George Soros might be bullish on Apple (AAPL), but he’s bearish on America.
The hedge fund manager recently filed Soros Fund Management’s 13F for the second quarter. Headlines have been focusing on Soros’ stake in Apple, which increased by nearly 150% from the quarter prior, but fewer have noticed his huge put option stake on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
For those who aren’t familiar with options, buying a put is a bearish move. Translation: Soros is making a huge bet that the S&P 500 will head lower.
And while he has had puts on the S&P 500 for some time, his position keeps getting larger — it grew from $107 million at the beginning of Q1 to $400 million by the quarter’s end, and it tripled again during the second quarter to almost $1.25 billion.
As the Bullion Baron blog put it:
“Soros reportedly made $1 billion betting against the British pound in 1992. We heard rumors of Soros making a $1 billion bet against the AUD (a position that has done well if true). We heard when he made $1 billion betting against the yen. Where are the headlines for his $1.25 billion bet against the stock market?”
It’s a fair question, considering the upped position makes it the largest holding in the Soros portfolio, at 13.5%. The next three top holdings, according to Whale Wisdom, are WebMD (WBMD), Google (GOOG) and JCPenney (JCP) — and combined, they still don’t top his SPY puts.
It’s also worth noting that he has roughly $27 million wrapped up in calls (long bets) and actual units of the SPY, but that’s a mere fraction of his bearish play.
Consider it just one more warning sign. Yesterday was the worst day for the market in two months, the Hindenberg Omen is still looming, all while experts like InvestorPlace Chief Technical Analyst Sam Collins have been warning of a selloff since the beginning of the month.
So George Soros might know what he’s talking about.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follower her on Twitter @alyssaoursler.