Funded in part by HSS.
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Getting defensive. The
president-elect pits Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) against Boeing (NYSE:BA),
taking his negotiating approach to Twitter, and thereby turning the defense
industry upside down.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Surprise, surprise! It might
sound crazy, but our market monitor says Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) is a stock
to own, despite its run of stumbles and scandals.
GRIFFETH: Striking it big. How one entrepreneur turned run-down bowling
alleys into a modern powerhouse brand. Find out how he made his millions
tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
It`s Friday, December 23rd.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Bill Griffeth, in tonight for Tyler Mathisen.
HERERA: And I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us, everybody.
The defense sector is being shaken up. The president-elect is pitting
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) against Boeing (NYSE:BA), two of the world`s
biggest defense contractors. And today, Lockheed stock felt the pressure.
As we reported last night, Donald Trump tweeted that he could use a Boeing
(NYSE:BA) plane as a substitute for Lockheed Martin`s F-35 combat jet. The
F-35 is the most expensive weapons system in history with an estimated $400
billion price tag, nearly double the original budget.
Morgan Brennan has more on what has the potential to be a big fight over
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Call it a fighter
jet face-off. Donald Trump is pitting the two biggest U.S. defense
contractors against each other, taking to Twitter to do it. The president-
elect lobbing his latest 140-character social media missile at Lockheed
Martin (NYSE:LMT), again, writing, quote, “Based on the tremendous cost and
cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) F-35, I have asked Boeing
(NYSE:BA) to price out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet.”
But can the fourth-generation Super Hornet actually compete with a fifth-
generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter? Short answer: no. It`s not designed
to be stealthy and it doesn`t have the advanced electronics, two major
factors that would take years and billions of dollars to become reality.
And even then, say analysts, not likely.
But it is a highly unusual move for a commander in chief, signaling a new
era of competition.
ROMAN SCHWEIZER, COWAN & COMPANY: Those companies doing the work will be
very attuned to performance, and they will probably understand that they`re
not going to get a very sympathetic ear in the Pentagon, or certainly from
the Oval Office, if there are front-page headlines about delays or cost
overruns or things like that. The president-elect has shown a willingness
to reach out 140 characters at a time and rattle company managements if
they`re doing something that he doesn`t like.
BRENNAN: The F-35 variance cost upwards of $135 million, so Lockheed says
it is working to drive that down to $85 million by 2020. Its low radar
signature means it can get closer to targets been it`s actually in danger.
But the less expensive F/A-18s have already snagged defense dollars that
otherwise may have gone to its newer rival for the Navy as well as Canada,
which announced a Super Hornet deal last month.
Of course, this could all be the president-elect`s art of the deal,
something he shed light on nearly a decade ago.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I say it ad nauseam. I`ll tell people
during the negotiation, you think you`re the only one? I have ten people
that want this deal. And sometimes it`s so and sometimes it`s a little bit
less than so, but I always create competition, because it makes the other
side a little bit nervous.
And even if — I`ve had my own people come up to me and say, oh, Mr. Trump,
you shouldn`t keep telling them there are other people. I say, do me a
favor, let me negotiate. I want them to drum — I want to brain-wash them.
I want them to think there is so much competition.
BRENNAN: And creating competition is the goal, especially as Lockheed
negotiates more F-35 contracts and does so on the heels of an unprecedented
contract in which the Pentagon unilaterally decided the price it was
willing to pay.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
GRIFFETH: Well, meanwhile, the president of Russia is rattling his own
saber on missile defense systems and nuclear weapons during his annual end-
of-year news conference. Vladimir Putin boasted about the strength of
Russia`s nuclear arsenal but did say he would not be drawn into an arms
race with the U.S. His comments came after Donald Trump said the U.S.
should expand its own nuclear capabilities.
Eamon Javers is in Washington for us tonight.
And, Eamon, Russia spent about $50 billion on defense last year, so what
else did he say on this very expensive topic?
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Vladimir Putin
wasn`t shy about talking about that, and particularly about talking about
all of the modernization that they have done in Russia of their nuclear
forces. And he also said, that if there is a new arms race, which
everyone`s been talking about here over the past 24 hours or so — he said
if that is so, it`s certainly not Russia`s fault. He pointed to the fact
that the United States has been modernizing its nuclear forces and
repositioning some of them as well, said that Russia is fully aware of
And interestingly, given the history of the fall of the Soviet Union and
the huge spending that they did in Russia in the 1980s on weapons systems,
he said to his domestic audience, we are going to be careful. If we are in
a new arms race, we are not going to overspend here. We`re not going to
spend more than we can afford. So, he`s reassuring the domestic audience
as well that history won`t repeat itself the way we saw in the 1980s.
