Labor Day: Holiday trading hours for stocks and bonds

Labor Day, the last long weekend of summer for Americans and Canadians alike is upon us. Active stock traders will want to know when trades and settlements will happen.

Recent Labor Day concert on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (PR photo)

WASHINGTON, August 31, 2016 – Although many kids and the majority of college students have already launched academic year 2016-2017, this weekend is the traditional end of summer for most Americans and Canadians alike. Both countries are celebrating Labor Day (or Labour Day in Canada) next Monday, a holiday set aside to honor workers and work, although as with most national holidays in the 21st century, it’s turned into just another long weekend.

The ADP jobs report showed up this morning showing a disappointing uptick in employment, driven almost exclusively by low wage service sector jobs. So there’s actually not a lot to celebrate on the labor front, although Federal numbers coming out Friday may provide a clearer picture here. The Fed certainly wants to see a robust number, which would give them the excuse to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

If numbers are declared “good” or “improving,” as opposed to the actual case, the Fed may very well do what most people think they won’t do until December at the earliest: raise interest rates 0.25 percent. So we expect the markets to remain nervous in thin pre-holiday trading. I.e., best not to place your stock and bond bets today, Wednesday, through, say, next Tuesday after the holiday. UPDATE: Stocks are already down just after today’s opening bell.

Along those lines, traders should be aware of holiday stock and bond trading hours from Wednesday, August 31, through Tuesday, September 6, 2016, since they vary a bit from normal holiday trading hour patterns. Here they are:

Labor Day Trading Schedule for the U.S. and Canada

Wed.-Thurs., August 31-September 1, 2016: Normal trading hours on U.S. and Canadian exchanges.

Friday, September 2, 2016: Normal trading hours on U.S. and Canadian exchanges EXCEPT: Canadian-originated orders placed after the U.S. market close today will automatically route to the Canadian exchanges on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

Monday, September 5, 2016: All U.S. and Canadian markets—which include equity, option and fixed income markets—will be closed in observance of Labor/Labour Day. This closure includes pre- and after-hours trading.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016: U.S. and Canadian markets re-open as usual.

Settlement days: Normal settlement for stock trades occurs 3 business days after the trade is executed. Bond trades settle one business day after the trade. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 3-5, 2016 do not count when determining the settlement date as they are not business days, so plan accordingly should you need funds for the holiday. Or for college tuition.

If you’re uncertain of these dates or concerned about additional rules (which can vary among brokerages), please consult your broker as soon as possible.

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