T he upswing in U.S. equity markets during the last quarter of 2003 continued throughout the first three weeks of January. U.S. long/short equity managers capitalized on those gains, but a large sell-off in the last week of the month hurt those who were overexposed. The average U.S. equity fund gained 1.3%, according to the Absolute Return U.S. Equity median. This falls short of the S&P 500's January gain at 1.7%, suggesting that the month's end may have cut into gains for managers retaining a long bias.
But some of the biggest U.S. equity funds managed to beat