Transcript: Nightly Business Report – May 29, 2017

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

welcome to this holiday edition of NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue
Herera. Tyler Mathisen is off tonight.

It is the unofficial start of summer. And while you`re probably thinking
about the warmer weather and upcoming vacations, you should also be
thinking about your money because a lot can happen over the next few

So, we begin tonight with the stock market. Dominic Chu takes a look at
whether Wall Street will heat up, along with the temperatures.


handful of days so far this year where the S&P 500 has moved up or down by
a percent or more. But that quiet move higher towards record levels isn`t
something that many traders expect to continue this summer.

Washington continue to dictate our markets, while participants stand on the
sidelines and watch.

GORDON CHARLOP, ROSENBLATT SECURITIES: I think we`re going to get out of
this range we`ve been and we`re going to go to the upside once the
uncertainty is all behind us.

ART CASHIN, UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES: I`d like to be more optimistic but I`m
a little concerned. I think when the president comes back into the
country, we`re going to go back into a bumpy politicizing again. So, I`m
going to lean to the sell in May and go away crowd.

CHU: Sell in May and go away is something many traders are thinking about
this time around. The summertime has been a modestly weaker period for
stocks. According to market analytics firm Kensho, over the last 20 years,
the S&P has averaged a loss of 1.2 percent between May 31st and August
31st, and there are more possible catalysts for potential roller coaster
moves ahead.

summer would be more volatility for markets. And there are several
different reasons for that — monetary policy normalization, as well as
geopolitical risk. We`re likely to see more leaks coming out about what`s
happening with the investigation. We`re likely to see a lot of events
unfold outside the U.S., all which of can rock markets.

CHU: But there`s a reason why stocks have largely shrugged off political
developments at home and abroad. Much of the corporate and economic data
still looks relatively OK.

JAMES LIU, CLEARNOMICS FOUNDER: Fundamentally speaking, the economy still
looks good. We`re still generally positive on equities. It`s just that we
need to get past this period of uncertainty before the markets can move

CHU: It`s still unclear what will eventually lead to that long-awaited
pull-back for stocks. But markets don`t stay this calm for this long very
often, which is why some investors are optimistic, cautiously optimistic,
that is.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu at the New York Stock


HERERA: Joe Duran joins us with his outlook for the markets this summer.
He is CEO with United Capital.

Welcome, Joe. Always good to see you.

JOE DURAN, UNITED CAPITAL CEO: Good to see you, Sue.

HERERA: We heard a variety of opinions in that — in Dominic`s report
about what the expectations were for summer. So, why don`t you weigh in?
What are you looking for?

DURAN: Well, I think we`ll see some fireworks, actually. It`s been really
remarkably quiet. And what we`ve had is a series of unusual lows, and what
I mean by that is we`ve had unusually low interest rates given the strength
of the economy, unusually low dollar given the strength of the economy.

What we`re also seeing is low levels of confidence that the government,
Donald Trump, the president`s going to be able to push through his agenda.
And yet, through all that, we`ve seen the market going higher. And why is
that? Because earnings have been really good, primarily driven by global
companies making money overseas.

So, what you see is a split market. Small companies not doing that well,
big companies doing quite well. I think that`s going to continue, but I
think you should expect volatility because as the fortunes of the tax cut
and reduction of oversight gets passed through or not passed through, it`s
going to be cause for market movement, especially because valuations are
quite frothy.

HERERA: What about the Fed? You know, there is the expectation that they
will continue to edge up on interest rates. The debate is whether it`s
going to be in June or whether it`s going to be later. How important is
the Fed to the market equation this summer?

DURAN: I think they`re not as important this summer because we`ve got
something more important looming, which is what`s happening with tax cuts,
what`s happening with the health care plan. I think the Fed is going to be
on hold until that is known. If the tax cuts come through, I think you`re
going to see an accelerated movement by the Fed. But I think they`ve
proven to be very slow to move.

I think what we`re seeing is the U.S. GDP growth first quarter was very
weak. I`m not sure it`s going to reach 2 percent or 3 percent this
quarter. And so, they`re seeing a lot of improvement in the global
economy. But the U.S., the hard data has not been great. So, they don`t
have a lot of impetus to move. And so, I think you`ll see them moving
quite slowly, given the uncertainty we`re seeing in Washington right now.

HERERA: What about the geopolitical risk that one of Dominic`s people in
his report highlighted? Is that high on your list of potential risks for
the market? Or does it fall somewhere lower down on the list given the
earnings performance that we`ve seen and other factors?

