Well we are approaching the thanksgiving holiday in the states which really begins the holiday season. From Thanksgiving on to the end of the year consumers begin to ramp up their holiday spending in anticipation for Christmas. As for Thanksgiving, it can be a time of travel, and time away from the markets. So what should you expect as the holiday approaches?
Thanksgiving is on a Thursday and the markets are closed on this day. The Friday after the markets will only be open for a half day. Leading up to Thanksgiving Thursday many will be travelling to be with their family (myself included) and this means that many traders, investors, hedge funds, and others will not be trading. This causes extremely low volume in the markets which, these days are mostly the computers making adjustments.
Now historically the weeks before the Thanksgiving break tend to provide average volume. There were only a few years during the financial crisis where volume was above average going into the holiday. Given that most feel the economy is strong and growing many expect the volume to remain consistent into the holiday week.
The week of Thanksgiving you can expect very low volume after the open on Monday and it will likely remain this way throughout the week. Long term investors, short term traders should not have to take much action and it's highly suggested that new trades wait until after the holiday. Day traders have the toughest time as there will only be a few opportunities each day before the "action" dries up.
Now the Monday after the holiday is the first glimpse into the success or failure of the Black Friday shopping day. This will be the first time retailers will report how well they did on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Add to this that many are back to work and trading again and you have a recipe for fun.