ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and
Susie Gharib, brought to you by —
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: September surprise.
A strong showing for stocks as the halfway mark is hit in a month that`s
historically tricky for investors. But with the Fed meeting, debt ceiling,
Syria and budget fight looming, will fortunes change?
SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Social climbers. As
Twitter gets ready to sell shares to the public, what`s behind Wall
Street`s recent love affair with social media stocks?
MATHISEN: And Christmas in September. Stores are already out with
holiday promotions. But will the early bird shopping discounts frustrate
consumers and backfire on retailers?
All that and more for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, September
GHARIB: Good evening everyone.
On this Friday, the 13th investors weren`t superstitious about buying
stocks. In fact, it was just the opposite. The major averages were all
The Dow wrapped up its best week since January and the S&P 500 posted
its biggest weekly gain in months. Now, September is historically the
worst year of the month for stocks but not this time. Looking at the score
card at this half way point for the month, the Dow and S&P are up by 3
percent or more.
But that could change depending on the outcome of crucial decisions in
Washington over the next few weeks. First, there`s a Federal Reserve
meeting next week and policymakers could decide to trim back on the Fed`s
massive stimulus program.
And then, there`s the issue how to fund the U.S. government and the
debate on the debt ceiling.
And what the White House decides to do about Syria, another biggie.
But, today, the mood on Wall Street was upbeat, the Dow rose 75
points, the NASDAQ up six, and the S&P 500 added four points. In the
commodities market, the price of gold fell another $22 an ounce, losing
more than 5 percent this week to close just above $1,300.
MATHISEN: Well, those rising markets, Susie just mentioned not just
this month but all year really, certainly figured in Twitter`s tweeted
announcement that it has submitted a confidential filing to begin sell
shares to the general public. But social media stock offerings like those
in other industries haven`t all been winners. In fact, some have been
Seema Mody looked at the numbers for us.
SEEMA MODY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Tweeting, yelping, tagging, social networking is certainly hot right now,
but is it a smart investment? With twitter announcing yesterday via
Twitter that it had filed for an IPO, Wall Street is drawing parallels
between that company and other recent social media IPOs, many of which have
Four months after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) listed on the stock market, the
stock has lost half its value. Analysts were skeptical of CEO Mark
Zuckerberg`s ability to make money off mobile devices.
Similar story for Pandora, the Internet radio sit, shares tumbled more
than 18 percent due to the slew of downgrades and disappointing earnings.
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) had a great listing, soaring on its first day as
a public company, but then the coupon site lost a staggering 86 percent in
just one year.
So, what went wrong? One concern was Groupon`s entire business model
that had a low barrier to entry. That was then and this is now.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Pandora, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), all up double
digits over the past three months, thanks to more users, a stream line
focus on mobile, commentary from Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
JEFF CLAVIER, SOFTTECH VC CEO: I think that with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
recovering, proving that mobile can generate revenues, it makes sense for
me to figure out now and take advantage of this positive market.
MODY (on camera): And the streets growing appreciation for how broad
social platforms can generate meaningful revenues can potentially help
Twitter when it trades on the public market. But investors are paying
close attention to how Twitter`s IPO will be handled by Goldman Sachs
CLAVIER: We ask the question, what will Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) do
that, you know, Morgan Stanley (NASDAQ:NBXH) (NYSE:MS) screwed up in terms
of the way the price, the IPO that, you know, essentially got Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) to under perform for awhile?
MODY (voice-over): But there is one advantage Twitter has — time.
It may be a younger company but Twitter has been able to learn from the
trials and tribulations other social media companies have already had to
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Seema Mody.
MATHISEN: You know, we could have turned to Twitter to see if
investors were really interested in buying the stock, but that`s so last
year. So, instead, we hit the streets the old fashioned way with cameras.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would absolutely invest in Twitter. I mean,
they have such a broad reach. I mean, there are so many people that are
tweeting all the time. And — I mean, it has such a large market
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a trend up and I only see a bright
future for it. So, yes, I would.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I should invest in Instagram instead.
It`s going to be more profitable investment, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
GHARIB: Our guest tonight is also bullish on Twitter.
Kevin Landis has already owned shares of Twitter through a closed-end
venture capital fund. He`s founder and chief investment officer at
Firsthand Capital Management.
Kevin, nice to have you on the program.
We know, as we said, that you already own the stock, but for people
who don`t — we know what hype does to a stock. We saw that with Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB). So if somebody wants to own Twitter, do you think that they
should get it right on the day of the open, or wait a little bit until it`s
been around for awhile?
