SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Historic close. The S&P
500 manages to eek out a record, along with the NASDAQ. And despite the concerns in the market, are more gains likely?
Walking away. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) drops its $45 billion bid for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable. But does the collapse of this deal open the door for others?
Big gains? Our market monitor guest has a list of stocks he says will increase 20 percent or more by the end of the year.
All of that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, April 24th.
Good evening, everyone. And welcome. I`m Sue Herera. Tyler Mathisen is off tonight.
Well, stocks finish the week at records. The S&P 500 climbing just enough to close at its highest level ever. And for the NASDAQ, it was the second record close in a row. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21 points to 18,080, within 1 percent of its all time. The NASDAQ climbs 36 to 5,092 and the S&P gains five points to 2,117.69.
For the week, the major indices were higher with the NASDAQ having its best five-day run since late October.
So, despite all the groans from traders that there is no volume, valuations are high, and the economic data isn`t as strong as it should be, there are some things working in the market`s favor.
Bob Pisani has more.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The standouts were again on the NASDAQ with three big Seattle companies reporting earnings.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was up over 10 percent. Wow! Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was up 14 percent. That is a historic high. And Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) also was up almost 5 percent, also an historic high.
The S&P made new highs as earnings while weak aren`t as bad as many feared. The flat earnings are being blamed on the weather, of course, but it`s also blamed on the collapse in oil and the strong dollar.
But oil is moving up now. The dollar stopped rallying. So, these excuses won`t hold much water in the current quarter. Traders have complained that the rally has been accompanied by low volume and low volatility. Well, that`s true, but for many, there`s just no real palatable alternative to stocks, not in cash and certainly not in bonds.
Real estate is an alternative investment but it`s a relatively high cost one.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: And now to the megadeal that didn`t happen. Last night, we reported that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) was close to abandoning its
$45 billion bid for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable.
And today, the companies made it official. The deal which was announced 14 months ago came under intense scrutiny from regulators, concerned that a combined company would control too much of the market for broadband. Shares of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) rose fractionally, while Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable popped more than 4 percent.
So, what exactly caused that merger to unravel? And why did the collapse of this deal set off a new round of deal chatter?
HERERA (voice-over): It started as a $45 billion cable merger, but the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS)/Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) deal died because of the Internet`s growing role as a gateway to information and entertainment. Neither company is owed a break-up fee but Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) said it spent more than $230 million last year trying to win government backing for the deal. That was enough, according to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.
BRIAN ROBERTS, COMCAST CHAIRMAN AND CEO: We thought we could get the deal approved, we thought we could make a good case. I think our team did.
But in the end, we have to move on.
HERERA: Unwilling to battle federal regulators, the two companies walked away from a deal that would have given Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
(NYSE:CCS) control of more than half of the nation`s 87 million broadband customers, 30 percent of its cable TV market, plus extensive content holdings, including NBC Universal (NYSE:UVV).
The FCC applauded the deal`s demise, saying, the decision, quote, “is in the best interest of consumers”, end quote, and a merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation.
The Department of Justice said it is a victory for providers of streaming content and services.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are no gatekeepers for deciding what you get to access. There are no toll roads on the information superhighway.
HERERA: The deal may have been doomed after the White House backed the concept of net neutrality last fall. It meant trouble for last year`s Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) decision to pay Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) for faster service, which illustrated the power broadband companies could have over content providers.
RICHARD GREENFIELD, BTIG: One key mistake and that was not giving into Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Nobody knew why Internet — why you should worry about an open Internet. Things could have been different if they handled that in a less aggressive manner.
HERERA: Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS), for one, has a lot of cash left to redeploy. One analyst thinks a foray into wireless communications could make sense.
GREENFIELD: They`re not just going to sit around. The world is moving very fast. My partner Walt Piecyk has talked a lot about why a T- Mobile or a Sprint acquisition could make a lot of sense. I mean, think about it, the key device in every person`s life now is a mobile phone.
HERERA: The end of the deal also means Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), a regional cable operator, will not acquire some of the Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable markets Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) had agreed to part with.
Another deal dependent on the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS)/TWC merger, Charter`s acquisition of Bright House Networks, the country`s sixth largest cable TV operator. It`s also off.
But there could be other deals in the works. And Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) backed by billionaire John Malone may make a bid to buy TWC.
