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Yum or yuck? Trading fast food headlines

Shares of Yum Brands rose Thursday after the fast food giant added an activist to its board, but "Fast Money" traders remained skeptical amid more bad news from its China division.

Yum added Corvex Management's Keith Meister to its board, fueling investor hopes that it would make moves to combat sluggish sales. But it also cut its full-year earnings outlook, citing currency headwinds and continued sales troubles in China.

"It may be an activist story, but I think you stay way from Yum at this point," said trader Brian Kelly.

Read MoreYum Brands warns, brings activist Meister on board

A Taco Bell restaurant in Laguna Beach, California.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
A Taco Bell restaurant in Laguna Beach, California.

Trader Dan Nathan agreed that he would not buy Yum on the Meister move. He would wait for a period of weakness and buy it at a lower price.

McDonald's

Shares of McDonald's also rose Thursday, briefly touching an all-time high on a report that it could make a move with its huge real estate holdings. The stock has surged recently amid an ongoing restructuring and positive reception to all-day breakfast service.

Read MoreCould McDonald's sell its real estate?

Trader Guy Adami noted investors should stay in McDonald's leading up to its earnings later this month. Kelly agreed, saying positive developments are adding up for the fast-food giant.

Disclosures:

Dan Nathan

Dan is long AMAT Jan call spread, PYPL Oct call calendar, BA Oct put spread, INTC Dec put spread, QQQ Oct put spread, UAL Oct/Nov put spread, XLF Dec put spread, TWTR

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, GLD, Bitcoin, Silver, US Dollar; he is short Yuan, British Pound, Crude Oil, Euro, Yen, EEM, EWC, EWU, EWG, SPY

Karen Finerman

Karen is long BAC, C, FINL, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, KORS, KORS call spreads, M, URI, she is short SPY, Her firm is long ANTM, AAPL, BAC, C, DIS, FINL, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, GPS, JPM, KORS, KORS call spreads, M, M calls, M call spreads, SUNE, SUNE call spreads, URI, URI long puts, her firm is short IWM, SPY, MDY, USO, Karen Finerman is on the board of GrafTech International.

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, INTC, Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.