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. Jokers are wild
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the leading digital movie rental provider is nearing a deal to acquire two seasons of a brand-new show. House of Cards -- starring Kevin Spacey and featuring the television directorial debut of David Fincher -- would be a big gamble for Netflix. Committing to two years of episodes can be fatal if the show's a dud.
However, I like Netflix's thinking here.
A few years ago, Netflix began to invest in indie film projects. It shuttered the Red Envelope initiative in 2008, presumably because it was competing against the same studios that it leans on as suppliers. We're way past that point now. Netflix is already competing with studios and cable providers. It has Hollywood's attention because of its girth. It's hard to ignore a popular service with more than 20 million homes of couch potatoes.
Nabbing a proprietary series -- if it proves popular -- will help keep churn in check. Who would cancel in the middle of a two-year run? The move would also make Netflix a better negotiator for digital streaming rights with studios because it's not as if it would absolutely need them. It can get by simply with the ones that want to play along.
The leading genealogy site helped retrace President Obama's family line to find his great-great-great grandfather -- an Irish immigrant that fled to the United States in 1850 during the potato famine -- and then followed the lines back down to drum up 28 living descendants.
This is pretty neat publicity for Ancestry.com, the premium genealogy subscription service that's already getting a boost from its association with NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?.
In a nutshell, Ancestry.com is making its own luck by making genealogy cool again.
3. Serious streaming
There's more to satellite radio than just satellites.
Sirius XM Radio
Yesterday's update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners aims to enhance the premium radio experience through technical improvements and new features including album covers and artist biographies on the music channels.
Subscribers will also be able to purchase songs through iTunes and see what's playing on their pre-selected favorite channels at the same time.
Audio streaming is getting smarter, and Sirius XM is in a choice position to take advantage.
4. Screening a surprise
Not every stock is taking a hit this week.
Shares of Universal Display
The developer of organic light emitting device displays saw revenue more than double to $10.8 million. Its operating loss narrowed substantially. Universal Display also sees wider marketplace adoption of its PHOLED technology in its 2011 fiscal year.
5. Made in the trade
February was a good month for discount brokers.
It was a busy week for E*TRADE, which also launched a social hub where its retailer brokerage accountholders can share stock ideas and gauge the market's pulse through virally potent Web 2.0 features.
Then again, the market was rocking last month, and we investors are known to be a chatty lot. The real test will be how the Web-based brokers hold up during this more challenging month.
Ancestry.com and Universal Display are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Netflix, optionsXpress Holdings, and Charles Schwab are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. 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.