Dion's Weekly ETF Winners and Losers

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


iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN ( JJC) 14.8%

A combination of strong economic data, combined with news of progress in the ongoing EU saga, has helped to revive confidence and drive investors back into market-correlated asset classes.

Exchange-traded products linked to the materials sector were among the strongest performers the past few days. Aside from the futures-tracking JJC, investors also watched as a bevy of equity-backed products such as the Market Vectors Coal ETF ( KOL), SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) and the Market Vectors Steel ETF ( SLX) powered higher.

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iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund ( FXI) 13%

Emerging-market ETFs enjoyed a lift the past few days as easing market tensions continued to reignite investor appetite for international assets.

China ETFs led the march higher. FXI, Guggenheim China Real Estate ETF ( TAO) and Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF ( HAO) were all notable climbers. Outside of Asia, however, funds like the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund ( EWZ) and iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund ( EZA) were treading into positive territory.

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) 12.9%

Investors typically turn to gold to protect themselves against market turmoil. Over the past week, however, the yellow metal traded higher, mimicking the action in equities.

The combination of stock market strength and rising gold prices boded well for gold miner ETFs. At this time, both GDXJ and the iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) are in the process of testing their respective 50-day moving averages. Looking to the next few days, it will be interesting to see whether they can continue higher, or whether the level will prove to be a point of resistance.

Not surprisingly, the iShares Silver Trust ( SLV), ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL) and other ETFs linked to industrial precious metals climbed higher in the face of easing market fears.

Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN) 11.7%

Looming macroeconomic hurdles have weighed heavily on the solar energy industry over the past few months. This week, however, some strength shined through and ETFs like TAN and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT) managed to score some welcomed gains.

Looking to the week ahead, TAN could be in for some exciting action with the fund's top holding, First Solar ( FSLR), slated to report earnings. It has been an interesting past few days for this alternative energy giant. In addition to slashing its forecasts, the company surprised investors with news that Rob Gillette would be stepping down from the CEO position.

iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund ( EWD) 10.2%

News that EU leaders had come to an agreement regarding plans to solve the region's ongoing economic crisis injected some welcomed strength into Europe-focused ETFs.

Although it's outside the euro monetary bloc, the Swedish ETF enjoyed some of the most impressive gains. Shares of EWD have nearly recovered all of the losses suffered during the August/September selloff.

Investors should continue to use caution when it comes to venturing into Europe. Initial reactions to the EU agreement have been promising. However, the region will likely continue to behave in a volatile manner in the coming days.


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -17.5%

After surging higher last week the fear-tracking VIX saw a dramatic about-face, pushing VXX to steep losses. Since the start of October, the fund has tumbled hard, giving up all of its September gains and returning to levels last seen in mid-August.

As I've explained on a number of occasions, this type of whipsaw action is not unusual for products like VXX. These ETNs are not appropriate for conservative, long term-minded investors.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.


At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long iShares Gold Trust and iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund.

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