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Goldman Short Call on S&P Trips Up Market

The Exchange

(Updated from 3 hours ago)

Goldman Sachs (GS) is making a very interesting negative call on the market today, and Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) at Business Insider summed it up nicely.

Here's what he offered from the firm:

"We are recommending a short position in the S&P 500 (^GSPC) index with a target of 1285 (roughly 5% below current levels) and a stop on a close above 1390. This morning, the Philly Fed print of -16.6, down sequentially and worse than expected, provides further evidence that weakness has extended into June."

The Philadelphia Fed noted that its current activity index dropped from negative 5.8 in May, for its second straight underwater reading. On the plus side, the Philly Fed said indicators of future activity "remained positive and improved slightly."

Until this month, the last time the index had consecutive negative numbers was August and September of last year. October through this past April were positive.

Back to BI. They've got a pretty compelling chart that strongly suggests a quick downdraft in the market wasn't a coincidence, and instead was very much influenced by the Goldman note. The market already was weaker ahead of the commentary, but the situation worsened afterward.

Have a look at how the S&P presents via Y! Finance. Goldman, BI says, issued the viewpoint just a few minutes before 11 a.m. ET. (Click here for a larger image of the S&P today.)

Breakout's own Jeff Macke (@JeffMacke) provided his take via Twitter: <$GS goes short exactly 3-mos after the "once in a generation buying opp" call. If they weren't soulless vultures that would be embarrassing.>

The S&P has traded between 1074.77 and 1422.38 in the past year, and recently it was at 1325.51, down about 31 points, or 2.2% on the day. The Dow (^DJI) was down 2%, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) was lower by 2.4%.

For more on the Philly Fed report, which is used to measure business activity in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. you can access the report here.