Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers: Vale, Skechers

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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.

Vale (VALE) -- Up 35 percent last week

The biggest gainer on the New York Stock Exchange last week was Vale. The Brazilian commodity titan soared after announcing record iron ore production through the first three months of the year.

This doesn't mean that Vale is a rock star again. Like many commodity companies, Vale investors have been pummeled. The stock continues to trade at a little more than half of where it was a year ago. Strong production is great, but the real question the market will ultimately ask is how much it can sell it for in the future.

Skechers (SKX) -- Up 22 percent last week

The athletic footwear maker laced up and started running after a strong quarter in which it exceeded Wall Street's sales and profit targets. It also only helped that its chief operating officer appeared on Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" to discuss his company's prospects. Shares of Skechers went on to hit a new 52-week high. (AMZN) -- Up 19 percent last week

Shares of the leading online shopping site soared after it posted blowout quarterly results. Net sales climbed 15 percent since the prior year's first quarter -- but it would have been a 22 percent pop if it weren't for foreign currency fluctuations.

Amazon did post a quarterly deficit, making this the third time in the past four quarters that the e-tail behemoth has delivered red ink on the bottom line. However, the market dismissed the loss after hearing that its Amazon Web Services arm turned a fat profit.

Amazon helps companies deliver cloud-hosted applications through its growing fleet of servers, and it was believed by many that the dot-com darling was doing this at a loss. It isn't. Amazon chose to break out the performance of Amazon Web Services for the first time, announcing that it registered net income of $265 million on $1.57 billion in revenue in that subsidiary.

HomeAway (AWAY) -- Down 17 percent last week

It could be a staycation for HomeAway investors after the vacation property booking specialist posted slowing sales growth and a smaller than expected adjusted profit. Weakness in its European subscription business as it transitions to a price-per-booking model weighed on results. HomeAway is also shaking up its leadership, with a couple of executives leaving the company.

DeVry (DV) -- Down 14 percent last week

It's been a school of hard knocks for the for-profit post-secondary educators lately (Corinthian College announced Sunday that it's closing its last 28 campuses), and this time it was DeVry's turn to flunk out. The career molder posted disappointing quarterly results with a small dip in revenue and a much larger decline in profitability.

There's been growth in DeVry's medical schools, and its overseas expansion has proven incremental. However, there were just 36,188 total undergraduate students at DeVry's namesake campuses, 15 percent fewer than there were a year earlier.

3D Systems (DDD) -- Down 14 percent last week

The market's no longer impressed with 3-D printing, and fallen darling 3D Systems continues to move lower. It sealed its fate last week by warning that it will fall short of its initial projections for the recently concluded quarter. An uptick in consumer and metal products hasn't been enough to offset a slowdown in orders from industrial companies in the aerospace and automotive markets.

3D Systems was on fire a couple of years ago. The stock more than tripled in 2012, only to go on to more than double a year later. Then the helium was let out of the hype balloon, leading to 3D Systems sinking through 2014 as growth decelerated. Things aren't getting any better for 3D Systems shareholders in 2015.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems,, and HomeAway. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems,, and Vale. 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.