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. 3 billion arrows in Apple's quiver
You have to love Apple's
Coincidence? Of course not. Apple knew exactly what it was doing by stealing some of Google's thunder before Nexus One takes off. Apple knows that the number of people who can afford a smartphone -- complete with a costly wireless plan -- is limited. Anything it can do to slow Google's momentum, even it's a press release written on banana-peel paper, is worth it.
2. Floor it
December was a good month for automakers, as stateside sales rose by a whopping 15%. The big domestic winner was Ford
Shares of Sirius XM Radio
The auto industry's spike is impressive. We now longer have the "Cash for Clunkers" program lighting a fire under potential buyers. The demand is clearly there for consumers to upgrade their rides.
Ford and Sirius XM shareholders saw their investments grow roughly fivefold last year. The year is off to a nice start.
3. A stunning turnaround
The orders find TASER now targeting $32 million in revenue for its quarter that concluded in December, well ahead of both the $26.4 million it scored a year ago and the $28.7 million that analysts were banking on this time around.
Is there a chance that investors are jumping the stun gun, though? Perhaps. If the orders from Brazil's Ministry of Justice and the police departments of Chicago and Philadelphia were originally pegged by analysts to be fulfilled in January, last quarter's gain can be the current quarter's pain. However, TASER has been out of favor for so long -- trading in the single digits for nearly two years -- that even marginally good news is great news.
4. Take this Schwab and love it
Investors with accounts at Charles Schwab
This probably won't be good for the industry. Pricing wars rarely are. However, I'm tapping this as one this week's smartest moves because I have never been comfortable with brokerage commission schedules that reward the more active traders. Obviously, Schwab stands to make more from someone that is executing 10 trades a month than a more passive investor, but it still sends out a crummy investing message.
You don't punish a "buy and hold" mindset. You don't reward speculation, market timing, and short-term thinking where novices can get burned with bid-ask spreads, knee-jerk decisions, and taxable implications.
Simplifying its commission schedule is the right thing to do.
5. Google bites back
Apple pulled the rug from under Google's Nexus One announcement, but Big G also got a shot in.
Net Applications is reporting that Google's nascent Chrome browser has overtaken Apple's Safari to become the world's third most popular cybersurfing platform. Microsoft
However, Google has to feel pretty good with the bronze medal around its neck, especially when you consider that Google Chrome didn't even exist two years ago.
Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Apple, Ford Motor, and Charles Schwab are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call strategy on Microsoft, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. 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.