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Try These ETF Areas in Virus-Impacted Second Half of 2020

Sweta Jaiswal, FRM
·5 mins read

Investors continue to worry about the second wave of coronavirus infections as the total number of cases continue to surge globally. Per the Johns Hopkins University, more than 9.1 million of coronavirus cases have been reported globally. Notably, China, South Korea and Germany are trying to control the second wave of the outbreak and are taking the initiatives to re-impose some lockdown measures in areas where the emergence of new cases is being observed. Meanwhile, states like Florida, Carolinas, Texas and Arizona in the United States are seeing increasing number of hospitalizations every day.

According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the pandemic resulted in a 18.5% decline in global trade in the second quarter of 2020, per a CNN report. In such a scenario, if the second wave of coronavirus infections emerges, there can be a considerable impact on the global economy. Major retailers, factories, restaurants and hotels in the United States might have to shut down operations domestically and abroad, in case there is another lockdown to combat the outbreak. The reopening of U.S. states has definitely come as a ray of hope for investors.

Against this backdrop, let’s look at some ETF areas that can help you sail smoothly through this crisis:

Biotech ETFs

The race to introduce vaccine and treatment for coronavirus is opening up opportunities, making the biotech sector a prospective space for investments. From positive news related to vaccine to progress in development of cell therapies for the treatment of coronavirus, all have kept the sector surging. Notably, some ETFs with considerable exposure to the biotech space are iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB, SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI, First Trust Amex Biotechnology Index (FBT), ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) and VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH).

Cloud Computing ETFs

In the current scenario, people will try to maintain social distancing and work remotely. Resultantly, cloud computing has emerged as a key technology in the fight against coronavirus. It is supporting organizations in remotely processing a lot of information, developing and running key applications and services and helping employees across the world collaborate while working.

Kate Lister’s, president of Global Workplace Analytics, take on the current situation highlights the growing preference for working from home. In this regard, she said that, “seventy-seven percent of the workforce say they want to continue to work from home, at least weekly, when the pandemic is over. Twenty-five to thirty percent of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” Large employers like Twitter and Facebook have allowed their employees to work from home.

Against this backdrop, investors can look at the following ETFs that can gain from the trend -- First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY and Global X Cloud Computing ETF CLOU.

Online Retail ETFs

In order to avoid human-to-human contact, people will prefer to stay indoors and shop online for all essentials, especially food items. The spurt in online retail se sales is benefitting companies like Amazon and Walmart, among others. In fact, Walmart recently teamed up with Shopify Inc. to open its Walmart Marketplace to sellers of Shopify.

According to a Total Retail article, e-commerce sales are expected to grow more than 20% this year as there is an increasing number of first-time online shoppers. Against this backdrop, let’s look at some ETFs that can benefit from the new shopping trend like Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, ProShares Long Online/Short Stores ETF CLIX and ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN) (read: What's in Store for Work-From-Home ETF & Stock Earnings?).

Digital Payments ETFs

In line with the rising online shopping trend, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear their bills, while merchants and utility providers are advocating the same. According to a new Crowdfund Insider research, in May, 50% of U.S. consumers reportedly availed contactless payment methods at least four times, with 69% agreeing that this mode is more convenient than cash transactions. Also, three-fifth of U.S. consumers confirmed that these hassle-free digital payments will urge them to continue with the process even in the post-COVID world.

Per Statista, total transaction value in the Digital Payments segment should see a 15.3% year-over-year growth rate in 2020 on a 5.4% rise in user count. In view of this, investors can tap ETFs like ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF IPAY, Tortoise Digital Payments Infrastructure ETF TPAY and Global X FinTech ETF (FINX).

Robotics ETFs

The robotics market is flooded with opportunities as robots are being used for jobs such as sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces along with monitoring, surveying, handling, and delivering food and medicines. Against this background, we have shortlisted the following ETFs for our investors to consider: Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF BOTZ, ROBO Global Robotics & Automation ETF ROBO, First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (ROBT) and iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF (IRBO).

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iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR SP Biotech ETF (XBI): ETF Research Reports
 
Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports
 
Global X Robotics Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ): ETF Research Reports
 
ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ROBO): ETF Research Reports
 
ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF (IPAY): ETF Research Reports
 
First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY): ETF Research Reports
 
ProShares Long OnlineShort Stores ETF (CLIX): ETF Research Reports
 
Tortoise Digital Payments Infrastructure ETF (TPAY): ETF Research Reports
 
Global X Cloud Computing ETF (CLOU): ETF Research Reports
 
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Zacks Investment Research
 
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