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.
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.
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.