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Small Stocks End Lower, Alternative Energy Sectors Down January 16, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Small stocks dipped ahead of the key earnings and inflation data expected later this week.

Shares of alternative energy companies – which offer technology in areas like hydrogen power – were weak as crude futures continued to decline sharply. Among small stocks, Hydrogenics lost 7 cents, or 5.8%, to $1.13; and Ballard Power Systems declined 16 cents, or 2.8%, to 5.59.

Commodity sectors were once again the day’s worst performers. Precious metal stocks dipped as gold and silver futures fell. Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE) fell 15 cents, or 3.4%, to 4.30; and Canyon Resources (Amex) lost 3 cents, or 3.7%, to 79 cents.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 2.76, or 0.35%, to 791.50. The Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 index declined 1.15, or 0.29%, to 401.46.

“No one wants to make a move in the event that a market-leading company were to disappoint (on earnings),” said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson.

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group surged 2.26, or 45%, to 7.29, the biggest percentage gainer on the Nasdaq. Landry’s Restaurants offered to acquire the New York steakhouse chain for $7.50 a share in cash. Landry’s added 81 cents, or 2.7%, to 31 on the NYSE.

WCI Communities (NYSE) added 1.45 cents, or 6.9%, to 22.47. Financier Carl Icahn said he intends to help the Bonita Spring, Fla., real-estate developer “unlock the inherent value” of its shares. Icahn reported holding a 14.57% stake in WCI and said he acquired his positions believing the shares were “undervalued.”

Real-estate investment trust Mills (NYSE) gained 2.56, or 17%, to 17.77. Israeli real-estate company Gazit-Globe made a revised proposal to buy $500 million of Mills stock at an average price of $21 a share and to contribute another $600 million through a rights offering. Earlier, hedge fund Farallon Partners disclosed that it submitted a proposal to buy $499 million worth of Mills stock from the company at $20 a share.

Steven Madden fell 2.54, or 7.3%, to 32.44. CL King & Associates lowered its rating on the stock to neutral from accumulate and lowered its estimate for the footwear company’s fiscal 2007 earnings to $2.28 a share from $2.34.

Zevex International rose 3.39, or 36%, to 12.76. The Salt Lake City diversified medical systems company agreed to be acquired by Moog, a maker of precision control components, for $13 a share.

Genesis HealthCare gained 8.41, or 16%, to 61.26. The Kennett Square, Pa., provider of long-term health-care services agreed to be acquired for $63 a share by a joint venture between affiliates of private equity concerns Formation Capital and JER Partners.

CEL-SCI (Amex) gained 11 cents, or 19%, to 70 cents. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the launch of a Phase III clinical study designed to show the Vienna, Va., company’s Multikine drug increases the survival of head and neck cancer patients.

Omnova Solutions (NYSE) rose 89 cents, or 19%, to 5.60. The Fairlawn, Ohio, company’s fourth-quarter earnings rose sharply amid higher sales.

By Anjali Cordeiro; Dow Jones Newswires

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