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It was a rough month for the physically-backed SLV as silver prices fell hard from near all-time nominal highs. This week, however, the closely watched precious metal player managed to find some footing and score some of the ETF industry's strongest gains.
Looking to the near term, investors may want to keep a close watch on SLV's 50-day moving average. Earlier in May when the fund tested this level it proved to be a region of resistance.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ) 3.3%
ETFs designed to track oil and gas producers managed to stage a comeback this week, helped higher by strengthening energy prices. Like other aspects of the commodities market, energy witnessed shaky action throughout the past month.
Futures based funds focused on energy gained ground as well. The
United States Gasoline Fund (UGA) and
United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) ended the week with gains.
The Brazil ETF has struggled since slipping from its 2011 highs in early April. This week, however, the fund saw a welcomed bounce.
As political and economic headwinds continue to threaten the strength of many nations, Latin America is standing out as a relatively quiet corner of the globe. Nations like Brazil, Chile, and Mexico may be worth keeping an eye on as we move ahead.
Shaky market action and concerns about the state of the European debt crisis weighed heavily on the solar energy industry this week. Due to its reliance on government subsidies, this corner of the energy spectrum will likely be vulnerable as Washington and other global players work to reign in looming debt.
Since the middle of May, shares of TAN have witnessed a steep steady decline; the fund has scored gains on only two of the past 10 trading days.
Stabilizing energy prices proved beneficial for oil and gas producers. However, for volatile corners of the transportation industry, the action was unsettling. Airlines have swung wildly in recent weeks as the markets have sought to determine the overall impact of rising commodity costs.
Though attractive during times of strength, it is important to remember that that the airline industry can suffer steep declines as well. Rather than risking heavy losses with FAA, conservative investors would be best off using the
diversified iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund(IYT) to get their transportation fix.
iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EIS) -1.9%
The Israeli markets stumbled at the start of the week after the nation's central bank opted to hike interest rates. In response, shares of EIS were sent spiraling. Although the fund managed to claw back a bit during the latter half of the week, it was not enough to keep the fund off of the losers list.
EIS is currently the only fund available for investors looking for exposure to Israel's marketplace. It is important to keep a close watch on this fund, however. A third of its portfolio is set aside to its top two holdings:
Teva Pharmaceuticals(TEVA), and