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 this week.
1. Home is where the arb is
Two homebuyers getting together may be like a pair of barflies hooking up after last call, but the deal makes sense. The two companies lost billions -- yes, billions -- last year. Coming together will help eliminate redundant costs, while opening up new markets in sturdier housing hotbeds like Texas and the Carolinas for Pulte.
The homebuilders still haven't bottomed out. That will happen when prices stabilize at levels where new construction is feasibly profitable. It probably wouldn't hurt to clear out the glut of vacant pre-existing homes. However, it's a good first step for an industry that can use a little consolidation to flesh out the eventual winners when the turnaround does take place.
2. It runs in the Family
Not all discounters are the same. Family Dollar
Family Dollar also raised its guidance, delighting investors who were expecting the retailer to earn just $0.50 a share for the current quarter. Family Dollar now expects to earn between $0.54 a share and $0.58 a share, on a 5% to 7% spike in comps.
3. Putting the Cartman before the horse
Online streaming became even more addictive at Netflix
From SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer to South Park, subscribers to any of the unlimited models at Netflix will be able to stream episodes -- on demand -- at no additional cost.
It's no surprise to see Netflix as one of the few subscription-based services growing in popularity this year. It's a service that becomes more valuable with every new content deal.
4. Hog heaven
There's a new CEO at Harley Davidson
He's an outsider, though he comes with 21 years of leadership experience at Johnson Controls
There is nothing wrong with the Harley brand. The company is just one of the many unfortunate casualties of cash-strapped consumers who are reluctant to pay up for a big-ticket item like a motorcycle.
5. Diesel does it
Movie buffs woke up to welcome news on Monday. Fueled by heavy ticket sales for Universal's Fast & Furious over the weekend, things are hopping at the local multiplex.
Attendance is clocking 13% higher in 2009 relative to where stateside exhibitors were last year. This bodes well for the entertainment industry, which is a necessary source of escapism when the economy gets rough.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He's the inspiration for The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" song. He does 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.