NU Online News Service, Oct. 12, 9:20 a.m. – Internet-focused funds suffered more double-digit losses in September following terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Standard & Poor’s, New York, reports today. The funds fell 19% on average, versus a loss of 17% for the Nasdaq. If the one fund that rose during September was excluded, the average decline would have been 20.6%.

With the group already suffering from a weak U.S. economy, earnings warnings and overcapacity in the tech sector, the terrorist attacks shook an already teetering market. Year-to-date, portfolios invested in the sector are down 46.5% (51.1%, excluding the lone success story) as investor confidence has eroded, the research firm says.

Internet funds that held up the best during September managed to avoid a lot of popular, widely held Nasdaq stocks. These funds also held on to some cash to help weather the market sell-off.

The lone success story was Potomac Internet Short Fund, up 25.2% in September and 85.2% year to date.

Kinetics Internet Emerging Growth Fund lost just 5.6% for the month and is up 0.3% as of the end of the third quarter, making it the best-performing fund in the group that takes long positions, S&P says. The portfolio, about 30% in cash, has focused on emerging companies that can “survive,” says fund manager Stephen Tuen. Tuen says he focuses on stocks of growing companies with strong balance sheets and little debt.