NEW YORK, April 30 Mid- and small-cap stocks
fell on Monday, following their best week since February, hit by
data that indicated slowing momentum in the U.S. economy.
The S&P mid- and small-cap indexes, alongside the Russell
2000, also fell for the month.
The U.S. economy appeared to stall as it entered the second
quarter, with consumers increasing spending only modestly last
month and a gauge of business activity in the Midwest falling
sharply in April.
Industrial and technology companies, usually linked to
economic growth, led declines.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago's business
barometer, which slowed more than expected in April, is a
predictor of a national trend, according to Edward Hemmelgarn,
chief investment officer at Shaker Investments in Cleveland.
"If you see worse economic data stocks will not do well," he
said. "Small caps are more focused on U.S. data than large
The S&P MidCap 400 index fell 0.8 percent while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index lost 1 percent. The Russell 2000
also dropped 1 percent.
For the month, S&P small caps dropped 1.3 percent and mid
caps edged down 0.3 percent, while the Russell 2000 shed 1.6
It was the first monthly decline for the S&P small caps
since last September.
Shares of VeriFone Systems fell 12.5 percent to
$47.64 after Deutsche Bank questioned the maker of point-of-sale
terminals' organic growth projections and downgraded its stock.
Mid cap Barnes & Noble's shares soared 52 percent to
$20.75 after Microsoft said it was investing $300
million in Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader and college business.