GREENWICH, Conn. (–Hedge fund managers were divided over the direction they expect for U.S. stocks in February, according to a survey conducted monthly by Van Hedge Fund Advisors International LLC.

The VAN Macro Sentiment Indicators found that for this month 43% take a bullish view of the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, 35% are bearish and 22% are neutral. That’s down on the optimism scale from January, when 57% of surveyed managers had a bullish outlook on U.S. equities.

The survey totals responses monthly from 20 to 30 managers who oversee approximately US$30 billion in assets. John Van, chief financial officer for Van Hedge Fund Advisors, noted that the sentiment indicators provide a glimpse of managers’ outlook at the beginning of the month and could reflect short-term views and possibly either short-term or core positions.

The managers abated somewhat from January their bullish view of the U.S. dollar. Last month, 57% percent of them expected it to move higher, while for February 43% hold that view and 35% are bearish.

Few managers see a good month for the U.S. Treasury 10-year Note; 65% are bearish, while just 22% look for upward movement in the instrument. That viewpoint is a carry-over from January, when 61% of the managers took a bearish view.

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