CNBC and Finance Manila detail the 13 most surprising things that have been used over the years to try to predict the direction of the stock markets.
Skirt Length Indicator -- This theory suggests that the direction of the economy can be predicted based upon the average length of hems in that year’s new fashion lines.
Boston Snow Indicator -- This simple, one-for-one indicator suggests that a white Christmas in Boston means a rise for stocks the following year.
Super Bowl Indicator -- The Super Bowl indicator is based on the belief that a championship for an AFC team predicts a decline in stocks for the coming year, and a win for the NFC means stocks will be up.
Billboard Top 100 Indicator -- The newest indicator on this list suggests that songs "high in beat variance" are popular when market volatility is low. When volatility is high, people tend to prefer songs that have a more consistent beat.
Lipstick Indicator -- This indicator is based on the idea that when people feel uncertain about the future, they turn to less-expensive luxuries, most notably vanity items such as lipstick.
Harvard MBA Indicator -- This indicator signals investors to exit the market if more than 30 percent of Harvard graduates take market-sensitive jobs, while investors should go long if less than 10 percent of grad move into these fields.
January Effect -- This phenomenon dates back to 1925, in which small cap stocks outperform the broader market and mid- to large cap stocks in the month of January.
Aspirin Count Indicator -- When times are tough, headaches abound … and aspirin sales go up.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover -- When the cover model is from the United States, the S&P will show a return for the year above its historical rate. With a non-American cover model, the S&P 500 will underperform for the year.
Cardboard Box Indicator -- The higher the demand for corrugated boxes and shipping pallets -- necessities when shipping products to customers -- the higher the demand for the products being shipped.
Underwear Indicator -- During a recession, underwear is among the first things people stop buying. This indicator dictates that when these sales rise, an uptick in the economy should be expected.
Presidential Approval Ratings -- When the majority of the country dislikes the president, the stock market is supposed to soar under this indicator.
Bangladesh Butter Indicator -- Taking the change in butter production in Bangladesh and multiplying it by two is supposed to predict the percentage the S&P will change in the coming year.