There are nine US holidays during which the major stock exchanges are closed for trading. They are:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday in January)
- President’s Day (third Monday in February)
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Independence Day
- Labor Day (first Monday in September)
- Thanksgiving Day
Of these nine stock market holidays, only one is a fixed date from year to year. That’s July 4. The other stock market holidays are calculated by day of week and which week of the month it is. For example, the stock market holiday on Thanksgiving will always be the third Thursday in November. Here are the other stock market holidays that always fall on the same day of the year:
- New Year’s day will be January 1, unless it falls on Sunday, in which case it will be Jaunuary 2
- Maritn Luthing King, Jr. Day will always be the third Monday in January
- President’s Day will be exactly one month later: the third Monday February
- Memorial Day will always be the last Monday in May
- Labor Day will always be the first Monday in September
Then there are semi-fixed stock market holidays that will change date if the holiday falls on a Sunday or a Saturday. If the actual holiday falls on a Saturday, the stock market holiday is observed on the preceding Friday. Likewise, if the American holiday falls on a Sunday, the stock market holiday is observed on the following Monday:
And finally we have Good Friday, which varies wildly from early April to late April. Good Friday is three days before Easter, which sounds easy enough to calculate. But Easter is what they call a moveable feast in the Christian calendar. That means it’s very different each year. Sometimes it’s in late March and sometimes it’s in April. Needless to say, Good Friday is very difficult to predict, as far as stock market holidays go. That’s why if you need to know, just look it up rather than trying to calculate it.
The major stock exchanges are the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. So when we’re talking stock market holidays in the United States, we’re referring to the days when the NASDAQ and the NYSE are closed.
International investors also want to know when international stock market holidays will be. The big global stock exchanges are:
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
Of all the stock market holidays, New Year’s Day seems to have the most closings around the globe. Here are the markets closed on that day:
- Toronto Stock Exchange
- London Stock Exchange
- NASDAQ & NYSE
- Shanghai Stock Exchange
- Australian Stock Exchange
But by far the week with the most closings around the world is the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Over a dozen stock exchanges are closed at least once during this week. And if you count Japan’s Emperer’s Birthday on December 23, it’s an even longer list.
Stock market holidays are important to investors because investors schedule trades ahead of time, and scheduling something on a stock market holiday would mean not being able to perform that trade, obviously. Timing is everything with stocks, and therefore so are schedules and planning. It can also be important to know that US stock markets have closing traditions that will affect planning, too.
For example, it’s not one of the stock market holidays, but the day before Independence Day, stock markets in New York close early, at 1 pm. Markets in the US also close early the day after Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve.