NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are this week's ETF winners and losers.
Market Vectors Egypt ETF
Egypt was in the global spotlight throughout this week as demonstrators remained on the streets to protest the nation's government. Despite the political unrest sweeping Egypt, the ETF designed to track the nation's marketplace saw one of the industry's biggest jumps.
EGPT's jump over the past few days has been attractive, but I urge investors to steer clear of this fund. Early last week, the fund's sponsor, Van Eck, announced that EGPT's share creation process would be halted. Rampant demand, combined with the fact that no new shares of the fund are coming to the market, has already had an effect. Throughout the past week, EGPT has seen a notable disconnect from its underlying index, resulting in the formation of a staggering premium.
When normal share creation eventually resumes, EGPT will retreat back to trading in line with its underlying index. This will likely result in a rocky ride for investors caught with heavy exposure to this fund.
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Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF
Largely unloved throughout the opening weeks of the new year, the gold industry caught some headlines this week after
announced a $2.3 billion plan to acquire
This news boded well for GDXJ as well as the relatively new
Global X Gold Explorers ETF
, which lists FRG as its largest equity position.
Guggenheim Solar Energy ETF
Although TAN witnessed a spurt of weakness at the close of the week, it was not enough to knock the solar energy industry ETF off of this week's winners list.
MEMC Electronic Materials
led the industry higher this week after offering up a promising quarterly earnings report.
AN also benefited as investors turned their attention away from the macroeconomic issues plaguing Europe. Solar energy companies depend heavily on government subsidies to remain afloat. This financial support, however, has been threatened as government leaders from the EU debate ways to chip away at their debt.
Looking ahead, TAN may continue to show strength in the near term as investors and analysts remain focused on the political turmoil facing Egypt and other regions of the globe. However, investors must remember that, in the event that Europe-fed fears crop up again, this fund could face headwinds.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN
Despite the geopolitical tension sweeping Egypt and other regions of the globe this week, investors remained unshaken. In response to ongoing upward market action, the fear-based, short term VIX ETN suffered a week of heavy losses. By the market's close on Friday, the VXX appeared on the verge of testing brand new all-time lows.
VXX's sister fund, the
iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid Term Futures ETN
, fared poorly this week as well, trudging to brand new record lows.
iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund
The market has seen a promising start to the new year, with the
breaking through the 12,000 mark and the
surpassing 1,300. Increasingly confident investors appear to be looking to take advantage of the market's resent resilience, pouring into equity-backed funds and shunning the protection of long-term U.S. Treasuries.
Although the economy remains on the road to recovery, defensive products like TLT should not be unloaded entirely. Rather, they will prove promising if market turmoil crops up in the future.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN
After surging to top of last week's list of winners, the sugar ETN took a breather and started February off with a notable loss. Prior to the fund's decline, however, SGG was able to carve out brand new all-time highs as investors continued to seek ways to gain access to the rally taking place across the agriculture industry.
Sugar may be in for additional strength in the near future. The safest route to access this crop's rise is through the
PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund
--Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.