TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Broad rally. Stocks
rebound from yesterday`s selloff as investors try to figure out what to
expect in the months ahead.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Bucking the trend. Walmart
wants what a lot of retailers could not — get more customers into its
store and more sales online.
MATHISEN: Policy shift. Why the company that started the remote working
revolution is now calling employees back to the office.
Those stories and more on tonight`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Investors put money back into stocks as the market recovered from its worst
drop of the year. Early on, it seemed that today would be another rough
one. But that wasn`t the case. At one point, the Dow was actually up
The closing numbers looked like this — the Dow Jones Industrials Average
added 56 points to 20,663. The NASDAQ rose 43. And the S&P 500 was up
Bob Pisani spent the day at the New York Stock Exchange figuring out why
stocks got a lift.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yesterday`s selloff was
a one-day event, at least so far. Traders had been nervous going into the
open because yesterday, a lot of big institutional traders were selling
stocks. The concern was that the big players would continue to sell today.
That did not happen. Wall Street strategists also do not appear ruffled by
the wild ride yesterday. No strategists were taking their estimates for
future stock gains, at least not yet. JPMorgan told clients they were
still sticking by their year-end price target of 2,400 on the S&P 500, just
above where it is now, and raised their earnings estimates because
corporate guidance has really been strong.
Elsewhere, an accident in Times Square in the middle of the day that caused
the death of one pedestrian caught the attention of traders. But it does
appear to be an accident and not terror-related.
The markets did rise briefly midday on erroneous headlines from bloggers
regarding Jim Comey`s may 3rd testimony before Congress. Comey was asked
in the video whether the attorney general or senior Justice Department
officials had ever asked him to halt an investigation. Bloggers
misconstrued the video to mean neither Trump nor anyone else had ever asked
Comey to end the probe.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
MATHISEN: Hugh Johnson, who has seen a lot of stuff over the years, joins
us now to discuss what we can expect from the markets in the months ahead.
Hugh, I`m so glad to have you here tonight because like me, your sense of
history and Sue`s as well goes back through many crises over the years.
HUGH JOHNSON, HUGH JOHNSON ADVISORS CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MATHISEN: How should we think about what`s going on now as an investor and
how can we keep cool heads when the headlines are so hot?
JOHNSON: It`s not easy to do. I remember, of course, the Nixon crisis and
the Clinton crisis, and it was — even though we try to keep our heads,
even though we tried to focus on what really counts, which, of course, are
earnings and the economy and things of that sort, the truth was in both
periods, we were very focused, very obsessively so, on what was going on in
Washington. And that was true in both of those instances. And I think
it`s going to be true in this instance as well.
And occasionally, periodically, we`re going to get some sort of a shock, a
shock that suggests that the president is going to be impeached or
something is going to happen in Washington. And that could cause a real
ripple through the markets, a real decline. So, this is going to be very
much I think, you know, we`re going to be walking on hot coals for the
foreseeable future, three to six months. There could be some fairly sharp
corrections along the way if we get some bad news on the outcome for the
presidency or the administration.
HERERA: If I`m hearing you correctly, Hugh, you seemed to be saying we
can`t really gauge from those past periods of time because we were in very
different financial and economic circumstances for the Nixon era and also
for the Clinton era.
JOHNSON: Yes, very different. As the Nixon was era was — as dismal as it
gets, not only were interest rates — inflation went from 3 percent to 10
percent or 11 percent, the economy went into a recession. We were focused
on the deterioration, in not only earnings, but the stock market itself.
So, we were obsessed with that. There still was a lot of focus on
Washington. But it was very bad times.
MATHISEN: You know, I know —
JOHNSON: The Clinton administration during the Clinton — yes, go ahead,
MATHISEN: Please, Hugh, I thought you were wrapping up. Go ahead, finish
your thought on Clinton.
JOHNSON: Well, the only thing I`d say is that Clinton was entirely
different, the economy was expanding. Things were really good. And so,
the market performed well.
Generally, market performed poorly in the Nixon period because of bad
fundamentals. Markets performed well during the period, the Clinton period
because of good fundamentals.
JOHNSON: But there were shocks along the way and they caused real ripples
or declines in the Clinton era.
MATHISEN: So, what should I do? What would you like to tell our viewers
who are investors that they should be wary of or maybe take advantage of?
And I`m going to ask you to cheer me up a little bit, Hugh. The economy is
pretty good, right? Unemployment is down and incomes are moving up a
MATHISEN: It`s not all that bad.
