TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Warning signs. The U.S.
economy got disheartening news about one of its most important sectors. We`ll put it in perspective for you.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Financials tumble. Why bank
stocks here and across the globe are getting beaten and bruised in 2016.
MATHISEN: Protect your portfolio. The mutual funds that may protect your
money in a market like this one.
All that and more tonight for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on Wednesday,
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Do not underestimate the power of crude, at least not in this market.
Stocks staged a massive comeback just as the price of oil surged. That
relationship between stocks and oil is so strong it shrugged off an
unexpectedly weak services report which pressured equities early on and
sent bond yields sinking. We`ll have more on that momentarily.
By the close, the blue chip index gained 183 points to 16,336, moving 400
points from its low to its high. The NASDAQ slipped 12 and the S&P 500
As for domestic crude prices, take a look at that percentage gain, 8
percent to the upside snapping a two-day rout as the dollar tumbled and
despite record inventories. If anything, today was a reminder of why this
market is anything but boring.
Bob Pisani explains what fueled today`s rebound.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: We stopped dropping
when oil stopped dropping about 11:00 a.m. Stocks went sideways until
about 2:00 p.m. when the whole market turned around. The Dow rallied over
250 points in about an hour. Oil also rallied to the highs for the day.
So what happened? Well, some are citing vague rumors that oil-producing
countries are trying to cobble together an agreement to limit production.
But, you know, we`ve heard those rumors before. Regardless, beaten up
sectors like bank stocks finally rallied.
You know, some of these regional banks are down 15 percent to 20 percent
this year, they don`t have international exposure and most do not have huge
exposure to energy loans. So, why are they selling off so dramatically? I
get there are concerns low rates will hurt banks but most traders feel the
extent of the selloff makes no fundamental sense.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
MATHISEN: More now that the sobering economic news. The services sector
which accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. economic activity is starting
to cool. And as Steve Liesman explains, that`s exactly what economists
don`t want to see.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: A key economic
report that bulls hoped would show the U.S. economy holding up instead
weakened unexpectedly. It was the third straight monthly decline for the
much followed service sectors survey from the Institute for Supply
Management. It`s now dropped to its lowest level in two years as the
outlook for services employment and new orders also declined.
The measure still shows growth in the economy and growth in services, but
the weakness suggests that troubles elsewhere in the economy from
manufacturing, a strong dollar, a declining energy industry, and weak
overseas growth are now spilling over to the service sector which is the
biggest part of the U.S. economy.
JOE LAVORGNA: We learned today that the service sector is following the
manufacturing sector lower in traditional lagged form. This means that the
broader economy is likely slowing as measured by real GDP growth.
LIESMAN: As a result, Lavorgna upped his chance of a U.S. recession to 40
percent from around 33 percent. Despite a separate ADP report suggesting
strong job gains in excess of 200,000 in January, others on Wall Street
were more inclined toward the pessimism.
JEFF ROSENBERG, BLACKROCK: The global environment is very much part of the
recessionary risks that the U.S. faces. It`s about importing those risks
from an external shock and the manner in which that occurs is through
financial market conditions.
LIESMAN: In addition to ignoring the stronger than expected ADP report,
there was also little focus on dovish comments from the New York Fed
president. Bill Dudley said in an interview that a stronger dollar and
weaker global economy could have, quote, “significant consequences for the
U.S. economy”, and that financial conditions are tighter now than they were
when the Fed last met in December and the Fed has to take tighter
conditions into account making monetary policy.
Most of the data this week has been soft. But there`s one more chance for
the bulls. If the payroll report on Friday shows strength along with wage
gains, it could direct the market away from fear of recession and back to
the upside of cheaper oil and more Americans being employed and bringing
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
HERERA: Michael Hanson joins us to talk more about the economy. He`s
senior economist with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Global Research.
Michael, welcome. Nice to have you here.
MICHAEL HANSON, BANK OF AMERICA GLOBAL RESEARCH: Thanks.
HERERA: Let`s start with that recession call, Joe Lavorgna, 40 percent,
others are right around there. But you think that the percentage would be
quite a bit lower than that, why?
HANSON: Yes, we`ve been saying that it`s probably in the vicinity maybe of
20 percent. I do think the risks are perhaps skewed toward it being higher
if we continue to see a selloff in the markets.
