Why should the markets celebrate Easter?
On Friday our stock market was closed for Good Friday. Today most of Europe is closed for Easter Monday as well. Long weekends are a nice break from the daily grind, and allow people to spend time relaxing and reflecting. But why do we do this?
Easter is of course a Christian holiday, celebrating the story of Christ’s resurrection. The European and American markets, with their western roots, respect this tradition. The word “Easter” is Germanic, and appears to stem from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon dawn goddess—who was also associated with spring and rebirth. (Most scholars do not think it derives from Istar, the Babylonian goddess of love, war, and sex.) In its early years Christianity adapted to local customs and cultures.
Without getting into the religious issues, renewal and rebirth are good things. We’ve seen companies reinvent themselves in order to adapt to new circumstances. IBM has gone through at least three different incarnations during my years in the market, and the entire market has changed many times: in the late ‘70s stocks were dominated by the oil-patch, in the ‘80s we were all turning Japanese, the ‘90s were the go-go internet era, and the ‘00s were dominated by the Financial Crisis and Great Recession.
Success breeds failure and failure breeds success as capital seeks returns. As long as the earth keeps spinning and cash keeps flowing, we’ll continue to see new life. Long live the bunny!
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer