If you're feeling down this week, cheer up! Let's review some of the more uplifting headlines of the past seven days. They make great reminders that the market's more than just layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns.
1. Let the IPOs flow
We had just two stateside IPOs this year -- and three since last summer -- before Bridgepoint Education
Online educator Bridgepoint had to settle for a lower-than-expected price of $10.50 for its shares, but it closed at $11.10 on Wednesday, and bounced nicely to $12.05 yesterday. Rosetta Stone is off to an even better start. The foreign-language software specialist was able to price its offering at $18, above its initial range, yet it still managed to close nearly 40% higher than that.
We'll see whether this success is enough to shake out some more prospective IPOs. The market could certainly use some fresh names, especially if the companies behind them have the solid fundamentals to earn their listings.
2. Rock on, Guitar Hero
So many companies are scaling back their projections and expectations lately -- especially those dependent upon sparse discretionary income -- that it turns heads when one of these businesses offers good news.
We'll know more next month, when the company makes its quarterly report official.
3. eBay wins in Korea
How do you beat the top dog in a market where you're essentially the only (and distant) runner-up? You buy it, of course. eBay
That's a good move, especially for a company struggling to grow its flagship marketplace business organically. It won't be enough to reverse recent declines at eBay.com itself, but it will give eBay a beefier global presence.
eBay's paying 23 times next year's earnings estimates for Gmarket. That's certainly more than the multiple eBay itself presently fetches, but sometimes you've gotta pay up for growth.
4. Coming Zune
Rumor-mill chatter rarely makes this weekly column, but the mere fact that folks are talking about Microsoft's
An alleged photo of a new Zune model, supposedly due out in the fall, rocked the blogosphere this week. The reported specs for the new model, which looks like an iPod touch, are impressive: a high-end graphics chipset that will provide superior gameplay, Windows Mobile integration, and access to a wider range of free terrestrial radio content, among other goodies.
So when is unconfirmed news good news? Well, even if this is bogus -- it's possible that someone took the time to fire up Photoshop and dream up those specs -- it's impressive that so many news outlets are now rebroadcasting the chatter. Maybe the Zune is more popular than its market-share pittance would suggest.
5. Big G gets bigger
Dot-com bellwether Google
The company's YouTube site also made waves yesterday, announcing that it has teamed up with several studios to begin streaming full-length movies and television content. That's great news for YouTube's stickiness, but not so good for cable companies ... or for corporate productivity at companies that haven't blocked YouTube access.
Gmarket and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Activision Blizzard and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. eBay and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services 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.