Amid the U.S. equity market’s recent surge to a record, worry has mounted that gains in one area may have gone too far, too fast. The Russell 2000 Index’s 11 percent rally since June 27 has pushed the cost of protection against a decline in the gauge to the highest in more than a year compared with the cost of hedging the S&P 500 Index. The large-cap measure has climbed 8.4 percent in the same period.

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