NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.
Guggenheim Airline ETF ( FAA) 5.8% The airline industry has benefited from an uptick in M&A activity. This past week, Southwest Airlines ( LUV) announced its plan to acquire AirTran ( AAI). The deal comes on the heels of a big merger between Continental Airlines ( CAL) and UAL ( UAUA). Despite the industry's strength, investors should steer clear of FAA. As these companies come together, expect the already top-heavy index underlying FAA to become even more concentrated. Lack of diversification puts the fund at risk of seeing steep swings both higher and lower. A stronger, more stable choice for airline bulls is iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund ( IYT). iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund ( EWZ) 5.7% The Brazilian markets scored some nice gains this week thanks to investor demand for emerging market exposure. The fund's top holding, Petrobras ( PBR), remained in the news this week following a massive stock sale from the previous week. Emerging markets across the globe will likely remain popular destinations for investors looking for opportunities outside of the United States and other regions of the developed world. Keep an eye on EWZ and other ETFs designed to track these countries. More upside could be in store. Guggenheim Solar Energy ETF ( TAN) 3.9% Although it suffered a dip on Friday, it was not enough to drop the solar energy ETF from the list of this week's winners. The fund's rally at the close of September has helped it return to levels last seen in May, before it suffered a steep decline. TAN has faced considerable volatility throughout 2010 as investors remain critical of the global economic recovery. Shaky conditions in many developed regions of the globe and doubts about China's growth picture place pressure on alternative energy companies which rely on sound economic conditions to flourish. With doubts still rampant, I would advise investors to avoid taking on exposure to TAN for anything other than a short-term play.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Total Return Subindex ETN ( JJG) -9.3% After spending most of September moving higher thanks to a weak supply/strong demand picture, the grains retreated heading into the start of October. Agriculture remains a popular section of the globe and conservative investors, wary of the large swings from funds such as JJG, can get in using a more diversified futures-based product like PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF ( DBA) or the equity-backed Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF ( MOO).