Here are this week's ETF winners and losers.
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel ETN
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper ETN
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Industrial Metals ETN
PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund
For the second consecutive week, base metals were some of the biggest winners across the ETF arena. Though it was nickel that saw the steepest jump, copper had a nice rally as well. Both the iPath Dow Jones UBS Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN and the iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN are back above their 50-day moving averages.
While copper and nickel performed well, PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund lagged. Nickel is absent from the fund, which has one-third of its portfolio dedicated to copper. Instead, the remaining two-thirds of DBB's index are dedicated to aluminum and zinc: two metals that underperformed this week.
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate
SPDR Dow Jones REIT
REITs made the losers list last week, although the losses were tepid in a week when the
S&P 500 Index
marched higher. This week, they reversed course strongly and erased nearly a month's worth of losses.
The big news of the week was
Simon Property Group's
$10 billion offer for
General Growth Properties
, which is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. General Growth rejected the offer but appears willing to deal for the right price.
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PowerShares Dynamic Media Fund
PowerShares Dynamic Media Fund came out a big gainer this week. Viewers tuning in to watch the likes of Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn win gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics had little impact on the fund's rise. TV companies including
ended the week with only slight gains or in line with the broad market.
Instead, it was largely radio that powered the fund higher. On Wednesday,
Sirius XM Radio
broke the $1 dollar mark and managed to hold that level, gaining more than 20% this week. PBS is one of the only exchange-traded funds to hold a notable position in the satellite radio company. The firm is the ETF's eighth largest holding, accounting for more than 4% of its assets.
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen
Although the problems with debt in the eurozone and the euro's struggle against the dollar continued to grab headlines this week, it was not the only major currency to lose ground against the dollar. The yen declined even more against the dollar, while the
was down only 0.2% this week. At its current level, FXY is nestled just above its 200-day moving average.
Market Vectors Solar
Claymore/MAC Global Solar
The solar sector continued to underperform after bad news on Friday. Most importantly,
forecast disappointed investors. Germany plans to cut its solar subsidies. That may cause a spike in near-term sales as Germans rush to take advantage, but once it is gone, sales may slump considerably.
Shares of FSLR lost more than 8% on Friday, even though they actually ended the week slightly higher. The company is the top holding in TAN and the second largest holding in KWT.
, a top-10 holding in both funds, cut its fourth-quarter margin estimates on Friday. Shares tumbled nearly 16% on the news and the slide was responsible for a considerable amount of the Friday losses in these ETFs.
United States Natural Gas
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas ETN
United States 12-Month Natural Gas
Natural gas inventories declined as expected, but investors are starting to look at the calendar. March is right around the corner, and natural gas demand will start to decline as temperatures rise, while inventories remain near the high end of their five-year average.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion owned iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors, iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate.
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.