Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers: Retail Winner, Loser

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Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets.

Let's go over some of last week's best and worst performers.

Sequenom (SQNM) -- Up 26 percent last week

Shares of Sequenom surged after the company came out on top in a patent dispute with a major rival. Sequenom and Illumina (ILMN) provide genetic analysis, and they came to legal fisticuffs over patents governing the prenatal testing products that they both offer that help detect Down syndrome and other medical conditions. Sequenom emerged victorious, and it will now receive $50 million from Illumina as well as additional payments through 2020.

Francesca's Holdings (FRAN) -- Up 19 percent last week

There were a handful of retailers moving higher after posting encouraging quarterly results, but Francesca's actually won't be reporting until Wednesday of this week. The apparel boutique chain saw its stock pop after announcing a new CEO.

Michael Barnes will take over for Neill Davis. Barnes is a specialty retail veteran, previously having served as CEO of jewelry giant Signet. The market was looking for a change at Francesca's, and it got it.

Taser Systems (TASR) -- Up 16 percent last week

Taser has now posted back-to-back weeks of double-digit percentage gains on growing demand for its products and services. Taser makes the namesake stun guns, but it also is a major player in body-worn cameras for police officers.

Violent and controversial confrontations between police officers and civilians in recent weeks have stirred up demand for wearable cameras that police can seamlessly don on their uniforms, and on Monday we saw President Barack Obama propose an executive order that would allocate $75 million over three years to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of 50,000 body-worn cameras. Taser was already experiencing a healthy uptick in orders for its Axon cameras and contracts for its video storage platform, and that should only grow at this point.

Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) -- Down 39 percent last week

One of the prior week's biggest losers -- Goodrich Petroleum with its 43 percent plunge -- burned investors again this past week with another sharp drop. KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded Goodrich on Monday as the outlook for crude oil prices continues to deteriorate. That's great news for drivers, but it's bad news for the oil producers facing high costs to extract oil and natural gas.

Christopher & Banks (CBK) -- Down 36 percent last week

One of the retailers that went the wrong way last week was Christopher & Banks. The women's apparel chain posted a slide in sales for its latest quarter, with comparable-store sales suffering a 7.6 percent decline when pitted against the prior year's fiscal third quarter.

Christopher & Banks didn't sound very optimistic about the holiday quarter. It sees another decline in sales, and analysts have interpreted its margin guidance as suggesting that it will post a small deficit for the period.

Starz (STRZA) -- Down 13 percent last week

Finally, we have Starz taking a hit on reports that the premium cable channel has failed to smoke out a buyer. Media mogul John Malone has been trying to sell Starz, but streaming trends find consumers turning away from traditional cable and satellite television plans.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Illumina. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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