By the Numbers

Steelers Win:  A Bullish Market Omen


With their victory last night, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a record sixth Super Bowl title, surpassing the five championships won by each the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. While no team has won four Super Bowls, five teams (the Raiders, Redskins, Packers, Patriots, and Giants) have also won three championships apiece.

Remarkably, in each of the five previous times that the Steelers have won a NFL title, the markets have posted strong double-digit gains in the championship year. But after posting their worst January performance ever last month (the S&P 500 was down 8.57%), it will undoubtedly be an uphill challenge for the markets to continue that trend this year. Take a look at how the S&P 500 has surged in each of the Steelers’ championship years:

                            Year     Change
Super Bowl IX          1975     +31.55% (best year ever for the markets since Super Bowl I)
Super Bowl X           1976     +19.15%
Super Bowl XIII        1979     +12.31%
Super Bowl XIV        1980     +25.77%
Super Bowl XL         2006     +13.62%
Super Bowl XLIII      2009     ????

Given the eight teams that have won three or more NFL championships each, the S&P 500 has performed the best when the Steelers have won the Super Bowl – gaining 20.48% on average. Here’s how the S&P 500 has performed during other NFL franchises’ championship years:

                                  Number of         S&P 500’s Avg. Performance  
                             Championships            in Championship Years

Pittsburgh Steelers        6                      +20.48% (excludes 2009 YTD)
Green Bay Packers           3                      +19.59%
San Francisco 49ers         5                      +19.18%
Washington Redskins        3                      +11.38%
Dallas Cowboys               5                      +8.49%
New York Giants              3                      -3.38%
New England Patriots       3                      -3.79%
Oakland/L.A. Raiders        3                      -6.61%

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