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Pre-Market: Yum Says KFC Improved in China; FCC Skeptical of T-Mobile, Sprint Deal


"Grand Theft Auto V" was a hit, but Take-Two Interactive fell on future guidance.

After US stocks suffered their steepest sell-off since June, futures indicate that stocks might erase some of yesterday's gains. Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) shares could also be in focus after announcing a turnaround in China.

Before the opening bell today, futures on the major stock indices are pointing toward a modest rebound after falling more than 2% yesterday, which was partly spurred by a disappointing manufacturing report for the US. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.24% to 15,328. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.36% to 1,739.10. As of yesterday's close, the index is off 5.79% from the record high on Jan. 15. Futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.26% to 3,438.75.

Yum Brands, which operates Taco Bell and KFC fast food franchises, saw shares rise 4.2% in after-hours trading after the company reported that its Chinese KFC chains, where it derives a significant portion of its revenue, are starting to recover. Comparable store sales in the country were down 4%, but investors welcomed the news that the business is rebounding from a year of concerns over poultry safety. Sales were also down 2% in the US, but rose 2% in Europe and Russia. For the fourth quarter, however, Yum's adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.86, beating Wall Street's expectations by $0.07. Revenue of $4.18 billion fell short by $80 million.

Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) shares sank 2% after the automaker's earnings report. The weaker yen and cost-cutting helped the Japanese company earn $5.2 billion in net profit, a fivefold year-over-year increase. Toyota also raised its outlook for the full year, but shares slid along with the Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) and global equities in general.

The Federal Communications Commission is cold on the idea of allowing Sprint (NYSE:S) to purchase T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS), according to a report by Reuters. Yesterday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a meeting with Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son that he has an open mind about the potential deal, but he is concerned that it might run afoul of antitrust laws.

Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc (NASDAQ:TTWO), the maker of Grand Theft Auto and other games, fell 7% overnight. For the last quarter of 2013, the software company earned $767 million, up from $78.8 million a year ago. Shares fell when management's future guidance came up short of analyst expectations.

On the economic front, more poor factory data is expected later this morning. Factory orders in December 2013 are expected to show a 1.8% fall, following a 1.8% rise in November of last year.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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