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. Sam Walton would be proud
It pays to be thrifty. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) hiked its quarter dividend by 15% yesterday, minutes after announcing that comps at its namesake stores rose by a healthy 5% last month.

This is actually a pretty important one-two dose of good news. We all know that sales are improving at Wal-Mart, as department store shoppers flock to the discounter to stretch their dollars. However, a company doesn't bump up its yield based on top-line performance. If margins contract and earnings shrink, declaring a heftier payout is a big mistake. Wal-Mart is telegraphing that it is comfortable enough with its earnings power to boost its dividend.

Well played, Wal-Mart, well played.

2. While my fake guitar gently weeps
Let's high-five Viacom (NYSE:VIA) for scoring the Fab Four. The company's Rock Band video game series will be getting a surprising boost come September, with the release of The Beatles: Rock Band. The legendary rock band has been reticent over the years in licensing their music, so this is a pretty big score.

Sure, most of the band's music is straightforward fare when it comes to music simulations. There are no thunderous Ringo Starr drum solos, and the fretwork through most of the band's catalog is pretty tame. I trust that Viacom's Harmonix as the publisher -- and Electroinc Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) as the distributor -- will make sure that the game challenges even the most capable of players. It's a great catch heading into one of the most uncertain holiday shopping seasons.

And with love like that, you know you should be glad.

3. Amazon wants your tired games
In a brilliant response to this penny-pinching recession, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is now buying back video games. The leading online retailer is offering to hand out storewide credit and will cover shipping costs to those who agree to trade in their games for a little less than half of what Amazon charges for new, shrink-wrapped versions of the game.

If this sounds a lot like GameStop's (NYSE:GME) model, you're right. Toys "R" Us is also testing an entry into the used game resale market. This is bad news for GameStop, but probably even worse news for the software publishers who only make money when new titles are sold.

Regardless, it's a great move by Amazon. It gets to beef up its offerings for cash-strapped gamers as it enters a niche -- that at least to GameStop -- offers chunkier margins than selling new games and gear.

4. Twilight's matinee
Few seem to be cashing in on the success of the Twilight book and movie franchise as well as Hot Topic (NASDAQ:HOTT). After all, the chain has been outfitting counterculture teens with alt-rock T-shirts and Goth-black apparel for years. It was just waiting for the country's youth to aspire to be vampires -- or Cullens -- and embrace its dark fashions.

No one should be surprised to find comps at Hot Topic soaring by nearly 11% last month, bucking the mall malaise. Few should be shocked to find that shares of Hot Topic have now doubled off of last year's low, in sharp contrast to its specialty apparel peers going the other way.

Teens are fickle, so Hot Topic is doing the right thing in striking while the iron is hot. Investors just need to be prepared for when the iron cools off, as it inevitably does.

5. Born on the Baidu
Baidu
(NASDAQ:BIDU) has been coasting despite the market's crazy volatility. Until today's step back, the stock registered three consecutive days of gains, capped off by a Citi analyst upgrade yesterday.

The encouraging aspect of the upgrade is that the analyst claims that traffic at Baidu has bounced back since late January. Fears that the company would lose visitors over concerns of its sketchy advertisers appear to be blowing over.

Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Baidu is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Amazon.com, Electronic Arts, and GameStop are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. 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. 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.