Why is Good Friday A Stock Market Holiday?

Why is Good Friday A Stock Market Holiday?

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Attention trading junkies! The stock market won't be open this Friday even though almost every other business will be. While Good Friday isn't a federal holiday, it is a stock market holiday with little concrete explanation. After being closed on Good Friday off and on, 1907 was the final year in which the exchange was open on Good Friday. Despite this long held tradition several myths surrounding the market closure exist. 

Fact or fiction?

1) The NYSE has a tradition of closing on Good Friday for Jewish and Christian traders looking for a break between Passover and Easter.

2) The lease of the building housing the stock exchange stipulates that no business be conducted on Good Fridays. This myth seems largely debunked by the fact the the exchange has changed locations.

3) Easter isn't a federal holiday but many businesses that operate on Sunday close for the festivities. Since Easter is always on a Sunday, closing up shop on Friday is a good proxy.

4) Good Friday isn't a government holiday at the federal level but many states recognize it as a state holiday. As a result may local governments, banks, and other institutions will close this Friday making a dent in trading volume.

5) Similarly, markets aren't open in Europe for Good Friday. American and European holidays aren't synced to the same schedule but closing in times of weak trading demand makes economic sense.

Kapitall's David Neubert, provided two more interesting theories:

6) As the discrimination against Irish immigrants abated around the turn of the century there was a preponderance of Irish Catholic exchange officials at the NYSE who pushed for closing of the Exchange on Good Friday.

7) My favorite, and the one I heard around the trading floors of New York, was that two or three years in a row during the 1890′s, there was a big drop in the market on Good Friday. Traders took it as a sign from God that he didn’t want the exchange open.  

The truth is still out there if anyone even remembers exactly why the market is closed this Friday. Regardless, busy traders can enjoy the long weekend!

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55 responses to “Why is Good Friday A Stock Market Holiday?”

  1. Frank says:

    The answer is rather simple … On Good Friday roman soldiers gambled for Jesus' robe while he was suffering on the cross. Doing the same in a trading environment on a solemn date seems out of place.

    • Dave says:

      Prove that please!

      • Frank says:

        It's enough that it is a matter of faith. Sometimes the fear of God should be enough don't you think? Casting lots is pretty much in the same vein as playing the market from a historical viewpoint.

    • dennis weczorek says:

      I agree with you.The Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus' clothing.The financial markets are indeed a form of gambling and anyone who believes in the Son of God and what he did for us can see the parallel.

  2. sudsurfer says:

    So trading *is* gambling!!! AS in Speculation versus Investment. Oh you are all Roman Soldiers

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  4. Drugi says:

    Similarly, markets aren't open in Europe for Good Friday. American and European holidays aren't synced to the same schedule but closing in times of weak trading demand makes economic sense

  5. The lease of the building housing the stock exchange stipulates that no business be conducted on Good Fridays. This myth seems largely debunked by the fact the the exchange has changed locations.

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  7. duyentran says:

    My favorite, and the one I heard around the trading floors of New York, was that two or three years in a row during the 1890′s, there was a big drop in the market on Good Friday. Traders took it as a sign from God that he didn’t want the exchange open. ottawa moving companies

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  11. neil hogan says:

    i think i heard it was a traditional day for captains of industry to take time off to begin their trek north for the summer. obviously pre- auto days

  12. Anthony signoretto says:

    Maybe now ex-president Clinton will understand why the repeal of "Glass-Steagle" was such a bad move.

    It was the condition that basically set up the "Stock Market" for the big crash of 2008/9

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  14. Stock Tips says:

    good Friday is universally consider as funeral days but you really believe that kind of myth. though is blog you aware investor. i like it your way…!! thanks for the post

  15. M.K. says:

    I was not aware of the myths related to Good Friday, and it’s interesting to know that Jewish and Christian traders observe holiday on Good Friday because they need a break between Passover and Easter.

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  18. tmd says:

    totally wrong.. the markets are closed on good friday out of a superstition that after a crash on a good Friday several times, they were courting trouble by opening again and are now always closed with 3 exceptions over the years.

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  26. Nasir Mirza says:

    i am not able to find out the exact reason as why there is a holiday for the stock market on good friday ..i would like to make income on good friday as well..

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  32. dennis weczorek says:

    The Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus' clothing while he was suffering and dying on the cross.The financial markets are indeed a form of gambling and anyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and what he did for us humans can see the parallel

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