TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Sour Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL). One day after hitting an all-time high, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
shares have their worst showing in seven months. And on the same day,
rival Samsung unveils a pallet of new products. Coincidence or not?
SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: All revved up. Auto
sales accelerate in the August, on pace for the fastest rate since before
the financial crisis.
MATHISEN: And, opening the door. Why the rise of Chinese buyers may
be creating quite an opportunity in the U.S. housing market.
All that and more for Wednesday, September 3rd.
GHARIB: Good evening, everyone.
Autos and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), these were the two big headlines today
for investors on Wall Street and consumers on Main Street. Auto sales were
red hot in August, giving a huge boost to the U.S. economy and we`ll have
more on that in just a moment.
But we begin tonight with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Shares tumbled 4
percent today and that almost single handily dragged down the NASDAQ
composite index. Now, one week ahead of what should be a shining moment
for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) when it`s expected to unveil the iPhone 6, a
cartful of bad news combined to take the shine off Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
shares. They closed below $99 a piece, just a day after Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) shares hit an all-time high of $103.
The heavily weighted shares caused the NASDAQ to fall 25 points today,
the Dow managed to squeeze out a gain of 11, but the S&P lost one point.
So, what happened today?
One analyst told investors to take profits saying he`s skeptical the
product launch next week will result in, quote, “massive profit
opportunities”. But besides that warning, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is facing a
lot of criticism about security after intimate celebrity photos were stolen
from individual iCloud storage accounts. And then today, rival Samsung
unveiled two new smartphones, including one with a side display for quicker
access to apps.
MATTHEWS: Kim Forrest joins us now to talk more about the issues that
are weighing on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) today and by extension on the NASDAQ
today. She`s senior equity analyst with Fort Pitt Capital Group.
Kim, what are you doing? What is your company doing with its Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) shares and why?
KIM FORREST, FORT PITT CAPITAL GROUP SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST: Well, we
didn`t do anything today. But in the past, we have been taking some gains
if the amount of shares held is greater than 5 percent. We really try not
to expose our clients to any single company news. So, by keeping it 5
percent or less in any portfolio, that takes some of the sting away from
days like this.
MATHISEN: So, it`s being driven not by anything you see necessarily
in the company, but by the fact the stock has appreciated just so that it`s
above the 5 percent threshold?
FORREST: Exactly. Exactly.
GHARIB: All right. So, let`s talk a little bit about what is going
on inside the company, because there are all sorts of questions. Let`s
start first with the analyst report, saying that unless this product launch
does something to really show massive growth at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), you
know, you should be taking your profits.
What do you think is going to happen with this launch next week?
Because there`s talk about the iPhone 6, that`s out there. But also some
kind of watch or wearable.
GHARIB: Would that be a massive growth opportunity? What`s your take
on all this?
FORREST: I think that the price that`s baked into this stock right
now and why it`s gone up so far so fast on really very little news is
because people are expecting another blockbuster item. Now, listen, this
company has been able to convince consumers that they`ve had three products
that nobody in the world has had before and now we can`t live without,
right? So, we have iPads, we have iPhones and before that for some of us,
it was iPods.
So, I think, you know, we`re really having huge expectations for this
new product, whatever it is. And that`s very dangerous for investors.
MATHISEN: Let`s go back to the first question, if your company and
you owned zero Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock right now today, would you buy it?
FORREST: Not right now. Not at this price and certainly not with
You know, owning stocks is really about mitigating risk and reward and
at this point, it looks like a blockbuster item is kind of baked into the
results that people are expecting.
GHARIB: So, Tyler keeps asking you about the stock and I keep asking
about the product. So let me go back to the product.
MATHISEN: We`re double-teaming her.
GHARIB: Yes. What if there isn`t a wearable announced on next week
on the 9th? I mean, if it`s just the iPhone 6 that everybody has been
expecting? Does the stock go way down after that? What happens?
FORREST: I`m going to guess. See? That`s a product and a stock
MATHISEN: She`s clever.
FORREST: Anyhow. No, I think that really would be very disappointing
to people and I think we`ve heard some rumors because this a big rumor
stock that even if it is a wearable or whatever the new device is, it`s
unclear whether it will be ready for holiday 2014 and that`s a big area or
a big time of year for electronic sales.
So, you know, we have to keep an eye out on that. The timing of
whatever the device is, what the device is, how expensive it is. You know,
all of these things go into the formula of how hot this item could be.
