Read MoreHedge fund Coatue to return $2 billion amid volatility
But Coatue's April 4 investor letter points to another issue: If hedge funds lose a certain amount of money, they may pare down their positions dramatically, potentially putting stocks they own under more pressure. In the letter, Coatue says "we have reduced our gross and net exposures to levels near historic lows because we are close to our drawdown target of -10 percent and volatility is running at least 2 - 4 times above normal."
Of course, Coatue's $7 billion in assets under management is unlikely enough to move the market much, even if it sold all of its long positions. But drawdown limits, which are generally measured from a fund's peak to trough performance, are common among hedge funds. For instance, some parts of Point72, formerly known as SAC Capital Advisors, have limits that are much tighter than 10 percent, according to people familiar with the matter. Point72 declined to comment.
The real risk is that many funds with similar portfolios decide to get out of their positions—either because they hit drawdown limits or just to err on the side of caution. While funds are no doubt aware of such a possibility, many wind up building very similar portfolios given the small universe of large, liquid stocks that make sense for multibillion dollar funds.
Read MoreMarch technology losses burn hedge funds
Indeed, a look at some of Coatue's peers reveals significant overlap based on the latest regulatory filings from Dec. 31. Consider a group of eight funds with technology exposure, including JAT Capital Management. Together, they owned $18.3 billion in stocks also owned by Coatue Management at the end of 2013. The funds either declined to comment or didn't respond to requests for comment from CNBC Digital.
Many of those funds can also be considered distant relatives of Coatue, which is known as a Tiger Cub because its founder Philippe Laffont previously worked at Julian Robertson's Tiger Management. The other funds include some that have received seed money from Robertson or have other links through employees.