Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were broadly lower, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 falling just 0.2% while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were posting a 1.3% decline.
In company news, Yum! Brands ( YUM ) rose Wednesday after the restaurant company reported a 1% rise in December same-store sales for its China division compared with year-ago levels, including 5% growth at its KFC locations and a 11% year-over-year decline at Pizza Hut Casual Dining restaurants.
Overall, Q4 same-store sales rose 2% for the China Division, the company said. That included an estimated 6% increase at KFC and an 8% decline of 8% in Pizza Hut same-store sales during the extended quarterly period that began Sept. 1 and concluded Dec. 31. The company is scheduled to report its Q4 financial results on Feb. 3.
YUM shares were up slightly nearly 1% at $70.17 each following an advance as high as $70.85 a share on Wednesday.
In other sector news,
(+) ESCA, (+10.5%) Rating increase to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich, which also set an $18 price target for the stock.
(-) AXL, (-16.1%) Said it expects to report FY15 sales of around $3.9 bln, compared with Street view looking for $3.93 bln.
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