Feeling down? Let's review some of the more uplifting headlines of the past seven days. There's more to this week's news than layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns.

1. Baby steps for IPOs
It's been three months since a stateside stock debuted on the market, but the gestation period is finally over. Infant formula maker Mead Johnson (NYSE:MJN) went public on Wednesday in an amazingly successful IPO.

  • Mead Johnson priced at the top of its original $21 to $24 pricing range.
  • Heightened demand found underwriters offering 20% more shares than originally planned.
  • The stock opened nicely higher, at $26 a share.

The emperor of Enfamil is setting a great tone for the market. After just 43 companies went public last month -- with all but five closing out the year lower -- it's refreshing to see an IPO succeed like the old days.

You grow, baby.

2. Make it a Netflix night
What's black and white and red all over? If you're thinking Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) mailers, you win. There are apparently plenty of those going around these days, with the DVD rental juggernaut passing the 10-million-subscriber mark.

Let's put that milestone in its proper perspective. The company had just 9.4 million movie buffs as members when the year began, so it's landed 600,000 net new subscribers in the span of six weeks.

Netflix isn't just Teflon in this recession. It's on fire.

3. Shop until we drop
The Commerce Department revealed that the country's retail sales rose 1% sequentially on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. That's not a misprint. After six months of brutal declines, consumers started shopping again.

Sure, maybe the rise owed to desperate discounters slashing prices, but what if it was a healthy flow of gift card redemptions? Retailers don't book gift card revenue until it's actually redeemed, so maybe the holidays weren't so dreadful after all. Maybe we just bought too many gift cards!

Not convinced? Me neither. Selling more won't do retailers any good if they've cut their margins to the bone to do so. However, it's at least a positive sign with regard to consumers' mind-set.

4. A deal that rocks
Event promoter Live Nation (NYSE:LYV) and ticketing giant Ticketmaster (NASDAQ:TKTM) are coming together. The two agreed on a merger of equals on Tuesday. The deal makes sense, uniting the two heavyweights of concert promotion, and it will also make cents, as the merged company expects to realize $40 million in synergy savings.

The market isn't impressed. Both stocks have closed lower every single day this week. That stinks for existing shareholders, but it's great for potential investors. Live Nation and Ticketmaster are a perfect fit. They rock, in every sense of the world.

5. If all guitars had only five buttons ...
From real guitar heroes to fake ones, Guitar Hero publisher Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) rocked the house, beating analyst expectations in its latest quarter.

Not all video game makers are alike. Just a few trading days ago, rival software mavens Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) and THQ (NASDAQ:THQI) announced layoffs and provided gloomy fundamentals.

Activision Blizzard has plenty of hot irons, with the latest installments in its Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft franchises all selling briskly this past quarter.

Hey, I've got an idea! Let's merge Live Nation, Ticketmaster and Activision Blizzard!

Too soon for a trio? I guess so.

Netflix, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He's the inspiration for The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" song. Hdoes not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, save for Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.