Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers: Janus, Green Dot and More

Morningstar Conference With Bill Gross Of PIMCO
Tim Boyle/Bloomberg/Getty ImagesJanus Capital stock surge when the firm hired investing guru Bill Gross.

In any given week, some stocks are sure to shoot up, and others will plummet. The big gainers inspire us to keep investing. The presence of the decliners keeps our 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.

Janus Capital Group (JNS) -- Up 41 percent last week

One of last week's biggest gainers was Janus, soaring on Friday after mutual fund manager Bill Gross announced that he would be leaving Pimco to join Janus. It's a big deal for Gross, who managed to grow Pimco's Total Return Fund to $222 billion in assets under management over the past 43 years.

Landing Gross would be a great catch for any fund family, but it's particularly sweet for Janus since its strength in the past has been its stock funds. The arrival of Gross should find a lot of fixed income investors flocking to Janus.

Green Dot (GDOT) -- Up 16 percent last week

Prepaid debit card leader Green Dot got the green light from investors after teaming up with Walmart (WMT) for the retailer's new GoBank low-cost mobile checking platform. Teaming up with Green Dot's prepaid mastery gives it a way to start serving less-affluent customers without taking on gobs of risk.

At the end of the day, the market likes Green Dot's potential as the world's largest retailer puts some marketing muscle behind the initiative.

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

Giving the disabled hope has made ReWalk Robotics a winner since it went public a couple of weeks ago. It provides a robotic exoskeleton for folks with spinal cord injuries, allowing them to stand up and walk through powered hip and knee controls.

It's not cheap, as you can probably imagine. The exoskeleton can reportedly run as high as $85,000. However, ReWalk got a boost last week after a major German insurance company became the first insurer to agree to reimburse a patient going for ReWalk's procedure.

Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) -- Down 20 percent last week

Ascena lost nearly a fifth of its value after posting disappointing quarterly results. Ascena may not be a household name, but mall shoppers are probably familiar with its Dressbarn and Lane Bryant clothing stores.

Earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations on negative comparable-store sales trends, and the rest of the year isn't looking any better. Ascena is now forecasting a profit of 90 cents a share to $1 a share for its fiscal year, well short of the $1.24 a share that analysts had been betting on before the report.

InvenSense (INVN) -- Down 15 percent last week

InvenSense took a hit last week after an analyst downgraded the stock of the leading maker of motion-processing chips. R.W. Baird took its rating from outperform to neutral, slashing its price target from $30 to $23 on fears that cutthroat competitors are finding their way into more smartphones and tablets. InvenSense continues to grow at a healthy rate, but it has been nearly a year since it has beaten analyst estimates on quarterly profitability.

Sears Holdings (SHLD) -- Down 10 percent last week

Hard times continue for Sears and Kmart parent Sears Holdings. The week began with the New York Post reporting that plans for Sears to sell its Canadian operations are falling short, with no potential buyer submitting an acceptable bid after examining its financials. That was followed a few days later by the resignation of Sears Canada's CEO.

Another vote of no confidence came later in the week when it was revealed that the reeling retailer's second-largest investor did not participate in a $400 million loan to shore up its capital ahead of the critical holiday shopping season.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of InvenSense. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.To read about our favorite high-yielding dividend stocks for any investor, check out our free report.