KEVIN LANDIS, FIRSTHAND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT CIO: Well, I guess for any
investor, it depends a great deal on the price. So, it`s a quality company
and it`s likely to be — in our view — it`s an emerging blue chip and a
great growth story. But there is no investment no matter how wonderful
that can`t be over priced. So you really have to take a look at the
numbers once they are out, run the numbers and see what you`re paying for
MATHISEN: You know, Kevin, one thing that I think of when I think of
initial public offerings, is that the people who are selling their stock,
they all make money, the investment bankers make money. But whether you,
the individual investor, will make money or not is kind of anybody`s guess.
As a general proposition, do you think it`s wise for people to go into
IPOs or buy — because it`s very hard to get those IPOs — to buy
immediately after on the open market?
LANDIS: Well, you`re looking at — you`re talking to someone who did
not buy Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) on the IPO and has regretted it ever since,
right? That would have been a great investment. So, there are some cases
when you absolutely should.
I guess the thing to look at is the IPO day is the first of many days
that that stock will be publicly tradable. And so, while there is no
reason that you can`t buy it that day, there is no reason you can`t buy it
the day after, as well.
GHARIB: What about social media stocks? You heard Seema`s report,
some of them have really taken off since the IPO, whether you look at
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Yelp, even Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) — is it time to take
profits in the stocks, or is there still more to be made?
LANDIS: Well, you know, if you look at the tech landscape, there —
it`s really sort of a tale of two groups of stocks. The old guard has been
around for so long that they really struggle to show any growth at all.
I`m talking about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), or Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) or Cisco
(NASDAQ:CSCO). And they trade like it, they just — they don`t have a lot
of upside to them. So, the few growth stocks that are out there, and it is
very few because it`s so hard to go public ever since Dodd-Frank, the
people will pay really high multiples when they see growth.
So, if you look at Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) or if you look at
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), or you look at any of these others, they`re really
expensive and there`s kind of this gulf in between —
MATHISEN: All right.
LANDIS: — where reasonable growth plays just aren`t that common.
MATHISEN: You own some of the shares through a venture capital fund.
What do we really know about how much money Twitter makes, and whether they
are growing profits at a nice pace? What do we know?
LANDIS: We don`t know much, and that makes it much tougher, and
that`s frankly why the venture capital investing game is so much tougher.
You have much more limited information.
And everything is a chore. The research is much more of a chore.
Just getting your hands on shares is much more of a chore. But, you know,
that`s what makes that game much more rewarding, I suppose.
GHARIB: All right. Lots of good information. Thanks a lot, Kevin.
Have a great weekend.
LANDIS: Thank you.
GHARIB: Kevin Landis, chief investment officer at Firsthand Capital
MATHISEN: Well, Susie, President Obama is losing his chief economic
advisor. Gene Sperling headed the president`s National Economic Council
for the past three years. He`s stepping down January 1st.
Sperling, a long-time Democratic policy pro, who worked in the Clinton
White House, will be replaced by a top Oval Office aid Jeffrey Zients, who
had filled as the acting White House budget director.
GHARIB: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Chase is facing a multitude of legal and
regulatory investigations, so many in fact that it needs to beef up
oversight of itself. The nation`s biggest bank said today it plans to
spend an additional $4 billion and commit 5,000 extra employees this year
to help clear up compliance issues.
MATHISEN: Thousands of Colorado residents are being evacuated from
their homes after 15 inches of rain fell in just three days, turning
mountain streams and creeks into raging rivers of water. Ninety miles of
Interstate 25 have been shut down to drivers. Rocky Mountain National Park
closed to visitors and, so far, at least three deaths have been attributed
to the flooding.
Colorado`s governor signed a disaster declaration for several counties
and President Obama federal aid for flood ravaged areas.
GHARIB: A devastating fire on the Jersey Shore wiping out dozens of
businesses and a popular boardwalk that was just rebuilt less than a year
after being wiped out by Superstorm Sandy.
Scott Cohn joins us now from Seaside Park, New Jersey.
Scott, over to you.
SCOTT COHN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Susie, they were
so close to a come back, at least they believe, emotionally and
economically, following hurricane Sandy. They had limped through this
season but made it.
But now tonight, Seaside Park, New Jersey, stands as the very
definition of a cruel twist of fate.
