Transcript: Nightly Business Report – May 4, 2017

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Sue


repeal and a replace of Obamacare. Make no mistake about it.


passes a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Who wins, who loses, and
what happens next?

prices plunge. Gold hits a six-week low. Is this the weak link in the
market rally?

HERERA: Second life. Why Boeing`s souped-up Super Hornet is gaining
renewed attention in Washington.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, May

MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

The GOP cheered, the Democrats jeered, when the Republican-controlled House
of Representatives passed a new version of its health care bill,
overhauling, some would say scrapping the Affordable Care Act, and
fulfilling a major campaign promise of the GOP and President Trump. The
margin of victory was slim, but it was enough and it caps weeks of
negotiations following the failure of an earlier GOP version.

In a nutshell, the bill eliminates the mandate requiring individuals to
carry health insurance and some businesses to provide it. It creates age-
based tax credits to help people pay for coverage. It lets states seek
waivers for covering preexisting conditions and some benefits deemed
essential under Obamacare.

It includes funding for those considered high risk and it overhauls
Medicaid`s funding formula. House Speaker Paul Ryan applauded the
chamber`s vote, but said it is not a done deal yet. The legislation now
makes its way to the Senate where it may and probably will undergo
substantial changes.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We still have a lot of work
to do to get this signed into law. And I know that our friends over in the
Senate are eager to get to work.


They are. We`re going to see that work through. You know why we`re going
to see this work through? Because the issues are just too important. The
stakes are just too high.


HERERA: Despite the house passage of that bill, a number of questions
remain about subsidies, preexisting conditions, and where the insurance
companies stand.

Bertha Coombs decided to take a look.


leaders and the White House celebrated the passage of the American Health
Care Act, saying by repealing Affordable Care Act regulations, they`re
going to be able to bring down premium costs for Americans.

TRUMP: People are suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare. And I
will say this, that as far as I`m concerned — your premiums, they`re going
to start to come down.

COOMBS: One of the ways the House bill does that, letting states opt out
of ACA insurance benefit requirements, to allow the sale of less costly
plans. For insurers, that adds new complexity.

much uncertainty, we`re still talking about state waivers. It`s not clear
what the states are going to do as a consequence of that.

COOMBS: The bill also gives states the option of taking some high cost
enrollees with preexisting conditions, may have to drop coverage, and
putting them in separate high risk pools, providing up to $15 billion a
year through 2026. Analyst at Avalere Health estimates that funding could
cover about 600,000 people a year. But in Texas alone, there are nearly
200,000 with preexisting chronic conditions who would qualify.

The former chief of says it may not be enough.

invisible risk-sharing that exists right now within the ACA. $15 billion
of that is dedicated to it.

We just don`t know how big the number of states are. If there`s two
states, there`s more than enough money. If there`s 15 states, there`s
probably not close to enough money.

COOMBS: For next year, the new bill would leave Obamacare tax credits tied
to premiums in place but after that, would replace them credits ranging
from $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on your age. The bill does not
address near term funding of $12 billion in Obamacare cost sharing
subsidies next year, which bring down out of pocket costs for low income
enrollees, funding insurers have said is key to deciding whether they will
offer exchange coverage in 2018.

COUNIHAN: If that gets cut off, a large percentage of them might leave the

COOMBS: AHIP, the health insurers` trade group, says the industry needs
certainty now on those cost sharing subsidies. They also said that they
stand ready to work with the Senate to improve the bill, starting with a
recommendation that the tax credits be, quote, “enhanced” for those living
in areas with higher health costs.



MATHISEN: On Wall Street, the initial reaction to passage of the bill was
mixed. Health insurance stocks moved mostly higher except for Anthem which
has some of the greatest exposure to the exchanges. Hospital stocks
finished mixed but got a slight lift on news of anticipation that the GOP
would craft its own bill.

Chris Meekins is a health policy analyst with FBR and he`s here to talk
about the potential winners and losers in the health care sector.

You know, President Trump, Chris, said that this health care business is
really complicated, and, boy, is it ever. So, I`m going to ask you for
some clarity here.

Let`s start with hospital stocks. If something like what was passed by the
House today eventually becomes law, are they winners, losers, better off,
worse off?

long term. So, in the out years, the cuts to Medicaid would
disproportionately impact hospitals. Additionally, the movement towards
more high deductible health plans will resolve in individuals having —
going to the hospital having a $6,000, $8,000, $10,000 hospital bill.

