NEW YORK (
) -- Financials, metals and some emerging markets were the leaders in a week that saw the major indices reach new postcrash highs.
SPDR KBW Bank ETF
The financial industry scored some of the strongest gains this week with the best of the group being the David/Goliath hybrid KBE. Though this particular fund is dominated by regional banks, Wall Street kings including
Bank of America
still represent more than 30% of its total index.
This sector and regional banks in particular should continue to do well as the debate over financial reform rages on with no clear end in sight.
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Looking to next week, investors should keep a close eye on earnings as JPM and BAC are scheduled to report on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund
The Turkey ETF headed higher this week, with nation's economy a polar opposite to that of neighbor Greece. During the first few days of April, the fund managed to lock in new all-time highs.
Despite this optimistic news, I continue to advise investors to be cautious regarding this particularly volatile fund. At the end of the week, citing inflation and interest rates, Merrill Lynch downgraded Turkey to underperform.
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners
GDXJ has seen an impressive rise since bouncing off its 50-day moving average in the second half of March. This upward motion has been sustained heading into the first week of April with investors still concerned with the ongoing debt situation that has been weighing on Europe.
On Friday, the weakening dollar helped gold break through $1,160 per ounce.
iShares MSCI Italy
European shares rallied on renewed optimism over Greece on Friday, but the extreme pessimism of the previous couple of days left many shares lower for the week, with EWI among the weakest. According to revised fourth-quarter GDP data out this week, Italy's economy contracted 0.3%.
EWI is generally seen as not as bad as the other PIGS (Portugal, Spain and Greece), but that's only true as long as the situation remains contained, since the country has significant debt problems.
iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund
Though the fund was one of the top performing ETFs of the first quarter of 2010, the start of the second quarter has not boded well for the Thailand ETF. This fund took a nosedive this week amidst the ongoing protests that continue to plague the Southeast Asian.
The outcry created by the antigovernment "Red Shirt" protesters caused Thailand's government to declare a state of emergency and shut down a number of media outlets this week.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN
Broad market strength throughout this week caused investors to abandon their fears, driving the volatility index and VXX lower. This fund likely has further to fall if the
can achieve the psychologically important 1,200 and 11,000 levels, respectively.
While the market's run-up has been a big weight on VXX, contango is another factor standing in this fund's way. I would advise investors to steer clear.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion was not long any equity mentioned.
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.