Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Does the Super Bowl Have to Do With the Stock Market?

So do you want the Seattle Seahawks to win, or are you rooting for the New England Patriots?  There are a few ways to look at the potential winner.

If you're a stock-market investor, you might want to root for the Seahawks.  In 39 of the previous 48 Super Bowl games(81%), the winner has been a reliable  predictor of the following year's stock market performance.   If the NFC wins, the following year will produce a bullish market.   So says Robert Stovall, National Investment Services, who, for decades,  has been tracking the Super Bowl results as a predictor of the performance of the stock market in the following year.

Not convinced?  Nancy Tengler, author of The Women's Guide to Successful Investing, financial commentator, and university professor also offers another possibility.  According to Wall Street lore, if the Sports Illustrated Cover Model is American, stocks will have a great year, with the average return from 1979 through 2008 coinciding with an American model on the cover of 13.9 %. Not sure what that might have to do with the Super Bowl, but Tom Brady's wife is a super model.

Others interested in the state of the economy correlate the unemployment rate in each team's city with the likelihood of a win or loss for that team.  In November of 2014, the unemployment rate in Seattle was 4.2 while the rate for same month in Boston was 5.2 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).  Oh, oh!  Based on this correlation, Seattle still looks good.

We might look on all of these correlations as suspect since 'correlation does not equal causality', but it does give those of us interested in the stock market and the economic indicators another reason to watch the game.

(All predictors have been reported in Nancy Tengler's article, "Seahawks Win Would Benefit Stock Market, Predictor Says,"  Arizona Republic, January 28, 2015, A14.)

Something to Hope For

Many of us are looking out our windows on a scene like the one sent to us by Joan H.

 But take heart!  We have no reason to worry about that ominous "6 more weeks of winter" prediction by Punxutawney Phil.  That problem will be taken care of.  See below.

(Our thanks to Shannon G-H for pointing us in this direction.)

Health Info Worth Considering

(Microsoft ClipArt)
"The Definitive Answer To...Your Biggest Health Questions" by Dina Spector and Kevin Loria in Business Insider, Aug., 2014.
Does olive oil prevent heart disease?
Yes  It can reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancers. But make sure to buy fresh "extra-virgin" olive oil, which has the highest polyphenol content.

Do cough syrups work?  No. The nation's chest physicians agreed (2006).  Exception:  Cough suppressants that contain older antihistamines seem to relieve coughs such as brompheniramine, an active ingredient in Dimetapp
Do sugary soft drinks lead to diabetes?  Yes.  A large 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who drank one or more sugary drinks per day increased their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 83% compared to those who consumed less than one of these beverages per month.

Do I need sunscreen with more than 30 SPF? No.  SPF 30 blocks 97% of ultraviolet rays,
What's more important?  Choose a sunscreen that blocks UVB and UVA rays.  It will be labeled as "broad-spectrum" sunscreen.  And be generous in applying sunscreen for the full benefit.

Do nuts make you fat?  No.  But you have to watch portion size. Benefits? They help to keep you full; they are a healthy fat; they are good protein and fiber sources.

Is walking as effective as running? Yes,  The length of time spent in exercise and the number of calories you burn is more important than the intensity.  Studies have shown that how long you exercise — and thus how many calories you burn — is more important than how hard you exercise. Running is a more efficient form of exercise, but walking at a moderate pace and running appear to produce similar health benefits, so long as the same amount of energy is expended.

Is drinking fruit juice as good for you as eating fruit?  No. Calorie for calorie, whole fruit provides more nutritional benefits.  Why?  When you liquefy fruit, stripping away the peel and dumping the pulp, many ingredients like fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and other antioxidants are lost.

Are all wheat breads better for you than white bread? No.  Look for the breads labeled "whole grain" or "whole wheat" to get the benefits of  all parts of the grain kernel, including the nutrient-rich germ and fiber-dense bran.
Can a hot tub make me sick?  Yes.  Especially ones in spas, hotels, and gyms are perfect breeding grounds for germs. Why?  Even though hot tubs are treated with chlorine, the heat causes the disinfectant to break down faster than it would in regular pools. The most common hot tub infection?  Pseudomonas folliculitis - it causes red, itchy bumps.  A more dangerous side-effect of soaking in a dirty Jacuzzi is a form of pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease.

Does coffee cause cancer? No. Actually, ocffee has been linked to a lower risk of Type-2 diabetes ,
Parkinson's disease , liver cancer.

Do eggs raise cholesterol levels?  No.  Although egg yolks are a major source of cholesterol — a waxy substance that resembles fat — researchers have learned that saturated fat has more of an impact on cholesterol in your blood than eating foods that contain cholesterol. "Healthy individuals with normal blood cholesterol levels should now feel free to enjoy foods like eggs in their diet every day," the lead researcher from a 25-year University of Arizona study on cholesterol concluded.

Can you drink too much water? Yes.  But It is very rare for someone to die from drinking too much water, but it can happen. Are you an elite athlete? Overhydrating is most common among elite athletes. Drinking an excess of water, called water intoxication, dilutes the concentration of sodium in the blood leading to a condition known as hyponatremia.  The symptoms of hyponatremia can range from nausea and confusion to seizures and even death in severe cases.  To avoid this, drink fluids with electrolytes during extreme exercise events.

Can yogurt ease digestive problems?  Yes. Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, generically called probiotics, that help maintain a healthy balance. Probiotics can relieve several gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea.

Do whitening toothpastes whiten teeth more than regular toothpastes?  No.
Whitening toothpastes usually contain peroxides and other strong abrasives that might make
your teeth appear whiter by removing stains. Unlike at-home whitening strips and gels that contain bleach, these toothpastes do not actually change the color of your teeth.

Is red wine better for you than white wine? Yes.   Red wine contains much more resveratrol than white wine, an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes that has been shown to fight off diseases associated with aging .

Is bottled water better for you than tap water?  No.  If your water comes from public water supplies, those supplies are tested for contaminants daily while makers of bottled water are only required to test for specific contaminants every week, month, or year.

(Our thanks to Bob A for sending us this article.)