TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Sell-off on the
street. The Dow drops 300 points, oil slides 3 percent, and bond investors
fret about a mutual fund that blocks withdrawals as it liquidates.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Long-term buys.
Despite crude`s plunge, our market monitor says you should own two well-
known big energy names for years to come.
MATHISEN: Genome journey. Want to know if you`re at risk for a
disease? Our Meg Tirrell did. She mapped her DNA. She`ll tell you what
she found in the second part of our series “Unlocking Your Health”, tonight
on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, December 11th.
EPPERSON: Good evening, everyone. I`m Sharon Epperson, in tonight
for Sue Herera.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Welcome, everybody.
Baby, it`s not cold outside — not at all for December across most of
the country. But inside trading rooms and portfolio offices from Boston to
Berkeley, from Minneapolis to Miami, it sure felt frigid this week. Stocks
logged their biggest weekly decline since the summer months, August.
Send the children out of the room, folks. Here are the numbers and
they`re ugly. The Dow industrial averages tumbled 309 points to 17,265,
NASDAQ off more than 2 percent down triple digits, 111 points. And the S&P
500 gave back 39. For the week, all three indexes were more than 3 percent
One of the main reasons for the decline, of course, oil. Domestic
crude off another 3 percent today to $35.62, a seven-year low, after the
International Energy Agency warned of a continuing supply glut. For the
week, prices were down 11 percent. That`s oil`s worst week of the year.
And as if that wasn`t enough, investors learned today that a junk
bond mutual fund is barring investor withdrawals while it liquidates,
sending a chill through the credit markets.
Dominic Chu reports.
DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: There`s a new
kid on the street to worry about. Less than a week out from the Fed`s
expected rate hike as markets eye continuing global political tensions and
a downward spiral in commodity prices, Third Avenue Management announced a
block on withdrawals from its sagging focused credit fund, which is down
about 13 percent in the last month and about 27 percent for the year.
The fund has already seen redemptions of nearly a billion dollars
this year, but now the remaining assets could be frozen for months or even
longer. For now, some assets have been frozen, placed in a trust to
prevent mass redemptions while the fund figures out how to sell them off.
Third Avenue CEO David Barse wrote in a statement, “Investor requests
for redemption in addition to the general reduction of liquidity in the
fixed income markets have made it impracticable to create sufficient cash
to pay anticipated redemptions without resorting to sales at prices that
would unfairly disadvantage the remaining shareholders.”
Hedge funds sometimes freeze assets like this, but this is a mutual
fund and the mutual fund industry thrives because it gives investors the
right to cash out at any time. It also comes after regulators have raised
concerns that some mutual funds have been investing in assets that could be
difficult to sell if markets turned sour. In fact, Carl Icahn is one
investor who warned about it months ago and did so again today.
CARL ICAHN, ICAHN ENTERPRISES CHAIRMAN: The high-yield market is
just a keg of dynamite that sooner or later will blow up. There`s no
liquidity behind these ETFs. The average person that goes into this should
basically be warned.
CHU: So, now, the big question is, who`s next?
JIM STEWART, THE NEW YORK TIMES: We all knew with these prolonged
low interest rates, there were going to be pockets of excessive risk. And,
you know, the question was, where were they? Now we`re going to start to
CHU: And if there are other pockets of trouble out there, just how
widespread is the problem? Could junk bonds possibly be the equivalent of
mortgage-backed securities like back in 2007 before the financial crisis?
STEWART: It`s a good question. It`s a huge market. I mean, again,
my gut feeling is no because it`s much more visible. You know, it`s a
known commodity here. You know, it`s much more publicly traded than all
that stuff. But, you know, nobody knows for sure. I think people are
CHU: Those jitters now include fears of a credit crisis, a new plank
in the market`s wall of worry.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu.
MATHISEN: And late today, the hedge fund Stone Lion Capital, which
focuses on distressed debt, said it has suspended redemptions in its oldest
fund after many investors asked for their money back.