DURAN: That`s actually remarkably low because what you see is the risk in
Europe has certainly waned. You know, we`ve seen the elections in Holland
and France, turned out to be global election that were good for the
economy. And what you`re seeing is there`s a terrorist cost already priced
into the market. You saw what happened in England, did not reflect in the
stock market very much at all.

So, what you`re seeing is priced in a level — a certain level of
uncertainty. I think it`s going to be very much about politics in
Washington. That could swing the market a lot because of some of the
incentives being created. And I would say to people — I`d rather you
spend your summer on vacation than worrying about the market, because
nothing you do is going to change whatever happens to the stock market.

HERERA: All right. So, given that, where, if you are looking for
opportunity and before you go off on that vacation, you want to allocate
some cash. Where would you be putting it to work?

DURAN: Well, the first thing is make sure your overall allocation is
appropriate for your risk level, because where we`ve seen when you see big
moves in stock market, as we`ve seen in certain areas, you can get out of
balance. And so, what we say to people before summer is make sure you`re
allocated the right way. The second thing is make sure you have exposure
to the international markets. They are growing quicker than the U.S. They
are doing well. And they`re doing very well in a global context.

So, large companies, if you don`t want to invest overseas, larger companies
have been doing much better and continue to do so with a weakening dollar.
So, I would just encourage again, make sure your core allocation is right,
invest with a view to having global exposure, and then I would not be too
aggressive with fixed income. So, shorten the maturity because at some
point, interest rates will start going back up again.

HERERA: Joe, thank you so much. Joe Duran with United Capital.

DURAN: You bet.

HERERA: Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the strongest
weekends of the year for auto sales. It`s also the start of the with
summer sales season for new and used dealers. This year, the best deals
are expected to be with used cars and trucks.

Phil LeBeau has more on what`s hot on the lot.


say, there`s never a better time to buy. And right now, they might be

JESSICA CALDWELL, EDMUNDS.COM: I think it`s a combination. I mean, right
now, what we know is inventories are high, incentives have been tracking
high. I think that right now is a good time to buy, period.

LEBEAU: For that, you can thank the glut of used vehicles being auctioned
off to dealers who will turn around and sell them to people looking for a
model with relatively few miles. That`s because many of them are coming
off three or four-year leases. In fact, the boom in leasing, which was
fueled by lower monthly payments, is one reason annual auto sales climbed
to a record high last year. And while demand for new vehicles remains
relatively strong, the residual values of used cars and trucks are under
pressure which will hold down the prices for many used vehicles.

JIM LENTZ, TOYOTA NORTH AMERICA CEO: From the consumer standpoint, this
isn`t such a bad thing. It`s going to give them a great opportunity to buy
these great certified used cars. It just may clip a little bit of where
the new car volume we would have expected it to be even a year ago.

LEBEAU: The question remains, if you`re looking to buy, will the best
deals be now or later in the summer?

CALDWELL: I expect there will be a lot of deals, especially as we head
towards the end of the summer, and there`s a lot of model year sell-downs.
There`s a lot of zero percent financing during that time, and consumers
really like that.

LEBEAU: Those zero percent financing offers are not going away, especially
when it comes to mid-size and full-size sedans, which are generally seeing
greater deals than trucks and SUVs.



HERERA: If you were on this road this past weekend, you may have noticed
it was a lot more congested than usual, even though gas prices are slightly
higher than this time last year.

Jackie DeAngelis takes a look at whether the pickup in traffic is expected
to continue throughout the summer.


celebrate the unofficial kickoff to summer, they also spring into summer
driving season.

AAA is projecting the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005, even
with higher gas prices than the last few years.

TAMRA JOHNSON, AAA: Thirty-nine million Americans traveled over the
holiday weekend. And that`s about 1 million more travelers than we saw
last year. And it`s the highest number in more than a decade.

DEANGELIS: The price for a gallon of gas is 10 cents higher than 2016, but
consumer confidence is also higher.

JOHNSON: We definitely are seeing that consumers are much more confident
in where the economy is now. We see that personal income is up. We also
see that the unemployment rate has dropped significantly.

And so, there is additional spending money in consumers` pockets. They are
more confident this year. And that results in more travel, not just for
summer but all through 2017 so far.

DEANGELIS: It`s not just the open road that`s calling. Air travel is
projected to be up too more than 5.5 percent. Almost 3 million vacationers
will choose to fly somewhere this weekend. Almost 2 million will choose
boat, train or bus.

