Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (TAN) +13.8%Strength from global markets helped solar energy ETFs surge higher this week, leading TAN to break through its 50-day moving average for the first time since its decline in early May. Going forward, alternative energy bulls should remain cautious before diving into TAN or any solar ETFs. The success or failure of the companies underlying them will depend on whether governments around the world continue to support them with subsidies. If these countries instead decide to focus on taming their looming budget gaps, these subsidies may be cut.
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) +12.1%The most troubled of the European Union constituents found some welcomed strength this week, raising EWP and iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI) to two of the top positions among the entire ETF industry. As investors moved away from defense in favor of riskier assets, the euro grew, which in turn contributed to abovementioned ETF ascension. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Broad Europe-focused ETFs including iShares EMU Index Fund ( EZU) and PowerShares FTSE RAFI Europe Portfolio ( PEF) were big beneficiaries as well.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ) +7.7%More than 80 days have passed since oil began pouring from the remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, but this week we received word from BP that their relief well is in the final stages of completion. This news coupled with a jump in crude prices helped push IEZ higher for the week.
iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund (EWA) +8.1%The Australia ETF rallied this week as nations around the world hinted that the economic recovery is still in full swing. Additionally, a strong jobs report from the nation helped fuel the fund's gains. Chinese demand will likely play a strong part in keeping the miner and materials-heavy EWA portfolio buoyed. Looking ahead, investors looking to play this ETF will want to keep a close eye on China to ensure that they can keep their economic picture strong.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) -14.6%The bulls at last garnered some strength, pulling the markets higher over the course of this shortened week. With newfound confidence, investors are piling into riskier assets and pushing the VIX-based ETFs lower. As a whole, I remain confident that we are on the road to economic recovery. That being said, I believe that this path will not be a smooth ride; investors should avoid unloading all of their defensive plays in light of this recent stretch of gains. Stable positions like SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) will continue to be essential for weathering economic turmoil in the future.