November 17, 2021

New Year’s Eve: Make Sure Your Party Starts After Market Hours

The holiday season is barrelling towards us and many of us are daring to envision gatherings outside our own homes. But when it comes to the stock market’s New Year celebration, this year’s calendar gives no rest for the weary.

Even though Friday, December 31st is a federal holiday – meaning the SEC & Edgar are closed – the stock market is open for a full trading day that day. So, there’s extra time for something to go sideways, or at the very least for some insiders to squeeze in last minute trades (if they lack MNPI and/or are relying on a valid Rule 10b5-1 trading plan!). The market and the SEC are also open for business on Monday, January 3rd. The NYSE calendar explains that no New Year holiday will be observed by the Exchange this year because of Rule 7.2, which says in part:

When a holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Saturday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the preceding Friday and when any holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Sunday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the succeeding Monday, unless unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period.

This Bloomberg article says the non-holiday is going to surprise some folks, because this is the first time in 11 years that Rule 7.2 has snatched away a day off. Here’s more detail:

While the exchange published its holiday schedule a long time ago, complete with a “—*” footnote under the New Year’s Day 2022 column, some market participants are only now realizing they’re getting stiffed on the holiday. Adding salt to the wounds, bond traders get to start their New Year’s Eve parties a little earlier: Sifma is calling for a 2 p.m. market close that day.

Liz Dunshee