With a majority of the U.S. in a self-quarantine mode in order to curb coronavirus cases, more Americans are having to rely on companies like online retail giant Amazon for goods delivered directly to their residences. With the increased demand for online shopping, Amazon is increasing overtime pay for warehouse workers.

Per a Reuters report, “hourly workers at Amazon’s U.S. warehouses will receive double pay after 40 hours for overtime, up from the 1.5-times rate, from March 15 through May 9, the rate increase announcement said. This is the second time the e-commerce giant announced an increase in pay for its workers in a week. On Monday, Amazon hiked the minimum hourly rate for associates to $17 from $15 and announced plans to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States as the virus outbreak boosts online orders.”

Amazon is also making employees top priority when it comes to preventing the spread of the coronavirus with face masks at the ready for on-site staff.

“When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

With the coronavirus looking to put a dent in the armor of an unemployment rate that has been at historical lows, companies like Amazon could help stem the tide with more expansion and hiring as more Americans become reliant on online retail. Despite the sell-off from the coronavirus effects, Amazon stock has been able to stabilize, falling just below last summer’s low before rising again.

AMZN Chart

AMZN data by YCharts

 Three ETFs to consider with Amazon exposure:
  1. Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (FDIS): seeks to provide investment returns that correspond generally to the performance of the MSCI USA IMI Consumer Discretionary Index. The index represents the performance of the consumer discretionary sector in the U.S. equity market.
  2. Consumer Discret Sel Sect SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLY): seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of publicly traded equity securities of companies in the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. The index includes securities of companies from the following industries: retail; hotels, restaurants and leisure; textiles, apparel and luxury goods; household durables; automobiles; auto components; distributors; leisure products; and diversified consumer services.
  3. ProShares Online Retail ETF (NYSEArca: ONLN): seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the performance of the ProShares Online Retail Index. The index tracks retailers that principally sell online or through other non-store channels. The index uses a modified market-capitalization weighted approach, is rebalanced monthly and is reconstituted annually.

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