Dion's Wednesday ETF Winners and Losers

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

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) 3.3%

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) is up 2.5%.

iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN ( BAL) 3.2%

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 ( IDX) 2.9%

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) and iShares MSCI Singapore Index Fund ( EWS) can be seen treading in positive territory.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund ( IEZ) 4.1%

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 Schlumberger ( SLB) and Halliburton ( HAL), 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.

Losers

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -2.6%

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) 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) -0.9%

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), 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.

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