A trader points to monitor displaying an S&P 500 Index (SPX) chart on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. 

S&P 500 Slide May Be Fueled Partly by Traders Cutting Long Bets

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(Bloomberg) -- Investors went long last week -- maybe at the wrong time.

Speculative long positioning by professional investors in S&P 500 futures contracts spiked last week to the second-largest position in five years, according to weekly data from the CFTC. The only other time it was higher was the first week of February.

The bulls’ timing wasn’t great. E-mini contracts on the S&P 500 fell 2.2 percent as of 12:45 p.m. in New York, pushing the decline from a January high past 10 percent. Renewed criticism from President Donald Trump of Amazon.com Inc. hit technology stocks and retaliatory tariffs from China dampened the outlook for investors. Futures selling could also be a culprit, according to Bloomberg macro strategist Cameron Crise.

“If you want an explanation as to why the market is dumping today, you can probably add ‘spec futures selling’ to your laundry list of rationales,” he said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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