The shares prices of publicly traded private equity firms posted a disappointing performance for most of the first half of 2014. Macro factors, including worries about the direction of interest rates, and concerns about the equities market seemingly topping out, weighed on the sector, leading PE firms to fail to keep pace with other financial services stocks. Over the last month, however, the trends have flipped: gains for public PE firms crept higher, while stocks of banks languished. Half of the small group of public PE firms have broken into the black for the year. Now the question becomes: can the trend persist? The Deal's Bob O'Brien reports from New York.