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. Making a deal with the Diablo
After a few false starts, Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI ) finally launched its real-money marketplace for its Diablo III game.
Players can now visit the PC game's Auction House, where virtual loot can be bought or sold for real money. Activision Blizzard takes a 15% cut of any money that is cashed out by gamers, giving the country's largest video game company a real incentive to make the marketplace work.
Activision Blizzard is also teaming up with analytics firm Flurry to develop a third-party publishing platform for mobile games. The company has been criticized for its lack of commitment to the growing casual and social gaming markets, but it's becoming a digital heavyweight in a hurry now.
2. A census taker tried to question me once
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) continues to pad its Prime Instant Video library.
The online retailer inked a licensing agreement with MGM to add hundreds of classic movies and TV shows to the catalog that it makes available to members of Amazon's Prime loyalty shopping program. The move will add Hollywood classics including The Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, and the Stargate sci-fi series.
There are now more than 18,000 titles in the Prime Instant Video vault. Amazon is smart in continuing to build up its digital offerings as part of its $79-a-year subsidized shipping plan. Media is going from physical to digital delivery, and this way Amazon gets to keep customers close and interested during the migration process.
3. Sirius sees stars in secondhand satellite receivers
There's nothing sadder than a dormant satellite receiver for Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) , and the satellite radio provider has spent the past few years providing financial incentives to used-car dealers in exchange for bringing in new customers.
Sirius XM's latest deal is with Penske Automotive. Buyers of pre-owned cars that have factory-installed receivers at any of Penske's dealerships will get three free months of satellite radio.
It's a big deal. Penske's empire reaches out to prospective satellite-radio subscribers through 154 franchises at 119 dealerships. Since these cars already have receivers, there are no hardware investments and acquisition costs are minimal.
4. An Apple a day
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) drew another sellout crowd to its WWDC '12 powwow for developers, though media outlets were just as interested to see how the first of these annual conferences since Steve Jobs' passing would go.
There were no seismic announcements on the upcoming iPhone 5 or the inevitable iTV, but Apple fans now have plenty of new MacBooks and even Mac Pros to choose from.
The company also introduced some of the bar-raising features of the iOS 6 update to its mobile operating system that will be made available in the fall. If turn-by-turn navigation, FaceTime video chatting over cellular networks, and shared photo streams sound appetizing, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
5. The electric slide
Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA ) was on the receiving end of some Wall Street loving yesterday.
Lazard Capital initiated coverage of the electric car maker with a buy rating and an ambitious $42 price target.
It may seem to be an odd call, coming at a time when plug-in electrics are struggling to move off the showroom floor and gas prices have been surprisingly dropping ahead of the meaty summer travel season.
However, Lazard Capital's analyst is fully aware that deliveries of Tesla's game-changing Model S begin a week from today. Getting in ahead of the moment when the somewhat reasonably priced head-turning sedans hit the road is a good call.
Keep it coming
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