Today brings to a close one of the most volatile months and quarters for exchange traded funds (ETFS) in stock market history. Several of the country’s largest financial institutions failed, some others merged and others were acquired by the government.

There were a number of days that had both gains and losses in the hundreds of points, including yesterday, in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted nearly 800 points. It was the biggest one-day point loss ever for the index. The Dow ended the month down 6% and the quarter down 4.7%. The S&P 500 lost 9.2% for the month and 9.4% for the quarter. Click here to see our ETF performance report to see how different asset classes, sectors and global regions performed for the quarter.

This is also the quarter in which oil began its long descent. Oil closed the second quarter at $140 a barrel. While it rose on the final day of trading for the third quarter to settle at $100.64, it’s still a loss of 28.1%. In fact, the PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN (DTO) was one of the quarter’s strongest funds, gaining 77.6%.

For the month of September, the top fund was the KBW Regional Banking (KRE). It seems a little counter-intuitive, but regional banks have largely managed to dodge the troubles that have plagued the larger financial institutions. The fund rose 11.7% this month. It was also the top fund for the quarter, gaining 33.2% over the last three months.

Metals and mining was the hardest-hit sector, with the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining (XME) losing 34.6% for September.

Russia took a big hit in the third quarter, as Market Vectors Russia (RSX) fell 45.3%. The fund is 50.9% off its high, which was hit on May 19.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.