EPPERSON: So, how will all of these factors influence the U.S. stock
market and your investments?
Mark Luschini is chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery
Scott. He joins us now.
Mark, let me start by asking you about a market that I covered for
eight years and that is the oil market. The International Energy Agency
saying that the oil glut that we`re seeing right now could last well into
next year. Could we see oil prices here in the U.S. below $35, $30 a
barrel? And what impact is that going to have on the stock market?
MARK LUSCHINI, JANNEY MONTGOMERY SCOTT CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST:
Well, I think legitimately we could. It wasn`t that many years ago, you
only have to go back to 2000, 2001 to see $20 a barrel. In fact, that
looks from a technical standpoint that perhaps a reasonable level of
support for oil prices. And the reason is going to be what we`ve seen now
for some time and keeps getting compounded by these reports that continue
to come out which say the market is oversupplied, there`s an abundance of
oil inventory sloshing around the world, filling up containers and
insufficient demand to absorb any of it. And the consequence is going to
put further pressure on oil prices as well as obviously the impact of the
strength of the U.S. dollar.
So I think the market is taking its cue from oil prices. I do
challenge the signal oil is providing because I think it`s much more of a
supply issue than a demand issue. But that said, it seems as though when
you get any kind of relief in this downdraft in oil prices, read a rally in
prices, the stock market tends to respond positively to it.
MATHISEN: Do you think on balance that these lower oil prices and
the prospect of even lower oil prices is good for the U.S. economy? We
hear the conventional wisdom that it means people have more money in their
pockets to spend. But we sure don`t see that showing up in retail sales
LUSCHINI: Tyler, I do. I think this is good for Main Street. Not
necessarily quite as good for Wall Street.
But the fact of the matter is, it`s estimated every one penny decline
at the pump translates into a billion-dollar benefit to the consumer and
we`re down about a dollar and a half according to AAA on a national average
in the last 12 months alone. That`s $150 billion off of an $18 trillion
economy. That`s an enormous windfall. Granted, a good portion of that`s
been saved so far but some of that is starting to percolate its way into
EPPERSON: What do you think all this means for the Fed when they`re
looking at oil prices, they`re looking at the risk in the high-yield bond
market? Are they paying attention to this and will this change what many
expect them to do next Wednesday?
LUSCHINI: I think this is not being lost on them at all but at the
same time I think the green light came a Friday ago that showed the kind of
gains that obviously led to unemployment to be at a level the Fed defines
as maximum employment. So, I think they`re eager to get off the zero bound
but I can`t help but think it`s going to influence the character of the
commentary that`s going to accompany the announcement by Janet Yellen which
is I think going to be very dovish with regard to the subsequent trace of
interest rate increases in this cycle.
EPPERSON: That`s what we`re all waiting to see on Wednesday. Thank
you so much, Mark Luschini with Janney Montgomery.
LUSCHINI: Thank you, Sharon.
MATHISEN: Well, the megadeal is official. DuPont and Dow Chemical
(NYSE:DOW) will merge. The combined company will be worth about $130
billion in total market value and could potentially alter the chemical and
David Faber spoke with both CEOs today and discovered the tie-up was
one of the first things Edward Breen considered when he took the top job at
DuPont just two months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD BREEN, DUPONT CHAIRMAN & CEO: It was my first day at DuPont.
Andrew called me up and we literally met that Sunday and spent the
DAVID FABER, CNBC: Day one. You didn`t wait. I know there`s an
anecdote. You didn`t even have time to know where the bathroom was and
you`re on —
BREEN: That was my joke to him.
ANDREW LIVERIS, DOW CHEMICAL CHAIRMAN & CEO: And exactly the way I
remembered it. And Ed responded very quickly. To his point, the DuPont
board had obviously been considering the moment in time was arriving. The
ag business needed a partnership. And remember, this is a game changer for
ag and what we`re creating in ag.