COHN (voice-over): It was more like a forest fire than a building
fire whipped by 30 mile per hour winds hopping from rooftop to rooftop like
tree tops destroying everything in the path. They fought it like a forest
fire, too, twice cutting giant trenches through the wooden boardwalk to
keep the fire from spreading. A boardwalk only just rebuilt for around $20
million after Hurricane Sandy.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I really thought I was going to
throw up. I mean, just — you know, how much more are people going to be
expected to take?
COHN: They only just reopened the boardwalk Memorial Day weekend and
business was only a fraction of a normal summer. The hope was they could
eke out a little more in September and October.
DANIEL SHAUNGER, SEASIDE HEIGHTS RESIDENT: We fought broken equipment
all summer and what we lost in the storm and business was down 2/3 and just
getting up and running again June 1st, first day and now this.
COHN: Horrible deja vu Angie Lombardi whose two amusements in the
boardwalk flooded by the storm are now gutted by the fire.
ANGIE LOMBARDI, SEASIDE HEIGHTS RESIDENT: It`s just like here is
COHN: The fire is believed to have started underneath an ice cream
shop that was closed for the season. The family that owned the chain for
nearly a century said, “Our hearts are broken.” In all, at least 30
businesses are gone and it could be weeks before there a dollar figure.
CHRISTIE: We have an obligation now to get aggressive and rebuild.
And I will not permit all the work that we`ve done over the last 10 months
to be diminished or destroyed by what happened last night.
COHN: But even as they struggle again to get back on their feet,
investigators are considering the possibility that this disaster wasn`t an
AL DELLA FAVE, OCEAN COUNTY PROSECUTORS OFFICE SPOKESMAN:
Investigators felt it was real important they maybe get video of the
immediate area just prior to the fire.
COHN: It`s far too early to know if the fire is suspicious, also too
early to know if a region that proclaimed itself stronger than the storm is
stronger than this.
COHN: It could have been a lot worse. There is some solace in that.
If they hadn`t cut those trenches on the north end of the boardwalk,
the fire could have spread north into Seaside Heights. As it is, the
Seaside Heights boardwalk is open and a festival for this weekend is
scheduled to go on. Today`s events cancelled, but the next two nights,
they`ll try to eke something out, after a very difficult end of the summer
— Susie, Tyler.
MATHISEN: You know, Scott, after Sandy there was federal money there
to help those folks rebuild down there. Is there anything like that
available this time, or are they really going to have to depend on private
COHN: No, there really isn`t anything like that, and it is about
insurance. And one of the things the state tried to do as a result of that
is they had their insurance authorities, the state insurance commissioner,
down here to try and get payments to these business owners as quickly as
possible. Fortunately, in a lot of ways, it is only commercial structures
but, of course, that`s the life flood of the economy here.
MATHISEN: All right. Scott Cohn, reporting for us tonight. Thank
you very much, Scott Cohn.
GHARIB: And coming up on the program, how badly do airline passengers
want fast Wi-Fi in the sky? You might be surprised at what flyers are
willing to give up.
But, first, here`s a check on how the international markets closed
MATHISEN: Dozens of JetBlue flights were delayed this morning because
of a computer failure. At least 40 flights were held up for as much as an
hour and a half. The airline blamed a connectivity issue that prevented it
from releasing planes from their gates at several airports. Now, the
system was restored by 10:30 a.m., but the delays lasted all day long.
GHARIB: Air travelers are willing to put up with a lot of
inconveniences, including flight delays and rising airfares. But one
feature is becoming a must have on flights — reliable online access in the
This week, Jane Wells took a look at what some airlines are doing to
supply better Wi-Fi in the sky.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
People want to get online at 30,000 feet, and airlines want to make money
DON BUCHMAN, VIASAT DIR. MOBILE BROADBAND: Very similar to not having
water on a plane. If you don`t have connectivity, it kind of feels like
not having water and passenger expect it.
WELLS: A survey by Honeywell found that 90 percent of the U.S.
airline passengers think Wi-Fi should be available on every flight, 13
percent would be willing to give up in flight toilet privileges in exchange
for faster service. But few people actually pay for it, often feeling the
price is too high for a service that could be slow or spotty.
That is about to change. Virgin America and JetBlue are two examples.
(on camera): Here at the Airline Passenger Experience Association
Expo in California, GoGo is announcing a system it will roll out on Virgin
America which will for the first time combine GoGo`s ground based towers
with satellite space it`s renting. Information you send will go to the
ground, information you receive will come from above.
