Welcome to Don Dion's Daily ETF Winners and Losers. Be sure to stop by each day to get a feel of who's winning and who's losing when it comes to ETFs.
The biotech industry is powering higher on Friday, ending a strong week on a positive note. Leading the industry higher is
, which is up over 140% thanks to news that European regulators are recommending approval of the company's lung drug.
Navigating the biotech industry using ETFs can be a tricky task. Because it tracks a basket of large names,
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund
is the most appropriate play for conservative investors. Those looking for more upside from their investment, however, may find a fund such as FBT more to their liking. This fund tracks a basket of smaller, more volatile members of the biotech industry.
Sugar has seen a strong run-up throughout this week, leading SGG to approach levels seen prior to its breakdown in early November. Today's strength can be attributed to supply concerns facing Brazil.
Sugar's ascension throughout the latter half of 2010 has been impressive. It will be interesting to see if the fund can hold onto this strength as we close out the year.
Although the markets are performing in a mixed manner on Friday, base metals continue to power higher. DBB is designed to provide investors with exposure to a basket of futures contracts linked to basic metals, including copper, aluminum and zinc. Aggressive, short-term traders looking for a more focused play on this asset class may find the
iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Total Return Subindex ETN
an attractive play.
Friday's upward action is a welcomed relief for the Vietnam ETF. VNM has faced rough waters throughout this week as investors fled the fund in response to a downgrade from Moody's.
Throughout November and December, VNM has seen particularly volatile action. It will be interesting to see if this type of performance persists into next week.
Long-term U.S. treasuries are falling into favor on Friday as investors seek protection against the jittery market conditions.
Fears of debt issues in Europe and concerns about inflation in China have and will continue to produce anxiety for investors as we approach the new year. In order to combat economic turmoil in the near future, investors may want to consider arming themselves with defensive plays.
The European debt crisis continues to weigh on ETFs designed to capture the strength of the region. Leading the way lower on Friday is the Turkey ETF. The
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund
is another notable decliner.
Europe remains an area I would not advise conservative investors to jump into at this time. Until the economic headwinds show signs of clearing, funds -- such as EWP and TUR -- will continue to behave in a volatile manner.
All prices as of 2:15 PM EST
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management had no postions in stocks mentioned.
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.