Housing-related exchange-traded funds were the best performers of week, after unexpectedly strong new-home sales data hinted that the sector may be close to bottoming.

Shortly after Thursday's session began, a Commerce Department report said that new-home sales rose 16.2% last month to an annual rate of 981,000 units. Economists were looking for only an 860,000 pace.

Housing ETFs managed to avoid pitfalls during the week, including Friday's weak report on existing-home sales, as well as a disappointing fiscal second-quarter earnings report from Toll Brothers ( TOL) on Thursday.

For the week, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ( ITB) ETF added 3.2% to finish at $37.33. The SPDR Homebuilders ( XHB) ETF rose 2.6% to $35.52.

Bundled securities tracking the Internet sector also had a strong week. The sector was led higher by an 8.3% gain in Amazon.com ( AMZN). Elsewhere, EarthLink ( ELNK) tacked on 4%, BEA Systems ( BEAS) was higher by 3%, and Google ( GOOG) was up 2.8%.

The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index ( FDN) was the best performer of the Internet ETFs, finishing up 1.3% at $25.61. The Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs ( IIH) added 1% to $5.16, and the Internet HOLDRs ( HHH) climbed 0.9% to $61.31.

On the losing side, bundled securities tracking chipmakers were the worst performers of the week. Following Tuesday's close, Analog Devices ( ADI) provided third-quarter guidance that fell short of expectations. JPMorgan also downgraded the stock to neutral from overweight. Analog Devices slumped 11.2% over the five sessions.

Among other chipmakers, Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) shed 5.3% for the week, Xilinx ( XLNX) lost 4.9%, Texas Instruments ( TXN) fell 2.7%, and Intel ( INTC) eased 2.4%

The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares ( USD) ETF fell 4.7% to $76.35. The Semiconductor HOLDRs ( SMH) ETF was lower by 2.4% to $36.26. The iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor ( IGW) ETF was down 2.1% to $63.56. The PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors ( PSI) ETF eased 1.2% to $18.86.

Utility-related ETFs were also among the biggest losers. Among individual names, Exelon ( EXC) slid 6.6% for the week, Duke Energy ( DUK) eased 5.9%, and both FPL Group ( FPL) and American Electric Power ( AEP) were lower by 3.8%.

The Ultra Utilities ProShares ( UPW) shed 8.5% to $86.40. The Vanguard Utilities ETF ( VPU) lost 3.9% to $85.78, and the Utility HOLDRs ( UTH) fell 3.8% to $145.88.

If you liked this article you might like

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)