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. Kindle slays Harry Potter
Amazon revealed this week that "millions" of its third-generation Kindle e-readers have been sold since its summer debut, topping J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to become the leading online retailer's best-selling product of all time.
Amazon made its own luck, naturally. It's been aggressively marketing the e-book reader on its landing page for ages. It also helps that the new Kindle sells for as little as $139. The original model hit the market with constrained supply at $399 three holiday seasons ago.
The Kindle has also widened its distribution. During the 2009 holiday season, Amazon.com was the only place to score a new Kindle. These days, even Staples and Target are selling the gadgetry.
Is it fitting that a digital reader pushes out an old-school leaf turner? Young wizards in training will be crushed, but Amazon's Kindle is here to stay.
2. Ma Bell knows best
However, this week AT&T gets a pat on the back for making the most of a bad situation. The wireless carrier is announcing this week a beefed up network of Wi-Fi "hot zones" in areas where AT&T has come up short in the past. In other words, disgruntled AT&T wireless customers in New York City and San Francisco may find some relief in expanded hot spots providing Wi-Fi connectivity to offset iffy 3G signals.
Is it the perfect fix? Of course not. Technology is evolving rapidly, and this is merely a tourniquet to stop the data bleeding. However, it's a stopgap solution until AT&T gets its act together.
3. Making the most of the World Wide Web
Now that Netflix has worked the licensing and logistics kinks out after introducing a streaming service in Canada three months ago, it's largely a matter of talking to studios and inserting pushpins on the global map.
Isn't it great? There hasn't been a company that's been able to front a worthy challenger to Netflix domestically, and it's already trying its hand at winning as the away team overseas.
4. A small step for MannKind
The Food and Drug Administration is delaying its decision on MannKind's
MannKind's product could be huge, especially for those who have tired of insulin injections. If the FDA were going to nix MannKind's application, it would have probably put it out of its misery already. Giving itself a few extra weeks obviously doesn't mean that approval is on the way, but at least the yea or nay decision is proving challenging. In other words, there may be something to build off even if Afrezza is ultimately rejected.
Yes, an overtime loss is still a loss, but investors know that MannKind is going to be either feast or famine in 2011. They're buckled in for what promises to be a wild ride one way or the other.
5. Coal rush
A-Power Energy Generation Systems
The new project will be fully operational in five years, so it's not as if A-Power is going to collect the roughly $600 million right away. However, it's just what the company needed after a crushing third quarter. Orders today are the energy-generating systems of tomorrow.
Amazon.com, Netflix, and Staples are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. 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.