The 2012 Sports Illustrated issue was revealed Monday, featuring 19-year-old American model and actress, Kate Upton, on this year's magazine cover.
Could the cover of the most profitable single-issue magazine franchise in the world be a barometer for the stock market? CNBC.com looked at the market performance in years when the magazine cover featured a blonde versus a brunette.
The models' hair color was gauged from the Sports Illustrated website, dating back to 1964.
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49 covers from 1964 until now:
- 25 blonde covers — average annual return of Dow 10 percent, S&P 10.9 percent
- Note: The covergirl from 2008, Marissa Miller, is a blonde and the Dow and S&P fell 34 and 39 percent, respectively
- 20 brunette covers — average annual return of Dow 2.2 percent, S&P 2.3 percent
- 3 covers with multiple models of varied hair color
- 1 cover with a redhead
Additionally, the models' nationality may also yield an interesting result. Since 1978, the S&P 500 posted an average return of 14.3 percent when an American was on the cover of the magazine versus an 10.8 percent increase when a model from another country was selected, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
The following pages contain the Sports Illustrated covers associated with the best market years.
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Top Swimsuit Issue Covers by Market Performance
1975 - Cheryl Tiegs
Dow: Up 38.3%
S&P 500: Up 31.5%
1995 - Daniela Pestova
Dow: Up 33.5%
S&P 500: Up 34.1%
1985 - Paulina Porizkova
Dow: Up 27.7%
S&P 500: Up 26.3%
1989 - Kathy Ireland
Dow: Up 27.0%
S&P 500: Up 27.3%
1996 - Tyra Banks and Valeria Mazza
Dow: Up 26.0%
S&P 500: Up 20.3%
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