Transcript: Nightly Business Report — May 25, 2015

NBR-ThumANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Sue Herera.

And welcome to a special Memorial Day edition of NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
I`m Sue Herera.


Well, Memorial Day, the day we honor the men and women who serve this country, also the unofficial start to summer — a time when you plan the get away, secure that summer job, enjoy a movie, maybe have a barbecue.

Whatever your plans are, you can bet on spending some money. And tonight, we take a look at some of the things that impact the economy and your summer budget.

HERERA: But we begin with the markets, with stocks sitting at or near all-time highs, it`s a good time to examine the factors that could fuel or derail the rally.

Dominic Chu takes a look at whether the bears or the bulls will be in control on Wall Street over the next few months.


DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s that time of year again when we dust off the barbecue grills and get the beach chairs out. And for many traders and investors, it means another look at the old market saying, “Sell in May and go away.”

Anecdotally, some in the market believe that the summer months often produce rockier swings for stocks. This strategy has produced mixed results at best over the years.

According to market analytics firm, Kensho, over the last decade, the S&P 500 has actually posted a nearly 1 percent gain between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It`s been positive 60 percent of the time.

But over the last 20 years, performance has been just about flat and it`s positive 55 percent of the time.

This year some experts think that there are reasons to stay invested in the stock market.

JOSEPH TANIOUS, BESSEMER TRUST: Remember, we had an unusually cold winter across the East Coast and several factors which temporarily depressed economic growth in the first three months of the year. As we head into the summer months, we`re actually expecting economic growth to rebound. You`re seeing a lot of pent-up demand, all of this spending wasn`t necessarily cancelled, it was simply delayed.

And as you start to see economic growth rebounding in the second quarter and into the third quarter, I think you want to be exposed, you want to be in the markets in May rather than cut back on your positions.

CHU: Of course, for all the positive factors, there are risks as well, and a number of them could take stocks down from their near record levels, which provides another reason to be more cautious.

ANDREW SLIMMON, MORGAN STANLEY WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Clearly, things such as the Greece situation that will cause anxiety, especially with European markets up very strong. If the Fed were to take action this summer, I think it`s been well-telegraphed, but again, it will create some anxiety. And then the reality of the summer is just less volume creates more volatility as traders take parts of August off.

CHU: For some, a summer vacation from worrying about their portfolios may provide peace of mind. For others, it amounts to timing the market and being an active trader. Regardless, it may be a good time to either chat with a trusted financial adviser or take a closer look at just the type of investor you really are.



MATHISEN: Let`s turn now to our two market pros for their views about the summer and your investments.

Jack McIntyre, fixed income portfolio manager with Brandywine Global, and Jeff Korzenik, chief investment strategist at Fifth Third Bank.

Gentlemen, welcome to you both.

Jack, let me begin by asking you about bonds and interest rates. It appears that we`re not going to get any interest rate hikes until later in the year. But already yields on the 10-year treasury security have gone up quit over the past couple of months.

Do you think that rise is coming closer to an end and taken bonds to a point they might be attractive again?

JACK MCINTYRE, BRANDYWINE GLOBAL FIXED INCOME PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Yes, I can talk my book, because we have actually recently added some treasury to our portfolios for that same rationale. I think treasury yields have gotten ahead of the underlying economy. There`s an expectation that the economy is going to shrug off Q1 and rebound into Q2, Q3. And I`m not sure it`s going to be a stronger rebound is what the market, and certainly what treasury markets are discounting.

So, this is not a home run, but I do think treasuries offer a little bit of value in here.

HERERA: Jeff, what about the equity market. What`s going to be the main driver? Jack kind of outlined what`s going to affect the bond market, but that makes it a more complicated environment, does it not, for the equity side of things?

JEFF KORZENIK, FIFTH THIRD BANK CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: It does and it doesn`t. I think we are back to that old environment where a lot of growth can be bad for the bond market, but is good for the stock market, and weaker but still positive growth still works for stocks and then would also work for bonds. So, in that kind of environment I think the stock market actually has a pretty good summer ahead.

MATHISEN: How about — let`s go back to you, Jack, and talk about corners of the bond market that still feel a little risky to you and what, you know, bonds have been kind of a layup for a lot of the last 30 years, basically. And now, it seems like the environment may be clanging just a bit.

How do you position your portfolio in light of what you see going into the future?

MCINTYRE: OK. So, a couple of quick points. So, you`re right, it`s been a good environment for bonds over the last decades. We`ve had a decade that`s going to sort of a secular deflation, disinflationary environment. I`m not sure that`s changing from that standpoint.

