Transcript: Monday, August 26, 2013

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Susie Gharib, brought to you by —


Markets reverse course on concerns coming out of the Middle East.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), the world`s biggest biotech firm, jumps feet first into one of the industry`s fastest-growing markets, cancer drugs. It`s paying $10 billion for Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Is this the beginning of a biotech merger wave?

GHARIB: And, generations of debt. Why a growing number of parents over 50 are struggling to pay off not only their own college loans, but also their children`s.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, August 26th.

GRIFFETH: Good evening, everybody. I`m Bill Griffeth, in for Tyler Mathisen, alongside, of course, Susie Gharib.

Concerns about what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called undeniable evidence of a chemical weapons attack in a rebel-controlled area of Syria, and what role the U.S. military might play in response sent the markets lower in the final hour of trade today.

Here`s what Secretary of State Kerry said during a news conference in Washington this afternoon, in a clear warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Obama has made clear to the Assad regime, that this international norm cannot be violated without consequences. And there is a reason why no matter what you believe about Syria, all people in all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure there is accountability for the use of chemical weapons, so that it never happens again.


GRIFFETH: The market had been trading higher earlier on merger news and in spite of a sharp drop in July, durable goods orders. But those comments by Secretary Kerry sent the indexes lower and they did close at the lows of the session. The Dow fell by 64 points, ending below 15,000 again, the NASDAQ was a fraction of a point lower, the S&P 500 was down 6 points.

Gold the other way, up above $1,400 an ounce for the first time since June 7th, when it hit that multiyear low of $1,180.

GHARIB: Well, the biggest of the merger news that Bill just mentioned, one of the largest deals ever in the drug making industry.
Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), the huge biotech company, is paying $10.5 billion for Onyx Pharmaceuticals. When completed, the deal will give Amgen
(NASDAQ:AMGN) two new cancer drugs, adding to its own cancer-fighting medications and current bestsellers fighting osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders and more.

So, what does all this mean?

Seema Mody has the story.


SEEMA MODY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world`s biggest biotech company finally has its foothold in the cancer drug market. Over the weekend, Onyx Pharmaceuticals accepted a $10.4 billion offer from Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), after rejecting a lower offer at the end of June. Onyx is seen as a leader of cancer treatments and the deal gives Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) access to one of the fastest growing markets in the pharmaceutical space.

The driver of the deal, Onyx`s crowned jewel, Kyprolis, a treatment for a rare type of cancer that could see sales of $2 billion over the next several years.

BARBARA RYAN, FTI CONSULTING MANAGING DIRECTOR: Let`s give them an entrance into the myeloma market which is growing significantly with Kyprolis. Also, Onyx has other oncology drugs.

MODY: If approved, the buyout values Onyx at $125 a share, which have been trading at $86 before news of the deal first broke in June.

And while long-term holders of Onyx will make money, investors bought the stock after the company rejected Amgen`s first offer won`t be quite as happy.

(on camera): After Onyx shot down that deal, its shares spiked, Wall Street expected the company could sell for as much as $135 a share.
Today`s deal doesn`t quite match those expectations and that`s reflected in Onyx`s one month performance. Shares are down about 6 percent since then, though they`re still up big on the year.

(voice-over): Today`s deal ranks among the five biggest ever by a biotech, and is the second largest takeover for Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). In an industry where taking over a proven drug is often seen as a shortcut to profitability, many analysts think we could see more big deals in the works soon.

RYAN: The focal areas is in the rare diseases and in oncology, company like Biomarin, Celldex, there have been rumors that Roche is going to make a bid for Alexion. So, there are a bunch of companies out there that the market is speculating may be next.

MODY: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Seema Mody, in New York.


GRIFFETH: Well, that Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN)/Onyx deal was not the only big merger announced today. You also had British drug maker AstraZeneca bolstering its pipeline of new cancer drugs as well, agreeing to acquire privately held U.S. biotech company Amplimmune for half a billion dollars.

Also, oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) is selling part of its stake in a natural gas site off the shores of Mozambique for
$2.6 billion to an Indian energy company.

And Pittsburgh`s TMS International, which provides services and materials to steel mills, announced that it is selling itself to the Pritzker family. Of course, the founders of the Hyatt Hotel chain and other industrial businesses. That is a cash deal worth more than $1 billion.

