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Dion's Thursday ETF Winners and Losers

ETFs tracking gold miners and sugar were on the rise today.
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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

iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN

(SGG) - Get iPath Series B Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN Report

2.5%

Sugar prices continued their assault higher on Thursday thanks to strong demand forecasts from flood-ravaged Pakistan.

SGG's ascension has been steep and dramatic, causing it to consistently appear among the daily ETF winners. The fund has erased nearly all of its losses incurred at the start of the year.

United States Natural Gas Fund

(UNG) - Get United States Natural Gas Fund LP Report

2.8%

On Thursday the Energy Information Administration released its weekly storage report. Last week, the group saw storage levels increase by 103 billion cubic feet, far higher than the predicted 90 bcf.

Initially, this report sent shares of UNG tumbling, earning it a top spot among the losers this morning. More recently, however, the fund has recovered its losses and is seeing some of the strongest gains of the day.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN

(VXX) - Get iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Report

1.5%

A weak earnings report from economic bellwether

FedEx

TheStreet Recommends

(FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report

, coupled with a poor manufacturing report from the Philly Fed, is weighing on investors' outlooks and spurring the VIX-related ETN to jump.

The past few weeks have been damaging for VXX. The fund has erased nearly all of the gains it took in through the start of the summer. It is now trading at new all-time lows.

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF

(GDXJ) - Get VanEck Junior Gold Miners ETF Report

1.2%

After a number of nice wins for the bulls, concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery are returning, causing investors to seek out defensive plays. Gold is typically turned to when investors fear economic turmoil. This is helping the miners pocket some nice returns.

Gold producers are not the only miners heading higher today. Base metal producers are also strengthening, evidenced by the pop in

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF

(XME) - Get SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF Report

.

Losers

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

(XHB) - Get SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF Report

-1.6%

The homebuilders are taking a shot across the bow today, with XHB and the

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund

(ITB) - Get iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF Report

carving out losses.

Pressuring this region of the markets is foreclosure data from RealtyTrac which estimated that U.S. foreclosure filings rose 4% in August from July.

iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund

(EWJ) - Get iShares MSCI Japan ETF Report

-1.4%

The Nikkei Index has found some strength in light of the nation's decision to intervene in the yen's strength. However, iShares' Japan ETF is struggling.

The long-term effect of the yen intervention will be interesting to see. If investors continue to turn to Japan's currency for protection against the volatile markets, the overall effect could be minimized.

Market Vectors Russia ETF

(RSX) - Get VanEck Russia ETF Report

-1.3%

The Russian markets are struggling as we head towards the final stretch, causing RSX to get knocked. Although this fund saw a nice run up throughout the start of September, it has run into a roadblock, taking a heavy hit over the past few days.

Investors looking to play Russia with RSX need to keep a close watch on the energy industry. With oil companies making up close to 40% of its index, price fluctuation will heavily influence this fund's performance.

All prices as of 2:15 PM EST

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF.

Don Dion is president and founder of

Dion Money Management

, 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.