And we`ve seen in states like Ohio is individuals are beginning to walk
away from that debt and hospitals have had to eat that bad debt. Which is
why names like HCA, names like Tenet, names — some others in the hospital
space, are all going to be negatively impacted over the longer term if this
becomes implemented.

In the near term, you know, funding for Medicaid continues over the next
three years. There`s some additional funding for DSH cuts is what they`re
called down here.

So, hospitals could be good over the next 18 months. But over the long
term, really they really will be negatively impacted.

HERERA: And, of course, we don`t know what the Senate is going to do to
this particular piece of legislation. But let`s assume that it stays
primarily the way it is now. Do you think some of the pharma names might

MEEKINS: Yes, pharma got a massive tax cut as part of the House bill, $30
billion over ten years for the branded pharmaceutical industry. So, names
like Pfizer and Gilead and Eli Lilly will really benefit on their bottom
line each year with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts. So, it`s
a positive for them.

Additionally, not a single provision was inserted to deal with drug
pricing. And that`s a big deal with a lot of Americans having concern over
rising drug costs.

MATHISEN: What about the medical device makers, the Medtronics and the

MEEKINS: So, medical device makers will benefit in that the medical device
tax, which is $24 billion over ten years, is eliminated. But at the same
time, because hospitals oftentimes negotiate and make payments for medical
devices, the downward pressure on hospitals could actually extend further
downstream to the medical device and the health care I.T. companies.

HERERA: What do you think the fate is of this bill? I mean, there were
several times where we thought that perhaps they didn`t have the votes.
They finally did have the votes. Are we going to see a replay of this as
it goes to the Senate, do you think?

MEEKINS: I think we`re at halftime in the game. And the second half, as
is the case in most playoff games you`ve seen, whether it`s hockey or the
NBA, teams tend to play a little harder when it gets serious. So, in the
second half, I think we`re going to continue to see these fights. I think
the bill is going to be dead eight our nine times before it passes. But
like a cat that has nine lives, this thing has the potential to get done.

And I think by Independence Day, you could see the Senate move on

MATHISEN: Very quickly, we neglected to ask you, your thought about the
insurance companies, the big insurers that have been fleeing the Obamacare
exchanges. What`s going to happen to them? Quick.

MEEKINS: Sure. In the non-group market, the names will actually get
better, because the tax credits — this bill benefits people under 40,
hurts people aged 50 to 65. The Medicaid-exposed names like Centene, like
Molina, could be negatively impacted if the $880 billion in Medicaid cuts
go through.

MATHISEN: All right. Chris, thank you very much. Very clear. We
appreciate it.

MEEKINS: Thanks, Tyler.

MATHISEN: Chris Meekins with FBR.

HERERA: Also on Capitol Hill, a House panel advanced a bill to overhaul
Wall Street regulations. The House Financial Services Committee voted
along party lines to undue the group of laws known as Dodd/Frank.
Lawmakers say Dodd-Frank regulations choked economic growth and crimped
bank lending. Democrats say the rules will prevent another financial
crisis and protect American consumers.

MATHISEN: While the drama in Washington did translate into relatively calm
waters on Wall Street today, energy stocks dropped which capped some of the
gains as investors looked ahead to tomorrow`s monthly employment report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average off six points at 20,951. The NASDAQ rose
two. And the S&P 500 rose 1.39. That`s about as flat as it gets, Sue.

HERERA: That`s — you`re right on that.

All right. That drop in energy stocks that Ty mentioned was due to a
plunge in the price of oil, which fell to its lowest level since November.
That`s because there are renewed concerns that OPEC may not take additional
steps to reduce the supply glut. That pushed domestic crude down nearly 5
percent. And it`s not just oil that`s falling, other commodity prices have
also come under pressure in recent weeks.

Bob Pisani takes a look.


looks like an all clear for stocks to hit new highs. Earnings are
improving and the global economic outlook is improving as well.

But there`s two big flies in the ointment, China and oil. China is slowing
its spending on growth initiatives. They`re also tightening monetary
conditions and there`s talk of more regulatory scrutiny.

And oil, after rising earlier in the year, has now dropped to a six-month
low. That`s good news for consumers, not for oil companies.

