TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Magic number. With inflation pressures building, is this vital sign finally at the level the Federal Reserve has been looking for?
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Big gains. New construction surged in June, but it isn`t all good news for the housing market.
MATHISEN: And market monitor. Our guest tonight says now is the time to invest in a sector that is seeing massive merger activity.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, July 17th.
HERERA: Good evening, everyone. Happy Friday.
The economic picture may be coming into focus. Inflation pressures appear to be building and that`s something the Federal Reserve has been waiting for for a long time. Consumer prices rose for a fifth straight month, up 0.3 percent, as the cost of gasoline increased.
But prices may not be on the Fed`s magic number just yet. Vice Chair Stanley Fischer warned today that inflation is still too low.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANLEY FISCHER, FEDERAL RESERVE VICE CHAIR: It`s too low now. I never thought I would live as a central banker to see us complaining about low inflation. But, yes, we are complaining about low inflation, with reason. And we need to get it up to around 2 percent. If it ever goes above, we need to keep it there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: And the closely followed barometer of the health of the housing market came above estimates. Construction of new homes jumped nearly 10 percent in May, but all of it was in the multi-family apartment side, which hit a 28-year high. Single family home building has been limping along in the recovery. Builders say there is demand but as Diana Olick reports, they`re up against a major obstacle.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: In Allen, Texas, homebuilder Bruno Pasquinelli would like to be framing more single family homes. But he can`t.
BRUNO PASQUINELLI, NORMANDY HOMES PRESIDENT: There is not a great probability of increasing our production right now. There are not enough men to make up the slabs. There`s not enough worker to pour the slab.
After the slabs are done, there`s not enough framers, there`s not enough masons. So, there is a sever shortage here of vendors.
OLICK: Builders across are nation are reporting labor shortages, so much so the problem was even cited in the Federal Reserve`s latest report on the health of U.S. economy.
Back in Allen, Texas, it`s even hurting the quality of new homes.
PASQUINELLI: The quality is not as good as home was built, you know, probably ten years ago.
OLICK: Unemployment in construction fell nationally in June to the lowest levels since 2001. More than 2 million workers left and the industry cannot get them back.
KEN SIMONSON, ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS ECONOMIST: You can`t create a skilled construction worker. It takes years to get the training to be able to put together the steel frame of a high-rise building or to be able to operate the heavy equipment to grade a road or excavate a site, or to manage a project.
OLICK: Builders say the shortage is surprisingly bad given that housing still hasn`t recovered from the crash. In fact, they are still operating at half the pace they were during the boom, and yet the labor shortage is worse.
A builder in Columbia, South Carolina, tells me he is splitting crews trying to frame houses. He says a lot of workers never came back after the crash, but he also sites immigration laws, saying South Carolina lost two- thirds of its Hispanic and South American population and that has had a profound effect on labor.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
MATHISEN: Here to put the economic data puzzle together for us tonight is Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody`s Analytics.
Mark, welcome back. Always great to see you.
We had a week of data, one way or another, some of it not so encouraging and we were cautioned then not to worry about it. Others of it, pretty doggone encouraging, like housing, with the caveat that much of it is in multifamily apartments.
How do you rank the economy right now? How healthy is it?
MARK ZANDI, MOODY`S ANALYTICS: I think it`s performing well, Tyler.
Actually, I say very well. You can see the best in the job market, I think that`s the best barometer of what`s going on. We`re creating a boatload of jobs, 200,000 to 250,000 per month. Just for context, that`s double the rate we need to absorb the growth in the working age population. So, at this pace, we`re working down the unemployed and underemployed, and will be back to full employment by this time next year.
So, yes, you`re right. There`s a lot of cross currents in the data.
There are always are. But when you add it all up, I think the economy is performing very well.
HERERA: What about Stanley Fischer`s comments that the inflation is still too low? Do you agree with him in terms of what the inflation number means for the Federal Reserve?
ZANDI: Yes. Inflation is below the Federal Reserve`s target. So, the Federal Reserve is targeting 2 percent inflation as measured by the consumer expenditure deflator, and we are below that. We are running around 1.5 percent. So, about a half point too low.
But I do think as the labor market heightens and as I articulated, I think it will, we`ll start to see wage growth begin to pick up. You know, you`ll see it in the construction trades. Diana Olick`s report I think is, you know, symptomatic of we`re going to see rising wages. And that will put increasing pressure on prices and inflation. So, by late next year, as we go into next, I think the inflation will be very close to the Fed`s target.
