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Hedge Funds Kick Risk Addiction at End of Crazy Year for Stocks

  • Cash holdings rise, put options favored in sign of caution
  • Hawkish Fed, omicron risk put cold water on gaming spirits
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WATCH: JPMorgan’s Joyce Chang explains why she expects international equities to outperform U.S. stocks next year.Source: Bloomberg

Calm has finally come to a stock market that for weeks had been swinging violently. Bulls who hung tough are ending the year on firm footing after a frenzied off-loading of risk by professional speculators.

December’s big sellers were hedge funds, which, chastened by wrong-way bets on high-flying software firms, spent the month slashing high-momentum trades. It helped make this one of the most volatile year-ends for big-cap tech in the past decade, with the absolute size of close-to-close moves in the Nasdaq 100 clocking in around 1.4%.