MATHISEN: This company share had an amazing run of late 38 percent or
thereabouts since the spring. Is the bigger risk, though, Kim, that the
phone, if it is a phone that comes out next week, isn`t the blockbuster
that they hope, that the audience expects from?
FORREST: Yes, that`s really huge, as well. You know, they have been
flipping in market share not because they are selling last units, they are
selling more. But it`s just that other vendors have come into their space
and taken away their big mojo. So, they need to have some real wow factor.
I didn`t really watch everything about Samsung today, but Samsung`s really
made huge gains in this area.
MATHISEN: All right. Kim, thank you very much. You don`t want to
lose your mojo. That`s always bad when that happens.
Kim Forrest, Fort Pitt Capital Group —
FORREST: Thank you.
MATHISEN: — thanks again.
GHARIB: As we mentioned at the top of the program, August was a
terrific month for auto sales, which rose more than 5 percent marking the
best August since 2006, and putting the industry on track to sell 17.5
million units this year. All of the major automakers topped analyst
forecasts last month.
Phil LeBeau has more.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: August auto sales
came in hotter than many were expecting. In fact, the monthly sales rate
of 17.53 million vehicles is the strongest monthly sales rate for the auto
industry since January of 2006, when it was 17.62 million.
And nearly every major manufacturer reported better than expected
sales with Chrysler leading the way. Sales jumped 20 percent for Chrysler,
led by Jeep, which had sales increase 49 percent for the month of August.
Nissan was up double digits, and really all of the manufacturers reported
better than expected sales.
What was driving it? A couple things — low financing. About 13
percent of all vehicles sold in July and in August, according to
Edmunds.com, came with zero percent financing. In audition, strong
consumer confidence which always is the key for driving auto sales was
another factor and there is a lot of penalty up demand with the average age
for a vehicle in the United States running at nearly 11 years.
Again, August auto sales, the pace, 17.53 million vehicles, the
strongest monthly auto sales pace since 2006.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
MATHISEN: And in the Federal Reserve`s so-called Beige Book Survey,
which showed the economy got stronger across the entire U.S. over the
summer, one of the biggest areas of growth was, you guessed it, those cars
again. Auto sales, six of the bank`s 12 districts reported moderate
economic growth with the remainder reporting modest growth or signs of
GHARIB: Now, part of the reason for that growth, a stronger U.S.
dollar. Since the end of June, the U.S. dollar index has risen 3.5 percent
against a basket of currencies.
And as Sara Eisen reports, with good economic data continuing to come
in, the American dollar may be getting even more strength.
SARA EISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s
a paradigm shift — the U.S. draft flexing muscles at a one-year high
against the major currencies, like the euro and yen taking off after a slow
start to the year.
The reason? Major central banks are seeing moving in different
directions, hopes are rising that the European Central Bank will pump
stimulus into the economy to profit up, weighing on the euro, and that the
Bank of Japan will do the same, weighing on the yen.
While central banks pump easy money into economies, it dilutes the
value of currencies. At the same time, the U.S. economy is outperforming.
JIM RUSSELL, U.S. BANK WELATH MANAGEMENT: Especially here in the
United States, the PMI data looks great, the factory orders numbers look
great, the auto bills numbers look great. The employment trends look
EISEN: The strong dollar has many implications for other markets,
like commodities. It pressures gold and oil, which are priced in dollars
and often seen as currency hedges.
As far as the impact on stocks, stronger dollar could ultimately hurt,
especially multinationals where big chunks of sales come from overseas,
that could hit places like Proctor and Gamble, energy companies like
Chevron (NYSE:CVX), drug makers like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and tech companies
like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
One reason why some top strategists are telling clients to stay
focused on domestic companies.
BOB DOLL, NUVEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT: As an investor, you make sure you
have plenty of your earnings coming from inside the U.S. After all, the
economy is a bit stronger and broadening here, and then you`ll have
currency contention. So, that`s what is dominating what I`m doing in my
portfolios in order to benefit from the U.S. pickup.
EISEN (on camera): Hedge funds and other large speculators are the
most bullish they`ve been on the buck in years.
Wall Street strategists say as long as the U.S. economic data
continues to come in strong, especially big reports like Friday`s jobs
number, that could supercharge the stellar rally. But a lot also depends
on central banks and Europe and Japan, delivering on easy policy, both of
them out with key decisions on Thursday.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sara Eisen.
