Transcript: Nightly Business Report- December 15, 2015

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

for now. Stocks rally for a second day in a row as investors and the world
await tomorrow`s big decision from the Federal Reserve.

Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) tumble after the manufacturing behemoth lowers its
earnings forecast, blaming the slowing global economy.

MATHISEN: A dangerous epidemic — the new problem that`s plaguing the
American workplace.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday,
December 15th.

EPPERSON: Good evening, everyone. I`m Sharon Epperson, in tonight
for Sue Herera.

MATHISEN: And welcome. I`m Tyler Mathisen.

Stocks rally one day before the Federal Reserve is likely to make an
historic decision, an exit its era of zero percent interest rates. The
two-day Federal Reserve meeting began today, a day that saw broad-based
stock market gains and a rise in oil prices.

That as you might expect helped lift the energy sector. By the close,
the Dow Jones industrials were up 156 points to 17,524. The NASDAQ added
43. And the S&P 500 was up 21.

Bob Pisani has more on today`s gains ahead of tomorrow`s big meeting.


positive day, though, they came off their highs towards the close. Now, a
big help was that the two biggest problem sectors, oil and high-yield
bonds, both behaved themselves today. It also helps we`re entering a
seasonably strong period of the year and that this is the time of the month
when tax-selling, selling your losers for the year for tax purposes
generally abates.

There`s a problem though — it`s the Fed. Most traders accept that
the Fed really wants to start raising rates. That`s not so much a problem.
The issue is, how fast will they raise those rates? Most expect the Fed to
say they`ll raise rates very, very slowly. Now, the concern is that the
Fed`s chair, Janet Yellen, may inadvertently or not adopt a more hawkish
tone, that is she may imply that they`ll raise rates more in 2016 than
traders are expecting. That could trigger a wave of concern which means
traders might sell stocks quickly. You can see a lot is riding on what the
Fed is going to do and on their tone.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock


EPPERSON: Our guest tonight says the equity market is set up for what
will be a rip-your-face-off rally that will surprise a lot of people. He`s
Jeff Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James.

And, Jeff, you are saying and your models are saying what a lot of
market watchers aren`t saying. Why do you think we`re going to see this
rally and over what period of time?

JEFF SAUT, RAYMOND JAMES: Well, first of all, I think the markets
were massive live oversold. They were as far below their 50-day moving
average — as oversold as they`ve been in the past three years. And,
secondly, you`re into this option expiration that everybody`s worried
about. This trillion 1.2 option expiration.

And, historically, December option expirations have been positive for
stocks. The VIX or volatility index is in backwardization. I mean, you`re
paying more for near term protection than you are for longer downside

And the last reason is, you`ve entered the Santa Claus rally period
and I`ve learned hard over the past 45 years, it`s tough to put stocks down
in the ebullient month of December.

MATHISEN: Your model pretty much called the August bottom also a turn
there in October, as I`m recalling here. So, history is on your side.

But an awful lot of the other commentators aren`t. They see much more
modest returns heading into the end of the year and into 2016. How do you
counter them?

SAUT: Well, there`s a high/short position in the equity markets.
Everybody`s bearish. I mean, there`s a ton of money on the sidelines.
Money managers are underperforming. If there is a big rally here, they`re
going to have to buy and participate because they have at year end not only
performance risk, they have bonus risk and ultimately they have job risk.
So, if the market vaults here to the upside — which is what I think is
going to happen — you`re going to have a lot of people climb onboard, at
least on the professional side of the equation.

EPPERSON: So, you`ve been talking about money managers. But what
about individual investors, what should they be doing right now with their

SAUT: They should be looking in my view at mid stream master limited
partnerships. Not the up-streams that have price sensitivity to crude oil
and nat gas. But the mid-streams that are basically tool takers with the
pipes and the storage. They have decent yields. You get the first time in
years to buy some of the big-cap quality mid-stream players.

And I think if you bought those and went into a coma for two years, I
think you make a lot of money.

EPPERSON: All right. Good advice there from Jeff Saut with Raymond
James — thank you.

MATHISEN: Well, market experts expect the Central Bank to hike
interest rates. As many as three more times next year, this according to
the latest CNBC Fed survey of leading economists and market strategist. As
a result, most respondents believe that`s bad for stocks, for housing, for
the economy and they have raised the probability — really just the
possibility of a recession in 2016.

