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Data: eVestment; Table: Axios Visuals

Hedge fund returns fell last month after four straight months of positive results to start the year, but managed to outperform the broader U.S. stock market — posting much slimmer losses.

Be smart: The data from market research firm eVestment found nearly all hedge fund categories outperformed the S&P 500 in May. Equity strategies had the worst performance among primary markets hedge funds, but still outpaced the S&P by more than 400 basis points, with quantitative directional strategies delivering overall positive returns for clients during the month.

The big picture: Hedge funds have seen significant redemptions and declining popularity as they have dragged well behind the overall market's returns for more than a decade. Year-to-date, hedge funds still trail the S&P, but May's stock market swoon showed hedge funds remain a solid alternative for investors to offset risk and may help redeem the industry.

Reality check: Hedge funds were comparable to a benchmark fund of 50% global stocks and 50% global bonds in reducing losses during the month, measured by the mix of MSCI's all-world stock index and Citi's world government bond index.

  • Investment in such strategies is also generally significantly less expensive than hedge funds.

Go deeper: The hedge fund moment is over

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Trump, Biden strategies revealed in final ad push

Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President Trump is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Facebook ads on the Supreme Court and conservative judges in the final stretch of his campaign, while Joe Biden is spending over a million on voter mobilization, according to an analysis by Axios using data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

The big picture: Trump's Facebook ad messaging has fluctuated dramatically in conjunction with the news cycle throughout his campaign, while Biden's messaging has been much more consistent, focusing primarily on health care and the economy.

How NASA and the Space Force might fare under Biden

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden hasn't gone out of his way to talk about outer space during his presidential campaign. That could be bad news for NASA's exploration ambitions, but good news for the Space Force.

The big picture: NASA faces two threats with any new administration: policy whiplash and budget cuts. In a potential Biden administration, the space agency could get to stay the course on the policy front, while competing with other priorities on the spending side.

51 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans believe the federal government's handling of the pandemic has gotten significantly worse over time, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Every other institution measured in Week 29 of our national poll — from state and local governments to people's own employers and area businesses — won positive marks for improving their responses since those panicked early days in March and April.