There's a split among hedge fund indices for November. While the earliest reporters announced a fairly substantial loss for the average hedge fund, two other industry benchmarks show a small gain for the industry.
The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index rose an estimated 0.2% last month. That's perilously close to negative, and could wind up there, as better-performing hedge funds tend to report their returns earlier than those who did less well.
All told, the Hennessee index is up about 7% this year.
"In general, hedge fund managers feel frustrated with their performance as they have not been able to capitalize on moves within what has been a range-bound market," Hennessee Group co-founder Charles Gradante said. "Many managers have commented that the 2010 year is shaping up to be a macro event-driven market, leaving few opportunities to profit on fundamentals."
Hedge Fund Research's HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index was slightly less on a knife-edge, rising 0.26% on the month (7.12% year-to-date). The HFRI suite was led in the black column by energy and basic materials funds, which soared 5.2% (12.26% YTD). No other strategy returned more than 1.5%, with Russia and Eastern Europe funds managing 1.49% (11.19% YTD) and asset-backed funds 1.37% (13.09% YTD).
Equity hedge funds rose an average of 1.09% (7.18% YTD), relative value funds 0.37% (10.21% YTD) and event-driven funds 0.26% (8.74% YTD).
The losers were "led" by short-bias funds, which shed another 4.5% on the month and are down 16.15% on the year. Systematic diversified funds lost 2.52% in November (up 4.67% YTD). Macro funds dropped 0.92% (up 4.38% YTD) and emerging markets funds fell 0.28% (9.03% YTD).
The HFRI Fund of Funds Composite Index lost 0.46% on the month and is up 3.04% on the year.