Market Minute: Yum Brands' China Sales Catch a Case of Bird Flu

A customer places an order at a Yum! Brands Inc. KFC restaurant in Beijing, China, on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. In China, KFC has achieved such dominance over McDonald's and local rivals that Colonel Harland Sanders's image is a far more common sight in many Chinese cities than that of Mao. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images
KFC falls prey to the bird flu, and the PC may become a dinosaur.

Record highs continue to pile up on Wall Street. The Dow Industrials rallied 128 points yesterday and the S&P 500 jumped 19, both closing at record levels. The Nasdaq soared 39 points.

The bird flu outbreak in China is taking a big bite out of KFC's sales there. They fell 16 percent last week, and the downtrend for the unit of Yum Brands (YUM) is continuing this month. More than half of Yum's total sales come from China, where it has above 5,000 KFC outlets.

Worldwide shipments of personal computers tumbled by nearly 14 percent in the first quarter. Market researcher IDC says that's the biggest drop since it began tracking the numbers in 1994. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) remains the number one PC maker, despite a 24 percent slide in the quarter. Dell's (DELL) shipment's fell by 11 percent, and Apple's (AAPL) dropped more than seven percent. The decline signals consumer's growing preference for smartphones and tablets. IDC also notes that Microsoft's (MSFT) rollout of Windows 8 has done nothing to slow the decline in PC sales, and may have even made it worse.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reports Microsoft is developing a new line of tablets, including a 7-inch version of the Surface. Goldman Sachs (GS) lowered its rating on Microsoft to neutral.

General Motors (GM) says it plans to invest more than $5 billion dollars in its ailing European brands, Opel and Vauxhall. The company's European operations lost $1.8 billion last year, so it was either invest more to rebuild the brand, or retreat.

Costco (COST) reports a key measure of sales rose 4 percent last month. That's a bit below expectations... a rare miss for the warehouse club retailer.

And shares of Integra LifeSciences (IART) are set to tumble after the company recalled some of its surgical products. It also issued a disappointing earnings forecast.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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Just about ready to "give it up" on chicken. Everytime you turn around there's another disease being spread by people eating it!!

April 11 2013 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

do you think Obama will raise the COLA to seniors now that the cost of chicken and beef are going up or will we have to start eating spam?

April 11 2013 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dy19spider57's comment

SPAM, short for spiced ham, is not all that bad, and it doesn't need refrigeration, pretty good if you fry it, but it does get "old" (boring) rather quickly. Not something you'd want to eat every day. However, the turkey spam makes pretty good turkey sandwiches with lettuce, and mayo.................

April 11 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Eating chicken could kill you and sales of chicken to eat are down.......WOW what a shocker.....I don't know how they ever put the 2 together!!!

April 11 2013 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What are your talking about Charles!!! She's beautiful!

April 11 2013 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She REALLY should just do Voice work!

April 11 2013 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looks like it's a case of "bye bye birdie"...

April 11 2013 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply