When U.S. stock markets close for holidays

Written by Vanko Bogdanovich, CNN

It isn’t unusual for the U.S. stock market to close on important dates, sometimes for days straight.

Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, is a common target for a closing bell in the world’s biggest economy — and it does so several times a year.

CNNMoney compiled data from the Wall Street Journal , averaging the number of days stocks close between Thanksgiving and Christmas over the past 21 years. Here’s a look at when they are open and closed, and how often they’ve closed for whole or part of the period.

When stock exchanges close for holidays

Some firms are particularly sensitive to these dates.

The London Stock Exchange gets holidays on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, because that’s when trading volumes are particularly high.

Eyes on New York: 26 years of stock market closings

Not only does the LSE respond to those holidays, but British securities firms have the same.

While the New York Stock Exchange does not observe Thanksgiving as a holiday, it closes on New Year’s Eve, December 31, for those more open-minded investors who prefer trading to be closed in December.

Historical differences

The Fed is notorious for not closing on holidays, although it does some reshuffling among the trades made from its trading floor in Lower Manhattan.

Since its beginning in March 1934, the Fed has closed the trading floor a dozen times, the last occasion being in 2007, following the financial crisis.

The S&P 500 is closed for eight of those occasions, but typically for fewer days each year.

The weekly, or “golden number,” dates, which fluctuate throughout the year, affect the days the Fed closes.

It’s a bit of a conservative number, because the Fed could simply re-open if a stock market trading action was extreme.

On a trading floor, every quote is seen on the screen by a dozen or so people. During the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has a much higher number of traders to see, creating more power than a smaller number of people.

If the Dow closed at 25,000, for example, the Fed would need to open the trading floor to see the report, rather than alter the cost of regular securities purchased.

Retailers notoriously open for select holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This retail mode of celebrating a day off is bad for investors, according to Barbara Novick, a professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Novick believes retail companies should recognize the financial year ends at different times for stock exchanges.

“What happens is that, because the calendar is different and because these retail companies are switching up this time of year, I think they tend to get away with it,” Novick told CNNMoney in a phone interview.

Of course, companies could close the stock exchange altogether if that’s what they wanted to do. But of course, those same companies would make the date changes regardless, she added.

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