Dion's Thursday 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

WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend ETF ( DFJ) 4.8%

A diverse collection of internationally focused ETFs are heading higher, leading the list of ETF winners. Japan funds such as DFJ and iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund ( EWJ) are the biggest movers, seeing some welcomed strength after a string of post-disaster losses.

The GlobalX FTSE Norway 30 ETF ( NORW), GlobalX/InterBolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF ( GXG), and iShares MSCI Austria Investable Market Index Fund ( EWO) are other big gainers.

First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund ( CU) 4.5%

Market strength is once again instilling confidence into investors, leading them to pick up exposure to growth-correlated sectors. Copper funds of all sorts are gaining ground, led by the producer backed CU. The iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Total Return Subindex ETN ( JJC) is up 3.9%.

Precious metals such as gold and silver are relatively unchanged today, as indicated by the tempered action from iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) and iShares Gold Trust ( IAU).

iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN ( BAL) 5.0%

Agriculture ETFs are heading higher, bolstered by the broad market rebound. Single commodity funds appear to be the biggest gainers as BAL, iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Total Return Subindex ETN ( JJG) and the Teucrium Corn ETF ( CORN) lead the pack.

Due to their broad diversification, I continue to consider the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF ( MOO) and the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund ( DBA) to be the safest bets on this region of the market.

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) 5.1%

The futures-based natural gas ETFs have seen some quality time in the spotlight recently as investors, analysts and market commentators attempt to sort out the winners and losers from the Japanese earthquake.

Both UNG and the iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Total Return Subindex ETN ( GAZ) are heading upwards.

Losers

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -2.4%

After spending much of the past week struggling in light of Japan's economic disaster, the markets are at last finding some solid ground and bouncing higher.

Although plenty of fear persists, the VIX-backed VXX and iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN ( VXZ) are taking some heavy hits.

iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Index Fund ( TLT) -0.5%

Investors have developed a taste for risk in light of today's bounce, sending defensive asset classes lower.

TLT and the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund ( UUP) are stuck in negative territory.

I would advise investors to avoid jumping out of protective asset classes immediately. There are still plenty of headwinds facing the market and it is likely that funds such as TLT will prove beneficial in the days and weeks ahead.

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 owned PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund and iShares MSCI Austria Investable Market Index Fund.

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