TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Up, up and away. The
bulls run on Wall Street, sending the blue chip Dow index up triple digits,
reversing its recent losing streak.
SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Banking in aisle 5.
One of the Dow`s top performers today, Walmart, as the world`s largest
retailer takes direct aim at the banks making its biggest push yet into
MATHISEN: And second acts. Sam Waksal is back after spending years
in prison for insider trading, in the scandal that ensnared his friend
Martha Stewart. He`s now planning an IPO for his latest biotech venture.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Wednesday, September 24th.
GHARIB: Good evening, everybody.
The blue chips were red hot today. The Dow rallied after two straight
sessions of big losses as investors snapped up stocks following an upbeat
report on housing. The Dow surged 154 points, a gained of almost 1
percent, the NASDAQ shot up 46, the S&P rose 15 points.
Health care stocks were among the biggest gainers in the S&P. And
even though oil prices gushed higher today, with crude rising more than a
dollar a barrel, energy stocks trails the broader markets, with ExxonMobil
(NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) among the only three decliners in the
MATHISEN: Well, among the biggest winners in the Dow today — Walmart
shares, the world`s largest retailer, rose about 2 percent after it
announced an all new service. For years, Walmart has vanquished
competitors with its low-price strategy on retail goods. Now, it`s taking
direct aim at banks, offering a low-cost checking account to consumers.
Mary Thompson has more on the retailing giant`s latest push into
MARY THOMPSON, NIGHTY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Everyone knows you can get almost anything at Walmart — socks, groceries,
TVs, and come the end of next, a checking account.
DANIEL ECKERT, WALMART SVP OF SERVICE: The customer will be able to
come to Walmart and pick up that account and for a $2.95 fee, be able to
purchase that starter kit.
THOMPSON: With the starter kit, Walmart clients can open up a Go Bank
mobile checking account, a low cost, FDIC insured account managed by Green
Dot (NYSE:GDOT), a bank holding company Walmart holds a small stake in.
Here`s Green Dot (NYSE:GDOT) CEO Steve Streit.
STEVE STREIT, GREEN DOT CEO: There are no NSF fees. If you
accidentally bounce a check, there`s no overdraft fees, there are no
minimum balance fees requirements.
THOMPSON (on camera): And Go Bank customers won`t be shut out because
of a poor credit history. Meaning Walmart could be bringing a product that
could bring some of the 43 million Americans the FDIC says are either un or
under-banked back into the banking fold.
(voice-over): Walmart and Green Dot (NYSE:GDOT) will make money
through an undisclosed revenue-sharing agreement, making Go Bank the latest
of a growing number of financial services Walmart provides its customers,
services like check cashing, wire transfers and bill payment.
Like the products on its shelves, Walmart prices its financial
services below rivals, giving clients another reason to stop and hopefully
shop at its stores.
Here`s Walmart executive Daniel Eckert.
ECKERT: Customers who engage in our financial services tend to find
it more convenient to use the one-stop shop of Walmart. And will end up
not only conducting their everyday money services with us but then going on
and proceeding and filling a basket according to their needs.
THOMPSON: As for Walmart`s needs, any boost in sales will be welcome.
The retailers struggling as its low-income clientele keep a tight grip on
their wallets, even as the economy shows signs of expansion.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mary Thompson.
GHARIB: Another Dow component making news today, Home Depot
(NYSE:HD), on reports that fraudulent charges and even cash withdrawals are
now showing up on credit cards stolen in a massive data breach at the
Eamon Javers joins us now from Washington with more on the
transactions at how banks are trying to block charges before they`re even
You know, Eamon, I was really surprised to hear that this breach is
even bigger than the one at Target (NYSE:TGT). So, tell us a little bit
more about those fraudulent charges.
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that`s
right. We`ve been talking to some of the banks today. And what they`re
telling us is this is going to be a lot more damaging that the Target
(NYSE:TGT) breach, partly because the Home Depot (NYSE:HD) breach lasted
for a longer time. Banks are saying that Home Depot (NYSE:HD) breach for
at least a week, and a lot of data left the servers during that period of
time. That means there could be a lot of victims out there.
And what we`re starting to see is some of the charges and fraudulent
activity on consumers` credit cards, everything from groceries, to
everything you purchase, even at Home Depot (NYSE:HD) itself being
fraudulently charged. Now, most consumers, though, are not seeing this
damage because usually the banks are the ones who eat the damage when there
is a lot of activity on the cards. A lot of banks are protecting the
customers from really feeling all the pain of all these hacking attacks.
