Smart Money

"The Most Difficult, Treacherous Year" - What The Market Wall Of Worry Looked Like In 2016

2016 has been according to one buysider, "the most difficult, treacherous year" for the hedge fund community in recent history as a result of unprecedented shifts in market sentiment, choppy trading, low conviction, investor redemptions, illiquidity and  volatility month after month, which has left the hedge fund community exhausted and reeling even as the S&P hits all time highs.

This Is The Reason For The Sharp Rebound In Q3 Hedge Fund Performance

After months of declining market exposure, the sharp increase in hedge fund leverage in recent weeks has helped drive outperformance. In addition to adding leverage through cash equities, call option volume rose to record levels, hedge fund S&P 500 futures exposures climbed by $15 billion, and the share of S&P 500 market cap held short fell to a 1-year low.

These Are The Top 50 Hedge Fund Long And Short Positions

"Even with the recent rally in the most popular long positions, the average hedge fund has returned just 3% YTD, lagging the S&P 500 for the eighth year in a row. Many active managers continue to struggle in 2016, with the average hedge fund (+3%) and large-cap core mutual fund (+7%) lagging the S&P 500. Among hedge fund styles, although most have posted similar returns, event-driven funds have fared best (+5%) while equity long/short funds trail (+2%)."

Weekend Reading: Willful Blindness

The problem for individual investors is the “trap” that is currently being laid between the appearance of strong market dynamics against the backdrop of weak economic and market fundamentals. Ignoring the last two to chase the former has historically not worked out well.

Goldman: Sell Right Now And Go Away For The Next 365 Days

"In the US, muted growth will be offset by P/E multiple contraction, suggesting a flat US equity market in the next 12 months. Stock valuations stand at historical extremes. The median trades at a forward P/E of 18.2x, ranking in the 98th percentile since 1976. Rising wage inflation will weigh on profit margins and limit further P/E expansion. Expectations of additional Fed tightening by year-end represent another headwind to higher equity prices"

"Mystery" Buyer Revealed: Swiss National Bank's US Stock Holdings Rose 50% In First Half, To Record $62BN

In the second quarter, the Swiss National Bank added $7.3 billion to its US equity portfolio, and according to its just filed 13-F, is now long a record $61.8 billion in US stocks, up from $54.5 billion a month ago. In fact, rising from $41.3 billion in total US stock holdings as of December 2015, this means that the Swiss central bank increased its total US holdings by a record 50% in the first half of 2016.