NFL fans reach what is likely an unrivaled level of passion during the Super Bowl season, taking opposing sides of the two teams playing on the field. In the 2018 Super Bowl, that honor goes to the fans of New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
But for the sake of their retirement accounts and 401(k)s, perhaps fans should leave the competitive spirit at the door, bond over a half-time performance from pop star Justin Timberlake, and crack open a cold one during Super Bowl 52 —until their teams have scored a combined 46 points that is.
According to a light-hearted look at stock market performance and Super Bowls in the past 51 years, S&P Global market intelligence found that Super Bowls with higher scoring games correlated with higher stock market returns.
“When the teams in the Super Bowl combine to score at least 46 points, the stock market returns 16.6% on average,” they wrote in a Thursday note. “If the final combined score is under 46, the average market return is just 6.3%.”
That alone may be reason for Eagles and Patriots fans to hold hands and play nice.
Still, correlation is not causation, with the S&P noting that it is not a “fundamental analysis of market trends.”
The statistics are more likely the result of correlation without causation—with economists considering a similar superstition that the Super Bowl can predict stock market performance a psuedo-indicator. As S&P notes, the data can be easily construed. From one perspective, a win by an American Football Conference team such as the Patriots has often portended a dip in markets for the year. From another, the Patriots are five-time returning champions, with markets returning on average 13.2% in a year when the returnee wins.