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. Chrome wasn't built in a slay
Unless you’re Mr. Softy, you have to love Google's timing. This announcement comes just as the pre-order deadline for discounted upgrade copies of Windows 7 draws near. Microsoft's well-received successor to the not-so-well-received Vista will be released in a few months.
Still, Chrome can't unseat Windows right away -- if ever. Google's Chrome browser is a worthy Web-surfer, but it has about as much share in the browser space as Microsoft's Zune has in portable media players.
Microsoft has also been able to keep free open-source operating systems at bay, despite the best intentions of Linux and its various offshoots, such as Ubuntu. The difference here is that Google has something to prove -- and the deep pockets to prove it.
Big G is about to get even bigger.
2. Boning up on Amgen
The news keeps getting better for denosumab, Amgen's
Amgen is no stranger to blockbuster drugs. It's milked its biotech mastery with Epogen, Neupogen, and more. Since billion-dollar drugs eventually go off-patent, it's important to keep the pipeline flowing. With denosumab in the final phase of clinical trials, it appears as if Amgen has another hit on its hands.
3. Et tu, eBay?
The swagger is back at the world's leading -- and occasionally reeling -- auction site. A pair of brokerage reports indicate that eBay's
Since eBay's PayPal and Skype appendages are doing well, the only thing that's been holding the company back over the past few years has been the gradual fade of eBay.com itself.
Neither brokerage-firm analyst expects an immediate turnaround at the company, but the mere fact that eBay's flagship auction business has finally hit bottom is comforting. The pressure is on, especially since eBay plans to unload Skype. Can it be? After alienating power sellers and confusing active buyers, eBay may finally be giving its users what they want.
4. Kindle bowls a perfect game of 299
It's been a busy week for Kindle watchers. Amazon.com
Cheaper Kindles mean that buyers will have to go through fewer Kindle books -- at $9.99 apiece for best-sellers, less than their hardcover counterparts -- to justify the initial purchase.
Amazon is also exploring the placement of targeted ads within its digital reads. This is the kind of marketing tactic that would make any highbrow bookworm squirm, but if it creates a monetization angle for Kindle to offer more free or discounted books, it can really bring e-books to a much larger audience.
5. If you're watching this, you should be buying that
If successful, TiVo digital video recorders sold through Best Buy will let couch potatoes stream Napster tunes and receive relevant in-store promotions. That's a good start, but won't it be just a matter of time before TiVo begins spitting back BestBuy.com order information for CDs from a band you just saw on Conan O'Brien's show? Or maybe the latest Curb Your Enthusiasm season on DVD the moment you check out a syndicated episode of Seinfeld?
Naturally, this is the kind of platform that shoppers may shy away from if it becomes too creepy or intrusive, but Best Buy has agreed to put more marketing muscle behind TiVo -- and that's something that TiVo can certainly use, given its waning subscriber numbers.
Everybody wins. If this move took place on a TiVo remote control, it would be the equivalent of hitting the green "thumbs up" button three times.
Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Amazon.com, Best Buy, and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Microsoft, eBay, and Best Buy are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. 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 shares of TiVo 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.