MATHISEN: Do you expect home building to remain on a strong pace, whether it`s multifamily or single family? And if so, could that be an engine for not only economic growth but for job growth?
ZANDI: Yes, absolutely. So, the multifamily sector, the apartment sector is just literally booming. The number of homes going up, the apartment units going up, is as strong as it`s been in almost 30 years.
So, it`s about as good as it gets. Single family home building, weak, but that is improving, and all signs are that it will continue to improve. And the level of construction is way too low, relative to what we need to absorb the number of households that are forming, and all the vacation homes that are going to be built.
So, we`re going to see a lot of more homes constructed over the next few years. And that`s also a lot more jobs and I think that`s going to be key to strong growth and to getting the economy to full employment.
MATHISEN: A rosy picture, Mark. Thank you very much.
Mark Zandi, Moody`s Analytics.
HERERA: On Wall Street, the NASDAQ closed above 5,200 for the first time ever on a strong performance by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). We`ll have more on that in just a moment.
But the Dow Jones Industrial Average didn`t fare quite as well. The blue chip index fell 33 points to 18,086. The NASDAQ, as we said, gained
46 points to close at 5,210. And the S&P 500 tacked on two points. For the week, the NASDAQ was the big winner, adding more than 4 percent.
MATHISEN: Dow component General Electric (NYSE:GE) reported better than expected second quarter numbers and issued a rosy earnings outlook, a sign that the company`s core business is getting stronger, and that helped send shares up about three-quarters of 1 percent today to $27.24.
And as Mary Thompson reports, two key deals for GE are expected to get done before the year is out.
MARY THOMPSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: In the midst of the CEO Jeff Immelt`s latest transformation, General Electric (NYSE:GE) posting better than expected profits.
JEFFREY IMMELT, GE CEO: The team had a strong quarter in a slow- growth and volatile environment.
THOMPSON: Earnings from its core industrial businesses, like jet engines and power generators, along with profits from finance businesses it will keep after paring down GE Capital, beating Wall Street`s forecast, leading to an improved profit outlook for the full year.
IMMELT: In all, we are confident enough in our performance to raise the low end of our range for industrial guidance to $1.13 to $1.20 EPS.
THOMPSON: The 3 cent add to the low end of the raise, following a quarter where the backlog of orders for GE`s equipment and services rose to record levels. It also came despite continued weakness in the former source of revenue growth, its oil and gas business.
GE is in the midst of selling almost $200 billion worth of financial assets as the company is aiming to generate more than 90 percent of its profits from its industrial businesses by 2018.
The industrial segments seemed benefiting from the firm`s plan to buy a French power giant Alstom, a deal delayed by ongoing requests for changes by European regulators.
JACK DE GAN, HARBOR ADVISORY: To get it done, the concessions are going to be — have to be pretty deep.
THOMPSON: Immelt saying he believes GE can satisfy regulator demands without sacrificing key benefits from the Alstom purchase, and expects the deal to close by year end.
Meanwhile, U.S. regulators questioning the sale of GE`s appliance business to Electrolux, though here, too, Immelt expects the companies will prevail and the deal will be done by December, closing out what is now turning out to be a better year for GE.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mary Thompson.
HERERA: Fellow industrial Honeywell also had a strong quarter. The company said profit increase more than expected in its June quarter on lower costs even as revenue declined. Honeywell also raised its guidance for the full year. Shares rose almost 2 percent on the trading session.
MATHISEN: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares surged, adding more than $65 billion to its market value. You heard me right there. That`s the largest single day gain ever for any company anywhere anytime. The stocks soared
16 percent on heavy volume, following strong earnings results that we told you about last night. And if you`re wondering whether you own it, the answer is you probably do, because Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one of the most widely owned stocks in mutual fund. The top three mutual fund holders of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for the record are the Fidelity Constrafund, American Funds Growth Fund, and the Vanguard Five Hundred index fund, that according to Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN).
As Julia Boorstin tells us, it`s YouTube`s growth that`s really behind Google`s current success.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Streaming video giant YouTube is drawing more viewers and ad dollars than ever.
Analyst Mark Mahaney called this Google`s YouTube quarter.
MARK MAHANEY, RBC CAPITAL: It`s a real reminder, have a wake-up call, a reawakening call to Wall Street, that they`ve got this asset that`s got a billion users and seeing accelerating usage growth.
