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US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks inch up, Career Education gains
May 7, 2012 / 10:30 PM / 5 years ago

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks inch up, Career Education gains

NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) - Small- and mid-capitalization stocks edged higher on Monday, with shares of Career Education rising after a change in its status with an accrediting agency.

Shares of Career Education jumped 8.7 percent to $7 after the agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, lifted a “show-cause notice” on all the company’s colleges related to job placement rates of its students.

The stock had been under pressure because of questions surrounding the placement rates.

Among other advancers, shares of Louisiana Pacific gained 5.9 percent to $9.49 following the release of its quarterly results.

The S&P MidCap 400 index was up 0.4 percent while the S&P SmallCap 600 index was up 0.2 percent. In comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 was up 0.04 percent.

While much of the earnings news has been stronger-than-expected for the first quarter, it has been offset by weaker-than-expected economic data so stocks have not seen much of an advance, said Scott Billeaudeau, portfolio manager, Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis.

The small-cap index is down 2.4 percent for the month so far, while the mid-cap index is down 2.3 percent.

“Earnings have generally been better, but economic data points have generally been worse,” he said.

Among the weaker economic data was Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which showed a third straight month in which hiring had slowed.

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