Ackman leads small group of hedge outperformers

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Hedge funds: Who's delivering?

The S&P 500 may have rallied 6 percent during the first half of the year, but the average hedge fund appears to have trailed that substantially—the exceptions being seasoned stock and bond pickers who managed to outperform their peers with careful research and fortunate timing.

Through the end of May, the average fund was up just 2 percent, according to HFR. The hedge fund researcher won't release its end-of-June data until Tuesday, but anecdotal evidence suggests that while the figure may have improved, it will still fall well shy of the benchmark stock market index.

Some of the larger macro players, like the main funds at Moore and Tudor, that bet on worldwide economic trends through a wide swath of stocks, bonds, and currencies, were underwater during the first half of the year, according to a popular hedge fund performance report issued by the British bank HSBC.