Memorial Day honors the women and men who died serving their country, and the holiday has become an unofficial start to summer, synonymous with backyard barbecues and festive parades.
This year investors will be hoping that the holiday also commemorates a recovery that is gathering steam from a COVID-19 pandemic that debilitated much of the globe. Nearly 600,000 Americans have died in the pandemic, but daily case reports are dropping to their lowest levels since March 2020.
Nearly 2 million people passed through airport security checkpoints on Friday, marking a pandemic-era travel record, the Washington Post reports.
Memorial Day is certainly about those who laid their lives on the line in defense of American values, but it may also come to be viewed as a time of reflection on those who were lost during the worst pandemic in generations, and those public-health workers who laid the groundwork for some semblance of a return to normalcy.
For its part, the stock market has been trading near all-time highs against that backdrop, but investors have been anxious about the specter of out-of-control inflation if the post-COVID economy runs too hot.
President Joe Biden unveiled a $6 trillion budget Friday, projecting a deficit of $1.8 trillion for the next fiscal year as the White House pushes for big spending on things like infrastructure and education, as part of the country’s ambitious rebuilding efforts.
“Failing to make these investments at a time of such low interest costs would be a historic missed opportunity that would leave future generations worse off,” acting Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young told reporters on Friday.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.19% booked a weekly gain of 0.9%, for a rise of 1.9% in May, marking its fourth monthly gain in a row. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.08% closed up 1.2% on the week and marked a May gain of 0.6%, for its fourth straight monthly advance. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.09% had a weekly gain of 2.1%, but a 1.5% decline in May.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a brokerage-industry trade group that sets procedures for the bond market, advises bond dealers also to close Memorial Day, and the bond market closed an hour earlier on Friday. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.584% was at 1.592% at the end of the week, down 4 basis points in May.
Regular trading for U.S. oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange also will be closed Monday, with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies set to meet on Tuesday; and metals on Comex, including gold GC00, +0.07%, won’t see a cash settlement in observance of Memorial Day.
Meanwhile, it is also a bank holiday in the U.K, and the London Stock Exchange, and notably the FTSE 100 UKX, +0.04%. Other European bourses, including the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.08%, however, will be open.