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COVID-Themed ETFs in Focus as Cases Soar Post Thanksgiving

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The coronavirus outbreak continues to aggravate globally. The United States has been struggling with the rising number of coronavirus cases and the Thanksgiving weekend has seen an exponential rise in the number of cases. Making the situation worse, the increasing number of hospitalizations is cramping up medical facilities.

Despite warnings from health professionals, a huge number of people traveled to celebrate with loved ones. Consequently, a record high number of 96,039 people have been hospitalized in the United States with the coronavirus infection according to data published Monday evening by The COVID Tracking Project (per a CNN report). This has become the third consecutive day of new record numbers, after a nominal decline witnessed on Friday. Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among the states with the maximum people presently hospitalized with the coronavirus infection, per a CNN report.

With 157,901 new coronavirus cases reported on Nov 30, the world’s largest economy has seen at least 13,541,221 cases so far along with a death toll of 268,045.

However, two frontrunners in the coronavirus vaccine race, Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech, have applied to the FDA for emergency use authorization for the vaccine. Notably, the FDA is supposed to meet with its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Dec 10 to review Pfizer's application and on Dec 17 to evaluate Moderna's application, going by a CNN report.

It is important to note here that distribution of coronavirus vaccines could start within weeks, pending authorization from the FDA, per the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (according to a CNN report). However, it shall be June 2021 by when all Americans (who want a vaccine) will get vaccinated, according to an official with the White House vaccine initiative, per the same report as mentioned above.

COVID-Themed ETFs That Can Gain

It feels like the rest of 2020 and beginning of 2021 will continue to bear the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak and therefore, a COVID-themed ETF could be a smart pick. Against this backdrop, there have been some launches keeping the pandemic in focus:

Direxion Work From Home ETF (WFH - Free Report) — up 21.1% since launch

Launched on Jun 25, 2020, the fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Solactive Remote Work Index. It offers exposure to companies across four technology pillars, allowing investors to gain exposure to those companies that stand to benefit from an increasingly flexible work environment. The four pillars include Cloud Technologies, Cybersecurity, Online Project and Document Management, and Remote Communications. Companies are selected for inclusion in the index by ARTIS, a proprietary natural language processing algorithm, which uses key words to evaluate large volumes of publicly available information, such as annual reports, business descriptions and financial news. It charges a fee of 45 basis points (bps) a year (read: COVID-19 Cases on the Rise: ETFs to Bet On).

Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health ETF (EDOC - Free Report) — up 18.4%

This fund was launched on Jul 29. It seeks to invest in companies positioned to benefit from advances in the field of telemedicine and digital health. This includes companies involved in Telemedicine, Health Care Analytics, Connected Health Care Devices, and Administrative Digitization. The fund charges a fee of 68 bps a year (read: Best Thematic ETFs: Telemedicine, Cloud, IoT & More).

Global X Education ETF (EDUT - Free Report) — up 13.6%

Launched on Jul 10, the fund seeks to invest in companies, providing products and services that facilitate education, including online learning and publishing educational content as well as those involved in early childhood education, higher education, and professional education. It charges a fee of 50 bps a year (read: 5 ETFs Shining Bright Amid September Selling).

Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF (VIRS - Free Report) — up 15.8%

The fund debuted on Jun 24 and seeks to gain exposure to U.S. companies that, in their normal operations, provide goods and services to the market through accomplishing one or more of the seven index themes. It charges a fee of 70 bps a year (read: Nvidia Q3 Earnings and Revenues Top: ETFs to Buy).

ETFMG Treatments Testing and Advancements ETF (GERM - Free Report) — up 32.2%

Launched on Jun 17, the fund is designed to provide exposure to biotech companies directly engaged in the testing and treatment of infectious diseases. Focused on advancement with targeted exposure to the forefront of R&D, vaccines, therapies and testing technologies. It charges a fee of 68 bps a year (read: Moderna ETFs to Shine on Vaccine News as Outbreak Worsens).

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