MATHISEN: Even with those looming Central Bank decisions and risks
from a number of international hot spots, the stock markets are near record
highs, fostering what some are calling a “Fortress USA” mentality.
Steve Liesman explains.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Call it a
Fortress USA mentality. The stock market hovering at lofty levels, while
the news abroad ranges from economically dismal, to militarily gruesome.
ISIS on the March in the Middle East and Russian forces in Ukraine. Two
international stories in the heart of the world`s oil production.
Europe, the world`s biggest economy, teeters on the verge of recession
and the Federal Reserve and the U.S. comes ever closer to hiking interest
SAM ZELL, EQUITY GROUP INVESTMENTS CHAIRMAN: Do you remember another
time where there were more issues going around, around the world all at the
same time? Any one of which could overnight turn into a major disaster?
Do you want to talk about issues? Do you want to talk about the Gaza? Do
you want to talk about the Ukraine?
LIESMAN: And still, stocks marched higher.
So, how realistic is this Fortress USA mentality?
One of the biggest surprises is the fall in the price of oil. West
Texas declined from $106 a barrel in mid June to around $93 today. That
could be because the U.S. gets less of its oil from hot spots, imports from
Canada and Mexico and U.S. oil production, now equal nearly 70 percent of
U.S. consumption, up from below 50 percent in 2000.
More stable oil sources mean less volatility from the horrific foreign
headlines in oil rich countries. And as Europe`s economy sputtered, U.S.
growth strengthened with 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter and third
quarter growth seen an above trend, 3 percent. Markets seem pretty certain
that an aggressive European Central Bank is about to spring into action to
save the continent from recession and deflation, and the U.S. economic
momentum can last.
JIM O`NEILL, FORMER GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT CHAIRMAN: With the
evidence of the U.S. economy strengthening more and more, we`re going to be
creeping towards a position where the Fed might get even less, less than
its been recently, which could cause bond yields (INAUDIBLE). And that if
it will happen would be a challenge for markets, as well.
So, as much as it`s good to see the economic story improving in the
U.S. and doing OK elsewhere, I don`t feel my normal usual bullish self
about markets at the moment.
LIESMAN: And still, the market marches higher, despite full knowledge
that the Fed is set to reverse course and some risk it happened sooner.
And the doomsayers could yet be proven right, Fortress USA could turn
out to be a castle built in the sand. But so far, it`s with stood serious
challenges for the rest of the world.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
GHARIB: New rules for the nation`s biggest banks from the Federal
Reserve and other financial regulators. The 15 largest banks, each with
more than a quarter trillion dollars in assets, are now required to keep
more cash, treasury bonds, and other so-called assets on hand, enough to
continue operations for 30 days in the event of another economic downturn.
Smaller bank will have to keep enough assets on hand to cover 21 days.
MATHISEN: And coming up, it`s been a bit of tough-go for retailers of
late. But there is one category of stores that could be primed to
outperform. We`ll tell you about which ones they are later a little later.
GHARIB: Some big changes at CVS (NYSE:CVS) Caremark today. The chain
has pulled cigarettes from its shelves a month ahead of schedule. The
companies are also changing its corporate name to CVS (NYSE:CVS) Health.
The CEO says this will bolster CVS` image as a health care company.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MERLO, CVS (NYSE:CVS) HEALTH CEO: Certainly, people view us as
a health care company, especially in light of, you know, the decision. I
think it further makes a statement and commitment to, you know, our focus
on health. We had a very successful selling season this year. We`ve been
awarded over $5 billion in new business.
And you still got to be right on price. You got to be right on
service. But some other things we`re doing we think are more than
intangible in terms why people put their trust in us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: The stock was up almost 1 percent to $80.36.
MATHISEN: Getting ready to pay more for health care. New federal
figures show that growth of U.S. spending on health care was up just 3.6
percent last year in 2013 to nearly $3 trillion, but with a rebounding
economy and expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, that spending
growth is expected to increase on a 5.6 percent this year and taper off in
2015, and then rise more than 6 percent from 2016 to 2023, this as the U.S.
population ages and more Americans have coverage.
GHARIB: We`re just two months away from the midterm elections and one
of the closest races for control of the U.S. Senate is in the politically
divided state of North Carolina.
And tonight, the first debate between the incumbent Democratic senator
and her Republican challenger.
