Dion's Weekly ETF Winners and Losers

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

Winners

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) 18.7%

Fear fell back into vogue this week as October came to an end. Europe proved to a major spark reigniting investor fears, with troubled nations such as Greece and Italy in focus.

The VIX-tracking VXX has welcomed these rekindled jitters, recovering the losses it suffered last week. By the end of Friday's trading, the ETN had returned to its 50-day moving average.

In the week ahead, it will be interesting to see whether the EU woes will continue to command investor attention. If so, we could be in for rocky price action.

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) 4.8%

TLT suffered some losses during the second half of the week. This decline, however, was not enough to undo the gains witnessed heading into the start of November.

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Safe havens such as longer-dated U.S. Treasuries and the dollar could be popular next week if shaky investors continue to seek shelter from the ongoing EU economic crisis. As I mentioned in a previous article, even October's strength was not enough to dissuade investors from piling into TLT and other defensive ETFs.

iPath Dow Jones UBS Livestock Subindex Total Return ETN ( COW) 2.9%

Livestock prices pushed higher this week, as indicated by the upward action seen from this futures-tracking ETN. Bloomberg noted on Friday that a combination of export demand and tightening supplies are helping to boost cattle prices.

COW has seen some interesting action over the past few months. Rather than tumbling along with many other corners of the global markets during September, this ETN actually powered higher. By the end of October, it had reached levels last seen in late-April.

Despite its defiant strength, investors should exercise caution here. Continued upward action from COW and other agriculture ETFs will likely rely heavily on global economic growth prospects. If moods remain sour, shakiness could ensue.

Losers

iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI) -10.10%

Not surprisingly, given the drama surrounding the region, Europe-related ETFs including EWI, iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund ( EWP) and iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund ( EWD) suffered big losses.

The Guggenheim Shipping ETF's ( SEA) near-8% decline is worth noting as well. In the absence of a pure Greece ETF play, SEA's 12% exposure to the nation makes it an interesting alternative.

I encourage conservative investors to avoid troubled corners of the EU. Stick to the sidelines with SEA as well.

Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT) -8.2%

A three-day rally at the end of the week helped to offset some of the losses from KWT and Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN). The gains, however, were not enough to keep the solar energy sector from scoring a spot near the top of this week's losers list.

Since the start of October, this industry has managed to stay above all-time lows. However, in the event that market fears flare up in the weeks ahead, clouds could gather over this slice of the alternative energy industry.

Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap Index Fund ( BRF) -7.4%

As investors were reintroduced to the hurdles facing Europe and other corners of the globe, many opted to adapt a "risk-off" mentality. In fleeing volatile assets, investors shunned emerging-market ETFs.

With the past week's losses, BRF has retreated to its 50-day moving average. It will be interesting to see whether the fund slips lower. Excluding this most recent breakout, the fund has struggled to break above this level since dipping below it in mid-May.

-- 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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