BOORSTIN: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announcing that growth in watch time on YouTube has accelerated to the fastest growth rate in two years. While watch time on mobile devices has more than doubled from a year ago.
To give a sense of Google`s scale, on mobile devices alone, YouTube now reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds in the U.S. than any U.S. cable network, and the number of users who come to YouTube`s home page just like they might turn on the TV is up over three times over the past year.
Advertisers are seizing that potential. The average spent by YouTube`s top 100 marketers is up over 60 percent year over year, which Mahaney attributes to the service`s new targeting tools and controls.
MAHANEY: They`ve had true view in market where you only pay if somebody actually watches the ad. They`ve had it in the market for several years. But they`re really made it a point to bring out more tools particularly for brand advertisers and allow them to really specifically indicate what content they want their ads put against. So, the large, you know, well-established brands don`t have to worry about their ads showing up against, you know, kitten skate board videos.
BOORSTIN: YouTube may be dominant, but it`s facing more competition than ever from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and others who are working to draw video viewers and ad dollars.
The YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has said she sees room for the whole market to grow.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
HERERA: And on Google`s conference call, an executive pointed to Etsy as an example of Web companies getting more traffic from Google`s reconfigured search algorithms. As a result of that mention, shares of Etsy soared 30 percent.
MATHISEN: Next week will be one of the busiest for earnings this quarter. And there are some names you should pay extra attention to. Bob Pisani with a look at the week ahead.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: After a week of financial reports from the banks, we get into the heart of earnings season next week.
Now, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) had a terrific report today, and the attention next week is going to be on other tech stocks, particularly Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) on Tuesday, but also Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). There`s a real problem here. There is very little growth in the world so everyone is piled in to those stories that have any kind of growth, like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and like biotechs, like Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), which is also going to be reporting next week.
In other words, there is a lot of creators fighting out in just the two stocks. That`s narrow leadership. A lot of pressure on those leaders.
We`ll also be getting a lot of big multinational industrials next week, like United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), Dover (NYSE:DOV), and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT).
Now, today, General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Honeywell had very encouraging reports. But the again, the week (INAUDIBLE) revenue growth, there just isn`t much revenue out of it there. The strong dollar and weak global growth are really bad combinations for these multinationals.
Fortunately, we got a few feel good stories out there. So, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is going to report on Thursday. They`re going to almost double their earnings from the same period last year, almost double. And so will home builder Pulte, although there are concerns about higher mortgage rates later this year around those home builders.
Now, one nice headwind for stocks are buy backs. According to Standard and Poor`s, 20 percent of the S&P 500 reduced their share count by
4 percent or more in the first quarter. Less stock outstanding means more concentrated earnings. That`s good news.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: Still ahead, demand for coal is undergoing a crippling decline, and that is now rippling into other industries.
MATHISEN: German lawmakers today agreed for the eurozone to negotiate a third bailout for Greece. The measure was decisively approved following a warning from the Chancellor Angela Merkel that the alternative to a deal was chaos. The Greek parliament has already voted in favor of the austerity measures.
HERERA: Well, the hits keep on coming for some coal companies. A coal industry pension fund has filed suit against Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) over an alleged $800 million worth of liabilities related to the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX). Patriot was created from assets that Peabody and Arch once owned. And as part of its bankruptcy restructuring, it plans to exit the pension and sell some of its assets. That would be a big blow to the industry pension fund, which is deeply underfunded.
MATHISEN: Meantime, coal prices have plunged dramatically since their
2011 peak, but the decline accelerating this year and the tough times may be getting even tougher. Not just for the coal industry — but as Morgan Brennan reports — for other industries tied to it.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: April 2015 was the month king coal was finally dethroned by natural gas as the USA`s primary fuel for electric generation. SNL Energy says nat gas accounted for 31 percent of power and coal, 30 percent.
Compared that to just five years ago, when coal generated 44 percent and nat gas, just 22. It`s one more piece of bad news for a commodity that`s been struggling for years.
Waning global demand, a stronger dollar that`s making coal exports more expensive and U.S. regulations targeting greenhouse gases emissions have weighed on the American coal industry. But analysts say the decline is accelerating now for another reason.
KRISTOFFER INTON, MORNINGSTAR ANALYST: Low natural gas is a big threat to coal. It`s just a — when it`s this cheap, it`s a cheaper burn.
