When Can You Trade During the Year End Holidays?

December 23, 2019
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We’re just days away from two of the biggest federal holidays on the calendar. With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on this week and next, the normal trading schedule will be interrupted.

Here are details on holiday trading hours, along with a stock market recap as we head towards 2020.

NASDAQ and NYSE Trading for the Holidays

The NASDAQ and NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) will see interrupted trading over the next two weeks.

  • On December 24th, both exchanges will trade for a partial day, with markets closing at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Some limited stocks will trade up until 1:15 PM.
  • On December 25th, both exchanges will be closed for the Christmas Day holiday. This is the last full-day holiday closure for 2019.
  • On January 1st, both exchanges will be closed for the New Year’s Day holiday. This will be the first full day holiday closure for 2020.

After January 1st, markets will resume normal weekday trading hours. The next holiday will occur on January 20th for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Will Stocks be More Volatile During the Holiday Period?

Stocks are often more volatile during shortened and interrupted trading weeks. With both holidays falling in the middle of this week and next, we could see more volatility in the surrounding days. However, with stock movement being particularly positive in recent weeks, analysts do not expect any significant changes in market conditions.

Investors who are focused on long term stocks for income and retirement should look at any holiday volatility within the context of the season. The biggest changes for investors will come in the first quarter of 2020 when earnings season begins.

How Have the Markets Performed in 2019?

Investors have had an excellent run this year, with gains across the board when looking at stocks of all sizes. There are several factors that have contributed to positivity in equity markets.

  • Interest rates have remained low, thanks to a conservative stance amongst Federal Reserve board members.
  • Earnings have been higher than expected, despite some slowdown in revenue growth and corporate investment.
  • Real wage and job growth have been strong in the U.S., stimulating the economy.
  • Trade tensions have had less impact than last year. In December, the U.S. and China agreed on the terms for a Phase One trade deal, which has alleviated some geopolitical tension.

The most important benchmark indexes have seen impressive growth.

  • The NASDAQ Composite (COMP) is up 34.51% for the year to date.
  • The S&P 500 (SPX) is up 28.50%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is up 21.98%.

Market, investment, and financial news will continue throughout the holiday season, bringing you new insights that help you to make informed decisions in the year ahead.

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