It was rough for the S&P 500, as the benchmark lost 3.8% last week to close at 1,079.25 amid more signs that the global recovery may be slowing. The Federal Reserve fueled worries that the recovery could be on shaky ground after confirming it would use proceeds from its mortgage-backed securities holdings to purchase more long-term U.S. Treasuries. The S&P, along with the other major indexes, are now in the red for the year.

Pops and drops
Here are the five biggest S&P 500 increases and the five biggest S&P 500 drops of last week (measured Friday close to Friday close):



Percentage Gain

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM)




MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR)


General Mills (NYSE: GIS)


Macy's (NYSE: M)


Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's).



Percentage Loss

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)




Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ)


Jabil Circuit


Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM)


Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's).

A closer look
Investors cheered Akamai Technologies' move to partner with Brightcove, an online video platform provider with a high-profile client list that's known for coming up with out-of-the box solutions for handling video content. The partnership combines Akamai's HD network with Brightcove's online video platform to improve delivery of high-quality video, which has a tendency to load slower because the data transfer is typically so large, it can get backed up in the Internet's circulatory system. Foolish colleague Anders Bylund maintains the contract provides a strong marketing opportunity for Akamai as it tries to establish itself as the No. 1 provider for dislodging online traffic jams of large data files. If things go well, Bylund predicts that Akamai could downright buy Brightcove.

Also on the upside last week, Macy's showed that it's bucking the trend in the slowing recovery after reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings that topped analysts' forecasts. Importantly, total sales and same-store sales rose in the quarter, compared with declines for both measures in the same period last year. Macy's is benefiting from a strategy to customize merchandise to local markets. The company raised its outlook for full-year earnings and same-store sales growth, but cautioned that the economy remains uncertain. Macy's serves as a broad barometer for consumer spending. Let's see if the retailer can continue to buck the trend.

On the downside, shares of chipmaker AMD took it on the chin last week after analyst downgrades on waning PC sales and orders, calling into question AMD's outlook.

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Fool contributor Jennifer Schonberger does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. You can follow her on Twitter. Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.