U.S. stock exchanges have had a strange relationship with Good Friday. After being closed on Good Friday off and on, 1907 was the final year in which the exchange was open on Good Friday. However, Good Friday is not a national holiday. The Fed wire and thus, the bond markets are open. While most European countries close for several days around Easter, the United States has no such holiday.
Why does the stock market get an extra holiday that banks do not enjoy?
There are different theories:
-Many traders being out Friday before Easter, as well as the preponderance of Jewish Holidays nearby and overseas investors being out and on holiday mean that Good Friday had such low trading volumes that it made sense to take the day off.
- 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.
- My favorite (and while debunked by the facts), it's the one I heard around the trading floors of New York. 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.
This is a repeat of something I posted at the Kapitall Company Blog in 2009.