US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks jump on M&A activity, earnings

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, May 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Mid- and smallcap stocks rose
on Monday on new merger and acquisition activity and some
strong quarterly results.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc (DTG.N: ) surged 15
percent to $50.64 after Avis Budget Group Inc (CAR.N: ) said it
intends to make a “substantially higher” offer for the company
than one by Hertz Global (HTZ.N: ), which recently offered to buy
the company for $1.2 billion.

Avis shares slid 3.4 percent to $14.61 while Hertz lost 5.3
percent to $13.70. For details, see [ID:nSGE6420H6]

Also on the M&A front, UAL Corp (UAUA.O: ), the parent of
United Airlines, agreed to buy Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N: )
for $3.17 billion, sparking hopes of further consolidation in
the sector. [ID:nN02143069]

“Continental is one of the best airlines, and for them to
say that it makes sense to go with another company is going to
convince a lot of other firms that it could make sense to
merge,” said Doug Cannon, president of Texas First Capital
Management in Houston.

Midcap firm AirTran Holdings (AAI.N: ) advanced 2.7 percent
to $5.42 while SkyWest (SKYW.O: ) was up 1.7 percent at $15.23.

Earnings continued to lift small-cap stocks, with
Administaff Inc (ASF.N: ) soaring 20 percent to $26.47 after it
posted a surprise first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.). [ID:nSGE6420DZ]

Cannon said the results suggested that smaller companies
were growing and hiring temporary workers. While Cannon said
the companies were not confident enough to hire full-time
personnel, “this is still a good short-term signal for
small-cap companies.”

In the pharmaceutical sector, Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp
(RPTP.O: ) surged 36 percent to $3.35 after it said a mid-stage
study of its experimental drug for a progressive form of liver
disease met the main trial goal of reducing the level of
certain liver enzymes by half. [ID:nSGE6420ES]

The S&P MidCap 400 index (.MID: ) rose 1.3 percent while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SML: ) advanced 1.8 percent. In
comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX: ) gained 1.3 percent.

Stock Market Basics

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Stocks jump on M&A activity, earnings