Happy Valentine's Day!

Instead of flowers, boxed chocolates, and bling, will you settle for hookups, stimulus, and the inevitable heartbreak?

This is certainly shaping up to be an interesting holiday weekend, if only because so many things happened over the past few days. Even a single company -- like Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) -- is generating enough news to make your head spin.

After all, the java giant started off the week by announcing that it would join the breakfast discounters in offering marked-down value meals, wrapping up the week with buzz building over the company's foray into instant coffee.

I'm not a fan of either move. Taking on McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) by pairing coffee and a breakfast treat at a discount is irreversible. You can't go back to full price once your clients expect barista bargains. Jumping into instant coffee only dilutes the brand even more than its original push for retail-packaged java.

I get it. Starbucks has to do what it can to stay relevant. If customers aren't coming, it has to go to the customers. Still, Valentine's Day is about reciprocated love. I hate seeing Starbucks look so desperate and sad … pathetic, even.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • If you think the content on Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is scintillating, just tune in to some of the fireworks behind the scenes. Between possible suitors jockeying for position, hints of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and a debt repayment deadline looming on Tuesday, some of the stuff taking place at Sirius XM may be even more exciting than the stuff taking place on Sirius XM.
  • Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) finally took the wraps off the second-generation Kindle. It's a slick device, complete with more storage, niftier features, and the old $359 price. It's a crummy time to be rolling out a new consumer gadget, but it's just one more reason for old-school booksellers like Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) to lose sleep at night.
  • Remember when soaring oil prices had everyone angling for solar and wind energy stocks? Things have cooled considerably since then, but it doesn't mean that solar is dead. Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) posted mixed quarterly results, but it's looking to double its shipments in 2009. That's a ray of hope, pun intended.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Starbucks and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He 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.