A rough-and-tumble week on Wall Street came to a close Friday on a slightly positive note for both small-cap and large-caps stocks.
Despite the struggles that saw wild day-to-day swings in stocks, as the smoke cleared following the closing bell on Friday, it was revealed there was far less damage during the session than anticipated. And the big surprise was that most popular indexes had posted a two-day rally - something not seen in three weeks.
A flight to large caps was driven by some investors who are worried about the weaknesses they perceive in the U.S. and global economies. They prefer to ride the storm out with the best-known names in their portfolios. But that also opens the door for investors looking to latch onto some small-cap stocks at relative bargain prices.
Earnings continue to be the prevailing driving force in small-cap momentum, as traders sort through data in their search for the best-performing sectors.
The Russell 2000 Index finished the day just above neutral, gaining 0.24 percent in value. The Standard & Poor's Small Cap 600 fared slightly better, adding 0.34 percent. For the week, the Russell was off 2.4 percent, while the S&P indicator shed 2.3 percent.
The year-to-date numbers are less rosy. The Russell 2000 is down 12.4 percent about halfway through August, and is off 10.4 percent for the year. The S&P Small Cap 600 has lost 11.5 percent in value this month, and is down 8.4 percent year-to-date.
Friday's Top Performing Small Cap Stocks (Data provided by Google Finance)
Midas (NYSE:MDS): Shares surged after the auto repair retailer said it had hired JPMorgan Chase to advise the Illinois company on boosting shareholder value through a sale or other transaction.
MannKind (Nasdaq:MNKD): The stock was the Russell 2000's best performer, shooting up after the company confirmed with the FDA the design of two clinical studies of Afrezza, its inhaled insulin product for diabetes.
FXCM (NYSE:FXCM): The online foreign exchange brokerage posted a profit in the third quarter, as its revenue grew 7 percent and trading volume increased 14 percent. The company also has set up a $16 million reserve related to a settlement with the National Futures Association.
Ferro (NYSE:FOE): The specialty metals producer rebounded a week after the stock hit a 52-week low on the heels of a disappointing earnings report that missed analyst estimates. At the same time, Ferro lowered its profit expectations for the rest of the year.
Delcath Systems (Nasdaq:DCTH): The company, which has developed a system to deliver chemotherapy and other therapeutic agents to specific parts of the body, continued to bounce back after dropping to a 52-week low on August 8.