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Soros Fund Management doubles bet against S&P 500

Soros Fund Management, the asset management company founded by U.S. billionaire George Soros, doubled its bet against the S&P 500 stock index and turned upbeat on gold, according to its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The hedge fund said Monday it owned a put option of 2.1 million shares on the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF), which tracks the benchmark U.S. index, in the first quarter of 2016. Put options are generally considered a bearish bet and entitles the holder to sell an asset at a particular price.

The fund has more than doubled its bet that the index will decline: In the fourth quarter of 2015, Soros had a 1-million- share put option on the ETF.

The S&P 500 index rallied sharply from the middle of February but has pared some gains this month.

This comes amid mixed signals about the health of the U.S. and global economy. U.S. economic expansion slowed to 0.5 percent annualized in the first quarter from 1.4 percent in the fourth and the much-eyed nonfarm payrolls report in April showed disappointing levels of job creation.

Economic data from China, the world's second-biggest economy, has continued to disappoint as well...