Sector funds these days have become something like that kid on the playground who, rumor has it, eats worms. Everyone jeers and laughs when he comes around--and it doesn't matter if the rumors are true.

Most sector funds--from health care to technology to communications--are in the red this year, according to fund researcher Morningstar. The products have, meanwhile, taken lashings from consultants and other pundits after many investors spotted easy money in the funds in years past and then got burned during the markets decline.

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