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) cable announces earnings next week when more details could be announced.
HERERA: One of Eric Holder`s last acts as attorney general was to authorize a lawsuit against the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS)/Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) deal.
Eamon Javers joins now from Washington with more on the antitrust environment.
So, Eamon, what was the main reason the government didn`t like this particular deal?
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, I talked to a Department of Justice official today, Sue, who said that ultimately, it wasn`t really about the cable television business at all. The Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) folks made the argument that the Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) systems didn`t overlap. It wasn`t anti-competitive. But in reality, what the Department of Justice was looking at the broadband penetration and official there telling me this morning that ultimately, this would have let Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) control about 60 percent of the broadband, and the Department of Justice thought that was simply too much, Sue.
HERERA: So given what happened today, what lessons should other companies take from the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) failure?
JAVERS: Well, clearly, what the Department of Justice is signaling here is no deal is too big to be scrutinized. The Department of Justice official that I talked to today said the lesson here for other companies really should be the that Department of Justice is going to get down into the weeds of these deals and proposals and go through all the documents for as long as it takes.
And I`m told that this deal, though there`s been a lot of speculation in the past week here of what the fate is, I`m told now that this deal has been effectively dead for a number of weeks because Eric Holder made that decision to block the deal based on the staff recommendation a couple of weeks ago, according to a DOJ source this morning, Sue.
HERERA: Given the fact a deal of this size was scrapped, to your point, Eamon, how much of a chilling effect do you think this will have?
JAVERS: Well, that`s the question. How much self-censorship is there going to be on the part of companies who are looking at opportunities in the mergers and acquisition space. And you can imagine, this sends a pretty big message to anybody who is considering doing a broadband acquisition of any significant size in this country. They`re going to have to get over that hurdle of how much control does any one company have over internet access in this country. That`s clearly what the government is concerned about here and that`s going to be the argument that any future deal are going to have to get over.
HERERA: Eamon, thank you. Eamon Javers in Washington.
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is the parent company of CNBC which produces this program.
There was also some deal drama in the drug era. Generic drug maker Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO) rejected a sweetened offer of roughly $33 billion from Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL). That`s Perrigo`s second dismissal this week. But Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) doesn`t just want to acquire Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO). It also wants to fend off a takeover attempt by its larger rival Teva.
Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO) says the latest offer under values the company.
So, shares of Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) rose 3 percent, Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO) dropped 4 percent, and Teva added nearly 2 percent.
To the U.S. economy now, where March durable good orders for big key ticket manufactured items, jumped, seasonally adjusted 4 percent, the largest increase in eight months. But the rise was driven almost entirely by higher demand for defense, auto and aircraft orders.
And an important measure of future investment fell 0.5 percent, more than estimates. Its seventh straight monthly decline.
And that decline in business investment prompted a number of economists today to trim forecast for first growth, which the government is due to report next week, and that report is the most widely followed measure of U.S. economic health.
But a comprehensive look at first quarter data over the past 30 years conducted by Steve Liesman shows there may be a big problem with those numbers — a trend that some economists have confirmed.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
The latest tracking data show another weak first quarter on tap, as low as
1 percent given what we know so far. Will it be a coincidence it is another weak first quarter?
CNBC went back to 1985 and did a detailed review of 30 years of gross domestic product. Data. It`s the most followed measure of growth in the United States. We found what looks to be a substantial and persistent problem in the data.
(on camera): We thought average first quarter GDP compared to 2.7 percent overall over the 30-year period, six of the ten worst quarters since 1985 were first quarters. And since 2010, first quarter looks like another economy altogether, averaging just 0.62 percent versus 2.3 percent over that time.
(voice-over): Here`s what the averages for all four quarters of growth over the past 30 years. You can see the first quarter lags substantially, and the second quarter picks up some of that growth, but not all of it.
JUSTIN WOLFERS: It is not a question of what has happened the last four years. The most compelling part is that Q1 systemically looked different than the other quarters over the past, I`d say 25, 30 years.
That`s not something seasonal adjustment should do. So, there is a real puzzle here. So I hope folks at BEA are going to dig in and figure out exactly what`s going on and why.
