Transcript: Nightly Business Report – January 15, 2016

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

street. The major averages fall sharply and one prominent money manager says stocks will slide                                                                             even more.

dropping and economic data disappointing, how nervous should individual
investors be?

MATHISEN: Where to hide. Some surprising places to find safety in a
treacherous market.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, January

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

The dark clouds over Wall Street turned ominous. A wave of selling sent
the Dow cratering 500 points this afternoon, and fear and anxiety over the
economy and oil prices gripped the market. All of the major averages
plummeting 2 percent or more.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day lower by 390 points to
15,988. It had been down as much as 530 points at midday. The NASDAQ
tumbling 126, the S&P 500 lost 41. For the week, the indexes saw declines
of at least 2 percent. And just two weeks into the New Year the numbers
are ugly, with losses of 8 percent or more.

As for oil, which has been at the center of the sell-off, prices centered
below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2003.

Dominic Chu has more on this nervous market.


was three straight weeks of losses now with today`s price action, and it
now puts firmly the Dow, the S&P, the NASDAQ into that correction territory
that is at least a 10 percent move lower from their most recent highs. A
lot of bank and related earnings came out this morning.

What`s interesting about today`s trade is the energy side of things.
Financials actually performed worse than energy. Remember, energy and oil
stocks have been a huge focus over the past few months given the sharp
declines in oil. So, a rocky week overall that could get more volatile
next week.

First of all, you`ve got a big economic calendar coming out. You`ve got
big reports coming out from the likes of the Chicago purchasing managers
index, also existing home sales, new housing starts. That sort of thing
could help propel the market one way or the other.

Remember, inflation data, the consumer price index also out next week as
well. And then you`ve got a lot of earnings reports, a very heavy week for
earnings. You`ve got Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC),
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) all reporting their results. And then Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX), one of the top reporting stocks of last year, also coming
out with earnings again next week.

So, again, as you take a look at the rocky week that was, wait and see what
happens. We could have a lot of catalysts on the docket next week.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu here at the New York Stock


MATHISEN: Many investment professionals say there is even more selling
likely to come. Larry Fink, the head of Blackrock, that`s the world`s
largest asset manager, says stocks could fall another 10 percent from
today`s levels.

And that`s not the only thing he sees.


this in the first couple weeks of the year really puts — in my mind puts a
negativity across the economy, a negativity to every CEO looking at his or
her stock price, and negativity related to business and the forward
thinking about businesses.

I actually believe you`re going to start seeing more layoffs in the middle
part of the first quarter, definitely the second quarter because, if we
don`t see some swift rebound — and as I said, I think we`re going to have
probably more pain before we have that lift. But I do believe by the
second half of the year, the market`s going to be higher.


MATHISEN: Mr. Fink also said oil prices could test $25 a barrel.

HERERA: So let`s turn now to Mohamed El-Erian to talk more about what`s
happening in the markets and the global economy. He`s chief economic
adviser with Allianz.

Good to see you, Mohamed. Welcome back to the program.


HERERA: Could you put in perspective what happened today and what it means
for the individual investors?

EL-ERIAN: So, think of a car going down a road and the driver had assumed
the road would be very smooth. And suddenly, there are many, many bumps
because the road is no longer being resurfaced.

And that`s what`s happening. Markets have been ignoring lots of economic,
political and geopolitical issues on the assumption that the Fed would
always have our back covered. Now, that assumption is being tested, and
the result is higher volatility. The higher the volatility goes, the more
selling you get. So, we`ve entered a new regime if you like of a lot more
volatility up and down and a buy sort of downside.

MATHISEN: A lot of the focus this week, so far this year, Mohamed, as you
know, has been on China and the possibility of a real sort of financial
meltdown in that country. How do you handicap that probability and what
would it mean if there is a full-fledged financial crisis that emanates
from that country?

EL-ERIAN: So, China faces the same issue we faced 10 years ago. They
pursued a social objective, that of spreading ownership of stocks across
society so that people would have a stake in the drive to a market economy,
and like us with housing, they went too far.

So, China`s going to go through a correction, a financial correction, but
it`s not going to be as painful on the economic front as ours did with
housing. Why? Because they still have quite a few policy levers.

So, expect the financial situation in China to continue to be worrisome.
But I`m not a buyer of a hard landing of the economy. I think that will
soft-land their economy at about 5 percent growth.

HERERA: What about our economy? There was some talk today out there about
slipping back into recession, and there was a lot of talk that the Fed
might not be able to move on interest rates. How do you feel about those
two issues?

