Thank you, Donald. This is what The New York Times and its
shareholders are saying these days, especially after its stock
jumped more than 10 percent on Thursday, to close at $24.38,
after the owner of the iconic Gray Lady announced that
subscription revenue now exceeds $1 billion and accounts for 60
percent of total revenue of $1.7 billion. The company has
enjoyed a surge in business since the presidential campaign and
election of Donald Trump, who has a love-hate relationship with
The New York Times. He regularly calls it "failing"
but then has agreed to on-the-record — and some
suspect off-the-record — interviews. The stock,
meanwhile, has more than doubled since October 1, 2016. This is
good news for several hedge fund managers, including Anand
Desai’s Darsana Capital Partners, the
fourth-largest shareholder. The stock is also the largest U.S.
long of JHL Capital Group.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings fell
into another hole. The activist firm’s public fund
lost 5.6 percent in the first four trading days of February,
through February 6. It was flat in January. Through Thursday,
shares of Restaurant Brands International, Pershing Square
Capital Management’s largest long holding, were
down more than 7 percent. ADP, the second-largest long, is down
nearly 7 percent for the year, while Chipotle Mexican Grill is
down nearly 8 percent for the year.
January may very well go down as the euphoria before the
collapse…or volatility surge. The HFRI Fund Weighted
Composite Index gained 2.8 percent last month, the best monthly
performance since December 2010, according to HFR. It was also
the best January since 2006. As a result, the HFR index has now
posted gains for 15 consecutive months.
January performance was led by macro strategies. The HFRI
Macro (Total) Index rose 3.7 percent, its best monthly gain
since February 2008. Quantitative, trend-following CTA
strategies also performed very well, led by the HFRI Macro:
Systematic Diversified Index, which surged 4.8 percent, the
strongest return since October 2008. The HFRI Macro:
Discretionary Thematic Index returned 3.6 percent, while the
HFR Macro: Multi-Strategy Index gained 3.4 percent. The HFRI
Equity Hedge (Total) Index advancing was up 3 percent, led by
technology and emerging markets, according to HFR.
Short-selling favorite Tesla Motors Thursday fell 8.6
percent, to close at $315.23, following its earnings release
the previous day. Although investors had initially reacted
positively, Wall Street was less impressed. Several investment
banks repeated their sell recommendations Thursday and retained
price targets that are well below the current stock price. A
cynical Barclays said in a note Thursday that while it
reiterated its $210 price target and underweight rating, "we
are not holding our breath for a deserved pullback." Well, for
one day, there was a pullback.