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. Intuit peppers Mint
Mint is the Internet's cool budgeting and financial-tracking site. As long as Intuit is smart enough to give the popular site autonomy -- rather than storm in and roll out premium services or undo what made Mint a standout -- it's a great way for Intuit to earn style points as it tactfully pitches its mainstream offerings.
2. Can Google reCAPTCHA the magic?
With antitrust regulators watching every move Google
Google is acquiring reCAPTCHA, the company behind those squiggly text graphics that users have to re-enter to prove that they're people and not bots entering site. More importantly, reCAPTCHA's strengths in deciphering funky text will come in handy as Google digitizes classic books.
There are 100,000 websites using reCAPTCHA's challenge-response mechanism. That will look nice on Google's list of potential paid-search customers. This isn't quite a homerun buyout, but it's one loaded with plenty of bunt singles.
3. Be kind, fast-forward
You may not recognize Blockbuster in a few years. The company is in the process of shuttering underperforming stores and shifting some of its focus to new outlets, including digital delivery and NCR
4. Fool for the Citi
You know that things are returning back to normal in the financial-services industry when even the beleaguered Citigroup
You and I inherited a 34% stake in Citi after the government's capital infusion last year. Now Citi wants to pull off a $5 billion common-stock offering, probably with an eye toward using a good chunk of that money to buy out some of the preferred shares it handed over to the U.S. Treasury during the bailout. If things go according to plan, the Treasury may also sell some of its shares to private investors.
The moves are dilutive and they bump up the float, but this is a huge step forward for Citi. It's about confidence. It's about moving on. It's about paying back the government so the company doesn't have to justify every corporate jet flight or executive bonus.
5. Facebook gets by with a little help from its friends
Facebook hit a pair of milestones this week. CEO Jeff Zuckerberg announced that the social-networking site now has more than 300 million registered users. He also revealed that the company is coming off its first quarter of positive cash flow.
This is great news for Facebook, but it's also the ultimate slap in the face to Yahoo!
When a CEO begins blogging about cash flow, an IPO can't be too far away. Soon we may hear how badly Yahoo! blew it by not nabbing Facebook when it was still in the crib. More importantly, with several fresh IPOs on the plate for next week, a Facebook offering would be the icing on the rallying recovery's cake.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He 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.