TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Oil inferno. A massive
fire raging through the Canadian city that’s home to the world’s third- largest reserve of crude, sending oil and stocks on a volatile rise.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Sticking point. Why Verizon
(NYSE:VZ)’s striking workers are taking their concerns right to
MATHISEN: Planning for future. A simple yet important document could
prevent you from making a major financial mistake.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, May 5th.
HERERA: Good evening, everyone.
A day before the monthly jobs report is set to be released, a number of
Federal Reserve officials are speaking on the economy. We’ll have more on
But we begin with the massive wildfire that’s engulfing Canada’s oil-rich
province of Alberta, disrupting production and sending ripples through the
global energy markets. Oil companies are evacuating workers, shutting
plants or reducing production. The disruption sent oil prices higher
initially, above $46 a barrel, in fact.
But when reports came in that some production may be returning, the gains
were paired, settling up 1 percent to just above $44.
Deirdre Bosa is in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, with more on the blaze, the
thousands displaced, and the damage it’s done.
DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Clogged highways, an
overwhelmed airport, and an entire city evacuated. This is Fort McMurray,
the heart of Canada’s oil fans. And it’s on fire.
As of this morning a total of 49 wildfires raged in Alberta over more than
300 square miles.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER: Our thoughts are turning to our
friends in Alberta. Obviously, Fort McMurray being evacuated has been
extremely difficult, not just for the province and officials but for the
folks who live there.
BOSA: Strong, shifting winds are making it difficult to control the blaze
and its widening evacuation. This highway is normally filled with trucks
carrying equipment and supplies to oil sands operations. But now, it’s a
long lineup of emergency vehicles heading into the fire zone.
The oil sands north of Fort McMurray haven’t been directly threatened by
the wildfire but production is being affected. Companies like Shell and
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) have shut operations or curtailed production.
JEFF KILBURG, KKM FINANCIAL FOUNDER & CEO: We’re still seeing a pop in
crude oil due to the fires out there. Right now, it’s very interesting.
But I think we’ll continue to see the chop, the volatility, in crude oil
BOSA: “Reuters” calculates that at least 640,000 barrels per day of
capacity is offline due to the wildfires. Canada’s total oil sands
production is around 2 million barrels a day, most of which is exported to
the U.S. The wildfires are another setback to Canada’s resource-dependent
economy, already struggling under low oil prices.
Deirdre Bosa for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Alberta.
MATHISEN: When oil prices came off their highs late in the day, so did the
broader stock market. And by the close, the major index finished the day
volatile with fractional gains and losses ahead of tomorrow’s employment
report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 9 points to 17,660. But
the NASDAQ lost 8, and S&P 500 was a half point lower.
And something else happened on Wall Street, a key part of the U.S. economy,
retail, had a very disappointing showing.
Bob Pisani explains.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Even though there’s
less than a dozen companies that still report monthly retail sales, those
that did report April numbers disappointed and confirmed the spring selling
season is off to a slow start. L brands, for example, they make Victoria’s
Secret, especially disappointing. Sales of the Victoria Secret brand down
1 percent, that’s well below expectations. And they weren’t the only
disappointments out there. Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ),
Buckle (NYSE:BKE), and Cato (NYSE:CATO), they were all below expectations.
All right. So, what happened? Well, first, believe on it are not, there
really was poor weather which has been disappointing and it’s been poor
into May. You know, it’s cloudy in New York and rainy for a week, week and
I spoke to an analyst in Atlanta. It’s supposed to be 75 degrees there.
It’s 51 and cloudy.
This is in contrast to February and early March when the weather was fairer
and warmer. It’s likely some demand was pulled forward.
Then, there’s the continuing impact of that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
juggernaut, you know? One analyst estimated Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will
likely sell $10 billion in apparel this year.
One thing is for sure. It seems to have been a pickup in promotional
activity and clearance markdowns in the second half of April.
Now, the hope turns to Mother’s Day this Sunday. It does matter. It looks
like the weather in the Northeast and Midwest is warming up. Let’s hope
that trend continues.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: To the economy now. Weekly jobless claims rose to five-week high,
but there’s still at historically low levels. The number of Americans
filing for new unemployment benefits increased by 17,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 274,000, a level consistent with a strengthening labor market.
This comes one day before the monthly employment report for April.
Forecasts call for a gain of 205,000 non-farm payrolls. The unemployment
rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5 percent. Average hourly earnings
are projected to increase .3 percent.