So, I think the DuPont board was heavily an Ag-oriented. 60 percent
was ag. We`ve had an ag property that would be hand and glove. Our board
had been looking at this for 10 years. And so, the multiple approaches, we
need the moment in time, and the person and the person to arrive and say,
you know what, there`s a lot of value to be done here and the board saw
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares of the Dow component DuPont were off 5 percent
today. Dow chemical — well, Dow chemical dropped nearly 3 percent.
EPPERSON: In economic news, producer prices unexpectedly rose in
November, driven by a gain in services. The producer price index which
measures the price companies receive for goods and services increased 0.3
percent last month. This was their fastest pace on wholesale inflation
since June, but over the past 12 months, prices are still about 1 percent
MATHISEN: Consumers did increase their spending last month. Maybe
those oil dividends are beginning to pay off. The Commerce Department
reported that retail sales rose but just by 0.2 percent in November. That
is, however, the largest increase since July, which shows you how slow
retail sales have been rising. Slightly below expectations, though.
Separate reports showed a rise in consumer confidence to the highest
level in four months. The increase is due in part to that cheap gas and
better employment prospects.
EPPERSON: In the wake of the San Bernardino attacks, have American
attitudes changed when it comes to terror concerns and the way the
government monitors communications?
Steve Liesman has the results of his latest All-America Survey and
what the results may mean for the economy.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The mass
shootings in San Bernardino have awakened American fears of a major terror
attack on U.S. soil and they`re bolstering public support for increased
government monitoring of terrorists right here in the states.
The CNBC All America Economic Survey found 34 percent of respondents
very worried about a major terror attack here at home, up from 26 percent
before the massacre. Eight hundred Americans were surveyed for the data
before the attacks and 347 were called back to gauge sentiment after the
The survey found that Americans` new fears could have some real
economic impact, 42 percent say they`re concerned about flying
internationally, 29 percent offer they`re concerned about even getting on
an airplane. And 16 percent report being worried about visiting shopping
More than half of Americans, the highest level since 9/11, now fear
the government will not go far enough in monitoring the activities and
communications of potential terrorists living in the country.
In a separate NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll in January, Americans
were split 46 percent to 47 percent. Nearly half of Democrats are now
afraid the government will not go far enough. That`s a significant shift
from just before the December 2nd attacks in San Bernardino.
In a survey question asked only before the San Bernardino attack, 53
percent said technology companies should continue to sell software and
devices with encryption coding because it protects consumers from criminals
and the government. Only 36 percent thought the company should not sell
the software because it allows criminals and terrorists to communicate
But presidential candidate and Senator Lindsey Graham said this has
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here`s my advice
to our friends at Silicon Valley: if you can`t find an agreement with the
FBI director soon as to how we, the government, with a court order can find
out what`s going on with terrorist communications, Congress will do this
LIESMAN: The data show that so far, the issue hasn`t become
political. Democrats and Republicans have nearly identical views. But
that could change if Washington begins to focus on encryption.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
MATHISN: Still ahead, would you buy shares of a major energy company
with oil prices at $35? Our market monitor guest says yes and has a list
EPPERSON: High drama in fantasy sports. A court ruled that
DraftKings and FanDuel must cease operations in New York. It`s been a
decision that we`ve been telling you may be coming. The companies then
filed an emergency appeal and late this afternoon were granted an interim
stay, allowing them to continue doing business in the state.
Last month, New York`s attorney general sued the company saying daily
fantasy sports games are illegal games of chance, not lawful games of
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) Ventures and NBC Sports Ventures
have stakes in FanDuel. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is a parent
company of CNBC, which produces this program.
MATHISEN: And now to our market monitor, who likes large cap stocks
he says will rise 15 percent to 20 percent over the next year and a half,
including energy names he says you should own for years to come, core
holdings. He`s Steven Dudash, president and investment strategist at IHT
He was on a year ago and last time he was here he recommended Wells
Fargo (NYSE:WFC). It is down 4 percent. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is up 1
percent. And CDW is up 21 percent. Nice return there, Steve.
