Mixed gaming signals, search-engine searches, and smooth sailing on the high seas colored in the week that was.

Take the "joy" out of joystick, and you're left with just a stick
How ironic is it that during the same week that Sony (NYSE:SNE) hit the market with its breakthrough PSP handheld gaming and entertainment system, the genre's largest video-game maker fired blanks? Yes, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) saw its stock shake off more than $11 in share price on Tuesday after the leading software company warned that it would miss its fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Could it be that folks were too busy saving up for the PSP to dive into EA's older catalog titles? Perhaps. Was it time to abandon the sector? No way. The next day, video-game retailer GameStop (NYSE:GME) took off after it announced reasonable quarterly results but buttered up the crowd with a rosy fiscal 2005 outlook that has the company growing earnings by 20% to reach $1.40 a share this year. So what do you do when two industry bellwethers are playing in different keys? If I were you, I'd pack earplugs and march to your own tune.

The butler did it
The dot-com-gobbling InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) brokered a deal to sweep up AskJeeves.com (NASDAQ:ASKJ) in a $1.85 billion deal that will make InterActiveCorp a search engine force.

Until now, Barry Diller's company had mostly acquired companies in the travel space, like Expedia, Hotels.com, and CitySearch. The InterActiveCorp puzzle pieces interlock in interesting ways, and buying up a popular traffic cop like Ask.com will help it draw in even an larger audience. No, the price isn't cheap, but paid search is hot, and AskJeeves is very profitable.

Love songs in the key of sea
The cruise industry is booming and things just keep getting better for the floating few. Carnival (NYSE:CCL) topped fiscal first-quarter targets, and advance bookings point to another record year for the world's leading cruise company.

While airlines are fretting over surging jet-fuel prices and summer trek staples wonder whether soaring gas prices will keep tourists away, the all-inclusive cruise industry continues to post great numbers as it is being marketed to a wider -- and often younger -- audience. With rock-climbing walls replacing shuffleboard decks and more flexible dining plans and entertainment itineraries, it's a resilient sector, and leaders like Carnival and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) bear following -- at least all the way to the midnight buffet and conga lines.

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Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to cruise with his family. By the time you read this, he may be on a three-night Bahamian cruise. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.