You put these two together and you have a commodity rout. Oil is down 10
percent this quarter. Iron ore is down 16 percent, and base metals like
nickels down nearly 10 percent.

As a result, oil stocks, as well as metal and mining companies, they are
all down double digits this quarter. Not surprisingly, analyses have begun
taking down earnings estimates for oil companies. As a result, we`re
starting to see oil stocks show up on the 60-week low list. Schlumberger
and Occidental Petroleum and Apache and Murphy and Range Resources all join
the list today.

How big a problem is this for the overall market? For the moment, stocks
remain favorable. Traders are still betting the improving global economy
will trump the oversupply of oil and many are betting that the Chinese will
back off from their recent slowdown as we get closer to October. That`s
when the Chinese leadership is scheduled to turn over.

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


MATHISEN: Still ahead, the retail wreck. Why it`s not just the shift to
online shopping that is leading to a rise in brick and mortar bankruptcies.


MATHISEN: Late today, CBS saw its ad revenue drop, though its profits
topped expectations. The network was helped by higher content and
subscription fees. The company has been focusing more on its streaming
services as more and more advertisers follow viewers online.

And the big concern for the industry broadly is the rise in cord cutting,
meaning a growing number of consumers who no longer want to pay for cable
TV. And one way or another, cable television subscription fees work their
way back to content providers, station owners, and networks like CBS.

Julia Boorstin has more.


suffered its worst first quarter ever, according to a new report from
MoffettNathanson. Even if you account for additions from smaller skinny
bundles such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now, analyst Craig Moffett says the
pay TV business still lost about half a million subscribers.

CRAIG MOFFETT, MOFFETTNATHANSON: It`s not that these customers are leaving
and going to virtual, over-the-top players, because those guys were weak,
too. And so, the content category was also down by about a percent and a
half. And remember, for any individual content player, they`re doing worse
because they`re not included in every one of these packages.

BOORSTIN: Viacom echoed those concerns today. CEO Bob Bakish acknowledged
softness in subscriber numbers for the quarter, saying the fact that some
of its most popular channels are not included in the popular skinny bundles
is having an impact.

And there are growing concerns about advertising, that ad pricing gains may
not be enough to offset ratings declines. Time Warner`s Turner reported a
2 percent drop in ad revenue, its weakest first quarter in years. And
Viacom reported 1 percent decline in advertising in the quarter.

But at the Milken Global Institute Conference Wednesday, ahead of earnings,
CBS CEO Les Moonves was bullish about both advertising and about CBS`s role
ion the changing TV landscape, saying that CBS and its content are
everywhere, from its own CBS All Access service to skinny bundles and over
the top streaming services like Hulu`s new bundle which just launched this

LES MOONVES, CBS CHAIRMAN & CEO: We think it`s the wave of the future.
You have to be everywhere. No matter how you want to get your content,
we`re going to be there for you.

BOORSTIN: With Disney reporting earnings next Tuesday and FOX reporting
next Wednesday, we`ll see if those media giants can reassure investors.

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


HERERA: The media industry isn`t the only one going through a
transformation, so is retail. 2017 is on track to be a record setting year
for bankruptcy filings and store closings. But if consumers are by many
measures spending, why are the retailers hurting so much?

Courtney Reagan explains.


tipping point. More shopping is shifting online in general, and to Amazon
specifically, which is hurting store sales. Consumers are spending more on
travel instead of clothing. And investing in their homes rather than
adding to their closets. The shifts have been happening over time.

But after the recession, mall landlords gave concessions like lower rent or
better lease terms, hoping to prevent ghost malls. Several years later, as
retailers weakened, equity firms stepped in, injecting cash to help prop
them up. Those PE owners provided the financing, but the interest payment
on the debt is due now, which is the ultimate reason many of these
retailers are closing for good.

In fact, half of the retailers filing for bankruptcy this year are highly
leveraged with debt from private equity, including Payless, the Limited,
and Wet Seal.

consumer who maxes out his credit cards. Once you`ve maxed out your
ability to borrow, your degrees of freedom if you should encounter any sort
of a crisis are much fewer and more far between.

REAGAN: The debt strategy works when sales are growing higher. But as
sales fall, there`s not enough cash to pay back what`s now due.

Making matters worse, as retailer sales begin to fall, some private equity
firms want to make sure to get their money out. So, they add even more
debt, requiring the retailers to pay them special dividends.

