Stock Market Holidays
Stock market holidays for the most part, are celebrated on the same days, year after year. The reason this is important? As is the case with all other industries, having regular days aside as holidays, means, creating a standard for those who trade stocks on a regular basis.
Having an established set of holidays means that those who are planning stock activities have no doubt as to the operating hours and dates particular markets will be open to trade. There's no confusion as to when orders will be placed if a stock market holiday is coming up. Remember that there are several major stock markets where stocks are publicly traded on a daily basis. The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and American Stock Exchange are three of the more commonly known arenas for stock trading, but they aren't the only places.
You'll also find smaller arenas such as the Hollywood Stock Exchange, the Arizona Stock Exchange and the Chicago Stock Exchange, among others. That means that you need to check with the particular entity you are trading with for a list of holidays recognized.
You should also keep in mind that different countries have different holidays. If you're dealing with stocks that are traded in a foreign market, you may not even realize that a holiday is looming.
In general, in the United States, the following list of holidays are recognized and stock exchanges are closed with no trading and no activity on those days.
In addition, some exchanges choose to close early on some particular days, especially days immediately before and immediately after a holiday.
One important point to keep in mind is that some stock market holidays fall on weekends or on days when the exchange would not normally be in operation anyway. When that happens, most will recognize the holiday on some other day.
For example, if Independence Day - July 4 - falls on a Sunday, the exchange may very well recognize the holiday on Monday and suspend trading for that day. If the holiday falls on Saturday, Friday might be recognized as the holiday. Why does it matter? If you're one of those who frequently monitor and trade in stocks, the holiday may very well fall on a day you planned to make some transaction. It's also important for those who place orders or trades online.
If you post an order on Friday evening but Monday is a holiday, the order may not be transacted until Tuesday. Theoretically, it shouldn't matter since no one will be making trades over the holiday weekend, but the fact is that many things can happen over the intervening three days between the order and the action. The business may announce their bankruptcy, the splitting of stock or the merger with another company.