Early profit taking helps send returns plunging


October's big equities sell-off, fueled by early gains protection and a reversal in energy prices, punished many equity strategies. The Absolute Return U.S. Equity Index fell by a median 1.46% for the month, trimming year-to-date returns to a very tame 4.84%. Our global equity index slid a lot more, losing 2.67% as the Asian and European markets gave back some of the big upside logged earlier in the year.

Year-end positioning by big mutual funds and hedge funds looking to lock in gains used to take place in mid-December. "But every year, it seems to be getting earlier," says