So, we`re global bond managers. We like to avoid bonds that just don`t have enough inflation expectations getting priced into those so that takes me to core Europe. German bonds, French oats, you know, Europe, Euro zone in particular, has a tail wind in terms of some things that are positively influencing their growth.

Maybe Draghi is going to be successful in sort of breaking the back of deflation in the Euro zone. So, we are avoiding those bond markets.

HERERA: Jeff, you said the stock market may be setting up for a decent summer. Where would you put capital to work?

KORZENIK: Right now, if you look at our portfolios, we`re overweight in health care, we`re overweight in consumer discretionary and we`re more neutral, slightly underweight in the other sectors. So, that`s where we`re seeing this opportunity and also financial, as I should add. We think a very good time to be there and that`s a play for either a steeping yield curve or fed rate hikes, we think, benefits particularly banks would be beneficial and we`ll see that this summer.

MATHISEN: Jack, are you at all concerned that interest rates in the United States, which may well start to go up later this year into 2016, are they going to derail the bond market, derail bond fund share prices, or will the increases be relatively gradual and relatively minor?

MCINTYRE: Yes, yes, the latter point, everybody kind of talks about when is the Fed going to do this sort of what we call liftoff. I think the more important question is, what is the pace of rate hikes going to look like?

I think they are going to err on the side of going slow. One thing I really want to drive home to your viewers is that just don`t focus on what the Fed is doing. We`re in an environment where global monetary policy is becoming more stimulative. Look to what China is doing. Yet, the Fed is going to try and nudge rates higher, but the backdrop for monetary stimulus globally is still going to be extremely accommodative.

MATHISEN: Right. Gentlemen, thank you very much, appreciate help.
Jack McIntyre with Brandywine Global and Jeff Korzenik with Fifth Third Bank.

KORZENIK: Thank you.

HERERA: Now to the economy on the unemployment rate which is still in the double digits for teens. Summer jobs aren`t as plentiful as they once were and can have long-term consequences for young people trying to break into the working world.

Mary Thompson has more on a program aimed at getting high school students on the right employment track. She says Verizon`s operations center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.


Before shadowing workers at Ernst & Young, cartoons shaped 17-year-old Shazeb Rizvi`s view of white-collar work.

SHAZEB RIZVI, JAMES MADISON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: You see people working in cubicles and their wearing a white shirt and black tie and they are look stressed out about work.

THOMPSON: Instead at the accounting firm, Rizvi saw engaged and enthusiastic workers, changing his mind about the kind of job he wants.

RIZVI: A job in the corporate world, a nice-paying job with friendly people, a job you like.

THOMPSON: Rizvi is a junior at Brooklyn`s James Madison High and part of a program of NAF, a public-private partnership connecting businesses and public schools.

NAF president J.D. Hoye said the program to show how classrooms connect to a working world the teens may not know exist. It`s done through special sessions, shadowing session, and internship.

J.D. HOYE, NATIONAL ACADEMY FOUNDATION PRESIDENT: For us, it is really the ultimate experience that makes education make sense.

THOMPSON (on camera): This summer, some of the more than 50 NAF interns will work here at the Verizon (NYSE:VZ) operations center, applying what they learn in math and science classes to some of these products.

(voice-over): They`ll test a phone`s durability in the company`s tumbler and monitor the network`s quality in its audio booth, experiences Verizon`s Nicki Palmer hopes may turn them on to a field that`s desperately in need of talent.

NICOLA PALMER, VERIZON: We can get students at the age where they are still thinking, well, maybe I want to be an engineer or maybe I don`t.

THOMPSON: And even if they learn they don`t want to be an engineer, the teens get the critical skills a first job provides.

MIKHAIL KREYSTER, JAMES MADISON SENIOR: I learned time management skills. I learned to be open with people.

THOMPSON: James Madison senior Mikhail Kreyster learned at the Verizon (NYSE:VZ) last summer, where he also managed inventory on Xcel files he created. Lessons professor Alicia Modestino says translates into life-long benefits for any teen who lands a summer job.

PROFESSOR ALICIA MODESTINO, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: We`ve actually seen some surveys that have shown that teens who don`t have those soft skills or haven`t been used to having good work habits typically have a more difficult time getting a job later on.

THOMPSON: Putting teens to work one way to better the work force.

From Basking Ridge, New Jersey, I`m Mary Thompson for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.


MATHISEN: Hiring our heroes — that`s what many companies and organizations are doing to help the men and women who have served this country transition from the battlefield back to the workplace.

