Here's a look at my ETF winners and losers for this week.
iShares MSCI Austria Investable Market
iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund
iShares MSCI Belgium Investable Market
iShares MSCI France Index
iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund
The ETFs following the markets of European Union member nations were some of the biggest gainers this week.
This week, the European Commission's economic sentiment indicator rose to 80.6 points from 76 points in July. The report adds to the growing number of indicators signaling that the global economic crunch is beginning to ease.
Two weeks ago, I reported on France and Germany's rise from recession. As expected, the ETFs designed to track the markets of these two nations have followed suit. Others, it appears, are also jumping on the bandwagon.
PowerShares Aerospace and Defense
Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index Fund
The aerospace and defense sector saw a boost this week as airplane manufacturing giant Boeing released positive information regarding its Dreamliner aircraft. On Thursday, the company announced that the craft, which has seen its fair share of delays, is now expected to see its first flight in 2009.
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
Reports of a big leap in sales of new homes last month sent homebuilder stocks higher this week. With a stimulus program offering new homebuyers $8,000 towards their purchase, the federal government is taking steps to ensure that the sector has hit bottom. Fears remain, however, over the possibility that this program may simply be sapping future demand.
Market Vectors Solar Energy
PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy
PowerShares DB Oil Fund
First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund
Market Vectors Coal
iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN
From coal to clean, much of the energy sector took a beating this past week. Oil managed to bounce back a bit towards the end of the week as the dollar headed back up. However, it was not enough to help black gold recover from the week's losses. Natural gas continued to spiral downwards. As I stated earlier this week, this trend is likely to continue unless a tragic Katrina-esque event sends prices back up.
Coal, as predicted, headed south this week as Chinese mines reopened and suffocated the commodity's five month rally.
iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund
iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund
ETFs designed to track Mexico and other Latin American nations slumped this week following the uncertainty of the U.S. markets.
UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury
TBT was the week's biggest loser as choppy markets sent investors back into the bond markets. As long as the U.S. remains on shaky ground it is likely that this fund will continue to fall as investors lean towards more conservative instruments to protect their investments.
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.