Transcript – September 27, 2013

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


JCPenney falling 30 percent in the past five sessions. And as the retailer
tries to raise almost $1 billion, today the chain is pinning its turnaround
on a new grant. But is it enough to bring in consumers?

has been good to investors so far. But the critical fourth quarter begins
next week and uncertainties abound. What`s next for the markets and your

GHARIB: And, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) man. Could the boss at Ford be
the right person to turn around Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)?

We have all of that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Friday, September 27th.

MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone.

It`s cleanup in aisle six. That`s because it has been a mess of a
week for the retailer, JCPenney, worst week ever for its shares, down 30
percent. The venerable (ph) department store has prospered for more than a
century, through the Great Depression, to world wars, the online shopping
revolution, but now, Penney`s is in a fight to survive.

Same-store sales down eight quarters in a row. A savior brought in
and then kicked out — his turnaround plan an unmitigated flop. Then, a
new boss, same as the old boss, and yesterday, a offering to raise cash so
it can get through the holidays and into next year.

Still, the company is resolute, sticking with its strategy, even
launching new boutique shops within its stores today.

Courtney Reagan has more.


It`s been a long week for JCPenney shareholders, the beleaguered department
store`s stock price fluctuating in both directions as investors follow
changing news and company announcements. Ultimately, the stock posts its
worst week ever.

Late Thursday, JCPenney announced an 84 million share offering to
raise nearly $1 billion. The department store says it will use the
proceeds for general purposes. But today, JCPenney is focusing on the core
of its business, selling merchandise, 565 Giggle Baby and Disney (NYSE:DIS)
shops are opening in JCPenney locations throughout the country, a year
after the design partnerships were announced under then-CEO Ron Johnson.

(on camera): A key question in recent months has been the confidence
of JCPenney`s vendor community. In order for the business to survive,
JCPenney must maintain the relationships between its suppliers and its
design partners.

(voice-over): While Giggle Baby merchandise is just now available for
shoppers, founder Ali Wing says despite JCPenney`s broader issues, the
only, quote, “crazy part” of the past year has been the development of 200
new products for her JCPenney shop.

ALI WING, GIGGLE CEO & FOUNDER: We can already see some early numbers
online, and I think some of their online are very quickly bound and having
online perform is really encouraging to me for what they actually can do as
a brand. And absolutely, they`re talking to us about this all the time.
They`ve been great partners.

partners every day. We have amazing relationships with our vendor and
supplier community. Everyone`s having the same Q3, the same year, in a lot
of ways, and everyone`s looking for more traffic.

REAGAN: Though JCPenney needs shopper traffic more now than it ever
has before.

This holiday season is going to be the most scrutinized in its
history, getting back shoppers is critical for its long-term survival.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan in New York City.


GHARIB: Washington worries created jitters on Wall Street today.
Investors were discouraged by the lack of progress in budget negotiations
and the real possibility of a government shutdown.

Stocks ended a dismal week in the minus column. The Dow and the S&P
recorded their first weekly decline since August. Not even a six-month
high in consumer income and greater consumer spending last month inspired

By the close, the Dow was down 70 points, the NASDAQ lost 5, and the
S&P was off by 9 points.

But despite a losing week, and with one trading day left in the month,
the major averages are on track for the best September in three years, up
between 3 percent to 5 percent. And the Dow and the S&P are on track end
to higher for the third quarter, making it three up quarters in a row.


MATHISEN: Our first guest tonight, Susie, says, barring a positive
surprise, stocks are more likely to move down than up. He`s Brad McMillan,
chief investment officer with Commonwealth Financial.

Mr. McMillan, welcome. Good to have you with us.

Why do you say that? And how far down do you expect they might go?

way the news is evolving, we`ve seen a lot of positive surprises. But the
most recent one, the positive surprise of no taper actually resulted in a
pop, but then we`ve given all of that back and then some.

So the question is, with earnings, in my opinion, rolling over, what
is going to carry the market higher? I don`t see a lot of potential good
news out there, but I do see a lot of potential bad news, starting with
Washington, D.C.

GHARIB: Well, a lot of investors are looking forward to those
earnings numbers for the third quarter. They should be coming out in the
next two weeks or so. What are you expecting?

MCMILLAN: When you look at what happened in the second quarter, most,
if not all of the earnings gains, came from the financials. Now, with the
mortgage refinancing boom having largely plaid out, with financials really
starting to come under pressure from a regulatory perspective, JPMorgan
(NYSE:JPM) is a good example of that, our financial is going to come to the
rescue again.