LIESMAN: The BEA or the Bureau of Economic Analysis is the government agency that publishes the GDP report. They said they are looking into, quote, “residual seasonality” or the possibility that they may not be adequately adjusting the data for regular patterns.
The CNBC analysis shows the Q1 effect holds whether the economy is in expansion or recession.
The potential for the Q1 effect to the depressing data right now is significant. Fed officials are considering rate hikes and some have suggested the recent Q1 weakness gives them pause.
Investors are faced with the issue of whether the economy is really weakening or should they be banking on a second quarter rebound.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
HERERA: Still ahead, why our market monitor guest is a big bull on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ahead of its earnings` reports due out on Monday.
HERERA: Well, the first Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watches made their way to customers today. And while many may look at device as a consumer product, businesses see it as something that could potentially change the workplace.
Josh Lipton has more.
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: There will be Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch Sport starts at only $349.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Apple`s CEO Tim Cook has made a strong pitch for the company`s new watch, emphasizing the quality, precision and convenience of the timepiece. But the success of the product will depend in large part on the Apple`s deep bench of developers, who now need to design engaging apps to the wearable.
Already, there are more than 3,000 apps available for the watch.
Right now, most of the attention is focused on apps for consumers.
BEN BAJARIN, CREATIVE STRATEGIES PRINCIPAL ANALYST: Things like Uber make a lot of sense, because Uber is a good example of really quickly, you just want to make — request an Uber driver and get back to whatever you were doing.
You know, Yelp is another good example of an app that`s coming out where you just want to quickly see what`s around you and get a recommendation of where to eat.
LIPTON: But it isn`t just consumers. Companies are also betting that the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch can play a big role in the workplace. The idea is that business apps could help professionals work more efficiently and stay better informed.
BASTIAAN JANMAAT, DATA FOX CEO: You are a sales manager and you get a quick notification that you`re about to lose a deal on price. That`s the kind of thing you want to react o in a window of five minutes. If you`re away from your iPhone, you`re away from your computer, and you can`t react quickly enough, you can actually lose a deal that way.
LIPTON (on camera): How about a quick check on treasuries? We`ll do that.
(voice-over): Tech giants are taking notice. Salesforce, for example, has designed an app allowing users to get real time alerts and view dashboards, an even Apple`s rivals are getting involved. Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) designs an app to allow users to remotely control PowerPoint slideshows on their iPhones.
Of course, there are challenges with using the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch in the workplace. The most obvious one, overloading workers with too many notifications. Companies need to figure out which notifications are important enough to send to somebody`s wrist. Otherwise, they might just be distracted or annoyed by the watch.
But workers seem open to the idea of using a smart watch in the office.
(on camera): Of those who plan to buy the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch, more than 90 percent want to use the device for work functions, according to a new poll conducted by MobileIron, a mobile software company.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
HERERA: And now to our market monitor who says Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a good investment ahead of earnings on Monday. He also recommended that stock back in December and said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) along with Disney
(NYSE:DIS) and Taser would increase 20 percent in the first half of this year. And as can you see, so far, his picks have seen some pretty decent double-digit gain.
He is Ross Gerber, CEO and president of his own wealth management firm, Gerber Kawasaki.
Ross, welcome back. Nice to have you here.
ROSS GERBER, GERBER KAWASAKI CEO & PRESIDENT: Thanks. Nice to be back.
HERERA: Let`s start first of all with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). You say it`s a good investment ahead of earnings. And we just profile the Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch. Does that factor into your bullish view?
GERBER: Absolutely. I spent an hour with the watch yesterday. It`s an incredible product. It`s so much better than the expectations. They are completely sold out across the world and this is going to continue to be the most sought after item probably all the way through Christmas.
So, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has great things going on in every division, they are hitting on all cylinders and this is an absolutely must for your portfolio. So, we are extremely excited.
HERERA: And your price target is between $155 to $160 by the end of the year. So, that`s quite a considerable upside.
GERBER: Yes, and it could go higher honestly. It`s trading at such a discount market — multiple to the market. I mean, what else can you ask for in a company? It`s really got a great position. So, it has a lot of potential upside.
HERERA: Let`s move on to IMAX, which is also one of your picks.
What`s going to drive things on IMAX? Because, you know, in the past it was inconsistent. That`s changed however. But why are you bullish on it?
