Monday, October 13, 2008

Stock Market & Celestial Bodies

For no good reason, I was browsing through a list of all past exceptional closings of the New York Stock Exchange. Many were pretty mundane: blizzards, heat waves, blackouts, strikes, fires, end-of-war parades, moving to new building, etc. Many closings for deaths or funerals of ex-presidents and other politicians. In earlier years, British royalty (deaths or coronations) also were also recognized. Quite a few momentary closings for notable losses, some of which seem telling (example: one minute of silence when MLK was assassinated. But two minutes for RFK.)

In the pre-digital age there were many, many closings for "paperwork crisis" or "to allow offices to catch up on work". Wednesday, Apr. 10, 1974 marked the first trading interruption due to "computer malfunction" (it lasted 26 minutes), which became a common event during the 70's. And, of course, there were several days of closure after 9/11/01.

But the two most intriguing closures were:

Jan. 24, 1925 (Sat) Opened at 10:45 am. Eclipse of sun. [Because it was bad luck? Or what??]


July 21, 1969 (Mon) Closed – National Day of Participation for the lunar exploration. [And the stockbrokers participated how, exactly??]


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