JOHNSON: Yeah. No, it`s not. And the fundamentals are good.
We have further to go in the current sort of stock market economic interest
rate cycle. So, you should maintain a meaningful allocation in your
portfolio to stocks. The stock market over time is going to be fine.
I think this is going to be a little bit of a testy period for two reasons.
One, valuation is not particularly good. I think we discounted all the
good news that I see from the so-called Trump stimulus, if we ever do get
it. So, that`s one thing. We`ve already discounted it.
And what I simply would suggest to investors — maintain a high allocation
to equities, but make sure you`re very patient and very good at picking
entry points. A good entry point to this stock market where it`s not so —
valuation problems are not so lofty is lower than current levels. That`s
not 2,350. That`s 2,300 or even lower. So, be patient, and pick your
entry levels and a be good stock entry.
MATHISEN: Thanks for your wisdom tonight. Hugh, always good to see you.
Hugh Johnson with Hugh Johnson Advisors.
JOHNSON: My pleasure.
HERERA: It was a better than expected quarter for the world`s largest
retailer. Walmart topped earnings estimates and reported growth in key
areas. That helped lift shares more than 3 percent, making it the best
performing stock in the Dow index.
Courtney Reagan looks at why Walmart`s business is thriving in such a
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Many retailers are
struggling, but right now, Walmart isn`t one of them. Investors are
focusing on the world`s largest retailers` growth streak. Walmart has
grown U.S. comparable sales for nearly three straight years, and much of
that from an increase in customers — an impressive feat for a retailer of
that size especially in today`s difficult retail environment.
Plus, its forecasts for the current quarter`s comparable sales is stronger
than analysts were expecting. While the stores still generate most of
Walmart`s sales, its digital sales grew more than 60 percent from last
year. Walmart has a long way to go to catch up to Amazon online.
Walmart`s total sales, though, are 3 1/2 times bigger than Amazon`s.
KAREN SHORT, BARCLAY`S SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST: This is a company that is
generating traffic not only in bricks and mortar but on e-commerce. You
just don`t see that anywhere in retail. So, I mean, if you`re going to
pick a winner, Walmart is definitely one of them.
REAGAN: More people are buying groceries at Walmart too. In fact, the
most in three years. Food makes up more than half of Walmart`s total
The efficacy did fall somewhat in part due to Walmart lowering prices and
lower sales of more expensive items at the beginning of the quarter. But
in a retail wreck, Walmart is a bright spot.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
MATHISEN: Well, in the midst of a political crisis or at least
controversy, President Trump hosted a news conference at the White House
with the president of Colombia. He was directly asked about the Russian
investigation and his conversation with the then-director of the FBI,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did you at any time urge former FBI Director James Comey in any
way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael
Flynn? And also as you look back —
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. No. Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: The president also said, speaking for himself, there was no
collusion with Russia. And he called the entire investigation a witch
As we have been reporting, investors are watching what`s happening in
Washington because events there threaten to interfere, at the very least,
with the administration`s business-friendly reforms.
HERERA: The Trump administration formally told Congress it intends to
renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement otherwise known as
NAFTA. The two-page letter offered few details about what changes the
White House wants to make to the 23-year-old pact between the U.S., Canada,
But the U.S. trade representative, the administration`s main trade
negotiator, said the motive is to renegotiate the deal rather than scrap
it. During the campaign, the president called it a horrible deal for the
U.S. and possibly the worst trade deal ever.
MATHISEN: Also in Washington, the Federal Communications Commission voted
to begin undoing some of the rules governing the Internet, rules put in
place during the Obama administration. The current regulations make it
illegal for Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon to block or
slow down websites for consumers. The companies have argued that softer
regulations would let them raise capital and allow them to do things like
upgrade their networks. The FCC will start taking public feedback on the
proposal. It could be put to a vote, a final one, later this year.
HERERA: The biggest gathering of cancer doctors in the whole world takes
place in early June. But already, some new data on what could be promising
new treatments are being released.
Meg Tirrell has more on the companies behind the drugs.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The American Society
of Clinical Oncology meeting or ASCO official starts June 2nd, but last
night, the conference released more than 5,000 pieces of research in
advance, giving analysts, investors, and those in the medical community a
preview of what`s to come.
