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iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) 3.9%

The fear-tracking VIX ETNs are spending another day in positive territory as the markets remain in negative territory. VXX has witnessed some wild swings over the past few days, once again reminding investors of the product's volatile nature.

Though attractive given the market's jittery performance, I urge long term investors to steer clear of VIX-backed products.

iShares S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index Fund ( IGN) 1.5%

Finding winners amidst today's rocky action is a difficult task. In the tech sector, however, there are pockets of strength. Both IGN and SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF ( XSD) can be found heading into positive territory.


United States Brent Oil Fund ( BNO) -4.8%

Futures-backed energy ETFs such as BNO and United States Gasoline Fund ( UGA) are suffering heavy losses in response to the market's general weakness and the dollar's upward action.

Energy prices faced additional pressure following announcements that U.S. and other nations would release 60 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

ETFS Physical Silver Shares ( SIVR) -3.9%

The market's downward action is weighing heavily on silver prices, pushing physically-backed funds like SIVR to industry-leading losses.

Although many seek out silver, platinum and palladium for their precious metal status, it is important to keep in mind that, because these commodities are used across a number of industries, they tend to mimic the performance of the broad markets.

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) -3.4%

The small, volatile members of the gold mining industry are slumping, halting GDXJ's four day string of gains.

Physically-backed gold funds are also tumbling. iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) has retreated to its 50-day moving average.

While this spurt of choppy action may be a concern, I continue to view gold as an attractive long-term bet. By maintaining exposure to IAU, investors can weather economic storms on the horizon.

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