Dion's Thursday 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 find out who's winning and who's losing when it comes to ETFs.

Winners

iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN ( SGG) 6.5%

Futures-backed agriculture ETFs and ETNs are powering higher as we head towards the close of this shortened week, buoyed by reports that world food prices rose in June. Leading the markets higher are soft commodities such as sugar.

SGG has stuck to a steep upward path since May. The ETN appears to be on the verge of revisiting its early 2011 highs. Looking ahead to the near future it will be interesting to keep an eye on this product.

United States Gasoline Fund ( UGA) 3.9%

The futures-backed gasoline ETF gapped higher following the slew of promising job-related economic data. UGA has enjoyed an impressive climb, rising every day since June 27.

UGA is trading above its 50-day moving average for the first time since dipping below in mid-May. Prior to its breakdown, this level proved to be a point of support. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) 2.9%

The retail ETF has strengthened to 2011 highs as a range of top firms announced standout same-store sales numbers. Limited ( LTD) was among the strongest performers. This morning the firm announced that sales increased 12% from the previous year and handedly ahead of analyst predictions which called for a 3.8% jump.

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL) 2.8%

The market's upward action is raising investor confidence and leading many into market-correlated asset classes. On the metals front, palladium and copper are leading the way higher. In response to this "risk-on" attitude, ETFs backed by physical gold are seeing paltry action. Both iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) and SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD) are largely unchanged.

Losers

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) -3.5%

This morning's positive round of economic data is helping to push fears by the wayside. In response to easing concerns, the volatility-tracking VXX is tumbling to industry-leading lows.

VXX has retreated to the all time lows it locked in at the close of June. Continue to avoid this fund.

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) -2.1%

Not all corners of the energy spectrum are witnessing the same strength as gasoline. Natural gas, for instance, is tumbling in response to the Energy Information Administration's weekly storage report. The agency said fuel stockpiles grew more than analysts had predicted.

Thursday's weakness has sent UNG below the $1.60 level that it had been bouncing against since the first half of April. In the days ahead it will be interesting to see if the fund will be able to recover back above this level.

All prices as of 2:13 PM EST

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned iShares Gold Trust.

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