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. The Oracle knows
Enterprise software titan Oracle
The second piece of good news came from the initiation of a dividend policy. Oracle won't be paying a whole lot. At an annual rate of $0.20 a share, the yield itself is barely above 1%. However, it hopefully sets a good example for the other fat-cat tech stocks with billions in the bank and no desire to return some of that to shareowners in the form of quarterly dividends.
2. I'm going to Disney World
When I heard that EPCOT was rolling out an interactive financial exhibit called The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, I figured it would be a scorching rebuke of the piggish behavior of many renegade banks over the past year.
Nope, it's actually an exhibit that will be bankrolled by T. Rowe Price
I wonder if the interactive exhibit will tell you not to hand over $8 to the churro salesman outside? Still, this makes the "smart" list this week because T. Rowe Price is one of the untainted brands in the financial services industry. It didn't get caught in the mutual fund scandal several years ago. It hasn't been exposed to most of the recent subprime shenanigans. If the consumer -- even the sunburned vacationing consumer -- needs to be set straight financially, T. Rowe Price is one of the few companies with a birthright to pull it off.
3. Game on, in China
The IPO spigot has been running dry lately, so it's refreshing to see Sohu.com
Changyou has plenty of octane in the tank. Revenue grew nearly fivefold last year, with profitability climbing even faster. The market seems to be ignoring the healthy growth of online gaming in the world's most populous nation. I'd joke about it and call it an ancient Chinese secret, but the valuations are getting pretty ridiculous. The five publicly traded online gaming companies in China are trading at forward earnings multiples in the preteens or less. Let's see if Changyou changes things.
4. IBM must stand for Into Buying More
If you're not bolted down, rumor mongers will think that IBM
We'll eventually find out if there's merit in either rumor, but what the chatter has done is awaken the acquisitive appetite that has been dead in tech for too long. Now that the buyout buzz is in the air -- and tech stocks like Changyou.com are groggily stepping up to the IPO stage -- maybe tech can lead us out of this recession. At the very least, let IBM set a Rube Goldberg machine of buyouts into action.
5. A trading blockbuster
There was an interesting SEC filing on Monday. Mark Wattles, the founder of Hollywood Video, has acquired a 5.7% stake in Blockbuster
Yes, someone who was Blockbuster's archrival before he sold Hollywood Video in 2005, is a believer. It doesn't get any better than this. This is like a Washington Redskins fan buying Dallas Cowboys season tickets.
Despite the looming concerns of bankruptcy reorganization, an industry insider who knows the industry -- and probably Blockbuster -- better than nearly everybody has begun hoarding Blockbuster lottery tickets.
Keep watching this one until the end credits roll.
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.