With the big game coming up on Sunday, we decided to play with some numbers a little. While there have been several variations over the years, the Super Bowl Indicator basically says that equities do better when the NFC wins the Super Bowl.
Below we have summarized the average performance of the S&P 500 from the date of the Super Bowl through year end depending on which conference the winner comes from. As shown, over time, the bias has certainly been in the NFC's favor, with an average gain of 13% and positive returns 86% of the time.
Turning our attention to individual teams shows that bullish investors should be rooting for the Giants. The table below shows the average return through year end following the Super Bowl depending on which team won (In order to make the list a team had to win at least two Super Bowls.) The average return of the S&P 500 following the three Patriots wins (2002, 2004, and 2005) is a decline of 3.6%. Following Giants wins (1987 and 1991), the average return was a gain of 7.8%.
No matter who wins this year, let's just be thankful that the Dolphins, with their 1-15 record, will be watching from home. They won the Super Bowl twice (1973 and 1974), and following each victory the S&P 500 declined by 18% and 27%, respectively.