I have my doubts. And when you look at the expectations of earnings
growth, more or less about double what we actually saw in the second
quarter. I`m not sure that`s what we`re going to see. And I think
disappointment is quite possible.

MATHISEN: So, Brad, if I buy your thesis here, and I`ve had a pretty
good year so far, I`m up about 20 percent in the S&P, and let`s say I have
a balanced portfolio, 60 percent stocks/40 percent bonds, what I should be
doing now? How can I protect my profits and still leave room for more, if
there`s more to come?

MCMILLAN: The answer really is strategy diversification, not only in
the equities, but also in the fixed income. You can go with the long/short
approach or a low volatility approach in equities.

At Commonwealth, we`ve been recommending caution in equities for a
while. We`ve wanted clients to diversify their portfolios among equity
strategies, to preserve the upside exposure, but do it in a way that`s
going to limit any downside exposure.

In fixed income, munis right now are probably the most attractively
priced option. The Detroit situation has resulted in some opportunities
being created there.

GHARIB: All right. Brad, I saw in your note that you see, you`re a
little optimistic about what`s going on in Europe and in China, you see
some hope there.

Are you looking at that as a — from an investor point of view, of
investing in European or Chinese equities or in U.S. companies that have
operations there? What`s the best play?

MCMILLAN: I think both of those are opportunities, but when we look
to invest at Commonwealth, we look at valuations. We would much rather buy
cheap than expensive. And you can argue about how expensive U.S. equities
are, but it`s tough to make an argument that, in fact, they`re really

You look on an historical basis, if you look in Europe — relatively
speaking, they`re much less expensive than they have been. And on a going
forward basis, valuations are pretty much one of the major keys to future
returns. Buy cheap, sell expensive. U.S. is expensive, Europe is cheap.

MATHISEN: That`s a pretty good recipe there, Brad McMillan. It
usually works pretty well if you do it.

He`s chief investment officer with Commonwealth Financial Network.
Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Have a great weekend.

GHARIB: More now on the growing threat of a government shutdown. By
a vote of 54-44, the Senate today approved a bill that will continue to
fund the government, but only through November 15th. And it will keep
funding the Affordable Care Act. Now, that legislation heads back to the
Republican-controlled House, where lawmakers there will put together a new
version, they hope, could win approval in both chambers.

Today, a frustrated President Obama spoke at the White House, saying
that shutting down the government is like shutting down the economy.


is this: do not shut down the government. Do not shut down the economy.
Pass a budget on time. Pay our bills on time. Refocus on the everyday
concerns of the American people.


MATHISEN: Well, JCPenney isn`t the only big company in big trouble.
BlackBerry simply isn`t selling enough smartphones. And as expected, the
company today reported it lost nearly $1 billion in its most recent

And now, published reports say that if the device maker is sold to
Fairfax Financial, which offered $4.7 billion to take it private earlier
this week, and CEO Thorsten Heins loses his job, he could still rake in $54
million. This controversial golden parachute is said to be secured by
three BlackBerry board members, including the chairman of Fairfax

GHARIB: Let`s turn now to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Who will replace
Microsoft`s Steve Ballmer? There are a lot of names rumored to be in the
running, but only one is apparently at the top of Microsoft`s wish list.
He`s Ford CEO, Alan Mulally.

According to the tech blog Web site, “All Things D”, Mulally has
vaulted to the forefront of the candidates, and the discussions with
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are said to be serious. Now, if this is true, is
Alan Mulally the right man to run Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)?

Kara Swisher, co-executive editor at “All Things D” joins us now,
along with Jon Fortt.

Kara, let me begin with you, we know that Alan Mulally has a
reputation as a turnaround specialist, but he`s a car guy. And can Alan
Mulally turn around a complex company, tech company, like Microsoft

complex tech company, if you think about it. I mean, it`s a very — talk
about a complex company, delivering and creating cars is a similar kind of
thing with lots of technological challenges, logistical challenges.

So, he`s certainly got the skills to do it. He ran the commercial
airlines division of Boeing (NYSE:BA). These are all very difficult and
complicated jobs.

I think the issue is, he`s a non-techie, although he`s quite
technical, it`s sort of besides the point. What they need at Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) is a leader who can try to figure out where Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) goes next.