EPPERSON: Now, when the Federal Reserve makes history by hiking
interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, that`s what everyone
is expecting, what might happen to stocks? Not just tomorrow but in the
weeks and months ahead?

Dominic Chu takes a look at what investors can expect.


important reasons why the Fed is looking to change its ultra-low interest
policy, a policy that`s been in place since the end of 2008, near the
depths of the financial crisis.

LISA SHALETT: Our growth in the U.S. economy has been running pretty
consistently over the last six years at about 2 percent to 2.5 percent.
Yes, that`s below average, but it`s pretty good.

You add in a little bit of inflation, which we have had a little bit,
and that tells you that long-term interest rates should theoretically be at
about 3 percent and we`ve been at 0 percent.

CHU: While it`s not a sure thing the Fed will do so, investors are
preparing for what to do, assuming that a rate hike happens.

Some are looking towards history for close as to how the market will
perform in a wake of a Fed interest rate hike. There had been four times
since 1990 when the Fed has raised rates after a period of lowering them.
And according to market data and analytics firm Kensho, in each of those
four times, the overall stock market averaged a negative return one trading
month after that rate hike took place. The large-cap S&P 500 was lower by
an average of around 2.5 percent and posted a negative return each of those
four times.

But that doesn`t have all the experts worried. Some are looking
beyond the rate hike and what could be shorter term volatility and they
could see longer gains ahead.

STEVE AUTH, FEDERATED: What happened this year is the market`s gotten
very narrow. We`ve had decent earnings growth outside of certain sectors
and that`s what`s — the averages in the U.S. So, a lot of strong U.S.
companies across many sectors are trading at low double-digit P/Es. We
think there could be a pretty healthy multiple expansion, along with some
healthy earnings growth in the U.S. next year.

CHU: If the Fed does end up raising interest rates, some sectors
could be bigger beneficiaries than others.

SHALETT: We think if we make any changes in 2016, it is probably
going to become more defensive, add bonds back to the portfolio,
potentially add some bond proxies towards the end of 2016, like utilities,
like real estate investment trusts, like consumer staples. We think that
there are fundamental changes going on in the consumer backdrop that may
really require us to rethink consumer discretionary in 2016.

CHU: One of the big concerns is that we have never had a rate hike
after a prolonged period of ultra low interest rates. So, history may be a
guide, but many investors are still moving ahead with an abundance of



MATHISEN: The Federal Reserve`s decision on rates won`t just be felt
here but also outside the U.S. And no place is that more true than in the
emerging markets.

Seema Mody explains.


interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve and the strengthening dollar
could spell trouble for the emerging world. Economies that are most
vulnerable — according to TD Securities — Brazil and Turkey, given that
they borrow heavily internationally to finance their economies.

Rising interest rates means the cost to finance these loans will also
rise as their currencies appreciate relative to the U.S. dollar. Countries
such as India with huge corporate debt exposure to the U.S. dollar will
also be adversely affected by a stronger green buck as many companies there
have taken loans in dollars. A rate hike would make that debt financing
more expensive, which analysts say could spur a credit crisis.

The third group includes countries that have fixed their exchange
rates to the dollar, China being the key example. If Fed Chair Janet
Yellen indicates rates are on the rise, the dollar could surge which would
mean the Chinese central bank, which is already spending a lot of money
trying to stimulate its economy would have to invest more to maintain its
exchange rate. Hence, why last week, the Central Bank indicated its
attention to de-peg the yuan from the dollar and measure its currency
against a basket.

Bottom line — the negative implications of a rate hike on emerging
market economies have not gone away.



EPPERSON: The Federal Reserve has been a popular issue on the
campaign trail. Rand Paul has repeatedly said he wants to audit the
Central Bank, while Donald Trump has accused Fed Chief Janet Yellen of
keeping rates low to help President Obama. Given all the criticism, it`s
getting harder for the Fed to keep its non-political reputation intact.

Eamon Javers is in Washington with more on the politicization of the

And, Eamon, leaving Hillary Clinton aside for a moment — if any of
the other candidates are elected next fall, how would the relationship
between the White House and the Fed change in 2017?

it`s got to be different next year if one of these Republicans is elected
president in 2016. If you look at, you know, in the past, we`ve seen
presidents have tensions and problems with Fed chiefs. There`s no doubt
about that.

