Consolidation is here. With the market rally wearing thin as the economy bottoms out, it feels as if Mr. Market's bartender shouted "last call" and folks are hooking up as if this were the last night of spring break. 

Getting in the way of all of the real mergers are the bogus ones that are creeping up. Did anyone really believe that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) would be buying Palm (Nasdaq: PALM)? Why would a video game console maker want Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS)

The rumor mills love to crank out the implausible, yet it somehow moves stocks. 

Investors need to stick to their knitting. Buy stocks of healthy companies at healthy prices. Buyouts will happen, but don't let the chatter -- real or dreamt up -- get in the way of the right reasons to own a piece of any company.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone continues to grow its global reach. Next stop? South Korea.
  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) crossed the $500 mark. Look familiar? It should. We were here 13 months ago. Let's see if it sticks this time.
  • A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) was an IPO hit. The clean energy battery maker went public on Thursday at $13.50, well above its original price range of $8.00 to $9.50 a share. I guess those lithium-ion batteries can charge up expectations, too.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Electronic Arts are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He 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.