NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund ( IEZ) 6.2% The energy sector enjoyed some welcomed gains as the market's multi-day rally helped to reinvigorate confidence and drive investors back to growth-correlated industries. IEZ's bounce was impressive and the fund could continue higher if economic fears begin to subside. However, investors should be careful not to get carried away with a fund like IEZ. iShares S&P North American Technology Index-Multimedia Networking Fund ( IGN) 6.1% Thanks to a three-day string of gains, the networking ETF managed to score some of the industry's most impressive gains. With this week's upward action, the fund has recovered back to its 50-day moving average. This is a level to watch; since dipping below in March, it has become a hearty point of resistance. Tech stocks will be interesting to watch in the week ahead when search giant Google ( GOOG) reports its earnings. Market Vectors Steel ETF ( SLX) 3.8% For weeks, market turmoil and widespread doubts about the strength of the global economy have cast a thick fog of uncertainty over industries like steel. Over the past few days, however, glimmers of strength have helped push shares of SLX higher. Whether or not SLX can hold onto this week's gains in the days ahead will likely rely heavily on the performance and forecasts for emerging market titans like China. Be careful here. Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT) 2.8% Solar energy stocks managed to close out the week on a positive note. Although these gains helped KWT recover a portion of last week's losses, the fund still has plenty of ground to cover before regaining levels seen prior to its steep September sell-off. The outlook for this segment of alternative energy remains cloudy as regions including the EU and U.S. struggle to reign in debt. While it will be interesting to see if KWT can capitalize on this week's gains next week, I would encourage conservative investors to stick to the sidelines.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -6.3% Shaky market action at the end of the week helped the VIX-tracking VXX pare some of its losses. These gains, however, were not enough to keep this fund off of the losers list. Looking ahead, it will be intriguing to watch how VXX performs. While the European crisis will likely continue to dominate headlines, earnings season is also set to kick into high gear.