ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and
Susie Gharib, brought to you in part by —
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This morning, I get
“The Wall Street Journal” out and it says, “We don`t care how long this
lasts because we`re winning.” This isn`t some damn game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: The House speaker
digging in his heels, the president standing firm — suggesting that a deal
is nowhere close to getting done. So why are traders on Wall Street
saying, “What, me worry?”
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: The hunt for yield.
It`s what everybody is looking for these days. And one money manager tells
us he`s found safe ways to get good returns.
GHARIB: And two years later. Has Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost a step
since the passing of Steve Jobs, one of tech`s greatest visionaries?
We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Friday, October 4th.
Good evening, everyone. I`m Susie Gharib.
GRIFFETH: And I`m Bill Griffeth, in for Tyler Mathisen.
One more night this week, it`s day four of the government shut down
and work stoppage for 800,000 federal employees, and lawmakers appear no
closer tonight to ending the federal budget stalemate, with no negotiations
scheduled and the looming threat of a possible U.S. default no less than
two weeks away now, and that is unless Congress raises the U.S.`s borrowing
limit by October 17.
John Harwood joins us now from Washington, with the latest efforts to
reopen the government and the war of words ringing out from the White House
to the Capitol and beyond.
John, no sign of progress, no?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: There`s no sign
of progress, Bill. At this point, both sides are watching for the reaction
of their own members and also those members constituents back home. You
had the president coming out and saying, yes, I will negotiate but only
after the government is reopened and Republicans raise the — agree to join
Democrats in raising the debt limit to expand the nation`s borrowing
Speaker Boehner came out and made the statement that you eluded to,
and he`s sort of tried to strike both notes about the debt limit, saying,
yes, we can`t keep fault but yes, we need concessions on spending and
deficit reduction in order to do that.
The challenge is the speaker has been very late to making that demand.
The Republicans have spent a lot of time on Obamacare demands, now, they
are moving to the budget. That`s a more promising zone, but it`s late in
GHARIB: You know, John, you know Washington inside and out. You know
the rhetoric between both sides and both parties. You interviewed
President Obama this week.
What`s your take? Are you sensing about how much longer this will go
HARWOOD: Susie, I think it`s going to go all the way up until mid-
October. The Treasury says it will be October 17th when we hit the debt
limit. I wouldn`t expect it to be resolved much more than midnight on the
16th and, you know, there are various scenarios being discussed. There`s
no negotiation process.
But I talked to a Republican member of Congress yesterday who was
speculating that, well, if we just agree on a process of budget
negotiations to occur after the debt limit is raised, that might be
something that we can consider a victory and on the debt limit, there is
some talk of potentially suspending enforcement of the debt limit rather
than raising it. That`s what Republicans did earlier this year and we`ve
been operating on that basis all year.
GRIFFETH: There was a time when shutting the government down would be
unthinkable. Yes, it`s happened twice in the last 20 years but now, we`re
talking very complacently about the fact that the government is shutdown
and could be for another two more weeks. Does this become the norm in
future budget negotiations?
HARWOOD: Well, it won`t be if President Obama prevails. That`s his
point. That`s what he told me on Wednesday, is the fever that he wants to
break in the standoff, he does not want to set any sort of precedent that
this becomes routine, and if he can make Republicans break, he`ll go a long
way toward accomplishing that.
GHARIB: All right. Thanks a lot. John Harwood reporting from
Turning now to Wall Street, investors seem to shrug out concerns today
about the shutdown and debt ceiling. Stocks closed modestly higher. But
the major averages ended lower for the week.
So why the optimism on Wall Street?
Bob Pisani takes a look at how traders see the impact of the shutdown
so far as they look ahead to next week in the markets.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Stocks drifted
upward today as Wall Street continued to believe that a deal would be
struck to get the government back in operation again. Traders continue to
express optimism that a shutdown will not be protracted, that it won`t go
beyond October 17th and that the debt ceiling will not be breached.
WARREN MEYERS, DME SECURITIES: Bottom line, there`s no real panic in
the equities markets and that`s telling me that the investors realize that
although some posturing is going on between both sides, both sides will
come to an agreement before any major damage is truly done.
PISANI: Now, one reason for all optimism is that the tone of the
debate has shifted from shutting down Obamacare to just cutting spending.
Now, Wall Street believes that both sides can make a deal around that, with
the Democrats agreeing on some kind of down payment on entitlement spending
and tax reform, and the Republicans agreeing to get the government open
Stocks traded in a fairly narrow range all week, with the S&P 500 flat
for the week. Other indicators were stable, as well. Yields on the 10-
year treasury for example had been stable at about 2.6 percent all week.
