Dion's Thursday ETF Winners and Losers

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

iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund ( EWP) 4.9%

European markets are surging today after optimistic industrial order data in the euro zone provided a welcomed boost in investor confidence. EWP lead the single nation European ETFs higher, with other big gainers including iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI), iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG) and iShares MSCI Netherlands Investable Market Index Fund ( EWN).

iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund ( EZA) 4.5%

After Wednesday's steep market sell-off, investors are once again returning to the game, powering a broad selection of ETFs higher. EZA, which is structured to track the broad South African markets, is gaining with the help of a broad materials rally. Fellow hard asset-focused funds such as Market Vectors Coal ( KOL), iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund ( EWA) and Market Vectors Steel ETF ( SLX) are also treading skyward.

iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund ( IYT) 4.1%

Strong earnings reports from UPS, Union Pacific ( UNP) and Continental Airlines ( CAL) are helping to power the transportation ETF higher today. As explained in this morning's feature, I am cautiously optimistic that strong earnings numbers from these and other index constituents will pave the way for future IYT gains.

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) 3.3%

The National Association of Realtors today announced that existing home sales dipped 5% in June. Despite this drop, homebuilders surged, driving XHB and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund ( ITB) to impressive gains.

Real estate continues to be a tricky industry to play. Investors looking to try their luck should keep exposure small and maintain a close watch on positions.

Losers

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -5.5% NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors have had the chance to sleep on Bernanke's words and are returning once more to the market. As all three major indices trade near or above 2% in early afternoon trading, the VIX is taking it on the chin. In response, ETNs designed to track this fear-based index are tumbling hard.

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) -1.1%

While today's broad market strength has been a boon for the global equities market, bonds and the U.S. dollar, as tracked by the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish ( UUP) , are taking hits.

Because they tend to perform opposite to the stock market, I urge investors to hold onto funds such as TLT in times of turmoil.

All prices as of 2:16 PM EST

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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

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.

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