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Dion's Thursday ETF Winners and Losers

Stocks in this article: SLV UNG IHF EWT ITB VXX

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

iShares Silver Trust (SLV) 2.5%

Silver continues to trek higher, leading SLV along the dramatic upward path it has been since the start of February.

Gold prices are seeing slight gains as well, lifting the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) in early afternoon trading.

United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) 2.6%

The futures-based UNG is getting a lift after the Energy Information Administration released a promising natural gas storage report. Over the past week, the agency found that stockpiles of the fuel increased less than analysts had been expecting.

The premium-laden iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ) is heading higher as well. However, the ETN's gains are less than those of UNG.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers Index Fund (IHF) 2.2%

After announcing strong quarterly earnings performance, shares of UnitedHealth Group are powering higher as we close out this shortened week of trading. UNH is IHF's largest holding, accounting for 13% of its portfolio. With Thursday's gains the fund has ascended to new 2011 highs.

iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund (EWT) 1.7%

Strength across the technology spectrum is boding well for Taiwan's markets as we approach the close of the week. EWT dedicates over half of its portfolio to companies in this slice of the market, and lists Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), Hon Hai Precision Industry, and HTC among its top positions.

Losers

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) -2.1%

Residential homebuilders are proving to be a market soft spot as ITB heads lower. Shares of the fund's top holding, NVR are leading the way down. The firm is struggling to find footing after announcing poor quarterly earnings results. Given the headwinds facing the residential housing market, I would recommend that investors look beyond ITB and the SPDR S&P Homebuilder ETF (XHB) for exposure to real estate. Previously, I recommended the REIT-focused iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund (ICF) as a more promising product.

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