Small-cap stocks felt the pressure of the sinking broad market Wednesday despite positive announcements from a variety of sectors.

Cardica

(CRDC)

helped to lead the charge among the day's few winners, rocketing nearly 55% in frenzied trading after the California-based company said its C-Port Flex A Anastomosis System was successfully used with

Intuitive Surgical's

(ISRG) - Get Report

da Vinci robot for "groundbreaking minimally-invasive, closed-chest bypass" -- the "world's first" -- by two independent groups of "leading cardiothoracic surgeons."

Dr. Marc Katz, team leader at Bon Secours Saint Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Va., said the product "has the potential to revolutionize the field of cardiothoracic surgery," as it "enhances" these procedures, which "substantially reduce pain and trauma and provide a quicker return to normal functionality for the patient." Shares of Cardica surged $2.96, to $8.34.

Also in the green was

LB Foster

(FSTR) - Get Report

, which makes products for the rail, construction, energy and utility markets. Shares jumped 12.3% to $39.83 on word the Canadian Pacific Railway bought the Dakota Minnesota and Eastern Railroad, in which Pittsburgh, Pa.-based LB has a minority stake.

LB's cut will total about $151.5 million on closing, as well as up to $125.8 million more depending on commencement of a construction project, in addition to other milestones. Overall, the deal is worth $1.48 billion, not including up to some $1 billion in contingent payments.

Elsewhere, Houston's

NCI Building Systems

(NCS) - Get Report

posted fiscal third-quarter income of $21.3 million, or $1.02 a share, with "adjusted" earnings coming to $1.07 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were seeking $1 a share. Shares of the company, which makes metal products for the nonresidential construction market, gained 3.9% to $48.28.

On the flip side,

MasTec

(MTZ) - Get Report

plunged nearly 17% after saying a big recruitment drive will eat into its bottom line. The Florida-based company will swell its numbers by some 1,500 in order to meet increasing demand for its satellite home-installation business, which is at the "highest level" in its history.

As a result, full-year earnings from continuing operations are now expected at 78 cents to 82 cents a share vs. the most recent forecast of between 84 cents and 90 cents. Analysts are looking for 88 cents. MasTec also expects a third-quarter profit of 18 cents to 20 cents a share (which doesn't include any litigation impact), or at least 9 cents below consensus.

MasTec shares were off $2.51 at $12.45 to weigh on the Russell 2000, which recently sank 1.3% to 790.4. The S&P SmallCap 600 was performing a bit better with a 1% loss at 416.3.

LKQ

( LKQX), a member of both indices, also trailed after the Chicago auto-parts distributor offered 10 million of its shares, mostly from the company itself, in addition to 1.5 million more to cover any overallotments. Proceeds will go to paying debts and to funding some of its pending $811 million takeout of

Keystone Automotive

. LKQ shares shed 62 cents, or 2.1%, to $29.59.