NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN (SGG) 7.4%
A weakened dollar and supply issues in India caused sugar to power higher this week, lifting the futures-based SGG along for the ride. Although it managed to score some of the strongest gains in the ETF industry, SGG is still struggling to regain the atmospheric levels at the start of the month.
While SGG's recent performance has been exciting to watch, I would not advise long-term investors to try their luck with this fund. It is not uncommon that a single commodity product such as this will swing wildly from day to day.Investors wary of this type of volatility would be better off using a broader fund such as PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) to get their sugar fix. The fund tracks the performance of a number of agricultural products and sets aside 12.5% of its portfolio to the sweetener. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Total Return Subindex ETN (GAZ) 5.9% Natural gas prices powered higher this week, helping futures-based products such as GAZ and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) score strong gains. Once again, the heavy premium underlying GAZ was an influence, leading the iPath product to outperform UNG. Heavy demand for natural gas exposure has caused the GAZ to diverge from its underlying assets, amounting to a current premium of 11%. Although it has come down from its 26% high, I would still advise investors to avoid playing with this product. When this premium is eventually wiped out, the fund will fall back in line with its underlying assets. This will result in rocky performance. A stronger, more reliable play on the natural gas industry is the First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas Fund (FCG), which tracks companies heavily involved in the production of the fuel. SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) 2.8% Investors looking for a chance to bank on Black Friday crowds piled into the retail-focused XRT this week. Looking ahead, this fund and other consumer-focused products should continue to perform well as shoppers scour shopping malls and online retailers in search of holiday gift ideas. While funds such as XRT will be in the spotlight during the holiday season, investors may want to consider adding this and other consumer focused funds to their radar as possible long-term plays on the ongoing resurgence of the consumer.