Hedge Fund-Stock Market Correlation Peaks

Nov 8 2011 | 10:21am ET

Are hedge funds not worthy of the name? One study suggests they might not be.

Hedge funds' correlation with equities hit an all-time high in September, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The increased correlation with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index began in March 2009. In September, the 12-month correlation was as high as ever, the Financial Times reports.

That correlation would actually be a pretty good thing this year, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index at break-even through last month. But where hedge funds have been uncorrelated, it has hurt them: Many hedge funds were long in August, when stocks began their precipitous decline, but had cut their risk before last month's rally. Most indices show that hedge funds participated in only a fraction of October's stock market gains.

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