This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right this week.

Jan 17, 2014 at 5:15PM

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. Apple takes a bite out China
China Mobile 
finally began offering Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iconic iPhone today. China Mobile is the world's most populous nation's top wireless carrier, and the two sides had been negotiating for years to make the iPhone available.

The iPhone has been available for years through China Mobile's two smaller rivals, so one has to be realistic about the potential. If someone really wanted an iPhone in China, switching to China's second- or third-largest carrier would've done the trick. That seems to bear out, with a Wall Street Journal report earlier this week claiming that Foxconn was shipping just 1.4 million iPhones to China Mobile this week to cover preorders and initial supply. China Mobile has a whopping 763.3 million customers, and 181.1 million are smartphone owners. Foxconn's initial shipment would represent less than 1% of China Mobile's 3G customer base.

Then again, this is incremental business for Apple. The two companies are also in talks about working closer together to expand their opportunities in China. It's a good day and week for Apple.

2. Tesla powers Santa's sleigh
It was a solid holiday quarter for Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla revealed that it sold and delivered 6,900 cars during the quarter. Back in November, Tesla had expected to deliver slightly less than 6,000 cars during the period.

Tesla naysayers were quick to suggest that demand was waning after the company delivered just 5,500 Model S sedans during the third quarter, and 1,000 of those were shipped out to Europe to begin fulfilling demand overseas. 

Tesla is now ramping up production, and demand seems to be keeping up with the accelerating pace.

3. Netflix calls out Marco, and subscribers answer back Polo
There's more original content coming to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Marco Polo -- a nine-episode series that was originally developed for Starz -- will stream on Netflix later this year. Some may call it a Game of Thrones set in 13th-century China, but it's probably worth mentioning that the shows share an executive producer.

Netflix has become a magnetic destination for leading studios and directors to offer up their content. You didn't have to see Robin Wright win the Golden Globe on Sunday for House of Cards -- Netflix's first, but likely not its last -- to know that.

4. Nest in peace
The initial reaction to Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) shelling out $3.2 billion for Nest Labs could have been that the search engine giant was overpaying for a company with little more than a thermostat and a smoke detector that can be programmed through smartphones and adapt to usage.

However, this Google is actually staking its claim in the smart home of the future. Automation will continue to be a big part of home life, and Google finds itself in a market leadership position with Nest Labs on its side.

It sure beats having to worry about what a tech rival could do if it bought Nest Labs out.

5. Driven to yield signs
For the first time in six years, General Motors (NYSE:GM) investors will receive a dividend check. The automaker has pulled off nearly four years of quarterly profitability, proving that it has overcome the dire conditions that led it to receive a government bailout.

The quarterly payout rate of $0.30 per share broke down to a yield of nearly 3% when it was announced. That's one way to make sure the company's driving on the right side of the road.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, General Motors, Google, Netflix, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, China Mobile, Google, Netflix, and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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