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Columbus Day trading schedule for US bond and equity markets

Written By | Oct 8, 2020
Columbus day stock action, Columbus Day trading schedule

“The Landing of Columbus,” painted by Dióscoro Puebla, circa 1862. Public domain image, via Wikipedia entry on Christopher Columbus.

WASHINGTON – For most actual Americans, Monday, October 12, 2020 is Columbus Day, our still widely observed national holiday honoring the man who discovered America. Of course, Columbus didn’t really discover America. Depending on who you believe, Leif Eriksson or, perhaps, for the Irish, St. Brendan the Navigator supposedly got here way before Chris. Now, we are here to discuss the Columbus Day trading schedule for US markets. But let’s riff on history and politics first.

So, did Chris really discover America?

With regard to Columbus Day, which commemorates the explorer’s discovery of America… If you think about it, it’s more likely that some intrepid Asians, trekking across the frozen wastes of Siberia and crossing over into Alaska via a treacherous ice bridge, actually did the real discovering. Their offspring gradually populated what we now know as North and South America, proving that they were the very first to discover America as well as being the original American pioneers. Which could mean that there are actually no “native Americans.”

Which means that the proposed alternate name for Columbus Day – “Indiginous People’s Day” – is actually just another PC fantasy, like the one that declares A____fa’s thugs to be just a loose bunch of patriotic, like-minded people and not an organization.

But that’s all for another column.

We’ll just stick with “Columbus Day” for now. After all, it was Chris’ discovery of what he first thought to be East Asia that actually got the ball rolling. Plus, we have a lot of good Italian friends who don’t take kindly to agenda-driven lefties dissing  their fellow countryman.

Trading day but not a settlement day

This one is simply devoted to pointing out to the millions of traders and investors eagerly reading this column that this coming Monday, whatever you call it, is indeed a national holiday, a US banking holiday, and hence, a day when Mr Market is, well, not exactly closed. But you might have to wait a bit if you’re cashing out of a position.

Which means that settlement schedules get a slight adjustment.

So here’s the deal. Our 2020 information column on this year’s Columbus Day trading schedule.

Columbus Day Schedule for US equity markets
Monday, October 12, 2020

U.S. equity, options, and futures markets are open. But it’s a non-settlement day. Check out the adjusted settlement dates below.

On the other hand, all fixed income and bond markets will be closed Monday.

So let’s go to the charts. Here’s the breakdown:

Moving forward, equity orders settle as follows:

Trade Date

Settlement Date

Thursday, October 8, 2020 Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Friday, October 9, 2020 Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Options and Futures orders settle as follows:

Trade Date

Settlement Date

Friday, October 9, 2020 Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Oh, Canada!

Our friends in Canada have celebrated their own edition of Thanksgiving Day a bit earlier than ours. They’ve celebrated it as a national holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. That means that all Canadian markets will be closed this coming Monday in observance of Canada’s Thanksgiving. Interestingly, this holiday falls on the same day as our Columbus Day. Ditto, the Canadian Thanksgiving Day trading and settlement schedule gets affected, too, just like our Columbus Day trading schedule.

Dually listed Canadian stocks (ones that trade on Canadian and US exchanges) will trade in the U.S. markets on Tuesday, October 12, 2020.

Thursday’s market action

As for today in US markets, stocks are trying to maintain Wednesday’s big “stimulus on again” rally. Except that Nancy Pelosi just nuked it Thursday morning despite the Administration’s optimism on passing at least a relief bill for the airlines. The Nancy still wants the airlines to lay off thousands of workers right now, assuming, not entirely without reason, that these workers will blame it all on The Donald and vote him out of office on November 3.

It would be nice if karma caught up with Nancy on that date. But the odds are against it, because San Francisco, California.

Also read:  Wall Street thrill ride continues, as stocks soar on mini-stimulus possibility

But back to Mr Market. As we approach the final hour of trading Thursday, stocks are off their highs but still modestly in the green zone, with major averages up between 0.33-0.75% at the moment. That’s no guarantee of a positive close today, or assurance that stocks will avoid a nasty Friday close. But at least no one is panicking. Which must mean someone is telling us something.

Problem is, most of us have no idea what that might be.

Hanging out over the weekend

So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I do suspect, though, that we’ll see at least some slippage Friday, given that fixed interest rate markets won’t trade Monday, annoying the “bond ghouls,” as the late Lou Rukeyser used to call them.

No matter. Wall Street will open again, at least for equity traders, Friday and again next Monday and after. So we’ll just have to wait and see how many more surprises await the bulls in the coming days prior to Election 2020, which the latest polls say Donald Trump will lose decisively now. Just the way he did in 2016.

– Headline image: “The Landing of Columbus,” painted by Dióscoro Puebla, circa 1862.
Public domain image, via Wikipedia entry on Christopher Columbus.


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17