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Bucs' win may cut bulls loose

By HELEN HUNTLEY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 23, 2003

Here's reason No. 527 to cheer for the Bucs: If the Raiders win, your retirement savings could take another hit.

That's according to the Super Bowl Indicator, which holds that a victory by a team that was part of the old American Football League is bad for the stock market, while one by an old National Football League team is good for stocks.

The Raiders were original members of the AFL, and their three previous Super Bowl victories accurately predicted a down year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

"It would clearly be bearish if the Oakland Raiders won," said Paul Macrae Montgomery, a market researcher who publishes Universal Economics in Newport News, Va. He is quick to say the indicator's success is coincidence.

The Bucs didn't come into being until after the leagues merged in 1970, but market strategist Robert Stovall said he classifies the Bucs with the old NFL teams because they are now in the National Football Conference and never played in the AFL. Stovall calls the indicator "a bit of harmless nonsense" that's nevertheless very accurate.

The indicator has an 81 percent track record. Usually the stock market goes up when the team with roots in the old NFL wins, partly because there are more such teams.

The indicator fell out of favor when it was wrong from 1999 to 2001, but last year it regained a touch of respectability as stocks tanked in the wake of the New England Patriots' win.

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