“Money never sleeps” may be true, but even the toughest of traders sometimes welcome a bit of time off.
Market holidays are non-weekend days when the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, or bond markets do not open for the day, such as Good Friday and Labor Day.
On rarer occasions, the markets close as a mark of respect for national days of mourning, such as when the NYSE and Nasdaq honored President George H.W. Bush‘s death in 2018.
Should a holiday coincide with a Saturday, the Friday before typically becomes a stock market holiday.
In the same way, stock markets normally close on the following Monday if the holiday lands on the prior Sunday.
Regular hours for the NYSE and the Nasdaq start at 9.30am and end at 4pm ET between Monday to Friday, meaning the markets close over the weekends.
Will the stock market be open on Thanksgiving Day 2021?
U.S. financial markets will be closed on Thursday, November 25 for Thanksgiving 2021 and will close early on discounted shopping bonanza Black Friday.
A statement on the NYSE reads: “Each market will close early at 1pm (1.15pm for eligible options) on Friday, November 26, 2021.
“Crossing Session orders will be accepted beginning at 1pm for continuous executions until 1.30pm on these dates, and NYSE American Equities, NYSE Arca Equities, NYSE Chicago, and NYSE National late trading sessions will close at 5pm. All times are Eastern Time.”
The market’s next holiday is on Friday, December 24, which is observed as Christmas lands on a Saturday this year.
Three-day market holidays are usually the longest time the stock market goes quiet, although longer periods are not unprecedented, with the most recent taking place during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy and following 2001’s 9/11 terror attacks.
While three days is not an official limit, Sam Stovall, of investment research firm CFRA, told AARP this accepted practice is commonly acknowledged to prevent “investor angst” from building during an extended shutdown, over concerns it could trigger instability when the market reopens.
Sam Onigbanjo, Founder Partner of the Capital Markets Academy, believes the practice of investor angst is a “sanity check system” to help investors limit extreme negative emotions, that often result from huge losses in the market.
He told Newsweek: “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt [FUD] are some of the emotions that if not checked lead Investors to despair. To curb extreme anxiety, heart attacks, suicide and more, the US stock market adopted the practice of times of refreshing and sanity breaks for investors.
“In my view, a global stock market holiday should be welcomed, but not for any longer than 3 days. Like any business, it needs to run in a timely manor and efficiently so that there are not huge drops.”
Nick Jones, CEO and co-founder of crypto start-up, Zumo, believes the Bitcoin crash during thanksgiving last year is evidence why the stock market goes on holiday, describing traders as “emotionally-driven creatures.”
He told Newsweek: “To understand why there is a stock market holiday over Thanksgiving, look no further than the crypto market. The price of Bitcoin dropped some 15 percent over the Thanksgiving period last year before quickly rebounding.
“If this kind of activity took place across the wider stock market, there’s no way investors could relax and enjoy their turkey. There’s only so much unpredictability an investor can stomach while being cut off from their trading account – and hence the sell pressure we generally see in advance of stock exchange public holidays.”
Bond traders follow a more expansive holiday calendar under guidelines set by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade association for broker-dealers, investment banks and asset managers operating in the U.S..
The New York Stock Exchange will not shut on New Year’s Day 2022, as this falls on a Saturday.
The beginning of the new year was one of the first four holidays enshrined in law, along with Independence Day, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.