Are Markets Closed on Good Friday?
As a result of the US markets closing many exchanges in other countries close as well. Now many stock exchanges close on Good Friday and no one really knows why. It is not a holiday for which other businesses usually close.
Why Are Markets Closed on Good Friday?
There are many urban myths about why markets close on Good Friday. At some point a myth started that the said the reason the Stock Market closes on Good Friday was because it was in the building's lease that it had to close on Good Friday. The fact that the NYSE has changed buildings seems to debunk that reason.
UPDATE: A reader suggested an interesting idea. Perhaps the markets originally closed on Good Friday because it was required in the NYSE's original lease, but after the exchange moved they simple continued to close on the Holiday for tradition sake. It seems plausible as the NYSE is steeped in tradition such as ringing bells twice everyday when markets open and close.
In the end, markets are probably closed on Good Friday because Wall Street can be stressful and the holiday makes for a nice three-day weekend each Spring.
Other Stock Market Holidays
The other Market Holidays are all federal holidays. However there is no law or requirement for the Stock Market to close on these days. NYSE is a privately held company and they can stay open whenever they want. The only other diversion form official federal holidays is on the day after Thanksgiving. On this date, the markets usually close early for a half day.
You can click to see the NYSE's Full Holiday Schedule.