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US stocks contemplate the Grinch that stole New Years on Wall Street

Written By | Dec 28, 2021
Grinch, New Years on Wall Street

Image via Pixabay. CC 0.0 license.

WASHINGTON – Bummer. As we got ready to write our short column on this year’s New Years Day holiday trading schedule, we were surprised to discover that there pretty much isn’t one this week! Having read about this beloved yet oddly missing annual trading holiday in one article, we quickly confirmed this week’s tragedy elsewhere. Perhaps in sympathy with investors contemplating the machinations of a brand new Grinch that stole New Years on Wall Street, US stocks are mostly down today. And the tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had mounted a sharp, Santa Claus-style recovery during the past few trading days, has returned to swan-dive mode Tuesday.

What’s it all about? Where did our New Years trading holiday go this week? More Deep State Dirty Tricks? Did Slow Joe forget to declare the holiday? We need answers about just what’s going on with New Years on Wall Street as the final days of 2021 rapidly draw to a close.

Grinch, New Years on Wall Street

Joe Biden as the Grinch.

About that Grinch…

Confused about all of this? So were we. Until we confirmed this year’s missing year-end trading holiday. And the reason why it’s missing. Apparently, the 2022 edition of the holiday, which likely would have occurred this Friday, December 31, disappeared due to an obscure rule we’d never heard of.

“Global financial markets mostly will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31, or Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in observation of the New Year’s holiday, but U.S. markets won’t…

“For the first time in a decade, there will be no U.S. stock-market closure in observance of New Year’s Day because of the relatively obscure NYSE Rule 7.2.”

So what in Hades is NYSE Rule 7.2?

The website for Chicago Business echoed the Morningstar article we just quoted. But unlike Morningstar, they drilled down on the news, via a Bloomberg report.

“Thanks to whoever created an obscure piece of New York Stock Exchange red tape — officially known as Rule 7.2 — U.S. equity markets won’t commemorate the start of 2022 with a holiday.

“The rule stipulates that when a holiday falls on a Saturday, the market will close on the preceding Friday — unless, that is, “unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period.” Since Dec. 31 marks the end of the month, quarter and year, that means a full session on New Year’s Eve and no day off on the following Monday. “

“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 [Security Industry / Financial Market Association] is calling for a 2 p.m. market close that day.”

(Bold text in the above clips by this columnist.)

What it all boils down to is…

In other words, as we read through this verbiage, it appears that bond traders might get a couple of hours off this Friday. (We haven’t confirmed that yet). But otherwise, tough luck for traders manning the floors and the machines in New York. It’s just another working day, thanks to another obscure cog in the bureaucracy. That’s made worse this year by the fact that in his waning days, New York City’s Commie mayor DeFarcio has “pared down” the upcoming Times Square New Years Eve festivities. Reportedly, New York’s official Grinch is only admitting the vaxxed elites to this time-honored event. We won’t comment further, other than to say what you’re already thinking: “Enough of this (censored), already.”

Meanwhile, back on Wall Street, that nifty recent rally we’d begun to enjoy seems to be waffling at least a bit today. Nothing too damaging yet, save for the occasional tech stock. But like most of 2021, a year when the “adults” supposedly returned to run Washington, you never know what insanity might pop up next as the old year painfully passes.

So, alas! It looks like we’ll all have to spend the waning days of December in a state of watchfulness. Trading remains light, which means that even a modest but secretive bear could cause trouble. But here’s hoping the rest of this week doesn’t clobber our brief 2021 Santa Claus Rally that almost wasn’t. And that may yet cease to be.

Stay tuned.




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