But what strikes me as new this year is the degree to which we see
these candidates out on the campaign trail campaigning against the Fed
overtly, and that is a rallying cry for a lot of voters in this country
post-2008 who look at the Fed as this sort of mysterious and complicated
thing in Washington that`s not really Democratic, it`s maybe controlled by
the bankers, it`s kind of confusing and has a lot of power.

All of that makes it sort of an easy poster boy for everything that`s
wrong with the relationship between Washington and Wall Street for a lot of

MATHISEN: What sorts of structural changes would some of these
candidates like to see visited upon the Fed?

JAVERS: Well, one is that you`ve seen Marco Rubio out there calling
for an end to the Fed`s dual mandate. Remember, the Fed has to keep two
things in mind as it does its job. It`s worried about inflation, but it`s
also worried about job creation.

Marco Rubio has suggested that, you know what, maybe it should really
just be worried about inflation and kind of stick to that knitting. That
would be a sea change for the Fed. It is a question of whether or not he
could get that done if he were elected president.

But you`ve seen other comments from some of the others as well.
Donald Trump has said that he`s benefited over his career from the Fed.
He`s certainly benefited from low interest rates as a developer. But he
says he suspects that Janet Yellen is a political person and that if they
begin raising rates, something bad might happen to the U.S. economy.

EPPERSON: All right. Eamon, thank you so much.

JAVERS: You bet.

MATHISEN: And today, we got some new data on the economy, including
inflation numbers which Eamon just talked about. It`s important, of
course, to the Fed.

Part of that dual mandate as he just mentioned. Consumer prices,
unchanged in November as declines in energy and food held down overall
costs. The Central Bank would like to see inflation around 2 percent.

EPPERSON: Still ahead: an epidemic that is ravaging communities is
now being felt in the American workplace.


MATHISEN: In Washington, lawmakers continue to work on a $1.1
trillion bill that would keep the government funded. But there`s one issue
that`s holding things up and that is energy policy.

Republicans advocate an end to the oil export ban. Democrats say that
if the ban is lifted, it has to be paired with clean energy initiatives.

EPPERSON: A warning from a Dow component. 3M (NYSE:MMM) is cutting
its forecast for earnings and sales growth, citing slowing demand across
the globe. That pressured shares at 3M (NYSE:MMM), falling 6 percent,
making it the performing stock on the blue chip index today.

Deirdre Bosa has more on 3M`s sudden warning.


(NYSE:MMM) worries about global growth, the broader market worries, too.
So when the manufacturing giant blamed a sluggish global economy for its
second guidance cut in as many months, the sell-off was swift.

DEANE DRAY, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: It is a surprise. A lot of
investors gravitate to 3M (NYSE:MMM) thinking that this is a safety stock.
And we`ve always said that 3M (NYSE:MMM) has vulnerability at negative
inflection points in the economy just like what we`re seeing here.

BOSA: 3M (NYSE:MMM) is considered a barometer of global economic
health, thanks to its huge overseas footprint and diverse business lines,
which make everything from Scotch Tape to Post-Its to sandpaper.

The company is now expecting to clear growth of 1 percent. That`s
down from its previous guidance of 1.5 percent to 2 percent. And few
months ago, it trimmed 1,500 jobs in a global restructuring effort.

3M (NYSE:MMM), though, isn`t sounding all the alarm bells. It expects
slow growth to continue in the New Year but not a deep global slump.

DRAY: We`re not seeing anything that would suggest that the economy
is — and for 3M`s businesses — are deteriorating to the speed at which
you would say it`s a recession. It still feels like it is going to it be a
low-growth/no-growth type of environment.

BOSA: The strengthening dollar, however, is another issue that may
worsen and not just for 3M (NYSE:MMM). If the Fed raises rates tomorrow,
the green buck is expected to continue to climb, making products more
expensive for consumers than other currencies and hurting international
demand for 3M (NYSE:MMM) and other large U.S. companies with overseas

DRAY: FX pressure has been part of the relentless pressure on all
these global companies. So, for 3M (NYSE:MMM), 65 percent of their
earnings are outside the U.S. FX pressures was a big impact on 2015 and we
think this carries into 2016.

BOSA: As several other U.S. industrial companies get set to give
their outlooks this week, the market will listen carefully to see if they
follow 3M (NYSE:MMM) with more guidance cuts.



MATHISEN: Another big stock mover today was Valeant. The embattled
drug maker struck a long-term 20-year drug distribution deal with
Walgreens. That sent shares up 16 percent while Walgreens Boots Alliance
fell just fractionally.