BRENNAN: All of this has pushed Central Appalachian coal futures down dramatically. The prices falling nearly 30 percent in 2015 alone. Its fueled a collapse in coal stocks. Shares of Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) and Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) have plunged 90 percent over the past year, becoming microcap stocks.
Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) has filed for bankruptcy and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) is reportedly preparing to do the same.
INTON: It will just have to go through some hard changes in terms of possibly some bankruptcies and restructuring, just to really get — shed some of its debt. But when relook at coal itself for the U.S., we still think that it`s going to be a pretty meaningful contributor to U.S. power generation.
BRENNAN: Coal`s collapse is having ripple effects on other industries as well, particularly railroads. Coal is still a big business for freight rail carriers like Norfolk Southern (NYSE:SO) and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), accounting for a fifth of the industry`s overall revenue. When CSX
(NYSE:CSX) reported earnings this week, it warned volumes of coal for domestic use fall 20 percent for 2015. And this morning, Kansas City Southern (NYSE:SO) (NYSE:KSU) said energy revenue fell 46 percent in the first quarter, due largely to coal.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
HERERA: Boeing (NYSE:BA) drags down the Dow and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company will take a big charge in its second-quarter to deal with a problem with a tanker that it`s developing for the U.S. Air Force. The firm says those results will lower its earnings for the full-year. Shares were off more than 1 percent to $146.84.
J.B. Hunt reported earnings that rose less than expected. Results were hurt by a decrease in fuel-surcharge revenue and poor demand for its truckload and intermodal services. The shares fell a fraction to $84.69.
MATHISEN: Shares of Rapid7 went the other day, surging in that company`s trading debut. The cyber security firm priced its shares at $16 a piece, that was above the expected range and is valued now at about $1 billion.
CEO Corey Thomas says the firm is solving a major problem for companies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY THOMAS, RAPID7 CEO: Right now, there is still a lack of awareness, believe it or not, in the overall market. I think what`s happened is solely, with the help of the press, with more awareness, companies are starting to realize that they no longer can ignore cyber security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares ended the day at $25.28. That`s an increase on the day of 58 percent.
SunTrust Bank reporting earnings and revenue that topped estimates.
This as second-quarter expenses fell. And revenue did slip and a key measure of lending profitability was off. Shares were off more than 1 percent to $44.75.
HERERA: And now our market monitor who likes the midcap semiconductor stocks, he says, are poised to do well in an industry that is consolidating. The last time he was on in May 2014, he recommended Ameriprise, which is up 17 percent. Cigna, which has gained 76 percent.
And Ingersoll Rand, which is also up 17 percent.
He is Don Wordell, portfolio manager with Ridgeworth Capital Management.
Don, nice to have you back. Welcome back.
DON WORDELL, RIDGEWORTH CAPITAL MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Thanks for having me.
HERERA: Are you still sticking with those names that we just mentioned that you gave us back in May? Or have you lightened up or eliminated those from the portfolio?
WORDELL: No, actually, we own all three of them still. We think the fundamental stories for all three continued to get better and especially Cigna, we really like Cigna for the fundamentals over the next few years.
MATHISEN: So, just repeat your performance with the picks that you got tonight. I mean, we`ll take the 76, and 17 and a 17. You like — you like the semiconductor segment. Why?
WORDELL: Well, we do. You know, when you look at our process of dividends evaluation fundamentals, those are the three things the stocks have to have for us to get involved. These stocks all have close to 4 percent dividend yields, their valuations are very attractive after the recent full back.
And the fundamental story for all these stocks is very exciting.
There`s new products, you know, they put semiconductors into Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) iWatches and to automobiles, into a lot of different products that we use. And so, they`re practically industrial companies trading at very attractive multiples. So, we like the story`s fundamentally for the next 12 months.
HERERA: So, let`s go through some of them. Your first pick is Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY).
WORDELL: Sure. Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) is a company that`s going through the integration of a large transaction expansion right now.
We think that the earnings estimates are way too low in 2016 for this company. It pays a 4 percent dividend yields, operating expenses re coming down. We think upside to $18 a share is fairly easy over the next 12 months.
MATHISEN: All right. Let`s move on to your second one, which is Intersil (NASDAQ:ISIL) Corporation, not one I`m terribly familiar with.
