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Math Trek

Super Bowls and Stock Markets

By
2:44pm, January 14, 2003

The Super Bowl "theory" links U.S. stock market performance to the results of the championship football game, held each January since 1967. It holds that if a team from the original National Football League wins the title, the stock market increases for the rest of the year, and if a team from the old American Football League wins, the stock market goes down.

Economist Paul M. Sommers of Middelbury College in Vermont has analyzed the data for the years from 1967 to 1998. He reports his findings in the May College Mathematics Journal.

Sommers defined six variables, one for each of the divisions (Eastern, Western, Central) of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). If the Super Bowl winner was from a particular division, the relevant variable was assigned the value 1; otherwise, it was 0. The dependent variable (DJIA) denoted the percentage change in the Dow Jones Industrial Average between the closi

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