If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.

1. A $99 Apple keeps the smartphone rivals away
The new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones are coming, and the biggest news is that the entry-level smartphone will now set buyers back just $99. Obviously it's not the sticker price of the heavily subsidized devices that's holding back wider adoption rates. BlackBerry, iPhone, and now Palm's (NASDAQ:PALM) Pre owners have to cope with beefy monthly data plans that limit the size of the market. Not everyone can afford $70-$100 a month on a cell phone.

However, by making sure that it doesn't price itself out of the market -- and timing its updated phones and firmware around the launch of the Pre -- Apple will make sure that it remains competitive.

2. Adventures in E*TRADE babysitting
Citadel isn't taking its 2007 investment in E*TRADE (NASDAQ:ETFC) passively. The investment group's CEO is joining the discount broker's board, in a vigilant move to protect its position as E*TRADE's largest investor and creditor.

Outsider meddling rarely merits mention in this weekly column, but Citadel's hands-on approach should be comforting for E*TRADE investors. Citadel is apparently unwilling to throw in the towel on E*TRADE, and with its CEO on board, Citadel's reputation becomes further entangled with E*TRADE's potential turnaround.

E*TRADE has been able to grow its discount brokerage business. Profitability, unfortunately, has been more evasive.

3. Be the banker
Ten of the largest TARP handout recipients are ready to settle the score with Uncle Sam. The 10 banks have been approved to pay back -- with interest -- the $68 billion they borrowed under the program.

The names on the list aren't as surprising as one name that is not. The target of Warren Buffett's affections, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), isn't one of the 10 companies looking to zero out their government loans. However, let's not overlook the banking titans that are on the list. Their TARP paybacks mark the first step in getting over the industry's most embarrassing chapter.

4. The Cisco kids
Hold on to your hats, Silicon Valley. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) announced that it will be more deal-hungry in the latter half of 2009, after nabbing three small buyouts so far this year.

This is a win-win situation. Given the pittances available in interest-bearing parking spaces, cash-rich companies such as Cisco can maximize their earnings power with timely acquisitions. The news is also good for potential buyout candidates.

Sure, stock prices have inched higher over the past three months, but a lot of the uncertainty has also been lifted from the marketplace. If it's acceptable for investors to start buying again, why shouldn't serial acquirers such as Cisco follow suit?

5. The orange apron of optimism
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is calling bottom. Chains such as Home Depot and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) are at the mercy of the housing industry, so when they see a light at the end of the tunnel, the implications may be huge.

Now, I'm a cynic. When companies begin waxing upbeat about their sector's future, I chuckle as I dig through old transcripts to show how they've been wrong before.

Well, Home Depot gets the white-glove treatment and comes up clean. The home-improvement superstore chain has been grim for more than a year, but now the retailer's optimism is warranted as guidance inches higher. Home Depot is still looking at another year of declines, but taking baby steps in the right direction is what matters. 

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Home Depot is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services 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. Rick owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and 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.