DR. DALE SHEPHARD, CLEVELAND CLINIC MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST: There are 40,000
people who attend who are involved in some way with treating patients with
TIRRELL: The Cleveland Clinic`s Dr. Dale Shephard says key themes are
precision medicine and immunotherapy, medicine that reveal cancer cells to
the body`s own immune system, enabling our natural defenses to attack it.
SHEPHARD: Really trying to figure out what therapies are best for
individual patients. You know, we used to have a handful of chemotherapy
drugs that we would give to people in sort of a nondiscriminatory way. And
now, we really truly realize that some patients will do better with some
therapies compared to others, and can we pick the best therapy for each
TIRRELL: The biggest companies in the space are Merck, Bristol-Myers
Squibb, AstraZeneca, Roche, and Pfizer. The drugs represented a new way to
treat cancer, generating results that have excited the medical community.
It was Merck`s Keytruda that former President Jimmy Carter credited in late
2015 with completely shrinking the brain tumors associated with his stage
IV melanoma. Not all patients see such a dramatic benefit. So, a key
strategy is combination therapy, finding out whether putting multiple drugs
together produces better responses.
SHEPHARD: Some patients don`t respond or they don`t respond for very
long. So, we`re really trying to understand more to the next level.
TIRRELL: These research updates frequently move stocks as drug makers are
competing for a big market in immunotherapy alone.
UMER RAFFAT, EVERCORE ISI: It`s a very large opportunity. The estimates
out there that are being used by investors are anywhere between $30 billion
and $40 billion, and what investors are trying to figure out is how you
divvy that up.
TIRRELL: One company cheered by Wall Street today was Incyte. Its shares
spiked after one of its experimental drug showed promising results in
combination studies with drugs from both Merck and Bristol-Myers in a
number of different cancer types. Incyte`s drug is another in a class of
amino therapy drugs.
With combination therapy looking like the future of cancer treatment,
another question arises — cost. With many of the newer cancer drugs
priced at more than $10,000 a month, many worry that taking multiple
medicine will drive costs too high. It`s sure to be a key part of
conversations at the conference in Chicago, along with a lot more research
on new approaches to treating cancer.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, role reversal. Why IBM, which once encouraged
working from home, is changing its tune.
MATHISEN: The number of people filing for jobless benefits fell last week,
according to the Labor Department. Initial claims for unemployment
benefits dropped 4,000 to 232,000 last week. Claims have been below the
key 300,000 level for 115 straight weeks.
HERERA: IBM is shifting its policy on working from home and calling
workers back into the office. In a reversal of the work from home movement
that it pioneered, the tech giant now says its remote employees must come
back to a regional office or leave the company. Could we see other
companies follow IBM`s move?
Joining us is Erik Gordon, professor at the University of Michigan`s Ross
School of Business.
Good to see you again, Professor Gordon. Nice to have you with us.
ERIK GORDON, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Hi, Sue.
HERERA: What do you make of IBM`s move? There are some who say that this
is basically the company`s way of shrinking its workforce, giving employees
a choice, but as a result, if you leave, they shrink the workforce. Others
say it`s better to be in an office for the collaborative type of
environment that that fosters.
GORDON: You know, this is one where you just have to ask yourself, what
were they thinking?
Now, if what they`re thinking is this is a backdoor way of shrinking our
workforce because people don`t want to travel two hours to one of these
locations, then it`s smart. But if that`s not their intent, it doesn`t
seem smart at all.
MATHISEN: What has been the experience of other companies that have done
this, have reversed these kinds of policies? I`m thinking of Yahoo. I
believe Bank of America and others.
GORDON: Yes, so it varies depending on what your company is. If you`re a
bank or an insurance company, most of your workers aren`t tech workers.
They probably like coming to work. In fact, when you told them to work
from home, they thought they were losing their workspace.
But at real tech companies like Yahoo or any of the rest of them, it`s a
terrible idea, because the workers don`t want to come to work. They want
to work from their kitchen. They want to work in their pajamas. They want
to work at midnight.
They don`t want to get dressed. They don`t want to wash. They don`t want
to go to the office, and they don`t want to be in a cubicle.
MATHISEN: He`s painting a wonderful picture of the American worker, Erik.
HERERA: Is that why you say it`s not a good move for IBM, if indeed their
motive is more collaboration or something along those lines?
GORDON: Yes, first of all, they`re not going to get more collaboration.
They`ll get more people yakking in front of the microwave. But you can
collaborate substantively electronically. Professor — even professors do
it, much less tech people.
