The stock market lows of the past three weeks has hurt the value of mutual funds, several of which posted negative returns for the first quarter, according to a preliminary survey released Friday by Lipper.

U.S. diversified equity funds - which are the most common mutual funds in 401(k) and other savings plans, with more than $3 trillion in assets - posted an average 3% negative return for the first quarter, Lipper said.

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