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Why stock-market investors can't snooze during Thanksgiving week

By William Watts

Here's how much the market typically moves during the holiday-shortened week

A self-induced turkey coma may be the order of the day on Thanksgiving, but active stock-market investors and traders can forget about sleeping through the entire holiday week.

The holiday-truncated Thanksgiving week is barely any different from a typical trading week in terms of the average weekly move for the S&P 500 SPX. That probably doesn't mean much for the average individual investor, but it may have implications for the pros.

Traders "who think they'll have to wait until next week to find out whether the market can build on its upswing should think twice," said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing at E-Trade from Morgan Stanley, in emailed comments.

He noted that since 1950, the large-cap benchmark has seen an average move of plus or minus 1.5% during Thanksgiving week, nearly the same as the 1.6% average for any five-day period.

U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, while stocks and bonds see only a partial day of trading on Friday. The table below from Dow Jones Market Data breaks down the holiday-week performance since 1950, working out to an average 0.7% gain since 1950.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA and Nasdaq Composite COMP each logged a third straight winning week on Friday. The S&P 500 has surged 9.6% over the past three weeks, its largest three-week percentage gain since June 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

-William Watts

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-20-23 1136ET

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