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Midday Movers: Pump Up the Volume

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

Conseco (CNO) climbed by $1.25, or 25.1%, to $6.24 after the insurer said hedge fund Paulson & Co. agreed to buy 16.4 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5 million shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $77.9 million. After the private sale, Paulson will own nearly 10% of Conseco's outstanding shares. Volume topped 25 million, well above the three-month average daily volume of 7.2 million shares, according to Yahoo! Finance.

LJ International (JADE) jumped by 66 cents, or 25.5%, to $3.25 after Roth Capital upgraded the stock to buy from hold and hiked its stock price target to $6.75 from $1.90. Volume topped 2.5 million, well above the 50-day average daily volume of 324,000 shares, according to the Nasdaq.

Uranium Energy (UEC) rose by 14 cents, or 3.8%, to $3.87 after the company said it will acquire South Texas Mining Venture from URN Resources, a subsidiary of Uranium One (UUU) and Everest Exploration. Under the terms of the agreement, Uranium Energy agreed to issue 2.5 million shares of common stock to make the acquisition. Volume topped 1.6 million shares, well above the three-month average daily volume of 448,000, according to Yahoo! Finance.

NexMed (NEXM) climbed by 6 cents, or 37%, to 21 cents after the company said it will try to sign a partner for further development of NM100060, the company's topical treatment for nail fungus, following a post hoc analysis. Volume topped 18.1 million shares, well above the 50-day average daily volume of 1.4 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Mesa Air Group (MESA) was higher by 3 cents, or 14.8%, to 28 cents after the company said late Tuesday it entered a joint venture with Republic Airways (RJET) to combine their Hawaiian routes. Volume topped 11.1 million, well above the three-month average daily volume of 8.2 million, according to Yahoo! Finance.

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

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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