Thursday's Top Performing Small Cap Stocks (SFN, ATX, CTIC, SCHL, ASGN)


The weekly jobless claims rose again and remained above 400,000, which is not a good sign. But that didn't stop Dutch staffing giant Randstad from offering $771 million for SFN Group ( SFN ) , an American competitor. The deal will double Randstad's U.S. presence. SFN's stock led all small caps with a 51.1 percent increase on the day.

Expecting other consolidations in the staffing business, traders also bid up On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN) 10.9 percent, making it one of the better-performing small caps.

The Russell 2000 Index and the Standard & Poor's Small Cap 600 both gained 1.1 percent in value. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Stock Market rose just 0.7 percent, but the large caps set the pace. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.2 percent, with the Standard & Poor's 500 closing 1.35 percent higher.

Thursday's Top Performing Small Cap Stocks (Data provided by Google Finance)

SFN Group ( SFN ) : Management approved a $771 million offer for the U.S. staffing company from Dutch-based Randstad, which will double its U.S. presence.

A.T. Cross (Nasdaq: ATX) : The personal accessories maker, known for its writing instruments and sunglasses, issued a strong quarterly report and raised its full-year guidance. Shares hit a 52-week high and have risen 254 percent in the past year.

Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC) : Shares of this microcap, which develops cancer treatments, are off 30 percent this year. Thursday's run-up could be an optimistic advance ahead of CTIC's release of second-quarter results on Tuesday.

Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL) : In the children's book publisher's fiscal fourth quarter, earnings fell 15% as costs grew, but still beat analysts' expectations. The company's educational publishing and international revenue increased.

On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN) : After the SFN deal, investors were hunting for other hot prospects in the staffing business, like On Assignment, which supplies temporary and permanent workers. Shares have risen 140 percent in the past 12 months.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ASGN , ATX , CTIC , SCHL , SFN

Wyatt Investment Research

Wyatt Investment Research

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