HERERA: Did he talk at all about the sanctions and their impact that they
might be having on the Russian people and the Russian economy?
JAVERS: Well, clearly, what Vladimir Putin doesn`t want to say is that the
sanctions are having a very harsh effect on the Russian economy. It`s very
tough on some of the oligarchs there who are close to Vladimir Putin. They
were designed by the Obama administration to be that way and to be sort of
an economic pincer there.
That`s a problem for Vladimir Putin. And I think that as we pivot to 2017,
what you`re going to see is that Vladimir Putin really, really, really
wants to get those sanctions repealed. We`ll see whether Donald Trump
agrees with that or has something else in mind.
GRIFFETH: Eamon Javers in Washington, as always, thanks.
JAVERS: You bet.
HERERA: We have been reporting on China`s reaction to the president-
elect`s choice of Peter Navarro to head a new White House National Trade
Council. Navarro is a vocal critic of the world`s second largest economy.
Today, Chinese state media expressed alarm and warned of a slowdown with
the U.S., quote, “that individuals such as Navarro, who have a bias against
China, are being picked to work in leading positions in the next
administration is no laughing matter”, end quote.
GRIFFETH: So, with tensions rising with China and the chatter of an arms
race, new uncertainties are being introduced right now, something that the
market typically doesn`t like. So, what should investors make of all of
Joining us tonight is Paul Christopher, head of global market strategist at
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Investment Institute.
Paul, good to see you.
PAUL CHRISTOPHER, WELLS FARGO INVESTMENT INSTITUTE: Thank you very much.
GRIFFETH: Here we sit with the U.S. markets near all-time highs. So,
clearly, they`re not too bothered right now, but I guess we do have to take
a wait-and-see attitude to see how this plays out during the new
administration, don`t we?
CHRISTOPHER: That`s right. With the tweeter-in-chief in the wings, there
are just so many different possibilities for foreign policy and trade
policy. We think investors are best off right now sticking with their
HERERA: What are you most worried about? I mean, we see the relationship
between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, but now, we see China kind of coming on
the offensive, saying, you know, kind of a shot across the U.S. bow. What
are you watching the most closely?
CHRISTOPHER: That`s right. I think your reporter hit the nail on the head
a few minutes ago in the segment where you mentioned the “Art of the Deal.”
Mr. Trump, President-elect Trump has his own art of the deal, so I think
does Vladimir Putin. And so does the president or the Chinese leadership.
They have their own art of the deal.
And the stakes are very great, they`re very large. We don`t really know
how things will play out if each side starts taking on a different style of
negotiation. So, yes, we`re worried about how China reacts or negotiates
with the U.S. We`re worried about the U.S. in the Middle East and how the
new foreign policy may change the balance of power there.
CHRISTOPHER: And of course, in Eastern Europe.
GRIFFETH: You know, Wilbur Ross, who of course is the Commerce Department
head-elect, has said that for him, tariffs are a last resort. Yet, Mr.
Trump continues to mention them in the first sentence when he`s talking
about trade relations with other countries.
What do you think tariffs would do to our economy, to the companies that
have to export overseas and import goods here, and what would that do to
the stock market?
CHRISTOPHER: Yes, the first thing to realize is that it`s not really just
a multinationals problem anymore. All sorts of U.S. domestic companies,
small cap, midcap companies, have globalized supply chains now. Even
cutting off trade or reducing trade with Mexico by threatening to
renegotiate NAFTA. That could be difficult for a lot of U.S. companies, a
broad swath of U.S. companies.
And so, we think that would be negative for equities. We think it would
boost inflation, push up bond yields, and it would be — it would be a
source of frustration and uncertainty for earnings going forward.
