(Bloomberg) — Traders who shorted Cathie Wood’s embattled ETFs in the new year tech wreck have already made more money this month than in 2021 as a whole, according to analytics firm S3 Partners.
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Bears who bet against ARK Investment Management exchange-traded funds have made a cool $999 million in 2022 so far — surpassing the total $941 million profit they made in all of last year. Four ARK funds are among the 10 most-profitable ETF shorts this month by percentage gain, S3 said in a report.
The potential good news for Wood’s firm? There are now signs that members of this cohort are closing out their trades.
Rising bond yields and a hawkish pivot by the Federal Reserve have laid waste to the kind of speculative tech stock beloved by ARK in recent months, dragging down Wood’s funds and creating a bonanza for anyone betting against her. While a small bounce in U.S. stocks brought some temporary relief on Friday, her flagship ARK Innovation ETF (ticker ARKK) has still tumbled more than 25% year-to-date.
That has taken the fund’s drop since its peak in February last year to more than 50%. After such a decline, short sellers have recently “taken a U-turn” and begun covering positions, Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director and head of predictive analytics at S3, wrote in the report. Over the last 30 days, ARKK saw about $490 million of short covering, he said.
“One of the basic reasons we are starting to see some short covering in the ARKK fund is that the stocks in the ETF have taken such a plunge that there is the assumption that they are at or are nearing bottoms,” Dusaniwsky said by email. “Sometimes it’s better to get out of a winning trade a little early instead of waiting to wring out every drop.”
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