But right now, it still looks like the fundamentals of the economy are not
as weak as the markets might suggest and as one of your early stories
suggested, there does appear to be a bit of a disconnect there. The labor
market continues to be strong. We`ll obviously see if that continues on
Friday. Consumer fundamentals are fairly good. The housing market is
Now, we actually have a fiscal stimulus in place this year as opposed to
the drag the last couple years. So, there`s a number of things are going
the right way and comes down to whether the service sector can hang in
there. It`s a much larger share of the economy. We saw a loss of momentum
today but not a deterioration, whereas the strong dollar has really pulled
back manufacturing and that`s certainly something we`re keeping on eye on.
MATHISEN: Michael, do you see the economy slowing from its fourth quarter
pace? It doesn`t have much farther to slow. It was 7/10 of 1 percent
growth. Or picking up steam here in the first half of the year?
HANSON: Yes, picking up steam might be a little strong, but I think we do
get a rebound. I don`t think 0.7 is the likely trend in the near or longer
term for the economy. I would say we`re probably going to see something in
the vicinity of around 2 percent growth this year, give or take. I think
the underlying trend is a little softer than that, so if we run above trend
we should continue to see job gains and lower unemployment rate as well.
HERERA: What about the dollar? That has been certainly today it had a
dramatic move, but overall it has been higher and stronger for a lot longer
than everybody thought. Is that what`s really hurting the manufacturing
and services sector?
HANSON: I think it`s hurting manufacturing more than it`s hurting services
by a notable margin. Most services are produced and consume domestically,
and so, they`re not exposed to the dollar but there`s a significant portion
of manufacturing that is and that`s been a significant shock.
You`re up some 20 percent to 25 percent in the dollar in the last year and
a half. That`s one of the larger moves we`ve seen in quite some time and I
do think it`s having a meaningful adverse impact on the industry sector.
HERERA: All right, Michael, we`ll leave it there. Thanks so much for
HANSON: Thank you.
HERERA: Michael Hanson with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Global Research.
MATHISEN: As concerns about the economy grow, bank stocks have been beaten
and bruised and how, the financial sector is the worst performing group
this year so far, down almost 12 percent. And it`s not just U.S. bank
stocks but European ones as well.
Kayla Tausche explains why.
KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: 2016 was supposed to
be a banner year for the banks, but a week economy has been putting even
more pressure on the industry. Fears of an economic slowdown based on
market drops overseas and negative data will be gone on the services sector
here in the U.S. move investors into treasuries, pushing prices up and
yields down. The yield on the ten-year treasury fell to its lowest point
in a year.
Now, that has a negative effect on the banks because that`s the benchmark
for mortgages and fixed rate loans so while low yields might be great for
consumers, they hurt bank profits and, therefore, bank stocks. If the
slowdown does cause the Fed to hold off on rate hikes, another potential
benefit for the banks, that`s going to hurt, too. And then the icing on
the cake, the fear more energy loans could go bad.
For all of those reasons, Paul Miller of FBR said it might take a while for
investors to jump back in.
PAUL MILLER, FBR CAPITAL MARKETS: You got to get the ten-year to
stabilize, you got to get energy prices to stabilize, I think before
anybody really comes in. If you have a long-term view, you can buy some of
these things and make a lot of money here. But right now, nobody wants to
own these things.
TAUSCHE: In Europe, the problems are well worse. The euro stock 600 bank
index down 23 percent this year as the lengthening recession makes more
loans go bad.
Italy, for instance, has 350 billion euros in bad loans. They`re now off-
loading to private investors with government backing.
In Spain, the Bank of Spain said bad loans fell to 10.3 percent of total
credit in November, but that risk has (INAUDIBLE) all falling.
The fear is there`s more where that came from and the earnings have not
been reassuring to that end.
Deutsche Bank has seen its market cap halved in the last year and warned
it`s seen more than $7 billion in losses in 2015. Government-owned RBF
said it will post a loss, too, and pay more than $2 billion in a mortgage
settlement with the U.S. Standard Chartered plans to lay off 15,000
employees in the next 3 years so these restructures, bad headlines,
familiar to U.S. investors because we went through it after the financial
But right now it`s hard for investors on both sides of the Atlantic to see
a light at the end of the tunnel.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche, in New York.
HERERA: Growth in China has been an overarching concern for investors, and
today, the Chinese government said the world`s second largest economy would
expand between 6.5 percent and 7 percent this year. The new target comes
as policymakers in that country battle the slowest growth in 25 years.
Beijing will also try to curve overcapacity and that could increase
unemployment in areas with a high output of steel and coal.
MATHISEN: A Chinese company making s biggest foreign acquisition yet. The
China National Chemical Corporation known as Chem China will buy the Swiss
seed company Syngenta for $43 billion in cash. According to Dialogic
(NASDAQ:DLGC), it`s the most expensive agricultural transaction ever. The
deal will help China expand food production but it may raise regulatory
concerns here since Syngenta owns U.S. chemical facility.