Let`s just clean up the path there. Do you still like those three or
what is your position on them?
STEVE DUDASH, IHT WEALTH MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Yes, I
still like those three. And you know what? If you average 7 percent
between those three in the last year and outperform the market by about 9
percent, I think most people would be pretty happy with those kind of
The financials that we have there, a lot of people thought rates
would be a little higher by now. And, you know, they haven`t panned out.
They will hopefully next week. And you`ll start seeing financials go up.
EPPERSON: Let`s talk about energy for a moment because with oil
around $35 a barrel, many people may be thinking the last thing I want to
own is an energy company. But you say think twice about that, buy one, a
DUDASH: I think they`re completely oversold right now. Listen,
oil`s at $30 whatever dollars a barrel. It is not staying there. There`s
no chance the producers can keep pumping out oil at that price. You`re
going to start seeing supply dry up a little bit.
This is completely a supply issue right now. That starts drying up.
Oil prices will start going back up a little bit. Maybe not to $100 a
barrel but get you back into the $50s or $60s and make some of these bigger
EPPERSON: And BP and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) are the ones you say to
DUDASH: Yes, I want to work with the big boys right now. Some of
the smaller players out there are going to have some problems. They`re
going to have dividend cuts likely. They`re going to have problems getting
credit like you guys were just talking about in the high-yield space. Give
me the big companies, the ones I know are going to be here for the next
five or ten years. I`m going to buy them real cheap right now and really
be happy down the road.
MATHISEN: Let`s switch to your third pick, which is a company that
sells basically everything except oil and gasoline. And that`s Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN). And they may sell that for all I know.
DUDASH: Yes. So that`s kind of the exact opposite of Exxon and BP.
It is pricey right now. But they have cornered the market. It`s a huge
barrier to come in there and try to compete against them.
It has gotten so easy for someone on their phone or on their
computer, a tablet, to buy. It`s gotten safer. It`s gotten more
convenient. It`s only growing.
But one warning with this one — buy it now but keep your eye on it.
If you make 20 percent, pat yourself on the back whenever that day is and
sell it because it is expensive, very expensive right now.
EPPERSON: You know, a lot of our viewers may already own all three
of these because they`re in so much of the large cap mutual funds in your
401(k). But it`s always good know what`s inside and the ones you think are
DUDASH: Yes yeah. Those — I mean, you`re right. A lot of people
with mutual funds have this exposure right now. But if you`re looking for
individual stock plays, you`re looking to outperform the market in the next
year or two, this is some strong sectors.
MATHISEN: Steve, thanks very much. Have a great holiday season —
Steve Dudash with IHT Wealth Management.
EPPERSON: Disappointing data weighs on Puma Biotech, and that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company presented disappointing data from a trial of its breast
cancer treatment back in June similar results also disappointed. Shares
tumbled nearly 6 percent today to $67.94.
Genesee and Wyoming lowered its earnings outlook after railroad
traffic fell more than expected. A sideline in commodity shipments has
weighed on the company. Shares were almost 6 percent lower to 51.21.
MATHISEN: Alibaba which trades with my favorite ticker symbol, BABA,
is buying “The South China Morning Post”, the largest English language
newspaper over in Hong Kong. Financial terms of the deal not disclosed.
The e-commerce giant says the purchase was fueled by a desire to improve
China`s image in the western media. Shares were almost 5 1/2 percent lower
today at $79.74.
AstraZeneca in advanced talks to buy a company named Acerta Pharma
for more than $5 billion. That`s according to “The Wall Street Journal.”
Acerta doesn`t have any drugs on the market but its cancer compound has
shown promise in trial. Shares were off a fraction to $33.25.
