Super Bowl Matchup: A Win-Win for the Markets

2009 Superbowl
2009 Superbowl

Last year, I pointed out that the market historically has outperformed when an original NFL team wins the Super Bowl and lags when an original AFL team wins. This year is special then. Both the Cardinals and the Steelers were members of the original NFL before the merger with the AFL in 1970. [Original NFL teams that switched to the AFC when the AFL and NFL merged include the Steelers, the Colts and the Browns.] So either way, an original NFL team will win this year. Of course the NY Giants upset of New England last year did not translate well for the markets...

Additionally, high scoring games (40+ points) also correspond to good market years while lower scoring games (39 points or less) coincide with weaker years. The Cardinals only had one game all season and post season with less than 40 point scored. Could it be a good year after all?

090126 Willie Parker.jpg

Below are the avg annual returns for the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq for years that original AFL / NFL teams (Tampa Bay Bucs and Baltimore Ravens expansion teams excluded) won the big game. Note NASDAQ data is since 1972

  • 40 Super Bowls with Original AFL / NFL teams
    • 26 NFL wins
    • 14 AFL wins
  • Avg annual returns when NFL wins
    • Dow up 12.3%
    • S&P up 12.2%
    • Nasdaq up 13.6%
  • Avg annual returns when AFL wins
    • Dow down -4.8%
    • S&P down -3.6%
    • Nasdaq up +3.0%

Using the current AFC / NFC delineations, you get the following:

  • 42 Super bowls to date
    • 22 NFC wins
    • 20 AFC wins
  • Avg annual returns when NFC wins
    • Dow up 12.1%
    • S&P up 11.5%
    • Nasdaq up 12.8%
  • Avg annual returns when AFC wins
    • Dow up 2.0%
    • S&P up 3.0%
    • Nasdaq up 8.6%

Looking at High (40+) and Low scoring games:

  • 42 Super bowls to date
    • 26 games with 40 or more total points
    • 15 games with 39 or fewer points
  • Avg annual returns when total points scored are 40+
    • Dow up 11.1%
    • S&P up 11.8%
    • Nasdaq up 17.2%
  • Avg annual returns total points scored are less than 40
    • Dow up 1.1%
    • S&P up 0.3%
    • Nasdaq down -.8%
  • Note - avgs when the NFC wins a low scoring game
    • Dow up 3.1%
    • S&P up 3.6%
    • Nasdaq up 4.3%

See which Super Bowl Matchups were the best and worst harbingers for the markets on the next page...

Super Bowl - Best Year for the Markets

Super Bowl IX: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date: January 12, 1975
Venue: Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Final Score: Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6

Dow Jones Industrial Avg (1975): up 38.3%

Super Bowl - Worst Year for the Markets

Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
Date: February 3, 2008
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Final Score: New York 17, New England 14

Dow Jones Industrial Avg (2008): down 33.8%

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