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. Cool beans
Yesterday was a good day for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Starbucks coffee and Tazo teas will be available as Keurig K-Cups for the popular single-cup brewing systems in the fall. Starbucks will also begin selling Keurig brewers in its stores.
This is the best-case scenario for both companies, short of an outright buyout.
Starbucks had hinted last month that it could launch its own single-serving eco-system, but it appears that it was simply negotiating in public. A Starbucks one-cup brewer would have likely been an embarrassing flop.
The market clearly sees this path as a win-win with both stocks soaring on a down day yesterday.
2. Take 2 tablets and call me in the morning
The iPad 2 is finally here.
I sent Apple "smart move" props in last week's column because of the tech giant's shrewd move in getting the iPad 2 out less than a year after the original hit the market. Competitors have to be ticked off.
This week I'll applaud the many distribution outlets backing the iPad 2 launch. We were basically down to Apple Store locations and Apple.com pushing the first wave of Wi-Fi tablets in early April of last year. Now we're getting the full line being sold through several retailers and a pair of wireless carriers.
The media may wonder why the lines aren't as long as last year, but we're really talking about a lot more of the shorter lines. It should add up to a record weekend for Apple all the same.
3. Sting like a Shutterfly
Natural selection is once again on display in the photo-sharing space.
This isn't a big financial hit for the greeting card giant. It spent a mere $26.5 million three years ago to buy the website that transforms digital stills into photo books, address labels, and fridge magnets.
However, the winner here is larger rival Shutterfly
This may seem like a crummy business model in an age where folks are sidestepping photofinishing services by simply sharing photos through social-networking sites and email, but it's working for Shutterfly. Revenue climbed 27%, and earnings soared 35% higher in its strong holiday quarter.
4. Microsoft keeps gamers moving
Yes, Microsoft sold a now Guinness World Record 8 million Kinect sensors during its first 60 days on the market. It's only averaging a million units a month now. This is still an impressive feat. Early adopters and holiday sales were going to pepper the November and December metrics. The real test is now, and moving 2 million units in two months is huge.
It's encouraging for the Xbox 360 -- and the software developers making Kinect-based games -- that the user base continues to grow.
5. From zero to hero
Shares of Hercules Offshore
Hercules Offshore's adjusted loss of $0.03 a share is its smallest quarterly deficit in two years.
The stock has nearly tripled off its September lows, as regulators appear to be relaxing drilling restrictions in the Gulf of Mexico, where Hercules earns its keep as a shallow-water specialist.
Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Apple and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Alpha has opened a short position on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Apple, a diagonal call position on Microsoft, and buying long-term puts and writing a short-term bear put ladder on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The Fool has written puts on Apple and owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Starbucks. 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.
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