Other top performers included REITs like the Cohen & Steers REIT, up 31.4 percent, and Vanguard REIT Index, up 27 percent.
The worst performers were commodities and Russia.
Read More Bottom on oil's plunge is unknown: Expert
1) There's an article in the New York Post that Intercontinental Exchange may sell the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. The story only cites a London-based analyst but insists that a recent drive to make the NYSE more profitable (ICE has eliminated a large layer of middle management) was "window dressing" that could presage a sale or closing of the NYSE trading floor.
Read MoreIs the NYSE trading floor for sale?
Predictions of the imminent demise of the NYSE floor have occurred every single year since Dick Grasso left in September 2003. Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of ICE, has said he has no plans to sell the NYSE and has recently made remarks about investing more in the NYSE. He has been very active in calling for changes in the way payments are made to those trading on exchanges.
Here's the official response from the NYSE: "While we are working to improve the business, the conclusion in the article that it is up for sale is untrue, and is in conflict with our recent statements about integrating and investing in the NYSE."
Sprecher was most recently asked about his plans for the NYSE at a Goldman Sachs conference on Dec. 10. Here's what he said:
" ... we really believe we can grow earnings out of the New York Stock Exchange. We have done it already by cutting costs, streamlining the business, reorganizing it, revisiting pricing.
And right now we're making a huge investment, a huge amount of energy, at least, into the investment of all new technology to replace all the legacy systems inside the NYSE that will make it even easier and simpler and cheaper to operate better I think experience for our end users."
Read More Is the NYSE trading floor for sale?
Sprecher went on to say, "we're not afraid to exit businesses where we think we've performed our magic and should move on. But for now, that is a really great EPS growth company."
My own feelings: I said when the ICE deal to buy the NYSE was announced exactly two years ago that revenues from equities trading would be a small part of the overall revenues of the combined ICE-NYSE entity (roughly 6 percent), and that if that did not improve a sale was possible a few years down the road. I still believe that is possible, but not in 2015.
The problem: Who is the likely buyer? Unless a high frequency firm was interested, the only logical buyer would be BATS. Regulators would certainly block a Nasdaq-NYSE merger on grounds that the listing business would be a monopoly.