And this is just the beginning. Fourth of July tends to be the peak of the
season. Oil prices and gas prices can both climb till then.

$60 a barrel again, which would take gasoline prices right now up another
25 to 30 cents a gallon at least.

DEANGELIS: But even the perfect weekend may not be perfect. With every
road trip comes risk of a breakdown. More motorists means more than
330,000 rescues for stranded travelers as well. Hopefully, you won`t be



HERERA: Still ahead on this Memorial Day, meet the small business owners
who are giving back to those who defended our country.

But first, some advice from Facebook`s Sheryl Sandberg to this year`s
graduating class.


SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK COO: Build resilient organizations. Speak up
when you see injustice. Lend your time and your passion to the causes that

My favorite poster at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) reads, “Nothing at Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) is something else`s problem.” When you see something that`s
broken, and there is a lot that is broken out there, go fix it. Your motto
demands that you do.


HERERA: It`s Memorial Day, a day the nation remembers the people who died
while serving in our country`s armed forces. Tonight, we will introduce
you to some entrepreneurs who are giving back to those who defended our
country. We begin with the story of two sisters living in Denver. One, a
former Army captain who got the bright idea to make fashion handbags and
accessories out of durable one-of-a-kind American military-grade materials.


the BDU camo.

your company while on active military duty in Afghanistan. Then again,
Emily Nunez Cavness makes finding time to do the impossible fashionable.

CAVNESS: I actually designed our signature tote bag when I was a second
lieutenant in my base leadership course.

MATHISEN: Emily and her sister Betsy Nunez grew up in a military family.
But Emily, an ROTC student, was in her senior year at Vermont`s Middlebury
College in 2012 when she asked Betsy about making a tote bag using material
from an old army tent.

BETSY NUNEZ, SWORD & PLOUGH CO-FOUNDER AND COO: I could definitely see the
wheels turning. I just started asking her questions. What will it look
like? Why do you want to make one? Who is going to make it?

MATHISEN: Within days, they began shaping a business plan. Their mission:
repurposing military surplus materials to create a sustainable product
line, one that could also sustain careers for military vets.

CAVNESS: I also heard about challenges around veteran unemployment. Those
were memorable conversations.

MATHISEN: Betsy had already been working in e-commerce. But it was their
mom who stitched together the first prototype tote bag. Emily had deployed
to Afghanistan by July 4th weekend in 2013 when their company, Sword &
Plough, began selling three products, a tote, a rucksack, and a messenger
bag. They`re made in the U.S. products have used more than 30,000 pounds
of military surplus.

NUNEZ: Anything from tents to parachutes to canvas to aircraft felt and

CAVNESS: This is the camouflage, the uniforms I started out wearing.

MATHISEN: Even material used to make American flags.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a lot left over.

MATHISEN: Five of their American manufacturers are either veteran-owned or
partly staffed by U.S. vets.

In Kentucky, army veteran and entrepreneur Shana Roddenberg (ph) makes
their line of hammered jewelry out of 50 caliber shell casings. Sword &
Plough supports 65 veteran employees.

struggle to find where they`re supposed to be after they serve.

MATHISEN: Laura Keenan came on board after 11 years of active duty,
including 15 months in Iraq. The former army major still serves with the
National Guard, but since meeting Emily and Betsy at a White House event in
2015, she`s been helping them give civilians a better understanding of the
military. A gap many feel has widened over the years.

KENNAN: Someone complimented me on my jewelry. We had a thoughtful
conversation about my service in the Army.

MATHISEN: Each product, handbags, pouches, toiletry kits, camouflage
travel bags, priced from $19 up to about $360, has its own story.

CAVNESS: We just got some parachute material which I`m really excited
about, being a former paratrooper.

MATHISEN: An added bonus, Sword & Plough has donated 10 percent of hits
profits four years running to organizations that support vets.

NUNEZ: Every business does have an impact. We think there`s a way to do
things right and the right way to do things. And we`re really excited to
be living and working at that intersection.


HERERA: In the Bible, the term “hammer their swords into ploughshares”
refers to the concept of putting military technology to peaceful civilian
use. And Sword & Plough, the company, just won a $25,000 grand prize in
the FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Small Business Grant Contest. Emily and Betsy say
that will help them hire another veteran, and they are looking for a
logistics expert, anybody out there, to help with inventory management.

