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ETF Areas to Win/Lose With Biden on the Verge of Victory

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Though the counting process for the U.S. election outcome is still on, the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency marked by a divided Congress is rife. His chances of becoming the next U.S. president became stronger on Nov 7 after he won the key battleground state – Pennsylvania.

However, some of Biden’s proposed policies may not see an easy passage as chances of a balanced government are high. Republicans will continue to control the Senate and Democrats the House. "The belief is that the Senate stays more balanced, and that balance keeps a gridlock — which prevents big changes to health care and the tax code," said Darrell Cronk, president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute, as quoted on nbcnews.com.

As a result, the tech-centric Nasdaq has been the main winner in recent trading. Growth investing will also likely stay strong maintaining the ongoing trend. Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few ETF areas that could win/lose if Biden is officially declared president.

Winners

Technology

Tech companies did extremely well on the bourses in the past two years under the Trump administration and a dividend Congress. So, if there is a divided Congress again, tech companies should continue their wining momentum.

In fact, if Biden wins, tech companies should not fear. Biden’s running mate Senetor Kamala Harris is believed to have cordial relationships with the technological sector during her previous term as district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general in California.

Plus, the coronavirus crisis bolstered the tech space. Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK - Free Report) , Global X Cloud Computing ETF Global X Cloud Computing ETF (CLOU - Free Report) and First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN - Free Report) are some of the ETFs to win ahead.

Biotech & Healthcare

This space is also a beneficiary of the likelihood of a divided Congress with drugmakers and health insurers having been the biggest gainers. “Even though drug pricing and reimbursement reform have seen support from both Democrats and Republicans, we expect the Senate’s filibuster-proof, 60-vote supermajority requirement to pass major legislation will shield the biopharma industry from the most controversial reforms,” SVB Leerink Geoffrey Porges told clients in a research note, reports Bloomberg, as quoted on Aljazeera.com.

An analyst with Jefferies sees continued deal activity in the space. The Bloomberg report also highlighted that Goldman analyst Asad Haider mentioned that the managed care sector is exposed to less risk of a “large progressive public option” or a corporate tax increase, if there is divided Congress. iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF - Free Report) and Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP - Free Report) may continue their winning run (read: Here's Why Healthcare ETFs Are Rallying Post Elections).

M&A

Joe Biden's likely win of the U.S. presidency along with a divided Congress could push mergers and acquisitions (M&A) higher. Experts in the field expect Biden’s move to be more predictable than Republican President Donald Trump, and that a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate would keep Biden's most interventionist policies in check. In short, there will likely be a “stable economic and regulatory environment that dealmaking needs.” IQ Merger Arbitrage ETF (MNA - Free Report) could thus be a winner ahead.

Private Equity

Biden has proposed raising the top tax rate for capital gains for the highest earners to 39.6% from 23.8%, marking the largest real increase in capital gains rates in history. That rate would apply only to households with income exceeding $1 million, which make up the majority of capital-gains income. Also, Biden has a plan to hike the corporate tax rate to 28%.

The increase in capital gain tax would have an adverse impact on fund returns and weigh on advisory business. Moreover, a hike in corporate tax would cut margins of the portfolio companies. Invesco Global Listed Private Equity ETF (PSP - Free Report) is thus in a sweet spot amid chances of a divided congress.

Solar Energy

Biden is forming a plan — a Clean Energy Revolution — to address the issue of climate emergency. He sees America as becoming a 100% clean energy economy by 2035 and having net zero emission by 2050. If this happens, the entire supply chain of the electric vehicle industry will be charged up.

Then again, alternative energy like solar has seen a great run even in the Trump administration, which supported fossil fuel. So, the latest political scenario should be great for Invesco Solar ETF (TAN - Free Report) (read: Biden Or Trump: Clean Energy ETFs To Soar Ahead).

Emerging Markets

Biden’s win means a less harsh stance with China and other countries on the trade front. The U.S. dollar is also likely to stay calmer in the coming rates on a super-dovish Fed. Thus, Asian emerging markets will likely outperform other counterparts as the region is better controlling the pandemic and recovering faster than other parts of the world. iShares China Large-Cap ETF FXI) should thus see smooth trading ahead.

Losers

Banks

Bank ETFs likeSPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE - Free Report) may fall ahead on possibilities of more tough negotiations on fiscal spending that could result in a small-sized stimulus. This could cripple credit and lead to weaker economic activities and defaults on loans.

Defense

While Biden doesn’t expect major U.S. defense cuts, he may face pressure from the left to roll back some increase in defense spending that Trump vowed for. Biden intends to allocate some defense investments from “legacy systems that won’t be relevant” to “smart investments in technologies and innovations — including in cyber, space, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence,” as quoted on defensenews.com. Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA - Free Report) could thus see rough patch ahead.

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