MATHISEN: But if this problem gets big enough, Eamon, even though the
banks typically do, as you say, eat those charges, I can well imagine that
some banks might want to say, hey, this is your problem, Home Depot
(NYSE:HD), you ought to at least share in some of the costs of reimbursing
JAVERS: Yes, that`s right, Tyler, and there is a big fight right now
in Washington behind the scenes, between the banks and the retailers both
pointing fingers at each other, saying, hey, you`re the one who should be
paying for all of this damage out here. This is very, very expensive
stuff. You could be talking hundreds of millions of dollars if not more.
So, the fight now is over the liability for that. Whose fault really
is this? And how can you trace each individual charge to a particular data
breach. That gets difficult. And what the retailers are saying is, yes,
the banks have a lot of data on what`s been charged, but you can`t
necessarily say that bogus charge was due to the Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
breach. So, how can you apply those costs to Home Depot (NYSE:HD)?
All of that is being fought out now here in Washington.
GHARIB: You know, the other things, Eamon, it seems like, I mean,
this may not be true but it seems like that consumers are not as angry on
this Home Depot (NYSE:HD) news as they were when they heard about Target
(NYSE:TGT). Is it because that consumers have what the so-called thing of
data breach fatigue? In other words, that they are, you know, tired of
hearing about this, or maybe they`re just too use to hearing about breaches
and that`s — you know, that`s the way things are?
JAVERS: Yes, that`s right. You get numb to this, right? I mean,
these headlines are out there every single week, and we all say, you know
what, it`s just another bad story out there. People assume this is going
on and because they`re not feeling that financial pain themselves, they`re
not getting really agitated about it. The problem, though, is that could
lead people to get complacent about security. If you don`t feel the pain,
then you`re incentivize yourself to go out there and do everything you can
to protect your own data.
MATHISEN: Eamon, thanks very much. Eamon Javers reporting.
JAVERS: You bet.
MATHISEN: Well, as Susie mentioned just a moment ago, some sweet
housing numbers today, in contrast to yesterday`s somewhat sour report on
the sales of existing, or previously occupied homes. Sales of newly built
homes surged in August to the highest levels in six years shooting up 18
percent from the same month a year ago, on a wave of buying in the
Northeast and out west. That didn`t, though, seem to help the shares on
the nation`s biggest home builders today. D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), Lennar
(NYSE:LEN), Pulte, Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), all modestly lower. Shares of
KB Homes really got hit, down more than 5 percent after that company posted
third quarter sales in profit that were short of forecast. They blamed
weather delays and troubles for some would-be buyers in securing mortgages.
GHARIB: Two Federal Reserve Bank presidents were talking about the
Fed`s next move on raising bench mark interest rates. Newly installed
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester wants to see the Fed overhaul how it
communicates its policy changes, basing on economic data1 targets.
Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charlie Evans says the Central Bank
has to patient about raising rates, and confident that policy-makers get it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES EVANS, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO PRESIDENT: Before the
Fed raises rates, we should have a great deal of confidence that we won`t
force to backtrack on our moves and face another painful of period zero
lower balance. We should be exceptionally patient in adjusting the stance
of U.S. monetary policy. Even to the point of allowing a modest
overshooting of our inflation target to appropriately balance the risks to
our policy objectives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: Evans also said he is, quote, “very uncomfortable with calls
to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.”
MATHISEN: But with the possibility of a rate hike on the way, however
sooner it might be, investors are paying close attention to the financial
sector which has out-performed the Dow index this year. And it`s not just
the big money center banks. Regionals have been strong. But the same
can`t be said for the insurers.
Morgan Brennan explains the divergence and the outlook for both.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
With the possibility of an interest rate hike on the horizon, some
investors are betting on a regional bank stock for big returns. Companies
like PNC financial and U.S. Bank Corps are among the names that have
fuelled a rally in the financial sector this month. Unlike bigger peers
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) or Citigroup (NYSE:C), regionals are not as affected by
regulatory changes, since they have simpler business models that directly
reap profits from commercial and personal loans.
Analysts say that means these stocks stand to gain from higher
TERRY MCEVOY, STERNE AGEE HEAD OF BANK RESEARCH: We believe the out-
performance in regional bank stocks this month is a reflection of the
markets view that short-term interest rates will go up in 2015 and that in
our view, 2014 is an ideal time for investors to begin accumulating shares
of regional banks.
BRENNAN: Atlanta-based Sun Trust Bank is one top pick among analysts.
Sterne Agee`s Terry McEvoy says the bank will benefit from the ongoing
housing recovery in markets like Florida. He also looks to the Midwest,
which has enjoyed a stronger economic recovery for regional winners.
