Stock Market During Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Stock Market During Thanksgiving and Black Friday

2 Min.

Consumer spending during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday period can influence investor confidence and provide insights into the retail industry's performance. While retail stocks may experience short-term effects, the broader stock market's reaction is mixed.


Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving, is a pivotal retail and spending event in the United States. Predictions about Black Friday sales levels often impact investor confidence. The performance of retailers during this period can indicate whether the holiday shopping season is likely to be profitable or not.

Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping

Retailers use the Black Friday period to offer discounts on overstock inventory, seasonal items, and big-ticket products like electronics. In 2021, approximately 180 million people shopped during the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period, spending an average of $301.27. Top purchases included clothing, toys, gift cards, books, music, movies, video games, and electronics.

Thanksgiving and the Stock Market

While Thanksgiving is significant for the food industry, U.S. stock markets are closed on Thanksgiving and open for only half a day on Black Friday. Global markets remain open, but the focus is on Black Friday due to its importance for retailers. Lower Black Friday sales numbers are viewed as a sign of slowed economic growth.

Holiday Effect on Stock Markets

Extra days off for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas can lead to increased trading activity and higher returns, known as the holiday effect or weekend effect. Traders often seek to capitalize on these seasonal patterns.

Black Friday Stock Market Performance

Black Friday's predictability for the stock market remains debatable. From 2001 to 2020, the S&P 500 saw mixed performance around Thanksgiving, with gains exceeding 1% in only three instances. The retail sector generally outperformed the S&P 500 during this period, but this pattern didn't hold in 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Origin of "Black Friday"

The term "Black Friday" stems from retailers recording profits in black ink and losses in red ink. Successful sales during this period historically allowed businesses to achieve profitability for the year.


Consumer spending during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday period provides valuable insights into the retail industry's performance and overall economic sentiment. Retail stocks may experience short-term fluctuations during this time, but the broader stock market's response to Black Friday remains mixed. Investors and economists continue to monitor these trends to gauge the health of the retail sector and the economy as a whole.


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