Updated from 2:09 p.m. EDT with new stock prices
Small-cap stocks posted gains Monday, trading ahead of floundering blue-chip stocks and in line with the tech sector. Bullish trading in semiconductor companies prompted many of the large gains, and companies in the food space incurred heavy losses. The Russell 2000 climbed 0.9% to 740.34, and the S&P SmallCap 600 added 1.1% to 391.34.
ASM International (ASMI - Get Report), another semiconductor firm based in the Netherlands, shot up 9.2% to $29.61 as chipmaker Applied Materials (AMAT - Get Report) announced its continued interest in buying part of ASM's business. ASM had on Friday rejected previous Applied Materials overtures, saying the segments Applied offered to buy for up to $500 million were central to its strategy.Landry's Restaurants (LNY) soared 17.4% to $19.71. The Houston-based operator of Rainforest Café and other franchises announced it had agreed to a buyout by its CEO, Tilman Fertitta, for $21 a share. On the losing side, chicken purveyor Pilgrim's Pride (PPC - Get Report), based in Pittsburg, Texas, sank to new lows on a Credit Suisse downgrade to neutral from outperform. The analyst noted that chicken prices have not increased fast enough to cover rising feed costs due to recent increases in the price of corn. The firm cut is target price for the stock to $19 from $33. The stock was down 8.4% at $16.85. Shares of Cayman Islands' fresh fruit producer Fresh Del Monte (FDP - Get Report) dwindled 15.1% to $27.07. Rival Chiquita forecast a "significant" third-quarter loss and announced that banana volumes have slumped in April and May.