Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers on Wall Street

Financial Markets Wall Street
Richard Drew/AP
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.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) -- Up 36 percent last week

The biggest gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Martha Stewart Living. The crafty lifestyles publisher soared on speculation that it was in talks to be acquired by a retail licensing company. But shares fell Monday, after Sequential Brands Group (SQBG) announced it would buy Martha Stewart's namesake business for $353 million. The cash-and-stock deal values the company at $6.15 a share.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) -- Up 20 percent last week

It will be easier to book a room at a Marriott (MAR) on TripAdvisor. The two struck a partnership deal that will allow Marriott's entire global portfolio of properties to be booked through the online travel website's Instant Booking option, where lodging seekers can reserve a room at one of Marriott's more than 4,200 hotels without leaving TripAdvisor's own site.

The partnership helped push shares of TripAdvisor higher. Expanding its roster of properties that can be booked instantly on its site will naturally make the reviews aggregator more popular when future travelers are researching a hotel stay.

Town Sports International (CLUB) -- Up 17 percent last week

Sometimes all you need is a timely departure to get your stock moving again in the right direction. Town Sports moved higher after announcing its CEO was leaving the company. Some companies would be rattled if they lost a helmsman, but Town Sports has been struggling under the current regime. The market's hoping that the transition could result in either a dynamic new CEO or a buyout offer.

The operator of 158 fitness clubs reported another quarterly loss last month on declining revenue. There are plenty of ways to stay in shape these days, but it's hard for Town Sports to stick around if it keeps building on its streak of six consecutive quarterly deficits.

Avalanche Biotechnologies (AAVL) -- Down 62 percent last week

The market's biggest loser last week was Avalanche, living up to its name when the stock shed nearly two-thirds of its value after a disappointing clinical trial. Avalanche is working on a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of elderly blindness.

Biotechs can be volatile, particularly companies that have so much riding on a single potentially promising treatment's ability to clear the mighty hurdle of FDA approval.

Mindbody (MB) -- Down 17 percent last week

Not every IPO is a winner out of the gate. Mindbody priced its offering at $14 after Thursday's close, but the stock plunged 17 percent on Friday. Mindbody is a provider of cloud-based management solutions for the wellness and fitness industries, but it has struggled to turn a profit despite a client base that's 42,000 businesses deep. I guess you can say that the stock was a downward-facing dog.

Etsy (ETSY) -- Down 14 percent last week

It's been a rough road for Etsy shareholders since it went public at $16 two months ago, nearly doubling to close at $30. Uninspiring results and the threat of Amazon.com (AMZN) rolling out its own arts and crafts marketplace have weighed on the stock, and now it's trading below its IPO price.

Etsy seemed to have a chance to bounce back on Tuesday when it announced a new crowdsourcing platform, but the excitement didn't even last until the end of the trading day. Etsy shares declined every single day last week.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and TripAdvisor. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Etsy, Inc., and TripAdvisor. 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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