EL-ERIAN: I was asked by you, in fact, a few months ago, what was the
probability of a recession in 2017? And I said 30 percent. Which means 70
percent we can avoid it, because this economy is still quite resilient.

We`re still creating a ton of jobs. We`ve created almost 6 million jobs in
the last two months — in the last two years alone. We have a lot of cash
on the sideline waiting to be engaged productively, and we have lots of
exciting stuff happening on the technology front. So, the probability of a
recession is there, but it`s not the dominant one.

For the Fed, I don`t think they`re going to hike four times, which is what
they were telling us they were going to do. Maybe we`ll get a couple of
hikes. But don`t expect the Fed to change course. Don`t expect them to go
to a QE5. I think the Fed is going to try and get away with one or two
more hikes because it`s looking to normalize its policy.

HERERA: Mohamed, we`ll leave it there. Thank you so much. Mohamed El-
Erian with Allianz.

EL-ERIAN: Thank you.

And we should mention Mohamed has a book coming out a little bit later this
month called “The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and
Avoiding the Next Collapse.”

MATHISEN: Sounds like a good idea.

HERERA: Mm-hmm.

MATHISEN: So how concerned should investors be when they see such steep
declines? We have two Wall Street veterans here.

Kenny Polcari — don`t you love when you get called a veteran. That says
you`re an old guy. He works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
He`s director of O`Neil Securities.

And Michael Farr, president of his own money management firm, Farr, Miller
and Washington.

Gentlemen, good to see you.

Kenny, let me ask you what it was like today from the starting gate through
the end of the close.

clearly from this morning, right? You could tell by the way the futures
were acting, what was happening in Europe, what had happened in China, and
you could feel the heaviness right away.

Although I have to tell you, like the last couple days, it wasn`t this
panicky heaviness, and I think that`s very — that needs to be said, right?
Investors need to understand, this wasn`t like throw the kitchen sink out,
capitulation, I`ve had it kind of a day, right? It was heavy —

MATHISEN: So, it doesn`t feel like a bottom to you then?

POLCARI: It doesn`t yet feel like a bottom to me. I agree with Larry, I`m
not sure we`re going down 10 percent but I think we would test the 2013
lows, which would be — 2013 highs, which would be like 1,820. So, down
another 50 points on the S&P, it would be another 3 percent or so.

HERERA: But, Michael, if you`re a long-term individual investor, you know,
it certainly is disturbing to see days like this, but what should you do
and what are you telling your clients to do?

are never pleasant, and it certainly wasn`t pleasant watching the markets
go lower. It hasn`t been so far in 2016.

But when you think that seven years ago, the Dow was trading just below
7,000, we had an 11,000-point rally. We`ve given up a couple of thousand
points — unpleasant but shouldn`t be all that unexpected.

So, it`s not a time for panic certainly. This is a time when you look at
what you own and make sure you`re comfortable with it and you think about
your investment discipline.

You don`t want to be Pollyannaish. You don`t want to be panicky. I think
prudence is — I came up with three Ps. Come up with prudence as an
approach and really think about what`s in your portfolio and if you have
years to invest, which you likely should if you have money tied up in the
long-term investments, you should be fine.

So, stick to your knitting and think, Warren Buffett`s not panicking.
Warren Buffett`s thinking about what he`s going it buy. He`s not thinking
about what he`s going to sell.

MATHISEN: You know, watching the market from poolside in Naples, Florida,
is a lot nicer, isn`t it, than watching the market from the pits down

As we go into a long weekend, Kenny, I`m not going to ask you what you
think is going to happen on Monday, but it is a time that people typically
don`t want to go in long on a holiday weekend.

POLCARI: Which is exactly why even more so as the day kind of wore on you
felt that heaviness. Why would you want to go in? Why would you step in
front of this train at the moment knowing that Monday we`re closed, the
rest of the world is open, a lot it happen in China, a lot can happen in
Europe, and so therefore, it will just create some anxiety, right? As it
is, I think next week as Dominic pointed out there`s a lot of macro data on
the calendar, a lot of earnings on the calendar, a lot of reasons why you
might get some more volatility.

HERERA: Right. Now, Michael, if indeed we see a sell-off in other parts
of the globe on Monday, we`re not trading here Monday, but the rest of the
world will be reacting to what happens today. Would you step in? Would
you buy some of your longer-term holdings, add to those positions?

FARR: I would. I did that — I did that in some accounts today where we
had some cash. We have some triggers in other accounts where we have large
cash positions that actually if the market does fall further we will put
money in and begin to step in.

I think it`s really important to remember that this — and I`d like to know
what Kenny thinks too because this doesn`t feel like a bubble bursting to
me. It doesn`t have those touchstones.

