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Market Extra: Is Juneteenth being observed by companies in the Dow industrials? Here’s how some are handling it.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average aren’t trading Monday due to the Juneteenth federal holiday, and many of the Dow’s components are also closed for the occasion.

That’s a relatively quick turnaround for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq exchange to close for Juneteenth, just one year after a bill marking the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. was signed into law. In comparison, it took the NYSE and other exchanges 15 years to close after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was signed into law.

Read more: Juneteenth closings: Are banks and the post office open on June 20?

Also read: How should Juneteenth be observed by companies and consumers? ‘We live in a capitalist society.’

Some publicly traded companies outside of the Dow 30, including Twitter

and Block Inc.
have announced in the past two years that they would make Juneteenth a paid company holiday.

The share of companies observing the holiday appears to be increasing: Nine percent of the 400-plus companies surveyed by the human-resources firm Mercer in early 2021 said they had designated Juneteenth as a paid holiday, but preliminary results from the firm’s survey this year found 33% of the 200 employers answering so far had made it a paid holiday, and 11% were thinking of doing so for next year.

MarketWatch reached out to all 30 Dow industrials components

to see how they will be observing the holiday. While closing the doors is difficult for many of the companies given the nature of their businesses, many will provide it as a paid holiday for their employees, while some others will go a little farther.

Here’s what the companies that responded said:

Financial and travel services company American Express Co.

: “American Express is proud to mark this year’s Juneteenth celebrations as a company holiday in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement. “To honor Juneteenth, we will hold events in partnership with our local Black Engagement Network (BEN) chapters and encourage all of our colleagues to take time to learn, celebrate and reflect on the significance of this day.”

Caterpillar Inc.

: The construction and mining equipment maker said it has a series of events and celebrations planned around the country from June 16 through June 20 that include virtual and local events with guest speakers, personal reflections, story sharing and more. “Caterpillar employees are provided a floating holiday and available time off to allow observation and celebration of events like Juneteenth that inspire and reflect the rich diversity of our workforce.”

Networking company Cisco Systems Inc.

: Cisco recognizes Juneteenth as a paid holiday for its U.S. employees.

Banking and brokerage Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

: Goldman Sachs will be closed on June 20.

Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc.

: The stores and offices will be open. “Because of the nature of our business, we’re open most holidays (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas),” the company said. “As we do with all federal holidays, our store associates receive overtime pay for any hours worked. We’ll have a series of events and celebrations this week for associates.”

Semiconductor maker Intel Corp.

: “Intel is proud to observe Juneteenth as an officially designated holiday for U.S. employees,” the company said. “Our U.S. corporate offices will be closed on June 20. Intel’s global manufacturing operations run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will remain open.”

Technology hardware company International Business Machines Corp.

: IBM employees can choose to take Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

The pharmaceutical, health services and consumer products company Merck & Co. Inc.

: Merck said it will officially recognize the Juneteenth federal holiday on June 20. “As a company steadfastly committed to supporting the Black community and with great respect for its culture and traditions, Merck observes Juneteenth as a paid company holiday in the U.S.,” Merck said in an emailed statement. “Our celebrations have already begun through a series of events hosted by the League of Employees of African Descent (LEAD), an employee business resource group within Merck.”

Microsoft Corp.

: The software behemoth said it recognizes Juneteenth by inviting all employees to join in a day of exploration, learning and engagement on June 20, while offices remain open. “Our approach is to use this day to create time and space for employees to better understand critical topics related to race, ethnicity and racial injustice, rather than making this a paid holiday,” said chief diversity officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre. “Some employees may want to observe this day in community and with family and can leverage one of the company-provided floating holidays to do so,” McIntyre added.

Athletic gear and accessories giant Nike Inc.

: In observance of Juneteenth, Nike said it will close its U.S. retail and distribution operations on June 19, with corporate, manufacturing and Converse distribution operations following on June 20. Manufacturing operations in Missouri will be closed on June 19 and June 20.

Customer relationship-management software company Salesforce Inc.

: “At Salesforce, Juneteenth is a floating company holiday in the U.S. that can be used for rest, reflection or volunteerism,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Healthcare coverage company UnitedHealth Group Inc.

: “We will commemorate Juneteenth this year by engaging with our employees and helping to enhance their cultural knowledge through educational resources and Juneteenth activities,” the company said. “We offer a flexible paid time off for policy for employees to balance work with personal or family needs, including days of personal importance or cultural significance such as Juneteenth.”

Drugstore services company Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

: “Walgreens stores are open, as well as our corporate offices, on June 20,” the company said.

MarketWatch did not receive responses from the other 17 Dow companies before this report was published, but the report will be updated with their comments as they come in.

The other Dow components are 3M Co.
Amgen Inc.
Apple Inc.
Boeing Co.
Chevron Corp.
Coca-Cola Co.
Dow Inc.
Honeywell International Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
McDonald’s Corp.
Procter & Gamble Co.
Travelers Companies Inc.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Visa Inc.
Walmart Inc.

and Walt Disney Co.

Meera Jagannathan contributed to this report.

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