SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: No one saw this coming.
The S&P 500 has its best week of the year. The NASDAQ, its biggest gains
in months. Will the rally continue? And where should you put your money?
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Security versus
privacy. Will we be safer if we make our communications less secure? A
look at the issue dividing law enforcement and Silicon Valley.
HERERA: Retail therapy. Three small cap stocks you may want to
consider as we head into the busy holiday shopping season.
All of that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday,
MATHISEN: Good evening and welcome, everyone.
Sometimes the stock market is easy to explain. A company knocks it
out of the park with an earnings report or an economic number tells
investors the coast is clear. But this week, the market has been tough to
figure out. There were the Paris attacks exactly one week ago and a fresh
terror siege in Mali today. More on that in a moment.
And add to those jolts, increasing Fed chatter this week, pointing to
an interest rate hike less than a month from now, usually not the best of
recipes for stocks.
Yet up stocks went today and this week, and by a lot. In fact, for
the S&P 500, this was the best week in more than a year. For the NASDAQ,
the best since July.
Here are the numbers: on the day, the Dow Jones Industrials gained 91
points to close at 17,823. NASDAQ added 31 and finished at 5,105. And the
S&P 500 rose 7 to end the day at 2,089. For the week, the industrials
gained about 3.4 percent, NASDAQ was up 3.6 percent, and the S&P 500 rose
nearly 3.3 percent. The Dow and the S&P are now positive for the year,
HERERA: Mark Luschini joins us now to talk more about this week`s
stock market activity and what we can expect going forward. He is chief
investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
Good to see you, Mark. Welcome back.
MARK LUSCHINI, JANNEY MONTGOMERY SCOTT CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST:
Thank you, Sue.
HERERA: You know, Ty so perfectly laid out what happened this week.
Are you as surprised as some others are that the market performed so well
against a backdrop of terror and other issues?
LUSCHINI: Well, it was a little bit surprising. I mean, obviously,
investors had the whole week to contemplate the economic ramifications of
the tragedy in France that was Friday night, and, of course, we also were
able to take our cue from overseas markets opening up Sunday night into
early Monday morning. And the muted effect I think gave investors some
confidence that it would be an opportunity to continue to buy equities
after the week before where the market was down about 3 1/2 percent.
So, it kind of set up for a bit of a rally and of course it was only
compounded on by the fact that the news from the Federal Reserve was that
likely even though they may raise interest rates the subsequent glide path
is going to be extremely shallow which gave investors confidence that it`s
not going to derail the equity bull market.
MATHISEN: From what you were just saying, Mark, it feels like you
think there is maybe more up side from here. Of course, we can never
figure in headline risk of the sort we`ve seen over the past couple of
LUSCHINI: Absolutely, Tyler. I mean, barring obviously the
unforeseen, I think the bias is for the market to continue to work higher.
I think we`re in the midst of a seasonal time of the year in which equities
typically do rally, particularly in a short holiday week like next and, of
course, into Christmas.
But in addition to that I think investors look around and realize
there`s no alternative for risk-based capital other than in the equity
markets. Corporate earnings, while mixed, are pointing to improvement in
HERERA: All right, Mark, have a great weekend. We`ll leave it there.
Thank you for joining us.
LUSCHINI: Thanks, Sue.
HERERA: Mark Luschini with Janney Montgomery Scott.
MATHISEN: To the economy now and the job market. The rate of
unemployment fell in 32 states last month as employers picked up hiring.
According to the labor market, California and Florida saw the biggest job
gains. The jobless rate rose in just three states and was unchanged in 15.
HERERA: And, Ty, the firming labor market is one of the reasons why
many are predicting the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its next
meeting in December.
Today, the president of the New York Fed said the economy is in good
shape and that it may meet the criteria needed to hike rates in the near
MATHISEN: And now to Paris, where one week after those deadly
attacks, the country of France deals with yet another terror crisis, this
time in the northern African nation of Mali.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reports tonight from Paris.
MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: A
hostage siege lasting more than nine hours left at least 27 people dead
including one Belgian diplomat and five attackers in the capital city of
Mali overnight. An unknown number of gunmen attacked a Radisson Blu Hotel
at about 1:00 in the morning and at one point held 170 hostages.
The news gripped France, still reeling from last Friday`s terror
attacks. French troops have been in Mali since 2013, when they invaded the
northern part of the country to fight off Islamic extremists who were
trying to take over Mali. Under President Francois Hollande, France has
had an aggressive anti-militant military policy in North Africa.
