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In a financial exchange, the sound of the bell indicates the start or close of the market for the trading day. Historically, the bell was always an actual bell, but the term in now also used symbolically to refer to the official start or stop of trading. The opening bell signals the start of market trading, and the closing bell indicates the end of the trading day. The market bell has become less practically significant with the increase in extended or after hours trading. Nevertheless, for continuity with historical data, certain prices are still closely watched and reported. The closing price is the price of the last trade before the closing bell, and the opening price is the price of the first trade after the opening bell. Physically ringing the opening bell or closing bell is a ceremonial task still available to VIP visitors of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).



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