NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN
The market's rally at the end of the week caused VXX to give back a portion of its gains. The losses were not enough to offset the ETN's strength entirely. On the contrary, it still managed to score a spot near the top of this week's winners list.
Heading into next week, VXX is in the process of testing its 50-day moving average. This is the first time this level has been visited since its initial ascension in early August. Many of the same factors that have sparked investor concerns in recent months remain in play. It will be interesting to see if VXX can remain buoyed here.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund
A strong batch of data and an optimistic report from the National Association of Homebuilders helped to propel homebuilder-related ETFs higher. ITB and the
SPDR S&P Homebuilder ETF
have enjoyed impressive action over the course of the month.
Real estate will again be in focus next week as investors anticipate the release of new and pending home sales reports.
Although homebuilders appear promising, investors should continue to steer clear. The housing market remains muddled in uncertainty. Those looking for a safer bet on this sector should turn to a REIT-focused fund like the
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Fund
iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund
The Israel ETF has had a rough couple of months. As global macroeconomic concerns have driven investors out of international markets, shares of EIS have tumbled hard. At the end of September, the fund had retreated to levels seen during the middle of 2009.
In October, however, it appears as though the nation's marketplace has found some footing.
Investors interested in venturing into EIS should exercise caution. The fund's index is dominated by two companies:
and Israel Chemical. Together, these two holdings represent over one-third of its index. Their respective performances will do much of the driving here.
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF
Despite its reputation as a safe haven destination, gold prices have struggled in recent weeks. The metal's shaky action, combined with investor hesitance toward market-correlated sectors, has weighed on gold miner stocks.
Given its spurt of peculiar action recently, it will be interesting to see what is in store for gold in the days ahead.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN
Copper made a comeback on Friday as fears fell by the wayside and investors took steps back into the global marketplace. These gains, however, were not enough to recoup the heavy losses suffered during the middle of week.
The base metals may become an attractive destination if confidence remains perked in the days ahead. Conservative investors looking for a diversified way to approach this corner of the metals market should turn to the
PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund
, which spreads its assets across a combination of copper, aluminum and zinc futures.
Guggenheim China Real Estate ETF
TAO and other China-related ETFs started out the month on a strong note. However, in recent days, they have run into hurdles as questions have lingered regarding a potential hard landing. There is a strong chance that this issue will remain in focus in the weeks ahead. Investors looking for exposure to the emerging market growth engine should be cautious here.
China's real estate market has faced ample criticism for years. Given the looming doubts, I would encourage conservative investors to avoid diving into a fund like TAO. There are other, safer ways to gain exposure to the nation.
Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned the iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Fund.