No little wonder that with all this stability, traders have taken to
calling this the “what, me worry?” rally.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock
GHARIB: And here is a “what, me worry?” rally looked like today. The
Dow rose 76 points, closing back above the critical 15,000 mark. The
NASDAQ was up 33, and the S&P added nearly 12 points.
But looking at the last 12 trading days, the Dow and S&P posted gains
for only three of them.
GRIFFETH: And despite the federal budget stand off and the federal
work freeze, some encouraging words today about what all this may mean for
states and other municipalities.
Ratings agencies Standard & Poor`s said today that a short-term
shutdown at the federal level would not have a significant impact on the
credit quality of states and local governments and even for non-profit
healthcare centers and airports and roads and mass transit or public
GHARIB: But the impact of the shutdown is taking a big toll on some
private manufacturers. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)
announced plans to furlough 3,000 employees starting on Monday, and
potentially thousands more in the weeks ahead.
And late today, we learn that computer sciences is also planning
furloughs next week.
GRIFFETH: Meantime, U.S. Airways is blaming the federal government
shutdown for the stranding of one of its jets in France. Listen to this —
the carrier ordered a new A-330 jet from European aircraft-maker Airbus,
but because of furloughs in a key FAA office in Oklahoma City, U.S. Airways
is unable to fly this new plane into the U.S.
And I`m sorry to report that no U.S. Airway passengers have been
stranded in France at this time as a result, Susie.
GHARIB: FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bill, or FEMA,
says as a result of the government shutdown, only 19 percent of its
permanent workforce is available to deal with an emergency. And the
announcement comes as Tropical Storm Karen takes aim at the Gulf Coast,
which is expected to make landfall on Saturday night. Mandatory evacuation
orders have been issued for some areas of Louisiana.
Meanwhile, energy output in the Gulf has been cut in half this week as
oil and natural gas drillers shut down platforms evacuating workers ahead
of that storm. But some of the biggest energy producers in the Gulf also
saw sizable gains in their stocks today.
Look at marathon oil, up 2 percent; ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Anadarko
Petroleum (NYSE:APC) both rose 1 percent. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) however
closed a fraction lower.
GRIFFETH: It was a great day for new shareholders of Potbelly Corp,
with investors gobbling them up on their first day of trading. The
Chicago-based sandwich chain had its initial public offering at the NASDAQ
today, pricing shares of $14 each, raising better than $105 million. The
chain currently has 286 stores nationwide but CEO Aylwin Lewis says the
company is poised for rapid expansion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AYLWIN LEWIS, POTBELLY CEO: We are promising our investors that we`re
going to grow about 10 percent unit each year. We`ll grow to catch type of
company, take that cash, invest it in great new units, get a great return
on that investment, and that`s the model we`re running.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFETH: And that`s something that investors were able to sink their
teeth into today. Look at that — shares up 120 percent in their trading
GHARIB: And, Bill, Potbelly is just one of a rash of IPOs this year.
Almost 300 equity deals priced over the past three months, that`s the
highest total since 1999 and up 41 percent compared to last year. This is
all according to Dealogic.
The biggest winners newly public companies in the health care center
like Insys, Stemline, and Arantana Therapeutics. Each one has tripled in
price. Now, Renaissance Capital says the 2013 class of U.S. IPOs are up 22
percent this year, easily outperforming the market. But there is one
troubling statistic, the number of IPOs with negative returns on day one
ticking up to 30 percent.
And Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer has likely had better
days. The software giant`s board of directors awarded him a $550,000 bonus
for the just completed fiscal year, but that`s just 79 percent of his
target bonus figure. The lower amount is because of declining profits from
the company`s Window operating system, and dismal sales of its surface
GRIFFETH: It has now been two years since the death of apple co-
founder and CEO Steve Jobs, and at the time, investors were uncertain about
company`s leadership, its innovation and its future.
Now, here, two years later, what happened since then and where is the
company headed? Jon Fortt has our story tonight.
JON FORTT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Two years ago
Silicon Valley lost the most famous visionary, Steve Jobs, co-founder and
long-time CEO of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). He died after a battle with cancer.
Since then, the company he built continued to push ahead as one of the
leaders in mobile technology, but has it lost a step? Depends who you ask.
