Downside Hedge Fund Bets On S&P500 Highest Since 2008

Tyler Durden's picture

Who says hedge funds are ambivalent about the current market? As of last week, they have not been more bearish on the S&P since before Lehman. From SocGen: "Hedge funds have opened the biggest net short positions since early 2008, concentrated on the most liquid segment of the market, i.e. the S&P 500. Meanwhile, positioning on small caps hardly moved (slight increase in net shorts on the Russell 2000). Surprisingly, they actually stuck to their net long positions on Technology (Nasdaq)." As usual, the amusingly named "hedge" funds defy their purported nature (as in, to hedge), and merely pursue momentum, and should be more appropriately called "career risk" funds as the only variable is doing precisely what everyone else is doing: remember - to get a bonus at the end of the year, you don't have to outrun the market, you just have to outrun the biggest institutional fool out there. "Hedge funds have closed their net short positions on 10-year Treasuries and strongly diminished their net shorts on the long end (30Y), as recession fears have crunched expectations for higher bond yields, and endorsed by the Fed’s announcement that it will keep rates low until at least 2013." Hedge fund infatuation with metals continues: "Hedge funds’ enthusiasm for gold and platinum remains strong, as indicated by the high net long positions on these metals. Meanwhile, net long positions on base metals (copper) have been strongly reduced. Net long positions on crude oil remain relatively stable, less impressed by the perceived recession threats." Expect to see numerous short covering sprees until the end of the year, even as the market continues it secular decline back to fair value somewhere around 400.

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