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Wednesday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Small stocks were mixed Wednesday and largely kept pace with the confused broader market, staying flat to negative for much of the day before climbing into positive territory.

Seattle-based biotech Dendreon (DNDN) was the day's biggest loser overall, and one of the most furiously traded, after the Food and Drug Administration asked for additional clinical data on its prostate-cancer vaccine Provenge before granting approval. Shares plummeted 62% to $6.78.

The Russell 2000, of which Dendreon is a component, was nevertheless higher by 0.4% at 834.41. The S&P SmallCap 600 rose 0.5% to 433.32.

Another small biotech, Curis (CRIS), got a black eye after Proctor & Gamble (PG) decided to end its collaboration with the Cambridge, Mass., company, citing an unacceptable safety profile for the hair-growth compounds thus far developed under the agreement. Curis shares plunged 20.5% to $1.47; P&G lately added 0.7% to $62.19.

Oil-and-gas driller Toreador Resources (TRGL) lost 15.1% to $13.13 after swinging to a steep first-quarter loss, largely blamed on a dry exploration well, against Wall Street's upside expectations from Thomson Financial. The Dallas-based company also filed for a $49.2 million shelf offering after the close Tuesday.

Also reporting lower-than-expected first-quarter bottom lines were Illinois-based TreeHouse Foods (THS), recently sliding 9% to $29.07, and Hawaii's Hoku Scientific (HOKU), a clean-energy-technologies developer, giving up 12.2% to $4.43.

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