Wall Street History
Tiger, the NBA, and Roger
And now for something completely ridiculous or is it?
I saw a blurb in the Wall Street Journal on the effect Tiger
Woods’ performances at the Masters golf tournament have had
in the bond pits. Such as “over the last 11 years, the bond market
has performed best in Aprils when Mr. Woods captures the green
jacket, according to analysts at BNP Paribas.”
Well, what about the equity market, specifically the S&P 500, I
mused? If you just look at April in the years Tiger has won the
Masters, the performance is mixed.
But what of his performance in all four majors compared to the
stock market? Here’s a comparison of the S&P’s full-year total
return and Tiger’s 13 major titles.
1997 +37.4 Masters
1999 +21.0 PGA
2000 .-9.1 U.S. Open, British Open, PGA
2001 -11.9 Masters
2002 -22.1 Masters, U.S. Open
2005 .+4.9 Masters, British Open
2006 +15.8 British Open, PGA
2007 .+5.5 PGA
What conclusions can you draw? Heck, nothing.
But wait as Tiger looks to recover from his latest knee
operation in time for the U.S. Open next June at Torrey Pines,
you can see that the two times he has won this event have proved
to be dismal ones for the market. We’re off to a poor start for
equities thus far in 2008, so those looking for Tiger to tear up a
course he has performed well on in the past better not then be
looking for much in their portfolios should he take his 3rd Open
title. Plus, you can see in years he doesn’t win a major, the
market registers double-digit returns.
What of other sports, though, you might be asking? I already
cover football in depth come Super Bowl time, and after looking
at World Series and Stanley Cup past champions the last 10+
years, I can tell you there are no clear patterns of market
behavior in these cases.
But the NBA, the National Basketball Association, is a different
matter and as the playoffs here commence this week, those of
you who welcome the apparent return of the #1 seed Los Angeles
Lakers to prominence can not also be bullish on stocks, because
the last time the Lakers won the title, three in a row, actually,
was 2000-2002, and you can see above this was an awful time
Conversely, the four times the San Antonio Spurs have won,
1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, were all up years for Wall Street.
But wait there’s more. I also looked at tennis, to see if
anything could be gleaned from the results of either Wimbledon
or the U.S. Open the past decade or so in terms of those players
still in the hunt today.
Check this out. Roger Federer has won Wimbledon five years in
a row, 2003-2007, all up years for stocks. This is significant
because Federer has been ill much of this year thus far and not as
yet on his game, at least the kind of performance we’ve become
accustomed to. In light of the early ’08 stock market, this
doesn’t bode well, does it? But if he manages to win, and stocks
are down year-to-date at that point, look for a stupendous rally
the rest of the year.
Finally, back to Los Angeles, and looking at Wimbledon and the
U.S. Open, not only did the Lakers win, 2000-2002, but L.A.
natives Serena and Venus Williams took all six possible
Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns during that time. In other
words, if you are ‘long’ the market, the last thing you want is
anything L.A.-based in terms of the NBA or tennis’ two top
Ridiculous? I’m not so sure now.
Wall Street History returns with more traditional statistical
analysis next week.