The US financial markets are closed this Thursday for Thanksgiving and close early on Black Friday. Despite a pandemic and tremendous volatility this year, investors and traders may not have to search too long for reasons to be thankful.
Check out: 16 ways to put together a smaller, no-nonsense Thanksgiving dinner at the last minute
Indeed the Dow Jones Industrial Average
A historic milestone of 30,000 was reached on Wednesday as investors focused on advances in developing a coronavirus vaccine and the likelihood that the virus outbreak could soon be put in the rearview mirror.
Investors have also worried about the bumpy road to a Biden administration as President Trump refused to allow the November 3rd election.
So a short break can be exactly what the epidemiologist ordered.
Having closed on Thursday since 1992, the US stock exchanges have stuck to a curtailed trading schedule on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq close at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday while the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recommends a 2pm. Eastern Close for bond markets
The major US stock exchange operators – the NYSE from Intercontinental Exchange
American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq
– originally requested for 2 p.m. East close for the Friday after Thanksgiving 1992, two hours earlier than 4 p.m. Close the bell. But the following year, three hours earlier, at 1 p.m., the exchanges decided to go with shutter markets.
Black Friday is the official start of the Christmas business season. Many retailers offer bargains for those looking for Christmas gifts.
There is a good reason for the early closure.
Read: The best Black Friday deals at Walmart this year
See: 5 items that CANNOT be purchased during Black Friday
Overall, trading activity on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday thereafter is typically a fraction of what it is during normal non-holiday trading hours. Here is a look at the average trading volume since 2010 on the day before and after Turkey Day (as well as July 4th and Christmas Eve) according to Dow Jones market data:
Dow Jones market data
However, the market performance during the week of “Turkey Day” has been several times higher than ever before in recent years.
The Nasdaq Composite Index
For example, 69% of the times of Thanksgiving week has ended higher. Likewise the S&P 500 index
ends 69% of the time, a trend that dates back to the index's introduction in the 1950s while the Dow has risen 63% of the time. Profits
Many Americans are still planning to fly and travel this year, despite a surge in COVID-19 cases and the urging of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to travel for Thanksgiving.
In other markets there is US floor trading for metals
and energy futures
on Comex and the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thanksgiving Day.
On Black Friday, metals will settle at 12:30 p.m. and U.S. crude oil at 1:30 p.m.