iShares Silver Trust ( SLV): +1.6% Precious metals continue to lead the commodities, with silver outshining gold in today's market opening. ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL), another precious metals fund, is also carrying its weight, which speaks well for investor faith in industrials (since the metal is heavily used in the sector). iShares MSCI Sweden Index ( EWD): + 2.2% European products suffered across the board last week, so a rebound from the Swedish fund is a welcome breath of air for international investors. Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap ETF ( BRF) and Market Vectors Vietnam ETF ( VNM) are also outperforming among international ETFs today. Claymore/MAC Global Solar Index ( TAN): + 1.3% Although suffering a shaky year, TAN opened reasonably well this week, recovering some of the losses incurred over last week's decline. Thanks to a sizeable (roughly 30%) representation in China, a nation leading the world in energy consumption, some analysts have an optimistic outlook for the fund. Granted, alt-energy funds have endured a rough year thus far, so be cautious.
United States Natural Gas Fund, LP ( UNG): -2.6% The fund is only about 5% away from a 52-week low, and some analysts claim that this bottoming out may signify an upcoming bounce. Granted, if natural gas prices continue on their downward path (as they have done throughout the year, particularly since mid June), the fund's suffering may continue. Biotech HOLDRs ( BBH): -1.1% The fund has endured its fair share of ups and downs throughout 2010, growing until mid to late March. Although BBH appeared to be on its way back up as of early August, it and the biotech sector took a turn for the worst in August and has been suffering ever since. Pharmaceutical HOLDRs ( PPH): -0.1% Pharmaceuticals are off to a bad start this week, just as the Food and Drug Administration released alarming statistics on prescription drug recalls. The organization recently reported 1,742 separate drug recalls took place during 2009, monumentally higher than the 426 attributed to prior year. Meanwhile, 2010 recall numbers thus far look to be well over the norm -- drug recalls totaled 296 from January through June of this year. All prices as of 2:15 PM EST