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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. Amazon's Prime objective
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) kicked off the week by striking a deal with the United States Postal Service to begin offering Sunday deliveries. This gives Amazon Prime customers placing orders by Friday afternoon the comfort of knowing they don't have to trek out to the mall over the weekend if they don't want to wait until Monday for their shipment.
The new parcel service kicks off this weekend in Los Angeles and New York City, and more cities will be added over time. It's a smart move for Amazon as we head into what will be the shortest holiday-shopping season on record, given the latest possible Thanksgiving holiday this year. Making every Sunday count matters.
Amazon's also giving Amazon Prime members a treat this weekend by debuting the first of the five original shows that viewers voted into production. Alpha House -- a political comedy starring John Goodman -- begins streaming today.
2. SodaStream bears fruit
SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA ) has another big brand hopping on its flavor bandwagon. Produce titan Del Monte will team up with SodaStream to introduce a line of Del Monte-branded syrups for the carbonated beverages made by the soda maker.
This is Del Monte's first push into carbonated beverages after it established itself with juices and nectars worldwide. The offerings will initially include tropical, Caribbean, and orange flavor options.
The move comes at a great time for SodaStream, as it disappointed investors in its latest quarter with weak flavor sales. The actual portable appliances and carbonators are selling briskly, but flavor sales dipped in the U.S. and rose a mere 7% worldwide.
3. Nothing but Netflix
It's not just Amazon making waves in digital media. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) -- the global leader with more than 40 million streaming subscribers -- is sprucing up the interface used by members connecting to the service via gaming consoles, some set-top boxes, or smart TVs.
Self-proclaimed as "the biggest update in Netflix history," the viewing platform does away with the DVD case thumbnails from the past, replacing the sorting and selecting experience with richer graphics and more interactive and social features. It's ultimately about discovery, getting subscribers hooked on to new content. It's a slick update that should help keep churn in check -- if Netflix ever gets around to reporting its churn again.
4. Sony's got game
The battle for supremacy in video game consoles begins today as Sony's (NYSE: SNE ) PS4 hits stores. Sony will have a head start of seven days, as the Xbox One system doesn't hit the market until next Friday. Sony also has the advantage of being $100 cheaper than the new Xbox.
Being early and cheaper aren't necessarily the ingredients of success. Wii U beat both systems by hitting the market a year earlier and at lower price points, but it's been a dud. However, the rich specs of the PS4 and early positive buzz can only help Sony after a few rough years with its TV and consumer electronics businesses.
5. Macy's Pre-Thanksgiving-Day Parade
It didn't seem as if this would be a good year for Macy's (NYSE: M ) after it reported its first quarterly miss in years during the fiscal second quarter. However, the department store chain had one of its biggest pops in years after surprising the market with a strong fiscal third quarter.
Macy's came through with a 31% jump in earnings per share despite resorting to heavy promotional activity to keep its stores busy. Yes, Macy's was busy, with comps clocking in 3.5% higher during what appeared to have been a challenging back-to-school shopping season for many of its rivals. Its guidance for the second half of the fiscal year is now calling for comps to climb 2.5% to 4%, so the pivotal holiday results should be in line with its third quarter's growth.
Well played, Macy's.
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