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Oct 8, 2012

U.S. hedge funds increase leverage in August – report

NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) – U.S. hedge funds and other
clients of Wall Street investment firms raised their level of
borrowed money in August, a sign they may be more confident in
the markets, data published Monday showed.

Leverage rose to $286.6 billion last month, according to New
York Stock Exchange margin debt data, up 5.4 percent since
August last year. It is the first time in nine months that
margin debt has increased on a year-over-year basis, analysts at
Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed in their Hedge Fund
Monitor report.

Oct 5, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Hedge funds love affair with leverage still on hiatus, for now

By Katya Wachtel

Last year was a sorry one for the $2 trillion hedge fund industry, when funds lost 5 percent on average. This year managers are doing better, up more than 5 percent for the year, according to the latest tracking data.

But those returns are a far cry from the 16.4 percent rise achieved by the S&P 500 this year, so what will hedge fund managers – who are supposed to be the smartest, savviest market players on the Street – do to juice returns?

Oct 5, 2012

Hedge funds climb in 3rd qtr but still lag stock market

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Hedge funds climbed 2.6 percent
in the third quarter, buoyed by rallying global stock markets,
and some of the industry’s most famous investors saw their
portfolios leap into double-digit return territory.

Hedge funds, on average, gained 0.8 percent in September,
according to fund tracker eVestment|HFN, and the strong quarter
helped year-to-date returns for the industry reach 5.1 percent.

Oct 4, 2012

Layoffs hit Lasry’s Avenue Capital, firm to begin lending: memo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital Group hedge fund is downsizing and laying off roughly 6.5 percent of its staff, according to an employee memo reviewed by Reuters.

The $12.7 billion fund that specializes in distressed-debt investing is eliminating 16 jobs after bringing in a consulting firm to review the New York-based fund’s overhead, efficiency and expenses.

Oct 3, 2012

Third Point’s Loeb targets Murphy Oil, shares rise

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Shares of Murphy Oil Corp (MUR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose more than 4 percent on Wednesday after hedge fund manager and veteran corporate agitator Daniel Loeb told investors in his Third Point fund that shares of the oil and gas company could be 60 percent higher.

Loeb has not taken an activist position in Murphy, but he sounded like an activist in his recent quarterly letter to investors, a copy of which was viewed by Reuters.

Oct 3, 2012

Third Point’s Loeb bets big, and wins, on Greek debt

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb built a major position in distressed Greek government bonds in September, according to a monthly report he sent to his investors.

Loeb’s nearly $5 billion Third Point Offshore Fund gained 3.4 percent last month, helped by its position in Greek debt, said the September 30 dated note which was reviewed by Reuters.

Oct 2, 2012

Einhorn slams breaks on Chipotle, likes General Motors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc took a nosedive on Tuesday when hedge fund manager David Einhorn said the restaurant chain will face significant competition and additional costs, making it an attractive “short.”

In a presentation at the annual Value Investing Congress in New York, Einhorn highlighted some stocks he expects will rise such as General Motors, but devoted much of 120-slide presentation to devouring national chain Chipotle.

Oct 1, 2012

Marcato’s McGuire bets on housing recovery by investing in land

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hedge fund manager Mick McGuire is betting on an eventual housing recovery by owning stakes in an aerospace and defense company, a sugar farming conglomerate and a land developer.

While investments in GenCorp, Alexander & Baldwin and Brookfield Residential Properties have little in common with one another, they each sit on a mountain of land.

Oct 1, 2012

XxSAC Capital puts manager Steinberg on leave from hedge fund

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Steven Cohen’s $14 billion hedge
fund, SAC Capital Advisors, has put long-time portfolio manager
Michael Steinberg on leave after his name emerged in a sweeping
government investigation into insider trading, according to a
person familiar with the matter.

Steinberg was placed on leave last week, according to the
person after court documents indicated he is an unindicted
co-conspirator in a $62 million insider-trading case involving
former SAC technology sector analyst Jon Horvath.

Sep 30, 2012

Analysis: They’re back! Yield hunt pushes funds into CLOs, CDOs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fund managers are increasingly eyeing riskier exotic assets, some of which haven’t been in fashion since the financial crisis, as yields on traditional investments get close to rock bottom.

Returns from investments in “junk” bonds, government guaranteed mortgage securities and even some battered euro-zone debt are plunging in the wake of global central bank policies intended to suppress borrowing costs.

    • About Katya

      "Katya Wachtel is a hedge fund and big money reporter for Reuters. She hails from Melbourne. Australia, not Florida. You can contact her at"
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