After taking quite a hit last week, dropping 2.6 percent, the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies rebounded, gaining 1.4 percent.


Leading the way was Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc., which surged 43 percent after being upgraded by an investment firm. Shares in the Los Angeles real estate company closed the week at $2.80.


Also gaining ground was Cogent Inc., which added 16 percent to $11.97 after the Pasadena-based biometric identification equipment maker posted strong first quarter earnings.


Lastly, shares in beleaguered lender Countrywide Financial Crop. gained 12 percent to $5.26 after the Calabasas-based company announced it has settled three lawsuits meant to block the company's acquisition by Bank of America Corp., which investors now seem confident will be completed.


Losing ground were local banks FirstFed Financial Corp., which shed 14 percent to $14.74, and Beverly Hills Bancorp, which shed 10 percent to $2.50, amid investor concern for constricting capital for region banks. Shares in Santa Monica-based FirstFed have lost 78 percent in the past year while Calabasas-based Beverly Hills Bancorp have dropped 64 percent over the same span.


Lastly, sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet Inc. slipped ahead of its fourth quarter and annual results report on June 3. Investors didn't appear optimistic, sending shares in the La Canada-based company down 11 percent to $4.31.

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