The small-cap sector was mostly pulled lower by the movements of the broad indices Thursday despite positive earnings from a number of tech names.

Data I/O ( DAIO), which makes programming systems for electronic-products makers, surged 48% after third-quarter earnings ramped up to $1.6 million, or 18 cents a share, from a penny a share last year. Shares of the Redmond, Wash., company were up $1.93 to $5.95.

Oregon's TriQuint Semiconductor ( TQNT) jumped 14.5% to $5.29 on better-than-expected income. The company said its non-GAAP profit climbed 14.9% year over year to $11.8 million, or 8 cents a share, in the third quarter. Analysts were looking for just 6 cents a share.

Montana software maker RightNow Technologies ( RNOW) topped revenue estimates and didn't post as wide a third-quarter loss as the Street had expected, losing only 7 cents a share vs. the 11-cent consensus. And Extreme Networks ( EXTR), a Californian network-equipment maker, also beat expectations on both top and bottom lines.

RightNow shares flew 13.8% higher at $19.18; Extreme was up 45 cents, or 12.4%, to $4.09.

But Sturm, Ruger & Co. ( RGR) stock was clobbered after the firearms maker lost 3 cents a share in the third quarter against a 4-cent profit last year. Revenue shrank 14.8% year over year to $29.3 million. Shares of the Southport, Conn., company plunged $6.45, or 37.7%, to $10.65.

Meanwhile, Spartan Motors' ( SPAR) third-quarter earnings fell 38.5% from last year to 8 cents a share, or $2.6 million -- a far cry from the average analyst estimate of 23 cents a share. Spartan stock dropped 16.8% to $14.25 even though the Michigan-based company, which makes custom motor-vehicle chassis and bodies, also declared a special 3-cent dividend.

Marine transportation firm American Commercial Lines ( ACLI), of Jeffersonville, Ind., also came in well below estimates for the third quarter. That pulled shares down 28%. And Illinois-based Vasco Data Security International ( VDSI) lost 34% to $26.13 after coming in 2 cents under .

All of the above decliners helped to pressure the Russell 2000, which recently lost 0.6% to 806.11. Sturm worked to cramp the S&P SmallCap 600, which was also down around 0.5%.