NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)-January was a good month for hedge funds in the Standard & Poor’s Hedge Fund Index, which returned 1.12%.

The S&P Event Driven Index, which contains merger arbitrage, distressed and special situations strategies, did well with a return of 1.45% in January and was a strong performer in 2003 with a return of 16.4%.

The S&P Arbitrage Index, which includes equity market neutral, fixed-income arb and convertible arb strategies, returned 1.14% in January after posing a meager return of 1.6% in the entire year of 2003.

Global macro, long/short equity and futures fund strategies, which make up the S&P Directional/Tactical Index, returned 0.78% in January and 15.29% in 2003.

The S&P Managed Futures Index, which is separate from but related to the hedge fund indexes, returned 1.56% in January and 8.85% in 2003.

The hedge fund returns lagged the U.S. stock market in January, with the S&P 500 Index returning 1.73% in January.

PBarr@HedgeWorld.com