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. Green soup
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR ) has been playing up the different uses of its Keurig machine; but now it's getting a food giant that's willing to play along. The Keurig company announced a deal to offer Campbell's soups in K-Cup portion packs.
It may not sound savory at first. The broth is brewed just as java, and packets contain dry pasta and veggie garnishes that are added later. The first three flavors will hit the market next year, so it's too early for a taste test.
Even if it's merely adequate, it will make Keurig brewers that much more essential in the kitchen, hotel, or corporate break room. There's nothing soupy about those sales.
Samsung's entry isn't really a surprise, and if anything, the real shock here is that it won't immediately work with most Android devices. Even this year's Galaxy S4 smartphone isn't compatible at the moment, though updates will probably change that.
Qualcomm's Toq was a welcome surprise. It isn't cheap at $300, but it will work on a broader range of Android devices. More importantly, it will be Qualcomm's way to show off its Mirasol display. The reflective technology holds up well in sunlight, yet is a light sipper of battery juice (unlike Samsung's similarly priced entry).
It's better to be early than late to the promising smartwatch market, and Qualcomm's showing up with a device that is marginally more fashionable than the competition, reasonably functional, and shows off its proprietary technology. Nice.
3. Nothing but Netflix
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) is being treated to new targets, just as it closes in on its biggest target of all. Shares of the leading video service hit a fresh 52-week high on Thursday, closing in on its all-time high of $304.79 that it hit two summers ago.
Analysts are paying attention, as two of them bumped their price targets higher. RBC Capital Markets' Mark Mahaney is nudging his goal from $280, to $330. Morgan Stanley's Scott Devitt is boosting his target from $270, to $314.
Yes, both price targets imply that Netflix will hit an all-time high soon. That didn't seem likely when the stock was meandering in the double digits last year.
4. Driven to win
August was a great month for automakers, and General Motors (NYSE: GM ) made the most of it. GM continues to claw its way back with U.S. retail auto sales soaring 22% last month. That's not only GM's best month since the government bailout, but it was actually better than the still impressive 17% pop in total new vehicle sales in this country. A whopping 1.5 million new cars and trucks were sold across all carmakers in August.
Whether it's the improving economy, or the pesky fuel prices forcing drivers to trade in their cars for more energy efficient rides, the auto industry is firing on all cylinders these days.
5. Kindle stick
It's not just new iPhones that we'll be getting this month. Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) introduced the sixth generation of its Kindle e-reader this week. The new Kindle Paperwhite offers an improved display, the next generation of its built-in light, and other enhancements. The e-reader starts at $119.
It was just six years ago that Amazon was trying to woo consumers with the somewhat awkward-looking Kindle at a $399 price point. The technology has gotten better and substantially cheaper. It's safe to say that e-books and digital reads are here to stay.
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