When The Yankees Win, The Stock Market Doesn't

In case you went to bed early and haven't glanced at the sports page, the New York Yankees won their 27th title last night after beating the Philadelphia Phillies in the 6th game of the World Series. That's great news for fans of the Bronx Bombers, but should the market also cheer? According to some analysis from Bloomberg, history shows that stocks might have been better off if the Yanks lost.

In yesterday's chart of the day, Bloomberg revealed how the S&P 500 fares in November and December following a Yankees World Series win. Here it is:

yankees market.PNG

Bloomberg did some analysis and found:

Since the S&P 500 began trading in 1928, it has averaged 3 percent returns for those two months following the Yankees' 10 World Series defeats; 2.16 percent returns in the 24 years they won the title; and 0.9 percent returns when the Yankees didn't make the World Series at all. The market does best when New York reaches the World Series -- and loses.

So the market should always celebrate when the Yankees make the World Series, but ultimately root against them once they get there. When they lose, the return has been 0.84% higher.

Of course, such historical analyses based on events that should have little correlation to the market aren't particularly dependable. After all, looking at the chart, this year could be like 1928. But it could also be more like 1941.

Obviously, there is some overlap between Yankees fans and Wall Street. But even if this historical paradigm is accurate, I doubt many people in that group will be disappointed with last night's result. They'll likely welcome 0.84% lower return with open arms, given the reward: a 9-year drought in World Series wins is like a century in Yankee fan years.

For any Boston Red Sox fan investors, however, this analysis makes last night's win sting even worse.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.

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