Small Stocks Gain in August; Smaller Retailers Have Volitile Trading Day

by: Jonathan Liss

Excerpt from our One Page Annotated Wall Street Journal Summary (receive it by email every morning by signing up here):

SMALL STOCKS: Jos. A. Bank Falls 16%; Bon-Ton Stores Rises 9%

  • Summary: Small stocks were little changed amid light trading volume and as investors gave a mixed response to monthly retail-sales reports. Smaller retailers saw the most volatile action of the day. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB) slid 16%, to $23.93 after the retailer reported a drop of 6.1% in August same-store sales. Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT) tumbled 11%, to 9.88 after the apparel and accessories retailer said its August same-store sales fell 6%. Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ:BONT) rose 9%, to 27.41 after the department-store operator reported total sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 26 more than doubled from the year-earlier period. Gymboree (NASDAQ:GYMB) added 6.4%, to 33.55 after the children's clothing retailer said August comparable-store sales rose 17%. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks and the S&P SmallCap 600 index both traded flat finishing within .05% of their previous day close. Overall, small stocks marked gains for the month of August. The Russell 2000 rose 2.9% in August, its second monthly gain in the past three months. The S&P 600 advanced 1.7% in August, breaking a string of four straight monthly declines. Other individual performers of note included PSB Bancorp (PSBI) which gained 44%, to 15.93 after agreeing to be acquired for $17 a share by Conestoga Bancorp; Advo (AD) fell 22%, to 28.59 after Valassis Communications (NYSE:VCI) sued to back off its proposed acquisition of the marketing company; World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) bodyslammed its way to a gain of 11%, to 17.28. after the company posted first-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' estimates; Blyth (NYSE:BTH) climbed 26%, to 21.48 after the designer and marketer of home-decor products posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings; NMT Medical (OTC:NMTI) jumped 16%, to 14.14 after receiving conditional FDA approval for modifications to a study of its implant designed to treat migraine headaches in patients with heart defects; NCI Building Systems (NYSE:NCS) gained 10%, to 54.34 reporting quarterly net income rose to $21.7 million, or $1 a share, from $14.7 million, 70 cents a share, a year earlier; NetManage (NETM), a software company, advanced 13%, to 5.05 after Riley Investment Management and Zeff Capital Partners unveiled a proposal to buy the shares of NetManage they don't already own for $5.25 a share.