WASHINGTON. Believe it or not, it’s already almost time for the annual President’s Day Federal Holiday. Back a few decades ago, it was known as Washington’s Birthday and the nation celebrated the holiday every year on George’s birth date. (Which, as I recall, is February 1. But don’t quote me.) But then, for a variety of reasons, including the usual retailer wishes for long, spending-happy weekends, the holiday morphed into President’s Day and permanently moved to the third Monday in February.
The reason I remember those Washington’s Birthday days was that here in the nation’s capital region, local retailers would put on genuinely spectacular sales on a variety of products, although major appliances were a popular target. The area would go nuts shopping for all the bargains. The area has retained that tradition somewhat. But de-emphasizing George somehow made everything seem less nuts. President’s Day is, well, so neutral. Does that mean we have to celebrate James Buchanan, too?
On the other hand, the political action down in The Swamp in recent years seems to have made up for all that neutrality. I mean, what would George, and Tom Jefferson and Abe Lincoln and Ike Eisenhower thought of demonstrators wearing pussy hats? Or Democrats railing against the national emergency of cow farts?
But we go far afield. This Monday, February 18, we celebrate
Washington’s Birthday President’s Day and Wall Street closes for business. Ditto banks and the Federal government, even though many govies got an incredible amount of paid leave last month. (You and I picked the wrong profession.)
Anyhow, money moving in stocks and bonds, plus trading action itself will cease this coming Monday, so plan your money moves accordingly. Here’s the deal.
President’s Day Holiday rules for investors in equities and bonds
This Monday holiday, both US and Canadian markets will be closed for trading, due to co-incident national holidays.
Monday, February 18, 2019
- All U.S. markets will be closed in observance of President’s Day.
- All Canadian markets will be closed in observance of Family Day.
- No Pre-Market or After Hours trading sessions will take place.
- Requests to move money (wire transfers, check requests, IRA distributions, etc.) that your broker receives after standard cut-off times on Friday, February 15, 2019, will not be processed until Tuesday, February 19, 2019 due to the holiday.
Settlement days for equity and options traders
|Trade Date||Settlement Date|
|Thursday, February 14, 2019||Tuesday, February 19, 2019|
|Friday, February 15, 2019||Wednesday, February 20, 2019|
After a trading holiday, any news accrued over the long weekend could be a major driver for opening action Tuesday morning, February 19. If that makes you nervous, given the still modest chance of another government shutdown starting this weekend, it might be a good idea to adjust your portfolio accordingly. We’re pretty sure we’re going to hold. Which could either be smart or dumb, depending. In any event, whatever active traders buy or sell, Friday’s the last day to do it in order to adjust to the long (and possibly news-filled) President’s Day weekend.
That’s it for now. Stay safe and enjoy the President’s Day holiday. And watch those news headlines!
—Headline image: From portrait of George Washington (Stuart). Public domain image.