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. We've got a Situation here
Abercrombie & Fitch
"We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans," A&F's statement reads.
Brilliant, isn't it? It's free publicity as long as the man known as "The Situation" and his arguably trashy reality television cronies don't take the retailer up on its offer. It's even better publicity if they do.
A few months ago, Jersey Shore denizen Pauly D appeared in a Miracle Whip commercial, where he basically dissed the sandwich spread, proving that the show's marketing appeal rests primarily on producing anti-spokespeople.
2. Putting the app in cappuccino
Baristas are offering more than fancy brews these days. Starbucks
Starbucks has been offering iTunes "pick of the week" tracks for some time, and is now upgrading to more valuable freebies.
It's a win-win. Starbucks may see an uptick in foot traffic. App developers get some promotional exposure. Clearly, most apps won't appeal to everyone, but I guess the same can be said of the free iTunes music tracks that have been offered in the past.
3. Reed Hastings is kidding around
It's a great move by Netflix, just two weeks before existing subscribers will see their bills increase if they want to continue to receive DVDs and streams.
Netflix has been working hard to beef up its digital vault. Obviously, there's more money to be made by Netflix through serving up video for $7.99 a month than to stock and cover round-trip postage for optical discs. However, the really brilliant part of this move is that it's simply repackaging content that it has already licensed in a way that will appeal to kids.
Still set on canceling Netflix next month? Think of the children!
4. Things that make you go whir
Shares of Jamba
This is a bigger deal than you think, since Jamba had actually missed Wall Street's bottom-line estimates in each of the six previous quarters.
It appears that the company's turnaround may be on track. Comparable-store sales have now been positive at franchised locations for four consecutive quarters. It's encouraging to see Jamba bounce back even after McDonald's
5. Improving home improvement
Things were looking bleak as home improvement giant Home Depot
Despite the nearly universal malaise, Home Depot did manage to post better-than-expected results, as improving same-store sales and reasonable bottom-line growth prove that home improvement projects aren't entirely dead.