Back here in Paris, the French senate voted overwhelmingly to extend
the state of emergency to three months and to give the state much more
power to fight terrorism, including the power to conduct searches without a
warrant, the power to block Internet sites that are deemed to incite acts
of terrorism, public demonstrations are banned and organizations considered
dangerous can be fully dissolved. Anyone suspected of posing a threat can
be put under house arrest for 12 hours and can be electronically monitored
to make sure they remain where they are.
Today marks one week since the attacks on Paris, and Parisians
continue to mourn. In front of the Bataclan Theater, a gentleman arrived
with a piano to play a song in honor of the dead.
We also learned today the death toll has risen by one, 130 people died
as a result of the attacks one week ago.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Paris.
HERERA: Following the Paris attacks, investigators are examining how
the terrorists communicated. One theory is that they may have used devices
with ultra secure messaging tools. And that is intensifying a standoff
between Silicon Valley, who are in favor of strong encryption, and law
Earlier this week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch addressed that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: For us, this is an issue in which we
recognize not only the importance of encryption but the need to do
everything that we can to protect the American people. And as we stated,
we are pursuing a number of options. We`re in discussions with industry
looking for ways in which they can lawfully provide us information while
still preserving privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Daniel Weitzner, director of MIT`s Internet Policy Research
Initiative, joins us, along with Eamon Javers.
Gentlemen, welcome to you both.
Daniel, let me start with you if I could. The attorney general and
others have called on Silicon Valley to give them access to some of these
ultra encrypted areas, under the auspices that terrorists have an advantage
over us. But push back against that argument.
DANIEL WEITZNER, MIT DIRECTOR, INTERNET POLICY RESEARCH INITIATIVE:
Well, I think that any company that`s providing a service to the public
wants to cooperate with law enforcement and be as helpful as possible,
especially in times like this.
What we looked at from a technical perspective is the question of
what`s a smart way to do that. If we open up back doors for law
enforcement, if we dumb down our encryption technologies so that it`s
easier for law enforcement to get access even with a warrant, what we found
is that we`re going to create insecurities that are going to be spread
throughout the infrastructure that we depend on.
So, this is not really a question of privacy versus security. We have
a lot of debates about how much authority law enforcement should have or
shouldn`t have to get access to private communications. This is a question
about security versus security.
If we open up a back door for law enforcement, criminals can go
through that same back door and terrorists can go through that same back
MATHISEN: Eamon, I don`t intend for you to debate Mr. Weitzner,
that`s not your role, but do tell us what the position of law enforcement,
most especially federal law enforcement, the FBI, would be in response to
what Mr. Weitzner says.
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, I
mean, FBI Director James Comey has been talking about this for over a year
now. He calls it the going dark problem, the problem that law enforcement
has when they`re going after a particular device and they suddenly can`t
get access to the communications inside that device and the company
involved can`t get access to it either.
He says that the problem for law enforcement and to the point that
Daniel just made, what the FBI director would say to that, is they are
confident there`s a technological fix to that.
Now, Silicon Valley might say, hey, we know a lot more about
technology than even the FBI does. But law enforcement feels this is an
absolute must have piece of access in order to get into these
communications in a modern day and age where terrorists can strike very
quickly. They want to be able to respond as fast as the terrorists are
able to communicate. Law enforcement wants to be able to get those
And this is just a fundamental debate in this country when you talk
about the business concerns that Silicon Valley has the FBI and others will
say ultimately there`s a cost of doing business in the United States of
America and this might be one of those costs.
HERERA: Mr. Weitzner, have you given some thought, and I`m sure you
have, as to what might be the best approach at this juncture, given what we
have seen happen in Paris and given what we just saw happen in Mali today –
– what would your best advice be, that perhaps there`s a middle ground
between the privacy and security or the security and security argument?
WEITZNER: Well, look, the events in Paris and in Mali are terrible
and everyone obviously wants to do everything possible to be able to
respond at least in the future. I think you have to look at this from the
position of the adversary. If we open up a back door in the products, for
example, that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or others
provide, there is still nothing that will stop a determined terrorist from
adding their own layer of encryption on top of that approved technology.
No one, including Director Comey, is proposing that we should prevent
people from installing their own software on their own computers and their
own phones. We have enormous benefit that we get from the growing app
economy. You feature it on your program all the time. And individuals get
enormous social benefit from it.