GERBER: Yes. You know, IMAX has had an inconsistent history because they rely solely on the product of the entertainment industry, what that it gives them. So, as a theater owner, if the movies aren`t that good, it hurts their revenue and profits. And over the last two years, we`ve seen decent movies., but lower attendance and such. Going into this year, we have the best movie slate in the history of the movie business.
It`s going to be a record year for movies, but most importantly, it ends with “Star Wars”. IMAX has all the theaters booked up, all of them, for a full month for “Star Wars” starting in December, all the way through January. This is going to be the biggest movie of all-time. You`ve got to play the “Star Wars” trade. This is a great way to do it.
HERERA: Well, may the force be with the stock. You think it`s going to be going about — about 50 by the end of the year.
GERBER: Yes, I think it`s got considerable upside. They really can leverage their global brand, as well as the fact that they get a cut of revenue for every ticket that`s being sold. So they have a sort of unlimited upside and fixed cost. So, their margins will increase. This will be a great year for them.
HERERA: And Tesla is your last target price of $260 towards the end of the year. How do you view this company? Do you view it as a technology company? Do you view it as a consumer products company or a car maker?
How — what do you look at it as?
GERBER: I look at it as a technology company that so far makes cars.
At the end of the month, they`re going to announce that they`re making batteries. What they`re pivoting to is being a battery company and the development of the technology is revolutionary.
We cannot tell you how important it is to upgrade the storage of energy and that`s what Tesla`s mastered with the car. And as they expand into this home power business and consumer power business, it creates an enormous upside for them in the battery business.
So, we`re bullish on Tesla because the Model X is a beautiful car. It comes out towards the end of year, and that will increase the demand for Teslas. And we do think they`ll hit their target.
HERERA: All right. Ross, we`ll leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
GERBER: My pleasure. Have a good weekend.
HERERA: You, too, Ross Gerber with Gerber Kawasaki.
Shares of Xerox (NYSE:XRX) tumble on a disappointing outlook and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company cut its 2015 profit forecast, blaming — what else — the strong dollar. And it reported quarterly revenue that missed estimates.
Sales were mostly hurt by lower demand for printers and because of higher costs. Shares fell almost 9 percent to $11.99.
Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) also having a pretty tough day, slowing sales of the company`s key multiple sclerosis weighed on the company`s results. And on top of that, the company reported lower than expected profit and revenue. Shares fell almost 7 percent to $401.71.
American Airlines kind of went the other way after the air carrier reported that its first quarter profit number nearly doubled. This as the company that continues to benefit from low jet fuel prices. But despite the beat, the strong dollar and competitive capacity and softness in Latin America pulled down sales. The company also declared a 10 cent dividend.
Shares rose 2 1/2 percent to $52.71.
Kellogg (NYSE:K) declaring a dividend of 49 cents a share. The company says the payout will be made in June and on top of that, it will hike that dividend 2 percent starting in the third quarter. The yield on that dividend is right around 3 percent. Shares, meantime, were off a fraction. They finished the trading session at $63.73.
And Aerie Pharmaceuticals lost more than half of its value in today`s trading session. This is the company`s lead experimental drug failed in a late stage study. The stock was off 63 percent or $22 to $12.87.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) still has a lot of work ahead of it if it wants to turn its business around. And as we told you this week, when the Dow component reported earnings, investors are starting to feel a bit optimistic about that company`s future.
Today, Sara Eisen spoke to Coke executives, including the CEO Muhtar Kent about where that world`s largest beverage company sees its growth.
She has more from Coke headquarters in Atlanta.
SARA EISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Coke`s answer to slump in soda sales — bet big on small packages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see feet and feet of mini cans. The mini can business is just exploding. It`s driven by two things. It`s driven by portions and waste.
MUHTAR KENT, COCA-COLA CEO: In the next 10-15 years, Sara, beverage brands in the world will be built and enhanced in three ways. One is ready to drink, continuing to be in packages just like this. The second at home through technology, like Keurig Green Mountain cold, the pods. And the third is technology enhanced occasions again at food service like freestyle.
EISEN: In other words, the growth Coke sees in soda is in smaller bottles and cans. The company is also sticking with Diet Coke and see growths coming outside the U.S. despite plunging popularity at home.
