NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are five ETFs to watch this week.
Market Vectors Vietnam ETF VNM
The ongoing drama facing China and the European Union continues to dominate international market discussions. Meanwhile, other corners of the globe have managed to fly under the radar. Vietnam's marketplace, for example, has surged, pushing VNM to some of the most substantial gains in our long-term momentum rankings.
VNM often moves independent of other international ETFs, but this does not mean that it is the best bet for those looking to hedge against global turmoil. As a frontier nation, Vietnam is inherently vulnerable to wild fluctuations. This can cause headaches for those unprepared or unwilling to take on this level of risk.
Guggenheim Solar ETF TAN
The sun shined on the solar energy industry during the opening weeks of 2012, but clouds have since gathered as Europe's debt crisis and other global hurdles have fallen back into focus. In response, funds like TAN and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF KWT have fallen back to earth, retreating toward all-time lows.
The outlook for these funds remains muddled in uncertainty, but in the week ahead, they may be worth monitoring. Major holding, First Solar FSLR , is slated to step up to the earnings plate on Thursday.
PowerShares QQQ QQQ
Apple AAPL dominated market discussions
for much of last week following the release of its quarterly earnings report. The consumer tech giant's standout showing has helped to dispel doubters and put an end to the stock price's losing streak.
A strong showing from Apple this week bodes well for QQQ. The company represents close to one-fifth of its total portfolio.
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX
It has been a tough year for the gold mining industry. With consistent coyness on the part of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, the yellow metal has struggled to get off the ground. This, combined with the recent spurt of choppy market action, has caused GDX and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF GDXJ to flounder. The former has tumbled to levels last seen two years ago.
Gold is not the only precious metal to watch in the days ahead. Investors should also keep an eye on palladium. As I explained last week, the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares PALL may be in store for some impressive upside action ahead.
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund EWP
For another week, Spain will be a major player to watch as investors and market commentators attempt to determine what's next in the ongoing European drama. Last week was a tumultuous one for the troubled EU member; in addition to learning that its unemployment rate is hovering around 25%, the country was slapped with a downgrade courtesy of Standard & Poor's.
>>Europe's Bank Storms Headed to U.S.
The trials facing Spain and the rest of this monetary bloc are far from resolved. It may be tempting for investors to try and game a potential turnaround, but I urge them to hold off. It is difficult to forecast the day-to-day fluctuations from products like EWP and the iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund EWI ; overzealous investors risk taking some substantial hits here.
Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.