MCEVOY: Our top pick in the Midwest is third, we think the company
will continue to grow loans above the pace of the industry and that the
bank`s high-level profitability is not reflected in today`s stock price.
BRENNAN: But other analysts are looking for buying opportunities in
underperforming industries within the financial sector. For example,
insurance companies, names like Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW), which is
down on lingering concerns about its long-term care insurance business.
Analysts on average expect that stock price to rise more than 30 percent
over the next year. And Aflac (NYSE:AFL) and Prudential Financial could
offer similar returns.
VINCENT LIU: I think people are just slowly and gradually coming to
see that insurers are just like banks. That they`re going to benefit
significantly in the a rising interest rate environment.
BRENNAN (on camera): Like all stocks, regional banks and insurers
could face headwinds in the coming months as well. There is a possibility
of a natural disaster which can hurt insurers balance sheet short term, and
for the banks as interest rates rise, the possibility that people won`t
deposit as much money, choosing to put more of their hard-earned cash to
work in other investments.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, a blast from the past, Sam Waksal, the man who
went to prison for insider trading along with his friend Martha Stewart is
back. And he has plans now to take his new firm public.
GHARIB: Regulators are reportedly investigating whether bond giant
PIMCO artificially pumped up the returns of one of its popular funds.
According to “The Wall Street Journal”, the Securities and Exchange
Commission is looking into whether the PIMCO total return ETF brought
investments at discounted prices and then used higher valuations when
calculating the value of the holdings. That could make it seem like the
fund made more than it did.
MATHISEN: Someone who knows all about the reach of Securities and
Exchange Commission is Sam Waksal. He served seven years for insider
trading when he ran the bio tech company ImClone, a scandal that also sent
Martha Stewart to prison. Now, five years after his release, Waksal has
been raising new fund for a new biotech and planning his return to Wall
Street, sort of.
Meg Tirrell has more.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sam
Waksal is ready for his second act, the details of his first are well
known, he founded the cancer drug ImClone, which developed the cancer
medicine Erbitux, served five years in prison on insider trading charges
and emerged in 2009.
He then founded a new biotech company, Kadmon. It`s based in the same
building in New York City as his old company, now owned by Eli Lilly
(NYSE:LLY). Kadmon has been operating as a private company, with Waksal as
chairman and CEO, as part of his settlement with the SEC, he accepted a
permanent bar on acting as an officer or director of any public company.
Now, Kadmon plans to go public Waksal says. Because of his bar, Sam
Waksal won`t be CEO. Kadmon is bringing on Waksal`s brother, Harlan, to be
CEO and president. Sam`s title would be chief of innovation, science and
strategy. He is likely to face scrutiny from the SEC, but Jacob Frenkel, a
white collar crime specialist at law firm Shulman Rogers (NYSE:ROG), said
he expects Waksal to be careful not to cross lines that would put him in
The SEC declined to comment.
LES FUNTLEYDER, ESQUARED ASSET MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Given
his track record and given his desire for the new drugs coming to market, I
would say that investors are certainly willing to give him a chance.
Certainly the more financial minded will remember ImClone and ultimately
acquired Lilly. It was very successful and a lot of people made money.
TIRRELL (on camera): Lilly paid $6.5 billion for ImClone in 2008.
Waksal`s new company also focuses on cancer drugs, in addition to marketing
medicines for hepatitis C. So, can he do it again?
Kadmon plans to file the paperwork for an IPO later this year, amid a
record streak for biotech IPOs. Then, the market will decide.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
GHARIB: General Motors (NYSE:GM) is steering a lot of its efforts to
the Far East. The automaker says it expects to sell more than 3 million
vehicles in China for the second year in a row in 2014 with sales of top
tier brands like Cadillac and Buick, forecast to grow by 40 percent. G.M.
also plans to launch 60 new and upgraded models over the next three years
in the Asian nation, now the world`s biggest auto market.
MATHISEN: The struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is out with a
new device called the Passport, which has touchscreen technology, a full
QWERTY keyboard, and a very distinct shape about the size of your passport.
BlackBerry says the unusual shape will help users read and edit
spreadsheets and other documents. Investors, though, not impressed,
sending shares a half a percent lower today.
Meanwhile, in news involving other tech companies named after fruits,
Apple`s latest iPhones may have broken sales records, but it`s pulling the
plug on fixes needed for their new operating system. The update released
today was supposed to fix glitches in the new software in those iPhones and
iPads released just last week. But along with some blocking some phone
calls, some users say the patch interferes with Apple`s touch fingerprint
security system. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to advise users on what to do
as quickly as it can.
