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TheStreet Open House

Dion's Thursday ETF Winners and Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Welcome to Don Dion's "ETF Winners and Losers." Be sure to stop by throughout the week to find out which ETFs are gaining or losing.

Winners

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) 5.1%

Despite seeing some inklings of strength from this morning's initial jobless claims report, the markets have spent much of the day treading in negative territory. Around mid-day, the selling picked up as European economic concerns once again took center stage.

This choppy action has been a boon for the fear-tracking VIX and exchange traded products designed to track it. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid Term Futures ETN (VXZ) is on the verge of locking in its fourth consecutive day of positive action.

United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) 1.3%

There was weakness across a number of market sectors and other corners of the investing universe. Natural gas, however, appears to be bucking the trend, as futures-backed funds such as UNG and iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ) find themselves trudging higher.

The upward action is welcomed. Prior to Thursday both funds had suffered six consecutive days of losses.

There does not appear to be doing much to buoy natural gas producers, however. The First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (FCG) is off nearly 3%.

Losers

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) -6.2%

The U.S. market's weakness is leading many investors to unload their exposure to industry-linked precious metals. Both PALL and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) are taking heavy hits.

Shiny safe havens are not removed from the selling. Shares of the physically backed iShares Gold Trust (IAU) are off 2.5%.

These losses, combined with the broad market weakness, are boding poorly for miner-backed ETFs like Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) as well.

iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) -4.1%

Technology stocks are being shunned as investors seek shelter from looming macroeconomic concerns. Among the most heavily impacted corners of this sector are the semiconductors. Funds including SOXX and SPDR S&P Semiconductor Index ETF (XSD) are suffering their second consecutive day of declines.

The First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) is another tech fund that is struggling to find footing. SKYY is one of the new niche tech products I look at in this morning's feature, "Social Media ETFs Off to a Slow Start."

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