CME changes settlement hours for Equity Indexes Starting Nov 18th.

CME changed the settlement from 3:15pm CT to 5pm CT, maintaining the same price limits. The market will continue to be closed from 3:15 to 3:30 and 4:15pm CT to 5pm CT.

From CME Group

Normal “non-holiday” Trading Hours: Trade dates will begin at 17:00 CT/18:00 ET (vs. the current 15:30 CT/16:30 ET on Monday-Thursday) and continue through the next day until 16:15 CT/17:15 ET, with a 15 minute market pause (Pre-open) from 15:15 CT to 15:30 CT /16:15 to 16:30 ET. Note: Big equity contracts (SP, ND, MD & DD) will continue to halt at 08:15 CT/09:15 ET, but will re-open with their E-minis at 15:30 CT/16:30 ET and close at 16:15 CT/17:15 ET for the same trade date as the E-minis.

My guess is that they are making the changes to give extra time to settle trades and to limit margin calls.  I cannot really think of any disadvantage but will be interesting to see if traders stay past 3:15 and if liquidity is an issue.  Obviously the market will adapt and we will find out soon enough.

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