Small-cap stocks leapt higher than the broader market Thursday as several health names ratcheted up on positive news.
Leading the way was Seattle-based
, shares of which soared 27% to $8.55 after the Food and Drug Administration
what extra information it will require for approval of the biotech's prostate-cancer vaccine, Provenge.
Also surging on regulatory news was
, another biotech. Shares of the Lexington, Mass., company traded up 21.4% to $3.23 after the FDA
approved for commercialization
Zyflo CR, extended-release tablets for asthma treatment. Critical will co-promote the drug with Dey, an affiliate of Germany's
( OCCX), which makes systems for eye-disease treatment, jumped 15.8% to $1.17 on word it will be taken private by JEGC OCC, a private-equity group ultimately controlled by Occulogix CEO Elias Vamvakas and David Folk of Jefferson Partners.
On or before June 22, JEGC will buy
( TLCV) 1.9-million-share Occulogix stake for $1.05 a share -- a slight premium to the stock's latest close price -- and within the next 90 days it will acquire the remainder of the company. TLCVision shares slipped 2 cents to $5.94.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide
, based in Irvine, Calif., bounced 22% to $1.78 after its Tecstar Automotive Group struck a deal to provide
with engineering design and production support for a mine-resistant line of its military vehicles. Terms weren't disclosed. Force Protection shares dropped 6% to $28.47.
( JAS) quartered its losses from last year to 7 cents a share. This meets Wall Street expectations, per Thomson Financial. JoAnn shares added 9.5% to $33.82, helping to boost both the Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600 -- each higher by 0.5%.
Among sliding small-cap names, however,
pulled back a bit from Wednesday's giant leap after a Bear Stearns analyst cut its rating to peer perform from outperform, citing valuation. Yesterday, shares exploded on word of a
lucrative new deal
( SGP). Today, shares lost 15.1% to $12.74.
sank 9.2% after the home-goods retailer shaved a nickel off its fiscal 2008 income guidance to range between $1.02 to $1.12 a share. Excluding items, its profit should be between $1.32 and $1.37 a share, or at least a penny under two analysts' estimates. Earnings for the quarter ended April 30 far exceeded expectations, but shares were still off $2.78, at $27.44.