WORDELL: Sure. That`s one –it`s on the smaller cap side. It`s about a billion and a half in market cap. This is a company that has gone through a management change in the last couple years. Their margins are much better and we`re pretty excited about the future there, a new product, the new Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chip that`s coming over the next six months.
HERERA: And Maxim rounds out the list. You say it`s a semiconductor company with dividend exposure to the end market. What do you mean by that?
WORDELL: Well, what we are saying is that Maxim has a big dividend.
Their end market exposure is — you know, they`ve got products that go into the Samsung phones. They`ve got products on the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watches. I mean, there`s just some really exciting end markets there that they`re involved in. And again, this is an industry that`s consolidating.
So, we think that there`s real downside protection here in these stocks. If the global economy were to take a push here, you know, you`ve got real asset value, which was demonstrated by the Chinese company bidding for Micron in the last week or so, you know, shows that these companies are trading well below their asset value. So, there should be some fundamental support here.
HERERA: All right. Well, you haven`t steered us wrong yet, Don. So, thank you so much. Have a great weekend.
WORDELL: You too. Thanks for having me.
HERERA: Don Wordell with Ridgeworth Capital Management.
MATHISEN: And coming up, the big money behind the music for one small business.
HERERA: Here`s what to watch for next week. Besides a busy week of earnings, lots of housing data with a report on existing home sales and new home sales are out. Weekly jobless claims will offer us a read on the labor market and a gauge of manufacturing with the purchasing manager`s index will be out. And that is what to watch next week.
MATHISEN: Two breaches disclosed today. Hackers broke into the hospital network of the University of Los Angeles and were able to access records of $4.5 million people, including names, medical information, Medicare and Social Security numbers.
Separately, the CVS (NYSE:CVS) photo website was shut down due to a possible breach. CVS (NYSE:CVS) said that customer credit card information may have been compromised.
HERERA: And finally tonight, a family business that has certainly stood the test of time. It started hundreds of years ago in Italy and it`s still thriving today in a suburb of New York.
And while most family businesses fizzle, this one is alive and well.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) introduces us to the D`Addario family.
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: In a manufacturing facility in Farmingdale, New York, Jim D`Addario is keeping alive a family trade that dates back more than three centuries. It began in Italy in 1680 in a town called Salle.
JIM D`ADDARIO, D`ADDARIO CEO: That old town was famous for string makers. And still to this day, there are four family businesses that came out of that town that are still making strings.
ROGERS: Jim`s grandfather, Charles, brought the tradition to America when World War I embargoes interrupted his string importing business.
Jim`s father joined the business in the 1930s and Jim was a teenager when he decided he, too, wanted in.
D`ADDARIO: Once I fell in love with playing the guitar and being in a band at 13, 14 years old, I suddenly became kind of the string tester and product development guy at a very early, young age for my dad. He would bring home samples and say try this.
ROGERS: The family business has come a long way since 1680. We`re standing in a 110,000 square foot facility where they manufacture 700,000 guitar strings a day.
D`ADDARIO: What we do today, my grandfather probably wouldn`t recognize it.
ROGERS: The facility is constantly is being updated. Last year, D`Addario invested almost $10 million in new technology, which enables the company to make 95 percent of its products in America.
D`ADDARIO: These are the most sophisticated machines we have.
ROGERS: D`Addario employs 12,000 people and project $175 million in sales this year. Global exports make up half the business. The company has 50 percent market share, including its private label business with some of the biggest names in the music industry using its product.
D`ADDARIO: We`ve had some people like Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin from the very beginning in the `70s and today, we have, you know, really big name people like Keith Urban and Vince Gill on the country side of things, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Satriani.
ROGERS: D`Addario has transitions to manufacturing drum heads, reads and other music accessories. The next big hurdle, succession planning.
Jim says there are nine family members in the wings already working for the company.
D`ADDARIO: We`ve gotten successfully to the fourth generation and we`re hoping that we can put the right governance in place and the right systems in place that it could perpetuate itself and go on for as long as possible.
ROGERS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, in Farmingdale, New York, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG).
HERERA: Amazing story. But the succession planning is one of the big challenges for family businesses.
MATHISEN: So hard for family businesses. Amazing to see how people make money and make a living.
HERERA: I know. Who would have thought? Strings. But they are doing a good job of it up.
MATHISEN: Right, a lot of strings.
HERERA: That will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great weekend, everybody. And we hope to see you right back here on Monday night.
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