Blame it on an obscure rule. For the first time in a decade, there will be no stock market closure in observance of New Year’s Day. U.S. markets will be closed on Christmas eve on Friday because the holiday falls on a Saturday but equity markets will be open on Dec. 31, or New Year’s Eve, and operators of the New York Stock Exchange aren’t designating Jan. 3, the first Monday in 2022 as New Year’s Eve observed.
The last time this sort of calendar event transpired was New Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 2010. How rare is this calendar event. Assuming that it was applied since 1928, it would have occurred 13 times from 1928.
Dow Jones Market Data
The lack of a New Year’s Day respite for stock trades is the result of NYSE Rule 7.2, which stipulates that the exchange will be closed either Friday or the following Monday if the holiday falls on a weekend, unless “unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period.”
In this case, the last day of December is a trifecta of accounting dates, including month-end, quarter and year-end dates and comes after markets have experienced a bout of volatility in recent days.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.64% sank 433 points, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.82% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.85% indexes both registered sharp declines and their third straight drop on the back of omicron-fueled uneasiness and concerns about global economic expansion in the coming year.
By Tuesday afternoon, however, markets had made up for those losses and then some and the 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.458%, was hanging near 1.50% after putting in a 3 p.m. Eastern Time finish at 1.418%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
It is worth noting though that, the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group, recommends a 2 p.m. ET close for trading in Treasurys on Dec. 31. The holiday schedule for markets isn’t likely to alter the mood on Wall Street, however.
“I don’t see it mattering in a meaningful way,” Baird market strategist Michael Antonelli, told MarketWatch. “The final few sessions of the year have traditionally been very quiet, and the fact that we don’t have a specific holiday for New Year’s likely won’t change that at all,” he said.
For Christmas, the bond market will close early on Dec. 23 and remain closed on Friday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will observe regular hours on Thursday Dec 23, closing at 4 p.m. Eastern Time and remain closed on Christmas Eve, Dec 24.
Our call of the day says investors have much to get excited about in 2022. Put growth stocks at the top of that list.
By: Mark DeCambre
Mark DeCambre is MarketWatch’s markets editor. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @mdecambre.
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