After a miserable 2003, some people are starting to believe
that a revival in fortunes for the surviving 'bear' funds could
be just around the corner
It may be no surprise that a burgeoning equity market in
2003 splashed cold water on returns for short sellers last
year. But performance was especially chilly as junk stocks
gained momentum and rallied, despite weak fundamentals, leaving
many short sellers with average losses of 20%-30% by most
Last year's double-digit losses by short-biased funds were
particularly poignant in contrast to those of the last bull
market in 1999, in which many managers eked out modest, albeit
positive, returns averaging 5%.
To be sure, the indices ended the year on fire. The NASDAQ
gained roughly 50%, the S&P 500 picked up about 26% and the
Dow surged ahead about 25%. But those stats tell only half of
the story. To really understand...