So, when all is said and done, shares of AstraZeneca were slightly lower. Shares of Anadarko were higher. And shares of TMS shut up by more than 12 percent.

GHARIB: Now, one more merger that we first told you about that was in the works on Friday was confirmed today. Electronics stock exchange operator BATS Global Markets is buying rival Direct Edge. The deal will create the second largest U.S. stock exchange. The new BATS will trade more shares than the NASDAQ and will be second only to the New York Stock Exchange in terms of volume of trade. Terms of the deal not disclosed.

GRIFFETH: The U.S. government is going to reach its borrowing limit again, this time in the middle of October. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew wrote to Congress today, saying that the government will reach that debt limit of $16.7 trillion by mid-October. And he urged lawmakers to reach a federal budget deal sometime before then.

GHARIB: Some good news for drivers to tell you about. Gas prices are falling. The Lundberg Survey shows prices at the pump are down 4 cents a gallon over the past two weeks, now averaging $3.56 a gallon. That`s 20 cents lower than the same time last year.

GRIFFETH: And a new survey of economist says the biggest fiscal challenge facing our country may be years away from right now. The survey conducted by the National Association of Business Economics finds that nearly half the experts surveyed cited budget gaps expected in the 2020s and the 2030s as the top financial program, compared with 37 percent who said the projected deficits over the next 10 years are more of a concern.

GHARIB: Another possible challenge to the economy, fears about a slowdown in the housing recovery. During the worst of the foreclosure crisis, investors — many of them big money hedge funds — swooped in to buy up thousands of properties, which pushed prices higher than anyone expected. That helped jumpstart the housing turnaround. But now, there are signs that those same investors may be pulling back.

Diana Olick explains what that may mean for the housing market.



DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When we visited Atlanta-based The American Home earlier this year, CEO Aaron Edelheit was buying and rehabbing foreclosures at a fast clip.

EDELHEIT: We own 2,500 homes in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Orlando and Tampa.

OLICK: Today, he says he`s still buying, but he admits some investors are pulling back, undergoing a digestion period after exponential growth.

EDELHEIT: That means maybe a slowdown in how many homes they acquire.
That may mean letting go of some employees and areas that it doesn`t make sense or maybe you grew too fast. But it`s really institutions starting to prove or work towards profitability to show Wall Street.

OLICK: Investors made up just 16 percent of home buyers in July, according to the realtors. That`s down from 22 percent in February, and 25 percent in early 2009.

In some of the hardest hit markets, investors made up more than half of the buyers during the worst of the foreclosure crisis. Now, they`re finding less to buy and what there is, is more expensive.

GLENN KELMAN, REDFIN CEO: You definitely see the investor market cooling. So, on one hand, you had Wall Street early in the season buying as many homes as they possibly could, and then at some point becoming frustrated because you just couldn`t buy in bulk, the kinds of inventory they`ve been able to get in 2012 and 2011. And so, those investors started to pull back.

OLICK (on camera): Last spring, Redfin was running seminars for small investors, and Kelman says the classes were packed. It`s all anyone was talking about at cocktail parties as home prices were rising again, people were pulling money out of their 401(k)s to buy properties. Now, not so much.

KELMAN: The volatility that was once the private domain of Wall Street has come to Main Street, and that has created all sorts of risks for investors and lenders as well as regular American home buyers.

OLICK (voice-over): It was inevitable as housing is now yet another tradable asset class, much like mortgages were a decade ago.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.


GRIFFETH: And while a real estate market may be showing signs of cooling, hot and dry weather is prompting big movements higher for some grain futures, soybean prices, for example, hit an 11-month high today, with corn touching a one-month high, and wheat futures hit a three-week high as hot and dry weather is threatening to cut output in the nation`s Midwest.

GHARIB: Hot and dry weather is contributing to a rash of wildfires striking the West. But there was some improvement today in the massive fire-burning in and around Yosemite National Park. A fire so severe, it`s threatening the water and power systems in San Francisco that are some 200 miles away.

Scott Cohn joins us now from the edge of that wildfire in Tuolumne City, California.

Over to you, Scott.

It is relatively quiet here now. But a subtle shift in the wind and this community and many others like it on the edge of Yosemite would actually be literally and directly in the line of fire. That explains why there`s a very large firefighting presence here, but protecting Tuolumne City is just one of the many tasks at hand.


