It’s a shorter week for markets heading into Easter weekend, with U.S. stock exchanges closing a day early, ending the trading week at the closing bell Thursday, known as Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), with no equity trading the following day, Good Friday.
The beginning of Passover coincides this year with Good Friday, ending on April 23.
Bond markets, on the other hand, will operate on an abbreviated schedule, closing Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern. That will give traders time to digest a smattering of U.S. economic data due for release before noon, including monthly updates on New York state business conditions and an industrial-output reading for March.
But the big focus for investors — and households — heading into the long holiday weekend has been the cost of living, with the U.S. inflation rate having surged sixfold in the past 14 months to an annual rate of 8.5% in March, driven by soaring prices for housing, fuel, groceries, cars and more.
See: Peak inflation? The worst may be over, but Americans likely to keep paying a high price.
Russia’s six-week-old invasion of Ukraine has ramped up inflation woes around the globe, with U.S. oil futures CL.1, -1.59% CL00, -1.59% this week back above $ 100 a barrel.
President Joe Biden said Tuesday he will allow high-ethanol blends of gasoline to be sold this summer, typically a heavy driving season, to help offset inflation, which in the U.S. is running at its highest level since 1981.
That’s all to say this Easter holiday comes during a difficult stretch for both Wall Street and Main Street, with the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.12%, Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.01% and Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +2.03% each down in a range of around 6% to 13% so far in 2022, according to FactSet.
Bond markets also have faced a brutal reckoning, with yields on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 2.710% climbing to three-year highs before pulling back in recent sessions. Bond yields move in the opposite direction to prices.
In Europe, stock exchanges will be close on Good Friday, April 15, through Easter Monday, April 18, reopening on Tuesday.