Thanks Grid for the info, but the way and speed at which it moves, I wouldnt consider day traders(retail) accounting for this type of move because of the volume, or could they? and most moves sometimes happen after 4pm EST
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The indexes close at 4pm and futures at 4:15 et , there is a lot of reshuffling , orders still being processed , professional traders at banks and prop desks closing positions , readjustments of etfs , lot's of stuff going on and still going while closes for the break from 4:15 to 4:30
banks and corporations as I understand it are not allowed to buy their own stock to hold it up anymore in that last 30 minutes and there is probably some advantage being taken there on down days or reality sets in .... but there is a lot going on , not everything closes at same moment either , same with the open it takes a bit for everything to open up and adjustments are being made real time to incorporate that , I am sure there are many reasons
"Successful trading is one long journey, not a destination" Peter Borish Former Head of Research for Paul Tudor Jones speaking on conversations with John F. Carter
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Prior to the 2008 global financial crisis (still continuing)...the last 45 minutes of the regular session trading hours (3:15pm - 4:00pm est) had consistently good volatility...type of volatility that produce trade opportunities without lots of chop and other types of price noise that cause us headaches while trading.
Yet, now amongst the financial crisis, most of the key market events involving such usually occurs in the overnight trading session and sometimes overlapping into the first hour or so of the regular trading session. Simply, by the time the last 45 minutes arrives...there's "usually" not good volatility. Yet, if you wait patiently (don't get itchy fingers)...there's a few trading days here and there that will produce good volatility in the last 45 minutes of trading the regular trading session (3:15pm - 4:00pm est).
Therefore, if the volatility or volume isn't there in that particular trading period...stay on the sidelines unless you're using a strategy that performs well in low volatility/low volume trading conditions.
In contrast, if you're talking about the 4:00pm - 4:15pm est trading period...the answers by others are good explanation.