iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (THD) 5.6%
The Thai markets performed particularly well this week, continuing along an upward trajectory they have stuck to since mid-May.
THD and other emerging- and developed-market ETFs have become increasingly popular destinations recently as investors have sought shelter from the economic storms that continue to plague developed regions. I expect this trend to continue into the foreseeable future.
Other nations that saw strength this week included Israel and Brazil. Investors can track these countries using the
iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund
PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) 4.6%
Strength from both emerging markets and the developed regions of the globe helped improve investors' views of the global economic recovery. Improving sentiment is boding well for base metals such as copper and aluminum, which are used extensively in construction and infrastructure development.
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DBB could run into turmoil in the future if storms gather. However, this week the skies were clear.
ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) 3.4%
Precious metals scored gains along with base metals this week. Gold and silver continued their assaults higher, locking in new all-time highs and 30-year highs, respectively. Meanwhile, industry-linked palladium trudged higher thanks to improving investor sentiment.
Looking to the coming week, palladium may be an interesting metal to keep an eye on as investors prepare for auto and truck sales numbers. Palladium is used extensively in the production of catalytic converters and will, therefore, benefit if numbers are strong.
ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TBT) -3.8%
TBT saw a nice jump on Friday as investors took the broad market strength as an opportunity to pile into riskier assets. However, it was not enough to undo the damage of the previous four days.
Long term bonds remain attractive as investors seek out opportunities to benefit from questionable market conditions.
iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund
will likely remain popular.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) -2.8%
This VIX-based ETN saw a string of wins at the start of the week as investors remained cautious about the global economy. These gains, however, were wiped out on Friday, leading VXX to place among the week's biggest losers.
Even though volatility persists in today's market, VXX has staged a dramatic downfall, testing brand new all-time lows. I would advise investors to steer clear of this fund.
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund (ICF) -1.1%
Housing data this week benefited homebuilder ETFs such as
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF
. The same could not be said, however, for REIT-focused ETFs such as ICF.
Real estate continues to be a mixed bag. I have reservations about residential housing because of the continued supply glut that is weighing on prices. However, REITs and commercial real estate appear more promising. Despite its losses this week, I would advise risk-tolerant, long-term investors looking for a taste of real estate to opt for ICF over ITB.
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned THD and ICF.
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.