In the first year after Jobs` death the stock rocketed up 85 percent over
the next several months and fell all the way back down as investors feared
declining margins and the growing popularity of Android devices from
Samsung and others.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stocks tumbled, critics focused on Tim Cook, a
supply chain guru who succeeded Jobs in the CEO seat. He and the rest of
the board initiated dividends and buybacks, engaged with activist investors
and launched efforts like the iPad mini and iPhone 5c that were twists on
existing products rather than brand-new categories.
Is innovation dead at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Complicating matters,
rivals like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are ratcheting up the pressure.
JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON CEO: We sell these devices at break even. We
don`t make money when people buy these devices. We want to make money when
people use our devices by buying Kindle e-books, buying movies and TV shows
and music and so on.
FORTT: Makes it hard for companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
(INAUDIBLE) to helping profits. But now, sentiment appears to be turning
Apple`s way again.
ABIGAIL DOOLITTLE, THE SEAPORT GROUP: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is
reversing last year`s severe down trend. This tells us that the buyers are
taking control from the sellers. This is bullish.
FORTT: When you swipe into the home screen, the stock is up more than
20 percent since June when the companion showed off its revamped mobile
software iOS7. And in the past month users downloaded iOS7 more than 200
million times and bought more than 9 million new iPhones the first weekend,
both ahead of expectations.
Two years after its visionary leader passed on, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is
still a company with something to prove.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jon Fortt.
GHARIB: And coming up, big investors brought up a big number of
houses after the financial crisis, propping up prices, but as home values
increase, are they ready to get out?
But, first, here is a look how the international markets closed today.
GRIFFETH: Yes, home prices are dramatically higher from where they
were a year ago, up more than 20 percent, and a lot of those gains came
from real estate investors who swooped in to distressed markets and bought
up thousands of properties.
Well, now, as home prices continue to climb, some of those investors
are considering pulling out, potentially threatening the price gains that
they helped to create.
Diana Olick has our story.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They
came, they saw an opportunity and they bought. Institutional investors
lured by big discounts during the foreclosure crisis. They rehabbed the
homes to rent and by buying so many, pushed home prices far higher than
LAURIE HAWKES, AMERICAN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES COO: We think that if
you get a reasonable cost of capital, debt and equity, you cannot only
create a very attractive return on a current basis. But in today`s market,
to your point, the house price depreciation we think is still in the market
OLICK: But those higher prices investors helped create have now
caused a pause in home buying and some investors are looking to get out.
DOUG LEBDA, LENDING TREE CEO: I think the investor market is largely
past us. People are buying investment properties three, four, five years
ago. What I hear is that it`s slowing down now.
OLICK: Oaktree Capital and Och-Ziff, early investors in the trade,
are reportedly selling hundreds of homes.
But Colony Capital says that`s just it, it`s not a trade, it`s a new
asset class. Colony is buying over a thousand homes a month. American
Residential, a single family REIT is all in as well.
HAWKES: We`re looking at the MLS, multiple list services. We`re
still looking at our yield from the banks, real estate owned products from
the banks. We`re looking at short sales. We`re even buying traditional
houses where people just simply putting them on the market.
OLICK: American residential has bought 80 portfolios from smaller
investors, some of them mom and pop. Foreclosure inventory is down 34
percent from a year ago, so investors are moving geographically as well.
Phoenix, Las Vegas, Southern (NYSE:SO) California, and parts of
Florida are already investor heavy. That`s why some are now moving into
Georgia, the Carolinas, Indianapolis and Chicago.
(on camera): Blackstone, the largest investor in single family
rentals, says they`re not doing bulk deals and will continue to buy. These
investors are modeling after multi-family and why not? Apartment demand
right now is through the roof.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick.
GHARIB: Turning now to our “Market Focus” segment, a big late day
mover is where we begin tonight.
Shares of Outerwall, which operates the Redbox video rental kiosk,
surged into the close. Investors snapped up the stock on word Jana
Partners is taking a 13 1/2 percent stake in the company. The hedge fund
called shares undervalued and that they represent an attractive investment
The stock rose 9 percent to $57 and change. That was in the regular
session, and then extended it`s gains after hours. >
Shares of medical device maker St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) rose after
the FDA signaled it would approve a heart failure detection device. St.
Jude is a significant shareholder in the private company CardioMEMS that
developed the heart monitoring system.
That sent the stock up more than 2.5 percent to $56.26.
GRIFFETH: Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) is releasing favorable data for
an ongoing study of its multiple sclerosis treatment. According to that
report, the drug remains effective for patients, taking the medicine for at
least four years, with no new safety problems. And that sent the stock
higher, almost 3 percent to close at $240.30 per share.
And Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) is forecasting third quarter profits,
coming in below expectations. The rail road operator is blaming the
uncertain economy, as well as wild weather that hurt the amount of coal
that needed to be shipped. That stock fell 1 percent to $153.90.
GHARIB: Our market monitor guest today says the political crisis in
Washington is, quote, “manmade” and investors should look beyond that and
invest for the long term.
He`s Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. Nice
to see you again, Jack.
JACK ABLIN, BMO PRIVATE BANK CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER: Thank you,
GHARIB: All right. So, what if things get a little dicey on Wall
Street and we start seeing some big sell offs, which we haven`t seen so
far. Are you still telling investors to sit tight?
ABLIN: Yes, I think for now and I think, you know, you mentioned it
earlier in the broadcast, that it`s really sort of a binomial decision if
you believe that the government will ultimately default on it obligations,
then you probably don`t want to own anything, including risk assets. But
on the other hand, if you think they will ultimately kind of work their way
through this, and there is somehow light at the end of this tunnel, then
probably holding risk assets like equities probably make sense through
GRIFFETH: Jack, reaching for yield these days has been a dicey
prospect because as we all know, the higher the yield, the greater the
risk. And in a low interest rate environment, where do you go these days
to find that income?
ABLIN: You`re absolutely right, Bill. I mean, with the Fed injecting
$85 billion a month into the market, what it`s doing is it`s keeping
interest rates artificially low and kind of push up inflation. And, you
know, for those savers looking for yield in here.
And so, there are a couple ways we found some yield, one is through
bank loans, through an exchange traded fund with a ticker symbol BKLN.
Bank loans are just loans banks typically make to their customers.
But the interesting thing about bank loans is that they are a floating
rate. They`re LIBOR-based. Meaning that if interest rates do go up, that
the rate that you get on your holding will rise along with it, so that that
way you won`t feel stuck in a rising rate environment, holding longer term
fixed rate obligations.
GHARIB: Now on that ETF, Jack, that you were just talking about,
BKLN, the stock has been pretty much in the $30 range for awhile. If
somebody were to buy that now, what kind of gains can they expect looking
ABLIN: Again, we`re not looking to hit home runs with BKLN. What
we`re looking for is just solid consistent yield and, you know, at 3
percent or 4 percent, it`s a pretty good place to be given that overnight
paper and short-material bonds are virtually zero right now.
I actually like the fact it`s not moving around very much.
GRIFFETH: That one is yielding 4 percent, as you said. But here is
one that`s got 6.7 percent yield, PGX, tell us about that.
ABLIN: Sure, PGX is a little riskier, Bill. It`s an investment in
preferred stock and interesting thing about preferreds is it is a fixed
rate equity that trades like a long-term bond. And so, the concern is here
if you reach for the 6 percent yield you could suffer if interest rates
So, what I`m recommending is we actually pair that up with b — I`m
sorry, with TBF which is really, I call it an inverse to treasuries.
Meaning that this is a security that actually rises in value if interest
rates go up.
So if you believe that preferred stocks will fall as interest rates
rise, this thing will pick up the slack and put it both together, you get a
nice coupon and some principle stability. So, you end up with roughly I`m
going to say — instead of 6 percent yield, you end up with about 4 percent
yield but you have very low interest rate risk.
GHARIB: OK. Real quickly, you`re one other ETF you`re recommending,
which is a play on Europe, is FEU, this is the stock`s Europe 50 ETF. Tell
us quickly in half a minute why you like it.
ABLIN: Sure. Thanks, Susie.
So, yes, these are the largest most recognizable names in Europe like
Nestle and other big drug companies and so forth, and really, the theme is
we`re trying to play on a recovery that`s going on in Europe. We`re
starting to see a sense that they are breaking away from this long funk.
And we`re not looking for off to the races here but we do think there is
good value there and these large companies should benefit.
GHARIB: OK. All right.
Any disclosures to make, Jack?
ABLIN: I own all of it, so I`m — so do our clients.
GHARIB: OK. Fair enough. Thank you so much. Have a great weekend.
ABLIN: Thank you.
GHARIB: Jack Ablin, he`s chief investment officer at BMO Private
GRIFFETH: Still ahead, we may not have gotten jobs report this
morning, but entrepreneurs are still coming up with bright ideas. So,
tonight, we`ll introduce you to a woman who turned a simple idea about baby
food and turned it into a big business.
