The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index lost 0.64% in April, compared to a 0.62% gain for the S&P 500.
Year to date, hedge funds are up 0.79% while the broader index is up 1.93%.
“The NASDAQ momentum bubble rocked the confidence in all equities during April,” said Hennessee Group co-founder Charles Gradante in a statement. “In reality, we had a roller coaster month in April which ended with little change masking two declines of about 2% and 3%. A decline in corporate earnings growth, downward revision of China's GDP forecast and the Ukraine situation made investors nervous. Managers are looking over their shoulders while reciting the lyrics to the Rolling Stones 'Satisfaction.'”
The top three strategies for the month were Latin America (up 1.60%), high yield (up 1.15%) and value (up 1.01%).
The worst-performing strategies last month were technology (down 4.99%), healthcare and biotech (down 3.92%) and Asia-Pacific (down 2.01%).
Equity long/short hedge funds dipped 1.24% (up 1.00% YTD). The best-performing sectors were energy (up 5.11%), utilities (up 4.20%), and consumer staples (up 2.70%), while underperforming sectors were financials (down 1.64%), consumer discretionary (down 1.41%) and healthcare (down 0.60%). The utilities sector continues to be the best performing sector for the year having gained 13.60% YTD through April, while consumer discretionary is bringing up the rear, having lost 4.53% YTD through April.
Arbitrage/event-driven funds added 0.11 % in April (up 2.26% YTD); distressed funds were flat (up 3.50% YTD); merger arbitrage funds gained 0.16% in April (up 1.08% YTD); and convertible arbitrage funds also performed well, gaining 0.68% for the month (up 3.80% YTD).
Global/macro funds shed 0.45% in April (down 0.91% YTD); international funds lost 1.56% in April (down 2.63% YTD); emerging markets funds gained 0.31% (up 1.07% YTD); macro funds were up 0.26% (down 1.80% YTD).