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. Whole in one
Everything seems to be going Whole Foods Market's
The organic grocer posted another quarter of blowout results. Revenue climbed 15% to $2.1 billion, fueled by an impressive 8.7% spike in comps. Earnings soared 58% to $0.33 a share.
The grocer's top line isn't the only thing that gained 15%. Shares rose by that amount yesterday on the upbeat fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
Whole Foods Market took its lumps during the recession, but now it's riding the wave of shoppers willing to spend a little more on organic eats. Same-store sales have now climbed in each of the past four quarters, with comps in the past three quarters clocking in at 7.7% or better.
2. Carnitas go Cantonese
Chipotle Mexican Grill
The "food with integrity" burrito roller won't lose focus of its flagship concept. The new chain may have similar price points and a lightning-quick assembly line, but it's not going to cannibalize Chipotle sales.
It's the right time to test out a new concept or two. Chipotle will eventually grow to the point where it saturates key markets. Naturally, there's an overseas push that's just getting started, but it will be comforting to see a promising growth vehicle for Chipotle when expansion slows of its namesake eatery.
It will be interesting to see if the new concept sticks to Chipotle's formula of a stripped-down menu that nails the basics. Either way, it's refreshing to see Chipotle thinking ahead.
3. Save room for dessert
It was easy to see this one coming. Despite the lofty valuation and finicky nature of haute cuisine in general, OpenTable has done nothing but wow the market since going public last year.
Let's look at the company's first five quarters as a public company heading into this week's results.
Original EPS Estimate
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Always pay attention to the first few quarters of any company that goes public. Blowing away analyst targets is an easy way to separate a winning investment from a loser that went public as an exit strategy.
4. Battery park
What's the difference between high-end electric automaker Tesla Motors
Panasonic is Tesla's second meaty partner in Japan. Toyota Motors
5. Apple's triple play
The 30-second samples were lame, especially for complex songs where a brief aural clip may still leave a potential track buyer straddling the fence.
Longer previews may not necessarily open up the floodgates of digital sales, but the move comes at a time when it's trying to establish itself in the social music space by incorporating Ping into its latest iTunes update.
Anything that Apple can do to make itself seem pro-consumer -- instead of rushing to open a Ping site that is heavy on "Buy" buttons and light on interactivity -- will help.
Chipotle Mexican Grill and OpenTable are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Apple and Whole Foods Market are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
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.