Hampton Pearson has more on this Memorial Day.


ROBERT LEE, JR., VETERAN JOB SEEKER: This is my first search right here.

HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTL BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Robert Lee Jr.`s 24-year navy career ends in two months. He`s about to become a civilian and he`s looking for a job.

LEE: I`m just throwing some feelers out to try to find out what`s out there and see what may be a good fit for me.

PEARSON: He`s among the estimated 250,000 service members leaving the military each year, a trend the defense department says will continue for the next five years. Middle-aged vets in particular, many of whom fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home and struggling to match their military skills to the civilian workplace.

LAMONT WATKINS, VETERAN JOB SEEKER: IF you look around this room, the competition is stiff. I mean, everyone here is looking for a job and we`re kind of stacked up against one another.

PEARSON: At this Baltimore tech expo dominated by defense industry and high-tech employers looking to sell hundreds of good paying jobs, Bruce Benedict helps veterans seeking jobs maneuver in the civilian battlefield.

BRUCE BENEDICT, BATTLEFIELD RESUMES: Most of the times when a recruiter asks what do you want to do, what job are you applying for, the answer vet`s perspective is I can do anything you want, which was a good answer in the service. But in the civilian workforce, it`s not that good.
You have to kind of focus your career.

PEARSON: Business and government efforts to boost veteran hiring are making progress, bringing the unemployment rate for the more than 3 million
post-9/11 veterans down from a 12.1 percent high in 2011 to 7.2 percent last year.

Walmart is among the major corporations stepping up its veterans hiring effort. More than 90,000 vets have been hired in the last two years. This week, the nation`s largest retailer pledged to hire 250,000 more veterans in the next five years.

GARY PROFIT, WALMART SR. DIRECTOR OF MILITARY PROGRAMS: We want these folks that are essentially a part of what we argue is the largest talent rich, diverse pool in the world, that we call the military community constituencies to join our team and make us better.

PEARSON (on camera): Memorial day has always been a time to honor the sacrifice of all those who have served. Now, there`s a new mission, helping the next generation of veterans find a place in the civilian economy.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson, in Washington.


HERERA: Coming up — will prices at the pump stay low for your summer getaway? That`s ahead.

But first, some of today`s business leaders share their wisdom with the leaders of tomorrow.


TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: We believe that a company that has values and acts on them can really change the world, and an individual that can, too.
That can be you. That must be you.

MARC BENIOFF, SALESFORCE CHAIRMAN & CEO: You want to have meaning in your work! You want to work for companies that value all stakeholders, not just shareholders concerned with earnings per share, but every employee, every customer, every part of our community and even our environment — all of these things are the stakeholders that are critical to the success of business.


HERERA: The summer travel season starting out with a bang. Experts predict this could be one of the busiest summers ever for drivers and fliers.

Phil LeBeau has more.


Relaxing in the sun may be your goal this summer, but before that happens, be prepared for the headache that come with packed highways and full flights.

ROBERT SINCLAIR, AAA: We think that people should be prepared they`ll have a lot of company when they are out on the roads. Over some holidays, we`ve seen in the past year or so, it`s upwards of, you know, 10 percent,
14 percent of the entire U.S. population is on the move.

LEBEAU: Increasingly, vacationers will be taking time off by taking off. The airline industry expects an all-time record of 222 million people to fly somewhere by the end of August. So, a few more flights are being added to meet demand.

But the vast majority of Americans will be in their car, driving to their vacation spots.

While prices at the pump have rebounded in the last month and may trend higher this summer, the average right now is still well under $3 a gallon.

SINCLAIR: Gasoline prices being lower, a lot of people have bought new vehicles they want to get out on the road.

LEBEAU (on camera): The busier summer travel season is being driven by the healthy economy, low unemployment, and moderate gas prices. So for many Americans, it makes sense to spend more time and money getting away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am planning on traveling, and because I love to travel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like spending more just so to get out of Idaho and kind of see the back country.

LEBEAU (voice-over): So, when you load your bags this summer, remember to pack lots of sun block and plenty of patience for the crowds you`ll deal with on the road.



MATHISEN: If you drove to your destination this weekend, you probably appreciated the few bucks you saved at the pump this year. Getting around by car is cheaper now, but will low gas prices hold for the summer months?

Jackie DeAngelis takes a look.


The summer driving season is on, and AAA says that more than 37 million Americans will have hit the road this holiday weekend. While prices are a little less than a dollar cheaper than they were last year at this time, they still surged ahead of the holiday and are likely to climb all the way until July 4th.

