January 31, 2017
As a firm with deep Atlanta roots, we hardly need another reason to cheer for the Falcons in this year’s Super Bowl—but just in case you’re still on the fence, we have one: the Super Bowl Indicator. There is a long-standing correlation between Super Bowl winners and the market’s performance for the remainder of the year. If a team from the old American Football League (now the American Football Conference, or AFC) wins the Super Bowl, the stock market typically does poorly. Conversely, if a team from the old National Football League (now the National Football Conference, or NFC) wins, the market usually does well.
The Super Bowl Indicator was originally proposed in 1978 by New York Times sportswriter Leonard Koppett. Though he repeatedly renounced it in following years, it’s hard to argue with the results: as of January 2017, the indicator has been correct 40 out of 50 times—an 80 percent success rate—as measured by the S&P 500.
While correlation does not imply causation, and we would never recommend basing one’s portfolio on this indicator, it is an interesting take on predicting the stock market. And, given that the Falcons are in the NFC, it provides us with even more reason to hope that they bring the Lombardi trophy back with them to Atlanta. Rise Up!