit orders, and stop orders, catering to various trading strategies.
  • Advanced strategies like swing trading and combining end of day with GTC orders provide flexibility and diversification.
  • Alternative time-limited orders, such as IOC and FOK orders, offer unique advantages for specific trading scenarios.
View Article Sources
  1. Day Order – Investor.gov
  2. Margin Rules for Day Trading – SEC.gov
  3. The Court and Its Procedures – Supreme Court of the United States (.gov)