If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. An iPad app a day
I've never given a lot of thought to Verizon's (NYSE: VZ ) FiOS television service, but it certainly turned my head this week when it announced the upcoming rollout of an app that will let subscribers stream all of the content they can see on their TVs through an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPad.
Sure, this isn't the dream hookup between the two companies that we're truly waiting on. Hordes of smartphone jockeys are dying for Verizon to carry the iPhone. However, this is still going to be a neat offering when it becomes available early next year.
Cable and satellite television providers have been trying to beef up their libraries of video that can be streamed on demand. However, the FiOS iPad program aims to crank out live feeds to subscribers from all of the channels that they are currently paying for.
This also happens to be exactly what the industry needs. Subscriber retention will be a challenge in a Web-centric future, so it's great to see Verizon make its fledgling FiOS service more valuable. Even if only a small fraction of FiOS accounts decide to hop on the streaming bandwagon initially, it should have a favorable impact on churn.
2. Favre isn't the only one back to wearing purple
Internet traffic tracker comScore published its search engine market share metrics for the month of July, and you won't guess which of the three leading players gained market share -- unless I give you three guesses.
It's easy to be skeptical when it comes to comScore data. The marketing research company was raked for its flawed tracking earlier this year, when it was counting certain contextual links on Yahoo! and Bing as actual searches. Well, comScore fixed the oversight by introducing the pure "explicit" metric. Yahoo! still rocked it.
3. Keep on truckin'
YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW ) raised some needed cash, announcing the sale of its logistics business on Monday. The $38.7 million deal may not be enough to keep the trucker from filing for bankruptcy reorganization, but every streamlining deal helps.
There has been improvement at YRC lately. The company's trucking business is showing sequential improvement, and it's posting narrower losses. Anything that buys YRC time -- like this week's deal -- gives shareholders a shot to see the company stick it out until its industry improves.
4. Playing games in China
It was starting to be a lackluster quarter for online gaming companies in China until NetEase.com (Nasdaq: NTES ) lit up the room.
Shares of the Chinese pioneer climbed 12% yesterday, after posting encouraging second-quarter results. Revenue soared 52%, well ahead of analyst expectations. Until that point, the healthiest year-over-year top-line gain from the three gamers that had already reported was a mere 15% spurt.
Earnings clocked in at $0.55 a share but would have easily topped Wall Street's target of $0.58 a share if it wasn't for a $10 million foreign exchange hit.
The big bold asterisk here is that NetEase's growth is due largely to its introduction of World of Warcraft in China. NetEase reintroduced the game on behalf of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI ) late last year. We'll have to wait a couple of more quarters to have an apples to apples -- or orcs to orcs -- comparison. Either way, the online gaming industry in China has been redeemed.
5. Time for a Sirius upgrade
Satellite radio's prospects are apparently out of this world.
Maxim Group upgraded shares of Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) , arguing that improving cash flows should be enough to justify a 40% pop in share price over the next 12 months.
Now that Sirius XM has proven that it can be consistently profitable, the future is a matter of keeping churn and free trial conversions in check. Oh, that and extending Howard Stern's contract wouldn't hurt.