Small-cap stocks generally rose along with the broader market Wednesday. The Russell 2000 was up 1.1% to 715.84, while the S&P 500 was up 0.8% at 1,325.13.
Among the winners, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based employee recruitment agency Spherion (SFN) was up 24% to $5.70 on an upgrade from CL King to strong buy from neutral.
Tempe, Ariz.-based U.S. Airways (LCC) was up 13% to $2.77 as oil prices fell to two-week lows. In addition, the company resumed labor talks with its pilots' union. Likewise, fellow airlines Northwest (NWA) and Delta (DAL) also gained Wednesday. Late Tuesday, pilots of both carriers tentatively agreed to the companies' proposed merger. Northwest was up 4.3% at $6.18, and Delta was up 2.3% at $5.38.
Empire Resorts (NYNY - Get Report), a Nevada-based operator of hospitality and gaming in New York, was up 14% to $3.74 after the New York State Legislature approved a revenue-sharing structure for Empire's $1 billion casino development in upstate New York.On the losing side, Cleveland-based greeting card company American Greetings (AM - Get Report), traded to new lows after reporting first-quarter earnings of $13.3 million, or 27 cents a share, vs. $30.1 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for EPS of 61 cents. The stock was down 21% to $14.34. Apogee Enterprises (APOG - Get Report), a glass product developer out of Minneapolis, was down 17% to $18.41 on first-quarter earnings of $10.2 million, or 36 cents a share. Analysts were looking for 43 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters data. Fast food franchise Sonic (SONC - Get Report) also fell to new lows, recently declining 10% to $14.68, on third-quarter results released late Tuesday. The Oklahoma City-based company earned EPS of 28 cents, lower than the 31 cents that analysts were expecting.