Instead, they’re nursing pain. Hedge funds have seen returns dwindling even as the S&P 500 Index marches forward in what has become, by some measures, the longest bull market ever. An index tracking the performance of funds focusing on equities has fallen in five of the past six weeks, wiping out gains for the year, according to Hedge Fund Research data compiled by Bloomberg. How is that even possible? Blame it on a defensive stance and bad-luck bets. Net leverage, a measure of risk appetite among hedge funds, has fallen to the lowest level this year.