U.S. stock markets will remain open Friday even though President Joe Biden signed a bill that will add Juneteenth, which commemorates the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, as the 11th federal holiday.
The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act moved through Congress this week, with the House and Senate both passing it just days before the June 19th date marking the historic event. It’s the first federal holiday created since Martin Luther King Jr. Day became law in 1983.
Federal workers will observe Juneteenth on Friday this year because June 19 falls on a Saturday.
Why are markets open?
Markets are set to remain open Friday because of how quickly the legislation passed through Congress, according to people familiar with the matter.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will be open Friday, these people said. But the exchanges will participate in industry discussions in the coming months to evaluate closing markets for the holiday in 2022 and beyond, they added.
The people requested anonymity because discussions about changes to the exchanges’ schedules and whether they will close in observance of the Juneteenth holiday in 2022 haven’t been made public yet.
Exchanges would need to amend their rules and add June 19 to a list of dates for holiday closures and submit those changes to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
What about bond markets?
The bond markets will also be open Friday, with any changes in operations to go into effect next year.
Since June 19 falls on a Saturday, the Fedwire Funds Service, a settlement system operated by the Federal Reserve Banks, will remain open, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which makes recommendations for bond market closures.
“SIFMA, therefore, will not recommend a fixed income market close,” the industry trade group said in a statement. “Going forward, Juneteenth will be incorporated into our holiday schedule.”
What is the history behind Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas in 1865.
Although the proclamation went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863, some people who owned slaves didn’t tell them they were free. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger brought the news to Galveston, Texas.