HERERA: The Chinese slowdown has been hitting some U.S. multinational
companies very hard, but for many American retailers, it hasn`t been all
And as Courtney Reagan reports, these companies are invested in China for
the long haul.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: For decades, China
was synonymous with outsized growth, offering investors and companies a new
market to penetrate. But as fears of a worsening China slowdown weigh
heavily on industrial and commodity based companies, retailers look at
China differently and growth is still a large part of that view.
OLIVER CHEN, COWEN & CO. SR. RETAIL ANALYST: China can ebb and flow.
There are different considerations with GDP growth in China, the housing
market and different economic considerations, but as far as retail goes, in
terms of luxury goods and global brands, it`s a very important market for
the long term. So, retailers can`t really ignore this market and need to
continue to invest in it. And also build their awareness and their brand
and their identity globally.
REAGAN: On a conference call, Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury conglomerate
LVMH acknowledged the economic slowdown in China but also said, quote,
“Many observers underestimate the fundaments of China`s economy, noting
household consumption is on the rise there. Like other retailers, the
luxury goods seller looks to the country as a long-term growth driver.
PVH Corp just announced it will buy the remaining interest in its Tommy
Hilfiger joint venture in China. CEO Manny Chirico says China is the
fastest growing market for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.
Michael Kors and Coach (NYSE:COH) reported double digit comparable sales
growth in China while noting weakness in Hong Kong and Macau.
Retail experts with an eye on China say the higher end consumer`s pension
to spend may be leveling off as evidenced by weakness in travel to Hong
Kong and Macau, but spending in mainland China remains healthy, which is
where retailers are concentrating their investments in the country.
CHEN: We`ve been seeing somewhat of a global pause in Chinese traveling so
that`s something we watch out for at names like Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) and
higher end names.
COURTNEY: But mid-tier retailer H&M says it`s, quote, “very happy with
business in China”, even in a tougher environment. H&M and Victoria`s
Secret parent company Elle Brands plans to add stores in China this year.
However, retailers that don`t operate in China like Macy`s (NYSE:M) are
seeing a drag from China`s economic slowdown. Fewer Chinese tourists are
traveling to the U.S. which means less spending at flagship stores in big
cities and China has proven lately to be unpredictable, so if the slowdown
leads Chinese consumers to pull back their spending, it could be trouble
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, mutual funds that may help you stay calm in a
MATHISEN: Sumner Redstone has resigned as chairman of CBS (NYSE:CBS). CEO
Leslie Moonves will assume the title of chairman and replace the 92-year-
old. A lawsuit challenging Redstone`s mental competence raised questions
about whether he should continue in that role.
Shares of CBS (NYSE:CBS) rose in initial after-hours trading as did shares
of Viacom (NYSE:VIA), where she`s also chairman. Viacom`s board will
reportedly meet tomorrow.
HERERA: GoPro swings to a fourth-quarter loss and issues a disappointing
revenue forecast. The action camera maker lost 8 cents a share. Analysts
were looking for a break-even quarter. Revenue also fell short at $437
million, that`s a decline of 31 percent from year ago. The result sent
shares lower after initially rising in after-hours trading.
But as Josh Lipton reports the real focus is whether the company has a
strategy of being more than just a camera maker.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: GoPro was a Wall
Street darling when the company went public in summer of 2014, investors
bid up the stock to nearly $100 that fall, but since then it`s suffered a
wild ride, just like one of the company`s famous action-packed videos.
GoPro`s big mistake, last year it introduced its newest camera, Hero 4
Session. GoPro billed the camera as its smallest and lightest camera to
date, but the company grossly mispriced the product. The original price of
$400 was slashed twice down to $200. On top of that, GoPro`s CEO Nick
Woodman says the company made a mistake by not dedicating enough resources
to its marketing efforts. Add it up and GoPro suffered a disappointing
holiday season leading to layoffs at the company and a stock that dropped
So what can Woodman do now to turn around this company? Analysts say it
starts with a new camera that needs to boast exciting innovative features.
CHARLIE ANDERSON, DOUGHERTY & COMPANY: There are a number of cameras we`re
seeing that are starting to only out, Nikon had one that can capture in 360
degrees. So, the idea is a GoPro camera today captures at 180 degrees, but
you`d love to look at the full sphere around you, and that would be
something that you could use that video, and like a VR headsets, you could
fan around and see the video from all sides, share it on social media,
people could pan around 360 degree video. I think that`s where the cameras
are headed in the future.
