While a late rally elevated November from being another disaster to just one more bad memory, a few surprising pockets of strength emerged among exchange- traded funds. Only 139 of the 801 ETFs tracked by TheStreet.com Ratings rose last month. Most of the gainers were fixed-income and "inverse" ETFs, with some gold funds and a few other specialized commodity offerings included. But among the more conventional ETFs, some Eastern European, Asian and alternative-energy funds ended the month with advances, as can be seen in the accompanying table. Since all remain down 20% to 70% for the year, it remains to be seen whether the November increases were first steps in recoveries or merely dead-cat bounces. Alternative energy continued to draw investor attention, as the Elements MLCX Biofuels Total Return ( FUE) achieved an 11.15% gain, while the PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio ( PWND) moved fractionally higher. PWND, like many alt-energy plays, is globally diversified, with just 12% of its holdings in the U.S. and much of its remaining investments in Spain, Switzerland, Japan, France, Denmark, Germany and China. Its biggest holdings include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ABB ( ABB) and Gamesa of Spain. In Asia, a quartet of China-focused ETFs were joined by a pair of small-cap Japanese funds in bucking the November downtrend. WisdomTree Japan Small Cap Dividend ( DFJ) leads the funds in the table for the latest three months -- down only 12.62% -- and for the year to date, where it is off by 20.65%. Despite heavy investments in energy companies, a pair of Eastern European funds achieved double-digit percentage jumps during the month. The Market Vectors TR Russia ETF ( RSX), spurted 16.19%, while the SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF ( FUR) vaulted 25.44%. Both include energy giants Gazprom and Lukoil among their biggest portfolio holdings. FUR is 60% invested in Russian securities, with other positions in Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Hungary.