By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
As oil prices continue to slide to even lower lows, market strategists are beginning to wonder when the fallout will begin to make itself known in earnest in oil-producing nations.
The hedge fund industry is on track to finish out the year both with record assets and a huge chunk of fund closures. Of the 240 funds launched in the third quarter 200 were liquidated, according to data from Hedge Fund Research. Year-to-date through September's end, there were 814 launches and 661 liquidations, HFR data showed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high for the third straight day this week. The S&P 500, since breaking the 2,000 level on Oct. 31 has since remained above that level.
Oil markets made history this week as Brent crude prices dipped below $78 to a four-year low. This comes ahead of a meeting by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Nov. 27th. Up for debate is whether or not Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, will decide to cut production.
Stocks bleeding red are generally a good play for a short seller, who is betting on falling values. Yet activist investors do not wait for rattled markets the likes of which befell markets on Wednesday to sell short a particular company’s stock. Embedded in their sales pitch are well-crafted theories that attempt to challenge Wall Street’s sell-side mentality and, with that, reap a potential cash windfall.
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Billionaire hedge fund managers are still feeling a polar vortex-like chill even as spring emerges. One by one, they lamented the lack of “macro” ideas that investors can pin their returns on this week at the annual Sohn Investment Conference in New York.