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Market Scramble: To beat market lull, investors go small-cap

Solid earnings burnish startups' appeal

TOKYO -- Japan's smaller-cap stocks are shining while blue chips tread water, drawing investors with the promise of strong earnings and the thrill of movement in a sluggish market.

The Nikkei Stock Average changed little Wednesday, slipping just 0.01% to 19,379. But the Nikkei Jasdaq Stock Average picked up 0.24% to hit 2,966 on the ninth straight day of gains, and turnover on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's startup-focused Mothers board topped 100 billion yen ($881 million) for the eighth day in a row.

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