The Russell 2000 and the S&P 600 gained ground today as the Russell 2000 is trading at 696.63, up 0.51%, and the S&P 600 Small Cap at 364.84, up 0.37%.

Shares of

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

shot up 8.38% to 27.31 as Bank of America upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.

Alain Karaoglan, analyst for

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, noted the overall risk/reward in the company has come into balance as the new CEO Robert Willumstad promises to de-leverage, reduce risk and simplify the overall company.

Shares of

Badger Meter

(BMI) - Get Report

surged 10.87% to $56.88 as the company reported a 29% increase in their second quarter income.

High demand for their automatic meter reading (AMR) devices bolstered profit as net income in the second quarter reached 48 cents per share on $7 million in revenues compared to 38 cents on $5.5 million from the same quarter last year.

Shares of

Astec Industries

(ASTE) - Get Report

, a road construction equipment maker, fell by $4.05 as the company posted second quarter profits that missed Street estimates.

The company noted that rising steel prices cut profits sending the stock reeling 11.55% to $30.96. However, management confirmed their $2.80 to $2.95 EPS for 2008.

Shares of

Nautilus

(NLS) - Get Report

plummeted 18.95% to $4.86 on news that Wedbush Morgan downgraded the stock from buy to hold. Nautilus is a Vancouver, Wash.-based company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets branded fitness and apparel products sold under brand names, such as Nautilus, Bowflex, Schwinn Fitness and StairMaster.

Shares of

LaBrance

( LAB) lost 8.13% to $6.67 as the company missed Wall Streets expectations. LAB lost 34 cents per share, or $21.3 million, including $33.2 million in pretax loss. LAB is a New York, N.Y.-based company and is the parent company of LaBranche Structured Holdings (LSHI), the holding company for a group of entities that are specialists and market-makers in options, futures and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) traded on various exchanges.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.