John Harwood is in Raleigh, North Carolina, ahead of tonight`s
So, John, a lot of people are watching this race and this debate.
What makes North Carolina representative of the broader contest going on in
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Susie, the fight
for control of the U.S. Senate is going to come down to states with
Democratic incumbents that were carried by Mitt Romney in 201 2. It`s true
in Arkansas. It`s true in Alaska. It`s true in Louisiana. And it`s also
true here in North Carolina, where Kay Hagan, first term Democratic
incumbent, faces a state electorate that has moved somewhat to the right
since she was elected in 2008.
MATHISEN: So, from 2008 to 2012, if North Carolina became a red state
in those years, why do Democrats think they can hold on to this particular
HARWOOD: Well, even though Kay Hagan is on the defensive for Obama`s
domestic problem, Obamacare, deficit spending, that sort of thing, his
international problems, you`ve got Thom Tillis who is the speaker of the
North Carolina house, he`s the Republican candidate, he`s on the defensive
for things that North Carolina legislature has been doing, budget cuts, tax
cuts, curves on voting procedures. All of these have created the same kind
of controversy here in Raleigh that there is in Washington, lots of unhappy
voters on both sides.
GHARIB: You listed every possible issue they could be debating on.
But if you had to divide it up between U.S. economic, domestic issues or
international issues like what`s going on in the Middle East, which one do
you think dominates?
HARWOOD: Susie, so far, this race has been dominated by domestic and
economic issues. Both in Raleigh and Washington — budget, spending,
taxes, health care, but we`re going to see if this debate tonight, an hour-
long beginning at 7:00 p.m., it`s going to be televised on C-Span as well,
whether or not the brutality of ISIS is changing focus. Certainly, we`ve
seen a lot of Democratic senators under pressure to distance themselves
from President Obama on this.
GHARIB: Well, it`s a fascinating race.
John, thanks so much. John Harwood reporting from Raleigh, North
HARWOOD: You bet.
MATHISEN: Shares of Delta slump after the airline cut its outlook,
and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company warned that it expects jet fuel prices to top previous
estimates in its third quarter. It also lowered its projections for a key
passenger revenue metric and it`s operating margin growth. Shares down 5
percent to $38.82, worst performing stock in the S&P 500 index today.
Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INFI) soared after the company said
it would receive an upfront payment of $275 million from Abbvie. This as
part of a new collaboration to develop and commercialize its treatment for
blood cancer. The CEO says its targeted therapy and others like it are
getting drug makers closer to a cure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADELENE Q. PERKINGS, INFINITY PHARMACEUTICALS CEO: The next frontier
for the treatment of these diseases, which is combining our targeted
medicine with other targeted medicines, and we think that that has the
potential to take patients from a life-threatening condition towards in the
near term living with their disease as a chronic condition and ultimately
getting to more curative outcomes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares were up 44 percent to $15.73.
Well, it looks like Tesla, the electric car maker, will be opening a
battery factory in Nevada. It hasn`t been confirmed yet, but the state
government has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow, where it is
expected to announce that Nevada is the site where the proposed $5 billion
factory will be built.
Tesla shares were one percent lower to close at $281.19.
GHARIB: Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) hit record today after the
company struck a deal with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and Warner Brothers, to
secure the streaming rights for the Batman prequel “Gotham”. Now, the deal
is different because Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has landed the rights before the
series has even aired.
Shares edged up a fraction, but closed below the all-time high at
A positive research note from Morgan Stanley (NASDAQ:NBXH) (NYSE:MS)
helped push Mobileye higher. The firm said the software company could be
worth $100 a share by 2020 if it can keep close to its current market
share. Mobileye make cameras used to avoid car crashes. Shares soared 9
percent to $46.97.
Lumber Liquidators also higher after Wedbush upgraded the stock to
“outperform” from “neutral”, saying the worst of the company`s supply chain
and competitive issues are behind it. Shares of the flooring retailer
jumped 7 percent to $59.28.
And the board of Tibco Software announced a review of strategic
alternatives. Now, that usually means it wants to put itself up for sale.
The company, which provides business intelligence software, has hired
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to assist in the review. Shares fell a fraction to
$21.04 and then surged in after hours trading on the news.
MATHISEN: The back to school sales are winding down, as so many kids
are back to school already, and retailers are gearing up now for the big
holiday shopping season. But with gross margins tight and getting tighter,
stores are fine-tuning their inventories right now.
