DJIA Beats Super Bowl Outcome

January 11, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — The longstanding trend didn't hold true for 2004.

Despite a win by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII last February the Dow Jones Industrial Average still closed the year up by 3.15 percent.

Tradition holds that if an old American Football League franchise, like New England, wins the big game, the DJIA will take a nosedive as it did in 2002 when the Pats won their first Super Bowl. Following New England's win over St. Louis that year, the DJIA lost 17 percent of its value.

Conversely, the custom says that if an old AFL club loses, then the average is supposed to rise. That happened in 2003 when TampaBay drubbed Oakland and the DJIA ballooned by 20 percent that year.

Overall, the Super Bowl has accurately predicted the annual direction of the DJIA in 26 of the 31 games that had an AFL franchise playing — an 84 percent success rate since 1967. In fact, the game's outcome in relation to the final average has only been wrong four times since 1990 and was right in 17 of the 18 games played prior to that year.

In the 11 Super Bowls that old AFL teams have won, the DJIA fell seven times for a 64 percent successful prediction rate. Of the 20 games that these former AFL teams lost, the Dow rose in 18 of those years for an even better 90 percent success rate.

A former AFL franchise did not play in seven of the 38 Super Bowl games.

As for 2004, the DJIA gained most of its steam in December when the market jumped upward by 2.2 percent for the month. The oil and gas sector was the biggest domestic winner, posting a gain of 30 percent for the year.

West Michigan companies that had a good year include General Growth Properties, Huntington Bank, Johnson Controls, Kellogg's, Knape & Vogt, Macatawa Bank, Mercantile Bank, Herman Miller, National City Bank, Perrigo, Pulte Homes, Spartan Stores, Stryker, Universal Forest Products, Wolverine World Wide and X-Rite.

At the beginning of last year a CNBC trader poll found that 70 percent of the 130 traders the cable channel surveyed felt the DJIA would rise in 2004. But most of them projected a gain from 8 percent to 10 percent, and 17 percent boldly predicted the average would top the 12,000 mark. The DJIA started the year at 10,453, fell to 9,708, and then rallied to end it at 10,783.

With the Wild Card Weekend out of the way, the National Football League playoffs get going in earnest this weekend. Super Bowl XXXIX will be played on Feb. 6 in Jacksonville, Fla., a game your broker will likely watch.    

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