US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks climb as Ann soars, retailers support
NEW YORK Aug 17 (Reuters) - Small- and mid-cap stocks rose on Friday, with retailers including a jump by shares of Ann Inc , helping to support the end of week advance.
Shares of Ann, which is the parent of Ann Taylor and LOFT stores, shot up 20.4 percent to $33.89 after it reported earnings that beat expectations.
Shares of another women's apparel retailer Chico's gained 4.2 percent to $16.80. The S&P 400 mid-cap consumer discretionary index climbed 1.2 percent.
On the down side were shares of Kirkland, which fell 8.6 percent to $9.92. The home accessories retailer posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as higher promotional activity hurt margins and the company cut its full-year earning outlook.
"Companies don't have a lot of visibility and they're not willing to stick their necks out. We have to get through the (U.S.) election and the countries in Europe have to somehow figure out how to get themselves out of the mess," said Beth Lilly, a portfolio manager of the GAMCO Westwood Mighty Mites fund, in Minneapolis, adding: "That's going to take them a long time."
The S&P MidCap 400 index was up 0.5 percent while the S&P SmallCap 600 index gained 0.8 percent. In comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 was up 0.2 percent.
Among other top retail gainers, shares of Office Depot rose 5 percent to $1.69 and shares of Deckers Outdoor were up 4.9 percent at $50.77.
On the earnings front, shares of Oplink Communications were up 14.4 percent at $16.31 after the optical component maker reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations on higher bandwidth demand from telecom customers.
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