U.S. financial markets will pause Monday in observance of Presidents Day — which, technically, is not the name of the holiday.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will shutter on Feb. 18. And the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma, is recommending no trading in dollar-denominated securities, meaning the closely watched 10-year Treasury note
— as well as interest rates for money markets and certificates of deposit — joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average
, the S&P 500 index
and the Nasdaq Composite Index
in a static state.
And trading in futures and options on CME Group exchanges will also be halted on Monday. In other words, there will be no settlements in trading in gold futures
or crude oil
However, traders will be able to deal in commodities on the Globex platform, with a pause starting after 1 p.m. Eastern time.
So, here’s the skinny on so-called Presidents Day. Congress declared Washington’s Birthday a holiday in 1879, according to the Library of Congress. The republic’s first president was born on Feb. 22, 1732.
A number of sources indicate that the holiday was at first only celebrated within the District of Columbia but became widely recognized as a federal holiday in 1885, marking the first time an American individual was memorialized via a bank holiday.
The Uniform Holidays Act of 1968 changed the day of commemoration to the third Monday of February. The Library of Congress’s website says that the day’s designation was never changed to Presidents Day formally but is often referred to by that name because Feb. 12 is the birthday of the 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln.
The holiday is still often referred to as Washington’s Birthday, and it is recognized by that name at the NYSE. It is that history of recognizing, initially, one president and then, later, two presidents, or the presidency in general, that may be to blame for the style variations that tend to occur in written references to Presidents Day — or alternately, President’s Day or Presidents’ Day. Presidents Day is the preferred style for such journalistic standard setters as the Associated Press Stylebook (whose Twitter account tends to tweet a reminder annually) and the Wall Street Journal’s style guide.
Meanwhile, Canadian markets are closed in observance of Family Day, which coincides with Presidents Day in the U.S. in falling on the third Monday in February. Trading on European markets, and movements in such benchmarks as the Stoxx Europe 600
and the U.K.’s FTSE 100
, are slated to be under way as usual on Monday.
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