And the question is, is he too — I don`t want to say old, but he
isn`t of the new Internet. Does he have enough experience in where the
Internet`s going, is more the point.

MATHISEN: You know, Kara, let me drill down a little bit more on your
fine article there. And just to be clear, this is not speculation. The
two of them are actually having conversations you characterize as serious
conversations about this job.


MATHISEN: How far along are they and when might we expect to hear who
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has selected?

SWISHER: I think it`s going to take them time, actually. I mean,
what`s going on here is there are sort of twin things going on. You have
the committee that`s — Heidrick & Struggles, which is searching for
candidates. They are still doing that. That is still happening.

This isn`t going to happen Monday, all of a sudden, Alan Mulally is —
we never said that. A lot of the articles were speculating that, but
that`s not the case.

He`s just become one of the more significant candidates in that list.
And there are others, which I mention in the story, such as Tony Bates, an
internal candidate, such as Stephen Elop, who came from the Nokia
(NYSE:NOK) acquisition, and also, another ex-Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) guy,
Paul Maritz.

And so, they`re still searching for candidates and it may take a while
to get to it. But, you know, they`re very much going to drill down on who
the key ones are and hopefully not take until before the end of the year,
but you never know with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). They could take a very
long time.

GHARIB: Jon, I want to bring you in to the conversation. You`re
covering — you`re right there in the heart of Silicon Valley. You`re
hearing what everybody is saying.

What are you hearing about Alan Mulally versus these other candidates
that Kara brought up?

represent one end of the spectrum as far as what Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
could choose. One end of the spectrum is your master manager. The other
end of the spectrum is your technology visionary.

And in a way, Steve Ballmer was more of the manager type. He was a
sales guy.

Bill Gates, the original CEO, more of the visionary type. And Silicon
Valley tends to have a bias toward technologists and visionaries. A lot of
people here feel like that`s what Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) needs at this
stage. Someone who has a vision for where Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) should
go, can cut through a lot of the nonsense and bickering about whose idea,
decide which path to take, and pursue it.

And I think the question is, could Mulally — though he is a hardware
engineer, aeronautics engineer by training — could he do that with a
company that`s a bit different in the types of decisions it has to make
technology wise?

MATHISEN: He does, Jon, have some connections to Seattle, because
we`ve mentioned, obviously, that he was in charge of Boeing`s commercial
airlines division for a long time. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Ford have
partnerships with respect to the data screens in their cars.

But he is a 68-year-old guy. He`s got lots of energy. I`ve met him.
He`s an incredibly dynamic photo to see. But I can`t imagine that if he
were the choice, that he`d be there all that long.

FORTT: Well, I don`t know. I mean, that`s true. He`s not the
founder. Larry Ellison is right up at about that same age, and people
don`t often speculate about him retiring, because of age, anyway. He still
knows how to win.

So I don`t think age is the issue so much as, is he the right guy for
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) at this stage? And I think a lot of people would
say, if he is the CEO, he`s going to have to have a pretty clear number two
or number three with a different skill set of who`s very clearly the
visionary in technology and can end some of that infighting that`s happened
between those divisions over the years.

GHARIB: Kara, real quick question to you, just to wrap up our
conversation. What about Bill Gates? I understand he`s taking a very
active role in this search.


GHARIB: And he`s a very hands-on chairman. Is he a possible

SWISHER: That would be, I think, a lot of people wish that would
happen. I would be surprised if it did. You know, you never can rule it
out, and that`s happened before at Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO)!, various different

I don`t think that`s what he`s aiming for and I would be surprised if
that happened. He`s very devoted to his charitable organization. So I
would probably not rule it out completely, but I would — it would be

GHARIB: All right. To be continued. Thank you so much, Kara
Swisher, co-executive editor of “All Things Digital” and our very own Jon

MATHISEN: And still ahead, what automakers are doing to avoid
collisions as drivers find themselves more distracted than ever.

First, though, how the international markets performed today.


GHARIB: Crash prevention systems can add thousands of dollars to the
price of a new car. Until now, consumers had to take the word of
automakers that these systems actually work. Now, for the first time ever,
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted crash tests and came
out with ratings on the best ones.

Phil LeBeau has the results.


world where drivers seem more distracted, preventing rear-end crashes has
become a priority for automakers. Nearly all now sell models with
collision avoidance systems, but how well do they work?

crash prevention systems will help drivers avoid crashes and avoid being
injured in those crashes.

