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


iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) 8.9%

For another week, silver's dramatic ascension thrust SLV to the top of the winners list. Investors continue to pour into this shiny, industry-linked precious metal in hopes of both protecting against market turmoil, and taking part in the ongoing global economic recovery.

Gold witnessed strength this week as well. Shares of iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) ascended as the yellow metal broke through the $1,500 per ounce level, locking in new all-time highs.

iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund ( EWY) 4.2%

South Korea has become an attractive destination for investors looking for exposure to emerging markets. The nation's popularity has helped EWY power higher along the steep, mostly uninterrupted, path it has stuck to since the latter half of March.

EWY is designed to home in on the largest and most liquid companies hailing from South Korea. The fund's largest positions include Samsung Electronics, Posco ( PKX) and Hyundai Motor.

Market Vectors Gaming ETF ( BJK) 4.1%

A strong earnings showing from Wynn Resorts ( WYNN) helped propel the gaming ETF, earning it a spot among this week's winners.

Increasingly, the emerging market is becoming a major driver of the casino and gambling industries. BJK's index is well designed to profit from this trend, spreading its assets across companies from both developed and developing nations.

Due to its concentrated exposure, investors should use caution when rolling the dice with BJK. The fund will likely be volatile. By keeping exposure small and focused, investors can pocket strength and protect from weakness.

PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductor Portfolio ( PSI) 3.7%

The tech sector proved to be a popular corner of the marketplace this week as companies from across the industry stepped up to report their quarterly earnings performances.

While investors kept close watch over firms such as Apple ( AAPL), Yahoo! ( YHOO), and International Business Machines ( IBM), semiconductor firms were among the sector's biggest movers. Strong numbers from Intel ( INTC) and Qualcomm ( QCOM) helped to propel PSI to notable gains.

As I explained early in the week, however, semiconductor ETFs could prove volatile down the road as analysts continue to weigh the total impact the Japanese earthquake will have on production.


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -9.6%

The week started out on a jittery note after S&P announced that it had downgraded its U.S. debt outlook to negative. The weakness, however, was short-lived, and investors quickly regained confidence as they watched popular firms such as Apple ( AAPL) and General Electric ( GE) report strong earnings.

In response to investor resilience, the fear-based VIX ETNs suffered heavy losses. VXX has given back all of the gains it witnessed during the opening months of the year and is currently back to trading at all time lows.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks Index Fund ( IAT) -1.8%

The financial industry struggled this week and the smaller, more volatile regional banks proved to be the most notable laggards.

IAT captures a diverse basket of these regional players including US Bancorp ( USB), SunTrust ( STI) and Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB). The fund has been on an uninterrupted downward path since testing its 50-day moving average at the start of April.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.


At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned iShares Gold Trust.

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