Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Oct. 9:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains on Wall Street Wednesday but sentiment was lifted only slightly by reports that Janet Yellen will be nominated to head the Federal Reserve.

European stocks were lower. Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1%

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes wholesale inventories for August at 10 a.m. EDT, and minutes of the Sept. 18 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday tumbled the most in six weeks on concerns the government will default on its debt obligations.

The S&P 500 closed down 1.23% to 1,655.45 to extend its decline since the shutdown began to 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.1% to 14,776.53 while the Nasdaq lost 2% to 3,694.83.

4. -- President Obama is expected to nominate Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The move would put the world's most powerful central bank in the hands of a key architect of its unprecedented stimulus program and the first female leader in its 100-year history.

According to a report from Bloomberg, which cited administration officials, Obama will announce the nomination at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday. Yellen, 67 years old, would succeed Ben Bernanke, whose term expires on Jan. 31.

5. -- Apple ( AAPL) is preparing to take the packaging off its new iPads , reportedly as early as next week.

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, AllThingsD reported Apple will hold the invite-only event next Tuesday, Oct. 22. In addition to the iPad refresh, Apple also will showcase the new Mac Pro and OS X Maverick.

Apple unveiled both those products in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

6. -- Jos. A. Bank Clothiers ( JOSB) has approached Men's Wearhouse ( MW) about a combination of the two men's apparel companies , according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It isn't clear whether the approach, made in recent weeks, will lead to a deal or what form any such tie-up would take, according to the Journal. With a market value of $1.17 billion, Jos. A. Bank is smaller than Men's Wearhouse, which has a market value of $1.68 billion.

7. -- Yum! Brands ( YUM) reported third-quarter earnings on Wednesday that came in lower than expected.

Yum! Brands, which operates Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, posted net income of $152 million, or 33 cents a share, which included a non-cash charge of $258 million, or 55 cents a share, related to the write-down of Little Sheep intangible assets. Excluding the charge, earnings of 85 cents a share came in below consensus estimates of 93 cents.

YUM! said worldwide system sales rose 1%. System sales in China declined 2%, while U.S. sales were flat for the quarter.

Same-store sales in China dropped 11% in the quarter, were flat in the U.S. and rose 1% at its international locations, which includes emerging market locations, the company said.

"Based on KFC China sales for September, it is now unlikely China Division same-store sales will be positive for the fourth quarter," the company said. "Given lower-than-expected China sales and a higher-than-expected full-year tax rate, the company now estimates a high-single to low-double-digit full-year EPS decline versus prior year, excluding special items. This compares to our previous guidance of a mid-single-digit decline in EPS."

8. -- Family Dollar Stores ( FDO) is expected by analysts on Wednesday to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $2.56 billion.

9. -- Samsung said it will release a smartphone with a curved display, and a price tag of $1,000.

The Galaxy Round has a curved 5.7-inch (14.5 cm) screen using advanced display technology called organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology. The company said such a curved screen smartphone is the first in the world.

10. -- Alcoa ( AA), the aluminum giant, posted third-quarter net income of $24 million, a reversal from a year-earlier loss of $143 million.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 11 cents a share; analysts were looking for profit of 5 cents a share.

Revenue declined 1% to $5.77 billion.

Alcoa said cash prices for aluminum prices fell 7% from a year earlier.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2013 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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