NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are this week's ETF winners and losers.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN
Sugar prices surged this week, helping SGG continue along the steep, upward path it has followed through the summer.
While SGG's ascension has been dramatic, investors should hold off on adding exposure to this fund. Like other single commodity ETFs, the sugar ETN is vulnerable to large swings to both the upside and downside. As seen by its performance at the start of the year, this fund can tumble just as fast as it rises.
Therefore, investors should opt for a safer bet on the agriculture industry such as the diversified
PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF
Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF
iShares S&P India Nifty 50 Index Fund
This week, ETFs designed to track the Indian markets came in as some of the biggest winners. Although the nation's markets were closed Friday for Id-Ul- Fitr, INDY,
WisdomTree India Earnings ETF
PowerShares India Portfolio
still managed to score spots among the top movers.
Helping to power the nation's market higher was news that the country's factories saw their output increase by nearly 14% in July from the previous year.
India was not the only big mover from Asia this week. ETFs designed to track the markets of Hong Kong and Indonesia also saw big gains this week.
Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap ETF
While Asia led the way, Latin America proved to be another area of strength this week, while investors remain wary of the uncertainty plaguing the U.S. and European markets. Within this region, the most strength could be found among Brazil's small cap sector and Chile.
Both BRF and
iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund
have staged impressive rallies recently, powering to new all-time highs.
PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductor Portfolio
The semiconductor industry lagged this week despite the general market optimism. While I still see technology as a strong area of the market as we head into the closing months of 2010, semiconductor funds such as PSI and
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF
may not be the best avenue to venture down.
I have more confidence in funds such as the
PowerShares QQQ Portfolio
First Trust NYSE Internet Index Fund
going forward. In the near term FDN, in particular, should hold promise as consumers gear up for the holiday season.
Claymore/NYSE Arca Airline ETF
With Obama laying out plans for infrastructure stimulus and executives from a number of reputable railroad companies foreseeing strength in the near future, the outlook for transportation is looking cheerful. However, not all is rosy. This week, the markets were not keen on the airlines, causing FAA to slump.
Despite this week's losses for FAA, I feel that the broad transportation industry could be something to watch this coming week. Industry bellwether and
iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund
, is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings report. These numbers should provide insight not only into the state of the transports, but also the broader economy.
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund
The REITs were another section of the market that struggled this week, causing ICF and
iShares FTSE NAREIT Residential Index Fund
This week's slowdown appears to a breather for the REITs. Throughout the second half of the summer, these ETFs have seen impressive run-ups. Looking to the near term, I still believe that real estate funds such as ICF and REZ hold promise.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund and First Trust NYSE Internet Index Fund.
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.