NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Mining and materials ETFs got a lift in Friday morning trading thanks to positive sentiment around the market's major steel players.

The SPDR S&P Metals and Mining Fund

(XME) - Get Report

ended up 2.83%, driven by strength in

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

,

AK Steel

(AKS) - Get Report

and

U.S. Steel

(X) - Get Report

.

Shares of

Alcoa

are rising ahead of its earnings announcement on Monday. Meanwhile steel stocks are making strong gains as China's move to remove rebates on the exports of certain products is expected to benefit U.S. producers.

The

Select Sector Materials SPDR

(XLB) - Get Report

was also up 2.29%. Besides having an exposure to Alcoa and the other steel majors, the ETF also has stakes in

Airgas

(ARG)

, which is up 1.5% after gas and chemical maker

Air Products

(APD) - Get Report

sweetened its bid for the company.

With a 25% stake in

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

,

Pharmaceutical HOLDRS

(PPH) - Get Report

was trading in the negative. Johnson & Johnson is down 1.37% upon news of more product recalls.

iShares S&P GlobalHealth ETF

(IXJ) - Get Report

, which has an exposure to both Johnson & Johnson and

GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK) - Get Report

declined in morning trading but recouped some of its loss in the afternoon session. Glaxo is under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, which is in the process of reviewing the safety of its diabetes pill, Avandia.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

Follow TheStreet.com on

Twitter

and become a fan on

Facebook.

Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.