The small-cap sector mimicked the choppy broad indices and traded little changed Thursday, despite some big moves among individual names. General Steel ( GSI) was one of the biggest winners, surging some 50% to $14.25 after getting listed on the American Stock Exchange. The China-based steel concern previously traded on the OTC bulletin board. Another China-based company, Orsus Xelent Technologies ( ORS), shot up 52% to $4.93 after projecting a year-over-year sales increase of more than 20% in the third quarter. That would mean a top line in excess of $24.6 million for the cell-phone designer. California's Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals ( HEPH) surged 24% after saying its HE3235 cancer treatment "
significantly inhibited tumor growth " in preclinical testing on hormone-independent tumors, which are associated with late-stage prostate cancer. Hollis shares were trading at $2.53. But fellow health-care stock Bioject Medical Technologies ( BJCT) plunged 23.4% on word Roche and Trimeris ( TRMS) will no longer pursue regulatory approval to use the company's Biojector 2000 with their anti-HIV drug Fuzeon. Shares of Bioject, Portland, Ore., fell 33 cents to $1.08. Trimeris was recently off 4.8%. Charlotte Russe ( CHIC), a San Diego-based women's apparel retailer, sank 10.5% after JPMorgan downgraded the stock in light of Wet Seal's ( WTSLA) third-quarter profit warning Wednesday night. The analyst said that Wet Seal, a teen-girls' apparel chain, was probably hurt by broad factors such as "tough mall traffic and warmer weather."
Charlotte Russe shares retreated $1.68 to $14.26. Wet Seal was tumbling 19.8% to $3.20. Also sliding on negative analyst research was semiconductor concern Monolithic Power Systems ( MPWR), which was cut to neutral from buy at Goldman Sachs. The analyst cited valuation. Shares of the San Jose, Calif., company gave up $2.61, or 10.1%, to $23.36. The Russell 2000 was lately up 0.2% to 827.81. The S&P SmallCap 600 rose 0.1% at 433.62.