MATHISEN: The president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve today touted
progress the American labor market has made. He also said earlier concerns
about a global slowdown have dissipated somewhat but John Williams wants
the U.S. Central Bank to continue monitoring economic data to determine the
path for interest rates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WILLIAMS, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO PRESIDENT: You look
at the projections we made back in March. Typically, people said two or
three rate hikes this year. I think that’s a reasonable view. But, you
know, we’ll be watching the data, making sure that Q1 blip or slowdown in
GDP doesn’t persist. Watching things globally, making sure we’re making
the right call.
I think we should stay in our basic strategy of gradually removing policy
accommodation over the next couple of years. Yes, that would involve some
rate hikes this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Another Fed official said he was undecided about whether
interest rates should be raised next month, even though he believes the
economy will likely rebound from that weak first quarter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS LOCKHART, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA PRES.: I think we should
keep the option open, but I’m very much at the moment sort of on the fence.
And it will depend on how the data come in. Today, we kind of have a
disconnect between the growth numbers and the employment numbers. And
clearly, I’d also like to see inflation numbers continue to move in the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: You like Fed speak? We got Fed speak. St. Louis President
James Bullard for his part agrees that global headwinds are not as much a
concern as they had been but that he remains undecided on the path forward
HERERA: We also have earnings. Dow component Merck (NYSE:MRK) saw its
first-quarter revenue fall short of analyst estimates, extending a four-
year decline in sales. The company citing disappointing results from some
of its older drugs. But Merck (NYSE:MRK) is optimistic that growth from
its newer medicines, including a hepatitis C treatment, will help revive
sales. And that prompted the company to raise and narrow its earnings and
revenue forecasts for the year.
MATHISEN: Fellow Dow component Verizon (NYSE:VZ) hosted its annual
shareholder meeting today amid one of the largest labor strikes of the past
few years. And those striking workers made themselves heard to executives
Jane Wells reports from the gathering in Albuquerque.
PROTESTERS: We’re disgusted!
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: What is usually a
boring affair, the Verizon (NYSE:VZ) annual meeting in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, was suddenly breaking back.
Protesters from the union representing tens of thousands of striking
workers on the East Coast descended on the Southwest as Verizon (NYSE:VZ)’s
second strike in five years entered its fourth week.
BOB MASTER, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA: If a company like this
doesn’t preserve good jobs, how are we going to have good jobs in the
future in our country?
WELLS: The sticking point is Verizon (NYSE:VZ)’s desire to move customers
calls for service to call centers outside the local region and workers fear
this means shipping jobs out of the U.S. But they also came to the
shareholder meeting with proposals on the ballot, like one which would
force executives to hold until retirement 75 percent of the shares they
give as compensation.
BRANDON REES, AFL-CIO: It’s a new standard that is emerging in corporate
governance to make sure that executives have skin in the game so they don’t
take excessive risk. That proposal failed.
Another proposal would have required shareholder approval before giving
executives severance packages nearly three times their annual pay.
Shareholder Bill Donald loves Verizon (NYSE:VZ) management, but he still
voted for that proposal.
BILL DONALD, VERIZON SHAREHOLDER: It’s hideous what we pay these people,
but that’s Wall Street.
WELLS: However, that proposal also failed. But the authors, a group of
retirees, vow they will try again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have just begun to fight.
WELLS: In fact, all the shareholder proposals were rejected and the board
was overwhelmingly re-elected and their pay packages approved. Chairman
and CEO Lowell McAdams thanked the striking employees who came to the
meeting, because they’re also shareholders, they were inside. And he also
said he was willing to settle the strike through negotiations or even
mediation. Neither appears likely soon.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
HERERA: Higher pay is one of the reasons why Verizon (NYSE:VZ) workers are
striking, but compensation isn’t just an issue at big companies. Small
business owners are grappling with it as well, as cities across the country
are beginning to raise the minimum wage.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) is here with more on the state of small business
tonight. It is National Small Business Week.
Good to see you, Kate, as always.
Picking up on the minimum wage hikes, it’s a big one for businesses large
and small. How worried are small business owners?
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well,
this is one of their top concerns. We’ve seen a huge trend over the past
two years of large cities, big states like California and New York, Target
(NYSE:TGT), Walmart, a slew of companies raising their wages anywhere to $9
to $15 an hour. That’s a big, big concern and it puts pressure on Main
Street businesses that might not already be paying higher wages. It makes
them less competitive. It puts pressure on them to start paying their
workers more and more money.
