Small-cap stocks, as a group, struggled to find their footing Tuesday amid mixed news from a variety of sectors.

Waste Industries USA ( WWIN) ranked among the biggest price gainers overall, soaring 28.9% after an investor group led by founder-and-Chairman Lonnie Poole and CEO Jim Perry offered to take it private for $36.75 a share in cash. The group already owns about 51% of the company. Shares of the Raleigh, N.C., waste-services company vaulted $7.36 to $35.83.

Columbus McKinnon ( CMCO), an Amherst, N.Y., construction-equipment maker, leapt 17.8% to $30.30 after pro-forma income hiked up 22.7% to 54 cents a share, or $10.4 million, in the fiscal second quarter. That easily tops Wall Street's consensus for 47 cents a share, per Thomson Financial.

Arizona's JDA Software ( JDAS), meanwhile, doubled its non-GAAP third-quarter earnings to 40 cents a share from last year and careened past Wall Street's 29-cent views. The management-software firm also brought in higher-than-expected revenue of $93.7 million. Shares ratcheted up $2.52, or 11.8%, to $23.80.

JDA Software's gains lent support to the S&P SmallCap 600, and all of the above names helped give legs to the Russell 2000. Both trackers recently added around 0.5% after straddling the flat line for much of the day.

In initial public offerings, China-based jewelry designer Fuqi International ( FUQI) surged 25.4% after pricing some 7 million shares at $9 each, along with an underwriters' option for another 1.1 million shares to cover any overallotments. Shares were trading at $11.29.

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