We investigate the physical spectrum of vector-like SU(N) gauge theories with infrared coupling close to but above the critical value for a conformal phase transition. We use dispersion relations, the momentum dependence of the dynamical fermion mass and resonance saturation. We show that the second spectral function sum rule is substantially affected by the continuum contribution, allowing for a reduction of the axial vector - vector mass splitting with respect to QCD-like theories. In technicolor theories, this feature can result in a small or even negative contribution to the electroweak S parameter.
Bibliografisk note9 pages, LaTeX