Stock ETFs Are Still Shaky As Coronavirus Fears Dominate | ETF Trends

Markets continued to selloff overnight Wednesday amid ongoing concerns about spiking coronavirus cases, but stocks and index ETFs are off the worst levels in midday Thursday trading, attempting to stabilize.

After trading lower in overnight futures trading Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has added  0.26% on Thursday as of 1230pm EST. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 which also sold off overnight has climbed back and is up 0.25%. The Nasdaq has rallied the most, adding 0.43% so far.

Stock index ETFs are also off their worst levels as of now to track higher along with the underlying benchmarks Thursday. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) are trading all treading water above breakeven.

With an increase in Covid-19 headlines beginning to exert more pressure on U.S. stocks, strategists claim they are now concentrating on a more targeted set of disease metrics to inform their trading strategy.

There has been an increasing number of reports of new infections in Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona over the last week, but Wall Street experts claim that issues like case growth are less crucial, and they are more focused on net hospitalizations and deaths since they’re more accurate representations of stress on the health-care system.

In the original outbreak, “new case growth at that time was directly associated with an increase in hospitalization rates on a net basis,” Evercore ISI strategist Dennis DeBusschere said Tuesday. “In hindsight, we know that that was a lot of 65-year-old-plus people. You also had specific areas like nursing homes as a significant part of that.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was as concerned this week as he was in an announcement made on March 16, when he declared that the state’s gyms and movie theaters would close.

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our health-care system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Cuomo said at the time.

But overall, the number of deaths seems to be concentrated in the older age range. On a national level, citizens between the ages of 18 years old and 64 years old represent 74.3% of total U.S. infections, but only 19.8% of deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, those individuals 65 years or older make up 20% of cases, but 78.6% of deaths. Many of those deaths are due to the prevalence of the virus spread throughout nursing homes.

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