Dion's Weekly ETF Winners and Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here is my list of ETF winners and losers for this week.

Winners

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) 10.3%

Economic turmoil continues to weigh heavily on investors, leading many to question the status and longevity of the global recovery. This type of environment is welcomed by the fear-tracking VIX and the exchange-traded products designed to track it.

Although VXX jockeyed back and forth throughout much of the past week, the ETN took off on Friday, gaining more than 9% as fears surrounding the European crisis fell back into focus.

Looking ahead, many of the same issues that have plagued the market in recent weeks remain in the spotlight. Navigating these markets requires patience and a well-established line of defense.

PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund ( UUP) 3.2%

The dollar fell into vogue this week, buoyed by investor demand for safe-haven asset classes. UUP's rally over the shortened week propelled the fund above May's highs.

UUP is currently testing its 200-day moving average. The last time this region was breached was September 2010.

With the Swiss National Bank taking steps to halt the Swiss franc's decline, it will be interesting to see what currency player becomes the darling amongst defensive-minded investors.

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) 1.5%

Although it gave back a chunk of its gains during Friday's sell off, the futures-backed UNG still managed to score a spot amongst this week's winners.

Energy could prove shaky in the coming days as the market continues to express doubts about the global economic growth picture. I would encourage investors to continue to steer clear of UNG. Those interested in the natural gas industry would be better off sticking with an equity-based option like the First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas Index Fund ( FCG).

Losers

CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust ( FXF) -10.6%

The Swiss National Bank sent shock waves through the currency world at the start of the shortened week. In an effort to protect the nation's economic growth picture, it said it was taking steps to halt the rapid rise of the Swiss franc.

For months, the Swissie has been a darling of cautious investors looking for protection against the troubled euro. With the SNB intervening, however, it will be interesting to see what is in store for the future.

iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG) -9.8%

Europe's economic crisis continued to dominate headlines this week, leading ETFs like EWG to suffer steep losses. Looking ahead, I encourage conservative investors to use extreme caution when determining whether to step into this region.

The iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund ( EIS) is another international ETF that witnessed a steep drop last week. The fund is currently trading at levels last seen during mid-2009.

Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT) -9.0%

The solar energy sector tumbled hard for a second week as macroeconomic turmoil facing the developed world continued to weigh heavily on the volatile industry. News that Solyndra, the government-backed solar energy firm, was filing for bankruptcy sent an additional shock wave across this slice of the energy spectrum.

TAN is currently testing all time lows. Until some footing is found, I urge conservative investors to steer clear.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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