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Is Saturday a Business Day for Amazon, Banks and Financial Markets?

What Is a Business Day?  Is Saturday a Business Day?

Is Saturday a Business DayA business day typically refers to any day in which normal business operations are conducted. In Western countries, this is generally considered to be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time and excludes weekends and public holidays.   So, is Saturday a business day? The definition of the business day varies by region and industry. In general, Saturday is not officially a business day but it can often be a working day.

The concept of a business day has come under a certain degree of challenge in the online business world. Information-based companies with limited dependence on physical goods have less of a need to distinguish a weekend day from a weekday. In many cases, there is no difference at all. As a result, these companies consider a business day to be any day on which they provide service.

However, there is a difference between a business day and a working day. Business days are working days. Working days are not necessarily full business days.

  • A business day is a working day where official business is carried on, like official meetings, correspondence, and banking.
  • A working day is a day on which the work is being done. Official business, in this case, can be voluntarily carried on, but this is not an accepted standard.

Business Days by Definition

A business day is a day where businesses, banks, governments, and all major institutions are open for business.  In western countries, a business day is regarded as Mondays to Fridays from 9 AM to 5 PM local time and excludes weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), including public holidays. In the securities industry, a business day is regarded as any day when the financial markets are open for trading activities.

Banking business days

Consumers often encounter the issue of a business day when depositing a check that needs to clear. It can take between two or more business days for a check to clear.  Those days do not include weekends or observed public holidays.  Additional time may be required depending on the size of the check being deposited and the location of the issuer.  These are all considerations that can extend the time that a depositor needs to wait to access those funds.

The Federal Reserve Board has published on its website examples of how transactions are processed. The examples illustrate the fund availability rule for depositing and withdrawals by checks.

According to the Federal Reserve Board Services website, the Federal Reserve Banks set different operating hours for their wholesale services.  These include the Fedwire® Funds Service, Fedwire Securities Service, and National Settlement Service.  Also, there are different hours during which the FedPayments Manager application for each of the wholesale services is available. The operating hours for the wholesale services and the hours of availability for the FedPayments Manager applications are stated below.

For each of the wholesale services, the Federal Reserve Banks observe the following holidays: all Saturdays, all Sundays, New Year’s Day (January 1), Martin Luther King’s Birthday (Third Monday in January), Presidents’ Day (third Monday in February), Memorial Day (Last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (first Monday in September), Columbus Day (Second Monday in October), Veterans’ Day (November 11), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), and Christmas Day (December 25). If January 1, July 4, November 11, or December 25 fall on a Sunday, the Federal Reserve Banks observe the holiday on the following Monday. 

International Business Days

When conducting international transactions, individuals and companies should be aware that business days may vary by country.  Also, there may be a difference in the public holidays observed. Most countries work around 40 hours per week from Monday to Friday.  However, there is enough variation that those doing international business should verify the days of the business week in the country with which you’re doing business.

For example, when doing business with Middle Eastern countries, keep in mind that many of them employ a Sunday through Thursday workweek. In some countries, like India, Mexico, and Columbia, the workweek is Monday through Saturday. (Source: investopedia.com)

Shipping business days

Business days are also used commonly in conveying when something will be delivered. For example, a package or piece of mail may be guaranteed to be delivered within three or four business days. The difference can be significant.  The four-business-day delivery guaranteed package may not arrive until seven days after it is sent if a weekend is involved.

Is Saturday A Business Day for Amazon?

Amazon doesn’t consider Saturday as a business day. Usually, Amazon calculates the transit time using business days so Saturday and Sunday won’t be counted toward the transit time. However, there is a weekend delivery option available on Amazon. During the checkout, you can select it if you want to receive the product during weekends.

Is Saturday a Business Day for UPS Shipping?

Saturday is considered a business day for UPS shipping, but only for time-critical shipments. Regular orders are delivered Monday through Friday, and any item delivered on a Saturday must have a “Saturday Delivery” sticker on the package.  However, many places don’t accept delivery on Saturday. In that case, Saturday doesn’t count. USPS delivers on Saturday if the business is open.

UPS has a range of domestic and international shipping options for Saturday deliveries. For example, UPS Next Day Air Early A.M. guarantees delivery 1 hour later than weekday delivery times. International delivery times depend on the destination. For some Saturday services, the delivery of a UPS return shipment is only permitted within the United States. Contact a local UPS representative for detailed information regarding Saturday UPS deliveries in specific areas. (Source: ups.com)

 Is Saturday a Business Day for Bank Transactions?    

In the United States, the Federal Reserve is closed on Saturday.  For this reason, the banks are unable to perform any transaction or operations involving the Federal Reserve.  This impacts the bank’s ability to perform transactions throughout its entire system.  Since the banks cannot perform their highest level transactions with the Federal Reserve on Saturdays, we consider that day to be a non-business day.  Generally, banks won’t process payments to accounts at other banks over weekends or on public holidays. If you make a payment during the non-business day then the bank will complete the process on the next business day.

Is Saturday a Business Day for Financial Markets?

Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays are not business days in the financial markets. Within the securities industry, any day the financial markets are open for trading is considered to be a business day. The regular market trades between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET. The after-hours market trades from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.  In the U.S., there are generally considered to be 252 trading days in a year.

Is Saturday a Business Day for International Transactions? 

The short answer is probably not.  Other considerations arise when multinational entities engage in international transactions.  These typically require additional business days to settle, relative to routine domestic transactions.  This is especially true if countries have different workdays.  Various financial contracts and instruments have an array of different settlement time periods.  Some range from a single day to other lengths requiring three or more business days. Market sophistication and liquidity often determine transaction settlement time periods.

Up Next: Stop on Quote vs. Limit Orders vs. Stop Orders

Stop on QuoteA Stop on Quote Order enables an investor to execute a trade at a specified price, or better after the quoted stock price reaches the desired stop price.  It is used by investors who want to limit their downside to ensure that a stock is sold before the price falls too far.  Stop on quote orders can be used to limit losses or buy stocks only after they’ve dropped to a certain pre-specified price.

Different types of orders allow you to give specific instructions regarding how you want your broker to fill your trades. When you place a limit order or stop order, you are telling your broker you don’t want the market price, the current price at which a stock is trading. Instead, you want your order to be executed once the stock price matches a price that you specify. There are two primary differences between limit and stop orders.

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