Military veterans own roughly 2.5 million businesses in the U.S. Vets have
started companies like Walmart and FedEx (NYSE:FDX), but one ex-marine in
Nashville is making it his business to give back to vets and their families


MATHISEN: Travis McVey considers himself pretty lucky. As a marine, he
was chosen for the presidential honor guard, serving in the late 1980s and
early `90s. His two best friends weren`t as lucky. Richard Gaston went on
to become an Indiana state trooper but was killed in the line of duty. And
Thomas Rafjohn (ph), a policeman and army reservist, was called to active
duty and died in Afghanistan.

TRAVIS MCVEY, U.S. MARINE CORPS VETERAN: It was just devastating. I go
through those emotions when you lose someone through grief, through anger,
feeling guilty for not being there, but finally, I was inspired to do

MATHISEN: McVey spent a total of eight years in the marines and 15 working
at a Tennessee tire factory.

On the side, he dabbled at home making his own vodka. He dreamed of
selling it, and donating money to causes that helped military veterans.
But why vodka?

MCVEY: Vodka, you can make today and sell tomorrow. You don`t have to age
it. It`s gender-neutral. It`s seasonless, and it outsells all the other
spirits combined.

MATHISEN: McVey spent more than a year and about $80,000 tweaking bottle
designs, a sales pitch, and his corn-based recipe. He says corn makes a
smoother vodka, but getting his Heroes Vodka into stores was no simple

So, he called a local expert, Robert Lipman (ph), whose family founded the
first distributor of Jack Daniels back in the 1930s.

MCVEY: Robert actually answered his phone that afternoon and said I`ve got
100 different vodkas in my White House, but I`ll give you 20 minutes since
you`re a veteran.

MATHISEN: Twenty minutes is all it took.

MCVEY: What always drove me, my friend, if they could give their lives for
this country and all the other men and women that serve every day, I can
try and start a business and do this.

MATHISEN: Lipman was hooked. So he invested in Heroes, betting McVey`s
story would sell.

Heroes Vodka went into production on Veterans Day in 2011, 11/11/11.

In early 2012, about 300 Nashville retailers and restaurants began selling
it. Now, available in 15 states, Heroes sells for about $15 a bottle.

down and spoke to Travis, I said, man, you know, you`re climbing a pretty
steep hill.

MATHISEN: In 2013, Leonard Phillips became the first New York City
retailer to carry Heroes.

PHILLIPS: He was not going to be deterred. He said, I`m going to do this.
And I said, well, you`ve got my support.

MATHISEN: Fifteen cases, and close to $1 million in sales later, Heroes
expects to be profitable next year. But even without profit, Heroes is
already donating. Nearly $60,000 so far, mostly to AMVETS, a nonprofit
chartered by Congress to help American veterans and their families.

And while McVey`s story sells, he`s heard from a few detractors, too. Some
say he`s exploiting his military background. Others make him painfully
aware of the alcohol issues faced by so many vets.

MCVEY: We`re just like anyone else. Some people have a problem with
alcohol, some people don`t. I believe in freedom of choice and also, I
tell people, if you have a problem with alcohol, I don`t want you to buy my
product, period.

MATHISEN: Just this week, McVey was named veterans` business advocate of
the year by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association. An honor, as
he answers his new call of duty.

MCVEY: What I tell people — never start a business just to make money.
Start a business to make a difference.



HERERA: Heroes plans to donate 10 percent of its profits. McVey, who also
wrote a book about country singers who serve in the military, hopes to have
Heroes Vodka for sale in 30 states by the end of the year. He`s entering
as we mentioned a crowded marketplace. There are a lot of vodkas but his
price point of $15 a bottle is pretty moderate.

Despite efforts by both the government and private sector to hire more of
our U.S. military veterans, many are still without jobs. Even though the
unemployment rate for vets fell about 7 percent last year, the jobless rate
among them is a percentage point above the rate for civilians.

Dan Goldenberg, executive director of the Call of Duty Endowment, joins us
to talk about this.

Welcome, Dan, nice to have you here.

for having me today.

HERERA: Why are there issues for so many vets to find a good quality job?

GOLDENBERG: Well, you know, the problem is that veterans are facing some
headwinds that we`re just not — we haven`t seen in the past. In fact, the
BLS data that you were referencing, it paints a cheery picture in that the
veteran unemployment rate appears to have dropped below 4 percent, but that
doesn`t jibe with reality on the ground. What we`re seeing what we saw
last year, 23 percent increase in vets seeking help finding jobs. In the
first quarter this year, we`ve seen an almost 80 percent increase in

So, what`s going on here? We think it`s fundamentally comes back to the
fact that the BLS numbers are based on a simple question that`s kind of not
revealing of the true situation. The question I`ll read you here is: last
week, did you do any work for pay or profit? That`s it.

