Small-cap stocks generally rose along with the broader market Wednesday. The Russell 2000 was up 1.1% to 715.84, while the S&P 500 was up 0.8% at 1,325.13.

Among the winners, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based employee recruitment agency Spherion ( SFN) was up 24% to $5.70 on an upgrade from CL King to strong buy from neutral.

Tempe, Ariz.-based U.S. Airways ( LCC) was up 13% to $2.77 as oil prices fell to two-week lows. In addition, the company resumed labor talks with its pilots' union. Likewise, fellow airlines Northwest ( NWA) and Delta ( DAL) also gained Wednesday. Late Tuesday, pilots of both carriers tentatively agreed to the companies' proposed merger. Northwest was up 4.3% at $6.18, and Delta was up 2.3% at $5.38.

Empire Resorts ( NYNY), a Nevada-based operator of hospitality and gaming in New York, was up 14% to $3.74 after the New York State Legislature approved a revenue-sharing structure for Empire's $1 billion casino development in upstate New York.

On the losing side, Cleveland-based greeting card company American Greetings ( AM), traded to new lows after reporting first-quarter earnings of $13.3 million, or 27 cents a share, vs. $30.1 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for EPS of 61 cents. The stock was down 21% to $14.34.

Apogee Enterprises ( APOG), a glass product developer out of Minneapolis, was down 17% to $18.41 on first-quarter earnings of $10.2 million, or 36 cents a share. Analysts were looking for 43 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Fast food franchise Sonic ( SONC) also fell to new lows, recently declining 10% to $14.68, on third-quarter results released late Tuesday. The Oklahoma City-based company earned EPS of 28 cents, lower than the 31 cents that analysts were expecting.
This article was written by a staff member of