Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers

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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.

Tuesday Morning (TUES) -- Up 37 percent last week

Shares of Tuesday Morning may have shed more than a third of their value a week earlier after posting crummy quarterly results, but an analyst upgrade turned the discount retailer's fortunes around.

Stifel analyst Taylor LaBarr boosted his firm's rating on the stock from hold to buy, setting a price target of $9 in light of the prior week's sell-off. Yes, it was a bad report. Tuesday Morning lowered its guidance, and earlier this year replaced a popular CEO. LaBarr believes that Tuesday Morning's healthy balance sheet buys it plenty of time to turn things around.

ITT Educational Services (ESI) -- Up 26 percent last week

Shares of the for-profit post-secondary educator moved sharply higher after the company came out on top in the courtroom, succeeding in overturning the suspension imposed by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education. A state court judge issued a tentative final ruling deeming the suspension unlawful and the move to suspend ITT Tech was subsequently dropped by the agency.

Big Lots (BIG) -- Up 18 percent last week

Tuesday Morning wasn't the only retailer coming up big for investors last week. Big Lots moved higher after the superstore chain specializing in closeouts and overstocks posted better-than-expected financial results. Big Lots also raised its guidance, a strong indicator that the good times should continue.

Vital Therapeutics (VTL) -- Down 81 percent last week

Last week's biggest sinker was Vital Therapeutics, shedding more than four-fifths of its value after announcing crushing news on a once-promising potential liver failure treatment. The biotherapeutic developer announced that the phase three clinical trials for its cell-based therapy tackling alcohol-induced liver compression failed to meet primary goals for patient survival.

Biotechs are feast or famine that way, particularly small ones like Vital Therapeutics, for which so much is riding on a treatment's approval.

Daktronics (DAKT) -- Down 26 percent last week

It was another big quarterly report miss for Daktronics. The scoreboard maker saw revenue clock in lower than a year earlier, and profitability was shaved by more than half. Free cash flow also turned negative.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Daktronics has fallen short on the bottom line for four quarters in a row. A silver lining here is that the backlog of pending orders actually inched higher during the quarter. We'll see if that pays off in the near future.

ReWalk Robotics (RWLK) -- Down 12 percent last week

Finally, we have ReWalk taking a hit after Amit Goffer -- its founder, president and chief technology officer -- announced that he would retire in November. Goffer has one of the more inspiring stories in entrepreneurship. An ATV accident made him a quadriplegic, leading him to work on a wearable robotic device that allows many people who can't otherwise walk the ability to walk.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Big Lots. 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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