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. Get those hands up, riders
Apollo's price of $11.50 per unit may have seemed like a reasonable 27% premium five months ago, but the economy has turned, and leisure companies are starting to shine again. Multiplexes and cruise lines are increasing prices, and this bodes well for the pricing power of theme park operators as the new operating season gets under way.
2. Stream on, Redbox
I have my doubts. A digital catalog isn't born in a day. It's taken Netflix
However, Coinstar wouldn't be floating this out there if it didn't think it was feasible at the suggested price -- which is less than half of Netflix's current plan that includes unlimited streaming.
Instead of being yet another company that is destined to go the way of the dodo bird when consumers ditch the optical disc, Redbox may have a future after all. Entering a growing market as a price leader with only one reasonable competitor is not too shabby an idea.
3. More kin than dull
Tech blog Engadget is reporting that Target
This is a great move by Amazon, with iPads, Nooks, and Sony Readers already on display at leading retailers. Amazon may have been able to woo tech-savvy bibliophiles to buy Kindles sight unseen, but the masses like to fidget with a device before buying in to new technology.
This will be a great ambassadorial move for Amazon, even if it's not a big seller at Target. In fact, it probably won't be a big seller at the popular discount department store. Target naturally charges state sales tax on purchases, while Amazon is able to skirt the need to automatically collect the tax in most states. Folks will mess with the display models at their local Target, only to buy them directly from the leading online retailer.
Well played, Amazon.
4. Pier pressure
You'll be taking a long walk if you're short Pier 1 Imports
Its new fiscal year is off to an even better start, with March comps climbing 19% higher. The holidays are a seasonally potent time for the chain, but analysts see the retailer earning $0.42 a share this new fiscal year.
The clincher here is that shares were trading as low as $0.10 apiece 13 months ago. Those lucky investors were able to snap up Pier 1 for an eye-popping P/E multiple of 0.2 based on this year's projected profit.
These may be nervous times to make a bet in China, but you have to like McDonald's
Is the Chinese government restrictive? Yes. Are foreign companies taking big risks by investing in the mercurial nation? Of course. You want some fries with that, though? The world's most populous nation is growing briskly, and with the boost in disposable income comes the desire to eat out more often.
McDonald's wants to make sure that it's on the right side of the Great Wall.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. 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.