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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.


SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF

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


After taking a hit on Tuesday, the mining industry is regaining some ground today, buoyed by upward market action.

Mining firms will remain attractive as investors seek out ways to gain equity exposure to commodities. XME provides access to companies responsible for unearthing resources ranging from copper to uranium.

More concentrated hard asset plays are heading higher today as well.

Market Vectors Steel ETF

(SLX) - Get VanEck Vectors Steel ETF Report

is up 2.5%.

iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN

(BAL) - Get iPath Series B Bloomberg Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN Report


Agriculture products are riding higher today, pushing BAL along the upward trajectory it has stuck to since the middle of 2010.

Today's rally has helped BAL return to its previous all time highs. The last time this area was visited was during the closing weeks of December. It will be interesting to see if this level can be overtaken.

Market Vectors Indonesia ETF

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The Indonesian marketplace remains a wildly volatile region of the globe as investors weigh inflation concerns. The fund has staged a dramatic three-day rally, recovering much of the ground lost during last week's equally dramatic downturn.

Other Southeast Asia-focused ETFs are heading higher today as well.

Market Vectors Vietnam ETF

(VNM) - Get VanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF Report


iShares MSCI Singapore Index Fund

(EWS) - Get iShares MSCI Singapore ETF Report

can be seen treading in positive territory.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund

(IEZ) - Get iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF Report


The oil industry is heading higher today, helping IEZ and other producer-focused ETFs to comfortable gains. Two companies helping to lead the sector higher are


(SLB) - Get Schlumberger NV Report



(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company (HAL) Report

, both of which have benefitted from strong earnings showings.

SLB and HAL represent the largest chunks of IEZ's portfolio, together accounting for a quarter of its index.


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN

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


Fear is falling by the wayside as the markets head higher on Wednesday. This action is leading the VIX-based VXX and

iPath S&P 500 VIX MidTerm Futures ETN

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

to suffer notable losses.

Both of these dangerously volatile products are currently testing brand new all-time lows.

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund

(TLT) - Get iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF Report


Investors are heading back into the marketplace, shunning the protection of long term U.S. treasuries. Meanwhile, the

ProShares UltraShort 20+ Treasury Bond ETF

(TBT) - Get ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Report

, which mirrors the performance of TLT, is heading higher today.

Defensive plays remain crucial to navigating these markets and I advise investors not to completely unload their exposure to protective asset classes.

All prices as of 2:15 PM EST

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.


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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management did not own any of the equities mentioned.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.