Hedge fund party in tech stocks begins to wane, Goldman Sachs says

By Nell Mackenzie

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds sold the largest volume of U.S. tech and media stocks seen since July in the week to Nov. 24, Goldman Sachs said in a prime brokerage note to clients on Friday, a signal that the popularity of these stocks may be fading.

Crowding into tech stocks, particularly the so-called “Magnificent 7”, which includes Apple, Amazon and Nvidia, had reached the most intense that Goldman Sachs has seen in 22 years, the bank said earlier last week.

By the end of the week, information technology and communication companies were the most net sold on the prime brokerage trading desk at Goldman, which serves hedge funds, the note said.

It added hedge funds that had been long in these stocks dropped their bets at the fastest pace in nearly eight months.

Traders ditched both long and short bets on software and interactive media companies, while exiting long bets on sellers of semi-conductor equipment.

A long bet is essentially a position that the price of an asset will rally.

Big investors and advisers, including Bill Gross, Mohamed El-Erian and Ryan Israel, chief investment officer of Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, told Reuters this month that a calming in bond markets and the expectations of a pause in US rate hikes might not be enough to lift tech stocks and asset prices, generally.

Technology, media, and telecom stocks make up 30.2% of total U.S. single stock net exposure, down from a year high in late October of 35.9%, the bank said without giving an exact October date.

The most popular tech stocks have been “priced for perfection” but a “reckoning will come”, Amundi’s chief investment officer Vincent Mortier said last week.

(This story has been corrected to fix the title of Vincent Mortier to chief investment officer, from CEO,

in paragraph 9)

(Reporting by Nell Mackenzie; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Barbara Lewis)