If you're feeling down this week, take my hand as we go over some of the more uplifting headlines of the week. Yes, it wasn't all layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns.
1. Mixing drug stocks
You know you're in the right sector when not one -- but two -- stocks receive buyout offers, from not two -- but three -- suitors.
2. You've got bail
AOL finally has a new CEO, and he's actually turning heads. Google
It couldn't come at a better time. AOL is treading water, but that water is Niagara Falls. AOL has been bleeding access subscribers for years, and its plan to make up for that with online advertising as a nonwalled garden has led to mixed results.
3. An Apple rumor a day
I've knocked Apple
Naturally, a netbook with a fancy touchscreen and an Apple logo isn't going to come cheap. Apple may still miss the boat on what drew so many penny-pinching shoppers to dirt cheap netbooks over the holidays. However, if Apple is at least willing to throw its hat into this ring, as it seems to be doing, it's going to breathe new life into a brand that isn't as recession-resistant as shareholders would like to believe.
Apple retail sales presumably fell in January, and the economy didn't get any kinder in February. Without Steve Jobs around, the company has a big mock turtleneck to fill, and a huge splash in the booming netbook market should do it.
4. Staring at satellites
It's been a busy week for Sirius XM Radio
However, there are several welcome developments to earn the satellite radio operator a spot on this week's "Smart" list, too.
- Sirius XM generated $31.8 million in pro forma adjusted income during the fourth quarter, for the first time in the company's history.
- It finally made things official, announcing that an application would hit Apple's App Store during the second quarter. Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners will now be able to stream XM and Sirius.
- The company's quarterly report showed some serious overhead trimming on various line items, vindicating the cost-saving synergies behind the merger in the first place.
5. One pill after the other
A few days before the CV Therapeutics and Genentech buyouts, Merck
The news broke on Monday morning, well before Wall Street's opening bell. It was such a big story that CNBC interrupted a live interview with Warren Buffett to break down the story.
No one will ever suggest that the Merck deal saved the market. Stocks actually fell on Monday, before going on to rally in each of the past three trading days. However, I think it helped set an upbeat tone. I was watching CNBC at the time, and Buffett was just starting to sell viewers on the long-term prospects of investing when – bam! -- a colossal deal drives it all home.
CV Therapeutics and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He's the inspiration for The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" song. 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.