GRIFFETH: But again, we have to all wait and see how it all plays out in
Paul Christopher with Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Investment Institute — thanks
HERERA: On Wall Street, a rise in new home sales and an increase in
consumer sentiment were not enough to give stocks a big lift. Equities
meandered all session ahead of the Christmas holiday. The Dow finished up
about 15 points to 19,933. The NASDAQ added 15, and the S&P 500 gained
two. For the week, there was a bit of holiday cheer for the three major
GRIFFETH: The Obama administration has struck deals with both Deutsche
Bank and with Credit Suisse over toxic securities. Deutsche Bank has
agreed to pay more than $7 billion to settle with the Justice Department
over its sales of risky mortgage-backed securities, which contributed to
the financial crisis. Separately, Credit Suisse has agreed to pay more
than $5 billion to settle the probe into its sales of subprime mortgage
HERERA: The Justice Department took the unusual step of suing Barclays
over its toxic mortgage-backed securities instead of settling. The
government alleges that the bank fraudulently sold more than $30 billion of
those risky bonds. The lawsuit comes after talks to reach a settlement
GRIFFETH: Certainly, retailers are hoping that the Grinch doesn`t steal
Christmas this year, with most making a last-minute push, very last-minute,
to lure shoppers in. It`s an important time of year for this sector
because many of the stores earned the bulk of their revenue right now in
the fourth quarter.
Courtney Reagan reports for us tonight from a Queens Center Mall in
Elmhurst, New York.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: If you haven`t
finished your holiday shopping yet, you`re not alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s my first day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be last-minute shopping.
REAGAN: During the season, millions of Americans turn to the Internet to
check off their shopping lists, pushing online sales up nearly 11 percent,
according to Adobe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve done it online.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you go to specific sales and then you look
online, you can find a difference.
REAGAN: But the clock has run out on standard shipping in time for
Christmas. With Christmas less than two days away, many stores are very
busy today, at least compared to other days so far this holiday season.
With Christmas Eve and Hanukkah tomorrow, it`s pretty much traditional
retailers` last chance to scoop up those sales.
Shoppertrak, which tracks in-store foot traffic, expects today will turn
out to be the third biggest day of the year for shopper visits. Retailers`
Christmas wish is for that forecast to translate into strong sales in the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m getting stuff for my mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m getting something pink for my girlfriend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little trinket for a secret Santa at the office.
Something for the kids and the lady.
REAGAN: Sales tracking data from NPD through December 10th shows the
shopping lull between Black Friday and Christmas, a drop-off that`s become
an unwelcome tradition, has been deeper this year than usual.
JOEL BINES, ALIXPARTNERS: The trend this year has been one of hopeful
expectation that has not materialized for most retailers. So, there was a
real hope that last weekend and into this week, there would be a surge of
shoppers in the brick-and-mortar stores, and we simply haven`t seen that.
REAGAN: Bines thinks in-store shopping hasn`t been great so far, partly
due to the strength of online shopping, but also because retailers have
trained shoppers, the longer they wait, the deeper the discounts get. He
joins the chorus of others expecting holiday sales to still grow the
forecasted 3 percent to 4 percent this season, though Bines points out,
that means only an average season. But there`s always a chance for a
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan in Elmhurst, New York.
GRIFFETH: Still ahead, why Hollywood is not celebrating what has been a
record year at the box office.
GRIFFETH: So, Hollywood is on pace for another record year, but the
entertainment industry is not celebrating the milestone.
Julia Boorstin explains why.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The North American
box office will hit a new record this year, topping $11.3 billion,
according to ComScore, but hidden in that record are some concerning
trends. Higher ticket prices are driving the record box office haul, not
bigger audiences. Attendance is expected to be flat from 2015 but down
about 6 percent from a decade ago.
PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, COMSCORE: When you look at the percentage increased
over the years in box office revenues, often that comes a little bit at the
expense of attendance because of those higher ticket prices.
BOORSTIN: Thanks to declining home entertainment revenue, higher marketing
costs and fewer big hits, average profits at the seven biggest studios fell
17 percent through September, according to Cowen.
And Disney (NYSE:DIS) dominated, earning more than half of industry profits
in that period with five of the ten biggest films of the year, including
the top two, “Finding Dory” and “Captain America: Civil War.” All of the
studios suffered from some flops, from Paramount`s “Ben-Hur” to Disney`s
“BFG” to Lionsgate`s “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.”
Another sign of cracks in the system, only three of 14 summer sequels
outperformed their predecessors, with familiar names such as “Zoolander 2”
and “Bridget Jones” falling flat. And while China`s box office grew by
almost half last year, boosting Hollywood revenue, this year, Chinese
growth basically flat-lined. ComScore`s Paul Dergarabedian says expecting
China`s box office growth to continue would be misguided.
