Small-cap stocks trailed the rest of the market Tuesday, but among these, a few health care names excelled nonetheless.

For instance, New Jersey's Pharmos ( PARS) was one of today's best-performing stocks overall, surging 37.3% after its cannabinor treatment achieved the primary endpoint of a phase IIa trial. The cannabinoid -- a synthetic compound chemically related to marijuana -- yielded statistically significant results in post-operative pain relief. Shares gained 56 cents to $2.06.

Symbion ( SMBI) vaulted 17.9% to $22.43 after the Nashville, Tenn., surgical-facilities operator agreed to sell itself to private-equity firm Crestview Partners for $22.35 a share. The $637 million deal (including debt assumption) should close in the third quarter. And biotech Halozyme Therapeutics ( HTI) shares leapt 11.1% to $9.94 after the company agreed to sell 3.5 million newly minted company shares to New River Management at a premium of $9.17 apiece.

Elsewhere, California's Irvine Sensors ( IRSN) surged 27.3% to $1.68 after its Optex Systems unit received more than $9 million in new orders for its military optical systems. These should begin shipping in the second half of fiscal 2007. Firearms maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. ( RGR) climbed 11.5% to $13.44 after first-quarter income ratcheted up more than sevenfold from last year to 36 cents a share, or $8.1 million.

Volterra Semiconductor ( VLTR), meanwhile, gained 10.8% to $16.44 after first-quarter earnings added a penny on last year to 7 cents a share, squaring with Wall Street targets, according to Thomson Financial. House of Taylor Jewelry ( HOTJ), based in West Hollywood, Calif., brought in more than six times higher fourth-quarter 2006 sales year over year. Shares leapt 7.6% to $2.40.

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