U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed as Yum Brands Falls

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index almost erased an intraday decline of 1.3 percent yesterday.

Yum! Brands Inc. sank 4.7 percent in German trading after cutting its 2014 profit forecast amid a health scare in China. Costco Wholesale Corp. climbed 1 percent after the largest U.S. warehouse-club chain posted quarterly profit that topped estimates.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring this month lost 0.1 percent to 2,056.1 at 10:24 a.m. in London. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts retreated 7 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 17,773.

The S&P 500 closed little changed yesterday as gains in energy and technology shares offset concern over China’s lending rules and a potential election in Greece. The benchmark gauge has jumped 11 percent this year, heading for a third year of gains, fueled by better-than-forecast economic data and corporate earnings.

Stocks in China rose today amid speculation the government will boost stimulus after inflation reports fell short of estimates. Chinese producer prices slipped in November from a year earlier for a 33rd straight drop, while consumer inflation slowed from a month earlier, reports today showed.

Data later this week may show U.S. retail sales increased in November, initial jobless claims last week stayed unchanged from a week earlier, and consumer confidence improved this month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Yum sank 4.8 percent after saying 2014 earnings per share, excluding some items, will rise by a mid-single-digit percentage. The owner of the KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains had previously forecast 20 percent growth.

Costco added 1 percent in early New York trading. Net income rose to $ 1.12 a share in the 12 weeks ended Nov. 23. That exceeded the $ 1.09 average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Source: Bloomberg

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