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. A pre-emptive Warren-palooza strike
Perfect timing, Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire's audit committee has found that former executive David Sokol's disclosures were "misleadingly incomplete" surrounding his purchase of Lubrizol shares ahead of introducing the specialty chemicals company as a buyout candidate to Warren Buffett.
Buffett had originally defended Sokol's actions despite his resignation.
A Wall Street darling admitting a mistake isn't the kind of humility that typically makes the cut in this weekly column, but Berkshire is laying it all out on the table just as shareholders are trekking out to Omaha for the company's annual shareholder meeting come Monday.
The move will take less sting out of the lengthy Q&A session. The thorny succession issue will obviously still be raised. Buffett and Charlie Munger aren't spring chickens anymore, and Sokol was a popular choice as Buffett's potential replacement. However, it should be a more harmonious powwow now that that's cleared up.
2. J-pop redefined
Its new target for its home carbonation system is Japan. SodaStream is teaming up with a Japanese distributor to introduce its fizzy contraptions, carbonators, and soda syrups in what the company claims is the largest retail market for soda outside of the United States.
SodaStream's revenue "popped" 59% higher during the holiday quarter, fueled largely by last year's international expansion. If SodaStream is as popular in Japan as it has become in some established markets -- even if it falls well short of its impressive 20% household penetration in Sweden -- it can move the seltzer needle during the latter half of this year.
3. Bean there, done that
Concerns that fast-food chains aggressively marketing fancy coffee beverages would eat into Starbucks
The java heavy came through with a strong quarter, fueled by a caffeinated 7% increase in stateside comps. A 1% increase in the average bill padded by a 6% increase in traffic prove that more Starbucks regulars are coming through the door -- and spending more than they were a year ago.
The showing isn't stacked on top of depressed levels. Comps also rose by 7% during last year's fiscal second quarter.
4. Buffalo sauce is spicy, bro
The Buffalo Bills may have sported the third worst record in the NFL this past season -- with the juicy draft pick last night to show for it -- but the same can't be said for Buffalo Wild Wings
The family friendly sports bar chain posted better-than-expected quarterly results, as March Madness and cheap poultry helped propel top- and bottom-line growth.
Despite all of the hubbub of skyrocketing food costs at many chains, Buffalo Wild Wings paid $1.22 a pound for its chicken wings, well below the $1.91 a pound it was paying a year ago.
There's obviously a cloud hanging over Buffalo Wild Wings with NFL owners and players still in a tense standoff. The lockout that was recently lifted isn't a win-win scenario. If the NFL is forced to shorten its season, Buffalo Wild Wings may suffer a traffic hit. The chain is working on a contingency plan, but its best ally may be wing costs. Traditional chicken wings -- which make up 20% of the chain's business -- have gone on to drop to $1.02 a pound during the current quarter. If a few weekly gridiron contests have to go given up during the dispute, won't chicken wing prices head even lower? Buffalo Wild Wings may be in the mother of all win-win situations.
Too bad the same thing can't be said about the NFL.
5. Yes we .cn
It was a good week for China's dot-com darlings, as Baidu
As China's leading search engine, Baidu is a no-brainer bellwether for online habits within the world's most populous nation. Sohu's interests in Web-based gaming, search, and its popular online portal also provide a good pulse of the situation.
Baidu and Sohu historically report ahead of their peers, so this bodes well for the next few weeks of China's Web-savvy players. In other words, smart moves this week should carry on into May.
Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Baidu, SodaStream International, and Sohu.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Berkshire Hathaway and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Buffalo Wild Wings is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway 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.