New York (HedgeCo.net) – Despite rich equity market multiples and uncertainty surrounding the upcoming 3rd quarter earnings reports, Hennessee Group said that hedge fund investors continued to pile into stocks due to an uptick in merger activity during September.
The Hennessee Long/Short Equity Index gained +3.13% in September (+18.75% YTD), while the S&P 500 index finished September up +3.6%, faring much better than the average loss of -1.2% the S&P has historically posted during the month of September dating back to 1929.
Hedge funds have also taken on additional directional risk in order to participate in the ongoing equity market rally and Hennessee believes they remain cautious and aware that the market could turn sharply to the downside.
“Little of the bail out money given to banks seems to have been passed on to businesses or consumers. It must have gone somewhere, and it is possible that is has gone to the proprietary desks of the banks, which are putting it to work in the markets,” Charles Gradante Co-Founder of Hennessee Group, said. “That could lead to a potential problem if the public and institutions do not join the rally, and the banks eventually have to sell equities into a vacuum.”
“The current debate among hedge fund managers is ‘Deflation versus Inflation’,” Gradante said, “The weak dollar and deficits are inflationary, but the 30 year treasury below 4% (80 bps over the 10 year) points to deflation expectations. Hennessee research is noticing a growing propensity of hedge funds to short 20 and 30 year treasuries as yields break 4%. The U.S. Treasury is currently funding its long term debt with 3 to 10 year Treasuries. The need to finance America ’s debt on the long end of the curve with attractive yields is increasingly obvious.”
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