Meg Tirrell has more on the deal and Valeant`s reasons for doing it.


announced today, Valeant will offer a 10 percent discount to Walgreens on
its dermatology and eye drugs. It will also offer more than 30 branded
medicines at generic likes prices, at discounts of 5 percent to 95 percent.

Valeant CEO Mike Pearson today saying that while he estimates these
discounts will save the health care system up to $600 million a year, it
will drive growth at Valeant.

MICHAEL PEARSON, VALEANT CEO: We are bypassing the typical
pharmaceutical distribution system which allows us to save substantial
amount of money in terms of system costs. So, rather than selling to
middlemen, what we`ll do is directly deliver to Walgreens.

TIRRELL: The deal comes six weeks after Valeant cut ties with the
controversial Philidor Specialty Pharmacy after serious allegations about
its business practices.

Valeant stock had lost also almost 60 percent in three months leading
up to today, after a short seller alleged it was using the specialty
pharmacy to commit accounting fraud, and the company faces several federal
investigations into its drug pricing practices. Valeant says it believes
its accounting for Philidor was appropriate, but it cut ties quickly
because of investor reaction.

PEARSON: There`s been no proof that these allegations are true. I
was unaware of any of the allegations going on.

TIRRELL: Analysts say the deal with Walgreens is an unexpected vote
of confidence. In its 20-year link may signal Valeant`s need for
credibility. The agreement extends Walgreens more than 8,000 U.S. retail
pharmacies. We`ll hear more tomorrow as Valeant hosts an investor day in



EPPERSON: A short seller flips his position on Lumber Liquidator.
And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”

Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson has said that the flooring retailer
would see its stock price go to zero. But now, he`s changed his mind,
saying he received information indicating the company`s management wasn`t
aware of potential dangerous chemicals in its floorings. The shares were
nearly 25 percent higher to $17.53.

Shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) spiking on an unconfirmed
report from “Street Insider.” According to the outlet, the company is
exploring a sale following an approach from a possible buyer. Shares were
almost 6 percent to $156.30.

And Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has decided not to split itself up. The
chipmaker has been under pressure from an activist investor and has said
that it would review the option of separating its chip and licensing
business, but concluded that the break-up wouldn`t be beneficial. Shares
were up 2.5 percent to $48.02.

MATHISEN: Concerns about iPhone sales continue to pressure shares of
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Yesterday, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) cut its iPhone
sales estimates and today, a key Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) supplier preannounced
a negative sales warning. Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) down nearly 2
percent to $110.49.

Smith & Wesson saw its shares slide following a “New York Times
(NYSE:NYT)” report. A New York City public advocate is asking regulators
to investigate whether the firm had made adequate disclosures in its
financial statements, this according to the newspaper. Shares of Smith &
Wesson tumbled almost 10 percent to $21.42.

And Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) have announced
that they had extended the time period for closing a proposed merger. The
firm said the Justice Department wouldn`t make a decision today on whether
to green-light the deal. That was the deadline so they`ll push the
deadline back to April. Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) fell a fraction to $46.50.
Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) was 1.5 percent higher at $37.10.

EPPERSON: There is a new problem gripping America`s workplace:
prescription painkillers. Employee abuse of these drugs is a growing
problem nationally. And as Dina Gusovsky explains, if the problem isn`t
dealt with, it could become very, very costly.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Maine has been particularly hard hit
by this epidemic.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Opioid use is a serious problem in
my home state of Washington as well.

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: Tennessee rates near the top of
the list for prescription drug abuse.

that`s plaguing this country and now, a new report says prescription
painkiller abuse is affecting the workplace in particular. According to a
survey released by the National Safety Council and Indiana`s attorney
general, 80 percent of Indiana employers have been affected by prescription
drug misuse and abuse.

But it`s not just Indiana.

DEBORAH HERSMAN: This is a national problem and it is really
important for employers to understand that this is an issue they need to
pay attention to and not put their head in the sand.

GUSOVSKY: The president and CEO of the National Safety Council
Deborah Hersman says not dealing with this problem will cost businesses big

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injured workers receiving multiple opioid
painkiller prescriptions have 4.7 times as many days off.

