Small-cap stocks pulled ahead of the broader market Monday, helped along by good news from the health sector.

Among the best-performing stocks was

Luna Innovations

(LUNA) - Get Report

, which rocketed 69% to $5.07 in very active trading after the Food and Drug Administration


the Virginia-based company's Edac Quantifier product. The device detects gaseous emboli, or air bubbles, that can enter the bloodstream and cause brain damage during invasive medical procedures.

Californian biotech


(AGEN) - Get Report

soared 32% to $3.35 after saying a late-phase study of its Oncophage cancer vaccine yielded "clinically significant" results in recurrence-free survival for patients with kidney cancer.

The Russell 2000 was leaping 1.4% to 835.08 partly thanks to another biotech, the lately beleaguered



. Shares of the Seattle-based company took back 12.7% to $6.84 on word it will cut about 18% of its workforce for a charge of up to $1.8 million.

Also propping up the index was Houston's

Pioneer Cos.


, a maker of chlorine and other products that vaulted 16.2% to $34.14 after

agreeing to sell itself



(OLN) - Get Report

for $35 a share in cash. Olin lately gained 2.5% to $19.48.

Also climbing were fellow Russell 2000 members

Shuffle Master



SiRF Technology

( SIRF) -- lately up 6.9% and 2.3%, respectively -- on positive analyst research.

Las Vegas-based Shuffle Master, a gambling-equipment maker, was upped to peer perform from underperform at Bear Stearns on valuation. Meanwhile, an American Technology Research analyst stamped SiRF with a buy rating, citing his belief that the San Jose, Calif., company will remain a market leader in global-positioning-system chipsets and that its new wireless GPS offerings present "significant opportunity" that has been mispriced by investors.

Shuffle Master supported the


SmallCap 600 Index, which recently bounced 6.12 points, or 1.4%, to 434.32.

One of the day's biggest small-cap losers, however, was


( NTBK). Shares plummeted 68.6% to 55 cents after the Georgia-based online bank said it will take a hit of between $60 million and $70 million in an asset-purchase and liability-assumption transaction with EverBank. NetBank is selling its held-for-investment loan portfolio and its small-business-equipment-leasing operations, among other assets, and is also shutting down its struggling third-party mortgage-origination business.

Georgia Gulf


, maker of vinyl-based building products, was off 3% to $18.41 on a Matrix Research downgrade to sell, and technical-software developer



slid 21.6% to $2.78 after first-quarter earnings fell by a nickel from last year to 23 cents a share.