Bridgewater Associates bets over $1 billion on market drop: WSJ

(Reuters) - Bridgewater Associates LP, a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ray Dalio, has bet more than $1 billion that stock markets around the world will fall by March, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The bet, assembled over a span of months and executed by a handful of Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (N:GS) and Morgan Stanley (N:MS), would pay off for the world's biggest hedge fund if either the S&P 500 (SPX) or the Euro Stoxx 50 (STOXX50E) — or both — declines, the report said.

The bet is made up of put options, contracts that give investors the right to sell stocks at a specific price by a certain date. The options expire in March and currently represent one of the largest bearish bets against the market, the report added.

Bridgewater Associates was not immediately available for comment.