HERSMAN: If an employee is taking a prescription painkiller, their
costs on workers comp go up by four times and 25 percent of all the
prescription costs in workers comp are opioid painkillers. Employers need
to know what medications their employees are taking, particularly if
they`re in safety sensitive jobs. We wouldn`t want our child`s school bus
driver, the pilot of our airplane, or the truck driver on the road beside
us taking drugs that were impairing.

GUSOVSKY: The most recent figures suggest that prescription opioid
abuse costs the United States upwards of $60 billion with almost half of
that attributable to workplace costs like loss of productivity. Lawmakers
and officials say that a comprehensive approach which includes treatment
should be considered for this epidemic that results in about 44 deaths per

And while only half of employers have a written policy of using
prescription drugs at work, according to the survey, nearly two-thirds
think prescription pills like Vicodin and Percocet are more problematic
than illegal drugs.



MATHISEN: Coming up, will new rules for the fast-growing drone
industry dampen interest from both consumers and investors.


MATHISEN: Here`s what to watch tomorrow. If you`ve been living in a
cave, you wouldn`t know the Federal Reserve, it could announce its first
rate hikes since 2006, big meeting tomorrow. On the data front, a read on
real estate, with the housing starts report a measure of industrial
production, and, oh, yes, that Fed meeting, that`s what to watch tomorrow.

New rules for the drone industry starting next week. Owners of
consumer drones will have to begin registering them with the government.

As Josh Lipton reports, there`s concern that all those new rules could
dampen both consumer and investor enthusiasm.


as a defining year for drones, with the category positioned for steady
growth. Unit (NYSE:UNT) sales were forecast to approach $700,000, a jump
of more than 60 percent according to the consumer technology association.

But now that growth is in question. The Federal Aviation
Administration announced new rules this week that will require recreational
drone users to register their flying machines in a national database.
Those who purchase a drone before December 21st must register it by
February 19th of next year. And drones bought after December 21st have to
be registered before the first flight.

Registration will be free for the first 30 days. After that, the fee
is $5.

Lawyers representing the drone industry aren`t pleased with the fee,
but don`t expect these new regulations to impact growth.

MICHAEL DROBAC: I`m confident that the technology is just too
innovative, too powerful to be held back, both on the commercial and
recreational level. The United States has to catch up. And any effort to
promote responsibility, any effort to demonstrate that the industry is
going to take steps to be a partner and responsible use of the technology,
that`s a good thing.

LIPTON: Not everyone is confident. Some venture capitalists in
Silicon Valley question whether the drone industry is a smart investment.

VENKY GANESAN: I think you`re going to see a regulatory framework
that`s going to be much tighter with drones than with other consumer
electronics, and that is absolutely going to have an impact on venture
capital financing in this area.

LIPTON: Investors have been fans of drones, committing nearly $430
million to drone start-ups since last year, according to CV Insights.

And now, the question is whether investors and consumers will be as
enthusiastic about this technology given these new regulations.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.


EPPERSON: Hollywood showed up in force for the premier of the new
“Star Wars” film. Disney (NYSE:DIS) closed down four blocks on Hollywood
Boulevard and screened the film in not one, but three theaters last night.

Our cameras caught up with Disney`s CEO Bob Iger who said he never
could have predict the amount of interest in the film, not just in the U.S.
but worldwide.


BOB IGER, DISNEY CEO: When we bought Lucas film, I knew that there
was global interest in “Star Wars” movies. There hadn`t been a film out in
ten years. It hadn`t really even been released in certain parts of the

So, while we had strong instincts about level of interest and what it
might do, we had no idea and I will say to you in all honesty standing here
tonight, the interest in this film worldwide has exceeded those
expectations by a lot.


EPPERSON: Four more “Star Wars” theme movies are due out by 2020.

MATHISEN: That`s called a franchise.

EPPERSON: That`s right.

MATHISEN: And finally tonight, are you`re traveling this holiday
season? You`ll have lots of company. Holiday travelers will top over 1
million for first time ever. That`s nearly one-third of the U.S.
population who plan to travel at least 20 miles from home, between December
23rd and January 3rd. And according to AAA, it`s the seventh consecutive
year of growth since the 2008 recession, and it triples the number who
traveled during the Thanksgiving weekend. Mercifully, it will be spread
out more days.

EPPERSON: Yes, I`m looking forward to staying put right here.

But anyway, that`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sharon
Epperson. Thanks so much for watching.

MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a
great evening, everybody and we`ll see you back here on Fed Day, tomorrow.

EPPERSON: That`s right.


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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