President George Herbert Walker Bush, who died Nov. 30 at the age of 94, will be remembered at a National Cathedral memorial service in Washington on Wednesday, which has been designated a national day of mourning by President Donald Trump. It is the first such farewell to a president in over a decade.
U.S. flags will fly at half-staff, and U.S. markets, including trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, will grind to a halt in honor of the U.S.âs 41st president. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
the S&P 500 index
and the Nasdaq Composite Index
thus will be at standstills.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma, an influential financial-industry trade group, has recommended that bond markets close on Wednesday. That means that trading in bonds like the 10-year Treasury note
could see limited action on Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, futures giant CME Group
will shut down trading of interest-rate and futures and options products for the day, though electronic trading will have a regular session. âWe are deeply saddened by the passing of President George H.W. Bush,â wrote CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy, in a Sunday news release.
The last time the market closed to mark the death of a president was on Jan. 2, 2007, in the wake of President Gerald Fordâs death. And the last time markets closed outside of a regular holiday was on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 2012, during the worst of Hurricane Sandy, according to Dow Jones Market Data. (Investorâs Business Daily, noted that that was the first weather-related, consecutive-day closure of stock trading since 1888).
Read: Opinion: Two big reasons the U.S.-China trade-war truce wonât last
President Bushâs death comes about eight months after the death of his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush.
Bush is to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from Monday until the memorial service at the National Cathedral on Wednesday. A second memorial service is slated to be held at St. Martinâs Episcopal Church in Houston on Thursday. Burial is slated to follow on the grounds of Bushâs presidential library at Texas A&M in College Station.
Beyond Wall Street closures, Bushâs funeral could result in another development that is important to markets: a delay in a prospective government shutdown.
According to reports, Trump may support a two-week delay of any government-shutdown battle over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall until after Bushâs funeral. Government funding is set to expire on Dec. 7 for key departments, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Government shutdowns, if they are prolonged, can elevate market anxieties and reduce risk appetite.
The funeral for Bush, the father of the 43rd president, comes amid renewed optimism for investors after key market bugaboos were removed, at least for the moment. Trumpâs temporary truce with President Xi Jinping over U.S.-China trade and the Federal Reserveâs dovish communications have underpinned recent buying in assets perceived as risky.
For the 41st presidentâs part, he was a businessman in his own right, achieving success after graduating from Yale University with his wife in the oil fields of west Texas in the 1950s. He was also a military man: The U.S. Navy, in a Saturday homage on Twitter, wished the naval aviator âfair winds and following seasâ in tribute to his service during World War II.
See: CAVU: The code word by which the closest Bush associates reportedly learned of the former presidentâs death
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