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. Saluting the General
The IPO went off without a hitch. GM was able to sell roughly $18.1 billion in common stock and $4.4 billion in preferred stock. The U.S. Treasury -- that's you and me, as taxpayers -- was able to cut its stake from 61% to 26%. In terms of appearances, you have to like how the deal priced at the high end of expectations at $33 a share, but only closed nearly 4% higher yesterday. In other words, the U.S. Treasury didn't leave a whole lot of money on the table in the deal, but new shareholders also didn't wind up with a lemon.
2. You say you want a digital revolution
The Beatles are finally available on Apple's iTunes Music Store. As the most popular holdout from Apple's digital music storefront, the move comes at an opportune time. Apple's iPod sales have been trailing off in recent quarters and digital music sales in general have bumped into some resistance.
In a major coup, Apple will have exclusivity in offering The Beatles' back catalog into 2011. Sure, you can always buy a CD elsewhere and burn it into your iTunes play list, but this is going to help Apple remain the runaway leader in digital music.
3. 20 million reasons to be thankful
Sirius XM Radio
Sirius XM will be setting up Paul McCartney in an exclusive concert at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater come mid-December. The fete will be broadcast live on both Sirius and XM, as the satellite radio giant celebrates hitting 20 million subscribers.
There were nearly 19.9 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter, and CEO Mel Karmazin expects his company to reach 20.1 million subscribers by year's end. Hosting the event before the holiday rush implies that the company is confident it will break the 20 million-subscriber barrier long before the post-Christmas rush of activations.
In other words, Sirius XM may be once again underestimating its magnetism. I wonder if Howard Stern will be there with a major announcement.
4. The television is in your hands
I may have my beef with Comcast's
Comcast rolled out the app this week. For now, it's little more than a cool way to turn your iPad into a touchscreen listings guide that can change channels on your Comcast box and program your DVR. It's slick. It's intuitive. It's cool.
However, Comcast will be raising the stakes in the coming weeks when it begins allowing subscribers to watch select programming right on their iPad. As long as they have connectivity, it's a truly portable solution.
Comcast and its smaller cable provider rivals have been shedding subscribers in recent quarters, but this is one way that Comcast can add value to its costly cable plans. Netflix
5. Mr. Softy's on the move
Kinect, Microsoft's new motion-based controller for the Xbox 360 is off to a good start after selling a million units in its first 10 days on the market.
There were plenty of reasons to be worried. Asking gamers to shell out $150 for a gaming accessory seems excessive. Activision Blizzard's
Thankfully, the otherwise sluggish video game market was able to support two blockbuster releases just a week apart. This also isn't just about the $150 controller, because now owners will want to buy new games that take advantage of Kinect's active platform.
After nearly two years of waffling about, the video game industry may finally be back.
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Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Apple, and Microsoft. 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, 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.