ANTHONY GRISANTI, GRZ ENERGY PRESIDENT: Refineries have come out of their maintenance schedules, they`re running full out almost 94 percent, 95 percent of capacity. So, I don`t think — and gasoline market is very well-supplied at this time. So, I don`t think you`ll see prices rise, say,
10 to 15 cents more than where they are right now, unless you see some major refinery problems going into the July 4th weekend.

DEANGELIS: The average price of gas is a helpful barometer, but keep in mind that certain states have seen more dramatic increases because of regional production problems and refinery issues, that`s according to AAA.

West Coast and mid-Western drivers, they feel more pain as a result.

(on camera): Also remember part of what happens to gasoline comes from what happens to crude prices. Part of the jump at the pump has been from the rise that we`ve seen in crude oil prices over the last month or so.

GRISANTI: I don`t see crude oil trading above $70 for the summer, because we are still a very well-supplied market. So, the consumer really shouldn`t fret about that translating into higher gasoline prices.

DEANGELIS (voice-over): But as always, there are wild cards. Changes to the crude supply/demand balance, geopolitical issues and fluctuations in the dollar can flip the trend in an instant.



HERERA: And one factor that has a big influence on oil price volatility is production in Saudi Arabia. And while the U.S. has surpassed that country as the world`s biggest producer of oil, soon, the Saudis will hold the top spot in another competition.

Hadley Gamble takes us behind the scenes as developers race to build what`s slated to be the world`s tallest building, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Just north of Jeddah, on the Red Sea on the western edge of Saudi Arabia, the world`s tallest building is under construction. Set to top 3,300 feet, Kingdom Tower will soar above the skyline, dwarfing its closest rival in Dubai, and setting a new standard for the 21st century skyscraper.

But building the tallest structure on the planet is just the first step. Billionaire Saudi businessman Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has bigger plans for the site, pouring $20 billion into the project to develop a multiuse economic city just minutes from downtown Jeddah, a city he hopes will lure foreign investors and create the jobs that Saudi Arabia needs.

(on camera): How involved is Prince Al-Waleed? Because this is his brainchild, isn`t it?

MOUNIB HAMMOUD, JEDDAH ECONOMIC COMPANY CEO: Well, he follows — I think he follows daily the news of the project just on his iPhone.

GAMBLE: How important was his vision to making this happen?

HAMMOUD: To make the young Saudis very proud to live and work here.

GAMBLE (voice-over): On site, an international team of advisers, consultants, and engineers are using the tallest cranes on the world and toughest cement on the planet to stabilize 170 floors of residential office and five-star hotel space.

DR. HISHAM JOMAH, JEDDAH ECONOMIC COMPANY: I challenge anyone to say they`ve worked on something as massive as this before. We have collective experience here from all the international (INAUDIBLE) working on the project. They`ve all worked at least 15 years experience in high-rise buildings, yet, we all a sit in the meeting room, never a dull moment.
Everything is a challenge.

GAMBLE: Two double deck high speed shuttle elevators, the fastest in the world moving at 41 feet per second will take you from top to bottom in a minute and a half max. And unlike its cousin in Dubai, Kingdom Tower must be built to withstand three separate weather systems, and that means erecting a series of support piles deep underground, 270 in total, fortified by the most dense mesh of steel ever built, 345 feet below its base.

(on camera): You may not believe this, but while it looks like I`m on the base level of what will be Kingdom Tower, the tallest tower in the world, they actually had to drill 30 floors beneath me just to get the foundation.

HAMMOUD: The economic social environment today is the perfect situation, perfect timing for a project of this magnitude.

GAMBLE (voice-over): Set for completion some time in 2018, Kingdom Tower could hold as many as 3,500 people.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT in Saudi Arabia, I`m Hadley Gamble.


MATHISEN: Up next, will the price of fall off the bone ribs at your summer barbecue make you fall off your chair? Jane Wells has the cost of your weekend cookout.

But first, more commencement remarks from top business leaders.


JEFF IMMELT, GE CHAIRMAN & CEO: Stay humble and optimistic. And solving problems I learned a long time ago that no job is beneath me. In 1989, I was leader of our clients service business, we had a catastrophic failure of our refrigerators and were required to replace 3 million compressors. Despite my lofty title, I learned how to fix compressors.

I would go into people`s homes to fix compressors so that I understood the problem. There`s to better way to be humbled than for a math major to sit on someone`s kitchen floor while the ice cream melts.

