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TheStreet Open House

Midday Movers: Pump Up the Volume

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Several small-cap stocks were moving on above-average volume during Friday's session

Hammond Industries (HMDI.PK) rallied by 5 cents, or a whopping 10,000%, to 5 cents on the Pink Sheets. Volume topped 2 million shares after the company said it entered into an agreement to effect a reverse merger of 100% of Delta Seaboard Well Service into Hammonds. Delta will be 100% owned by the public company. The name of Hammonds will be changed to Delta Seaboard International and a new symbol will be obtained.

Tri-Valley (TIV) shares jumped 16 cents, or 4.8%, to $3.47 as volume topped 913,000 shares, more than doubling the three-month average daily volume of 412,000. There was no company-specific news released on Tri-Valley, although investor posts on Internet message boards argued that the stock was pushing through overhead resistance and could be ready for a breakout.

Dot Hill Systems (HILL) continued to rally on increased volume, rising 24 cents, or 12%, to $2.24, setting a new 52-week high earlier on Friday. Volume topped 882,000 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 312,000, according to the Nasdaq. On Thursday, volume nearly hit 1 million shares while surging 13% in price. Investor posts on Internet message boards suggested the data storage company's stock has established a double bottom, which is a strong technical signal that the stock was set to rebound sharply.

Metabasis Therapeutics (MBRX) jumped 19 cents, or 37.9%, to 71 cents after a Briefing.com report that the company may have found a buyer. Last month, the company hired Merriman Curhan Ford to search for strategic alternatives. Volume topped 3.3 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 258,000, according to the Nasdaq.

Sequenom (SQNM) continued to build on gains, rising 28 cents, or 8.4%, to $3.62. Volume topped 10.8 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 8.9 million, according to the Nasdaq. Shares have now rebounded roughly 20% from the lows established over the last two weeks following an internal investigation related to the test data and results for its prenatal test for Down syndrome that resulted in the termination of CEO Harry Stylli. Reports earlier this week said Sequenom met with representatives of the U.S. attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Market participants are speculating the company may put itself up for sale, according to several reports.

z8x8 (EGHT) continued to push above the dollar mark, rising 10 cents, or 9.1%, to $1.20, in the absence of any company-specific news. Volume topped 1.1 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 358,000, according to the Nasdaq. Last week, z8x8 signed and agreement with Level 3 Communications (LVLT) to work together in responding to federal government solicitations for telecommunications services.

Read more about today's high-volume stocks like Avanir Pharmaceuticals in earlier "Pump Up the Volume" posts.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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