3rd quarter mutual fund performance, at a glance

Mutual fund performance was strong overall in the third quarter. The Federal Reserve and central banks in other nations approved additional economic stimulus measures. Those moves helped offset disappointing news about U.S. corporate profits and global economic growth. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index climbed 5.8 percent in the July-to-September period.

Below are highlights of mutual fund performance in the third quarter. Listed are average returns in various fund categories, as tracked by Lipper Inc.

_ All stock fund categories, global and U.S.: 5.7 percent

_ Monthly stock fund performance: July, up 0.5 percent; August, up 2.5 percent; September, up 2.6 percent

_ U.S. diversified stock funds: 5.3 percent

_ Top-performing U.S. stock sector fund category: Precious metals, 22.4 percent

_ Other top sector funds: Commodities precious metals, 15.7 percent; Commodities base metal, 11.2 percent; International real estate, 9.6

_ Worst-performing sector fund category: Commodities specialty, down 1.3 percent

_ U.S. large-cap stock funds: 6.2 percent

_ U.S. small-cap stock funds: 5.2 percent

_ U.S. value stock funds: 5.8 percent

_ U.S. growth stock funds: 5.6 percent

_ World stock funds: 6.6 percent

_ Top-performing world stock fund category: India, 13.7 percent

_ Worst-performing world stock category: Japan, down 0.5 percent