Excepting rare circumstances such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NYSE is officially closed nine business days of the year. In order, these are:
- New Year’s Day (January 1st)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
- President’s Day (3rd Monday in February)
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
- Independence Day (July 4th)
- Labor Day (First Monday in September)
- Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
- Christmas Day (December 25th)
Historical Stock Market Closings
The first major closure of the New York Stock Exchange occurred the same year, 1865, that it moved into its first permanent home at 10-12 Broad Street just south of Wall Street. The NYSE was shuttered for more than a week following the sudden and tragic assassination later that year of President Abraham Lincoln.
And while everyone is familiar with the great crash of 1929, far fewer people remember the first real financial crisis to afflict the NYSE. In 1873, the collapse of the prestigious Philadelphia banking firm Jay Cooke & Company plunged the country into a panic and led the NYSE to shut its doors for ten business days.
Beginning in 1986, a minute of silence was observed at the NYSE on Martin Luther King Day, but the exchange otherwise remained open. It was not until 1998 that the holiday was added to those that are fully observed. Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was observed from 1896 through 1953, while Columbus Day, October 12, and was a holiday beginning in 1909 through, similarly, 1953. Armistice Days and Election Days have also been observed at various points in the past.
Another important holiday tradition at the NYSE since 1923 is the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. Like another tree lighting ceremony in midtown at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the event has transformed into an entertainment extravaganza. For example, in 2009, the NYSE tree lighting featured performances by Billy Ray Cyrus, Twisted Sister, and the Manhattan Transfer.
New York Stock Exchange – Timeline, Retrieved October 28, 2010 from http://www.nyse.com/about/history/timeline_1860_1899_index.html
New York Stock Exchange – Holidays and Hours, Retrieved October 28, 2010 from http://www.nyse.com/about/newsevents/1176373643795.html
New York Stock Exchange – History of New York Stock Exchange Holidays, Retrieved October 28, 2010 from http://www.nyse.com/pdfs/closings.pdf
Hamptons.com – “Tree Lighting at New York Stock Exchange Includes Musical Cheer”, December 11, 2009, Retrieved October 28, 2010 from http://www.hamptons.com/Out-And-About/Within-The-City/9545/Tree-Lighting-At-New-York-Stock-Exchange-Euronext.html