So we don`t want to clamp down on the Internet so it becomes like the
old telephone system. And I think we just have to recognize that there may
be some communications and some data that law enforcement will not be able
to get access to. That`s always true when law enforcement does
investigations. Sometimes criminals destroy evidence. Sometimes criminals
are good at hiding.
And I guess the advice I would give is — and I`m humble in giving
advice to someone like FBI Director Comey, but what I would say is that for
better or worse, we know there are no systems that are perfectly secure and
we`ve seen law enforcement and national security agencies be very clever
about finding ways to conduct surveillance even in the face of encryption.
I think they`re going to have to learn how to do that more. And I think as
governments, we`re going to have invest more money in helping law
enforcement to develop more and more sophisticated techniques.
MATHISEN: Quick final thought, Eamon. What would the rejoinder be to
Mr. Weitzner`s well-taken point, that even if you did have a back door that
would allow law enforcement to decrypt things, that the perpetrators would
find ways around it one way or another?
JAVERS: Law enforcement says that`s a risk they`re willing to take
ultimately. And we know law enforcement and U.S. intelligence feel very
confident this week they`re in a good position to make this argument in the
context of what`s happening around the world. We know there was a meeting
today here in Washington involving technology companies and Capitol Hill
aides in which they talked about a path forward on encryption. What that
path is still remains to be seen. But negotiations definitely are going on
right now on this issue here in Washington.
HERERA: All right. Thank you so much both of you, Daniel Weitzner.
I know we`ll be talking more with you about this.
And, Eamon Javers, as always, thank you so much.
JAVERS: You bet.
HERERA: Coming up, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) making a big move and ramping
up its rivalry with two other tech companies. We`ll tell you what it`s all
HERERA: A class action lawsuit related to daily fantasy sports
targets credit card companies. The suit claims that Visa (NYSE:V),
MasterCard (NYSE:MA), American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP), and others
participated in a racketeering scheme that facilitated illegal gambling
operations. The class action also names the banks that issued the credit
cards. The complaint states that the parties should have known that
DraftKings and FanDuel were online gambling sites under New York`s law.
MATHISEN: The cloud computing business is firing on all cylinders and
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) recently made a big push into that area by making a
big hire, potentially sharpening its rivalry with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). And this comes as Alphabet, the parent of Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), saw its shares hit an all-time high, at $777 on the button.
Josh Lipton has the story.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s the hire
that everybody is talking about in Silicon Valley. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is
bringing on Diane Greene, one of its board members, to lead its cloud
businesses. Greene is one of the most prominent women in the tech world
and co-founder and former CEO of VMware.
Twitter erupted with reaction, with Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud software
provider Box, noting “Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hiring Diane Greene is a
brilliant move on their part. The cloud is about to get very interesting.”
For all the excitement, though, Greene will have her work cut out for
her. While Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a lot of cloud products such as Gmail
and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) docs, when companies want to run their most
powerful applications, they turn to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft`s
Azure product and those products are growing fast. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
web services, for instance, last quarter reported revenue of more than $2
And Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella has gone all in with the
cloud. Revenue in Microsoft`s cloud business, which includes Azure,
reached nearly $6 billion last quarter. But Green`s hire sends a message
to the competition.
ERIC KNIPP, GARTNER MANAGING VICE PRESIDENT: By hiring someone like
Diane, they are saying we are ready to get serious about competing with
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the others who really
exclusively target the corporate IT side of the house, that they`re ready
to go into that market themselves.
LIPTON: And Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) does boast unique strengths.
Analysts say there is no company in the world better at extracting insights
from data, a key advantage for a cloud computing provider.
Gartner (NYSE:IT) says that cloud infrastructure will be a $21 billion
market next year, and analysts say much of that growth is still up for
grabs, with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) now in the position to claim a bigger
piece of the pie.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
HERERA: Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) sees its quarterly profit more
than double, and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The teen retailer posted results that easily topped estimates.
Despite the fact that same-store sales fell. The company benefited from
fewer discounts, but it did say it expects heavy promotional activity in
the industry during the holiday shopping season. Shares surged 25 percent
Chipotle`s E. coli outbreak just got worse. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention warned that the outbreak has spread to a total of
six states, showing the problem is more widespread than just in the
northwest. The CDC says 45 people have been infected, in California,
Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. Shares tumbled some 12
percent. They finished at $536.19.
