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Pre-Market: Yellen Chosen to Take Over Fed; Yum Brands Sees Another Bad Quarter in China


Plus, the menswear sector could consolidate.

Stocks are set to rise today after President Obama nominates Janet Yellen as the first Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.

Obama will officially nominate Yellen at 3 p.m. today. The 67-year-old Vice Chair of the Fed was a favorite of Democrats and economists. She helped design the Fed's unprecedented monetary stimulus and is expected to continue Ben Bernanke's policies after his term ends Jan. 31.

The Fed will also release minutes of its September meeting where it unexpectedly opted to continue quantitative easing at the same level as it had for a year.

After a sharp sell-off yesterday, stock futures are rebounding slightly in pre-market trading. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.16% at 14,738 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.26% to 1,654.40. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.20% to 3,157.00.

The president and Republican lawmakers continue to argue over the debt ceiling as the government shutdown enters its ninth day. House Speaker Boehner is pushing for negotiations that will essentially do away with the Affordable Care Act, but the president insists that he will not negotiate while the government is shut down.

In company news, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) earnings beat expectations, thanks to cost cutting and demand for aluminum for autos and aircraft. Shares are up 2.5% ahead of the opening bell.

Jos A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB) shares are up 9.8% as the menswear retailer has offered $2.3 billion to acquire the struggling Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW). The acquisition offer is a 36% premium to yesterday's closing price. Men's Wearhouse shares are up 34% this morning.

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) earnings missed expectations. The retailer reported that profit rose 1.3% to $617 million as revenue rose 1% to $31.77 billion. Comparable store sales rose 5%, but EPS of $1.40 missed expectations by $0.06.

Yum Brands, Inc (NYSE:YUM) slumped 6.64% this morning as its continued slump in China affected earnings. EPS came in at $0.85, missing expectations. Revenue fell 2.9% to $3.47 billion. The company doesn't expect positive growth in China in the current quarter as it continues to reel from a scandal over the cleanliness of its chicken suppliers there.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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