Cue the Imperial March
In the Star Wars timeline, this would be when the Empire strikes back. Online juggernauts like eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) had meandered through most of 2006. Investors were starting to see them as aging child stars, far removed from their initial years of fame.

Well, all three stepped up to the earnings podium this past week and -- like clockwork -- collectively obliterated expectations.

There was a little swagger in their step. Each stock bolted higher the day after its company's report. There was a whiff of 1999 in the air, though I have to admit that the Kool-Aid is a whole lot tastier, now that they're sprinkling in some of that sweet, sweet profitability.

The black ink truly makes things different this time. Even Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), the Java junkie and server stalwart that hadn't turned a profit in nearly two years, came through with positive earnings. Appropriately enough, this all took place the same week we held a contest to determine the best e-commerce stock for 2007.

Begone, phantom menace!

Meanwhile, back in China
With the Chinese economy booming and investors wolfing down hot Chinese stocks, how ironic would it be if the market stumbled later this year? Yes, in a few weeks, it will be a new lunar year in China: the Year of the Pig.

You know the saying. Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered. I don't buy it. Leading Chinese stocks are putting up huge profit gains, and just when you think you can grasp the big picture, something even better comes along.

That happened this week with (NASDAQ:BIDU). China's leading search engine has been gaining market share and signing deals. Now we've learned that the company is going to be a major content producer, too. Can Baidu be both the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the CNN of China? That would be too rich! As fate would have it, we wound up taking a look at both faces of Baidu on Thursday.

Oddly, neither one looked like Ted Turner.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Baidu is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Yahoo!, eBay, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does own shares in Netflix. The Fool has a disclosure policy.