There`s a lot of liquidity in the market as Mohamed El-Erian said. The
banking system, this is not 2008. Banking system is sound, well-reserved,
liquid, passing stress tests.

So, our markets are adjusting to a lot. They`re adjusting to a world
without the fed. We`re adjusting to a slower-growing China. We`re
adjusting to a world awash in oil.

And any one of those three things would be a big deal for the market.
We`re taking all three of them on at once. But this doesn`t feel like a
bubble burst to me.

MATHISEN: Final quick thought, Kenny.

POLCARI: It doesn`t. But, you know, Michael, to your point, net-net on
today, I was a buyer on balance for my customers. And my customers are not
retail. I`m not a retail broker, right? I`m not managing money. My
customers are asset managers.

But net-net, I was a buyer on balance. Not an aggressive one. I was a
patient buyer. If prices came, I was happy to buy them as the customers
were happy to buy them.

MATHISEN: We have to leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Kenny —

FARR: That`s what we`re doing.

MATHISEN: — and Michael, appreciate it.

POLCARI: Thanks.

HERERA: Meantime, in a phone interview today, respected investor Leon
Cooperman of Omega advisers told investors to hang tough and that this rout
doesn`t have the signs of a classic bear market.


LEON COOPERMAN, OMEGA ADVISORS CEO: I guess what I`d say is I`m not
selling, I`m holding on because I do believe it`s a growth scare rather
than a bear market. You look at retail sales and overall economic
activity, I think it`s a soft patch rather than a recession.


MATHISEN: But talk of recession is picking up steam after a batch of
economic data were released today. Steve Liesman here to help us make
sense of it all.

Steve, how lousy was the data?

type data, Tyler. Here`s the story I think coming in this morning with all
the data on the table. There was a sense, a hope out there among some
bulls. Data could at least help maybe stymie the sell-off a little bit if
the consumer, for example, in December came a bit stronger than expected.
In fact, it came in a little bit weaker than expected. What happened is
you had retail sales falling 0.1 percent.

MATHISEN: Is that mostly gasoline?

LIESMAN: A lot of it`s gasoline and even more of it is prices. By the
time the government inflation adjusts its data it`s probably going to show
consumer growth. The real story is the consumer has come down from being
very strong, at 3 percent, to more like 2 percent. And the trouble is it
offsets some other weaknesses in the economy.

HERERA: So, how real — you know, we heard this recession talk from
professional traders and the like out there. How real is the risk of
recession? Do you have a gauge? I know you talked —

LIESMAN: We do. We did a survey today and we asked about 30 market
participants out there, some of them economists. What the probability of
recession was in the next 12 months. You can see it`s up. It`s about 28

Now, before people panic, understand that in general, there`s a 1 in 5
chance of recession in a given year. So, you`re 8 percentage points higher
than that, which is — which is higher. And we`ve had in our survey in the
past, higher numbers and they have not resulted in recession. It`s higher.

You know, Mohamed El-Erian just told you 30 percent.

HERERA: That`s right.

LIESMAN: So, it`s around that area in the next 12 months. It`s not off
the charts.

In general, the economists think this sell-off is disconnected from the
economic fundamentals. Unless you draw this line from less Federal Reserve
liquidity directly to this market sell-off, if there is not money to keep
it up and that that results in weaker economic data.

MATHISEN: Mohamed El-Erian said the Fed doesn`t seem to have the market`s
back the way it did. What does this sell-off imply or the economic wobbles
around the globe imply for Fed policy?

LIESMAN: You know, I think it`s very interesting. New York Fed President
Bill Dudley spoke today. He did not make comments about the market. He
did not suggest that this market volatility had made him change his
forecast for Federal Reserve rate hikes.

I think Mohamed may be exactly right that there`s a new dawn here, a new
era where the Fed is disconnecting itself a bit from the markets and saying
you know what, we have a mission to do, which is to normalize rates. And
that is perhaps somewhat disconnected from where the market`s going to go
here. Although not disconnected from the economy.

If we get really bad economic data, the Fed will either not raise or
reverse course but not from the market.

MATHISEN: Steve, thanks very much. Thanks for staying around tonight.

And still ahead, the rare move Walmart is making to take on the
competition. But first, a look at the 30 Dow components and how they did
today. You can see a lot of red.


HERERA: Walmart is closing hundreds of stores. The world`s largest
retailer and largest private employer has decided to shut hundreds of
locations as it tries to compete in an ever challenging retail environment.


HERERA: `Tis the season for store closures. Walmart joins Kmart, Finish
Line, Macy`s, and others, announcing it will close 269 stores globally, 154
in the U.S., the highest number of closures ever for the retailer.

