AMEX 2012 – 2013 Holiday Schedule

In 2008, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) merged with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and became NYSE Amex Equities.

The purchase instantly made the NYSE the leading stock market for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and options trading, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

Trading hours for the NYSE is typically from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. However the stock market does close for certain holidays and occasionally for other extraordinary events.

AMEX Holidays 2012 2013
New Year’s Day January 2 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 16 January 21
Washington’s Birthday/ Presidents Day February 20 February 18
Good Friday April 6 March 29
Memorial Day May 28 May 27
Independence Day July 4 July 4
Labor Day September 3 September 2
Thanksgiving Day November 22 November 28
Christmas Day December 25 December 25

Note: Each market will close early at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25, 2011 (the day after Thanksgiving). Crossing Session orders will be accepted beginning at 1:00 p.m. for continuous executions until 1:30 p.m. on this date.

Each market will close early at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Friday, November 23, 2012 (the day after Thanksgiving) and Monday, December 24, 2012. Crossing Session orders will be accepted beginning at 1:00 p.m. for continuous executions until 1:30 p.m. on this date.

What Could Close the Stock Markets Unexpectedly?

Since 1953, the exchanges have attempted to reduce the number of official closing days, knowing that investors want the markets open as long as possible.

There is growing pressure, with the Internet and computerized trading, for markets to be open 24/7. But breaks in trading on weekends help moderate volatility, and many trading professionals need this downtime. Additionally, no one wants to hear that the stock market has crashed on a Sunday morning.

Since 1885, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has unexpectedly closed for a number of reasons:

  • Computer failures: Circuit breakers (the NYSE is required to stop trading when the market declines by a certain percentage)
  • Power failures, especially in the 1970s
  • Hurricanes
  • War (the exchange was closed for 5 months in 1914 at the beginning of World War I, but was never closed for World War II).
  • Terrorist attacks (September 11-14, 2001)

Items of Note on the NYSE Holiday Schedule:    

Although the third Monday in February has become popularly known as “President’s Day”, the NYSE still follows the original designation of “Washington’s Birthday” as an Exchange holiday.

Washington’s Birthday was first declared a federal holiday by an 1879 act of Congress and then modified by The Monday Holiday Law, enacted in 1968. That law shifted the date of the commemoration of Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February, which is used to this day.

First, whenever a president dies, the exchanges select a day of mourning. For example: January 2nd was chosen as the day to mourn the passing of President Gerald Ford.

Second, the stock exchanges, particularly the NYSE on Wall Street and the London Stock Exchange in England; close on the Christian holidays of Good Friday and Christmas.

Third, Wall Street is very traditional. They have refused to change Washington’s Birthday observance to President’s Day. Until 1953, they observed Lincoln’s birthday (February 12), Columbus Day (October 12), Veterans Day (November 11), and often Election Day (the first Tuesday of November).

Although the NYSE closed on the funeral day of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 – the first time they did so in honor of a private citizen – the Exchange resisted adding Martin Luther King Day until 1998, years after it was declared a national holiday. (The Exchange did close to honor the death of J. P. Morgan in 1913, but only for two hours.)