Why Is The US Market Open Today?*

Vietnam NYSE

Why is the US stock market open today?

Isn’t today a national holiday to compensate everyone for the “loss” of the New Year’s holiday, which comes on a Saturday this year?

In other words, isn’t this the EXACT SAME situation as last week, when Christmas fell on a Saturday and the market was closed Friday?

People, what’s going on?

UPDATE: A reader was kind enough to forward the NYSE’s answer, which explains everything–and nothing:

New Years’ Day (January 1) in 2011 falls on a Saturday. The rules of the applicable exchanges state that when a holiday falls on a Saturday, we observe the preceding Friday unless the Friday is the end of a monthly or yearly accounting period. In this case, Friday, December 31, 2010 is the end of both a monthly and yearly accounting period; therefore the exchanges will be open that day and the following Monday.

So the follow-up question is… Why does it matter that FRIDAY is the end of the monthly or yearly accounting period? What’s wrong with THURSDAY?  Months often end on Saturdays or Sundays, so in those months the stock exchange isn’t open on the final day of the period. So what’s so special about months in which there’s a holiday?

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