In October, Walmart outlined ways that it planned to make changes to be a
better retailer in the long run. The U.S. store closures are a mix of the
retailer`s store types from super centers to Sam`s Clubs, including all of
its small express stores, just five years after piloting that concept.

The rest of the closures are in Latin America. More than half in Brazil, a
country that`s proven challenging for the retailer.

Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell says closing stores is a good move in
the long term because it will improve profitability and comparable sales.
But he does believe it will be more difficult for Walmart to grow sales at
the rate it forecast in October. The store closures will impact 16,000
workers in total, 10,000 in the U.S. employees will be given opportunities
at nearby stores or receive 60 days of pay.

Walmart also says it`s committed to disciplined growth. And beginning
February 1st, it will open several hundred stores in the U.S. and abroad
but will be careful about where.


HERERA: In trading today, shares of Walmart fell more than 1 1/2 percent.

MATHISEN: Citigroup (NYSE:C) topped earnings and revenue expectations, and
that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Despite the beat, though, shares of the bank did fall sharply. Many
analysts say the firm`s revenue gains came from a handful of one-time items
and called the results soft. Shares off more than 6 percent on this down
day to $42.47.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), meantime, reported a dip in quarterly profit. The
biggest residential mortgage lender in the U.S. is also a major creditor to
the energy industry. And this report today showed that the banks set aside
more money to cover bad oil loans. Shares fell more than 3 1/2 percent to

General Electric (NYSE:GE) is going to sell its appliance business to a
Chinese firm, the Haier Group, for about $5.5 billion. The agreement comes
weeks after a deal to sell the business to Electrolux fell apart. Shares
of G.E. dropped nearly 2 percent to $28.49.

HERERA: Merck (NYSE:MRK) will pay $830 million to settle a lawsuit about
his former blockbuster painkiller Vioxx. The class action accused Merck
(NYSE:MRK) of making false and misleading statement about the safety of the
drugs. Vioxx was pulled from the shelves in 2004 after studies showed the
drug increased the chance of heart attacks and strokes. Shares of Merck
(NYSE:MRK) were off more than a percent today to $51.14.

The first case of bird flu since June has been reported and it`s a
different strain from the one that caused a big outbreak last year. The
Department of Agriculture says a commercial turkey flock in Indiana has
been infected.

As a result shares of the poultry producers were lower. Sanderson Farms
(NASDAQ:SAFM) was one of the hardest hit, down nearly 8 percent to $74.66.
Pilgrims Pride lost 5 percent. Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) off about 1 1/2
percent. But the egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) was up 5
percent on the notion that egg prices could rise if there`s a new outbreak,
and that company has no exposure in the Midwest.

MATHISEN: Growth stocks are having a particularly tough time in this
market. Many were called the darlings of 2015. But it is a different
story this year, with some of those stocks taking a turn for the worse.

Julia Boorstin reports on the quite steep declines in some widely owned
growth stocks.


(NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), now called Alphabet, helped drive markets higher last year.
Now, they`re underperforming the major indices. So far in 2016, Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) shares are down about 16 percent. With Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet all down nearly 10
percent, all four underperforming the major indices.

MARK MAHANEY, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: The setup to all of this was the
dramatic outperformance in these four stocks, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) last year.
Why did that happen? In part because those four stocks underperformed in
2014. So there`s almost like a cycle to them.

BOORSTIN: Last year, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) were
the two best-performing stocks in the S&P 500. The only two stocks in the
index to more than double. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 134 percent.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) 118 percent last year.

And Mahaney says there`s still a bull case for these stocks.

MAHANEY: If the market 10e8d off on China, oil, and terrorism — I mean,
none of those three are really material issues. Long-term sustainable
material issues for these particular — for the FANG names.

BOORSTIN: Mahaney warns these fang stocks tend to be volatile but he still
has a buy rating on all four companies as we head into earnings, starting
with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) reporting after the bell Tuesday.

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


HERERA: So if even the hot stocks of last year are hurting, where can you
hide your money in this market? We`ll have that plus our market monitor

But first, here`s a look at all 500 members of the S&P. Most were lower


HERERA: In this type of market, many investors want to get defensive to
protect their money. So where can you hide?

Well, Mike Santoli has some ideas.


sell-off f has sent investors grasping for the typical safe havens of
treasury bonds, cash, and gold. If there are other investments that can
provide some shelter of stocks remain under pressure while still offering
an attractive return in the event the market recovers. High-grade
corporate bonds have come down modestly in price and are relatively secure.
The iShares iBoxx investment grade corporate bond exchange traded funds now
yield about 3.5 percent for example.

