Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16, is a federal holiday in the United States and the stock market is closed.
Sometimes referred to as MLK Day, the holiday is observed on the third Monday of each January to mark King's January 15, 1929, birthday.
The holiday was signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983 but wasn’t officially observed until three years later. It wasn’t until 2000 that the holiday was celebrated in all 50 U.S. states.
Most bank, government agencies, schools and the U.S. Postal Service are closed but many big box retailers, such as Walmart and Target, will be open.
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Stocks historically rise prior to the MLK Day long week and pull back afterward. Between Tuesday and Friday of last week, the S&P 500 rallied 3.27% but on decreasing volume. Heading into a long weekend, stocks and major indices often see lower-than-average volume because traders and investors leave their desks to start their holidays early.
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?
King was an African American Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement and promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience to support his cause. Most famously, King led the 1963 March on Washington, where he presented his speech entitled “I Have A Dream.” A year later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated by James Earl Ray, on the balcony of a hotel where King was staying in Memphis, Tennessee.
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