LEBEAU: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has developed the
first crash test for collision avoidance systems.

(on camera): These tests measure two things, how quickly you`re
warned about hitting a car in front of you, and for those cars with
automatic brakes, how quickly do they stop the car?

(voice-over): Seven models, including two Volvos, two Cadillacs, and
the Mercedes C-class were rated “S,” superior, with two Subarus, the Legacy
and Outback, earning the best scores.

ZUBY: Subaru is the only system that was able to avoid crashes at
both 12 and 25 miles per hour. Nearly a third of all accidents in the
U.S., are rear-end collisions, causing 31 percent of the injuries linked to
car crashes. A prime reason more automakers are pushing this technology.

actually required in a lot of the premium markets that you absolutely have
to have the latest safety content going forward.

LEBEAU: These systems typically cost more than $1,000. Well worth it
for those who have the technology in their cars.

Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Charlottesville, Virginia.


MATHISEN: And we begin “Market Focus” tonight with a warning from the
world`s largest air carrier. United Continental, the airline, projecting
third quarter revenue to come in below expectations. The company says
lower fares on some overseas flights are responsible for the drop in
passenger revenue per available seat mile. That`s a key metric in the
industry. The stock fell 9 percent to $30.91.

And shares of Lumber Liquidators were briefly halted this morning
after the company said that federal agencies had raided its headquarters.
A court-ordered search was related to certain wood flooring products that
have been imported. Lumber Liquidators sells hardwood, bamboo, cork, and
laminated flooring. The company says it is cooperating with authorities.
Shares dropped 5 percent to $107.30.

GHARIB: Finish line reporting a jump in earnings and stronger sales
and cost cutting. It also lifted its guidance for full-year sales. This
athletic retailer says things are progressing well with its Macy`s (NYSE:M)
business and trends are improving in its running business after the chain`s
largest product category. The stock rose 9 percent to $24.41.

And a surge in recreational vehicle sales is helping Thor Industries`
bottom line. The company says the rise in revenue is thanks to strong
growth in motorized RV sales and more modest growth in towable RV sales.

Thor has reported strong quarterly earnings for more than a year. The
stock gained almost 4 percent to $58.53.

MATHISEN: Time for our market monitor segment this week. And he says
that stocks are troubled by politics and uncertainty over the Fed, but that
those very troubles provide buying opportunities.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland

David, great to see you.

Since you`re seeing troubles the in the market, what are you doing in
your portfolios to reposition them?

Good to see you too.

We think you`ve got a buying opportunity on weakness and we`re phasing
into the market. We have been doing that on a scaling basis. We continue
to do it, because we believe that the debt, deficit, sequester, political
fight in the end gets revolved. And when it does, markets go higher.

And we don`t know when it`s going to be resolved, but I don`t believe
the United States of America is going to shut down forever.

GHARIB: All right. Well, meanwhile, you have a couple of
recommendations. They are all ETFs, they`re all in different kinds of
areas, and they all have done rather well so far this year.

So, let`s go down your list. Top of your list is ticker symbol, IWO.
These are the iShares of the Russell 2,000 growth index.

Tell us — these are small caps. Why do you like these?

KOTOK: I like them, Susie, because the small caps, number one, have
been outperforming. And if the economy continues to recover, even slowly,
with low inflation and low interest rates, and it looks like that`s the
case for several years.

Small cap companies will do well. They have the U.S. domestic
recovery advantage in so many ways. So, small caps have outperformed large
caps. They continue to do so.

If you look day by day by day by day, when the market goes down in
this last rocky period, they go down less. When the market goes up, they
go up more. So the relative performance is good, the trend is up.

And the growth side is the aggressive side, if you think the economy
is going to do better, we do. So, IWO is a great way to be broadly
diversified in a good index, it`s a fund of $5 billion. It`s big enough,
liquid, for an investor to get into.

MATHISEN: Give us a — give us a quick thumbnail on your second
choice, which is another ETF. IBB is the ticker symbols. It`s iShares
Biotech Fund.

KOTOK: Biotech is on a tear. The sector of the healthcare industry,
which is going to do well, not threatened by politics, the companies are
gangbusters. It`s outperforming.

We own it. We continue to balance into it. We like it. We think
it`s gone much higher.

GHARIB: And how do you feel about these transportation stocks?
Because that`s your other ETF, ticker symbol IYT, this is for the
transportation average, also up sharply, 24 percent so far this year.

