Why Is the Stock Market Open on New Year’s Eve?

By Benzinga
December 31, 2021 Updated: December 31, 2021

New Year’s Eve isn’t a federal holiday, so why are some people surprised they have to work Friday? It’s because New Year’s Day—which is a federal holiday—falls on Saturday this year.

When a holiday falls on the weekend, it’s almost always observed depending on which day it lands. If the holiday is on Saturday, it’s observed on the Friday before, and if it’s on Sunday, the holiday is observed on the Monday after.

That’s not the case for Wall Street this year because of a technicality in the New York Stock Exchange Rules.

“When a holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Saturday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the preceding Friday and when any holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Sunday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the succeeding Monday, unless unusual business conditions exist, such as the ending of a monthly or yearly accounting period,” according to NYSE Rule 7.2.

That’s right, according to the NYSE: “unusual business conditions” do exist this year. The calendar-year and fourth-quarter accounting periods end Friday, Dec. 31.

Next year, New Year’s Day will fall on a Sunday. The holiday will be observed on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.

Here’s a look at the 2022 NYSE holiday schedule:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, Jan. 17
  • Presidents’ Day: Monday, Feb. 21
  • Good Friday: Friday, April 15
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 30
  • Juneteenth: Monday, June 20 (observed)
  • Independence Day: Monday, July 4
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 5
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 24
  • Christmas: Monday, Dec. 26 (observed)