By the Numbers

Will Kate Upton Predict a Stock Rally in 2012?

The 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue billboard is unveiled in New York's Times Square.
Gustavo Caballero | FilmMagic | Getty Images

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? 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 , dating back to 1964. 

>> QUIZ: Test Your Swimsuit Issue IQ

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.

Follow us on

Top Swimsuit Issue Covers by Market Performance

Cheryl Tiegs
Source: Sports Illustrated

1975 - Cheryl Tiegs

Dow:  Up 38.3%

S&P 500:  Up 31.5%

Source: Sports Illustrated

1995 - Daniela Pestova

Dow:  Up 33.5%

S&P 500:  Up 34.1%

Paulina Porizkova
Source: Sports Illustrated

1985 - Paulina Porizkova

Dow:  Up 27.7%

S&P 500:  Up 26.3%

Kathy Ireland
Source: Sports Illustrated

1989 - Kathy Ireland

Dow:  Up 27.0%

S&P 500:  Up 27.3%

Source: Sports Illustrated

1996 - Tyra Banks and Valeria Mazza

Dow:  Up 26.0%

S&P 500:  Up 20.3%

Comments?  Send them to