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. Sirius upgrade
Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI ) have been losing steam lately, and at least one opportunistic analyst thinks that the sell-off presents a buying opportunity.
Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar upgraded the satellite radio monopoly -- from equal weight to overweight -- arguing that bearish concerns about Sirius XM's subscriber growth are overblown. He's sticking to his $4 price target, but the recent weakness in the shares make it a more compelling trade than it was when it was trading above that mark late last year.
Venkateshwar is forecasting free cash flow to grow at an annualized 18% clip between now and 2016 with healthier growth on a per-share basis as Sirius XM continues its aggressive buybacks.
2. All the news that's fit to iPrint
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) made waves with September's introduction of iTunes Radio, but now the platform isn't just about music.
NPR announced on Monday that it will be the first news station available on Apple's free ad-supported streaming service. NPR's channel on iTunes Radio will feature streams of Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and hourly newscasts around the clock.
It's true that NPR is freely available through several sources, but what's important here is that it opens the door and legitimizes Apple as more than just a rookie in the streaming audio market.
3. Mr. Softy finally hops on the iPad bandwagon
It's been a long road to resignation, but Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) finally realizes that holding off on making its Office productivity suite available on Apple's iPad is a losing game. The software giant finally introduced Office for iPad this week.
Clearly, it's quite late to the game. It took too long to conclude that Office alone wasn't going to make Windows a contender among mobile operating systems. However, the realization itself is worth applauding, even if the ship may have sailed on Microsoft's prolific software suite.
4. Twit or tweet
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) is hoping to make its platform stickier with enhancements to its photo platform. Folks have been sharing snapshots on Twitter since shortly after its inception, but now the social media darling will let users tag fellow Twitter members in uploaded photographs. Twitter is also letting users include as many as four photos in a single post.
The viral magic of tagging isn't lost on Twitter, and it remains to be seen if this -- or the prospects of a four-snap slideshow -- truly move the needle. However, given Twitter's massive base of active users, it certainly has a better chance of working than not.
5. Taco Bell wakes up a sleeping clown
Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) went national with its Taco Bell breakfast menu this week, and the quick-service Mexican food chain isn't afraid to clown around. Taco Bell's ad promoting its new morning menu that features the headline-grabby Waffle Taco and other eggy entrees is calling out Mickey D's by name.
Taco Bell's breakfast commercial stars several real people named Ronald McDonald. They then naturally gush about the chain's new items as paid endorsers.
It remains to be seen if Taco Bell can make a dent in the breakfast business, but giving rushed morning commuters another outlet for grub with drive-thru convenience seems like a good start.
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