Tech people are really used to collaborating that way. If IBM wants to be
able recruit the best tech workers for its supposedly advanced cognitive
computing machine learning, it needs to recruit really smart young people
who just don`t want to come in to an IBM or anybody`s office.
MATHISEN: Do you see any irony or analogy in the idea that when Yahoo did
it, its CEO, Marissa Meyer, was under pressure, and Ginni Rometty is under
GORDON: Yes, I think there`s a lot of that. I mean, IBM has for five
straight years, every quarter`s revenues have been less than the year
before. She`s tried a lot of ideas.
People are getting — investors are getting really impatient about why she
can`t get revenue moving. This is going to be seen by some investors as
pretty desperate. If this is her next best idea, I don`t think it`s going
to play well in the investment community.
HERERA: Got it. Erik, thank you so much.
GORDON: My pleasure.
HERERA: Erik Gordon with the University of Michigan`s Ross School of
MATHISEN: Next time, he`s going to do the interview from home.
HERERA: Absolutely, in his pajamas.
MATHISEN: All right. General Motors is pulling out of two foreign
markets, and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The automaker will shed its South African business and stop selling cars in
India as it focuses on efforts in more profitable markets. The company
will still build cars in India for export. GM shares up a fraction at
The Children`s Place said same sale stores rose more than expected, as more
customers visited the kid`s clothing chain. Total profit and revenue also
grew, topped estimates, and the company raised its full year earnings
outlook. But still, shares finished the day down 50 cents at $111.10.
HERERA: Pandora is apparently in talks again with Sirius XM about a
potential merger. According to reports, Sirius is considering making a bid
for the music streaming company and has started conversations with
Pandora`s banks (ph). Pandora rejected a takeover from Sirius last year.
Pandora`s shares popped to $9.42.
And Gap said strength in its Old Navy Brand helped a rise in same store
sales. Profit and revenue at the clothing chain also beat forecast. And
the gap reaffirmed its outlook for 2017. The shares initially rose after
the bell but ended the regular session down more than 1 percent $23.19.
MATHISEN: The marijuana industry is one of the fastest growing in the
country. Medicinal use now legal in more than half of the states. But
will the Trump White House put up some roadblocks to further legalization?
Kate Rogers reports from Oxon Hill, Maryland.
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: With a new and
potentially less friendly administration at the helm in Washington, the
marijuana industry is wondering what the future holds. Investors,
regulators, and entrepreneurs gathered in Oxon Hill, Maryland, this week
for the Marijuana Business Daily Conference and Expo.
The issue on everyone`s mind, will the Trump administration hinder the
cannabis industry`s record growth?
Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sean Spicer have
signaled potential for tougher regulation on the drug, which is still
considered illegal by the federal government.
CHRISTIE LUNSFORD, PRO MAX GROW COO: The noise that we`re hearing from
Washington, D.C. is going to stifle growth, and it`s probably going to slow
down medical state and prevent people from gaining access to cannabis as a
plant medicine. I think they`re doing the cannabis industry and the
citizens of the United States a great disservice.
ROGERS: Right now, cannabis is legal for recreational use in eight states
and Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, medicinal cannabis is legal in more than
half the country. Retail sales are projected to hit between $6 billion and
$7.5 billion in 2017, and what`s more? Marijuana Business Daily projects
the entire cannabis industry will have an economic impact of some $68
billion by the year 2021.
But for entrepreneurs, there are still major hurdles from taxation
regulations to finding and keeping banking relationships, forcing many to
operate on cash alone. Cannabis businesses often struggle to find banks
willing to work with them, as many financial institutions are fearful of
running afoul of federal law.
JOHN VARDAMAN, FORMER DOJ MONEY LAUNDERING DEPT.: What the banks need to
hear from this administration is they continue to respect and adhere to the
policies that are already in place that lay out a path for how banks can
permissibly bank in this space.
ROGERS: Even with unknown ahead, some marijuana advocates are hopeful
legalization will continue and financial progress will follow.
REP. EARL BLUMENAUER (D), OREGON: I`ve worked on this issue for decades
all over the country. I`ve never met a single person that thinks there`s
any good purpose for forcing this industry to be conducted on an all-cash
basis, if you care about money laundering, tax evasion, robbery. It`s
insane. And I think we`re positioned that we can take care of this even
while we`re dealing with larger issuing of legalization.
ROGERS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Kate Rogers, Oxon Hill, Maryland.
HERERA: Coming up, priceless? What happens when that work of art or
sports memorabilia are no longer worth what you thought they were.
