The stock markets in the U.S. and worldwide generally close on or around certain holidays. In the U.S. these include Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and several others.
Holiday closures are important to active traders and investors who may want to execute a particular transaction within a certain timeframe. For most long-term individual investors these hours and holiday closures really shouldn’t impact their long-term investing strategy very much.
Standard U.S. Stock Market Hours
The standard trading hours for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.
The Nasdaq’s regular trading hours are the same as those for the NYSE.
In the case of both exchanges, there are different types of securities, such as options and fixed income, that trade on different schedules. Both exchanges have pre-market and after-hours trading that was once limited to professional traders and institutional traders.
Major brokerage firms like Charles Schwab and Fidelity offer after-hours trading.
U.S. Stock Market Holidays and Reduced Hours
There are several holidays on which the NYSE is either closed or has reduced trading hours for the observance of holidays that fall on or before (in some cases) trading days. For 2021 these include:
- New Year’s Day: January 1
- Martin Luther King: January 18
- Presidents Day: February 15
- Good Friday: April 2
- Memorial Day: May 31
- Independence Day: July 5 (observed Monday after July 4)
- Labor Day: September 6
- Thanksgiving: November 25
- Christmas: December 24 (observed Friday before Dec. 25)
The Nasdaq and NYSE close at 1 p.m. Eastern on the day after Thanksgiving.
There may be other holidays observed from time to time as well, so check with the NYSE and the Nasdaq periodically to stay up to date with changes.
Foreign Market Holidays
If you’re trading stocks on a foreign stock exchange versus on a U.S. exchange, the trading hours and holidays may vary.
North American foreign exchanges include the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Mexican Stock Exchange. Beyond these, there are stock exchanges in South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
These various exchanges have their own local hours and may be closed on various holidays. Some of these holidays may be similar to those observed here in the U.S., while others may be unique to these countries. You can check the websites of the exchange you are interested in trading on. Major brokers like Schwab and Fidelity may offer access to direct trading on some foreign exchanges to some customers, their sites would likely include information about trading hours and holidays.
Other Market Hours
Beyond the NYSE and the NASDAQ, investors may trade on several other exchanges. For example, the Cboe (formerly the Chicago Board Options Exchange) is a global trading platform where various types of options, futures contracts, and other similar securities are traded.
The Cboe’s regular trading hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday just like the major stock exchanges. They have both pre-market and aftermarket trading hours. Their holiday schedule parallels that of the NYSE and the Nasdaq.
Other exchanges that investors might utilize include Treasury Direct which is an online vehicle for purchasing various Treasury securities and the NYSE American stock exchange. Each will have its own hours and rules for purchasing securities.
How Holidays Can Shape Trading
Holidays can shape stock market trading in that some traders may not want to be long in a particular stock or stocks heading into a holiday, especially if it falls on a Friday or a Monday resulting in a long weekend for the markets. A three-day weekend presents an extra day where news can affect stock prices but traders can’t trade.
For example, the day after Thanksgiving, which is known as Black Friday, can be a key holiday for the markets. Black Friday is traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season and retail sales on this day and into that weekend are often considered a key indication of what the upcoming holiday shopping season might be like. This can influence the stock market, good or bad.
At the end of the day, investors should be aware of which days the stock market will close or observe holidays with reduced hours.