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. Main Street's electrical parade
Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) appear to be coated in Teflon this year, having more than quadrupled in 2013. Well, now it seems as if the cars may be Teflon-dipped as well. Tesla's Model S was awarded the highest overall vehicle safety score that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ever bestowed on a vehicle.
Yes, Tesla is apparently the safest car ever.
Tesla's plug-in electric sedan has already won top honors from Motor Trend and Consumer Reports, but now it's likely to appeal to a new range of drivers who are willing to pay up for safety.
2. Sirius puts the tune in tune up
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) has a new way to reach out to dormant receivers. The satellite-radio provider announced the Service Lane program, through which it will offer drivers of cars with inactive accounts two free months when they service their cars at any participating dealership.
It won't be as successful as Sirius XM's plan in which it offers free trials to buyers of used cars with existing Sirius or XM receivers. There we're talking about new owners of used cars for whom the novelty of satellite radio is likely to be intriguing. Folks taking their cars in for service have presumably already decided that they aren't interested in paying for premium radio.
There are a lot of cars out there with inactive receivers. Sirius XM estimates that there are more than 50 million cars on the road with receivers, but only half of them belong to current subscribers. Sirius XM's conversion rate will be low here, but it's aiming at such a wide pool of potential subscribers that the gains could move the needle.
3. Stream of consciousness
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) keeps growing its digital vault. The leading streaming service announced that it will be the exclusive streaming home for Weinstein's TWC and Dimension Films studios during the pay TV window starting with the 2016 theatrical releases.
Yes, we're talking about content that won't hit Netflix viewers until late 2016 at the earliest. The point here is that Netflix continues to increase its offerings while sticking to its $7.99-a-month plan. Can your cable or satellite television plan say that?
The deal is also a blow to Showtime, as the premium movie channel is the one that currently has the pay TV window rights to Weinstein productions.
4. Hitting the "Continue?" button actually works
Things are starting to look up for GameStop (NYSE:GME), even though investors who have seen the skeptic-defying shares nearly triple over the past year probably know that already. The leading video-game retailer moved higher after announcing better-than-expected results, offering up a rosy outlook for the current quarter and pushing up its guidance for the entire fiscal year.
Getting past a difficult quarter in which profitability was shaved in half on a double-digit dip in sales, the 6,505-unit chain delighted the market by calling for earnings of at least $0.50 a share on double-digit comps growth for the current quarter. Analysts weren't banking on that kind of bounce, especially since the holiday quarter was supposed to be the turnaround play, with the Xbox One, PS4, and Call of Duty: Ghosts hitting stores in November.
It's still natural to be cynical when discussing GameStop, after it hosed down its guidance four times last year, but we've now seen the retailer raise its store-level targets in back-to-back quarters.
5. Cooler than a mopping Carol Burnett
There's a new consumer robot in town, and it's mopping up the place. iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) introduced the stateside release of Braava, a compact automaton that mops and scrubs floors in a single pass.
The rollout isn't necessarily a surprise. It was introduced in Europe earlier this year, and it's the rebranded handiwork of a company that iRobot acquired last year. However, for a company that's still riding on the success of its Roomba vacuum-cleaning orbs, new products are always a welcome path to generate incremental revenue and diversification.