The Super Bowl Indicator suggests stocks rise for the full year when the Super Bowl winner has come from the original National Football League (now the NFC), but when an original American Football League (now the AFC) team has won, stocks have fallen. We would be the first to admit that this indicator has no connection to the stock market, but “data don’t lie”: The S&P 500 Index has performed better, and posted positive gains with greater frequency, over the past 53 Super Bowl games when NFC teams have won. Of course, it doesn’t always work, as stocks did great last year even though the dreaded Patriots (from the AFC) won the Super Bowl.
A simpler way to look at the Super Bowl indicator is to look at the average gain for the S&P 500 when the NFC has won versus the AFC—and ignore the history of the franchises. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, this similar set of criteria has produced an average price return of 10.2% when an NFC team has won, compared with a return of 6.8% with an AFC winner. An NFC winner has produced a positive year 79% of the time, while the S&P 500 has been up only 64% of the time when the winner came from the AFC.
The 49ers have won the Super Bowl five times, putting them just behind the six that the Patriots and Steelers have won. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have won the Super Bowl only once, exactly 50 years ago.
The year the Chiefs won the Super Bowl (1970), the S&P 500 was virtually flat. Meanwhile, we’ve seen some impressive market returns the years the 49ers made it to the big game. In fact, the S&P 500 has averaged nearly 21% in the six years they made it to the final game, and 19% in the five years they won.
“There have been 53 Super Bowl winners, yet only 20 teams account for those wins,” said LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “And wouldn’t you know it, the 49ers have recorded the third-best market return out of those 20 teams when they win.”
Here’s a breakdown of the 20 Super Bowl winners and how the S&P 500 has done following their victories.
LPL Research would like to reiterate that in no way shape or form do we recommend investing based on this data, but those of us outside of New England can all agree we’re glad the Patriots aren’t in the game! Have a great Super Bowl weekend everyone.
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