Columbus Day is observed on the second Monday of October.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

It’s Columbus Day, a federal holiday but a trading day for stocks. Expect some lighter volume and perhaps continued volatility.

On Friday, the S&P 500 index dipped 0.2% to 4,391.34 points following a weaker-than-anticipated September jobs report, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat at 34,746.25 points. Though U.S. equities have bounced up and down in recent weeks, the S&P 500 is off only 3.2% from its Sept. 2 record. The Dow, meanwhile, is 2.5% off its Aug. 16 record close.

Columbus Day, which was made a federal holiday in 1937, is observed on the second Monday of October. In recent years, critics have tied Columbus Day to atrocities committed against indigenous people. Some U.S. cities have renamed the holiday Indigenous People’s Day.

On Friday, President Biden issued two proclamations, one commemorating Columbus Day and another proclaiming Oct. 11, 2021, Indigenous People’s Day.

“We must never forget the centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation, and terror wrought upon Native communities and Tribal Nations throughout our country,” the president said. “Today, we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country—and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation.”

Is the Stock Market Open on Columbus Day 2021?

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will both open on Monday, Oct. 11 at 9:30 a.m. EDT. The same is true for U.S. over-the-counter markets. U.S. bond markets and most banks are closed for the federal holiday.

What About International Markets?

The Toronto Stock Exchange is also closed on Monday for Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Other international markets are open, including the London Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Hong Kong stock exchange, and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

How Have Stocks Performed Historically on Columbus Day?

Dating back to 1991, the S&P 500 index has averaged a gain of 0.7% on Columbus Day, compared to the index’s daily average of 0.04%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 has averaged an absolute move—meaning up or down—of 1% on Columbus Days, compared to a daily average of 0.8% in any direction.

That said, U.S. equities have seen lower volume. Since 2008, the average Columbus Day volume on the New York Stock Exchange is 3.46 billion shares traded, compared to 4.12 billion shares on an average day since 2008.

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