Market Extra: Is the stock market closed today? No! But the bond market is on Columbus Day —Here’s why

It’s almost a perennial question on Wall Street. With Columbus Day a federal holiday on Monday, investors are curious if the stock market will be opened.

Here is the short answer: yes. But it isn’t that simple.

The bond market is closed. Bond traders are off as recommended by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, known as Sifma.

Columbus Day and Veterans Day are the two federal holidays when fixed-income markets are closed due to the federal holiday.

As per usual, the Intercontinental Exchange

-owned New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Inc.

will both be open regular hours. So, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
the S&P 500 index

and the Nasdaq Composite Index
to note the three main U.S. bourses, can figure out whether the weaker-than-expected jobs report released on Friday was bullish or bearish in the near term.  

Meanwhile, benchmark bonds can take a breather after the 10-year Treasury note yield
30-year Treasury bond

and 2-year Treasury note

touched their highest yields in months (since March of 2020 in the case of the shorter-date debt).

Now back to Columbus Day and the curious case of mixed up market closures.

Here’s perhaps why it is closed and equities trade on.

Begun back in 1792 and declared a federal day off in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Columbus Day marks a state and federal holiday. Federal offices, including the U.S. Treasury Department, are closed. That means, Treasurys—a chunk of typical trading activity on regular days and a key benchmark—are also forced to take a holiday.

Columbus Day isn’t without its controversy as a holiday intended to celebrate Christopher Columbus for sailing the ocean blue in 1492. Firstly, not all states celebrate the Italian explorer’s occasion on the same day. Tennessee tends to celebrate the holiday on Friday. Some states don’t acknowledge the day at all, with Alaska, Vermont, Hawaii and South Dakota choosing not to observe it.

Some regions choose to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, which honors Native Americans and challenges the concept that Columbus was the first to discover America. The holiday has been gaining support, as an alternative to Columbus Day.

So, the next time that someone asks if the market is open on Columbus Day, you can tell them that it is complicated.

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