Panther Tracks

If Panthers win the Super Bowl, the stock market will rise, right?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, right, leaps into the air to celebrate a touchdown by running back Cameron Artis-Payne during second quarter action vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 3, 2016 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Celebrating with Newton are quarterback Joe Webb, left, and Derek Anderson, center.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, right, leaps into the air to celebrate a touchdown by running back Cameron Artis-Payne during second quarter action vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 3, 2016 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Celebrating with Newton are quarterback Joe Webb, left, and Derek Anderson, center. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

For seven years straight, the outcome of the Super Bowl has predicted the direction of the stock market for the year. If the Carolina Panthers win, markets should go up.

A Wall Street Journal story this week discusses the so-called Super Bowl Predictor, an indicator created by a nearly 90-year-old market analyst named Robert H. Stovall, who concedes there’s “no intellectual backing for this sort of thing.”

But it works, and here’s how: A win by a team from the original National Football League (now the NFC division) — before the 1966 merging of the NFL and the American Football League — means markets will be up for a year.

A win by a descendant of the AFL (which preceded the current AFC division) sends the markets down, the Journal reports.

And teams created since the merger count for their conference, NFC or AFC. The Panthers played their first game in 1995, placing them in the third category and signaling an upswing in the market in 2016 if Carolina were to bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy in February.

Alongside the Panthers, the other teams that would signal a rise in the markets in 2016 if they win include Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay and Pittsburgh. But a win from New England, Denver or Kansas City would portend falling share prices.

This predictor has foretold the stock market’s direction correctly since 2008. Look at last year, for example, when the New England Patriots, an old AFL team, won and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.2 percent for the year, the Journal reports.

The Super Bowl Predictor has accurately predicted the direction of the stock market after 40 of the 49 Super Bowls, or about 82 percent of the time.

And could the current political environment be a good omen for the Panthers?

A presidential election, Stovall told the Journal, is “a fairly good background for some bullishness,” a term referring to a rise in share prices. “People are always hopeful that the next one will be better than the one before.”

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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