It was a week of layoffs and buyouts.
Toss it all into a blender and you'll get a prickly smoothie that tugs your taste buds in different directions. If the economy is bouncing back, why are so many companies slashing their workforces? If the economy is about to dip back into a deeper recession, why are companies going on a shopping spree?
The reality rests somewhere in the middle. When an upbeat economic report is followed by a negative reading, the more likely explanation is that they represent extremes. We're seeing that with companies, too. Electronic Arts and Adobe management see weakness in their video game and desktop publishing software industries, so they're hunkering down. Google and HP have the means and ambition to snap back quickly out of the recession, so management doesn't want to bank everything on organic growth.
The mixed messages are here to stay, and we may as well learn to take the good with the bad.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) continues to get good news. Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on the company's debt from "stable" to "positive" as the satellite radio giant's finances and prospects improve.
- Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) is rolling out a beefed-up Bing Video platform. It isn't taking on YouTube, necessarily, because it's simply an aggregator of video clips from other sites.
Until next week, I remain,