EVAN SPIEGAL, SNAPCHAT CEO: So I`m asked one question most often: why didn`t you sell your business? It doesn`t even make money, it`s a fad.
You could be on a boat right now. Everybody loves boats. What is wrong with you?

And I`m now convinced that the fastest way to figure out if you`re doing something that is truly important to you is to find someone who will offer you a bunch of money to part with it.


HERERA: Here`s what to watch tomorrow: durable goods orders, an important economic indicator is set for release. New home sales will also be closely watched. And to top off all that economic data, consumer confidence. That`s what`s on the agenda for Tuesday.

MATHISEN: Memorial Day weekend also the official start of summer blockbuster season. It`s usually the most profitable time of the year for movie studios, billions expected in ticket sales.

Julia Boorstin takes a look at what hits Hollywood is betting on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I already know what scares you.

“Poltergeist” debuting in the box office this holiday weekend, a new take on the `80s horror franchise and Warner Bros. reviving “Mad Max” last weekend, all brands are new again.

Universal`s readying (ph) “Jurassic World” out June 12th, 14 years after “Jurassic Park 3. And Paramount is bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger back for “Terminator Genesis”, six years after the last one.

MATT ATCHITY, ROTTEN TOMATOES EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: So, you get these long gaps and big characters kind of making it back to the big screen.

BOORSTIN: A slew of other sequels, from “Ted 2”, to “Mission
Impossible: Rogue”, to animated “Minions” are in the works. Plus, familiar names such as TV show “Entourage” coming to the big screen, and Pixar`s first film since 2013 “Inside Out”.

The box office is on track for a record summer. It could gross as much as $5 billion between May 1st and Labor Day, says Rentrak
(NASDAQ:RENT) analyst Paul Dergarabedian, and that`s just here in the U.S.
Hollywood is increasingly looking to sequels in established brands since they tend to perform better overseas. International box office growth is revving up, driven by new markets such as China.

Another audience studios are paying more attention to is women. As “Pitch Perfect 2`s” record breaking opening weekend illustrates their buying power.

ATCHITY: I think this is an unusual number of movies that we`ve seen specifically chasing the female demo that are big budgets. That are going to get big marketing dollars. Again, the studios figured out women go to the movies, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a little treat for y`all tonight.

BOORSTIN: Coming up, a slew of films targeting women, including “Magic Mike XXL” and two that put female comedians front and center, “Train wreck” starring Amy Schumer and “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy.

For “NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT” I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.



Finally tonight, if you plan on having lots of barbecues this summer, indigestion isn`t the only thing you`re going to be suffering from. Be prepared for sticker shock, too.

Jane Wells explains.


JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Holy cow, have you noticed beef prices? Memorial Day kicks off the summer barbecue season and for many who`ve suffered through a harsh winter — grilling is good.


WELLS: But this holiday, you may find yourself eating more bun than burger. Beef prices remain high.

In the last month what have you seen with prices?

ARMAND DE LA TORRE, HANDY`S MARKET MANAGER: It`s skyrocketing. I mean, it`s just like there`s no end to it.

WELLS: America`s cattle ranchers are still replenishing herds after cutting back after droughts in Texas and the Midwest. Ground beef prices are up 14 percent in the year, steak prices up nearly 20 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is like the top quality as far as meat goes.

WELLS: At Handy`s Market in Burbank, California, the store competes by keeping margins as thin as a butcher`s blade.

DE LA TORRE: Every week, we have to re-evaluate our prices, we have to do cutting tests to make sure we`re right in line.

WELLS: But consumers may not just have a beef with beef, avian flu is causing chicken prices to fly high, while breast meat prices are relatively flat, wings are up 33 percent.

JON HENTZE, SHOPPER: I think it`s just pretty much going along with what the economy is right now.

WELLS: Which is why Jon Hentze is planning on pork this Memorial Day.
Pork prices are leaner after the hog industry bounced back from its own virus last year. So when will beef prices become more affordable?

DE LA TORRE: I think they are going to stabilize right now. I mean, they can`t seem to go much higher, because what`s going to happen is people are going to, like gasoline, when gasoline goes way up, people quit driving so much, then you have too much and then the prices start coming down and stuff.

WELLS: They don`t go all the way down.

DE LA TORRE: No, they`ll never go back down.

WELLS: But maybe next Memorial Day, you could have more burger in your bun.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Los Angeles.


HERERA: And that does it. Thanks for watching this special edition of NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue Herera.

MATHISEN: And put one on the grill for both of us, will you?

HERERA: You got it.

MATHISEN: We`ll be right over. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for watching.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and we`ll see you here tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at 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.

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