Reproduced from eVestment; Chart: Axios Visuals

Hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 in March and have suffered fewer losses this year, showing their value during crisis periods, data from eVestment shows.

The state of play: March’s average loss was the second largest on record and largest since the height of the global financial crisis in October 2008 when the average fund lost 8%-9%.

The big picture: Hedge fund returns were highly differentiated and the 10 largest funds again managed to outperform the aggregate.

Of note: Managed futures strategies have been the shining star of the asset management world in 2020 after poor performance and outflows since 2016.

  • Managed futures strategies were "the only primary strategy with positive average returns in March and had by far the best proportion of products able to produce gains, with 53% of managers positive in March," Peter Laurelli, eVestment's global head of research, writes in a note.

What it means: Managed futures strategies are funds that can invest in many different asset classes and focus on systematic trends within assets, typically using derivatives and leverage.

Go deeper: A coronavirus guide for individual investors

Go deeper

Stocks close down more than 3%

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Stocks took a hit on Wednesday, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials Average and Nasdaq dropping more than 3% across the board.

Why it matters: The volatility is a break from the stock market grinding higher in the face of spiking coronavirus cases, a stalling economy and gridlocked negotiations over an additional stimulus package.

Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, closes in on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta strengthened on Wednesday afternoon, on track to make landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana by the afternoon as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Zeta is producing 100-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The storm is gaining strength as it heads northeastward at 20 mph. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday.

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