Speculators Are Bearish on the S&P 500, Bullish on Tech

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Hedge funds and other speculators have built up a bet that the S&P 500 will decline, marking their most-bearish positioning since 2007 when measured as a percent of open futures-market interest, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group.

They are more optimistic about tech stocks. Net bets that the Nasdaq 100 will rally are near their highest levels since late 2022, according to the data from Commodity Futures Trading Commission compiled by Bespoke. Those bets have been pared back in recent weeks, however.

That positioning comes with the S&P 500 up more than 9% this year—and the Nasdaq 100 up more than 30%. Hopes that the Fed will pull back on its interest-rate raising campaign have lifted stocks this year, and tech stocks particularly.