Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (KORS), Groupon Inc (GRPN): This Week’s Five Smartest Stock Moves

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)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. Waffling about
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)
Taco Bell may have another head-turning hit on its hands.

The fast food chain is expanding its test of a waffle taco that apparently was a hit at the first three Southern California stores it was introduced in earlier this year.

The breakfast treat — essentially a waffle wrapped around scrambled eggs and a sausage patty — will be added to roughly 100 stores in three different markets.

This is the kind of news that will draw media attention, just as its Doritos-dusted tacos did last year. We saw how well that played out for Taco Bell, with comps soaring 8% in 2012. The waffle taco won’t have that kind of a dramatic impact on the chain’s business, but it will draw attention to Taco Bell as a breakfast destination.

Now, if only someone could drum up a jalapeno maple syrup.

2. Par for the Kors
Affluent shoppers are replacing their Coach handbags with Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS)‘ luxury goods.

A week after its larger rival posted disappointing quarterly results that were weighed down by a 1.7% decline in comps at North American stores, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS) posted another blowout quarter, with North American same-store sales surging 25%.

Revenue itself soared 55%, to $640.9 million, as strong wholesale activity, and brisk expansion on top of the spectacular comps, drove high-end buyers to Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS). Net income skyrocketed 82%.

Luxury is alive and well, as long as investors buy the right brands.

3. Groupon deals with success
Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)
broke through the ceiling of single-digit share prices for the first time in more than a year after posting robust quarterly results this week.

The daily deals leader posted better-than-expected growth, and the gains look even stronger when you back out Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s iffy international endeavors.

Sure, a lot of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)’s growth is coming from low-margin goods. This isn’t the same high-margin model that investors fell in love with when the reborn dot-com darling went public at $20 two years ago. Despite beating on the top line, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) merely met bottom-line estimates.