Semiconductor-related exchange-traded funds were among the worst performers of a down market Tuesday, weighed by declines in some big names.

National Semiconductor ( NSM), Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) and Texas Instruments ( TXN) were all declining by 2% or more.

Ultra Semiconductor ProShares ( USD) responded by falling $2.16, or 2.7%, to $77.59. Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs ( IIH) was dropping 10 cents, or 1.8%, to $5.40.

Housing-related funds also were hit hard. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in prepared remarks to the International Monetary Conference in South Africa, said that while the ongoing housing slump had not adversely affected the overall economy, "the slowdown in residential construction now appears likely to remain a drag on economic growth for somewhat longer than previously expected."

The Ultra Real Estate ProShares ( URE) was dropping $2.15, or 3.4%, to $60.37. The Vanguard REIT Index ETF ( VNQ) was off $1.24, or 1.6%, to $78.14. The iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors ( ICF) sunk $1.39, or 1.4%, to $101.17.

Utility-sector funds also were slumping. Ultra Utilities ProShares ( UPW) was down $2.08, or 2.3%, to $86.84.

ETFs tracking silver were among the few winners in Tuesday's market. Silver futures were trading up 7 cents to $13.76.

PowerShares DB Silver ( DBS) was rising 17 cents, or 0.6%, to $27.11. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) was adding 42 cents, or 0.4%, to $136.90.

Some health care-related funds also found modest success. HealthShares Cardiology ( HRD) was up 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $26.46, aided by a 15% rise in Encysive Pharmaceuticals ( ENCY).

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