It was a mildly down week for the stock market. The S&P 500 lost 0.2%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.5%. The Nasdaq lost 1%, hurt by poor earnings from Dell (DELL - Get Report) and a Bank of America analyst downgrade of the chip sector.
Gold made headlines on Monday and Tuesday, but it traded sideways for the remainder of the week. the iShares Comex Gold (IAU) gained 2.8% for the week. Housing starts grabbed headlines as well, after they fell in October, with most analysts predicting an increase. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (ITB) lost 3.7%.
And now for this week's ETF winners and losers...
WinnersiShares Silver Trust (SLV) +6.2%
PowerShares DB Silver (DBS) +6.2%Silver prices have spent most of this year catching up with gold prices, but silver can still gain more than 15% before it reaches the gold:silver ratio seen in early 2008. Silver will need more weeks like this past one though. Over the past month, gold outperformed silver. PowerShares DB Base Metals (DBB) +4.6% iPath Copper Total Return ETN (JJC) +5.2% iPath Industrial Metals Total Return ETN (JJM) +4.6% iPath Aluminum Total Return ETN (JJU) +4.2% With copper comprising one third of DBB assets and 44% of JJM, this week's copper rally helped lift these funds. Aluminum makes up another third of DBB and 26% of JJM. The industrial metals have performed well, since they benefit from both inflation fears and increased demand during the economic recovery. iPath Grains Total Return ETN (JJG) +3.3% Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO) +3.8% PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA) +1.9% Agriculture remains popular with ETF investors, but prices have lagged other commodities. Bullish gurus such as Jim Rogers have plugged the sector and inflation fears have investors looking for any commodity that will preserve purchasing power. Crop yields are unlikely to provide the lift necessary to justify the price increases, however, opening the sector up to decline if inflation doesn't arrive in time. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll