If you are right and it's in fact short covering, do you think that's because Newpark presents tomorrow - possibility of a "positive" presentation in turn spurring buying in shares by mid-day? Maybe, but last time they presented (in SF) stock did nothing. This could be different, but I doubt it.
IMO, today's action looks more like outright buying (going long, not covering) and "shorts" using the "uptick" to short more shares. Lots of pressure by shorts to keep stock down.