- Summary: Small stocks finished flat yesterday, and lost significant ground for July overall. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 0.08% while the S&P's SmallCap 600 index gained 0.31% meaning the Russell lost 3.3% in July while the S&P 600 fell 3.5%. The semiconductor-related sector, however, had a good day with acquisition-related news raising sentiment in the sector, most notably after large-cap SanDisk (SNDK) agreeing to buy msystems (FLSH), an Israeli supplier of data storage technology, in a stock deal valued at about $1.55 billion catapulting shares of msystems up a bar-mitzvah worthy 13%. In addition, Conexant Systems (CNXT) gained 3.5%, while Mindspeed Technologies (MSPD) also rose 3.5%. In terms of individual performers, Scottish Re Group (SCT) plunged 75%, the biggest percentage decliner on the NYSE, after the Bermuda-based life reinsurance specialist said it expects a second-quarter net operating loss of about $130 million, lowered guidance for the rest of the year and announced the resignation of its chief executive; Playtex Products (PYX) rose 12%, after reporting higher second-quarter sales and profits; Repligen (RGEN) was up 25% after a District Court in Massachusetts rejected large-cap ImClone Systems' (IMCL) defense in Repligen's patent-infringement suit on the production of Erbitux, a colon-cancer drug; and Gehl (GEHL) climbed 14% after the company's second-quarter earnings topped the average analyst estimate.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: For more on SanDisk's acquisition of msystems, read Shlomi Cohen's recent piece M-Systems Investors, Don't Be Disappointed By SanDisk Acquisition.
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