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The Super Bowl 54 Stock Market Indicator

Post-Super Bowl LIV Update:

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on their stunning Super Bowl victory!

I guess everyone should be selling their stocks for this year’s upcoming market crash?!

All kidding aside, as you can see below, the indicator has not been accurate the past 4 years. So who knows? Guess we will have to see next January. 

I hope everyone’s excited for Super Bowl 54 this Sunday!

What’s that? You don’t like football?

Well you better watch anyways, because the winner of the Super Bowl will determine if stocks are heading up or down in 2020.

Are you a San Francisco 49ers fan? You might want to start buying stocks.

Kansas City Chiefs fan? Better start selling.

The Super Bowl Indicator

Okay, so the winner of the Super Bowl won’t really have any effect on stocks – but there is a very interesting phenomenon going on (even if it is random).

It’s called the Super Bowl Indicator:

  • A win by an original National Football League team—from the days when there was an NFL and an American Football League, before the 1966 merger pact—means the market will be up for the year.
  • A win by a descendant of the AFL sends the market down.
  • Teams created since the merger count for their conference, National or American.

This means that a victory by the Chiefs on Sunday would send the stock market into negative territory for the rest of the year. However, if the 49ers come through with the win, then the stock market will rise by the end of the year.

Success Rate

Incredibly, the Super Bowl Indicator has had a near 75% success rate, correctly predicting the direction of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s movement in 40 of 54 Super Bowl years.

As you can see, the Super Bowl Indicator hasn’t been the most accurate the past few years. But let’s be honest, not many people expected the Dow to return over 22% last year either!

The last time the Super Bowl Indicator failed before 2016 was in 2008, when the New York Giants (NFC division) won the Super Bowl (which meant stocks should’ve gone up for the year). Of course, 2008 marked the start of the Great Recession, with the stock market suffering one of the largest downturns since the Great Depression.

The Super Bowl Indicator was popularized by Wall Street analyst Robert H. Stovall, who credits the original idea for the indicator to a NY Times sportswriter, Leonard Koppett, who discovered the correlation back in 1978.

The Super Bowl Indicator is actually a great example of correlation without causation, also known as a spurious relationship.

Super Bowl LIV: The Kansas City Bears vs. The San Francisco Bulls

But correlation without causation doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with the Super Bowl Indicator.

With the DJIA essentially up ever so slightly this year, I’m guessing that Super Bowl LIV is gonna be a close one!

What do you think?