The equity markets and broad stock exchange traded funds (ETFs) ended December and the year, mixed.  The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.4% for the month and up 5.5% for the year.  The S&P 500 gain 0.9% in December and was flat for 2011.  The Nasdaq lost 0.6% this month and 1.8% for the year.

The markets opened the month with some prospects for a resolution to the Eurozone financial woes. Eurozone members agreed on changes to the existing E.U. treaty to include more stringent deficit and debt controls.

Meanwhile in the U.S., stronger economic data on housing, consumer confidence and durable goods, coupled with the payroll tax extension, helped give a bit of a boost to investor confidence.

Some of the top performing areas in December included healthcare, biotech, homebuilders and banks. [Treasury ETFs Lead the Way in 2011]

For more information on on ETF performance, visit our ETF performance reports categoryClick here to see the full December performance report as well as for the year.

Visit our ETF Analyzer for the most up-to-date ETF performance numbers.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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.