Forget Gold Rush, 49ers Win May Enrich Stock Investors

The San Francisco 49ers, a team name that pays tribute to the pioneers who struck it rich in the 1800s gold market, may have appeal that crosses over into equities as well, Bespoke Investment Group says.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) gained 20 percent on average for the rest of the year following the previous 49ers Super Bowl wins, according to Bespoke. Only once out of the five years the San Francisco team claimed the title did the S&P 500 decline, falling 6.6 percent through the end of 1990.

The record is not so bright for the Ravens, a squad named after a talking bird that tormented a distraught lover in an Edgar Allan Poe poem. After the Ravens claimed their sole victory, beating the New York Giants in 2001, the S&P 500 slumped 15 percent through the end of the year.

“All you need to know about the market for the rest of the year all boils down to who wins on Sunday,” Paul Hickey, co- founder of Harrison, New York-based Bespoke, said in a report titled “Why the Bulls Are Rooting for the 49ers,” referring to stock-market optimists. “Just kidding.”

Hickey’s research also showed that the S&P 500 finished the year higher 80 percent of the time whenever a team from the National Football Conference, which includes the 49ers, won the Super Bowl. The American Football Conference’s triumphs produced positive returns only 62 percent of the time. The Ravens are members of the AFC.

Equity Investors

The Ravens meet the 49ers on Feb. 3 in New Orleans. San Francisco ranges from a 3 1/2 to 4-point favorite, according to Las Vegas sports books. The favored team has won 33 of the previous 46 Super Bowls.

“Niners are 5-0 in Super Bowls, talk about performance!” said Brett Mock, a San Francisco-based trader at BTIG LLC. “The historical data doesn’t lie. If you are an equity investor, you should be rooting for the Niners.”

In Baltimore, where famed stock picker Bill Miller quarterbacked a fund at Legg Mason Inc. that beat the S&P 500 for a record 15 years, traders point out that past gridiron performance does not guarantee future equity results.

“Perhaps the 2001 result was more a factor of upset New Yorkers pulling their funds from the market on the Giants loss,” Dave Lutz, head of ETF trading and strategy for Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore, said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Picker in New York at lpicker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

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