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. Is that a Netflix app in your pocket or are you just happy to stream me?
There is so much win in Apple's
- There's the slicker and smaller Nano, now with multi-touch goodness.
- Apple's Shuffle is still the entry-level gadget to beat at a low $49 price point, and now with new features that make it more customizable.
- Launching its Ping social music initiative as part of this week's update of iTunes, which 160 million active users rely on for fresh tunes, is brilliant.
- The already popular iPod Touch is now the Swiss Army knife of gizmos, offering beefed up gaming features and dual-facing cameras for video chat and HD recording.
However, the real winner here may be the new and improved Apple TV. No, I don't expect it to outsell iPods or be grander in scope than what Ping may evolve into. The thing is that Apple TV used to be one of the company's rare duds in recent years. Now priced aggressively at $99 -- and swallowing pride long enough to offer streaming through Netflix
2. All's well that ends Dell
It wasn't how it originally mapped it out, but Dell
Yes, there's victory in conceding defeat. Let someone else pay more than 200 times this year's projected profitability for one of the many data storage companies available. It would have been a nice deal at the original price, but now Dell is free to pursue other deals without the likelihood of a feverish rival raising a bidding card.
Playing this frenetic game of chicken over the past two weeks for 3PAR
3. Don't get Madden. Get even!
It launched a Madden social gaming app on Facebook this week, and new Web-based features find digital revenue tripling compared to last year's installment of the popular NFL franchise.
However, the real soother for shareholders has to be that sales of the title across all platforms rose 5% in its debut month of August. This is bigger than you think. When last year's initial sales of Madden 10 clocked in 15% below the previous installment, investors had every right to question the staying power of the gridiron game. Had folks tired of having to fork over new money for annual refreshes or was it just a recessionary anomaly?
It's true that a 5% gain only begins to eat into last year's shortfall. Technically, Madden may still have peaked a couple of years ago. It's still a step in the right direction for a former gaming darling.
4. This buyout's a Whopper
Private equity is storming Burger King's
It's a good time for shareholders to punch out. Burger King's impressive streak of 21 consecutive quarters of positive worldwide comps came to an end a year ago. With franchisees still bellyaching over last year's margin-chomping promotion of double cheeseburgers for a buck, it's a good time to let new ownership win back confidence.
Comps may not improve if fast-food nibblers trade up to quick-service eateries or casual dining establishments. The time is right to take Burger King behind the curtain for a few years, polish the throne, and give it another public go.
5. Brighter days for JDSU
It's not aiming to be a complete solution provider in this space. JDSU is encouraging solar system integrators to go with its cells in solar module installations at power generation facilities.
Analysts already expect sharp top- and bottom-line improvement at JDSU this fiscal year, so a little solar energy sizzle can only help.