COHN (voice-over): The fire has burned an area larger than the city of Chicago and growing. Tree by tree, branch by branch, they`re attacking it on the ground and from the air. Progress is slow, and the fire is maddeningly unpredictable.

DANIEL BERLANT, CAL FIRE SPOKESMAN: One of the challenges when you have the fire this is going to start making its own weather. So, we`ve seen significant down draft winds, very erratic winds going in all directions.

COHN: This is the largest of a dozen fires burning just in California. A strain on the state`s limited resources and fire season is not over yet.

GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: This is August. What`s going to happen in September in terms of fires, we don`t know.

COHN: California has already spent a quarter of its firefighting budget for the year. The federal government will help, but fires burning in 11 states are straining those resources too — a billion dollars spent and counting.

With more and more development in areas prone to fire, the strain isn`t likely to ease any time soon. In Tuolumne, normally a sleepy town on the edge of Yosemite, fire crews are going door to door, clearing out combustibles in case the initial defenses don`t hold.

CAPT. THOMAS HULL, FIRE DEPARTMENT: We have engines spaced out in this area. That`s one of the things we look for if a fire is coming is spot fires. And we deal with those first.

COHN: The town is also a base camp for some 3,000 firefighters on the front lines, including Jordan Freese`s dad.

JORDAN FREESE, TUOLUMNE CITY RESIDENT: I worry about him all the time.

COHN: Here on the edge of the inferno, they`re living on the edge.
It`s one of the worst fires in California history.


COHN: And the situation with San Francisco, which is very far from here, of course, the city is not directly affected by the fire, but the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite supplies much of San Francisco`s water supply, and the hydroelectric power for the city. Some of the resources have been damaged somewhat. So far, though, no interruptions, but Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency — Bill.

GRIFFETH: Scott Cohn, thank you.

Yes, as Governor Brown pointed out, it`s not even what we call fire season in California. That doesn`t come until the fall. Thank you, Scott.

Still to come — first, there was Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which saw its stock pop after it announced the CEO will be living. So, which chief executives may be the next to go and see their shares rise when they do?
We`ll get to that coming up.

But, first, a look at how the international markets closed today.


GHARIB: The ongoing battle between CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX) Cable is now entering its fourth week. With little apparent progress on settling the dispute and returning service to millions of customers in some of the nation`s biggest cities.

Now, with the U.S. Tennis Open starting today, college football games kicking off this weekend and then the NFL the following weekend — are the two sides any closer to an agreement? And which side will cave first?

Julia Boorstin has the latest.


Twenty-four days and counting —

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable has dropped CBS (NYSE:CBS).

BOORSTIN: That`s how long 3 million Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable subscribers have been enduring a CBS (NYSE:CBS) blackout, thanks to a dispute between the two companies over fees.

To keep customers from cancelling their subscriptions, Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX) Cable is offering a range of free perks, giving away the Tennis Channel, temporary access to Stars Kids and Family Channel, Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) gift cards to watch “Under the Dome” and under shows on demand, even indoor antennas.

The cable giant is ramping up its offerings as the upcoming fall TV season and hits including “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory”
give CBS (NYSE:CBS) growing leverage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no idea how annoying this is.

DAVID MILLER, EQUITY RESEARCH: We think CBS (NYSE:CBS) is in the cat bird seat here and we think they have the upper hand in these negotiations.

BOORSTIN (voice-over): While the NFL season doesn`t start for about another two weeks and CBS`s fall TV season doesn`t start for two weeks after that, the pressure is on for the two companies to strike a deal before this weekend, when college football starts.

MILLER: Viewership for SEC football is triple that of other comparable conferences. If this deal is not done by this weekend, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable is probably looking at further share losses in its subscribership.

BOORSTIN: Miller predicts the two companies will strike a deal by this weekend. He warns if Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable can`t get CBS
(NYSE:CBS) back on the air by the start of the NFL season, the cable giant will start to bleed subscribers.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin, in Los Angeles.


GRIFFETH: Elsewhere, Tyson was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500, and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”

The shares of the meat processor came under pressure after a Wall Street analyst cut his rating on the stock to neutral from buy, citing a steep increase in production among its competitors. The stock dropped 7 percent today to close at $29.17.

Meanwhile, Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) stores gets an upgrade from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM). That sent shares higher. That analyst now rates that stock as a neutral, citing new leadership, a new look and a new strategy at the company. According to the analyst, Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) is refocusing on its core operations and trying out new programs like furniture leasing.
That stock rose more than 5 percent at close to $34.02.

