Dion's Wednesday ETF Winners and Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Welcome to Don Dion's "ETF Winners and Losers." Be sure to stop by throughout the week to find out which ETFs are gaining or losing.

Winners

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) 4.9%

Strength is shining across the spectrum of precious metals-related ETFs as funds ranging from the miner-backed GDXJ to the bullion-tracking iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) head into positive territory.

Thanks to today's action, the iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) has managed to punch through its 50-day moving average for the first time since early December. I still view gold as an important element of any well balanced investing portfolio. For that reason, I will continue to monitor it in the days ahead.

United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) 5.5%

Natural gas is continuing to head higher, pushing UNG and the iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN ( GAZ) to the top of the winner's list.

The improvement in these futures-tracking funds has been impressive, but I encourage investors to look elsewhere for natural gas exposure.

First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund ( FBT) 5.1%

The volatile nature of the biotechnology industry is shining through during mid-week trading as FBT top 10 holding Ilumina ( ILMN) surges nearly 45%. The company's climb is being attributed to news that fellow healthcare player, Roche, has submitted a $5.7 billion hostile bid for the firm.

Losers

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

After heading higher on Tuesday, the VXX has returned to its losing ways. As U.S. investors brush off fear, the ETN has locked in another 2012 low.

Over the past few months we have witnessed how dramatically VXX and other fear-tracking exchange traded products can yo-yo. Long-term minded investors should steer clear.

Market Vectors Indonesia ETF ( IDX) 0.8%

The U.S. marketplace has powered back into positive territory following the FOMC's rate decision. However, some emerging markets are seeing losses. Indonesia, for instance, is struggling, pushing IDX and the iShares MSCI Indonesia Investable Market Index Fund ( EIDO) to declines.

ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF ( TBT) 0.5%

Despite the market's turnaround, investors appear unwilling to give up their exposure to safe have assets like long term U.S. Treasuries. The upward action seen from the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund ( TLT) marks the fund's second day of strength. Last week's string of losses pushed the fund to its lowest level since the start of December.

As a result of its early afternoon decline, TBT has retreated to its 50-day moving average.

All prices as of 2:14 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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