Americans across the country are commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, honoring the civil rights icon’s fight for racial justice and equality. This federal holiday celebrates Dr. King’s birthday on January 15, and is a time to reflect on his message of nonviolence, unity, and social change.
MLK Day Events Focus on Service and Social Justice
Commemorative events are being held in cities nationwide, focusing on community service projects and rallies for current social justice causes.
In Atlanta, the annual MLK Day march and rally is expected to draw tens of thousands to honor King’s legacy. Speakers will highlight ongoing struggles for voting rights and racial equality.
MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. Volunteers are participating in service projects – from food drives to neighborhood cleanups – in King’s honor.
The holiday takes on special resonance this year, amid renewed calls for policing and criminal justice reform following high-profile deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Stock Markets Closed, Some Banks Observe Holiday
- Stock markets in the U.S. are closed today in observance of the MLK Day holiday. However, bond markets are open, and banks have varying holiday schedules.
- Major U.S. banks like Chase and Bank of America are observing the holiday and closing retail branches, while TD Bank remains open.
- The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and other major exchanges are closed for the day. Electronic trading resumes tomorrow.
- With markets closed stateside, trading continues in international markets like Canada and Asia. U.S. stock index futures saw modest losses in early Monday trading overseas.
Looking Ahead: Economic Data, Davos Forum This Week
While much of official Washington is closed for the holiday, the week ahead still brings important economic updates:
- Retails sales data for December will be released on Wednesday, providing insights into holiday spending amid high inflation.
- The Empire State manufacturing index on Tuesday measures business activity in the region.
- Many eyes will also turn to the annual World Economic Forum meeting among business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland this week. Attendees like U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plan to address stubbornly high inflation, risks of a potential recession, and promoting sustainable global growth.
|Key Economic Events
|Empire State manufacturing index
|December retail sales data
|World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
Dr. King was just 39 years old when he was assassinated in 1968. But his push for sweeping social change through nonviolent resistance still resonates powerfully today. As the nation pauses to honor his enduring legacy, many are reflecting on how much work remains to achieve King’s vision of justice, equality and unity for all.
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