Some strategists and investment advisers also recommend seek out closed end
bond funds which often trade at steep discounts to the value of their
portfolios. Individuals are now also able to invest in big corporate
loans, which are paid back before a company`s bonds if trouble strikes.
The power shares senior loan portfolio ETF yields more than 4 percent.

Now, for those wishing to participate in a potential stock market rebound
while taking a bit less risk, shares of the most financially solid blue
chips have become a good deal cheaper. One fund that holds only high
quality companies based on several financial criteria is iShares USA
quality factor ETF.

Finally, a couple of dozen stocks have higher dividend yields than their
bonds issued by the same company. Among the big companies in this category
are Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) Systems, Walmart, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), and
Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR). While no guarantee of safety, those dividends
should provide at least some protection against further market storms.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, this is Mike Santoli at the New York Stock


MATHISEN: Our market monitor on this wild Friday is Mark Spellman,
portfolio manager at the Alpine Funds. He says to shore up your defense,
look for those reliable dividend payers.

Last time he was here in August of 2015, for the last sharp sell-off, he
picked Discover Financial, off 11 percent. CBS (NYSE:CBS), down 8 percent
since then. And oops, Kinder Morgan, the pipeline company, off 61 percent.

I guess we can forgive you there. I`m not sure that many people saw the
magnitude of the decline in the energy sector and in that one in
particular. I believe they cut their dividend too.

position in early December. They raised some money. We thought that was
going to go toward funding their expansion plans in 2016 and for shoring up
the dividend.

Unfortunately, they decided to make an acquisition, put more debt on the
balance sheet. We exited that position. Subsequent to that, they cut the
dividend by 75 percent. And the shares have decreased another 40 percent.

So, it`s not one of our shining moments, Tyler, but in retrospect it was
certainly the right thing to do for our shareholders.

HERERA: I think there were a lot of companies in that trade, Mark.

Let`s talk about some of the stocks you that want to highlight tonight.


HERERA: AT&T (NYSE:T). It`s a defensive play. It also has a dividend.

SPELLMAN: Yes. Big boring AT&T (NYSE:T). I think the time has come.
It`s a slow growth story. They`re coming off an acquisition binge last
year, DirecTV, some wireless properties in Mexico.

2016 is going to be concentrating on the synergies, increasing revenue, and
all three of those kind of acquisitions. Five-point-six percent dividend
yield is more than 2 1/2 times the treasury, the ten-year treasury. We
think it`s an extremely attractive yield. We think it`s a safe yield. And
we like the stock right here.

MATHISEN: Second choice is CVS (NYSE:CVS) Health — obviously, exposed to
retail and also the medical payments business.

SPELLMAN: Yes. Not the typical coats and shoes kind of retail for sure.


SPELLMAN: The health care system has usually been immune to massive down
drafts. We like the fact that this company should grow at least 10

This is a good yield. However, they just raised the dividend 23 percent
last year. It`s selling at about 16 times earnings. They just made a very
interesting and we think a smart acquisition.

They purchased from Target (NYSE:TGT), all the in-store pharmacy stores
from Target (NYSE:TGT). We think that`s going to be accretive. It gives
them a good tailwind going into this year.

We think it`s a reasonably priced stock with a good yield, very safe,
generates lots of free cash flow. And we think that yield has the
potential of actually going up, not down.

HERERA: And finally, Ford. And you say it carries a little bit more risk
than your other picks because of its exposure to the global market, which I
understand. On the other hand, don`t they get the windfall from the drop
in commodity prices?

SPELLMAN: That`s exactly why we like it here. It`s going to generate a
lot more stomach acid for investments than either CVS (NYSE:CVS) or AT&T
(NYSE:T) for sure.

The stock is down 25 percent. They were going to report about $1.70 in
earnings. They just not only have — again, a situation of a 5 percent
yield, lots of free cash flow and a good balance sheet.

The U.S. consumer, 70 percent of the economy, is still in very good shape.
We`re still seeing very good numbers out of employment.


SPELLMAN: We were talking about gasoline prices now less than $2. We like
the stock. We think at $11.5, down 25 percent in a short period of time,
at 6 1/2 times earnings, we think that`s a pretty good name but it is a
little more cyclical and it might be a little bit bumpier ride.

MATHISEN: Got to leave it right there. Mark Spellman with Alpine Funds —
have a great weekend.

SPELLMAN: Thank you very much.

HERERA: And that does it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue
Herera. Thanks for joining us.

MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. Have a great weekend, everybody.
Count your money. We`ll see you on Monday for a special edition of NBR.


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