Small-cap stocks mostly hugged the flatline Monday before heading south midafternoon amid plummeting names such as

Standard Pacific

(SPF)

, which tripped on a couple of pieces of news.

The Irvine, Calif., homebuilder proposed to offer $100 million in convertible senior bonds that Moody's rated at B2, or junk, for very high risk. Underwriters have an option for another $15 million worth to cover overallotments.

Standard Pacific also eliminated its quarterly cash dividend, last set at 4 cents a share. Resultant annual savings are projected at around $10 million. Shares lost 14% to $6.95 to cramp both the Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600, which both lately sank around 1%.

Joining Standard Pacific on the downside was

Sonus Pharmaceuticals

( SNUS), shares of which fell some 83% in furious trading after the Bothell, Wash., company effectively

halted development of Tocosol paclitaxel. The proposed cancer drug failed a pivotal late-phase study on breast cancer patients. Sonus said it won't seek regulatory approval on the drug and expects to terminate the related partnership with German drugmaker Bayer Schering Pharma. Sonus shares gave up $3.62 to 73 cents.

But

C-COR

( CCBL) propelled 22% higher on M&A news. The State College, Pa., company -- a purveyor of management systems and services for broadband networks -- announced late Sunday that

Arris

(ARRS) - Get Report

had agreed to

buy it out for roughly $730 million in cash and stock, or $13.75 a share. The companies say this represents a 19% premium to C-COR's prior 30-day trading average. The deal should close in January. C-COR shares gained $2.17 to $12.05; Arris plunged 17.3% to $11.80.

Medical-device maker

Kensey Nash

( KNSY) announced a $25 million share-repurchase program and said its top and bottom lines for the fiscal first quarter will probably be at the high end of previously issued guidance, which had called for EPS of 12 cents to 14 cents a share (minus a one-time charge) on revenue of $17 million to $17.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial are looking for 9 cents a share on $17.6 million in sales. Shares of the Exton, Pa., company climbed 4.9% to $26.05.

And

Savient Pharmaceuticals

(SVNT)

, of East Brunswick, N.J., continued riding high following Friday's upgrade at Cowen & Co., after filing a universal shelf registration statement for the periodic sale of up to $200 million of stock, warrants and debt. Savient says it will likely put any proceeds toward R&D costs and potential acquisitions, among other general corporate purposes. Shares added 72 cents, or 5.1%, to $14.81.