By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
Sept 27 Small- and mid-cap shares rose slightly
on Thursday after several days of losses, as investors hoped it
would re-establish an upward trend that had prevailed for most
of the year.
Among the day's biggest gainers was mattress maker Tempur-
Pedic International, which rallied 13.6 percent to
$30.42 on news that it would acquire rival Sealy Corp for
about $242 million. Sealy rose 2.3 percent to $2.19 a share.
Chemicals company HB Fuller dropped 9.2 percent to
$30.30 after it cut its full-year revenue outlook.
The S&P Mid-Cap 400 index gained 1.1 percent, while
the S&P Small-Cap 600 index added 1.2 percent.
"The trend is up and remains up," said Sasha Kostadinov, a
portfolio manager at Shaker Investments in Cleveland.
Uncertainty remains over the looming fiscal cliff - a
package of tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect
at the end of the year if Congress does not pass legislation
deferring some of those events - and the U.S. presidential
election in November.
Still, "I have no reason to think the trend is going to
change," said Kostadinov. "I think people have been bracing
themselves for terrible. We continue to see the news be not
necessarily great, but not terrible."
The market's recent sharp gain was largely attributed to
optimism following the announcement on Sept. 13 of the Federal
Reserve's latest quantitative easing program.
In the small-cap market, electronic payment company Progress
Soft Corp jumped 12.2 percent to $21.51 following its
announcement of better-than-expected earnings for the third
RadioShack Corp shares slid 8.5 percent to $2.38 a
day after the announcement that CEO James Gooch would step down
as the company makes an effort to salvage its brand. The news
came just days after RadioShack was removed from the S&P Midcap
index because its market capitalization was too small.
The mid-cap index is up 12.5 percent since the beginning of
the year, and the small-cap benchmark has gained 11.2 percent
for 2012 so far.
Still, not everyone is so certain that the uptick will last.
It "looks like a classic oversold bounce, but hardly
anything that looks like a trend change," said Shawn Hackett,
president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Boynton Beach,
"This tends to happen when markets trending upwards are
rolling over to a top."