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. The marketplace is the message
Shares of eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) took a 4% hit on Monday after announcing a $2.4 billion deal for GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC ) .
The market obviously doesn't like the move, but I sure do. I called it earlier this year.
"If eBay has helped launch cottage industries, GSI Commerce provides the e-tail tools for merchants to kick things up a notch," I wrote back in January, offering up GSI Commerce as one of four logical buyout candidates for eBay.
One can always argue that eBay is paying too rich a premium for GSI Commerce, but the grim reality is that eBay's namesake marketplace has been flattish in recent quarters. This is just the kind of spark it needs to forge deeper integration into e-commerce.
2. Get off of my cloud
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) beat the other tech darlings by launching a cloud-based music service on Tuesday.
Amazon Cloud Player gives music buffs on the go access to their music collections everywhere they can nab an online connection. Users can upload a full five gigabytes of songs for free, enough for more than 1,000 songs. They can then stream the tunes through an Android app or a computer browser.
Die-hard aficionados who have thousands of songs can pony up $20 a year for 20 gigabytes. In a brilliant move, Amazon won't charge users to store any albums purchased from Amazon's MP3 store. In short, it's a great way for Amazon to grow its market share in digital music sales while also throwing out a wider consumer net for its popular Web services.
Amazon was getting some grief from a few record labels over streaming rights, but that's just sour grapes over a high-tech digital locker service. The major labels haven't been known to make the best decisions these days, and now they're biting the hand that streams them.
Well played, Amazon.
3. All the world's a stage
Everybody seems to like big cinematic events. Fresh from inking a joint-venture deal to retrofit 75 multiplex screens in China last week, IMAX (NYSE: IMAX ) announced the sale of eight systems to a leading Russian exhibitor and a smaller four-screen deal in India.
IMAX will have 46 screens in Russia by 2014, making it the company's third largest market after the United States and China.
Sucker Punch: The IMAX Experience may have been sucker-punched by critical reviewers this past weekend, but the company's long-term story remains intact. IMAX's growing global network will make it more lucrative for theatrical releases to support the premium IMAX experience. It also isn't too shabby that IMAX screens accounted for more than 20% of Sucker Punch's domestic box office take this past weekend, despite playing on a much smaller percentage of screens.
4. Owe Canada
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) is shrinking and growing in Canada.
Shrinking? The video rental giant has introduced an option for compressed data, allowing Canadians to receive digital video files that are roughly a third of their current size, but without sacrificing a whole lot in quality. The monthly smorgasbord's pricing will remain the same -- the tweak's designed to help Canadian subscribers sensitive to the country's tiered data plans. Stateside investors may want to take note, given recent rumblings of bandwidth caps from domestic broadband providers.
Growing? Netflix struck a licensing deal with Viacom's (NYSE: VIA ) Paramount to offer up 350 of its more popular titles -- including Iron Man 2 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- in Canada over the next five years. Netflix doesn't offer optical discs in Canada, making the dot-com darling's digital library even more important.
5. No more salt in these wounds
Gulf Resources (Nasdaq: GFRE ) was one of last week's biggest losers, after the Chinese maker of bromine, crude salt, and specialty chemical products retracted a misstatement about the projected capacity of a leased facility. However, Gulf Resources shares bounced back into fancy after putting out robust guidance and earning a bullish analyst rating.
Gulf Resources now sees revenue growth of 24% and net income climbing 27% this year, based on the midpoints of its guidance. A Brean Murray, Carret & Co. analyst initiated coverage with a buy rating and a $10 price target.
Ten bucks may not seem like a lot, but it's plenty for a stock that hit a fresh 52-week low of $5.50 earlier in the week.