EPPERSON: It`s been a particularly difficult stretch for the
trucking industry, in part because they`re not shipping as much fracking
equipment to shale regions. But the sector is also suffering from a
shortage of truck drivers.
And as Morgan Brennan reports, some companies are finding new
recruits to fill those jobs.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Tiffany
(NYSE:TIF) Deering doesn`t fit the stereotype of a truck driver and she
knows it. For the past year as a team driver with her husband, she`s
traveled across the country delivering freight for Warner Enterprises,
spending three weeks at a time on the road. When she parks her big rig at
a truck stop, people do a double take.
TIFFANY DEERING, WERNER TEAM DRIVER: “Oh, wait, you drive too?” And
they kind of step back for a second. They`re like, “Oh. Oh, really?” And
I`m like, “Yes, I drive.”
BRENNAN: Deering is part of a growing population of women drivers
being recruited by trucking companies, battling a severe driver drought.
The truck industry faces a shortage of 150,000 to 200,000 drivers over the
next three to five years. As baby boomers retire and the recovering
economy means more demand for more trucks hauling goods. Fleet operators
like Werner, Swift Transportation, Covenant Transportation, and Schneider
have turned to a previously untapped labor pool. Women like Tiffany
(NYSE:TIF), offering incentives including 401(k)s, tuition reimbursement
and starting salaries in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.
And it`s working. Women now comprise about 6 percent of the overall
U.S. truck driver population. Still a modest fraction. But up from 4 1/2
percent five years ago.
DEERING: It`s definitely kind of a man`s world still, a little bit.
But it`s getting away from that. I mean, I`m amazed every time I go into a
truck stop at how many female drivers that I`m seeing.
BRENNAN: Part of the appeal, modified trucks with easier to drive
automatic transmission and driver cabs with ergonomic changes to better
accommodate women`s bodies. Plus, the ability for female drivers to earn
the same pay as their male counterparts.
ELLEN VOIE, WOMEN IN TRUCKING PRESIDENT & CEO: When you work in a
male-dominated profession, you make typically more money than when you work
in a female-dominated profession. So, as a truck driver, you make the same
amount of money as your male peers because you`re either paid by the mile
or the load or the percentage.
BRENNAN: Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN), whose driver fleet
consists of 9 percent women, higher than the industry average, reports
female drivers are actually outperforming men.
DEREK LEATHERS, WERNER ENTERPRISES PRESIDENT & COO: Our female
drivers as an example have about a 25 percent lower accident cost, but
they`re having smaller accidents. They`re not having the big ones, if you
will, where maybe 9 attention to detail`s a little better, maybe the focus
or maybe just the concern is something they bring to the party that makes
them better drivers.
BRENNAN: And recruiting is starting young. The Women in Trucking
Association has even created a Girl Scout badge to educate young women
about potential careers in transportation. And companies say all of this
is only the beginning.
DEERING: I think the trucking industry could use a few more women.
BRENNAN: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
EPPERSON: Coming up, how much do you want to know about your body?
Meg Tirrell shares what she learned when she had her DNA mapped in the
second and final part of our series, “Unlocking Your Health.”
EPPERSON: Here`s what to watch next week:
It`s the day we`ve been waiting for. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve
will announce a rate hike decision.
Also a big week for data. The consumer price index is out, and the
read on real estate with housing starts numbers.
And that`s what to watch next week.
MATHISEN: Your medical future. If you are at risk for a disease,
would you want to know? The technology exists. It`s called genome
sequencing. It`s basically a blueprint of who you are.
Our Meg Tirrell had her DNA mapped, and she takes us on her journey
in the second part of our series, “Unlocking Your Health.”
DR. ROBERT GREEN, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL GENETICIST: OK, Ms.
Tirrell, thanks for coming today. We`re here because you`re interested in
getting yourself sequenced —
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Earlier this
year, I made a controversial medical decision.
GREEN: There`s no medical recommendations that support this. And in
fact, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics in its only
statements to date have been a little bit resistant to suggesting that
people do this.
