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. The auction is in the palm of your hand
The online auctioneer announced that the number of items purchased on its site through mobile apps tripled over last year's holiday volume.
There were also a few other meaty numbers surrounding eBay's smartphone success.
- Nearly 6 million people have downloaded eBay's app onto their iPhone.
- eBay is receiving 750,000 unique visits a day from mobile apps.
- Some 1.5 million items were bought through mobile phones over the holidays.
Add it up, and eBay united buyers and sellers for more than $500 million of transactions through mobile connections this year. That isn't as monumental as it sounds, since eBay was the handshake enabler for a whopping $12.2 billion in transactions in its most recent quarter alone. Still, this is an impressive set of forward-thinking metrics for an otherwise sleepy company on the marketplace front.
2. Ford tough
Tagging is a pretty useless feature with terrestrial radio, since traditional stations typically work on repetitive rotations and large commercial blocks. HD Radio, on the other hand, gives station operators the ability to split a single FM band into three different stations. This usually opens the door for deeper genre-specific playlists and minimal advertising. In other words, it's a much better vehicle for music discovery.
Along with in-car connectivity and the next generation of its SYNC technology, it's no wonder why Ford CEO Alan Mulally is tapped as a keynote speaker during next week's tech-intensive Consumer Electronics Show -- and why Sirius XM Radio
3. So that's why the mountains are green
The two best-selling grocery items over the holidays were boxes of Coffee People K-Cups. This is great news for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Yes, it also bears pointing out that Amazon's top seller in its Home & Garden category was a reusable K-Cup filter, an item that helps java junkies avoid breaking out new K-Cups when they need a coffee fix. However, even that is a testament to the popularity of Green Mountain's Keurig.
4. E-tail beauty is skin deep
Beauty is in the eye of the stakeholder, as drugstore.com
I like this deal. drugstore.com is paying half of the $36 million in stock. That's a good move, since drugstore.com's stock has soared almost fivefold since bottoming out in March. It's also picking up SkinStore.com's parent at a 0.9 price-to-sales multiple -- pretty similar to drugstore.com's own multiple.
5. Mr. Softy puts on his game face
In an intriguing job ad spotted by Engadget, it appears that Microsoft
It's about time. Microsoft has been an afterthought among smartphone leaders because no one can catch the rapidly expanding App Store. Gaming has always been one of Microsoft's strengths -- through both its Xbox and broader selection of PC-based games -- and now it's hoping to beef up its mobile platform by appealing to diehard gamers.
Taking this step isn't going to be easy, but it gives Microsoft a better shot at the iPhone crowd than its Zune does against iPod loyalists.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Ford, Amazon.com, and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call strategy on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.
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.