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NYSE joins Nasdaq in closure Tuesday

From Reuters

The major U.S. stock exchanges will be closed Tuesday to mark the death of former President Ford, leaving stock trading suspended for an unusually long four consecutive days.

The New York Stock Exchange on Friday joined the Nasdaq Stock Market in saying it would not open Tuesday.

The closing is unusual because trading was already slated to be shut Monday for New Year’s Day and U.S. exchanges tend to avoid being closed for consecutive weekdays -- particularly when they immediately follow or precede weekends, analysts said.

“Certainly this is disruptive to trading in the market,” said Octavio Marenzi, chief executive of consultant firm Celent Communications, who was surprised by the decision.

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On Thursday, President Bush declared Tuesday a national day of mourning for Ford, who died the day after Christmas. The exchanges have historically closed on a national day of mourning for a president.

After the death of former President Reagan, the exchanges closed for a national day of mourning June 11, 2004.

According to NYSE records, the Big Board has been shut for two or more consecutive weekdays in only a few instances during the last century, including Sept. 11 to 14, 2001, after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and Aug. 15 and 16, 1945, at the end of World War II.

“It’s very rare to close for four days in a row; you get a backlog of orders and stuff,” Leeb Capital Management investment strategist Peter Dunay said Friday. “So you may see a little of an increase in orders today just to see people settling a little more because they’ll be gone.”

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Joining the two largest U.S. stock markets in closing are the International Securities Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the New York Board of Trade and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange said its commodity and equity index markets would close, but foreign exchange and interest rate markets would be open until 1 p.m. Eastern time.

The Chicago Board of Trade said it would close its agricultural markets, but overnight electronic agricultural markets would trade as usual. The New York Mercantile Exchange will close its Nymex and Comex division trading floors, but electronic trading will remain open.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Assn. has recommended that the bond market close early Tuesday, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

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