Large speculators reduced ther S&P 500 positioning to net short this week and their NASDAQ longs to a one-year low as BofAML reports on CFTC data. Macros funds decreased their long exposure to S&P500 and NASDAQ to now hold short exposure. They also decreased their long exposure to US Dollar (raising their AUD longs to a record high) and maintained their long exposure to 10-year Treasuries. They decreased their long exposure to commodities and increased their long exposure to EM. Across all asset classes, positioning is at extremes.
Significant HF moves across asset classes, based on CFTC data
Equities. Large specs decreased S&P 500 to net short and reduced NASDAQ longs. They also increased Russell 2000 shorts last week
Agriculture. Large specs increased their long positioning in Soybean futures but decreased longs in Corn and Wheat futures
Metals. Large specs decrease Gold and Silver longs and increased Copper shorts. They maintained Platinum and Palladium longs.
Energy. Large specs increased their Crude longs and Gasoline longs. They also increased Natural Gas shorts but Heating Oil shorts.
FX. Large specs increased their EUR, AUD and GBP longs. They decreased their JPY shorts and MXN longs position.
Interest Rates. Large specs increased their short positions in 10-year while increasing their long position in 30-yr. They also reduced 2-year shorts
One can't help but see this positioning and wonder just who the big boys are selling to - as we noted here,
Based on Bloomberg's Smart Money Flow indicator, there is a very significant amount of distribution going on... the question is just who is soaking up the smart money selling? Company buybacks, Johnny 5, or a greater-fool retail investor?
Perhaps this chart from Lance Roberts at STA Wealth provides some color for who?
However, the idea that individual investors are still "out of the market" should be taken with a bit of caution. The chart below is data compiled by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) which surveys it membership on portfolio allocation. The data is compiled and released monthly.
With cash hovering at the lowest levels since the "Tech Wreck," and equity exposure at the highest, investors are more than just "warming up" to equities. They are effectively "all in" with respect to the financial markets.