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.
iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Total Return Subindex ETN ( GAZ) 3.5% Natural gas prices are gaining steam today, providing futures-linked funds including GAZ and the United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) with some room to power higher. In what has become a common occurance, GAZ has managed to noticeably outperform UNG, which is up only 2.2%. This is due to the substantial premium which has lead GAZ to disconnect from its underlying assets. iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN ( SGG) 2.9% Agricultural commodities are also heading higher today, led by the sugar prices. The sweetener has been on a tear, testing all-time highs. Grains are also heading higher today, marked by the strength from iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Total Return Subindex Fund ( JJG). The United States Department of Agriculture is fueling JJG's rally today after cutting its estimates for U.S. soybean harvest. JJG divides its portfolio among futures contracts for soybeans, corn, and wheat. SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF ( XOP) 1.9% Rising oil prices are helping to energy-related ETFs across the board see gains. Lifting XOP over its competitors, however, is its exposure to Chevron's ( CVX) and Atlas ( ATLS). CVX's decision to acquire the natural gas player highlights the ongoing trend of integrated oil giants gaining a presence in the attractive natural gas industry. Market Vectors Nuclear Energy ETF ( NLR) 0.3% The nuclear energy industry is riding higher today helping lift NLR. Reports of Entergy's ( ENT) plans to shut down two plants did little to slow this fund's ascension. The firm is not listed within its portfolio. This week investors were treated to the launch of a new fund aimed at playing the nuclear energy industry. The Global X Uranium ETF ( URA) tracks a basket of companies involved in the production of uranium. As with any new product, I would advise investors to stick to the sidelines for now until the fanfare wears off. Until then, this fund will likely be a volatile option.
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund ( ICF) -2.8% A collection of funds designed to track real estate investment trusts are heading lower in light of today's choppy market. Among the decliners are ICF, First Trust S&P REIT Index Fund ( FRI), SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF ( RWR), and Vanguard REIT Index ETF ( VNQ). ETFs designed to capture the performance of the residential housing market are also feeling pressure. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund ( ITB) and SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) are both treading in negative territory. Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) -2.1% ETFs designed to track precious metals miners have seen interesting performance today. Late this morning, GDXJ and Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL) were among the ETF industry's biggest gainers. However, as the market decline has continued, these same funds have retreated. As of early this afternoon, they were among the industry's biggest laggards.