JUDE GORMAN, REORG RESEARCH: I think what you`re looking at is really
death by a thousand cuts. They just have less margin for error. So, any
time there`s a little bit of a dip in the business, they — it gets harder
to pay their interest and gets harder to satisfy the rest of their

REAGAN: And now, there`s less time to figure it out than in the past,
because of major changes to bankruptcy laws in 2005, retailers now only
have 210 days max to decide which stores to close and how to restructure to
emerge from bankruptcy. Prior to the law change, it wasn`t uncommon for a
retailer to need 18 months to emerge from bankruptcy with a healthier

All of it together means highly leveraged retailers filing for bankruptcy
now turns into liquidation and not reorganization much more frequently.



MATHISEN: Anheuser-Busch InBev brews up profits that clear the bar and
that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The world`s largest brewer said it`s better than expected earnings were
largely helped by the integration of rival SAB Miller. AB InBev also said
its sales of pricier Stella Artois and Michelob Ultra beer helped to offset
declines in Bud Light and Bud, the king of beers. In addition, the company
said it is starting to see improving beer volumes in Brazil, its second
largest market. Shares rose 5 percent to $119.47.

Adidas reported higher than expected earnings and revenue as the German
sports apparel company saw online sales and some pickup in its Reebok
brand. The company also confirmed its guidance for the year. And the CEO
said he`s happy with the latest results.


KASPER RORSTED, ADIDAS CEO: We`ve built a very strong pipeline over a set
of years, with a very clear view of where we`re going to take the brands.
And as you can see, America grew more than 30 percent. Adidas business in
America grew 36 percent. In China, we grew 31 percent. So, in the two
biggest sports markets in the world, we`re by far outgrowing the market.


MATHISEN: Adidas shares rose fractionally to $183.80.

Cost cuts helped Kellogg post a higher than topped estimates. The maker of
Rice Krispies Pop Tarts did see overall sales fall, though, as weakness in
the company`s North American and European markets hurt results. Still,
Kellogg finished up 2 percent to $70.40.

HERERA: Avon swung to surprised loss as lower sales in the U.S. and some
foreign markets impacted their results. The cosmetics company also posted
revenue that came in below expectations and says it sees sales growing in
the low single digits this year. It was not a pretty picture. Shares
plummeted 22 percent to $3.62.

The burger chain Shake Shack posted earnings and revenue ahead of
estimates, but the company disappointed with its weaker than expected same
store sales. The company cited softer foot traffic and cold weather during
the quarter for that miss. Shares initially fell in afterhours trading and
also ended the regular session down more than 2 percent to $33.12.

MATHISEN: You may have heard about the scam spreading through Gmail
yesterday. A legitimate-looking e-mail that if you clicked on it, could
steal your personal information. It had a lot of people worried.

Andrea Day now on what you need to know.


phishing scam. If you opened your e-mail, it looked like a friend or
someone you work with was trying to share a Google doc. Our producer got
two and here they are.

But it was just a trick. Cyber criminals were trying to steal your
information by fooling you into opening the document. If you did, you were
asked to give permission for it to access your account. And from there, it
went out to all of your contacts.

Right now, it`s not clear what kind of information attackers wanted to
grab. But Google says only about 0.1 percent of Gmail users were
compromised and the bad guys were shut down within an hour.

So, what does that mean for a company like Google?

Google is so big, they were able to see and take action on it pretty
quickly. Any time you offer services to the Internet at large, there can
be vulnerabilities. And that`s usually involving tricking users to
compromise themselves.

DAY: And according to Google, even if you fell for the attack, there`s
nothing you need to do right now. You can always check out any apps that
are connected to your account by going to Google security, checkup. But
experts say it`s always a good idea to keep changing your password. And
don`t click on anything unless you`re 100 percent sure.



HERERA: Coming up, a battle for the sky.


in St. Louis, Missouri. This EA-18 Growlers is part of Boeing`s F18
fighter jet family. We`re going to talk about the future of the F-18
program and the fight for defense dollars, coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS



MATHISEN: Apple is investing in advanced manufacturing jobs. In an
interview with CNBC, CEO Tim Cook told Jim Cramer the company is creating a
$1 billion fund aimed at bringing those types of jobs to the U.S.


TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: A billion dollars of our U.S. money —


COOK: — which we have to borrow to get, that`s another whole topic. But,
yes, we`re really proud to do it. And by doing that, we can be the ripple
in the pond because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those
manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them, because you have a service
industry that builds up around them. And we`ll be announcing the first
investment from this fund later in the month of May.


MATHISEN: Mr. Cook said Apple has already created 2 million jobs in this
country. And as we reported earlier this week, Apple has a cash pile of
more than $250 billion.

HERERA: The U.S. military is in need of fighter jets. And the battle to
fill that demand is heating up.

Morgan Brennan is at Boeing`s F-18 production line in St. Louis.


BRENNAN: It`s been the backbone of naval aviation for four decades. And
now F-18 is getting a second life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve always thought that the navy buying additional
super hornets made sense, because they need airplanes to last to the 2040s.

BRENNAN: Earlier this year, the Navy disclosed that two out of every three
F-18 fighter planes are out of commission, awaiting repairs. They`ve been
flown hard in a post-9/11 world, which coupled with maintenance backlog has
resulted in a serious fighter jet shortfall.

This EA-18 Growler is the jamming plane outfitted for the Super Hornet,
both part of the F-18 fighter jet family and both are assembled here in St.
Louis. Boeing says it`s ready to make more.

DAN GILLIAN, BOEING VP OF F/A-18, EA-18 PROGRAMS: Today, we`re producing
two sets per month, Super Hornet and Growlers in this factory. As we think
about the U.S. Navy`s demand for additional airplanes to address Super
Hornet and other international demands, we can see that going back up to
three or four per month by sometime in the early `20s.

BRENNAN: The 2017 budget includes a billion dollar allotment for 14 new
Super Hornets. And Boeing expects the Navy to buy at least 100 more
through 2022, a move that would ensure F/A-18`s dominance on aircraft
carriers for decades to come.

It`s also rolling out a program to extend the service life on a hundred of
planes in use and working on a new version for future orders.

JOHN TOUGAS, BOEING TEST PILOT: The Block III now is going to keep us
several steps ahead of what we project is the future threat.

BRENNAN: After a 20-year career with the Navy, John Tougas test flies
Super Hornets as they come off Boeing`s assembly line. He says evolving
enemy capabilities make it imperative future F-18s have more advanced
capabilities, the reason Boeing is proposing this new upgraded Block III
Super Hornet.

TOUGAS: The whole idea is not to just be able to win today`s battle. It`s
win the future battle, because an aircraft has to be — have the
capabilities to stay ahead of the threat — of the future threat.

BRENNAN: Boeing argues that the administration should buy more Super
Hornets and less of the pricier F-35s made by rival Lockheed Martin, a
strategy it has claimed would save the Pentagon tens of billions of

Still, analysts say the Navy will need both strike fighters in its air
wing, even as competition for future defense dollars heats up.

JOHN EADE, ARGUS RESEARCH: Well, the F/A-18 is the legacy fighter. And
the F-35 is the new fighter. So, I think, as you would expect, the new
fighter is going to have some improvements over the legacy fighter. It`s
going to be stealthier. It`s going to have a longer range. But, you know,
those factors come at a price.

And I think President Trump has made it very clear he`s looking for the
lowest price possible.

BRENNAN: The Super Hornet currently costs about $75 million. An advanced
version will add $3 million to the price. By comparison, a naval variant
of the F-35 is about 120 million. Whatever the final mix, the Navy and the
contractors involved say the planes will ultimately complement each other,
enabling the military to better keep America safe.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in St. Louis, Missouri.


MATHISEN: And finally tonight, May 4th is Star Wars Day as in “May the 4th
be with you.” A day to celebrate one of the most successful franchises in
entertainment history. The first movie was released in 1977, and since
then, worldwide gross at the box office, more than $7 billion. According
to “Fortune,” DVDs, digital downloads and other home entertainment sales
reached nearly $6 billion. Toys and merchs, $17 billion. Video games,
more than $4 billion.

And then there`s all the other stuff like intellectual property, books,
they took in more than $3.5 billion, for a total of nearly $42 billion.

May the 4th be with you.

HERERA: I think we both had some of those toys in there.

MATHISEN: Oh, yeah.


That will do it for us on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sue Herera. Thanks
for joining us.

MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great evening, everybody. We`ll see
you back here tomorrow.


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