Hedge Fund Trends and the Coronavirus Pandemic

News that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective against the virus caused shares in the company to skyrocket on Monday. Between Friday’s close and Monday’s announcement, the company’s stock price rose by 15%.

However, Pfizer wasn’t the only company to benefit from a successful trial. Shortly after the announcement, we saw a stock market boom. The Dow Jones Industrial Average in America was up by more than 1,000 points on Monday and the FTSE 100 in the UK ended the day 276 points higher, a rise of 4.67%. So, with news emerging that a working vaccine is on the horizon, what will the next six months look like for hedge fund managers and investors? Let’s take a look.

How do Hedge Fund Managers View the Pandemic?

Although news of the Pfizer vaccine is positive, it does not signal an end to the current ways of working and living. After all, this is only one trial, and even if the vaccine continues to be successful, the distribution of the vaccine will still take around a year. As a result, it’s unsurprising that many hedge fund managers still expect that the coronavirus pandemic will still negatively affect their investments. Overall, 86% believe that the pandemic will have either a ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’ impact.

That being said, the vaccine news is still a huge positive. Due to this, if the successful trials continue, the vaccine may change the outlook of hedge fund managers as long as they adapt their strategy in order to take advantage of opportunities that emerge in a post-COVID world.

What Sectors will be Popular Investment Options?

Due to the fact that the vaccine will first be given to vulnerable people over the pension age, it seems likely that the ‘new normal’ work from home dynamic will continue for at least the first half of next year. As a result, expect tech stocks to receive significant investment. The vaccine news actually caused Zoom stock to plummet by 15%, but this may be short-sighted given that the vast majority of us will still rely heavily on this form of tech in the next 6-12 months. Plus, if the virus fundamentally changes the way that we conduct business, and working from home becomes the norm in some industries, then this technology may be here to stay.

Similarly, for many people, the coronavirus pandemic has changed our relationship with our bodies and our minds; particularly because self-isolation and lockdown have made us think more about how we look after ourselves without gym access. As a result, expect well-being providers such as Peloton to build on the 350% growth they’ve seen this year.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the Pfizer vaccine is just one of the options available, and we’re still waiting to hear trial results from other vaccine providers such as AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Valneva. Should their trials also be successful, expect their stock prices to skyrocket on the announcement.

In summary, although hedge fund managers still believe that the pandemic will have a negative impact on their funds, the Pfizer vaccine provides us with a glimmer of hope that life may return to normal by the spring. As a result, for hedge fund managers and investors, this hope presents an opportunity. By adapting their strategy to purchase stocks in areas likely to see growth such as tech and well-being, proactive hedge fund managers may be able to overcome at least some losses and could potentially come out of the pandemic unscathed.

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