Hedge Fund Managers Downbeat on US Equities According to Survey

Hedge fund managers remain downbeat on US equities, according to the TrimTabs/BarclayHedge survey of hedge fund managers for October. About 39% of the 102 hedge fund managers the firms surveyed in the past two weeks are bearish on the S&P 500, up from 37% in September.

“The lean toward bearishness surprises us a bit because extreme caution in September produced substantial underperformance,” said Sol Waksman, chief executive officer (CEO) of BarclayHedge. “We suspect managers will invest much more aggressively in the current quarter. Stock prices keep grinding higher, and hedge funds hauled in US$18.8bn in the past three months. Managers have to put that fresh cash to work.”

About 32% of managers cite currency wars as the biggest threat to global financial stability, and 36% feel world leaders should focus on the problem of ‘too big to fail’ institutions at the 11-12 November G-20 Summit in Seoul. Only half of managers think a Republican Party victory in the US midterm elections will be a plus for stocks, while a quarter feel it will have no impact.

About 28% of hedge fund managers are bearish on the 10-year US Treasury note, the largest share since the inception of the survey in May. In contrast, 32% of managers are bullish on the US dollar index, the largest share since June. Only 9% of managers aim to decrease leverage in the coming weeks, while 19% plan to increase it.


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