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


Guggenheim Airline ETF ( FAA) 5.8%

trong earnings reports from major players in the airline industry helped propel FAA to a top spot among this week's ETF winners and losers.

Southwest Airlines, U.S. Airways ( LCC), Delta ( DAL) and American Airlines ( AMR) each announced impressive performances year over year. The newly married United Continental ( symbol) was another big winner within the industry. During their first quarter as a united entity, the firm saw strength.

Despite its strength, investors should use caution when attempting to play the airlines using FAA due to its top-heavy index. The fund's index is comprised of 24 holdings. However, UAL, DAL, and LUV alone account for more than half of the fund's total portfolioUAL

iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN ( SGG) 4.8%

Sugar prices continued on their staggering rally this week, revisiting previous 2010 and all-time highs. This strength helped power PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund ( DBA), my pick for agriculture futures-based ETFs, to noticeable gains as well. DBA has managed to surpass 2009 highs and is now trading at levels last seen at the end of 2008.

The gains from sugar and other agriculture commodities have been impressive. Investors concerned about the risks that are associated with holding futures contracts may find an equity-based fund such as Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF ( MOO) a viable alternative.

iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund ( ICF) 1.9%

Within the real estate industry the REITs continue to power above residential homebuilders. While I remain bullish towards many aspects of the global economy, the residential housing industry is one segment I have reservations towards.

Oversupply continues to pressure home prices and it remains unclear as to how widespread and damaging the current foreclosure issue will be on the industry.

Commercial real estate and the REITs, appear more promising looking to the mid term. Further aiding to my attraction towards the REITs is their substantial yield. ICF pays out a more than 3% distribution. The consistent income earned from these funds provides much welcomed comfort in today's volatile trading environment.


iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex ETN ( GAZ) -12.4%

Natural gas prices were taken to task this week, pressured by a dismal storage report from the Energy Information Administration. The agency saw stockpiles increase more than previously expected. This in turn sent GAZ and United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) into a tailspin. Both funds are now carving out brand new all-time lows.

GAZ was hit especially hard this week due to the premium it has developed. Increased demand for this fund has caused it to disconnect from its underlying index, causing it to move more wildly. GAZ is currently trading similarly to a closed-end fund. I would advise investors to steer clear.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -10.9%

Despite seeing a heavy hit earlier in the week, the bulls remained unfazed heading into the final weeks of October. Market confidence throughout Sep and Oct has caused VXX and fellow VIX tracking ETN, iPath S&P 500 VIX MidTerm Futures ETN ( VXZ) to fall sharply.

Macroeconomic issues remain present across many regions of the globe and I don't expect volatility to dissipate in the near future. However I wouldn't advise investors to try to capture uncertainty with VXX or any other VIX-related products..

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) -4.7%

After rallying for weeks, precious metal prices at last saw a pullback, leading physically based funds such as iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) and iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) to notable losses. Weakness across these metals weighed heavily on miners, with the smaller, more volatile junior gold miners taking the hardest hit.

Precious metals remain an attractive region of the market as investors seek out protection from the broad market volatility. Late last week ETF Securities unveiled their newest product, the ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares ( GLTR). Designed as a catch-all for precious metals enthusiasts, this fund provides exposure to gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund, iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund and iShares Gold Trust .

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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