And the health insurers Anthem and Aetna (NYSE:AET) trying to reassure
investors today that their Affordable Care Act businesses aren`t doing that
poorly. It comes after UnitedHealth warned of mounting losses in that
unit, which we told you about last night. Aetna (NYSE:AET) rose 4 1/2
percent. Anthem was more than 2 1/2 percent higher.
MATHISEN: Foot Locker posted strong results and a big increase in
same-store sales, increased demand for running and basketball shoes helped
the retailer deliver. Shares popped more than 5 1/2 percent. They
finished at $65.02.
And Sprint announced it will get a more than $1 billion cash infusion
by striking a deal to sell certain devices it has previously leased to its
customers. The company says the move will free up resources for network
investments and operations. Shares, however, slipped about 5 1/2 percent
HERERA: The hottest sector this year has been consumer discretionary
stocks, made up of companies that sell non-essential goods and services.
But will this group continue to do well with an interest rate hike looming?
Morgan Brennan takes a look.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: In a rocky
year for the market, consumer discretionary has been the top performing
sector, up 12 percent versus the broader S&P 500`s 1 1/2 percent gain.
Gasoline savings at the pump have translated into more spending on certain
services and goods, propelling a number of these stocks to all-time highs.
Analysts say consumers are in recovery mode albeit a gradual recovery
and they`re being very selective about what they buy.
KRISTINA HOOPER, ALLIANZ GLOBAL INVESTORS: There aren`t a lot of
trends that carry over from year to year, but we do see interestingly the
first time consumer services has done well, it`s performed well. Now,
that`s an odd catchall. It includes durables, some education stocks, some
apparel stocks, but that typically has done well.
BRENNAN: According to market data firm Kensho, over the past decade,
there are some stocks that tend to outperform during the holidays, from
Black Friday to year`s end. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) company is one of them,
averaging a 4 1/2 percent gain over the last 10 holiday seasons, and with a
new “Star Wars” coming out in just a few weeks, a name to consider again.
Goodyear tire and rubber has also been a strong performer gaining an
average of 8 percent, as people need new tires — thanks to all that
holiday travel and winter weather. But this December may also be
different. There are increasingly more signals that the Federal Reserve
could raise rates next month. If history is any indicator, consumer stocks
HOOPER: The consumer discretionary sector as a whole has high
valuations. So, it`s vulnerable to a rerating, to a repricing when the Fed
raises rates. Now, will it be traumatic? No. Because again, we`re coming
off a very low base. But we do have to worry about vulnerability there.
So really any names within the consumer discretionary space, and there
are many, most are highly valued. They are vulnerable to seeing some
deterioration in stock price as a result.
BRENNAN: According to Kensho, since 1990, there have been three rate
hike cycles and a one-off increase in the months following each of those
liftoffs, consumer discretionary fell more than 2 percent, largely in line
with the broader market.
Among the worst performers, auto parts retailers like Auto Nation and
O`Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY). Still, some names may provide relief.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) tends to hold up and a few retailers, Best Buy
(NYSE:BBY) and Kohl`s (NYSE:KSS). But as the year winds down, the two
biggest winners have centered around the Internet. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)
and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have both logged triple digit percentage gains in
2015, and many on the street consider these names to keep benefitting from
recovering consumer next year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
MATHISEN: And now to our market monitor who recommends three small
cap retail stocks. Welcome Jay Kaplan, portfolio manager of the Royce
Small Cap Value Fund.
Let`s start with G-III Apparel. I thought it was a coat company
mostly and coats aren`t really selling. Why do you like it?
JAY KAPLAN, ROYCE SMALL CAP VALUE FUND PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Well, I
tell you, it really is pretty warm in the Northeast, and you have an
opportunity now like we had in 2011 where it was very warm. They`re a
leader in coats. They sell a lot of dresses.
If you go to Macy`s (NYSE:M), they dominate in Macy`s (NYSE:M).
Macy`s (NYSE:M) is having trouble. But we think it`s a well-managed
company. It`s down big from its high.
It`s one of those opportunities where I think you have to sort of hold
your nose, jump in, look out 12, 24 months. It`s going to be pretty good I
HERERA: All right. The Buckle (NYSE:BKE), it`s mall-based and a lot
of people are projecting that the mall is not where people are going to
shop. Why do you like the Buckle (NYSE:BKE)?
