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 Swimsuit Issue billboard is unveiled in New York's Times Square.

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.

>> 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.

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Top Swimsuit Issue Covers by Market Performance

Cheryl Tiegs
Source: Sports Illustrated
Cheryl Tiegs

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
Paulina Porizkova

1985 - Paulina Porizkova

Dow: Up 27.7%

S&P 500: Up 26.3%

Kathy Ireland
Source: Sports Illustrated
Kathy Ireland

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%

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