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. Netflix is making an offer you can't refuse
The second season of Lilyhammer kicks off on Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) today. Like all of the original shows to stream on Netflix, the entire season of episodes is available immediately.
This is a big deal for Netflix. The first season may not have generated a whole lot of buzz, but it was still the dot-com darling's first foray into original programming. With 22 months of seasoning, one would think that the show's audience has grown. And if Lilyhammer doesn't do the trick, the second season of House of Cards is now just two months away.
2. LifeLock goes after your digital wallet
LifeLock (NYSE: LOCK ) has been protecting consumers from identity theft for years, and now it's expanding its reach into digital wallets. LifeLock announced a $42.6 million deal for Lemon, a company whose app lets users store their ID, payment, and loyalty cards on their smartphone.
As a result of the deal, LifeLock is introducing LifeLock Wallet, which is naturally based on Lemon's technology.
LifeLock has been a consistent winner. It has rattled off 34 consecutive quarters of sequential revenue and subscriber growth. Now it's taking a logical evolutionary step to build on its market-leading ID-protection service.
3. It's in the bag
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is expanding its grocery delivery service. The AmazonFresh platform that it perfected in its Seattle home before rolling out in Los Angeles became available in San Francisco this week.
It's not cheap.
AmazonFresh sets customers back $299 a year for same-day or next-day delivery of fresh grocery items. That's a far cry from Amazon's flagship Amazon Prime platform, which costs $79 a year -- but AmazonFresh includes Prime membership.
It's still a smart move. The stiff fee gets consumers to commit to Amazon deliveries, and that will naturally extend beyond groceries.
4. Waiter, there's a tablet in my soup
Applebee's is raising the tech bar in casual dining. DineEquity's (NYSE: DIN ) chain will be installing a tablet on every table next year. This translates into 100,000 tablets being deployed that will let Applebee's customers place orders, play games, and pay the tab at the end of the meal.
The company providing the tech and tablets claims that the tablets lead patrons to order 10% more than they normally do. It also helps speed up the process, turning tablets seven minutes faster. It's a win-win, and it won't be a surprise if other casual-dining chains follow suit.
5. Standard & Poor's accepts Facebook's friend request
It took a lot longer than it should have, but Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) was finally added to the S&P 500. The leading social-networking website was eligible earlier this year, but the stars just finally aligned for the addition.
Facebook doesn't need the distinction. It has already validated its place as one of the country's most valuable companies. However, it doesn't hurt that a bunch of index funds now have to own the stock.
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