US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Shares rise with earnings optimism

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 8 (BestGrowthStock) – Mid- and small-capitalization
stocks rose on Thursday, helped by optimism about
second-quarter earnings and gains in commodities prices.

Among gainers, Tractor Supply Co (TSCO.O: ) shares rose 2.6
percent to $65.41, a day after the company forecast quarterly
profit above Wall Street estimates and raised its full-year
outlook, citing strong sales. For details, see [ID:nSGE6660JE]

“I think (earnings are) kind of the focus in the back of
everyone’s mind right now,” said Eric Marshall, director of
research at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, Texas.

“I think everyone anticipates relatively good earnings,”
he said. “I think everyone will be focused on what the guidance
is going to look like.”

For the second quarter, Standard & Poor’s 500 (.SPX: )
earnings are expected to rise about 27 percent from a year ago,
according to Thomson Reuters. In recent quarters, the majority
of companies have beaten analyst estimates.

The S&P MidCap 400 index (.MID: ) rose 0.6 percent while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SML: ) advanced 0.8 percent. In
comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX: ) gained 0.6 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, August crude (CLc1: )
rose to settle up $1.37, or 1.85 percent, at $75.44 a barrel.

Shares of Petroleum Development Corp (PETD.O: ) gained 6.4
percent to $27.12 after Wells Fargo raised its rating on the
company.

Among other energy-related companies, shares of Hornbeck
Offshore Services (HOS.N: ) rose 4.1 percent to $16.44.

Also advancing, Sun Bancorp (SNBC.O: ) jumped more than 40
percent to $5.08 after the New Jersey bank said billionaire
investor Wilbur Ross is taking a 25 percent stake in the
company. [ID:nN08253925]
(Editing by Leslie Adler)

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Shares rise with earnings optimism