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October sees positive gains for hedge funds, S&P 500

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Opalesque Industry Update - The pace of hedge fund returns picked up a bit in October, with the industry posting a monthly gain of 0.88%, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P Total Return Index was up 2.17% in October.

For the year-to-date through October, hedge funds returned 7.95%. Over the same period, the S&P Total Return Index gained 23.17%.

October saw positive returns across 28 of Barclay's 31 hedge fund indices. Hopeful economic signs on several fronts contributed to the month's gains.

"In spite of slowdowns in business investment and manufacturing, consumer spending, buoyed by full employment, has been rising," said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. "Anticipation of a third rate cut this year by the US Fed and a return to a normalized yield curve helped propel the S&P 500 to new high ground in October."

Among the numerous hedge fund sectors in the black for October, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index led the way with a 5.88% return for the month. Other leading gainers in October included the Technology Index, up 2.46%, the Option Strategies Index, with a 2.41% return, the Emerging Markets Global Equities Index, gaining 2.17%, and the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 2.13%.

Only three hedge fund sectors were in the red for October. They included the Emerging Markets MENA Index, off 0.49% for the month, the Global Macro Index, down 0.33%, and the Multi Strategy Index which lost 0.15%.

As October ended all but two sectors remained in the black for the year-to-date. Leading gainers for 2019 included the Emerging Markets Eastern European Equities Index, returning 16.14% on the year, the Technology Index, gaining 14.58%, the Healthcare & Biotechnology Index, posting a 14.23% year-to-date return, and the Emerging Markets Latin American Equities Index, up 13.35%.

The sectors in the red year-to-date through October were the Volatility Trading Index, down 1.47%, and the Equity Market Neutral Index, off 0.24% on the year.

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