LIPTON: Analysts say GoPro also has do upgrade its software, making it
easier for users to edit and share content. There are also new products on
the way that need to be a hit.
ANDERSON: First out of the gate would be the drown they`re calling Karma
that`s supposed to debut in the first half of 2016. So it would be their
first effort in a quadcopter drone. It`s a big market already. DJI is the
market leader. It`s over $1 billion. They`re a popular holiday gift.
So, you know, GoPro is the brand, they have the distribution, a lot of the
drones that people have used historically use a GoPro camera built that
they attach into it, so they already have some mind share in the category.
So, as long as they get that product right, I think they will have an
LIPTON: Even bulls like Anderson though say it`s fair to ask whether it`s
just too little, too late for GoPro after such a tough year winning back
credibility with investors won`t be easy, but the start of a rebound, if
there`s going to be one, begins now.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
MATHISEN: The pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE:MRK) misses its revenue
target and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”
The company said a strong dollar and increased pricing pressure cut into
sales. Fourth-quarter profit at the drug maker fell nearly 90 percent
compared with the year before, when it had a big gain from the sale of its
consumer health business. Merck (NYSE:MRK) also issued a cautious 2016
outlook. The company`s shares fell fractionally today to $50.05.
Similar story at the snack company Mondelez, it saw shares fall after a 17
percent drop in quarterly revenue partly because of the dollar and sale of
a majority of its coffee business. The Oreo cookie maker was also hurt by
a $800 million accounting charge related to its Venezuela unit. Guess they
don`t eat Oreos down there. Shares of Mondelez fell 6.5 percent to $39.23.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) benefited from strong results in the U.S. and
China and rode them to a record profit in 2015, nearly $10 billion. The
nation`s biggest automaker also reiterated its upbeat earnings outlook for
2016. But despite the news, shares fell 2.5 percent today to $28.92.
And the shares of the battery manufacturer Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR)
kept going and going today after the company saw an increase in earnings
and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates. The company attributed its
growth to strong sales and increased prices and it raised its full-year
guidance. Shares surged nearly 17 percent to $36.86.
HERERA: Activists investor Starboard Value has taken a nearly 7 percent
stake in Marvel Technology Group, saying the chip maker shares are
undervalued. Marvel has lost over 40 percent of its value since last year,
following the September announcement of an internal accounting
investigation. Marvel`s shares rose about 7 percent to $9.27.
Fourth quarter profit at oil refiner Marathon Petroleum Corporation fell
nearly 80 percent but that was still good enough to beat street estimates.
Revenue at the independent oil refiner fell by almost 30 percent and that
was well short of expectations. Company said it plans to cut capital
spending for 2016. Shares of Marathon fell more than 7 percent to $37.20.
Insurance giant MetLife (NYSE:MET) missed forecasts on its top and bottom
line. The company blamed a drop in operating earnings on a strong dollar
and a decline in investment income. Shares initially dropped in extended
hours adding to the 1 percent loss today in which they closed at $41.95.
MATHISEN: Well, it`s been a bumpy ride for the U.S. stock market so far
this year. Don`t need to remind you for that. And also, though, for the
mutual funds that invest in U.S. companies. If the downdrafts have you
wondering if you`re in the right mutual funds, we have solutions for you,
funds that participate in rising markets but lose less than most when
Joining us now to discuss is Christine Benz, director of personal finance
at Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN).
Christine, always good to see you. Welcome back.
CHRISTINE BENZ, MORNINGSTAR DIR., PERSONAL FINANCE: Tyler, good to see
MATHISEN: You know, it has been a down year. The S&P 500 off, what, about
6.5 percent or thereabouts. How is the average U.S. stock market doing?
And are there any making money so far this year?
BENZ: Just a tiny handful of funds have made money and most of them are
using odd strategies. So I would say if you`re looking for funds that have
made money, you generally don`t want to hold them as core positions within
your portfolio. What you want to look for are mutual funds, if you`re in
the equity market, mutual funds that have lost less than —
MATHISEN: So, make me feel better or worse, what`s the average fund down
so far this year? U.S. fund?
BENZ: About 7 percent through yesterday.
HERERA: And, you know, I`m noticing these are some of the equity funds in
the green year to date, but I`m looking at the returns and those returns,
many of them don`t even equal 1 percent. I think the Federated strategic
value dividend class “A” is the top and that`s just over 2 percent. So,
even those who are in the green, the results are not all that impressive
compared to previous years.
