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Dion's Thursday ETF Winners and Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Welcome to Don Dion's Daily ETF Winners and Losers. Be sure to stop by each day to get a feel of who's winning and who's losing when it comes to ETFs.

Winners

iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN (BAL) 7.0%

Cotton continues to climb relentlessly, leading the BAL to lock in another day of industry leading gains and carve out another all-time high.

Today's rally has brought the price of this commodity beyond the $2 level for the first time. Looking ahead, although BAL has seen a dramatic ascension, investors should continue to exhibit caution when considering volatile single-crop ETNs.

iShares Silver Trust (SLV) 3.1%

Silver prices are heading higher today, leading SLV to surpass the highs witnessed at the close of 2010. Fellow bullion-backed fund ETFS Physical Silver Shares (SIVR) is seeing strong gains today as well.

Industry-linked precious metals such as silver, platinum and palladium are attractive for investors seeking assets that will follow the market's strength and provide protection in the event of a shake up.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) 1.3%

A strong housing starts number is fueling the homebuilder industry higher today, leading ITB and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) to lock in a day of solid gains.

Despite today's positive report, the residential corner of the real estate industry remains treacherous as supply issues weigh heavily. A stronger long term real estate bet is the REIT-focused iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund (ICF).

Losers

United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) -1.6%

Natural gas prices are getting knocked today in light of the storage report released by the Energy Information Administration. According to the EIA's weekly report, stockpiles of the fuel dipped 233 bcf, slightly missing analyst expectations.

Both the UNG and the iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Total Return Subindex ETN (GAZ) are trading at all-time lows.

First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund (CU - Get Report) -1.6%

Investors, fearing that China will raise rates to combat inflationary pressure, are exiting copper-related equities on Thursday. Both CU and the Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) are taking a hit. Looking ahead, investors will want to keep an eye on both of these funds' 50-day moving averages. Since late 2010 this region has acted as a suitable point of support.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BAL $42.92 0.00%
CU $18.68 0.00%
EWD $34.56 0.00%
ITB $27.02 0.00%
SLV $16.34 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

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