And another upgrade, moving two stocks in the 3D printing business.
Citi put a buy rating on 3D Systems (NASDAQ:TDSC) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), saying that the 3D printing market will more than triple over the next five years.

According to that analyst, 3D Systems (NASDAQ:TDSC) is best positioned to capitalize on potential market opportunities. He has a $60 target on that stock. 3D Systems (NASDAQ:TDSC) gained more than 7 percent. It`s at $51.90. Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) rose 4 percent to close at $110 a share.

GHARIB: Tesla is reaching new milestones. Its Model S car is among the top five selling luxury and sports cars in California. According to the California new car dealer`s association, Tesla is outselling Porsche, Volvo and Land Rover in that state. Tesla shares rose more than 1 percent today, hitting a new all time high, $164.22. And for the year, the stock is up more than 400 percent.

And shares of Sotheby`s rising after activist investor Daniel Loeb of Third Point raised his stake in the country. Lobe, who disclosed a 5.7 percent stake in the auctioneer, said he plans to engage in a dialogue with the board. In a statement, Sotheby`s said the board and management teams are committed to building long lasting value for all shareholders.

The stock rose almost 3 percent to $47.21.

And another high profile activist investor is getting out of JCPenney.
Bill Ackman, JCPenney`s largest shareholder, who argued publicly with the retailer`s board, will sell his entire stake in the company. It`s roughly
39 million shares.

The news came out after the market closed, sending the stock lower.
In the regular session, though, JCPenney fell 1 percent to $13.35.

Well, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares may have slipped today, but they are still up 5.5 percent since news broke Friday that Steve Ballmer would step down as CEO. That news has investors wondering what other stocks might rally if the CEO unexpectedly left the company.

Joining us now to explore that is JP Eggers, whose professor of management at New York University`s Stern School of Business.

Thanks for joining us, Professor.

JP EGGERS, NYU PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT: Absolutely. Happy to be here.

GRIFFETH: Is it as simple as saying that shareholders lose — thoughts about a management team and they`re happy when they`re leaving?
Is that why a stock rises, they lose confidence?

EGGERS: Well, I mean, certainly, when investors are lacking in confidence in a CEO and that CEO leaves, there`s going to be a bump in the stock price. When we think what some of the major reasons why you would see a big bump like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), there`s often a sense that there`s a big amount of value in the organization, whether it be cash or cash flows from things like Windows and the Office Suite.

And there`s a concern that the CEO is going to waste that money, going to spend it frivolously, trying to chase down some new opportunity. So, when that cash and the treasury is protected, the investors certainly are going to react positively to that kind of a change.

GHARIB: So, do companies like, let`s say, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) or Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) fit that description? So, that if Michael Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) suddenly said that I`m stepping down or Tim Cook at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) said the same thing, would those stocks pop on the news?

EGGERS: Well, I mean, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) at this point, we`ve already kind of seen Icahn push the stock with his investment. I think certainly 6 months ago, it would have fit that bill. Maybe less so now.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), I don`t know, maybe we`re getting to that territory. People are getting concerned enough that Cook might misspend that money and mislead the company in innovation.

GRIFFETH: What about on the other side, though? What about companies where if the CEO were to decide to leave, the stock might drop, go the other direction, maybe a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) with Mark Zuckerberg or a Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) with Marissa Mayer, who`s been so successful in the last year?

EGGERS: Certainly, if there was a turnover event like that, especially if the market was uncertain why the CEO was leaving, they might read very negative things into that. And, certainly, you know, Mayer at Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) certainly seen the stock price bump in part because of investor reaction to her. And if you think about some places like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), certainly where there`s a founder/CEO who`s been the kind of leader in innovation, that kind of turnover would be seen as very disruptive to the organization.

GHARIB: Professor Eggers, I want to ask you about JCPenney. You heard our report just a moment ago that Bill Ackman is pulling out his 39 million shares. Now, here`s a company that`s had so many issues and a revolving door of CEOs. But let`s say that Mike Ullman, who`s the current CEO, is forced out or steps down or whatever, what happens there?

EGGERS: JCPenney would be an interesting situation because I think there`s a very clear sense that there`s a leadership void, and a sense that there`s no real clear direction for the firm. But given how many turnovers there`s been. I mean, he`s only kind of an interim CEO to some extent.
But if he was kind of forced out before they actually had a clear successor in line, I think people would be very scared there was a clear sign of dysfunctional management even at the board level at that point.

