Small-cap stocks ready to get a boost from the month of January – (FRAN, SCSS, EDU, PBY)

Small-cap companies are set to get a boost from something that in the past has been responsible for about all outperformance over large-cap rivals: the month of January. However, most institutional investors might be unable to take advantage of this boost. The January effect plays role as a sort of nitrous oxide injection to the hot rods of small-capitalization stocks: U.S. small caps have delivered average returns of 2.29% in January from 1927 to 2011, and that was more than triple that of the next best month, February, at 0.72%.

Significantly, Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FRAN) latest price of $26.81 is at a discount of 5.54% to its 200-day moving average price of $28.73. Its 52-week range has been $15.96 to $37.09; it is trading at a discount of 27.72% to its 52-week high and a premium of 67.98% to its 52-week low. The company today reported higher-than-expected Q3 results and forecast.

New Oriental Education & Tech Grp (ADR) (NYSE:EDU) saw its price fall on above-normal volume, as 10.98 million shares changed hands when compared with its average daily volume of 2.39 million shares. The stock was down -10.72% to $18.08 after Wells Fargo & Co. said the education services provider is at risk of being delisted. It has fallen over the last 12 months, dropping -25.32% and marked new low $9.41 on Jul 18, 2012. At the end of recent trade, the stock has moved down across its SMA 200 of $18.36.

Select Comfort Corp. (NASDAQ:SCSS) traded up on a volume of 1.15 million, higher than its standard daily volume. Shares have advanced 5.25% to $27.67. Over the last twelve months, the stock has gained 43.29% and faced a worst price of $18.54 on Dec 15, 2012. The stock has moved up across its 50-day moving average of $27.49.

In the last trading session, The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) was down on high volume, trading at a volume of 4.59 versus its average daily volume of 433,824.00 shares. At $9.57, the stock has lost momentum as shares are down -38.10% from a peak price of $15.46 on Feb 06, 2012. The stock is trading at -7.46% of its 20-day moving average and -6.40% of its 50-day moving average.

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