NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–Hedge funds returned 1.03% in February and year-to-date through February returned 2.83%, according to the Standard & Poor’s Hedge Fund Index.

The monthly index returns were driven by strong performance from the S&P Arbitrage Index and the S&P Directional/Tactical Index, both of which returned 1.5% during the period. The Arbitrage index was up 2.49% in January and February, while the directional/tactical index returned 3.82% in that same period.

The third sub-index, the S&P Event Driven Index, returned 0.1% in February and is up 2.17% year-to-date through February. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 stock index returned negative 1.5% in February, while for the year through February it was down 4.4%.

Standard & Poor’s newly launched S&P Managed Futures Index, which grew out of the hedge fund index, returned a whopping 6.93% in February, bringing its return for the first two months of the year to 14.37%.

S&P’s arbitrage index is made up of convertible arbitrage, fixed-income arbitrage and equity market neutral funds, and the directional/tactical category includes long/short equity, global macro and futures funds. The event-driven index is composed of merger arbitrage, distressed securities and special situations funds.

PBarr@HedgeWorld.com