MCHAEL SMALL, GOGO CEO: This solution will be 20 times faster than
what most of our planes do today. So, it`s a quantum leap here.
WELLS (voice-over): JetBlue meanwhile will provide on board Internet
next year using high capacity satellites owned by ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT),
providing enough bandwidth that passengers can stream movies from Netflix
All of this is a huge investment, that Piper Jaffray calls in-flight
entertainment and connectivity a $3 billion market growing 20 percent a
year. There is so much demand and with satellites so much capacity,
commanding the online skies has become a new age aerial dog fight.
BUCHMAN: You can see what the natural demand is. Land the plane and
when you hear ding, ding, ding, the first thing people do is reach in their
pocket, they pull their device. So, we`re trying to take that natural
demand and make available in the air at 30,000 feet.
WELLS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Anaheim, California.
MATHISEN: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was the first performing Dow stock
today and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”. Jefferies is
upgrading the chipmaker to buy from hold as Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) focuses on
making higher performance in cheaper micro processors than its competitors.
The analyst also raised his price target on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to $30 from
$27, and shares were up more than 3 percent to finish the day at $23.44.
Shares of Ulta Salon rising sharply today. The body products retailer
reported a 28 percent rise in earnings and improved revenue. The chain
which sales makeup, perfume and skin care products reported double digit
profit growth for several years as the company opens new stores. The stock
soared 17 percent to $117.53.
GHARIB: United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) also having a strong day.
This specialty food distributor reporting double-digit revenue growth amid
strong demand for organic food. The company also boosted its sales
guidance for the full year. The stock gained 13 percent to $67.73.
And ViroPharma (NASDAQ:VPHM) has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs
(NYSE:GS) to explore a possible sale. According to reports, Sanofi and
Shire (NASDAQ:SHPGY) are said to be interested in the rare disease drug
maker. ViroPharma (NASDAQ:VPHM) is trading at the highest since 2001,
$39.13. Today, it soared 28 percent.
MATHISEN: Our “Market Monitor” guest this week expects stocks to do
well this September. They have so far even though there could be bumps
along the way.
She`s Cecilia Gondor, chief investment officer at Thomas J. Herzfeld
Cecilia, welcome. Good to have you with us.
As we reported there at the top of the show, the first half of
September has been doggone good in a month that often isn`t. But there are
a lot of things looming over the next couple weeks in Washington that could
Do you think stocks will continue to make significant headway for the
rest of this month and the rest of this year?
CECILIA GONDOR, THOMAS J. HERZFELD ADVISORS CIO: What we`ve been
seeing is that there has been the same factor that`s influencing the
interest in stocks is what was hurting the interest in bonds over the last
couple of months. Since the Feds started hinting that it might be tapering
its monthly bond-buying program, investors have been worried about interest
rates rising and they`ve been selling bonds, all types of bonds, all kinds
of fixed income, and there is a lot of money that`s sitting on the
sidelines looking for someplace to go.
I think that`s starting to get into the equity market and that`s going
to help through the rest of the — of this month, September and going
forward. But as you said, there is a lot of news coming out. There`s a
lot of things going on. So we expect volatility to continue.
And we like volatility. It gives us an opportunity to buy at an
GHARIB: And you have some closed-end funds, four of them, that you
think, you know, will benefit in this volatile period. They are all traded
on the New York Stock Exchange. You got four of them. So, let`s run down
The first one is Petroleum and Resources Corp. It`s a closed-end
fund, ticker symbol PEO. Tell us why you like this one.
GONDOR: Well, closed-end funds, we like when they trade at discounts
and these are investment companies like mutual funds but they trade on the
stock exchange. This particular one is trading at more than a 15 percent
discount to net asset value, and it`s indicated it will payout at least 6
percent of market price annually. It`s got some large holdings you might
recognize — ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Schlumberger
(NYSE:SLB) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY).
And we like it at the current level of $27. Our sale target is around
$30. This is one of the longer-term recommendations.
MATHISEN: Cecilia, your second choice is PIMCO Dynamic Credit Income
Fund, selling at a 10 percent discount to the net asset value. But if
interest rates are going to rise, why would I want to be in a credit income
fund, dynamic or not?
GONDOR: Well, you know, this one is managed by PIMCO. They have a
very good reputation. The fund was structured in a way that they can
invest across any type of income market. So, not necessarily only bonds.
They are currently in corporate bonds and loans. Some of these loans
adjust with the rates going up when interest rates rise.
