Dion's Weekly ETF Winners and Losers

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

Winners

Market Vectors Coal ETF ( KOL) 15.3%

Confidence has made a comeback over the past few weeks, helping some investors regain a willingness to venture into growth-correlated industries. Coal companies have become a particularly popular destination, and KOL has enjoyed an impressive bounce off of its September lows.

It will be interesting to see if market optimism can persist into next week. Investors looking to try their luck with KOL may want to keep an eye on the fund's 50-day moving average. Since dipping below in late August, the fund has struggled to break through this level.

Domestic and international oil and gas producers were popular among investors as well. ETFs including the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF ( XOP) and the Guggenheim Canadian Energy Income Fund ( ENY) have had impressive gains.

iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund ( FXI) 11.7%

China's market proved to be a popular destination for investors looking to take advantage of the week's strength. Funds including FXI, SPDR S&P China ETF ( GXC) and Guggenheim China Real Estate ETF ( TAO) were among the industry's biggest gainers.

Though popular, investors should continue to use caution when venturing into China. As long as questions regarding a potential "hard landing" continue to linger, the nation could face some rocky action.

Another corner of Asia to watch in the days ahead is Thailand. At this time, the nation is battling against widespread flooding. In the near term, this may present a concerning hurdle for the iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund ( THD).

iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG) 10% GAfter failing to pass an initial vote, the plan to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility rescue fund managed to gather the support needed to be approved by EU members. This action helped to inject some welcomed confidence into wearied investors, and lift ETFs designed to track EU members.

With the past week's gains, EWG has managed to recover its September losses. GDespite these gains, investors should continue use caution when considering exposure to Europe-linked ETFs. Sentiment continues to shift dramatically from headline to headline. Investors exposed to this region should be prepared for volatility.

First Trust Dow Jones Select MicroCap Index Fund ( FDM) 9.2%

Small, volatile micro caps benefited as the markets found footing and powered higher. FDM managed to carve out some of the ETF industry's strongest gains. The four days of upward action the fund enjoyed over the past week has helped it recover and put it within reach of its September highs.

Despite being one of the few micro cap-focused ETFs available, FDM has struggled in the past to gather investor attention. Those looking to gain exposure to this fund should use extreme caution.

Losers

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -19.5%

Fears fell by the wayside over the past week as invigorated investors regained a taste for risk. As a result, the VIX took a heavy hit. With Friday's losses, the index has tumbled for nine consecutive sessions. The fund has broken below its 50-day moving average and is currently trading at levels last seen at the start of August.

The VIX-tracking VXX has pierced its 50-day moving average as well. With a drove of companies slated to report earnings in the days ahead, and the EU showing signs of progress, it will be interesting to see what is in store for the fear index.

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) -3.6%

Long-term U.S. Treasuries were shunned over the past week as investors took action in an effort to regain exposure to risk. TLT was not the only safe haven ETF to suffer losses, however.

The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund ( UUP) also took a notable hit as individuals shed their exposure to defense.

While it may be tempting to dive headfirst into risky asset classes at this time, I encourage investor to exercise discretion. Many of the same factors that have plagued the market over the past month continue to be in play. Maintain a line of defense in order to protect against the possibility of an upheaval.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management did not own any equities mentioned.

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