NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are this week's winners and losers.
WinnersiShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) 4.7% The past week was a rocky one for U.S. investors. As global economic turmoil continued to command attention, many sought the protection of safe haven asset classes. While the long-term, Treasury-tracking TLT led the way higher, the greenback was also in favor. Thanks to a three-day run up during the first half of the week, the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund ( UUP) managed to recapture the highs in early October. The fund closed out the week with a 1.5% gain. iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund ( LQD) 1.2% While investors expressed hesitance towards the equity markets, investment grade corporate bonds were in vogue. Shares of LQD powered higher every day this week, helping the fund power through its 50-day moving average. December has been a strong month for this fixed income ETF. However, it still has plenty of ground to cover before regaining the levels seen prior to its precipitous November sell-off.
LosersGuggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN) -12.7% Solar energy industry leader First Solar ( FSLR) has been trading along a steep downward path throughout much of 2011. The sell-off accelerated this week, however, following news that the company had slashed its 2011 outlook. FSLR's five-day slide weighed heavily on TAN, which lists the firm as its second largest holding. The Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ( KWT) (KWT) took a heavy hit as well. Both funds are currently trading at or around all-time lows. This is not an industry I would encourage conservative investors to try their luck with. Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) -11.5% Not all safe havens were in favor this week. On the contrary, at the same time that investors were piling into asset classes like long-term U.S. Treasuries and the dollar, they were abandoning their exposure to gold. As investors shunned the yellow precious metal, companies responsible for unearthing the commodity took heavy hits. The inherently volatile junior miners underlying GDXJ led the retreat. While gold was at the center of the attention, other precious metals ran into turmoil as well. Three days of downward action caused the iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) close out the week with nearly 8% losses.
iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI) -9.0% Investor sentiment continues to swing wildly as the European sovereign debt crisis grips attention and creates turmoil for the global marketplace. Doubts about the region's ability to resolve its issues sent investors fleeing from ETFs linked to the monetary bloc. EWI, iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG) and iShares MSCI France Index Fund ( EWQ) were among the products that ended the week on a sour note. While interesting to monitor, I encourage investors to avoid taking on exposure to the European continent. SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF ( XOP) -8.6% Oil and gas producers fell out of favor as fearful investors steered clear of growth-correlated sectors. A four-day decline pushed XOP back towards its November lows. It was a tough week for futures-backed energy ETFs as well. Both United States Oil Fund ( USO) and United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) saw losses. UNG, in fact, has locked in all-time lows. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.