Social-Distancing ETFs Worth a Look as 'Pirola' Covid Variant Spreads

A highly-mutated Covid-19 variant designated as BA.2.86, referred to as “Pirola,” has surfaced and been detected Israel, Canada, Denmark, the UK, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Thailand. This has prompted concern within the global scientific community and triggered the question if the mask mandate would be back.

The rate at which global Pirola cases have doubled within a mere week has sparked apprehension about the likelihood of it catalyzing a fresh wave of the pandemic, according to a report by the Daily Mail, quoted on Times of India.

Mask mandate or not, an inclination toward social distancing might increase as grave memories of past sufferings are still alive in consumers’ psyche. The outbreak of the coronavirus globally established digitization as the new normal in 2020. Since then, business entities became more interested in cloud computing, automation and artificial intelligence to establish smooth supply chain systems.

Investors should note that cloud computing had emerged as a key technology in the peak of the pandemic and has been keeping up with the growing work-from-home trend in the fight against coronavirus. The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the e-commerce industry as well as people continue to practice social distancing and shopping online for all essentials.

Thus, on par with the digitization trend, the upcoming U.S. holiday season is expected to see a significant surge in online sales. The video game industry will again likely to record smooth sailings as people will likely be increasingly playing video games for some in-house entertainment, while maintaining social distancing.

Along with an increased interest in online shopping, customers are resorting to digital payments to clear bills. At the same time, merchants and utility providers are increasingly advocating the same. Payment services from tech titans like Google Pay, Facebook Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal PYPL and Square Inc.’s SQ Cash App may again emerge winners.

ETFs Likely to Gain

First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN)

The fund seeks investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield of the Dow Jones Internet Composite Index. The fund charges 52 bps in fees.

ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN)

The underlying ProShares Online Retail Index is a specialized retail index that tracks retailers that principally sell online or through other non-store channels. The fund charges 58 bps in fees.

Global X Education ETF (EDUT)

The underlying Indxx Global Education Thematic Index tracks the performance of companies listed in developed and emerging markets that provide products and services that facilitate education, including but not limited to companies involved in online learning and educational content/publishing, as well as early childhood education, higher education and professional education. The fund charges 50 bps in fees.

Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF (VIRS)

The underlying LifeSci BioThreat Strategy Index comprises of U.S. listed stocks of companies whose products or services help protect against, endure, or recover from biological threats to human health. The fund charges 70 bps in fees.

Global X Video Games & Esports ETF HERO

The underlying Solactive Video Games & Esports Index seeks to provide exposure to companies positioned to benefit from increased consumption related to video games & esports, including companies whose principal business is in video game development/publishing, video game & esports content distribution & streaming, operating/owning esports leagues/teams & producing video game/esports hardware. The fund charges 50 bps in fees

Global X FinTech ETF (FINX)

The underlying Indxx Global FinTech Thematic Index invests in companies on the leading edge of the emerging financial technology sector, which encompasses a range of innovations helping to transform established industries like insurance, investing, fundraising, and third-party lending through unique mobile and digital solutions. The fund charges 68 bps in fees.
Global X Video Games & Esports ETF (HERO): ETF Research Reports

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Block, Inc. (SQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

First Trust Dow Jones Internet ETF (FDN): ETF Research Reports

Global X FinTech ETF (FINX): ETF Research Reports

ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN): ETF Research Reports

Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF (VIRS): ETF Research Reports

Global X Education ETF (EDUT): ETF Research Reports

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Zacks Investment Research

This article originally appeared on Zacks

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