US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks find support; retailers boost

* Ann Taylor, Aeropostale lift retail sector

* Mid caps find support at 200-day moving average

* S&P MidCap 400 up 0.5 pct, SmallCap 600 down 0.1 pct

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, May 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Mid cap stocks rose on Friday
after a sharp fall in the previous session, with earnings from
Ann Taylor Stores Corp (ANN.N: ) and Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N: )
helping the retail sector.

U.S. teen retailer Aeropostale posted a forecast-beating 43
percent jump in quarterly net income late on Thursday, sending
its shares up 4.2 percent to $28.45. For more on the story, see
[ID:nN20204523]

Ann Taylor, which caters to mature women, also reported
higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and an increase in
sales. The company’s shares rose 7.7 percent to $21.75.
[ID:nN21155338]

The earnings follow a series of reports from retailers that
have disappointed investors. The S&P mid cap consumer
discretionary index (.4GSPD: ) rose 0.9 percent.

“When earnings came out at, or even slightly above,
expectation I think that sent a signal that the advance we had
seen prior to this downdraft had been legitimate and these
companies are probably doing OK,” said Terry Morris, senior
equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in
Reading, Pennsylvania.

The S&P MidCap 400 index (.MID: ) rose 0.5 percent while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SML: ) fell 0.1 percent. By comparison,
the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX: ) fell 0.05 percent.

Mid caps briefly fell below their 200-day moving average in
early trade but bounced of that level as the wider market
turned positive. Both indexes entered a technical correction on
Thursday, falling to a more than 10 percent retracement from a
high on April 23.

“It seems we at least got a technical bounce here, the
dollar’s backing off and the euro’s firming up,” said Morris.
“The whole market is bouncing of its low.”

Also in the retail sector, Hibbett Sports Inc (HIBB.O: )
reported a quarterly profit that beat market estimates and
raised its profit view for the current fiscal year, sending its
shares up 3.6 percent to $26.25. [ID:nSGE64K0FS]

On the downside, shares of Brocade Communications Systems
(BRCD.O: ), fell 10.2 percent to $5.27 a day after it warned that
prices for its main products would fall and reported quarterly
revenue that missed Wall Street expectations. [ID:nN20213704]

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc (RRGB.O: ) posted a quarterly
profit that beat Wall Street estimates, as its television
advertising lured more guests. But the casual dining chain cut
its 2010 outlook and its shares fell 14.2 percent to $20.20.
[ID:nSGE64J0KO]

In ratings news, Goldman Sachs downgraded Orient Express
Hotels (OEH.N: ) to “sell” from “neutral” and said it expects the
hotel chain to underperform its peers, sending its shares down
3 percent to 9.83.

Stock Market

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks find support; retailers boost