GHARIB: Citizen`s financial makes its trading debut on the NYSE today
and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company, which is the U.S. banking unit of the Royal Bank of
Scotland, is the second biggest IPO this year, after Alibaba, of course.
It raised about $3 billion from its offering, even though shares were
priced at $21.50, below the expected range. The stock closed higher by
more than 7 percent to $23.08.
CyberArk Software also started trading today and was a big hit with
investors. This Israeli data security company raised nearly $86 million in
its initial public offering and it priced at $16 a piece, well above the
The CEO says that CyberArk security offerings are unique.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UDI MOKADY, CYBERARK CEO: CyberArk introduces a new layer of security
that actually protects organizations on the inside. Billions have been
spent on trying to keep attackers out. Our customers, we help them defend
from attackers that made it onto the network or are attacking from the
inside. This is our opportunity to really go and expand globally and hit
on those levers that have brought us here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: And look at those shares. They skyrocketed 87 percent to
Reports that Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) approached Actavis about a possible
merger pushed up shares of both companies today. This comes after Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE) abandoned its $114 billion bid for AstraZeneca, which would have
allowed it to move its headquarters abroad in a tax inversion deal. Shares
of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) rose slightly to $30.31. Actavis also up about 3
percent to $248.
Well, the toy wars just got ice-cold. Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) has inked a
deal with Disney (NYSE:DIS) to market dolls based on the blockbuster film
“Frozen”, taking the rights away from rival toy maker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT)
starting in 2016. The toy maker will also make dolls based on other
classics like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the Little Mermaid.
Shares of Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) rose almost 4 percent to $54.95. Mattel
(NASDAQ:MAT) was off more than 1 percent to $31.67.
Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) reported a wider loss in its fourth quarter,
partly because its expenses rose. But its results were mixed, revenue did
climb, topping estimates and its season ticket sales are ahead of where
they were last year. Despite that, the stock was more than 1 percent to
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is reportedly looking to sell its infusion
services business in a deal that could fetch about $1.5 billion. Infusion
Therapy is when you administer specialty drugs intravenously. The drug
store operator has hired Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to run the sale
process, according to those reports. Shares up slightly to $61.52.
There`s also buzz that Starz, the pay television company, is putting
itself up for sale. Multiple reports say the movie cable channel has
retained an investment banking firm to seek a possible buyer, one possible
taker could be 21st Century Fox. Shares of Starz popped 5 1/2 percent to
GHARIB: A deal is a deal, another setback for oil giant BP. A
federal judge ruled that business owners can keep the payouts they received
from BP after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill hurt their businesses. BP
argued that a flawed funding formula in its $50 billion settlement process
gave money to some businesses making questionable claims, and that some
should be forced to return those funds.
And coming up, the big decision and the big risks that one small
software company had to make in order to grow, and how it could be a model
for others. The second part of our series, “Small Business Matters” is
MATHISEN: Yale beats Harvard, not at football, at investing. Yale
University`s endowment close to that 20 percent return in a just completed
2014 fiscal year, topping rivals Penn, Dartmouth, and even Harvard, which
saw its investments supposed to return just 15 percent — just 15 percent
I`d take it`s pretty good.
But size does matter, even in the Ivy League. Harvard`s $36 billion
endowment, the biggest of all U.S. schools by far and far bigger than
Yale`s $24 billion portfolio.
GHARIB: Well, if only every college had an endowment that big, the
student loan debt crisis might not be as bad as it is now. A new study by
credit agency Experian shows that U.S. student loan debt has reached an
all-time high of $1.2 trillion. That`s up 84 percent since the 2008
But there is also some good news about student loans. The Department
of Education reports that defaults on those loans have declined in the
first few years after they came due.
MATHISEN: Well, some graduates looking to pay off those loans might
be tempted to become entrepreneurs in the growing business of marijuana.
But it turns out it is becoming more difficult for small business owners to
set up shops selling pot.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) takes a look at some of the challenges.
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Starting a
marijuana business may seem like an opportunity to cash in, but
entrepreneurs meeting in New York this week seem to agree. Breaking into
the business can be an uphill battle.
Megan Sanders runs the company which makes plant-based medicines in
Colorado, some of which are cannabis-based.
MEGAN SANDERS, PLANT-BASED MEDICINE CEO: People don`t understand the
risk that you take. Personal bank accounts are shut down. It`s not just
that I can`t get a business account, but it`s almost impossible to keep
your personal accounts open. It was almost impossible for me to refinance
my home. I mean, it affects every aspect of your life.
ROGERS: Getting your hands on lucrative licenses, figuring out how to
transport your product, staying in line with tight program restrictions are
all hurdles for businesses looking to start up, in places where
recreational use has been legalized, the rules are often different from
state to state.