The issue here s that we’re not seeing a lot of rhetoric on the campaign
trail that will make them feel better. Donald trump recently said he’s
open to doing more with the minimum wage, which is interesting, but no
details there. Bernie wants $15 an hour federal, Hillary wants $12.
That’s something that really gives Main Street business owners pause and
MATHISEN: You know, small businesses are a huge job engine. One part of
that is whether the businesses are feeling confident about the economy.
The other is how much they’re going to have to pay workers.
Are you hearing, one, confidence? Two, the concern that higher minimum
wage may tamp down their ability to hire more people?
ROGERS: Yes, absolutely. So, the National Federation of Independent
Business, we also talk about their optimism index rather and since it’s
small business week, I looked at the index the past five years. It has
certainly been trending higher post-recession. It’s still below their
average of 98. And recently in the past two months, it hit a two-year low.
ROGERS: Around 92, which is scary and gives you pause and concern there
because they’re saying the reason it’s lower is the rhetoric once again on
the campaign trail and wages factor into that.
HERERA: Very quickly, what about startups? How does that affect —
because a lot of startups start out as small businesses. They’re not all
large venture capital firms and things like that.
ROGERS: Oh, yes.
HERERA: Is it affecting the startup industries —
ROGERS: Startup activity actually is on the rebound post-recession which
is pretty great. Three hundred and ten out of every 100,000 adults were
starting new businesses each month in 2015.
ROGERS: That’s up from 280 out 100,000 in 2014 each month. So, definitely
good news there.
HERERA: Thanks, Kate.
ROGERS: Thank you, guys.
HERERA: Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG).
MATHISEN: All right. Still ahead, the importance of estate planning. How
you can preserve your wealth for future generations.
MATHISEN: New federal rules could upend the multi-billion dollar
electronic cigarette industry. The Food and Drug Administration will
extend tobacco regulation to the relatively new e-cig products. That
includes banning sales to minors and a requirement that e-cigarettes carry
warnings that they contain addictive nicotine. The new rules will not go
into effect right away since the companies need time to comply.
HERERA: The nation’s consumer watchdog is proposing a new rule that could
make it easier for customers to sue financial firms like SPANX and credit
card companies. That proposal targets arbitration clauses that are tucked
into the fine print of contracts. The clauses prevent customers from
participating in class action lawsuits and instead pushes them into
arbitration. The rule is being proposed by the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau and does not require congressional approval.
MATHISEN: Tribune publishing turns down Gannett (NYSE:GCI)’s takeover bid,
and that is where we begin tonight’s “Market Focus.”
While the owner of the “Chicago Tribune” and the “Los Angeles Times” said
it is open to evaluating credible proposals, it says Gannett (NYSE:GCI)’s
offer of $815 million undervalued the company. Last week, Gannett
(NYSE:GCI) made public its intention to acquire Tribune.
Shares of Tribune fell a fraction to $37.77. Gannett (NYSE:GCI) down a
percent to $16.10.
Recent acquisitions helped drive revenue higher at magazine publisher Time
Incorporated. The results topped estimates. The company also unveiled its
plans today to create a free video streaming service called “People and
CEO Joe Ripp spoke about the new endeavor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE RIPP, TIME INC. CEO: We make good video and good TV. Our digital
mobile audiences are growing dramatically. The video that we put on
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), why it was going dramatically, we create good stuff.
And the opportunity for us in this market is enormous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares of Time, Inc. up 4 percent to $15.31.
Shares of Atlas Worldwide got a boost today after the air cargo provider
said it will assist e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) with delivering
packages. The deal which is expected to take place by the end of this year
will let Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) buy up to 30 percent of that company. Shares
of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) down about 1.5 percent to $659.09. Atlas Air
soared nearly 27 percent to $48.66.
And the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reported a 39 percent increase in
revenue for the latest quarter. This thanks to strong growth in the
company’s core online shopping segment. The company also saw an 85 percent
jump in net income but it fell short of analyst estimates. Shares of
Alibaba nonetheless up 4 percent at $78.83.
HERERA: Weak demand for cereal products weighed on revenue and profit at
the food company Kellogg (NYSE:K). Despite declines, the maker of Pop
Tarts said it remains hopeful cereal sales will turn positive by the end of
this year. They haven’t been at my house where there’s lots of cereals.
