Wall Street should be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
It’s merely a coincidence, but historical data has shown that stocks perform better in years when the NFC team wins the Super Bowl, according to figures compiled by LPL Financial. The S&P 500 has also been more likely to record a full-year drop if the Lombardi Trophy goes to the AFC team.
“We would be the first to admit that this indicator has no connection to the stock market, but the data doesn’t lie—the S&P 500 Index has performed better, and posted positive gains with greater frequency, over the past 51 Super Bowl games when NFC teams have won,” Ryan Detrick, a senior market strategist at LPL, wrote in a research note Friday.
The S&P 500 has advanced 10.8% when the NFC team wins, far better than the 5.8% return in years when the AFC team wins. An NFC win has coincided with a positive year 82% of the time. The S&P 500 has posted a gain 63% of the time the AFC produces a Super Bowl champion.
Looking back at the past 51 Super Bowls, Detrick noted that stocks fall for the full year when teams belonging to the original American Football League—such as the New England Patriots—win. A championship victory for teams that were part of the original National Football League, which included the Eagles, tend to precede a market rally.
When the Patriots are involved, the numbers grow even worse for the AFC.
In years when the Patriots have played in the Super Bowl, the S&P is up 3.1% on average. The S&P 500 has averaged just a 1.5% annual return when the Patriots win, compared to a 5.1% rally if they lose.