Also, prepare to be audited and know that your affected tax rate maybe
as high as 70 percent, according to New York lawyer, Hanan Kolko.
HANAN KOLKO, MEYER, SOUZZI, ENGLISH ATTORNEY: There is also a
provision of the IRS Code 280 which forbids entrepreneurs in this business
from deducting their business expenses, so they pay a very high effective
tax rate. And then finally, there is the uncertainty created by the
Controlled Substances Act, where marijuana is a schedule 1 control drug.
ROGERS: That said, marijuana can be a huge money maker for both
entrepreneurs and state government. In fact, a recent study by Nerd Wallet
found that if all 50 states legalize the cannabis biz, their collective
take could be more than $3 billion in taxes. And that`s why marijuana is
generating such a buzz these days.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG), NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
GHARIB: Some more news on entrepreneurs who will open more small
businesses this year than in past decades, even though most of them won`t
survive. One report estimates only one third of small businesses will
still be around in 10 years. In the second segment of our series small
business matters, Sharon Epperson reports on one key lesson essential for
many small businesses, not just to survive, but thrive. But it can be one
of the hardest lessons to master.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Entrepreneur Jason Fried says starting a business isn`t hard. The hard
part is staying in business. Small businesses often lose focus, even
successful ones. His 15-year-old company 37 Signals was well known in tech
circles, for its many software products.
JASON FRIED, BASECAMP FOUNDER 7 CEO: When you`re in business for a
long time, we have been in business for 15 years, you begin to amass things
over time, the mass of your business gets larger and larger and larger.
You do more things. You take on more people. You build more products, you
expand your product line, like there`s always more stuff that`s happening.
EPPERSON: Out of the products offered, one stood out, Basecamp.
FRIED: So, this is Basecamp, and Basecamp is a tool for teens who
were working together to keep everything related to a particular product in
one central place on line. You have a collection of all the discussions,
all the files, all the tasks, all the outstanding work, and all the ideas
and notes you need do to get the job done.
EPPERSON: Over the past decade, it has become a global brand.
MICHAEL PARRISH DUDELL, ENTREPRENEUR & SMALL BUSINESS EXPERT:
Basecamp had really been responsible for about 87 percent of their revenue,
about 90 percent of their growth, Web traffic, 92 percent, 93 percent.
Clearly, this was the star product. And so, they had to make a decision as
an executive team: are we going to spread our focus and try to create a
range of products, or are we going to focus on this core product that`s
doing so well?
EPPERSON (on camera): And Fried did just that, he streamlined 37
Signals to focus on their most successful product and they changed the
company`s name to reflect that product.
(voice-over): In February 2014, 37 Signals became Basecamp.
FRIED: We decided at the moment of having a great business, let`s
make this decision now so we can get focused again just on one thing, which
is Basecamp, which is our most popular product, which is the one most of
our customers use, which is that generates most of our revenues and
DUDELL: At 15 million people who subscribed to their product, they`re
continuing to iterate, continuing to make it better.
FRIED: Yet even with the increasing popularity of its flagship
product, the company decided not to expand.
DUDELL: They have turned over hundreds of offers, they have done
everything in their power to keep their business at a certain level of
scale. And that`s a great thing about being an entrepreneur. When you own
your own company, you call the shots.
FRIED: For us, it`s not about chasing huge numbers. We`re not here
to IPO. We`re not here to sell the company. We`re not here to try and hit
numbers to impress investors. It`s really tempting to keep, wanting to do
more and more and more stuff. But it`s really, really hard to do more than
one thing well.
EPPERSON: Just focusing on one product, one service that you`re
really good at may be your company`s most important selling point. And
Fried hopes Basecamp`s singular focus will be the key to his company`s
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sharon Epperson.
GHARIB: Sharon`s series continues tomorrow with a big decision a
financial planner had to make about her small advisory business.
MATHISEN: And finally tonight, India celebrating a giant leap in
mankind`s race to explore space. An Indian spacecraft entered into orbit
around Mars today, making it the only Asian nation to reach the Red Planet,
and it didn`t much money to do so. The price tag, a mere $74 million,
that`s a fraction of the cost that NASA spent on its latest Mars probe,
which cost $670 million. It also costs less than $100 million Oscar-
winning movie “Gravity (NASDAQ:GRVY)”, about astronauts stranded in space.
GHARIB: So I was looking to see why it was so cheap for them, besides
a simple design. The people costs in India are less.
MATHISEN: The labor cost is much lower than scientists here.
GHARIB: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Susie
Gharib. Have a great evening.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. We hope
to see you back here tomorrow night.
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