TIRRELL: I had my genome sequenced. For $2,900, sequencing company
Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) provided me a personal guide to my own DNA. It`s
controversial because it`s not totally clear how useful sequencing healthy
people is. I wasn`t seeking any medical answers. I was simply curious.
It turns out getting your genome sequenced is a lot like any other
medical test. With Illumina`s program, you go to a doctor`s office, give a
family history, get a physical exam and get blood drawn.
Where it`s different is in what we can learn from the results.
My biggest concern is that I discover I carried a risk for a disease
that I really couldn`t do anything about like early onset Alzheimer`s, for
My geneticist, Harvard Medical School`s Dr. Robert Green, made sure I
was prepared for that possibility. But his main concern was different.
GREEN: One of the real things you have to be prepared to deal with
in sequencing is that some of the information that you may find out is very
difficult for us to understand or interpret. And that`s one of the things
that gives people real pause about sequencing healthy people.
TIRRELL: So what did I find out? Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) returned
the results through Dr. Green. It also delivers them on a sleek iPad app
so I can explore them myself.
I didn`t turn out to be any of the things I dreaded so much. But I
do have something to think about. It`s called Factor V Leiden and it means
my blood clots slightly faster than other people`s.
GREEN: With this mutation, you have about six times the risk of
another person of getting a thrombo embolus in your leg and possibly
getting a pulmonary embolus, which can be deadly. That sounds pretty
GREEN: But if I tell you, you started off with a risk of 1 in 1,000,
and six times that is 6 in 1,000.
TIRRELL: So, what do I do with that? It turns out a lot of the
things I should be doing anyway, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising,
not smoking and taking walking breaks on long car and plane rides.
I also received information about diseases I don`t have myself but
that I could pass on to my children, known as carrier testing. This is a
service provided by popular consumer genetics company 23 and Me as well.
The last part of my Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) report showed my
pharmacogenomic profile. That shows what my genes suggest about how I may
respond to different drugs. Many people think this is one of the nearest-
term applications of sequencing for healthy people.
My results probably won`t change my life drastically anytime soon.
And at almost $3,000, it`s probably not something most people would
consider doing. But with my genome on my iPad, I can explore all sorts of
things about my DNA — a tool that will only get better as we discover more
about our genes.
MATHISEN: And Meg Tirrell joins us right now.
First, Meg, we`re glad you`re OK. We`re glad everything is pretty
good there and that you got that profile.
I`m not sure I would have wanted to know. But I can well bet that
health insurers would love to know or life insurers would love to know
about one`s genome and what susceptibilities they may have. What are the
TIRRELL: Yes, that`s a really great point, Tyler. So, people will
be worried about privacy here and whether this information could be used by
insurers, for example, to maybe raise your rates. If they know you have a
higher risk of something like a cancer later in life or an Alzheimer`s
disease or something like that.
So there are federal protections in place for certain things.
Employers and health insurers cannot use genetic information to
discriminate, under an act called the Genetic Information Non-
Discrimination Act, or GINA. But that doesn`t cover everything. As you
mentioned, life insurance, that is not covered by federal protections.
And so, while it`s not being used yet, there`s nothing in place to
say that they couldn`t potentially use that in the future to make you pay a
higher rate for life insurance if you do have some kind of genetic
predisposition to something.
EPPERSON: So, $3,000 seems like a hefty price tag for a lot of
people. But do you think that one day this may become a routine part of
TIRRELL: Right now, it`s pretty controversial, but people do think
as we learn more about genetics and things become more useful, that it
probably will become a lot more frequently used, if not more routine, a lot
MATHISEN: All right, Meg, thank you very much. And that was a
wonderful series. We appreciate it — Meg Tirrell.
TIRRELL: Thank you.
EPPERSON: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sharon
Epperson. Thanks for watching.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great weekend, everybody.
We`ll see you Monday.