NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)–Hedge funds performed well in April with a return of 1.06%, after showing relatively weak performance of negative 0.34% in March, according to the S&P Hedge Fund Index.

Hedge funds in the Standard & Poor’s Event-Driven Index and the S&P Directional/Tactical Index pushed the index higher with respective monthly returns of 2.39% and 1.44%. The event-driven category includes merger arbitrage, distressed securities and special situation funds, while the directional/tactical index includes long/short equity, managed futures and global macro funds.

But April was a tough month for S&P’s Arbitrage Index, which fell 0.65%. That category includes equity market neutral, fixed-income arb, and convertible arb funds.

Overall year-to-date S&P hedge fund returns also were good. The S&P Hedge Fund Index returned 3.56% in the four months ended April 30, powered by good performance from the same funds, those in the S&P Event-Driven Index and the S&P Directional/Tactical Index. The Event-Driven Index returned 5.37% year-to-date through April, while the Directional/Tactical Index returned 3.64%. The Arbitrage Index returned 1.68% year-to-date through April.

Another alternative strategies index produced by S&P, the Managed Futures Index, returned 0.84% in April, rebounding from a tough March when returns were negative 7.63%. The Managed Futures Index still is up 6.53% in the first four months of the year.

S&P soon will be offering baskets of hedge fund strategies based on its index, those being: fixed-income arbitrage; convertible arbitrage, equity market neutral; global macro; managed futures; long/short equity; special situations; distressed; and merger arbitrage. The baskets aren’t considered indexes, though, because there are not enough funds in each grouping for them to be considered indexes, according to S&P .

PBarr@HedgeWorld.com