So, obviously, that question doesn`t talk about the quality of work.

HERERA: Right.

GOLDENBERG: And that`s really the problem. Our veterans in careers where
they`re making sufficient funds to support them and their families. And we
think the answer is, unfortunately, off then and more and more, no. The
problem shifted from, do you have a job? To, you have a job, but — you
have two jobs, but you just can`t pay the rent.

HERERA: Right. So, it`s a quality issue as well as a quantity issue.

GOLDENBERG: Absolutely.

HERERA: What about retraining? As I understand it, it`s easier for
officers to find employment after they leave the military than those who
are noncommissioned officers. Correct?

GOLDENBERG: Yes. So, unemployment for veterans is just really not an
officer problem, it`s especially a young junior enlisted problem. So,
these are very qualified people, incredibly well trained. In fact, really
technical experts with tremendous leadership and managerial experience,
really unlike that of their civilian peers.

But they have a really hard time translating that often and communicating
that to employers, showing them how that career that they`ve had already
could be valuable and applicable in the civilian workplace. So, the
organizations that we support are really excellent at doing that. Helping
these junior enlisted folks explain and make their experience relevant.

Now, there`s always a group of veterans who say, hey, you know, I turn a
wrench in the air force but that`s not what I want to do in the civilian
world. And to get to where they want to be they have to get a specific
skill. And there`s great programs like the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and Onward
to Opportunity, as two examples that really help vets get the education and
training they need if they wanted to take those kind of roles.

HERERA: You`re doing great work, Dan. Thank you very much for sharing
your thoughts.

GOLDENBERG: Thank you.

HERERA: Dan Goldenberg with the Call of Duty Endowment.

Coming up, the big-budget movies the Hollywood studios are going all-in on
this summer. But, first, more big-name advice for this year`s graduates.


bigger. A more innovative dream. A more inclusive dream.

All of you will preserve and enhance the promise of America — the promise
that propelled me out of public housing, the promise that will propel you
forward regardless of the color of your skin, your religion, your gender,
your sexual orientation, or your station in life.


HERERA: Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer. In
Hollywood, it kicks off the summer blockbuster season.

Julia Boorstin tells us the flicks that Tinseltown is betting on this year.


season is the most important for studios, generating over 40 percent of
their annual revenue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise that sword!

BOORSTIN: It got off to a weak start at the beginning of May with big-
budget bomb “King Arthur” and disappointing performance of the sixth
“Alien” film. It`s just one of many franchised films we`ll see this
summer. Including Universal`s third “Despicable Me” and Disney`s “Cars 3”
which are expected to be hits but that isn`t always the case.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, COMSCORE: Usually, it`s the law of diminishing
returns. But what studios try to do is infuse these newer installments
with new blood, whether it be actors or new points of view, new directors,
to try and bring back the originality and the excitement that the first
films instilled in the audience.

BOORSTIN: And some franchises are much older, including the fifth
“Transformers” movie and the sixth “Spider-Man” movie which could be risky
after a dozen sequels last summer fell short of expectations.

And the threats to the movie business are bigger than ever. A growing
range of high-quality entertainment options at home, not just on TV but
also streaming on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). And
movies can fail faster than ever thanks to social media. Spreading word of
a bad movie like wildfire and keeping consumers home.

So, which studios have the most at stake? Warner Brothers “Wonder Woman.”
opening June 2nd, voted the most-anticipated movie of the summer according
to Fandango and will have ripple effects on other DC Comics films.

ERIC HANDLER, MKM PARTNERS: The success of “Wonder Woman” has long-term
implications, because “Batman”, “Superman”, and “Suicide Squad” did not get
good reviews although they got good revenue. But if “Wonder Woman” can get
good reviews and big revenue, that bodes well for future releases that are

BOORSTIN: Also looking to bolster a family of characters, Universal
(NYSE:UVV) has its “Mummy” remake to drive its dark universe of monsters.
And Fox is aiming to keep its “Planet of the Apes” franchise running.

But perhaps most important, how new original content performs such as
Warner Brothers “Dunkirk” and Sony`s “Baby Driver.”

Even with an uncertain summer, MKM`s Handler says the box office could hit
a new record this year.

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


HERERA: And thank you for watching this special edition of NIGHTLY
BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue Herera. We`ll see you right back here tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2017 CNBC, Inc.


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