Small-cap stocks followed the major indices up Wednesday. The Russell 2000 Index gained 3.1% to 766.42, and the S&P SmallCap 600 got a 2.9% boost to 397.06. Many of today's biggest winners were based outside the U.S., and several hailed from China. Leading the rally was Shanghai-based telecom media provider Linktone ( LTON). The company announced that Indonesian firm PT Media Nusantara Citra would buy 51% of Linktone's outstanding shares for $3.80 per American Depositary Share, which represents a premium of 54% over the Tuesday closing price. Shares rocketed 32% to $3.27. Meanwhile, China Finance Online ( JRJC) closed its acquisition of Hong Kong securities firm Daily Growth Investment. China Finance bought an 85% equity interest in Daily Growth for about $3 million and has the right to buy the remaining shares within five years. Shares were up 24% to $21.10. On news that Fuwei Films ( FFHL) had hired independent accounting services from Kabani & Company to conduct a review of third-quarter 2007 financial results, shares of the Beijing film manufacturer took off 19% to $4.04. Canadan firm QLT ( QLTI) also took part in the action. The Vancouver biopharma company saw shares rise 26% to $4.91 after its board publicly declared it would seek a buyer of all or part of the company. One U.S. small-cap to log gains was Overstock.com ( OSTK). Shares of the Salt Lake City Internet discount retailer jumped 15% to $25.40 on an upgrade to hold from sell by Stifel Nicolaus.
Although U.S. small-caps didn't produce many winners today, they certainly led the losses. Hailing from Walnut Creek, Calif., Central Garden & Pet ( CENT) took a 22% hit to $5.04 after reporting earnings for fourth quarter 2007. Sales were down 5% to $401 million and income from operations tumbled 53% to $10.1 million year over year. The pet and garden products manufacturer posted a loss of $1.7 million, or 2 cents a share, down from a profit of $6 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson financial were expecting earnings of 3 cents a share. Shares of Bidz.com ( BIDZ) slipped for the second day in a row as CEO David Zinberg responded Tuesday evening to allegations online stock watchdog Citron Research. Citron had published a report Monday alleging that the Culver City, Calif., online jeweler engages in shill bidding during auctions for its jewels, that inventory levels are skyrocketing and that Zinberg himself is paid 30,000 Bidz shares a month. According to an Associated Press report, Zinberg denied the claims, calling Citron's report "untruthful and negative." Shares nonetheless dropped 9.5% to $10.76. Also suffering was Spring House, Pa., business credit card vendor Advanta ( ADVNB). Shares of the company slumped 13% to $9.59 on a downgrade by Friedman Billings to underperform from market perform. One Chinese loser, Shanghai's Acorn ( ATV) dropped 15% to $10.40 on disappointing third-quarter earnings. Acorn posted non-GAAP profits of $6.1 million, or 6 cents a share, vs. $4.5 million, or 6 cents a share, in 2006. Third-quarter ordinary-share earnings translated to 18 cents per American Depositary Share. Two analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 22 cents per ADS.