Goldman's portfolio of hedge funds’ favorite stocks is trouncing the market

Hedge Fund

A stocks portfolio made up of hedge funds' favorite picks put together by Goldman Sachs is up twice as much as the broader market this year.

A stocks portfolio made up of hedge funds' favorite picks put together by Goldman Sachs is up twice as much as the broader market this year, which is struggling for gains.

The Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund VIP basket is up about 4 percent in 2018, while the S&P 500 index has gained just over 2 percent as of Friday's close.

The overall U.S. stock market has struggled to make sharp gains this year as investors grapple with a myriad of concerns, including rising trade tensions between the U.S. and key partners, fears of rising inflation and geopolitical concerns from overseas. Those fears have also led to increased volatility in the market.

"The S&P 500 index has experienced 34 1%+ moves since the start of 2018, the most during the first five months of any year since 2010," David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman, wrote in a note Friday. But "despite a rise in equity market volatility, the most popular hedge fund … positions have been resilient since the start of the year."

Goldman's portfolio of favorite hedge-fund picks — which draws from 848 hedge funds with $2.3 trillion in gross equity positions — includes stocks like Facebook , Amazon , PayPal , Apple , Visa and Google-parent Alphabet, the note said. All of those stocks have outperformed the S&P 500 this year, rising at least 7.8 percent.

Kostin also noted the basket is "most positively correlated with growth stocks, a strategy that has delivered extraordinary returns during the past 18 months," adding he expects growth to continue outperforming.

"From a macro perspective, the pace of economic activity is an important driver of growth and value factor returns. In environments of healthy but modest economic growth, investors typically allocate a scarcity premium to firms able to generate superior growth," said Kostin. "The 2.9% US GDP growth our economists forecast for 2018 and 2.2% in 2019 should continue to benefit growth stocks."

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