iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) +8.7%

If you've been following the headlines and watching the market's performance over the past few weeks, it shouldn't surprise you that the VIX-focused ETNs are topping the ETF winners list for the second week in a row. In the battle between fear and greed, fear is winning out in a big way.

Looking to the near future, investors should keep their emotions in check. Earnings season is upon us, and I feel that we will be in for another session of strong results. I stand by the belief that we remain on the road to recovery.

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Grains Total Return Subindex ETN (JJG) +3.8%

The grain-based ETN soared this week thanks an impressive rally in corn prices. A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that less corn had been planted than previously expected.

JJG is designed to track the performance of soybeans, wheat and corn futures contracts.

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The Teucrium Corn Fund ( CORN), a young, lightly traded ETF designed as a pure play on corn prices, surged higher this week as well.

CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (FXF) +2.6%

Although in recent weeks the Swiss National Bank has allowed the Swiss franc to freely appreciate against the euro, prior to June this was not the case. Rather, fearing the effect of a weak euro on its domestic economy, Switzerland's central bank started buying up the troubled currency in hopes of propping it up. Unfortunately, this effort only provided short-term relief and quickly became too expensive for the Switzerland.

Since the program was stopped in mid-June, the franc has rallied against the euro, which itself has also seen gains against the dollar, meaning the franc has had a huge advance against the greenback.


Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) -11.6%

After powering higher throughout the month of June, gold prices started off July on a very weak note. In response to the metal's heavy dip, gold miners of all sizes plummeted. The smallest of these producers were hit the hardest, leading GDXJ to some of the biggest losses of the week.

Gold was not alone in the fall. Palladium prices took a beating as well, leading ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL) lower. Palladium's dip can be attributed to broad market losses. Due to its extensive use in the automotive industry, the metal's price swings tend to mimic those of the market.

SPDR Metals & Mining ETF (XME) -12.0%

With the euro crisis back in the headlines, China's markets worried about decelerating growth and general concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery, miners of all types took a hit, sending XME back to previous 2010 lows.

Reflecting the weakness from the mining industry, Market Vectors Coal ETF ( KOL) and Market Vectors Steel ETF ( SLX) were two other big losers this week.

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) -7.7%

The biotech industry-linked XBI suffered through four days of heavy losses before finding some welcome strength on Friday.

One of the industry's biggest strugglers this week was Dendreon ( DNDN). The company took a dive on July 1 after the government announced that it was taking a closer look at Dendreon's prostate cancer treatment, Provenge. In response to the news, shares of the firm fell hard, at one point dipping below 20%.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion had no positions in equities mentioned.

Don Dion is president and founder of Dion Money Management, 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.

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