NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are this week's ETF winners and losers.
iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return ETN (OIL) 6.4%
A number of energy-related products saw strength as upward market action reignited investor confidence. As indicated by the action seen from OIL and SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES), both futures- and equity-related products saw welcome gains.
The solar energy industry-tracking Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT) shined this week as well.
I encourage investors to continue to monitor solar ETFs from the sidelines. Although a new year is nearly upon us, many of the factors that plagued the industry in 2011 continue to be in play.
iShares MSCI Austria Index Fund (EWO) 6.4%Sentiment regarding the troubled European Union continues to swing wildly as leaders work to resolve the region's ongoing sovereign debt woes. This week, optimism reigned, and ETFs linked to troubled nations like Austria managed to push higher. As we prepare to close the books on 2011, it will be interesting to see what is in store here. Conservative investors should continue to hold off on jumping into this corner of the developed world. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) 5.9%An economic calendar laden with real estate-related reports ensured that homebuilder-focused ETFs like XHB and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) would be interesting to watch this past week. Overall the data proved encouraging, but investors did learn of some peculiar news regarding the depth of the housing crisis. During the middle of the week, the National Association of Realtors announced that it had revised lower its new-home sales data for the period between 2007 and 2010. The Wall Street Journal reported that the group had overstated sales by over 14% during this period.
In the coming week, investors will uncover more clues regarding the state of the housing market. On the docket for Thursday are pending home sales.