The S&P 500 gained 2.3% this week and investors took some bad economic data in stride, including a wider trade deficit and lower consumer confidence numbers. The focus may shift to Asia next week with President Obama visiting China. Expect lots of attention on currency, commodities and trade. Although they didn't do well enough to merit a spot as the weekly winners, both iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ( FXI) and Claymore/AlphaShares China Small Cap ( HAO) closed at new 52-week highs this week. Here are the past week's winners and losers.
Market Vectors Russia ETF ( RSX) +6.3% RSX benefited from a rise in emerging markets that was enough to overpower a decline in the price of oil, which the energy-heavy ETF often tracks. iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors ( ICF) +7.3% Vanguard REIT ETF ( VNQ) +6.4% SDPR Dow Jones Wilshire REIT ( RWR) +6.5% iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate ( IYR) +6.2% Real estate ETFs came back from the dead last week after spending seven weeks in decline. ICF had the best return of the broad ETFs, and the rebound was nice to see during an overall good week for the markets. However, ICF still trades 5% below its Sept. 22 close of $52.02. A close above that level would be a positive sign for REITs and the broader market as well. Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX) +4.6% Gold prices climbed to another record midweek as gold cracked the $1,123 per ounce level before retreating slightly. The Telegraph reported that the CEO of Barrick Gold ( ABX), Aaron Regent, said that the world may have reached "peak gold" in terms of annual mine production. Barrick recently reversed its policy of hedging gold production and has move aggressively to reverse existing hedges. >>Vote in Our Poll: Bull or Bear?