Kobe Hates Your Stocks

Last night's tightly contested 87-81 victory by the Los Angeles Lakers was bad news for Boston Celtics fans, Kobe Bryant haters, and investors.

Wait -- investors?

An item in The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat column last week examined how the market fared during the most recent championship-streak runs by both teams. Between 1959 and 1966, when the Celtics pulled off an amazing string of eight NBA titles, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 35% higher. When the Lakers won three in a row from 1999 to 2002, the Dow actually slipped by 1%.

Superstitious investors can still breathe easy. The Celtics still command a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Then again, those same investors may as well take some time to smack their foreheads, in hopes of knocking some sense into their skulls.

The data nugget is a humorous throwaway, a conversation starter -- but not an investing guide. Just as there are people that stupidly believe that the market's direction will hinge on which NFL conference wins the Super Bowl, I'd hate to think that the Celtics are gaining new fans from the ranks of nail-biting investors.

When Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, do you see department-store chains like Macy's (NYSE: M  ) and Kohl's (NYSE: KSS  ) load up on more winter clothing? I hope not. If the Lakers manage to win three of the next four games to snag the championship title, will Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett start hacking away at his company's stock portfolio? Of course not.

Are investors supposed to believe that the Lakers outscoring their opponents somehow brought on the dot-com bubble burst? Please.

Are there any investing implications behind the series? Yes. Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) ABC is broadcasting the games, so a widely watched series that stretches to the full seven games will earn more ad revenue for the company. One can also argue that a prolonged series would bring additional branding exposure to Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS  ) and Toronto Dominion's (NYSE: TD  ) TD Banknorth, the two companies with naming rights for the two home-team venues.

Beyond that, everything else is just an airball.

Take a shot at further Foolishness:

Berkshire is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Staples, Walt Disney, and Berkshire are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a Miami Heat fan, so he knows how quickly an NBA championship can erode into the worst record in the NBA (two seasons). He does own shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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