US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Earnings, materials sector lift stocks

NEW YORK, April 22 Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:44pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - Midcap and smallcap stocks rose on Friday, boosted by materials stocks and a round of solid earnings, putting both the S&P MidCap 400 and SmallCap 600 indexes on track for their eighth straight weekly advance.

Midcap Idexx Laboratories (IDXX.O) surged 11.3 percent to $67.24 after the maker of veterinary, dairy and water testing products posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and boosted its profit outlook for the year. For details, see [ID:nSGE63M0FT]

Smallcap Deckers Outdoor Corp (DECK.O), up 9.2 percent to $156.89, hit its highest level in more than two years after the shoemaker reported first-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates and forecast revenue growth for the second quarter and full year. [ID:nSGE63M0JS][ID:nSGE63L0NR]

"Now you are transitioning from a liquidity- and sentiment-driven rally to hopefully one that is based more on fundamentals," said Tim Holland, co-portfolio manager, Aston/TAMRO Diversified Equity Fund in Alexandria, Virginia.

"People are separating the winners and losers and really selling stuff that disappoints, but also not being afraid to bid up names that are topping expectations."

Both the S&P MidCap 400 index .MID and the S&P SmallCap 600 index .SML advanced 0.5 percent. In comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 .SPX added 0.2 percent.

The S&P MidCap index hit a 22-month intraday high while the SmallCap 600 index touched a 19-month intraday high.

Materials stocks advanced after the Commerce Department said new home sales for March surged 26.9 percent for the largest advance since April 1963 and handily beat expectations. [ID:nN23141873]

The S&P MidCap Materials index .4GSPM gained 1.4 percent, boosted by Louisiana Pacific Corp (LPX.N), which climbed 5.8 percent to $12.79. A 4.8 percent rise to $52.89 in Deltic Timber Corp (DEL.N) helped lift the S&P SmallCap Materials index .6GSPM 0.9 percent. (Editing by Leslie Adler)

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