A spate of strong earnings announcements from small and mid-cap companies triggered a buying spree yesterday on lower-tier stocks during an overall market rally. Joyce Boutique Holdings was the best-performing stock in the local market, up 52.5 per cent to 93 HK cents after announcing late on Friday that its interim profit increased tenfold to HK$40.4 million. More than HK$250 million worth of its shares changed hands yesterday. Chevalier International Holdings unveiled interim profit of HK$513.7 million, up sixfold from the previous period. The conglomerate jumped as much as 19.5 per cent in the morning before finishing up 12.8 per cent at HK$9.81 per share. 'These third line and fourth line stocks are feeling the improvement now,' said Ricky Tam Siu-hing, chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Investors. 'It's kind of a pattern in a bull market where big blue chips move up first and then second line and third line and fourth line.' Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index kicked into gear in early September, driven by liquidity inflows from overseas and positive economic data from around the region. The blue-chips barometer has cooled off this month, however, only up 0.3 per cent so far. Meanwhile, Joyce Boutique has rallied 141.6 per cent in November. Chevalier International has climbed 16.9 per cent after slumping 4.7 per cent in the previous two months. New Island Printing Holdings has also surged this month, rising 188.1 per cent to HK$7.49. It tacked on 29.1 per cent yesterday after announcing late on Friday that its net profit increased 9.4 per cent to HK$13.8 million in the six months ended on September 30. Despite the positive momentum for some of these lower-tier stocks, however, they are still susceptible to volatile swings, Tam said.