And Pepsi announcing today it`s taking all aspartame out of Diet Pepsi and using Splenda instead.
WENDY CLARK, COCA-COLA SPARKLING BRANDS PRESIDENT: Aspartame gets a lot of conversation and it is the most contested ingredient that we use in our beverages. It`s had over 200 studies and cleared again and again by numerous regulatory bodies. And part of that is and we make sure that the education and the awareness is out there and reinforcing to consumers that it is perfectly safe to drink.
EISEN: Coke is also investing in its drink brands that are growing.
The fastest one —
SANDY DOUGLAS, COCA-COLA: Honest Tea, Gold Peak Tea and Smart Water, all three of those are growing really fast.
EISEN: Still, this is a company with 70 percent of its sales coming from soda. Unlike Pepsi which only gets 25 percent of its business from drinks, and the rest from fast-growing salty snacks under the Frito Lay brand.
(on camera): Instead of diversifying into food and any other business, the 129-year-old beverage giant says much of its future growth will actually come from the company going back to its roots.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sara Eisen in Atlanta.
HERERA: Coming up, the housing market`s biggest challenge is a lack of listings, and a new report shows the shortage of inventory may actually be worse than it seems. That story, next.
HERERA: Here is a look at what to watch next week. Earnings are due for Dow components Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). The Federal Reserve hosts a two-day policy meeting and more housing data is due out, along with the first read on first quarter economic growth. And that`s what`s on the agenda next week.
Ford recalling about 390,000 cars. The automaker says the door latch may not work properly and could open while the car is moving. The recalls include Ford Fiesta, Fusions and the Lincoln MKZ cars from 2012 to 2014.
You know buying a home is a big financial decision, probably the financial decision of a lifetime. For many, it is the single largest investment they`ll ever make.
But potential buyers are facing a major obstacle, a lack of listings, even in the middle of the busy spring market. And now a new report shows supply may be even tighter than we think.
Diana Olick reports.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like an easy sell — newly renovated on a corner lot in a highly sought-after Washington, D.C. neighborhood.
HAZIM BARAKAT: They said it was — they said don`t worry about it.
This will sell. But it has been almost now two months.
OLICK: The house has been on the market since late February, even with supply in this area down 24 percent from a year ago and demand very strong.
This house is now what realtors call stale. That is, unsold for more than 30 days. And in fact, nearly three quarters of the homes listed today nationally are stale. That is according to real estate brokerage Redfin.
In some markets like Charlotte, it`s far worse — 95 percent of the market is stale.
GLENN KELMAN, CEO REDFIN: If the house doesn`t sell in the first few weeks, sometimes it doesn`t sell in the first few months and it sits on the market and that means that the inventory crisis that everyone is talking about is actually much worse than people realize because there is a small segment of real estate that people are actually willing to buy.
OLICK (on camera): But homes are actually going stale faster than ever today. Why? Because of this — information, umpteen apps that give every potential buyer to find every last detail about every last detail about every house, every comp, every block of every neighborhood so they know literally in seconds if a house is a good buy.
KELMAN: So, you do have the new American home buyer who is very nerdy, very data-driven, the new home buyer often knows more than her traditional agent.
OLICK (voice-over): And given what happened in the last five years, today`s buyers are not only nerdy, but nervous.
BARAKAT: Nobody knows what will happen. Sometimes they tell you the market will crash tomorrow, they don`t know. The interest rate will go high. So, people are scared.
OLKICK: So, even though we saw a slight bump in inventory nationally from February to March, with realtors saying there are 2 million active listings, the actual number of desirable, buyable homes, may be far less.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
HERERA: To read more about how stale homes are hurting the spring housing market, head to our Web site, NBR.com.
And finally tonight, in about a week, boxing`s biggest fight in years will go down and ticket prices are a knockout. According to reports, the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight sold out in 60 seconds, meaning people weren`t hesitating to dish out some big money. The average cost of a ticket is $11,000, according to ticket reseller TiqIQ. That`s higher than this year`s Super Bowl, with some going for upwards of $100,000, on track to hold the highest median price of any sporting event in U.S.
And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend, everyone. We`ll see you Monday.
Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at http://nbr.com. The program is transcribed by CQRC Transcriptions, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. (c) 2015 CNBC, Inc.