KAPLAN: Well, you know what? The Buckle (NYSE:BKE) is very well-
managed. It has very high margins.
They sell denim. Denim`s been a little out of favor for them. It`s
high-priced denim but it`s great cash flow. It`s a 2 percent yield. They
pay a special dividend most years. That could be coming up here real soon
for the long term, we like it a lot.
MATHISEN: You like unpopular stuff. Clearly, Steve Madden — which
is a great way to invest by the way. Steve Madden is a third choice, shoe
company. Is this company one that could be a takeover target at some
KAPLAN: It`s hard to say if it would be a takeover target. At Royce,
we don`t buy companies with the expectation that someone will take them
over, but it`s a well-run business.
There hasn`t really been a fashion cycle in shoes in a while. Boots
are really important. There`s not a lot of snow yet. No one`s buying
boots. So, we`ll see what happens. They`ve been buying back their stock
in a very big way. They`re confident and we`re confident as well.
MATHISEN: All right. Thank you very much, Jay Kaplan with the Royce
Small Cap Funds.
HERERA: Coming up, a grand experiment. Why California farmers are
planning to do something that was once considered unthinkable.
MATHISEN: Lots of economic data to watch next week, especially as we
inch closer to a potential rate hike from the Fed. And those data include
a report on personal income and spending, a read of gross domestic product,
which is considered the broadest measure of economic activity. Housing
data`s coming out, including numbers on existing and new home sales. And
that, folks, is what to watch next week.
HERERA: The EPA says the Volkswagen emissions scandal is wider than
previously thought. The automaker has told the agency that the emissions-
cheating software is on some of its larger vehicles dating back as far as
2009. The automaker also plans to slash its capital budget by more than $1
billion next year. The German carmaker will delay some projects and put a
new design center on hold. The CEO has said that anything not absolutely
necessary will be canceled or postponed.
MATHISEN: Meantime, a long and high-stakes court battle between the
sugar and corn industries has come to an end. Those two businesses have
reached a settlement but the terms not disclosed. Sugar processors had
been seeking $1.5 billion in a false advertising claim against corn
refiners and agribusiness giants Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.
HERERA: California`s almond and grape growers use a lot of water and
that`s something they`ve come under fire for during the state`s historic
drought. But now, some farmers are trying something very different in an
effort to protect their livelihood. They want to flood their farms with
the coming El Nino.
Jane Wells tells us about this grand experiment from Helm, California.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: As California
prepares for El Nino rains, farmers are discovering a new market — flood
DANIEL MOUNTJOY, SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION: Before flood water was
something everybody wanted to get rid of. Now, people are seeing it as a
WELLS: No one has seen that potential more than farmer Don Cameron
DON CAMERON, FARMER: This is the north fork of the Kings River right
here. And right now, it looks like a desert and it`s looked that way for
WELLS: But this is how the river looked four years ago, when Cameron
decided to do an experiment. He diverted some storm water to flood his
Why? Here in California`s Central Valley where most of the country`s
fruits and vegetables and nuts are grown, many of them shipped overseas,
depends on underground water. Drought has depleted that water, and farmers
have been accused of over-pumping.
But even before the drought, Cameron figured if he used storm water to
flood his vineyard during the winter the water would seep underground,
replenishing the ground water and costing him less to pump in the summer.
CAMERON: It is a risk and a lot of our neighbors thought we were
WELLS: But that experiment in 2011 worked. The vines and the grapes
were fine. Now with El Nino coming, other farmers growing other crops such
as almonds are also thinking about flooding their fields to try to
replenish the ground water.
But it only works in certain areas where there`s porous sandy soil.
CAMERON: I think you have to be a little more careful with the
almonds. Some growers are concerned if you have too much water and a big
wind storm during the winter, you could have trees blow over.
WELLS: Still, Cameron is giving it a way in this new almond feel.
He`s spending millions to increase the size of a canal to capture more
storm runoff using a grant from the government awarded to help divert
flooding downstream. And that leads to a whole new idea, farmers finding
financial incentives to capture El Nino`s rains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a new discussion going on in the state
capitol, around, what are the rights to flood water. No one`s ever asked
that question. It`s always been a surplus.
WELLS: Of course, all of this depends on one very important
condition, that it actually rains.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Helm, California.
HERERA: Wow, great story.
MATHISEN: Yes, fascinating stuff.
HERERA: All right. That does it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for watching.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great weekend, everybody.
We`ll see you on Monday.
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