The Russell 2000 Index rose the most in a week, adding 0.6 percent to 729.66 at 12:31 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX), whose companies have a median market value 22 times larger than the Russell 2000's, advanced 0.5 percent. The stock indexes have slumped 4.8 percent and 13 percent, respectively, this year.
The Amex Airline Index had the biggest gain in two weeks, climbing 4.6 percent, after oil broke a three-day losing streak to fall as much as 3 percent to $117.54 a barrel in New York trading.
US Airways Group Inc. (LCC) rose the most in the gauge of 14 airline stocks, climbing 10 percent to $7.49. UAL Corp. (UAUA US) increased 7.2 percent to $12.15.
Alpharma Inc. (ALO US) surged 43 percent, the biggest gain in three years, to $34.26. King Pharmaceuticals Inc. (KG US) said it made a $1.38 billion offer for the drugmaker that was rejected. King may take its $33-a-share proposal to shareholders if it can't reach an agreement, the company said.
Avanex Corp. (AVNXD US) lost 29 percent, the most since December, to $7.37. The maker of fiber-optic parts said first-quarter sales may be as low as $44 million. Analysts projected $54.8 million, the average of four estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS) increased 7.1 percent, the most in a month, to $4.80. The women's clothing retailer was raised to ``neutral'' from ``sell'' by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts.
Nordson Corp. (NDSN) fell the most in at least 24 years, losing 24 percent to $54.81. The maker of equipment to apply adhesive said fourth-quarter profit excluding some items may be as low as 84 cents a share, trailing analysts' estimate of $1.04.
Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN US) slid 26 percent, the most since May 2000, to $5.73. The clothing retailer said its continuing operations may break even in the third quarter. Analysts polled by Bloomberg estimated profit of 23 cents a share.
Perry Ellis International Inc. (PERY) had the steepest drop since 2000, falling 25 percent to $17.19. The clothing retailer reported a second-quarter adjusted loss that was four times bigger than the average analyst estimate and lowered its annual earnings forecast because of higher expenses.
Toro Co. (TTC) rose 8.5 percent to $38.10 for the biggest advance since January. The maker of lawnmowers and golf-course maintenance equipment reported third-quarter profit of 99 cents a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate by 1.5 percent, according to Bloomberg data.
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