It’s a shorter week for markets heading into Easter weekend, with U.S. stock exchanges closing a day early, ending the trading week at the closing bell Thursday, known as Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), with no equity trading the following day, Good Friday.
The beginning of Passover, a roughly weeklong holiday, also coincides this year with Good Friday.
Bond markets, on the other hand, operate on a more abbreviated schedule, with trade ending Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern. SIFMA, the trade association for broker-dealers, recommended the market be closed on Friday.
But there will be a smattering of U.S. economic data due for release before noon Friday, including monthly updates on New York state business conditions and an industrial-output reading for March.
In Europe, stock exchanges will be closed on Good Friday, April 15, through Easter Monday, April 18, reopening on Tuesday.
Good Friday backdrop
The big focus for investors — and households — heading into the long holiday weekend has been the cost of living, with the U.S. inflation rate having surged sixfold in the past 14 months to an annual rate of 8.5% in March, driven by soaring prices for housing, fuel, groceries, cars and more.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday he will allow high-ethanol blends of gasoline to be sold this summer, typically a heavy driving season, to help offset inflation, which in the U.S. is running at its highest level since 1981.
What impact Easter weekend has on the stock market
This Easter holiday comes during a difficult stretch for both Wall Street and Main Street, with the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.21%, Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.33% and Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -2.14% each down in a range of around 6% to 13% so far in 2022, according to FactSet.
Bond markets also have faced a brutal reckoning, with yields on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 2.829% climbing to three-year highs before pulling back in recent sessions. Bond yields move in the opposite direction to prices.
After the Easter pause, investors will turn their focus back to quarterly earnings to gauge the effects of high inflation on companies and their customers. They also will be gearing up for the Fed’s two-day meeting from May 3 to 4, when the fed funds rate may be raised by a half-point, instead of the more typical quarter-point move. The start of significant Fed balance sheet reduction also could kick off when the meeting concludes.