So, which retails are poised to get it right and outperform the sector
averages? The answer may surprise you and Courtney Reagan has it.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Planning retail inventory can be like pleasing goldilocks. Too much
merchandise bogs down the balance sheet and makes for a frustrating
shopping experience for consumers. Too little inventory opens the
possibility for lost sales and leads consumers to look elsewhere.
(on camera): The financial crisis in the following years taught
retailers a number of lessons, including the power of proportional events
to move excess inventory and the dangers of buying too much. Now, analysts
say retailers are hitting it just right with some of the leanest inventory
seen in a number of years.
(voice-over): Deutsche Bank says department store inventories were up
just 1 percent in the second quarter, the lowest increase in nearly two
years, which has helped profitability at stores like Macy`s, and according
to historical data should trickle down to off price names like T.J.Maxx and
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST).
MICHAEL BAKER, DEUTSCHE BANK SR. ANALYST: What we expect to happen in
the future is that the off price retailers will see better growth margins
and better sales because they`re going to be seeing less competition from
REAGAN: Retailer Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) says inventory is 40
percent lower than in 2007.
MICHAEL O`SULLIVAN, ROSS STORES COO & PRES.: This strategy made it
easier for our customers to shop our stores, and has driven sales by
increasing the percentage of fresh and exciting bargains they see when they
visit our stores. It has also enabled us to achieve record merchandise
margins through faster inventory turns and lower markdowns as a percentage
REAGAN: While leaner inventory may make it easier for consumers to
sift through the racks, it may lead to fewer promotional offers. The
better retailers get at determining that just right level of inventory, the
less they`ll need to put on sale.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
GHARIB: Chinese buyers have been a big presence in the U.S. housing
market and now, they may have created a big opportunity. We`ll explain in
MATHISEN: Home builders have had a spotty year so far, but today, the
luxury homebuilders Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) reported a blowout third
quarter. Net income more than doubled in nearly $100 million over the
spring as it delivered more new homes at higher prices. The average cost
of one of Toll`s newly constructed unit rose to $732,000 from $651,000,
just a year ago.
GHARIB: Chinese buyers have been flocking to the U.S. housing market,
looking to park their cash in a safe place, while at the same time hoping
to enroll their children in American universities. This has created
opportunities for both U.S. and Chinese developers, and some of them are
now working together.
Diana Olick has more.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The
Chinese have been buying U.S. real estate and now, they are building it.
Chinese developer Landsea is planning to put 200 condominiums in this site,
overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
TIAN MING, LANDSEA EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: The Chinese real estate market
is very competitive, and the U.S. housing market is growing, recovering or
expanding rapidly, so for us as a company, to invest certain amount in the
United States makes a lot of sense for us.
OLICK: Landsea, which calls itself China`s preeminent green builder,
is putting about $1 billion into the U.S. housing market, beginning with
three developments. This one in Weehawken, New Jersey, will be
condominiums, with priceless views. It also plans to build townhomes in
San Francisco, and single family homes near Los Angeles.
SAM ZELL, EQUITY GROUP INVESTMENT CHAIRMAN: The reality is these are
very big companies. They are well-funded. The U.S., we think it`s a good
market. Obviously, we`re in it. So, we shouldn`t be surprised that they
OLICK: Landsea, which has 40 developments in Asia and Europe, is
centering on markets where job growth and information technology is strong.
MING: Our primary customer is still here in the domestically in the
United States. But because of our background and who we are, and our brand
in China, we will get Chinese customers who will want to buy our homes.
OLICK: That`s why they admit they are also focusing on markets with
well-known universities. Chinese parents have been inundating new
developments in Southern (NYSE:SO) California, buying homes so their
children can attend school there. Builders like Lennar (NYSE:LEN) have
cashed in on that market.
(on camera): And now, Lennar (NYSE:LEN), which sold Landsea this
neighboring lot for the Weehawken Project, is going one step further,
working with Landsea to both design and build the condos.
They will use domestic workers and materials and build much in the
same style as the Lennar (NYSE:LEN) units already here, all in a bet to
bring in buyers from both sides of the globe.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Weehawken, New Jersey.
GHARIB: To read more about Chinese developers who are taking on the
U.S. housing market, go to our Web site, NBR.com.
And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight, I`m Susie Gharib.
Thanks so much for joining us.
MATHISEN: And thanks for me, as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen.
Have a great evening, everybody. And we hope to see you back here
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