Kellogg (NYSE:K) shares down over 2.5 percent to $75.05.
SeaWorld Entertainment issues a narrower than expected loss and downed
guidance for the year. SeaWorld recently said it would abandon breeding
its signature killer whales. Shares ended the day down 5 percent to
Shares of the mobile payments company Square initially fell in after hours
trading after that company posted a wider than expected loss. But revenues
rose and Square raised its guidance and revenue for the year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK DORSEY, SQUARE FOUNDER & CEO: The core business is really strong. I
mean, the small business economy and moving up market towards medium-sized
businesses has been our sweet spot. We’re seeing a lot more growth in the
mid-market and up market opportunity. And we have this fantastic new
reader as well that allows any one of our sellers to accept Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and EMV.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Shares of Square fell sharply in extended session but finished the
regular session down over 2 percent to $13.05.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) which makes video games posted results
for the latest quarter that easily surpassed street estimates. The strong
report also prompted the company to hike guidance for the year. The news
sent shares initial higher in after hours. The stock finished the regular
session up more than 1.5 percent to $34.91.
MATHISEN: Prince’s roughly hundred million estate is in limbo all because
the music icon died without a will. Surveys differ but surveys say well
over half all adult Americans, including two-thirds of women aged 45 to 54,
don’t have a will. The consequences can be devastating.
Joining us now with more on this is Sharon Epperson. A lot of people don’t
create wills, Sharon, because they think it’s — they don’t want to think
about it, but they also think it’s expensive. Is it?
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It doesn’t have to
be. You need to really just lay out what you have and talk to someone
about it, or go to a website that can help you figure it out. Talk to a
financial adviser, talk to an estate planning attorney. Determine kind of
what your situation is. And that will determine how much you may have to
You can go to some legal websites though that offer fixed fee services that
can be very little money, you can print out document on this your own for
MATHISEN: And their legit, the wills are fine?
EPPERSON: Yes, the wills can be fine. You may want to have someone look
it over and that will cost more. But for a couple hundred dollars, that
kind of peace of mind is well worth it.
MATHISEN: At least you’ve got something on paper. A lot of the people
think, oh, it’s going to be too complicated. In if you cover the basics,
it doesn’t have to be.
EPPERSON: If you cover the basics, it doesn’t have to be. The first thing
that you need to do is just start out laying out what you have, including
your debts as well as the property and assets you have. That can determine
how difficult a bill you will have or how complicated I should say a will
you will have.
You need to figure out who you trust, who will be your executor. You need
to designate that person. Guardians if you have children, that’s key.
EPPERSON: Updating beneficiaries is another important part of estate
planning, and making sure that your beneficiaries for your IRA, retirement
accounts, insurance companies, match who you want in your will because
those documents actually will hold precedence over your will. You want to
make sure those names are the same.
HERERA: Oh, that’s interesting.
MATHISEN: What other estate planning documents do I need?
EPPERSON: You want to have a living will. If you want life-sustaining
treatment or not, have that laid out in a legal document, a living will.
Someone to make those medical decisions for you, medical power of attorney,
you need to designate that person. And also, a durable power of attorney
who will determine your and make financial decisions and this if you’re
incapacitated and unable to do so.
All these things so important. While people are afraid to talk about it,
to think about it, this is the kind of legacy you want to leave, a legacy
of financial stability, financial strength, and just letting your loved
ones know that you’re OK, your family, charitable institutions you want to
support as well, have it all laid out.
MATHISEN: You don’t want them to have to deal with something complicated
after you’re gone.
MATHISEN: Thank you very much, Sharon Epperson.
HERERA: All right. Coming up, the Disney (NYSE:DIS) movie. It hasn’t
even opened yet in the U.S. but it’s already a box office success.
MATHISEN: Here’s a look de to watch tomorrow. As we mentioned, the
government employment report is out. It’s a biggie. Expectations are for
a gain of 205,000 non-farm payrolls. Not just 205, folks.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) will report earnings and
he made more than $205. Let’s assure you of that. And energy market’s
going to be focusing on the weekly oil rig count. And that is what to
HERERA: Ford is investing in a Silicon Valley tech firm. The automaker is
putting $182 million into Pivotal, a software development company. That
deal gives Ford access to a technology it wouldn’t otherwise be able to
develop on its own. It’s latest in a growing number of Detroit Silicon
Valley tie-ups that underscores the commitment to developing more advanced
and autonomous vehicles.
