It was a wild week on Wall Street that left the
trading at almost the exact same level on Sept. 3 as it traded on Aug. 3. It was fitting that this was a week of churning itself. The S&P 500 closed at 1028 on Aug. 28 and finished at 1016 this Friday, having recovered from a low of 995 on Wednesday.
Few sectors showed clear direction, save for gold. The metal surged toward the $1,000 level after it spent six months mostly trading between $900 and $950. With that in mind, here are the winners and losers for the week:
Market Vectors Gold Miners
iShares Silver Trust
Gold miners tend to be leveraged to the price of gold, as long as general inflation doesn't lift expenses along with the price of gold. With low inflation, every increase in gold prices can theoretically drop to the bottom line of the gold miners, and investors bid up the shares accordingly.
Silver tends to be more volatile than gold, and this week was no exception.
iShares Comex Gold
gained less than half of the move in silver. Bulls point out that silver is undervalued judging by the historic ratio between the metals. Silver didn't follow gold last year because it sold off with other industrial metals.
If the trend from last week continues, expect silver to continue outperforming the barbarous relic.
ProShares Ultra Short Real Estate
Due to the mild mannered market this week, many leveraged funds dominated the performance table. The sharp drop on Tuesday led to big one-day gains that were not lost in the subsequent small rebounds. Real estate shares were among the best performers in the past few weeks, and it's no surprise to see them drop sharply in a selloff.
Taiwan's stock market blasted right through the global selloff on its way to higher ground. Traders thought the break through the 7000 level on the Taiwan index would be erased after Wall Street fell a second day, but the market climbed through the 7100 level on Thursday and added another 50 points on Friday.
said this week that PC shipments could surge 40% in the third quarter, while
said it wants to invest in the mainland. Business optimism is high due to warming relations between the island and the mainland.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks
Rumors of a bank failure helped sink the market on Tuesday, and IAT took a hit of 4.6% on the day. It fell again on Wednesday but made up much of that day's losses on Thursday and Friday.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
Homebuilders, like REITs, were some of the best-performing stocks in recent weeks, and they were naturally hit hard when the market reversed.
United States Natural Gas
iPath Natural Gas ETN
Investors interested in why natural gas imploded this week should check out my article,
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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.