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. Amazon knows how to cross the state line
First it was North Carolina. Now it's Rhode Island and Hawaii. Amazon.com
The bills suggest that Amazon has a presence in their states, even if it's just a hobbyist train collector who uses Amazon ads on his free-hosted blog to earn a little commissionable revenue from the world's leading online retailer.
My heart goes out to members of the Amazon Associates program in North Carolina and Rhode Island, but the e-tailer is doing the right thing. Competition is cutthroat in cyberspace, and delivered pricing is everything. Besides, unlike smaller chains that live and die by affiliate marketing, Amazon has evolved over the years. Shoppers go to Amazon.com directly because they know it carries just about anything. It won't lose out on a whole lot of revenue. The only real losers are the states that figured they would fatten their collections, only to realize that they will actually shrink as web-entrepreneurs residing in their states earn less taxable income.
2. Netflix is one in a million
Three years after daring data-hungry developers to top its proprietary Cinematch flick-recommendation platform, Netflix
Thousands of teams have been trying to improve on the Netflix data-mining functionality that spits out DVD recommendations based on rental histories and star ratings. Whether it's the money or the academia, the challenge has generated a lot of publicity for Netflix.
For starters, the fact that it's taken roughly three years is a testament to the original Cinematch platform. If thousands of frenzied teams of brainiacs took this long to improve it, how will any other company rival Netflix for getting into the psyche of the couch potato and knowing just what they'll want to see next?
Well played, Netflix. It's a million bucks well spent.
3. Satellite radio: Born to run
You know you're nimble when you're able to launch a 24/7 Michael Jackson tribute channel less than two days after the iconic pop singer died. Sirius XM Radio
Is it any surprise that the company also decided to extend CEO Mel Karmazin's term this week, bumping up his pay in the process? Shares of Sirius XM may be trading for jukebox change, but it's hard to fathom the merger between Sirius and XM even being attempted by anyone other than the bold Karmazin at the helm.
4. Let's go logrolling
After a dozen mostly successful IPOs during the second quarter, the third quarter got off to a strong start with yesterday's debut LogMeIn
Is a market cap of nearly $430 million justifiable for a company that has posted annual losses in each of the past three years, clocking in with revenue of just $51.7 million last year? Mr. Market seems to think so.
It certainly helps that LogMeIn is growing quickly, with 22.1 million registered users and counting. It also began 2009 with a healthy first quarter profit.
5. Gosh, Oshkosh
Shares of Oshkosh
Oshkosh beat out larger contractors like General Dynamics
The real winner, of course, will be the military personnel who will soon be able to get around in sturdier trucks.
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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.