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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

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) 4.3%

The markets are seeing strength as we approach the end of the first week of 2012 trading. One industry that is leading the march higher is biotechnology.

Although a number of top holdings are seeing impressive strength during early afternoon trading, it is Dendreon (DNDN) that has taken the lead. Thanks to a strong sales report, shares of the closely-watched firm have witnessed nearly 40% gains.

SPDR S&P Homebuilder ETF (XHB) 2.6%

Homebuilders are enjoying some strength, pushing XHB and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) to their third consecutive days of gains.

With this upward action, XHB has recovered back to levels seen in early July prior to its steep sell-off.

PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) 1%

The U.S. dollar is falling back into favor as investors seek safety from the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis. Meanwhile, the euro is taking a heavy hit. Shares of the CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) are off over 1% as we head towards the close. This decline has pushed the fund below its prior 2011 lows.

Losers

iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund (EWI) -4.7%

For a second day, vulnerable European marketplaces are taking beatings as European debt concerns command investor attention. EWI and iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) can be found in solid negative territory.

Developed Europe is not the only part of the continent that is struggling, however. The more than 2% losses seen from iShares MSCI Poland Investable Market Index Fund (EPOL) indicate that the emerging Eastern countries is also being shunned.

Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN) -1.9%

The strong U.S. dollar is weighing on agriculture commodity prices and pushing funds like CORN and PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) to standout losses. This marks the second consecutive day of losses for both of these products.

Thanks to a late-December rally, shares of CORN have managed to recover a good chunk of its November losses. As we approach the weekend, the fund is trading back above its 50-day moving average for the first time since mid-September.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
CORN $25.35 -1.10%
XHB $35.31 -1.83%
EWI $14.36 -2.18%
UUP $25.80 1.22%
VNM $18.76 -1.05%

Markets

DOW 17,856.78 -278.94 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,071.26 -29.78 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,927.37 -55.4390 -1.11%

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