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Stock-pickers lead hedge fund pack in Q1 but still trail benchmarks

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Stock-picking hedge funds were the best performing hedge fund strategy in Q1 2024 with an average 7.9% gain, but they still trailed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index, which put on 10.6% and 9.3% respectively, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report cites the PivotalPath’s Equity Sector Index as showing that several big name equity hedge funds including Renaissance Technologies, Greenlight Capital and Pershing Square Capital Management fell short of those marks, finishing near the bottom of the group, along with tech-focused firms such as Viking Global Investors, Coatue Management and Tiger Global Management.

Some stock-pickers did manage to beat the benchmarks, with they gains driven largely by wagers on a small number of tech names in the Bloomberg Magnificent 7 Index, including Nvidia, and Meta Platforms.

Light Street Capital Management, which oversees $760m, returned more than 35% in the first quarter, and Whale Rock Capital Management gained more than 22%. According to a regulatory filings, Nvidia was Light Street’s largest holding as of 31 Dec, while Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and Nvidia were top picks for Whale Rock, and also accounted for over 46% of the S&P 500’s Q1 gain.

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