KOTOK: Well, transports get you into the housing recovery. You`ve
got to carry lumber somehow. They have a kicker in the rails, because
they`re carrying oil. We don`t put pipelines running in the right
direction so far. And airlines, air transport, doing better.

Again, slow economic recovery, you get it in transports. The nice
thing about the transport index is that it is U.S. recovery-based. You
cannot outsource a trucker and a truck to some other country. You`ve got
to do it in the United States.

MATHISEN: All right. David, I assume that your firm owns most of
these companies or firms that you mentioned. Do you, personally?

KOTOK: I don`t own any security that my clients own, because of a
conflict. It`s unfortunate for me, because I have to choose less liquid
ETFs because of that. We have a no-conflict rule, and a day late trading
rule in our firm. Clients come first.

MATHISEN: All right. Thank you very much, David Kotok. Have a great
weekend, sir.

KOTOK: Thank you.

MATHISEN: David is chairman and chief investment officer at
Cumberland Advisers.

GHARIB: And coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, private companies
have been running health care exchanges successfully for more than a
decade. So, will the new health law bring in a wave of new business?

But before we get to that, here`s a check on how commodities,
treasuries, and currencies performed today.


GHARIB: Just four days ago to go before state and federal health care
marketplaces, part of the Affordable Care Act, open for business. But
those government exchanges aren`t the only options for insurance seekers,
with private online insurance brokers also looking to get a piece of the

Bertha Coombs has more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me see if I can pull up your information.

While it`s usually a busy time at eHealth (NASDAQ:EHTH) Sacramento call
center, they and other e-brokers have been helping people shop for
individual insurance coverage since the late `90s. This year, they see an
opportunity for growth under Obamacare, with all Americans now required to
get health insurance.

GARY LAUER, EHEALTH CHAIRMAN & CEO: The more people we can get
enrolled, the broader the enrollment is, the more young people we can get
enrolled, the higher chances for success in this legislation.

COOMBS: Executives at GoHealth have been expanding their staff ahead
of the October start of open enrollment.

CLINT JONES, GOHEALTH CEO: We will hire a total of 648 additional
people this year. So we expect on 10/1 to have roughly 650 to 700 licensed
benefit advisers in anticipation for the phones to ring heavily with all
the marketing partners we have in place.

COOMBS (on camera): For all of their experience, these online
marketplace veterans say it was an uphill battle convincing the Obama
administration to allow them access to enroll people in the subsidized
health plans being offered on the exchanges.

(voice-over): It was late summer when Health Department officials
gave them approval to connect to the federal system and sell Obamacare
plans being offered on the 36 federally built marketplaces. But the states
that had built their own exchanges, like California and New York, have
denied them access to their marketplaces.

upshot is, the states have gotten federal grant money from the federal
government to develop the exchanges themselves, and they`re looking at it
as an opportunity to put people to work and develop this capability.

And they do not necessarily want participation of the private sector,
at least initially.

COOMBS: While the brokers insist they`re not competing with the
exchanges, they point out, they`ll be able to offer consumers a broader
picture of their options, with side-by-side comparisons of exchange plans
and plans being offered in the private sector. And they`ll help them
calculate which is a better buy.

LAUER: Someone who is subsidy eligible, but because they`re so high
in the income bracket for a subsidy, it`s a very small subsidy, and there`s
something else that makes more sense for them financially. We help them
with those kinds of things.



MATHISEN: And finally tonight, could the Miami Beach mansion that
once belonged to the fashion designer, Gianni Versace, become an Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) Store? It could happen. The famous oceanfront estate was
bought last week for more than $41 million. The thinking was, the home on
ocean drive, and it is one heck of a place, might be converted into a

But now, representatives of the owners say part of the property could
become a retail space and mentioned an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Store as a
potential occupant. It`s not a done deal, by any means, and as you might
expect, no comment from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which usually goes for a
sleeker, more minimalist look than that.

GHARIB: Can you picture that?

MATHISEN: That`s a very baroque place.

GHARIB: Very — yes, I can`t picture the iPhones and iPads in there,
mini iPads.

MATHISEN: I don`t. Anyhow, we`ll see. We`ll see what happens.

GHARIB: Well, maybe they have the best sales there (ph).

That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for us. Have a great weekend,
everyone. I`m Susie Gharib.

MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a
great weekend. We`ll see you back here, we hope, Monday night.


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