MATHISEN: Leon Cooperman`s Omega Advisor has settled with the Securities
and Exchange Commission for nearly $5 million. Last fall, the SEC accused
the hedge fund manager of insider trading, charges he said were without
merit. Cooperman admitted to no wrongdoing.
HERERA: A settlement in the years-long memorabilia suit involving the New
York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning could be coming. According to “The
New York Daily News”, the suit alleges that Manning and the Giants
knowingly created and distributed fake game used items, an allegation they
MATHISEN: Well, last night, we told you that this is a big, maybe a huge
week for the art market with more than a billion dollar of art expected to
be auctioned in New York City. Have you ever thought about the people who
determined the value of artwork or other collectibles? When their opinion
on what a collectible is worth changes, it could mean millions.
Andrea Day has the story.
JUDD GROSSMAN, GROSSMAN LLP FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNERS: When they change
their minds about the authenticity of the work, the market rises and falls
ANDREA DAY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: A Cezanne bought at
Sotheby`s, and exhibited around the world.
GROSSMAN: First is the Royal Academy, then the National Academy, before
being sold at Sotheby`s.
This is as stellar exhibition history as you can get.
DAY: And included in the artist`s catalogue Raisonne or complete list of
his paintings. Here it is.
GROSSMAN: Inclusion in the catalogue Raisonne is generally deemed to be an
DAY: Was there any doubt in their minds that this was a Cezanne?
GROSSMAN: Nobody at the time could have had any doubt.
DAY: But years later, when Attorney Judd Grossman`s client tried to sell –
GROSSMAN: It`s unsellable, unmarketable and virtually worthless.
DAY: A case he says where expert opinions just changed over time.
GROSSMAN: The authors of the online catalogue Raisonne project have
determined they just don`t believe it`s by Cezanne`s hand.
DAY: The painting included in a new expert`s catalogue.
GROSSMAN: It`s not the first time and it won`t be the last.
DAY: And he says it can happen for a number of reasons. New scientific
methods that come out, information about the work`s history or past owners,
or just new generations of experts.
We reached out to Sotheby`s but did not get a response.
So, how many millions could be lost here when opinions change?
GROSSMAN: Countless. Countless. And that can happen in the blink of an
DAY: And it`s not just art. At Golden Auctions, sales of sports
collectibles topped $25 million last year.
KEN GOLDIN, GOLDIN AUCTIONS FOUNDER: Billionaires buy sports teams. The
multimillionaires buy sports collectibles.
DAY: But he`s seeing entire collections go south. One, worth $20 million
worth of goods were auction off, including game used jerseys, he says later
found to be counterfeit.
GOLDIN: As years went by and authentication standards and techniques
became more advanced, those items were revaluated. For a collector,
everything revolves around who they`re purchasing the time from and who is
DAY: So, he offers collector`s insurance, just in case things change.
GOLDIN: That would allow us to reimburse the customer for this event
happening because we sold it as authentic.
DAY: And when it comes to priceless art —
GROSSMAN: Not including a work in a catalogue is essentially saying it`s
not right and no explanation beyond that is really necessary.
DAY: And he says even the courts won`t usually go against it. His best
advice, do your due diligence before the sale to minimize any risk. But
even with all of that, just know that opinions can change.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Andrea Day.
HERERA: Roger Ailes, the man who helped create and build a cable news
empire, has died at the age of 77. He died from a fall at his home. He
was a titan of media industry, turning FOX News into a ratings juggernaut.
But as Julia Boorstin reports, he was also very controversial.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Roger Ailes was
founding CEO of FOX News in 1996. He became chairman of Fox TV Stations
Group as well in 2005. He was ousted last July following a sexual
harassment scandal and a series of lawsuits. In the five decades prior,
Ailes rose to become one of the most powerful people in American media,
building the FOX News Channel into a billion dollar brand and transforming
the cable news landscape into what it is today.
In addition to building FNC into a news powerhouse, Ailes was president of
CNBC for three years before launching Fox. He also consulted to Republican
Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush, and advised
President Trump`s campaign, helping with debate prep.
Twenty-First Century Fox and Fox News Channel executive chairman Rupert
Murdoch saying, a brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in
shaping America`s media over the last 30 years. And at 21st Century Fox,
we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built.
A controversial figure, he forged an indelible mark on the American
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin.
HERERA: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great evening, everybody. We`ll
see you tomorrow.
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