NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Welcome to Don Dion's Daily ETF Winners and Losers. Be sure to stop by each day to find out which ETFs are gaining and declining.


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX) 7.3%

The markets are starting out the new week on a sour note as macroeconomic issues like the European debt crisis take center stage.

Investors looking to profit from the ongoing uncertainty are piling into the VIX-tracking VXX and other volatility exchange-traded products.

While attractive given the cloudy investing environment, I urge conservative, long-term investors to keep these products at arms length.

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) 1.7%

Natural gas prices are seeing strength, leading UNG to witness its second consecutive day of gains.

A new report from ICF International is likely playing a role in boosting this fuel at the start of the week. According to the group, the outlook for natural gas appears promising.

iPath Dow Jones UBS Livestock Subindex Total Return ETN ( COW) 1.7%

Agriculture-related exchange traded products are seeing bipolar action. While COW is treading higher, the iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN ( BAL) (BAL) is declining.

Hog futures are playing a major role in pushing COW to gains. Acoording to a Reuters report, this corner of the livestock market surged following reports that China had purchased a large amount of pork. Hog futures account for close to 40% of COW's index.


iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund ( EWI) -6.2%

European debt issues are dominating headlines, leading troubled euro members including Italy and Spain lower.

The troubling action sweeping the EMU nations is putting pressure on nations outside of the bloc as well. The iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund ( EWD) and Global X Norway ETF ( NORW) are taking shots across the bow as well.

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) -3.5%

The market's decline is weighing on confidence and leading many out of growth-correlated industries such as mining. Subsector mining ETFs leading the way lower include Global X Uranium ETF ( URA) and Global X Copper Miners ETF ( COPX).

Despite the metal's relative strength, not even gold miners are safe from today's slide. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) were off over 1% during early afternoon trading.

Market Vectors Egypt ETF ( EGPT) -3.3%

Egypt's markets are running into trouble as protestors return to Tahrir Square and memories this past winter's political unrest are rekindled.

Given their inherent volatility, frontier market ETFs like EGPT are not strong options for conservative investors. In the event that the current protests escalate, this fund could be in for a prolonged shakeout.

All prices as of 2:14 PM EST

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.


At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned the iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund.

If you liked this article you might like

Novice Trade: SPY

Novice Trade: SPY

Novice Trade: VXX

Novice Trade: VXX

VIX ETP Changes a Slap in Investors' Faces

VIX ETP Changes a Slap in Investors' Faces

Jim Cramer: The Government Should Admit It Goofed With These Crazy Instruments

Jim Cramer: The Government Should Admit It Goofed With These Crazy Instruments

VIX Products: 5 Key Things to Know About These Misunderstood and Maligned ETNs

VIX Products: 5 Key Things to Know About These Misunderstood and Maligned ETNs