If you're feeling down this week, take my hand as we go over some of the more uplifting headlines of the week. Yes, it wasn't all layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns.
1. Sirius lives to file another day
Pundits will still have Sirius XM Radio
Terms of the deal are ruthless. Sirius XM is handing over a 40% stake to Liberty Media
Sirius XM still has problems. It's posting losses. Its lifeblood of new auto sales is stalling. It has more debt demons to tackle later this year. Still, when you enter a week ready to file for bankruptcy, it's hard to look a brutally dilutive deal in the mouth when it means staying alive in your present form.
2. Want to play a game?
Suburban strip malls and shopping centers may be emptier these days, but if you're GameStop
Between the popularity of video games over conventional playthings and the recessionary attraction of the company's model, which allows gamers to trade in used games and gear for in-store discounts, GameStop is rocking. It sees comps clocking in 5% higher this year, with earnings climbing a healthy 20%.
I've been a GameStop skeptic in recent months, so let's take a lunch break. I'm thinking I'll have some crow.
3. Dumb but not dumber
Sometimes a shoo-in for my weekly column for dumb stock moves rights itself before it's too late. This week it's Focus Media
Investors were shaking their heads earlier this week when China's Chongqing Economic Daily reported that the advertising company was acquiring a 10% stake in a foot therapy chain, according to the chain's media consultant. What does an advertising giant like Focus Media want with achy feet? Thankfully, the company stepped up and denied the purchase.
I don't know who is right or wrong here. I just applaud Focus Media for doing the right thing about what would have been an uncharacteristic investment, especially at a time when a cash-rich company like Focus Media should be consolidating a very fragmented advertising sector.
4. The whole truth
One of yesterday's biggest Wall Street winners was Whole Foods Market
Let's be frank here. Whole Foods still has some dark days ahead. The chances of consumers flocking to costly organic groceries during an intensifying recession aren't very good. Standard & Poor's even crashed the party, downgrading its outlook to "negative" after the company's report.
However, sometimes a stock gets beaten down on its obvious near-term shortcomings to the point where mixed news is great news. Besides, if the niche's malaise shakes out the weaker players, it will be that much sweeter for Whole Foods when shoppers come back.
5. Tearing TARP apart
Is JPMorgan Chase
"While I was sitting there I was thinking I should raise my hand and say I will wire you back the (TARP) money if you let me leave right now," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said during a Tuesday town hall meeting, as quoted by CNBC.
It may have been just a lighthearted comment, but where there's a joke, there's fire. Isn't it funny how everyone wanted a chunk of the TARP, until taxpayers began to demand that recipients cap CEO pay, cancel corporate jet orders, and hold back on promotional junkets? It's unfortunate that it came to this, but you have to feel good about the industry when banks want to give money back for a change.
Focus Media is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick and a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. JPMorgan Chase is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Whole Foods Market and GameStop 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' song "Mr. Brightside." He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. 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.