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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

Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) 1.8%

The solar energy industry is powering higher today, helping to put an end to TAN's two-day streak of losses.

As the tensions facing the Middle East and North Africa continue to steal headlines and push the price of oil higher, alternative energy sources such as solar may fall into focus. TAN is a fund risk tolerant investors may want to keep on their radar in the coming days and weeks.

SPDR S&P Russia ETF (RBL) 1.7%

Inflation pressure and political tensions have weighed heavily on a number of emerging markets throughout the new year. ETFs designed to track Russia's markets, however, have managed to stay buoyed. This is largely thanks to the nation's heavy exposure to energy titans such as Gazprom (OGZPY) and Lukoil (LUKOY).

As we move ahead, investors with exposure to RBL and Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) will want to keep a close watch on commodity prices. If oil starts to stumble, this fund could be in for a dip.

India, a fellow BRIC component, is heading south today, along with the Market Vectors India Small Cap Index ETF (SCIF).

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) 0.8%

The markets are heading lower for another day as political tensions in Libya weigh on investor sentiment. In response to today's downward action the fear-based VIX ETNs are powering higher.

VXX has seen a steady climb over the past week and is currently trading above its 50-day moving average. Still, I urge conservative investors to steer clear of this product and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid Term Futures ETN (VXZ). As we have seen in the past, these funds tend to swing wildly.

Losers

iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN (BAL) -5.3%

After carving out new all-time highs last week, the cotton ETN appears to have run into headwinds, resulting in a string of choppy trading days.

Agriculture remains a popular region of the market. However, the recent performance of BAL once again brings to light the volatile nature of single-crop funds. The diversified PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) is a safer option for conservative long term investors.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BAL $43.65 0.00%
RBL $18.20 0.00%
TUR $46.80 0.00%
TAN $42.49 0.00%
VXX $19.02 0.00%

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DOW 18,010.68 -115.44 -0.64%
S&P 500 2,107.39 -13.40 -0.63%
NASDAQ 5,070.0260 -27.95 -0.55%

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