Small-cap stocks moved in lockstep with the rest of the market Friday, starting things off with a slide followed by a slight midday recovery on a fairly even mix of positive and negative news from various sectors. Trading volume exploded at Seattle's Cutter & Buck ( CBUK), vaulting shares up 21.9% to $14.18, after the casual-apparel maker agreed to sell itself to Sweden-based New Wave Group for $156.5 million. Likewise for wireless provider Rural Cellular ( RCCC), based in Minnesota, soared some 22% to $17.25 on preliminary results showing improvement in operating income, revenue and customer numbers. Medis Technologies ( MDTL), a medical-equipment maker, said it began shipping its first batch of 24/7 fuel-cell Power Pack products to Microsoft today. Shares recently jumped $2.77, or 15.1%, to $21.06. Another medical-device maker, ArthroCare ( ARTC), gained 4% to $39.30 on a Lazard upgrade to buy from hold, and Nautilus ( NLS) erased some of Thursday's losses (induced by downward guidance) after Matrix Research raised the fitness-equipment maker to hold from strong sell. Shares were up 4% to $14.21. On the other hand, several small-cap names were sliding on negative analyst research. American Technology Research slapped a sell rating on hard-disk maker Komag ( KOMG), citing the fact that its biggest customer, Seagate Technology ( STX), has recently deflated its sales guidance and will probably outsource less of its disk production. Komag shares fell 50 cents, or 1.6%, to $30.70. Seagate was recently off a penny to $21.73.
Meanwhile, construction company Perini ( PCR) was down 6.9% to $38.58 after Morgan Joseph said it has run up too much lately and cut the stock to hold from buy. California's Capstone Turbine ( CPST) and medical-device maker Urologix ( ULGX) were also hit with downgrades by Ardour Capital and CE Unterberg Towbin, respectively. Capstone gave up 5.8% to $1.14; Urologix lost 11.6% to $2.52. Business-software firm SumTotal ( SUMT) plunged 7.7% to $7.99 after guiding slightly below Street estimates for the first quarter's top and bottom lines, expecting 6 cents to 7 cents a share on revenue of $29.2 million to $29.5 million. U.S. Xpress ( XPRSA), a trucking company, expects to swing to a first-quarter loss of 15 cents to 17 cents a share, widely missing analysts' upside targets. Shares tumbled 7.3% to $15.81 in recent trading The Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 indices were each lately up about a quarter of a percent.