Market Minute: Yum Brands Sales Fall Less Than Expected in China

Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

The Dow gained another 50 points yesterday, closing at a fifth straight record high. The blue chips are now up more than 10 percent so far this year. The S&P 500 rose 5, moving to within nine points of its five year-old record, and the Nasdaq added 8-points.

A 20 percent drop in sales in a key market is usually not good news for investors, but it works this time around for Yum Brands (YUM). That's what happened to a key measure of sales in China in the first quarter, but it's not as bad as was feared. The company is trying to bounce back from a PR disaster after its chicken supplier in that country was linked to health problems.

Video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI) hopes diehard gamers will be excited about "Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm." It's the first expansion of the Starcraft II game, and it comes at a time when the entire video game industry is suffering from a lack of hits.

We've seen this happen a number of times recently: a company's stock rallies after a top exec is ousted. That's the case with Verifone (PAY), which is now in the market for a new CEO.

Biotech firm Life Technologies (LIFE) is set to jump on reports that private equity firm KKR is considering a buyout offer. The Wall Street Journal says Danaher and Thermo Fisher are also weighing bids. A takeover could value the company at more than $12 dollars.

And the National Football League is teaming up with General Electric (GE) and sports equipment maker Under Armour (UA) on a four-year project to reduce head injuries. Most of the money will be spent on research, and $10 million dollars will be given to fans and inventors who come up with ways to better protect the players.

Photo Credit: Andy Wong/AP
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