PharmaNet, RF Micro, Thornburg: U.S. Small-Cap Equity Movers

The Russell 2000 Index fell for a second day, losing 0.8 percent to 710.96 at 10:04 a.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, whose members have a median market value 22 times larger than the small-cap benchmark, slid 0.6 percent. The measures have fallen 7.2 percent and 6.6 percent respectively this year.

Dress Barn Inc. (DBRN US) gained the most since November 2006, rising 17 percent to $14.75. The New York-based retailer with more than 1,400 women's clothing stores said that, excluding some items, it earned 9 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter. Analysts, on average, estimated 6 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Hurco Cos. (HURC US) rose the most since February 2007, gaining 19 percent to $43. The producer of computerized machine systems for the worldwide metal cutting industry reported fourth-quarter profit of $1.21 per share, exceeding the average analyst estimate by 34 percent.

NeurogesX Inc. (NGSX US) dropped the most since May 1, losing 28 percent to $4.29. The maker of a treatment based on the heat-producing chemical in jalapeno peppers said the second Phase 3 clinical trial of its lead product, NGX-4010, didn't meet its goals.

Origin Agritech Ltd. (SEED US) dropped the most since its initial public offering in March 2004, falling 28 percent to $6.90. China's third-biggest corn-seed producer said it had a loss of $21.8 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, compared with profit of $7.32 million a year earlier, as sales declined and costs increased.

PharmaNet Development Group Inc. (PDGI US) fell the most in the Russell 2000, losing 35 percent to $26.99. The medical-testing company that changed its name after a U.S. Senate probe over its treatment of research subjects estimated 2008 earnings per share as high as $1.57. That's short of the average analyst estimate of $1.65, according to a poll by Bloomberg.

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD US) dropped the most since Jan. 23, losing 4.6 percent to $3.34. The U.S. maker of chips and radio systems for mobile phones was cut to ``hold'' from ``buy'' by Jefferies & Co., which citing slowing Chinese demand.

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (TMA US) tumbled the most since Aug. 14, losing 20 percent to $9.24. The mortgage lender that specializes in adjustable-rate loans said it may have to sell assets to meet lenders' demands for increased collateral as prices of mortgage-backed bonds extended declines this month.

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