Despite the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy at the end of October, November started off strong ahead of the elections, with improving U.S. economic data. For instance, investor confidence was rising and unemployment rates were lower. Stocks continued to rally as the uncertainty over the presidential elections abated, but Obama’s victory did not fuel the rally. [U.S. Equities and Stock ETFs: The Calm after the Storm]

After the elections, the markets went to a dark spot as investors weighed on the pending fiscal cliff and potential tax hikes that could cripple a recovering economy.

In mid-November, the confirmed recession in Europe coupled with hurricane-related fallout weighed on the economic outlook.

During the last weeks of the month, conciliatory comments out of Capitol Hill helped raise hopes of a bipartisan resolution to the fiscal cliff.

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Max Chen contributed to this article.