At Closing Time, the Stock Market Heats Up Like a Bar at Last Call – Wall Street Journal

Stock traders and brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange near the final minutes of trading on Jan. 19.

Stock traders and brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange near the final minutes of trading on Jan. 19.


Photo:

Michael Bucher/The Wall Street Journal

Around 3:40 p.m. on a recent trading day, a dozen or so brokers at the New York Stock Exchange hustled back to their posts after bathroom breaks and a last coffee. They strapped on headphones to prepare for the closing minutes of the U.S. stock market—the pinnacle moment for investors world-wide.

As the clock neared 4 p.m., a buzz grew on the trading floor of mutual-fund giant Vanguard Group 100 miles away in Malvern, Pa., while

Michael Buek,

head of U.S. equity trading, and his team prepared billions of dollars in trades.

In downtown Milwaukee,

Michael Antonelli,

a trader for R.W. Baird & Co., joined the late-afternoon countdown, poring through data from the exchanges while entering stock orders for large mutual- and pension-fund clients.

Late Surge

Percentage of daily volume in S&P 500 stocks by half-hour interval

30

%

25

20

15

10

5

0