GRIFFETH: Not to discredit our premise, but are we giving too much credit to a CEO and his or her impact on a company`s bottom line long-term?

EGGERS: Well, I mean, I think the market will tend to do that in the sense that the market will be drawn to celebrities, good or bad, at the CEO level. But the reality is, the CEO, either directly or indirectly has an enormous impact on the organization by choosing how to allocate resources, by deciding what the incentive structure is for the firm, by deciding the structure and reporting structure of the organization. So, no, I think long term, we`re not really kind of overstating that from that perspective.

GRIFFETH: JP Eggers of NYU`s Stern School of Business — thanks for joining us tonight.

EGGERS: Thanks for having me tonight.

GRIFFETH: You bet.

GHARIB: And coming up on the program, over 50 and weighed down by student loans, why a growing number of parents find themselves struggling to pay off their kids student loans, as well as their own loans from college.

But, first, here`s a look at how commodities, treasuries and currencies performed today.


GHARIB: Total student loan debt in the U.S. has now topped $1 trillion, that`s second only to mortgage debt. And now, there`s a growing number of older graduates who are not only struggling to pay off their own student loans but they`re grappling with new loans taken out by their children.

Eamon Javers has the story.


Meet the Rose family, two generations struggling with student loan debt.
Together, they owe $136,000.

At 51, Charlene Rose hoped to put away money for retirement, instead –

CHARLENE ROSE, FIRST GEN. STUDENT LOAN DIRECTOR: About 50 percent of my paycheck goes toward my student loan debt. And that`s quite a bit.

JAVERS: Charlene is paying off her own $51,000 loan after getting a masters. And she and her husband, a disabled veteran, pay much of her children`s college debts, too — all are still in school.

Ebony owes $27,000. Victoria $23,000, $8,000 of which mom Charlene took out on her behalf. Ricky owes $25,000 on loans and pays some of his tuition to help mom.

RICKY ROSE, SECOND GEN. STUDENT LOAN DIRECTOR: I`m doing temp work to have extra money coming in.

JAVERS: Charlene is part of a group of Americans 50 to 59 years old who owe $112 billion in student loans. That`s more than triple that age group owed in 2005.

(on camera): We used to think of student loans as temporary. But for some American families, they`re becoming a lifetime or multigenerational burden.

MELISSA TOWELL, CONSUMER DEBT COUNSELORS: We`re looking at $1,400 a month.

JAVERS (voice-over): Melissa Towell is a credit counselor who helps Charlene manage it all.

TOWELL: Thirty percent of my clients are in that bracket, 50 and older, either worrying about paying back their children`s loans or paying back their own loans. A lot of them just say, “I`m going to die before I pay it off.”

JAVERS: Some say all that debt is still worth it.

MOLLY CORBETT BROAD, AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION: The return on investment to higher education is about the greatest return an individual can secure. It`s the best way to get a job, to keep a job, or to get a better job.

CHARLENE ROSE: Her tuition is going to go up.

JAVERS: And Charlene says she has no regrets.

CHARLENE ROSE: Whatever sacrifices, you know, I have to make for them to go, I`m willing. And they`re willing too. They`re willing to help.

So, you just took.

JAVERS: After all, a mother`s love knows no bounds.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eamon Javers, in Washington.


GRIFFETH: And, finally, tonight, we honor the passing of one of Wall Street`s true pioneers, Muriel Seibert known to all of us as “Mickie”, was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. She passed away over the weekend in New York City, of complications from cancer. She bought the seat December of 1967, after months of struggling into break into the old boys world of equities trading.

She went on to establish her own investment firm. She was the first woman superintendent of banking for the state of New York back in 1970s.
Mickie was 80, just shy of her 81st birthday. She will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

GHARIB: I served with her for many years, on the Economic Club of New York board. She was a real positive force there, too. And you said a pioneer, she really was a trailblazer.

GRIFFETH: Small in size, but huge in stature, and she loved helping the underdog on Wall Street, didn`t she?

GHARIB: That`s — she really did, she will be missed.


GHARIB: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Susie Gharib. Thanks so much for watching.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening. We`ll see you again tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at The program is transcribed by CQRC Transcriptions, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. (c) 2013 CNBC, Inc.

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