NEW YORK (
) -- This week saw the beginning of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, but there were few incidents other than a leaked document that had developing nations accusing the developed world of unfair negotiating.
The more significant developments will likely occur next week, toward the end of the summit, when Obama and other world leaders will be attending.
In domestic politics, as many were distracted by the ongoing Tiger Woods controvery, the public health care option was effectively defeated in Congress. This had implications for health care ETFs and made one fund a winner this week.
On Wall Street,
Bank of America
announced that it will be paying back the $45 million it borrowed from the government. This quells concerns that the company had about being too tightly regulated, especially with regard to executive compensation.
The stock market ended the week up ever so slightly by 0.04% as reports about Greece's debt concerns and signs of a strengthening dollar weighed in to create uncertainty about the U.S. and world economic recovery.
With that in mind, here are the ETF winners and losers for the week.
U.S. Natural Gas
iPath Natural Gas ETN
Natural gas began to rally in late November, but it kicked into high gear last week as cold wintry weather hit many parts of the United States. On Thursday alone, UNG enjoyed a 7% rally, most of it coming within minutes of an inventory report that came in below expectations.
PowerShares Dynamic Media
powered PBS to higher ground this week after the newspaper company advanced more than 25% for the week. It accounted for 3.2% of assets as of Friday morning. During the week, GCI announced job cuts and then said it was coming through the economic turmoil and that it expects fourth-quarter earnings to come in at the high end of expectations.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers
pushed this fund higher this week with individual gains of more than 8%.
The rumored death of the public option in the Senate health care bill lifted the spirits of these stocks. The continual weakening of health care legislation and the increasing odds that no reform will pass Congress has made IHF a steady outperformer.
iPath Crude Oil ETN
PowerShares DB Oil
United States Oil
Oil prices have been heading lower since late November and they fell below $70 a barrel on Thursday and again on Friday, where it closed for the week. USO closed only 1.1% above its 200-day moving average on Friday.
Claymore/Delta Global Shipping
Recent events have not been kind to SEA. While global economic concerns have weighed on the ETF, it was the financial situation in Greece that sank SEA last week. More than 13% of SEA's assets are in Greek shipping companies and a downgrade of Greece's credit rating hit shares hard. This remains a volatile situation and investors in SEA should stay abreast of developments.
iShares Silver Trust
The selloff in gold that began the previous week continued into this week. While IAU lost only 4% this week, it is down 8.3% from its all-time high on Dec. 2. SLV lost 10.7% from that day as well, which was its high for the year, but still below its all-time high.
Silver also broke its 50-day moving average in the past week and traders will watch to see if gold follows next week.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion owns IAU.
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.