First, though, how commodities, treasuries and currencies performed
GHARIB: No September jobs report today, that`s because the government
shut down. But we are still bringing you the latest installment in our
“Bright Ideas” series, as we do every jobs Friday.
Well, until a few years ago, baby food hadn`t changed much since the
1930s. That`s when it was first sold in jars. Now, organic baby food is
almost a half billion dollar market in the U.S. And those little squeeze
pouches that you see in the stores account for about a third of those
As Tyler Mathisen explains, that means a big appetite for change.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT (voice-over): Ten years ago,
Shazi Visram had a plan. It was long before her son Joe, their son Zain
(ph) or even their dog, that`s Willie, were around.
SHAZI VISRAM, HAPPY FAMILY CEO & FOUNDER: The dream was to change the
way people were fed in our country by offering them more organic nutrition.
MATHISEN: At Columbia University`s Business School in 2003, this
self-described health food nut was inspired by a friend, a mother of twins
who had no time to cook home made meals.
VISRAM: The market was screaming for something new.
MATHISEN: For 2 1/2 years starting in her own Brooklyn kitchen, she
developed a frozen food moms could prep in a blender. It launched in five
New York City stores on Mother`s Day in 2006.
VISRAM: And probably by June 10th, 2006, I realized we weren`t going
to make a big slash in the frozen food business.
MATHISEN: Happy Baby had to crawl in a different direction and
They went national in that first year, thanks to whole foods. But
sales of about $116,000 were below projections. The first pivot, into
cereals called Happy Bellies and a puff snack.
VISRAM: It was the first ever organic puff snake for baby.
MATHISEN: And then yogurt snacks. Annual sales went to just shy of
$7 million. But it was a Happy Family in name only.
VISRAM: I`m pregnant. I`m trying to take the subway home and I
literally did not have enough credit on one of my credit cards nor from my
debit card to buy one swipe. I don`t know how much lower it gets from
MATHISEN: Visram says Cliff Schorer, one of her advisers at Columbia,
was invaluable. But even he had warned her about the difficulties she`d
CLIFF SCHORER, COLUMBIA UNIV. BUSINESS SCHOOL: My initial response to
that quite honestly was, do you have any idea how hard it is to get into
the food business?
MATHISEN: It all began to change in 2008 when she pound applesauce
packaged in a pouch.
VISRAM: I remember thinking, you know, that is what we`ve been
looking for all along. That`s the alternative to the jar. It`s the pouch.
MATHISEN: Happy Family introduced Happy Tots in 2009.
VISRAM: Within two or three weeks, we had three items in the top 10
selling items of all the baby food in Target (NYSE:TGT), and we knew we had
MATHISEN: Did they ever? 2010 revenues were $13.3 million. In 2012,
more than 6 $2 million.
VISRAM: Our business exploded and it`s really a result of this
MATHISEN: That and a little luck. In 2011, American Express
(NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) featured Visram in a Super Bowl pregame spot.
SCHORER: I was watching the super bowl in my den, and Shazi is on
television and I looked at that and I said, that was the wow moment. This
is going to be big.
MATHISEN: Cliff Schorer couldn`t have known how big. This summer,
Visram was recognized at the White House.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We celebrate
entrepreneurs like Shazi Visram. Shazi is a leader in affordable organic
foods for children, which makes Michelle very happy. And they are on track
to hit $100 million in revenue this year.
So, no wonder she`s been called a rock star of the new economy.
MATHISEN: A rock star indeed. On Mother`s Day 2013, the French
national group Danone, Dannon in the United States, bought more than 90
percent of Happy Family.
VISRAM: Their focus was to change the world through nutrition. We
set out pretty big lofty goals and then they say, how can we help you reach
them? I mean, it doesn`t get any better than that.
GRIFFETH: No, it does not.
Finally tonight, an unexpected beneficiary of Twitter`s initial public
offering, shares of Tweeter, that`s a bankrupt electronics retailer, show
shares skyrocket today in its most active day in years, that`s because some
traders were confused by the ticker symbol TWTRQ for shares of the
microblogging Web site which haven`t begun trading yet. That will have a
Only confused, up the shares went.
GHARIB: Can you imagine? Somebody bought 100,000 shares of this
consumer electronics company, thinking they were getting Twitter.
GHARIB: Well, OK. That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m
Susie Gharib. Have a great weekend everyone.
And for more on the business stories we covered, go to our Web site,
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Tyler is back on Monday. Have a great
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