And you know, PIMCO is a great name. Most of their funds, their
closed-end funds, trade at premiums. This is an unusual opportunity to buy
a PIMC fund at a 9.7 percent discount and it yields at 8.9 percent.
GHARIB: All right. Let`s look at the next two, see if we can squeeze
Nuveen Dividend Advantage Municipal Income Fund — that`s a mouthful –
– ticker symbol NVG. Same story, big discount. You can just look at the
chart there and see the big drop there. It just seems kind of risky, like
Tyler was asking you, in a high-interest rate environment.
GONDOR: This one is at 13.5 discount. The net asset value, the
underlying municipal has been under tremendous pressure as mutual fund
investors have sold. The underlying sector is oversold, the discount has
We think this one is ready for a short-term trade. This is an
opportunity to get in at an attractive discount.
GONDOR: It`s at $12.12. We like it there. We`d be a seller at
$13.20 and we think that`s going to happen over the short time.
MATHISEN: Cecilia, thank you very much.
I have to ask, though, do you or your company own any of the
investments that we just mentioned?
GONDOR: Yes, I don`t own them. The company has clients in them and
our open-end mutual fund has these positions, as well.
MATHISEN: Cecilia, thank you very much. Cecilia Gondor is chief
investment officer with Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors.
And still ahead: retailers are looking for holiday cheer in September.
With 102 days to go until Christmas, will they find it?
But, first, let`s take a look at commodities, treasuries and
MATHISEN: Retail spending was higher in August but not by much.
Retail sales rose a modest 0.2 percent last month, far less than expected,
especially for the critical back-to-school season. Smallest gain in four
months on retail sales. And Americans bought more cars, furniture and
electronics but they held back on purchasing new clothing.
GHARIB: Well, after sluggish sales over the summer, those same
retailers are hoping for a lot more consumer spending around the holidays
and everyone though it`s still September, yes, September, they are getting
ready to get a piece of your Christmas shopping dollars.
Courtney Reagan has more.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Teachers around the country still may be welcoming children back to new
classrooms, but retailers are wishing shoppers happy holidays, rolling out
promotions like layaway, hot toy lists and early bird shopping discounts.
Kmart began its no fee layaway program this week for purchases online
or in-store through November 23rd.
Walmart also kicks off its holiday layaway program today. And this
year, there is no fee to open the account. The world`s largest retailer is
also releasing its top toy picks just as Toys “R” Us did on Thursday.
Toys “R” Us is also offering cash rewards on some purchases through
October 31st. And to bring shoppers back for holiday, the cash back
earnings come in a form of e-gift cards to be redeemed in November.
MIKE MORIARTY, A.T. KEARNEY PRACTICE PARTNER: And retailers are
getting a lot smarter about their inventories and in 2008, 2009, 2010, they
ended up with way too much inventor. And this year, they are protecting
themselves by starting early, figuring out what the consumer wants and
doing layaway plans.
REAGAN: While many retailers say Christmas in September comes from
consumer demand, it`s hard to find shoppers to echo the sentiment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s terrible. I`ve always hated that.
They need to wait until after Thanksgiving.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s a bit too soon. Yes, I`m not
thinking about the holidays just yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s crazy.
REAGAN (on camera): Consumers have gotten more savvy, often diving
for door-busters early on and waiting to take advantage of retailers
desperation and the subsequent deeper discounts the closer it gets to
(voice-over): At a retail conference in New York City this week,
Express (NYSE:EXPR) CEO Michael Weiss explained, quote, “We`re finding the
most important times of the year are getting bigger and bigger and bigger,
and the unimportant times of the year are getting less and less
As retailers fight for foot traffic, the promotions get bigger. Good
news for consumers checking off their holiday lists in September.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
MATHISEN: And there goes Santa.
Well, finally, tonight, whether you`re superstitious or not — you`re
likely aware that today is Friday the 13th, one study estimates that U.S.
businesses lose upwards of $90 million in productivity every Friday the
13th, because some people refuse to conduct normal business activity or
even fly on that day.
Are you superstitious?
GHARIB: Very superstitious. I will not fly on that date.
MATHISEN: No, really?
GHARIB: How about you?
MATHISEN: No, not at all.
GHARIB: OK, it`s good. Good combination here.
MATHISEN: Yin and yang.
GHARIB: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Susie
Gharib. For more on tonight`s business stories, go to our Web site,
MATHISEN: Have a good vacation. You`ll be away for a week.
I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great weekend everybody. We`ll see you
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