DERGARABEDIAN: It has gone from a novelty-driven factor where audiences
there haven`t really had those kind of in-theater experiences with the
great amenities and these brand-new, beautiful theaters. Now, that will
shift from a novelty factor for the movie-going experience and shift to the
quality of the movies.
BOORSTIN: With so many entertainment alternatives both in the U.S. and
abroad and the cost of going to theaters on the rise, the bar for quality
content is higher than ever.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in San Francisco.
HERERA: China hits General Motors (NYSE:GM) with a $29 million fine, and
that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”
Chinese officials allege that the automakers joint venture engaged in
monopolistic pricing for Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models. GM says it
will ensure all appropriate actions are taken in regards to this matter.
It doesn`t happen often, but GM shares managed to finish the day right
where they began, unchanged at $35.69.
Discount store operator Fred`s (NASDAQ:FRED) saw its shares rise today
after a regulatory filing revealed Alden Global Capital took a nearly 25
percent stake in the company. The activist investor says the shares are
undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity. Shares
finished the day up 4 percent to $20.20.
And Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) swung to a quarterly loss. The egg
producer said it was negatively impacted by an oversupply of eggs but that
prices have started to rise recently. Shares rose 7 percent to $44.95.
GRIFFETH: Shares of GNC Holdings hit a record low today after Piper
Jaffray cut its rating on the stock to underrate and slashed its price
target. The analyst said the company`s decision to discontinue its paid
membership program adds to the risk of an earnings miss. And as a result,
the stock was down 10 percent today to $10.84.
Medical supply distributor Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) will pay $10 million
to the U.S. government. Regulators allege that the company failed to
report suspiciously large orders of addictive painkillers. Cardinal Health
(NYSE:CAH) shares rose, though, to $72.88.
HERERA: And now to our market monitor, who has names of large-cap stocks
he says could benefit from the Trump presidency. This is his first time
joining us on the program. He is Damon Barglow, portfolio manager at
Rockland Trust Investment Management Group.
Welcome, Damon. Nice to have you here.
DAMON BARGLOW, ROCKLAND TRUST INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT GROUP: Hello. Thanks
for having me.
HERERA: Let`s start with your first pick, we`re going to get right to
them, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). It`s probably pretty obvious, one of the
reasons why you like it, but tell us more.
BARGLOW: Yes, I mean, clearly, the fact that Tillerson`s going to be
secretary of state and Exxon has a friend on Capitol Hill, that can only
help them, right? But mainly, the reason why we like them is energy stocks
have come up quite a bit off of their 2015 lows, but we think there`s still
room to run, particularly when OPEC is talking about production cuts. And
then the incoming administration is talking about deregulation that could
benefit production and exploration.
GRIFFETH: Another of your picks, home depot. It rises and falls along
with the fortunes of the housing market. I guess you`re betting on a
better housing market down the road, huh?
BARGLOW: Yes, well, actually, the housing market is pretty good right now.
We`ve had, you know, pretty good increases in home equity value over time,
but Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is a direct beneficiary of those rises in terms of
home equity value, because then people are going to do repairs and
The other thing is, if you think about a reduction in corporate taxes, Home
Depot (NYSE:HD) gets 90 percent of their sales from the United States
versus the average of about 50 percent for more large-cap companies in the
S&P. And then, clearly, Trump has made home ownership a key initiative of
his administration. And we got these great numbers today in terms of
increased home sales. But if he can do anything to help that, that would
be a positive for Home Depot (NYSE:HD).
HERERA: I`m curious about your last pick, which is Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC),
because the bank has had such tough sledding.
BARGLOW: Yes, it has.
HERERA: There are still investigations pending. The California attorney
general looking in at possible criminal activity. Why do you like the
stock at this juncture?
BARGLOW: Well, we like it in part for those reasons, it`s a little bit
tarnished, and we`re not afraid to go after a company that has a little
scandal associated with it. The fact is that the key players that were
part of the cross-selling scandal are out, Stumpf and their head of
community banking, Tolstedt, and I really believe that they can do well
along with their other banking peers.
If you think about the Trump bump post-election, a lot of their big peers,
they rallied along with their peers, but they`re still lagging them
And so, I think if you want to get into — if you want to take advantage of
a favorable environment for banking, it`s not too late with Wells Fargo
HERERA: OK. On that note, Damon, thank you very much for joining us.
BARGLOW: Thank you.
HERERA: Damon Barglow with Rockland Trust Investment Management Group.
Coming up, meet the entrepreneur who put a new spin on an age-old sport and
turned it into a successful empire. Find out how he made his millions,
GRIFFETH: More than 67 million people bowled at least one time last year.
