Following a shortened Thanksgiving trading week, investor attention was tuned to Dubai's debt restructuring. In the end, negative sentiment was largely relieved when the overall forecasted impact was found to be less than expected.

As the week progressed, media focus shifted to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, as President Obama pledged to send an additional 30,000 troops there by next summer. The president followed up this announcement with reassurance that, by 2011, soldiers would be withdrawn from the region.

On Wall Street,


Chairman Ben Bernanke fielded questions from the Senate Banking Committee as he pleaded his case for reappointment, and gold prices continued to break records, thanks to a weakening dollar. Before taking a hit on Friday, the yellow metal broke the $1,200 barrier and the dollar rebounded. Both still closed the week nearly unchanged, with the

Market Vectors Gold Miners'

(GDX) - Get VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF Report

five-day performance barely negative and the

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners

(GDXJ) - Get VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF Report

barely positive.

With that in mind, here are the ETF winners and losers for the week.


Market Vectors Steel

(SLX) - Get VanEck Vectors Steel ETF Report

+ 6.31%

PowerShares DB Base Metals

(DBB) - Get Invesco DB Base Metals Fund Report

+ 4.64%

WisdomTree International Basic Materials Sector Fund


+ 3.49%

The basic materials sector outperformed this week as recovering nations around the world continued to demand the metals for raw building materials. Steel was the biggest winner of the group largely thanks to a Goldman Sachs blessing on Monday.

iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund

(EWJ) - Get iShares MSCI Japan ETF Report

+ 6.51%

WisdomTree Japan Total Dividend Fund

(DXJ) - Get WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund Report

+ 6.92%

WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund

(DFJ) - Get WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund Report

+ 3.39%

iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap Index Fund

(SCJ) - Get iShares MSCI Japan Small-Cap ETF Report

+ 5.04%

Gains across much of Asia this week helped boost all things Japan. On Thursday, the Nikkei 225 rose above the 10,000 level for the first time since the end of October. Additionally, talk of quantitative easing and a forced weakening of the yen ultimately led the Japanese markets higher.

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However, the nation continues to face significant headwinds that will challenge these funds' stability as long-term investments.

Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate

(TAO) - Get Invesco China Real Estate ETF Report

+ 8.85%

iShares Cohen and Steers Realty Majors Index Fund

(ICF) - Get iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF Report

+ 9.25%

Vanguard REIT

(VNQ) - Get Vanguard Real Estate ETF Report

+ 9.02%

Real estate markets benefited both domestically and internationally this week as Hong Kong prices surged higher and conditions in the U.S. continued to heal. Though the IMF is concerned about possible bubble conditions facing Hong Kong, properties firms insist that, with prices still below 1997 levels, the market faces little risk.


Market Vectors Gulf States


- 3.20%

As expected, the lightly traded MES took a hit this week due to the debt issues facing Dubai. This fund has more than a quarter of its assets placed on firms based in the United Arab Emirates, and, as the issues in Dubai work themselves out, this fund will continue to underperform.

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond

(TLT) - Get iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF Report


Thanks to positive market performance during most of this week, many investors were sent scrambling away from long-term treasuries.

United States Natural Gas

(UNG) - Get United States Natural Gas Fund LP Report

- 13.64%

iPath Down Jones-UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN

(GAZ) - Get iPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN Report

- 11.32%

First Trust-ISE Revere Natural Gas Fund

(FCG) - Get First Trust Natural Gas ETF Report

- 1.18%

Though the list of losers this week was littered with numerous short and ultrashort instruments, the biggest losses came from the damaged natural gas sector. Although the U.S. already faced brimming supplies heading into the week, deliveries from Qatar, additional shale discoveries and a warm forecast further buried the UNG.

As I have predicted numerous times, the firms responsible for producing and storing the fuel fared much better than the actual commodity and helped save FCG from seeing as steep a drop.

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At the time of publication, Dion was long GDX, GDXJ, ICF and TLT.

Don Dion is president and founder of

Dion Money Management

, 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.