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En español | The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) closes for nine holidays each year, and Nasdaq follows the same schedule. The next holiday closure will be on Labor Day, which takes place this year on Monday, Sept. 7.
2020 Stock Market Holiday Closure Schedule
- New Year's Day: Wednesday, Jan. 1
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, Jan. 20
- Presidents’ Day: Monday, Feb. 17
- Good Friday: Friday, April 10
- Memorial Day: Monday, May 25
- Independence Day: Friday, July 3 (observed, because July 4 falls on a Saturday)
- Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 7
- Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, Nov. 26
- Christmas Day: Friday, Dec. 25
The stock exchanges take two additional partial holidays annually, closing early on the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) and on Christmas Eve. On those days, the main trading session runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. rather than the normal schedule of 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the NYSE and Nasdaq close on the Friday before. Holidays that land on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.
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Bond market and bank holidays differ
Bond traders follow a more expansive holiday calendar under guidelines set by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a trade group that represents securities firms, banks and asset management companies.
Bond markets close on the nine days the stock exchanges are silent, plus Columbus Day and Veterans Day, which in 2020 are on Monday, Oct. 12, and Wednesday, Nov. 11, respectively.
Bond markets also close early (at 2 p.m.) on six occasions: the Thursday before Good Friday, the Friday before Memorial Day, the day before Independence Day is observed, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
The stock market calendar also differs from the Federal Reserve holiday schedule followed by most U.S. banks. Like the bond markets, the Fed observes Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 12) and Veterans Day (Wednesday, Nov. 11), but it does not take off Good Friday and does not have any formally scheduled early closing days.
Stock exchanges rarely sleep for long
Except in rare circumstances, three-day holiday weekends are the longest time the stock market goes quiet. The exchanges have closed for more than three days running only a handful of times in the past century, most recently during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
The three-day limit is not a formal policy but rather a rule of thumb that prevents “investor angst” from building up during an extended down period and creating volatility when the market reopens, says Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at the investment research firm CFRA.
"There's an old saying that bull markets take the escalator while bear markets take the elevator,” Stovall says. “Since fear is a greater motivator than greed, I think investors don't want to be denied access to their money for too long. Otherwise they end up taking money off the table, especially if some unnerving event occurred while the exchange was closed."