More than a third of them at a place run by Tom Shannon. He`s an
entrepreneur who has turned run-down alleys into an international brand
that has become the largest player in the $6 billion U.S. bowling industry.
Tyler Mathisen introduces us to him in tonight`s “How I Made My Millions.”
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT: I haven`t got a chance. Maybe I
Don`t let that first ball fool you.
TOM SHANNON, BOWLMOR AMF: That was pretty abysmal.
MATHISEN: Tom Shannon knows how to strike it rich, in bowling.
MATHISEN: How many total bowling centers do you run?
SHANNON: Now, 308 and about 9,000 employees.
MATHISEN: His ten-pin empire, known broadly as Bowlmor AMF, racks up about
$550 million in annual revenue and hosts plenty of celebrities.
SHANNON: Al Pacino, the Kardashians.
MATHISEN: The Kardashians were here? You`re kidding me!
SHANNON: I taught Kim how to bowl.
MATHISEN: I`ll bet you did.
It all started with a lot less glamour and a single location. Bowlmor
Lanes, a New York City institution that Shannon walked into in 1984, more
than half a century after it opened.
SHANNON: It was very run down, probably no investment in it in at least
MATHISEN: But the Darden Business School graduate saw potential for a
revamped bowling experience.
SHANNON: Business was financed with a combination of $3,000 in equity,
which is all I had, and $2 million borrowed.
MATHISEN: From whom?
SHANNON: About two-thirds of it was a seller note. I borrowed from SBIC,
Small Business Investment Corps at 17.5 percent interest.
MATHISEN: Then, he went to work, adding new technology, updating the
decor, improving the music and the menu and transforming the tired bowling
alley into a hip, nighttime destination.
SHANNON: We used to renovate during the day, clean up and open for
business at 5:00.
MATHISEN: And it worked. Shannon says by 1999, the Union Square location
was the highest grossing bowling alley in the country. Two years later, he
tried the same trick in suburban Maryland with a similar result.
SHANNON: And so, I thought, well, it`s working in Manhattan and it`s
working in Bethesda, we have a model that will work.
MATHISEN: Soon, he saw customers rolling through the doors of six Bowlmor
Centers at a time when thousands of alleys were closing shop, including
AMF, the biggest player in bowling at the time.
For Shannon, it was an entry angle to big-league bowling.
SHANNON: I partnered up with a private equity firm, and we managed to buy
AMF out of bankruptcy for $300 million. So, overnight, I went from six
bowling alleys to 272.
MATHISEN: Then, there`s another acquisition. You get even bigger.
SHANNON: Yes. So, this was, I would say a little audacious.
MATHISEN: The newly combined Bowlmor/AMF spent more than $270 million to
score 85 additional centers from Brunswick (NYSE:BC) in 2014. The company
currently operates under four brand names — Bowlmor, AMF, Brunswick
(NYSE:BC) Zone, and Bowlero, and it spares no expense on renovation.
Do you work with like theatrical stage and set designers to do this?
SHANNON: We do it all in-house. For me, maybe the funniest part of the
business is that I get to create this crazy spectacle in which you can
bowl, and it actually has an economic return.
MATHISEN: A healthy one at that. In 2015, the annual revenue hit higher
than $500 million and welcomed more than 25 million visitors to its lanes.
SHANNON: I view this as a long-term play. And I don`t know where the
limit is. I expect at some point we`ll be a multibillion dollar,
diversified entertainment company.
SHANNON: Well done.
GRIFFETH: Ah, good for you, Tyler.
And I know what you`re thinking, Shannon has no plans to take the company
public any time soon, but he is looking to expand his empire outside the
bowling industry. Stay tuned.
HERERA: And finally tonight, consumers are joyful! At least according to
the latest data on Christmas tree sales. Purchases are up 10 percent from
a year ago, and the assumption is that if trees are selling briskly,
consumers may also increase their spending on gifts.
And as the theory goes, if spending increases, the broader economy will
benefit. Makes sense to me.
GRIFFETH: It does. Are you done with the wrapping?
HERERA: No. No, I`m not done. I`m done with the buying.
GRIFFETH: Tick-tock, tick-tock.
HERERA: No kidding!
GRIFFETH: All right.
HERERA: That will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue
Herera. Have a great holiday, everybody.
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah. We will
see you Monday for a special edition of NBR. Goodnight.
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