The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, triggering—if you can believe it—some changes in analyst views and a rash of reports about what their win means for the markets. Baseball is, after all, America’s pastime, and when a team like the Cubbies wins it all, everyone’s got to get in on the action. Baseball folks are a superstitious lot, so it seems all that superstition is bleeding into the markets.
The Cubs’ World Series win was a tearjerker
The airwaves are filled with stories of Cubs fans who have been waiting for their whole lives for their team to win the World Series, and they weren’t disappointed because what went on last night in game seven was pure entertainment. It was filled with close calls and a come-from-behind win of the sort that hasn’t happened since 1979. The game was so exciting that I could hear my next door neighbors whooping excitedly when David Ross hit a homer, and mind you, we were both in our houses with the doors and windows shut.
Perhaps Cubs fans who wore their “lovable loser” title like a badge of honor can swap that title out for one of “underdog” status because their team did manage to come back after being down three games to one to take the title. Fans like my dad, who’s 69 and has never gotten to see his Cubbies even play in the World Series, finally get to have their day. It’s no wonder so many Chicagoans are so emotional. Even this new baseball convert and White Sox fan was cheering the Cubs on.
The markets wanted the Cubs to win?
Some market watchers believe the stock market actually wanted the Cubs to win the World Series. Apparently the market skyrocketed following the team’s last World Series win in 1908, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 8%. According to MarketWatch, translating that gain to today’s numbers would mean the addition of more than 1,400 points to the index. Apparently, the market went on a run for a year following that 1908 win, as the down climbed another 20.3%.
The last time the Cleveland Indians won, however, it was a different story. It was 1948, and the Dow slipped 4.9%. In the 12 months after they won the title, the Dow only gained 2.4%.
Of course you’re rolling your eyes right now, and I did too because the sample size for each is only one, and the world and the U.S. economy are so different now than they were in 1908 and 1948.
Cubs’ World Series win triggers upgrade
On a smaller scale, analysts at Susquehanna actually upgraded Genesco to Buy purely because the Chicago Cubs took home the coveted World Series trophy after not even being in the final since 1945. They cited the excitement surrounding the win and their checks which showed that “Chicago is busting at the seams with excitement.”
Genesco operates a number of stores, including Lids, which sells baseball caps. The Susquehanna team expects the Lids stores in the Chicago area have already been seeing an uplift in same store sales due to the excitement, and they look for this to continue through the holiday shopping season. They counted 40 Lids stores in Illinois, including two Cubs Clubhouse stores and nine Chicago Locker Room by Lids stores. They also highlighted the massive fan base the Cubs enjoy across the U.S., especially in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Indeed, the team’s story is filled with folklore on top of the “lovable loser” title, such as the Curse of the Billy Goat, a story of which there is more than one variation, although the one main version dates to 1945, the last time the Cubs were in the World Series. There have also been a host of other supposed cases of the Cubs being cursed for various reasons. Did I mention that baseball folks are a superstitious lot? So there’s just something about the Cubs that has long attracted fans, including many who aren’t in Chicago.
Susquehanna notes that Genesco management guided for Lids same store sales to fall by 2% to 3% in the third quarter and be down 1% to flat in the fourth. However, they didn’t account for the Cubs’ win. Shares of Genesco jumped by as much as 1.69% to $54.25 on Thursday.