Winners:iShares MSCI Austria Investable Market ( EWO) +3.4% iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI)(EWI) +2.8% iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund ( EWP) +2.1% iShares MSCI Belgium Investable Market ( EWK) +1.8% iShares MSCI France Index ( EWQ) +2.2% iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG) +1.2% The ETFs following the markets of European Union member nations were some of the biggest gainers this week. This week, the European Commission's economic sentiment indicator rose to 80.6 points from 76 points in July. The report adds to the growing number of indicators signaling that the global economic crunch is beginning to ease. Two weeks ago, I reported on France and Germany's rise from recession. As expected, the ETFs designed to track the markets of these two nations have followed suit. Others, it appears, are also jumping on the bandwagon. PowerShares Aerospace and Defense ( PPA) +2.0% Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index Fund ( ITA) +1.9% The aerospace and defense sector saw a boost this week as airplane manufacturing giant Boeing released positive information regarding its Dreamliner aircraft. On Thursday, the company announced that the craft, which has seen its fair share of delays, is now expected to see its first flight in 2009. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ( XHB) ETF +3.1% Reports of a big leap in sales of new homes last month sent homebuilder stocks higher this week. With a stimulus program offering new homebuyers $8,000 towards their purchase, the federal government is taking steps to ensure that the sector has hit bottom. Fears remain, however, over the possibility that this program may simply be sapping future demand.