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. An iPhone 4 you
Steve Jobs introduced his company's newest smartphone on Monday to generally rave reviews. Sure, this past spring's lost-prototype fiasco meant we knew about the dual cameras and the sleek design, but Apple still found ways to make its unveiling interesting. The new iPhone sports a high-resolution screen, a 720p camcorder, and an encouraging selection of upcoming apps.
Apple also revealed that previous iPhone owners whose two-year contracts expire within the next six months will be able to upgrade right away sans penalty. This should help boost sales right off the bat for Apple.
2. You go, yoga
Want a juicy play on "Namaste"? Try lululemon athletica
The maker of luxury yogawear and other fashion-friendly workout apparel came through with a 35% surge in same-store sales in yesterday's first-quarter report.
Stack a healthy expansion pace on top of those jaw-dropping comps, and lululemon's top line rose a hearty 69%, with quarterly profits tripling to $0.27 a share. Wall Street was expecting far slower growth on the top and bottom lines.
3. Caffeinated jolt for Big G
Promising "50% fresher results," Google
Caffeine is the code name for the initiative, which aims to update its global index in small pieces, but on a continuous basis. In theory, this should improve the speed with which updated websites, blogs, and other dot-com destinations turn up on Google's flagship engine.
Google isn't broken. There wasn't a public uproar for a fresher Google. A stale Big G is just fine for the majority of the country's search queries. However, it's great to see the company not getting cocky or stagnant.
Last year's quick ascent of Bing shows that Google isn't the only rock star in this lucrative space for lead-seeking sponsors. The search king needs to keep on its toes, and Caffeine helps it do exactly that.
4. Baidu to the bone
As big as Baidu
Think about that. China contains 1.3 billion people; 384 million had online access as of the end of 2009. Now Baidu thinks that it can fulfill roughly four our of every five search requests originating from Mainland China.
Is Baidu being overly ambitious? Not necessarily. It presently commands nearly 65% of the market, with a fading Google checking in at 31% through the end of March. If Google is serious about being marginalized in the important yet restrictive Chinese market, it's certainly reasonable to expect Baidu to take roughly half of Google's slice, growing to 79%.
5. Good things come in threes
The joint venture was announced earlier this year, finalized last week, and Comcast executive Tom Cosgrove was tapped to head the new channel this week.
There's no date for an official debut, but I'm warming up to the idea. I was skeptical when television manufacturers announced that 3-D sets that would be hitting the market this year. Who wants to pay a premium for new sets? Who wants to deal with the hassle of donning 3-D specs?
However, the movement is getting support from consumer electronics chains, the economy is gradually improving to the point of justifying the home theater upgrades, and now 3-D-specific programming from some heavy hitters is becoming a reality.
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.
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