Fourth of July – Which Markets Will be Closed?
Independence Day in the U.S. falls on the 4th of July which happens to fall on a Saturday this year. As a result, the markets in the country will be closed on Friday in observance of this holiday. On Thursday, the stock exchanges in the U.S. will trade as normal. On Friday morning, the 3rd of July, the weekly jobs report will be released and we might see some active trading in early morning trade yet due to the holiday, this trading volume is likely to decline after the employment data is released. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq (COMP, +0.19%) will operate their regular hours on Thursday, yet they will be closed on Friday. Meanwhile, the SIFMA (Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association) has also recommended that the bond markets close on Friday. The New York and Chicago Mercantile floor trading will also be closed on Friday while the Chicago-traded commodities will see early closes starting from 1 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. This includes the currency-related futures, the Dow and Nasdaq futures as well as grains. With all eyes currently on Greece, the Asian and European markets will continue to trade normal trading hours both on Thursday and Friday so if anything develops in Greece over these two days, most of the activity is likely to be seen in these markets over the Fourth of July holidays.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks traded higher. This came as investors shifted their focus away from Greece and on to economic data released out of the country. In late trade, the main indices gave back gains made in the morning as a result of a sharp decline in energy stocks. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended 0.8%, or 138.40 points, up at 17,757.91 while the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) advanced 0.7%, or 26.26 points, to 5,013.12. Also on the upside was the S&P 500 index (SPX) which rose 0.7%, or 14.31 points, at 2,077.42. Gains on the index were led by financials while the only sector that was trading lower was energy stocks as a result of a sharp decline in oil prices. Despite these gains, all three benchmark indices are still down approximately 1 percent for the week.
In currency trading on Wednesday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded higher. This came in response to the release of positive manufacturing and jobs data in the U.S. while investors are still remaining cautious as a result of concerns regarding the debt crisis in Greece. According to the Institute for Supply Management, their PMI (purchasing managers’ index) rose from 52.8 in May to 53.5 in June. This beat analysts’ expectations for an uptick to 53.1. Meanwhile, in a separate report, ADP, the payroll processing firm, reported non-farm private employment in the U.S. in June rose by 237,000. This also beat expectations for an increase of 218,000. The EUR/USD traded at 1.1077, down 0.59% while the GBP/USD was at 1.5634, down 0.48 percent. Against the currencies in Japan, Canada and Switzerland, the greenback traded higher with USD/JPY up 0.38% at 122.97, USD/CAD up 0.47% at 1.2550 and with USD/CHF up 0.65% to trade at 0.9426. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 96.23, up 0.50%.
On Thursday, crude oil prices traded slightly weaker in early Asian trade. This came in response to data which showed a buildup in U.S. stockpiles as well as the global scope for demand. WTI crude oil for delivery in August traded at $56.93 a barrel, down 0.05%, on the NYMEX. Meanwhile on Wednesday, Brent crude oil for delivery in August traded at $61.91, down 2.64%, or 1.68, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London. During the trading day, Brent crude futures declined by more than 2.5 percent. Also, in their weekly report, the EIA (Energy Information Administration) stated that last week, the crude inventories in the U.S. rose by 2.4 million barrels. This marked the end of an 8-week streak of weekly draws while crude stockpiles are near its highest level in the last 80 years at 465.4 million barrels.