iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) -11%
After ringing in the new year with losses, VXX spent the next three days heading lower. The retreat has brought the fund back to levels not seen since mid-August. This marks the first time that VXX has spent more than a single session trading below its 200-day moving average since breaking above this level in late summer.
There is no denying that challenges stand in the way for investors down the road. However, as seen by the steady declines from VXX and other VIX-tracking exchange traded products in recent months, these products are not the best options for long-term investors looking to take advantage here.iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) -5.4% While the Spain ETF led the way lower, it was Unicredit, the Italian banking giant, which stole the spotlight this week as investors, analysts, and market commentators quickly put their focus back on the European debt drama. The institution's woes weighed heavily on iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund (EWI), pushing the ETF below its December lows. Looking to the week ahead, Europe will likely continue to direct investor attitudes. Steer clear of EWI, EWP and other EU-linked funds. iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) -2.1% Investors returned from the long holiday weekend in a buying mood. As the "risk-on" attitude prevailed, safe-haven asset classes such as long-term Treasuries fell out of favor. Before seeing a bounce at the end of the week, TLT's three-day string of losses pushed the fund back to its 50-day moving average. Keep an eye on this level. Since November, it has served as a persistent point of support. -- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.