Ouch, a very rough quarter for the average diversified U.S. mutual fund.   While it was ugly all around [Oct 4, 2011: 3rd Quarter Performance for All of the Key ETFs] the mutual fund complex underperformed both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ  significantly.  It did outperform the Russell 2000 (-22.3%).

Via IBD:  (unfortunately very little data in the story)

  • The average U.S. stock fund plunged 16.7% in the July-through-September period.  That's the worst quarter since the third quarter of 2008.
  • International large-company core funds, one of the most popular types of foreign funds, dropped 20.4%. Funds that invest in China swooned 25.6%, falling even more than Europe funds, which posted a 23.1% loss. Japan funds fared the best globally, losing a modest 5.3% in the third quarter.
  • As gold and silver prices fell from their highs, commodity precious metals funds lost 3.9% in the third quarter. Other commodity-related funds were down across the board in the third quarter as raw material prices fell amid the global economy's slowdown. Likewise, basic materials funds performed the worst, crumpling 27.1%.