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.
United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) - Get Report 1.9%
UNG's performance on Thursday was interesting. The EIA natural gas storage report saw a larger than expected stockpile increase over the past week, yet UNG managed to avoid taking a gut-wrenching hit. While I do not condone adding this troubled fund to any portfolio, the outlook for this energy source is looking more optimistic given the issues facing oil.
Investors looking for a more reliable way to play natural gas should look to the
First Trust Revere-ISE Natural Gas Index ETF
JPMorgan Alerian MLP ETN
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) - Get Report 2.4%
The markets have failed to hold onto yesterday's welcomed rally and major indices are once against heading lower. In response to this slump, the fear index is once again gaining steam.
VXX is a dangerously volatile fund and should be avoided. Investors looking for a defensive play on a down market should opt instead for
SPDR Gold Shares
iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN (SGG) - Get Report -6.6%
Sugar prices are taking a shot across the bow during May's final day of trading.
explains that today's fall is sugar's largest in three weeks and can be attributed to optimistic yields forecast from top producers Brazil and India.
Stay away from SGG. This fund has been on a nearly uninterrupted slide since the start of February.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ) - Get Report -5.1%
BP continues to struggle to contain the DeepWater Horizon oil spill which recently surpassed the Exxon Valdez as being the worst oil U.S. oil spill. On Friday, President Obama took dramatic steps toward preventing disasters like this from occurring. Among the actions is extending a halt on new deepwater drilling for six months.
The oil industry is not only battling the current spill, but also a PR storm which will likely torment the industry well into the future.
Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (TAN) - Get Report -3.6%
Although TAN saw a nice day in the sun yesterday, during Friday's session the troubled alternative energy sector has once again headed lower.
Predicting where TAN will head next is difficult given the macroeconomic issues facing many of the nations which the industry relies on for growth.
Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate Index ETF (TAO) - Get Report -2.4%
Since the first weeks of April, TAO has fallen as Beijing lawmakers take steps to cool down China's overheating housing market. The pressure on the nation's real estate industry has weighed on other large-cap China ETFs as well.
Investors looking to play this popular Asian nation should avoid TAO or the
iShares/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund
and instead go small with the
Claymore/AlphaShares China Small Cap Index ETF
. By avoiding financials and real estate, this fund has a better chance of seeing upside.
All prices as of 2:16 PM EST
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.