NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Welcome to Don Dion's "ETF Winners and Losers." Be sure to stop by throughout the week to find out which ETFs are gaining or losing.
Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN) 13.7% Promising news from Europe, combined with strong economic data, has helped to boost the markets today and allowed some of the most battered industries like solar energy to secure some impressive gains. TAN has struggled for months as looming macroeconomic concerns have battered the alternative energy industry. This week was particularly distressing for the fund, with its top holding, First Solar ( FSLR), tumbling hard on Tuesday. Shares of FSLR account for over 10% of the TAN's total portfolio. iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund ( EWD) 8.9% News of progress in the ongoing EU saga has sent a wide collection of Europe-tracking ETFs to industry-leading gains. Aside from single-nation products like EWD, broad region ETFs such as the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF ( FEZ) were in positive territory. Despite this display of strength, I encourage investors to avoid diving into Europe at this time. The region will likely continue to behave in a volatile manner. Global X Copper Miners ETF ( COPX) 9.2% Materials-related ETFs are riding today's surge of market optimism. COPX, Market Vectors Steel ETF ( SLX) and Market Vectors Coal ETF ( KOL) are surging as fears wane and investors regain a taste for risk. For COPX, this week marks the first time the fund has managed to overtake its 50-day moving average since dipping below in early August. It will be interesting to see if it can maintain these heights. Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF ( HAO) 8.8% As investor fears recede, emerging markets are heading higher. BRIC nations, in particular are showing strength, indicated by the upward action seen from HAO, iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund ( EWZ), and Market Vectors Russia ETF ( RSX). Despite lingering concerns about a hard landing, China-tracking ETFs have seen impressive gains in October. The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund ( FXI) has nearly regained all of the losses it suffered during its September sell-off.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -12.9% The markets are powering to strong gains heading into the end of the last week of October. In response, the fear-tracking VIX is taking a hit and as the VXX is tumbling to levels last seen at the start of September.