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. Carnival bucks the shipyard
In a move to keep pace with its rivals, Carnival
However, the really clever part of the deal is that Carnival talked its Italian shipbuilder into a U.S. dollar-denominated contract. That's a brilliant move, given the ever-diminishing value of the greenback. European shipyards typically prefer to be paid in euros, but lean times find them agreeable to taking on the risk of the fading buck.
Even if the dollar strengthens over the next three years, this is still a savvy move. Carnival has certainty in locking in the attractive all-in cost of roughly $200,000 per lower berth.
2. Check out the Comcastic peacock
The deal makes a lot of sense for both companies. GE gets to raise some cash, shake some debt, and unload control of a sexy asset that was never a core competency.
Comcast has even more to gain. Servicing cable television, high-speed Internet access, and broadband telephone service drums up billions in annual free cash flow, but consumers are already turning off Comcast's flagship cable television service. It has shed 2.5% of its cable TV subscriber base over the past year alone. If couch potatoes are cutting out the middleman, Comcast needs more exposure in content (presently just 5% of its revenue mix) and less in subscriptions (95% of revenue).
Comcast will also now be able to serve up more content to its subscribers on their terms. It should be an effective retention tool at a time when Comcast needs to stop its video subscriber defections.
3. Take it to the bank
Bank of America
Naturally, you don't print that many new shares without massively diluting your shareholders, but that's the necessary price for Bank of America to square itself with taxpayers.
I don't like the dilution, but you have to love Bank of America's doing this now instead of back in February, when the stock was trading at a sixth of today's price. If you think the dilution of an $18.8 billion deal is heavy now, imagine how many shares it would have had to print 10 months ago, when its stock was at $2.53.
4. In the mood for a Manhattan matinee
NCR is bankrolling the machines, with Blockbuster
Movie studios obviously aren't happy that their content is being dispensed at dollar-store price points, but it's providing a compelling entertainment value during an economic lull. This seems like an unbelievable deal in New York City.
5. Endgame with style
Shanda posted a 48% surge in revenue. Earnings popped 29% higher, or up a sharper 49% on a non-GAAP basis. The results easily exceeded analyst targets. Shanda has routinely beaten Wall Street, but this was a quarter in which a few of its peers had failed to impress in a climate of tightening regulatory control.
Shanda still has it.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. 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.