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Hi Scott,

You asked:Is there a consensus that placing my buy/sell orders for market opening is a bad idea? I "can" jump through hoops if necessary to accomplish this after market opening, but it definitely takes some doing. It is just much more convenient to do it over the weekend.

I kept a record of trades I actually made at market open over the period from February 22, 2000 to April 10, 2000.

Over that period of time I made 110 purchases and compared the difference in price that I paid to the price at 11:00 AM.
Over this period on average the ask price at 11 was 0.83% less than the price I paid at the open.
The average, however, masks what was happening in terms of actual price differential.
There was only one stock that traded at the same price at 11AM as at the opening. Those prices that were higher at 11AM (47) averaged 3.74% higher, with the greatest difference 22.5%.
Those prices that were lower at 11AM (62) averaged 4.31% lower, with the greatest difference 19.0%.

The difference between the price I paid for orders placed the night before to be executed at market open and the actual market open price was 0.09%. That is I paid 0.09% more on average than the opening price.
Of the 110 purchases, there were 45 trades executed at the opening price, 23 for less than the open and 42 at more than the open.

During this time frame, I made 97 sales at open. On average, the price at 11:00 was 0.4% higher at 11AM than the price at which I sold.
The average difference between the open price and the price I received was -0.20%. I received 0.20% less on average than the listed market open price.

None of the individual stock trades was for more than $3000.

To sum up, for this size trade, my experience is that it doesn't matter whether you place the order the night before, or wait until mid-morning.



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