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. Props for Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops generated an estimated $360 million in sales during Tuesday's debut, shattering the old video game record of $310 million set during last year's rollout of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
I'm not just here to acknowledge Activision Blizzard's success. I'm also here to eat crow.
I figured that Activision Blizzard would have a few challenges this time around. The video game industry has been in a pronounced funk since early last year, and last week's Kinect debut should have eaten up a lot of the Xbox 360 gamers' discretionary income. It obviously didn't.
Well-played, Activision Blizzard.
2. Big G paychecks offer bigger Gs
Several reports this week indicate that the world's leading search engine is giving its employees a 10% raise come January.
It's a move that obviously won't come cheap, with some figuring it may add up to $1 billion in annual compensation at Google. However, if any dot-com has the kind of flexibility to loosen up its pocketbook, it's Google.
The company has been losing prolific executives lately, and this may help keep churn in check and morale high. Strategically speaking, it's also a brilliant move because many of its competitors are unlikely to match the move for many different reasons.
3. Kiss your Wal-Mart greeter goodbye
Can this move backfire on the world's largest retailer? Can it keep Wal-Mart shoppers away from its stores, where impulse items can quickly pile up in a shopping cart? These things may happen, but Wal-Mart can't ignore Amazon's ability to own the holidays online.
At the very least, this is the kind of move that may force Amazon shoppers to do a little comparison shopping before sealing the deal on Amazon.com. If it flops -- and Wal-Mart has had its share of dot-com miscues -- it can just dust itself off and try something different next year.
4. It's Chinese and it ends in fun
Don't let all of the chatter of China's busting real estate bubble get you down. Check out SouFun Holdings
In its first quarter as a public company, SouFun rocked the skeptics. Revenue climbed 83%, as adjusted earnings soared 95%.
If you haven't heard of SouFun, you're not alone. The portal went public less than two months ago at $42.50. Its stock has gone on to more than double. The best way to please IPO investors is to make sure that you don't drop the ball during the first few quarters as a public company. Any kind of slip or hesitancy spooks the market, making it seem as if the company simply wanted to hit the market as an exit strategy.
Thankfully, that does not appear to be the case with SouFun.
5. Charged up driving
The electric car darling saw its stock surge 19% higher on Wednesday, despite posting yet another quarterly loss.
The red ink is fine. Tesla's gearing up for the rollout of its more mainstream accessible Model S sedan, and this week it confirmed that it's still on track for a 2012 rollout with a seasoned partner in Toyota
Between its investing partners and IPO proceeds, Tesla can keep driving through the quarterly deficits that will continue until the Model S gains traction. Delays will rock the stock. New alliances will shoot it higher.
Who needs earnings when you're a story stock with a gear shift?
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Google and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Amazon.com and Activision Blizzard are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Google, and Wal-Mart. 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.