BENZ: That`s right. You might find some funds that are using inverse
strategies. Those are up. But they`ll also tend to be way, way down when
equities are up. So, you generally don`t want them in your portfolio.
HERERA: So, you gave us a list of three funds that can provide protection
in this market, lose less than the averages when the market goes down.
They may make less than the average when the market goes up. But tell me
about number one, American Century Equity Income. Why do you like it?
BENZ: This is just kind of a classic equity income fund. It`s dividend
One thing that it does a little l bit differently from some other dividend-
focused funds is it typically holds some convertible stock, as well as some
preferred stock. And that does two things. It bumps up the income cushion
a little bit, and it also tends to — that piece of the portfolio tends to
behave a little bit better when equities are going down.
So, it has a very long tenured management team. They`ve been doing this
same strategy for a number of years. They tend to focus on the defensive
industries like health care, consumer defensive and utilities.
HERERA: Next on the list, the Jensen Quality Growth. You say it is a tame
large growth fund.
BENZ: Right. We often think of the large growth category as being kind of
an aggressive category. This is not an aggressive fund. It uses a pretty
formulated strategy in that it focuses on companies that have returns on
equity of 15 percent or more over the past 10 years.
That tends to give it a basket of highly profitable, highly stable
companies. It`s been a good performer in weak markets, including so far in
MATHISEN: And a quick thought on Vanguard dividend growth, Christine.
BENZ: This fund would actually be at the top of my list among defensive
funds that I would recommend. It`s a sturdy fund. It uses a quality
So, its yield will not be high in absolute terms. It will be kind of right
there line with the S&P 500, but it will be a quality basket of holdings.
Also very low cost like any Vanguard —
MATHISEN: And a manager who`s been there for a long time.
BENZ: He has, Dan Kelbright (ph) from Wellington Management.
MATHISEN: All right. Christine, thank you very much. Christine Benz with
HERERA: Coming up, why this weekend`s big game means big business for one
HERERA: A tough day for shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD). The
restaurant chain`s quarterly results fell short of Wall Street estimates.
Same-store sales also declined and food safety concerns hit one of its
restaurants in Kansas. Shares fell more than 4 percent in the regular
session and extended those losses initially in after-hours trading.
MATHISEN: But this, folks, is a big time of year for chicken wings
especially for small business owners who rely on strong sales during the
big game this weekend.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) reports from Bellmore, New York.
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The competition will
be fierce on the field and in the kitchen this Super Bowl 50 weekend. And
it`s not just the teams that have something to prove.
MATTHEW LICHT, WING ZONE FRANCHISEE: One goal we`re looking to break this
year is our hourly volume to surpass 4,000 which we missed it by 50 bucks
last year during one hour we did about 3,900.
ROGERS: Wing Zone franchisee, Matthew Licht, is out to top last year`s
sales of nearly 50,000 wings on Super Bowl Sunday alone. It`s the calm
before the storm right now but all hands are on deck at the store come this
Everyone from his dad, Steve, who`s co-owner, to his wife, Marissa, who`s
eight months pregnant, will be working. So far, he has just under $11,000
in preorders between his two stores on Long Island.
This year, Americans are set to eat 1.3 billion chicken wings on super bowl
weekend which is big business for fast casual restaurants.
Last year, national chain Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) sold more than
11 million wings on that weekend, alone.
MATTHEW HALLER, INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION: The growth in the
restaurant industry in franchising is really across the board, both from
quick service restaurants, to full service restaurants, and really that
fast casual area that sort of cuts in between both.
ROGERS: The challenge for small businesses like his is ordering the right
amount to keep up with demand. Wing Zone already has 4,000 pounds of wings
in the cooler, but they had to learn the hard way a decade ago.
LICHT: Our first year, no one knew what to expect. The day just was
crazy. People waiting hours. We had to cancel a lot of orders. It was
the closest thing to an epic failure that you can think of.
ROGERS: Wing Zone took out an ad in the local paper to apologize to
customers and sales jumped the next year. They continued to climb every
year since. Just like the players on the field, he`s hoping his prep pays
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT in Bellmore, New York, I`m Kate Rogers
HERERA: Eleven million wings.
MATHISEN: Yes. And more than a billion during the game. Who`s going to
count all those wings?
HERERA: I don`t know.
MATHISEN: I don`t know.
HERERA: That does it for us tonight. Thanks for joining us. I`m Sue
MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a great
evening, everybody. We`ll see you back here tomorrow night. Bring the
HERERA: Bring the wings. Exactly. And the hot sauce.