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iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) 5.2%The VIX ETNs are scoring their first gains in more than a week today, riding higher as the markets trade in a mixed fashion. Less than positive earnings reports from financial players such as Goldman Sachs (GS ).
Looking ahead, investors should continue to steer clear of VXX and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid Term Futures ETN (VXZ). Neither has shown signs of stabilizing and could have further to fall as the global economy continues to improve.
United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) 2.7%Natural gas prices are seeing strength today as well, benefiting from a cold forecast.
Energy is expected to be a promising region of the market to watch in 2011 as global markets continue to recover and expand. On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency boosted industry confidence, raising their 2011 global energy demand forecast.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN (BAL) 2.6%Although today marks the cotton ETN's second consecutive day of gains, the fund remains locked in a sideways pattern that has persisted throughout the start of the new year. As we look ahead, the fund's 50-day moving average should be monitored. Since August, this level has been a consistent area of support.
iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (EZA) -2.9The South Africa ETF is slumping today, pressured retailers which slipped to three-month lows. Although EZA is heavily dedicated to materials and financials, the consumer plays an important part in directing its action. Together, consumer discretionary and consumer staples account for close to 20% of the fund's total index.
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) -2.7%Wednesday's mixed market action is hitting miners hailing from all walks of the base materials industry, leading the broad based XME to perform in a shaky manner. Also heading lower is the First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund (CU).
Despite today's tumble, the mining industry remains an attractive region of the markets. As economies around the globe continue along the road to recovery, demand for hard assets such as copper, steel and coal will likely remain high.
PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (PBW) -2.5%The clean energy industry is getting hit today, leading PBW to losses. In the past, I have looked to PBW as a safer alternative for investors looking for exposure to the clean energy industry. By spreading its assets across a number of different industry facets, this fund will be better protected against market turmoil than single subsector funds such as Guggenheim Solar Energy ETF (TAN). All prices as of 2:15 PM EST
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