MATHISEN: AMC Networks is crediting hit shows like “The Walking Dead” and
“Better Call Saul” for its strong quarterlies which exceeded expectations.
Revenues up more than 5.5 percent from last year. The CEO says 2016 got
off to a strong start and ad sales were also higher and that sent shares up
more than 5 percent.
HERERA: From the small screen to the big one. Disney (NYSE:DIS)’s
“Captain America: Civil War” is already a box office success and it doesn’t
open in the U.S. until tomorrow. Early results may ease concerns for
Disney (NYSE:DIS) shareholders.
And as Julia Boorstin reports, it could put Marvel on track for superhero
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: When “Captain
America: Civil War” opens in over 4,200 theaters in the U.S. this weekend,
it’s poised to dominate the box office and sell $200 million worth of
tickets. Fandango reporting that the superhero film is a top pre-selling
superhero movie of all-time, representing more than 90 percent of Fandango
weekend ticket sales.
BARTON CROCKETT, FBR & CO.: Financially, it’s going to be a home run. But
I think reputationally, it’s even bigger, because I think one of the
concerns people have is, are we going through superhero fatigue? How long
will people want to watch these Marvel superheroes? “The Avengers”, and
“Captain America: Civil War” is showing there’s a lot of life left in this
property for Disney (NYSE:DIS).
BOORSTIN: Case in point: the movie has already grossed over $260 million
overseas and it hasn’t even opened yet in China and Russia.
“Captain America” has drawn better ratings than the last superhero
blockbuster. Critics gave it a 93 percent according to Rotten Tomatoes.
While “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” drew just 28 percent.
CROCKETT: I would have thought Batman and Superman were bigger than
Spider-Man and Ironman and these other Marvel characters, at least in my
life. But certainly at the box office, Marvel is winning, and winning big.
And I don’t think there’s anything else you can ascribe it to except that
the guys at Marvel seem to have a better sense for what people want to see
in movies around superheroes.
BOORSTIN: “Batman V. Superman” grossed an impressive $863 million
worldwide, making it quite profitable for Warner Brothers. But poor
reviews raised questions about Warner’s ability to make its DC Comic
characters as massive as Marvel’s “Avengers”, with a lot riding on the
you’ll coming “Suicide Squad” launching in August.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) Studio has been on a run with a string of blockbusters
from “The Force Awakens” to “Zootopia” and “Jungle Book.” It has 25
percent of U.S. box office market shares so far this year. And after
“Captain America”, it has the “Finding Dory” sequel and the “Star Wars”
spinoff “Rogue One” coming in December. Disney (NYSE:DIS) Studios on track
for another record year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: And finally tonight, the big screen isn’t just for watching
movies, it is now part of the competitive boutique fitness industry. IMAX,
the company known for its big screen theaters, is muscling its way into
indoor cycling classes, what it calls IMAXShift. It’s already got big
money and marketing behind it.
Diana Olick was there for the first class.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The warm-up is under
water, and the heat comes when the tunnels turn techno. It’s everything
you’d expect from IMAX movies, only in this Brooklyn theater, you don’t sit
back and enjoy the ride, you do it.
BRYAN MARCOVICI, CEO IMAXSHIFT: IMAX is always looking for opportunities
to take the brand, the technology, and frankly the focus on larger than
life experiences to different places.
OLICK: So, it was an easy ride for the $1.7 billion movie empire to coast
MARCOVICI: With fitness, you have a market of people migrating from big
box gyms to more boutique, personally engaging experiences. And we have
opportunity to accelerate that trend.
OLICK: The cost is a competitive $34 a class, $350 for a month-long
JOSEPH BEAVERS, CLASS PARTICIPANT: It’s pretty low, actually, for New York
OLICK: Beavers and his friends describe the class as totally awesome and
extremely stimulating, but they might not choose it as a regular workout.
Welsh says she sees it more as an entertainment destination.
KELLY WELSH, CLASS PARTICIPANT: I think for me it’s something that I would
take friends or client something totally different than your regular
OLICK: Which is what IMAX movies already are. IMAX is not putting a lot
of dollars into this pilot but if it does catch on, executives say they’re
ready to roll it out aggressively. With a strong international brand
behind it, that may not be much of a climb.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I’m Diana Olick, in Brooklyn, New York.
HERERA: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I’m Sue Herera.
MATHISEN: And I’m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for watching. See you tomorrow.
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