Dion's Weekly ETF Winners and Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.

Winners

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.

Losers

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).

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) -5.7%

September was a month of upward action for most regions of the market. For natural gas, however, weakness prevailed. Although it managed to find some strength heading through the first few days, UNG was on a path by the middle of them month that would lead it to test new all-time lows.

As we head into the cooler autumn months and prepare for winter, natural gas may once again fall into favor. However, investors looking to invest in this fuel source would be better using a product such as First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Fund ( FCG).

ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TBT) -2.9%

As stocks faltered heading into the close of the month, investors once again returned to the safety of long term U.S. treasuries. While this aided investors holding iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT), investors holding onto inverse long term treasury funds such as TBT were left with losses.

Market volatility continues to lead investors into the safety of the bond market. While TLT is effective for conservative investors, risk-seekers looking for more return may want to check out the iShares iBoxx $High Yield Corporate Bond Fund ( HYG).

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF and iShares iBoxx $High Yield Corporate Bond Fund.

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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