SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Change at the top. The long-
time CEO of General Electric (NYSE:GE) is stepping down. A GE veteran is
stepping up. And investors are cheering.
Techs tumble. The best performing sector this year extends its losses.
But what happens next is up for debate.
Supreme decision. A ruling by the highest court in the land could make
copies of biotech drugs available to consumers quicker.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, June
Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I`m Sue Herera. Tyler Mathisen is
The sell-off in technology shares intensified. We`ll have more on that in
But we begin tonight with a changing of the guard at General Electric
(NYSE:GE). Chief executive Jeff Immelt will end his tenure this summer
after nearly 17 years. Immelt engineered a shift in the industrial
company`s focus but was under pressure to increase the price of the stock
which is widely owned by longtime investors and mutual funds. Taking over
the top job is GE veteran John Flannery who heads up GE`s health care
division. Investors like the news, sending shares up 3.5 percent.
Morgan Brennan has more on the future of GE, a company that was an original
member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The change at the
top of General Electric (NYSE:GE) comes after 16 years. Over that time,
there have been many grumblings about the stock price, a fact that hasn`t
eluded the man soon to be in charge.
JOHN FLANNERY, INCOMING GE CHAIRMAN & CEO: No one`s happy with the stock
price right now, or some of the cash, you know, pictures that we`ve had.
We know we can be better at those things. I want to focus on those things.
So, I`m going to do basically what I`ve done in the health care business,
spend a lot of time with investors, with customers, with employees,
listening, hearing what, you know, people think about the company.
BRENNAN: John Flannery is a 30-year GE veteran. He`s held a number of top
posts, including health care where he turned around the flagging business.
Analysts say on the heels of some disappointing financial metrics, the key
will be how he plans to grow the company.
JEFF WINDAU, EDWARD JONES ANALYST: We`re really looking for Mr. Flannery
to take a deep dive in the business, and really lay out the strategies and
where the growth`s going to come from, help reassure us on the cash flow,
cash generation. And we`d also like to see the — some more information on
just where the capital`s going to be spent, capital allocation.
BRENNAN: It also caps a dramatic 16-year tenure for Jeff Immelt, one
that`s included the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the financial crisis, and a
flurry of deal activity that`s fundamentally transformed the Dow component.
In 2001, GE derives nearly half its profit from its financial arm. Today,
thanks to Immelt, roughly 90 percent comes from industrial businesses
BILL GEORGE, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL: He`s engineered a tremendous
strategic change in this company to move away from being a bank, which it
was moving towards when he turned over the rains in 2001 and emphasizing
high-tech and innovation and much more innovation. Now, that takes time.
Now, 16 years is a long time. So, if I would be critical, I`d say move too
slowly, and to navigate two major crises, and it can be up to John Flannery
to prove that all these strategies are going to work.
BRENNAN: But the stock has performed poorly. Down nearly 30 percent since
Immelt took the helm in 2001 and lagging this year on concerns about cash
flow and whether GE can reach its 2018 earnings target.
But shares did jump today, even as management added some levity to a high-
Which talent would you most like to have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blues guitar and dunk a basketball. Far up on both of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or maybe, maybe —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve gotten over that. I`ve gotten over that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was hoping for great CEO of GE.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought you already felt that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I do this over again?
BRENNAN: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
HERERA: And a new CEO isn`t the only thing that happened at General
Electric (NYSE:GE) today. The company also received regulatory approval
for its merger with Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI). That deal was approved on the
condition that GE sell its water and process technologies business.
On Wall Street overall, there was renewed pressure on the technology
sector. The NASDAQ posted its biggest two-day slide since December, and
that took the rest of the market down with it. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the
worst performing stock on the Dow index, following an analyst`s downgrade
today and a price target cut. Dow Jones industrial average lost 36 points
to 21,235. The NASDAQ was off 32, and the S&P 500 fell two.
But after outperforming the market this year, some say the pullback in the
tech sector is healthy. Others say it is not.
So, we asked Bob Pisani to lay out both sides of that debate.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: This sudden movement is
generating a lot of healthy debate about whether the great technology run
of 2017 is over. Tech, of course, has been the big mover this year, up 17
percent and far outperforming the 8 percent gain for the S&P 500.
There are arguments on both the bull and bear side on this. Now, the bears
argue tech is overall oversaturated or it`s crowded trade. It`s all true,
particularly the so-called FAANG names, the Facebooks, Amazons, Apples,
Googles, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
But the big tech names are better capitalized and have more stable profits
than their old counterparts during the dotcom boon. That doesn`t mean they
won`t go down. They`re just more stable.
Bears do have one big point. These are traditionally cyclical stocks,
which means they can be volatile. Investors are treating them more like
old-fashioned safety stocks like consumer staples with no volatility.
That`s a mistake. We saw that on Friday.
The bulls` main argument is this, with the few exceptions, valuations of
even big tech names is not excessive. True, some of the big names, the
Facebooks, and especially Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), they have priced earnings
ratios way above the S&P norm of about 18. That`s because the market is
assuming very strong revenue growth for these companies, which is not
proven to be wrong, at least not yet.
Take the biggest name of all, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which currently trades
at about 16 times 2017 earnings. That`s hardly inflated. Apple`s had very
high valuations in the past, but not today. Tech is strong because tech
companies have plenty of new business opportunities. Think about it,
there`s the growth of artificial intelligence, there`s robotics, there`s
genomics, there`s cloud computing, there`s self-driving cars, and the
Internet of things. No lack of opportunities for tech names.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: So, let`s turn now to our bull and our bear guests for more on
technology. We have Daniel Flax, senior technology at Neuberger Berman,
who is our bull, who sees more room for tech to run. While our bear,
Charlie Bobrinskoy is the vice chairman at Arial Investments, and he says
some of the tech names do not deserve the run-up that we`ve seen.
Gentlemen, welcome. Nice to have you here.
CHARLES BOBRINSKOY, ARIEL INVESTMENT VICE CHAIRMAN: Thanks for having us.
DANIEL FLAX, NEUBERGER BERMAN SR. TECH ANALYST: Great to see you, Sue.
HERERA: Charlie, I`m going to start with you. Bob laid out, you know,
kind of the — both scenarios for us. You do not own the FAANG stocks, the
Facebooks, the Apples, the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Why?
BOBRINSKOY: Because if there`s anything history has shown us, it`s that
people are too optimistic and overconfident about their ability to see the
future. And by definitions, these stocks are trading at 144 times
earnings, because people think they`re very confident that these companies
are going to grow massively in the future.
And again, history just teaches us that in technology, yesterday`s and even
today`s leader are not necessarily tomorrow`s winner. Just look at IBM and
all the big computer companies, MySpace, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), even
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which was the leader so far ago.
So, it`s just a tough industry to predict. And therefore, it shouldn`t pay
144 times earnings for it.
HERERA: All right. Daniel, what about that? I mean, you mentioned in my
notes at least that if you focus on companies that can disrupt and can look
through some of the noise that we`re seeing today, a pullback in tech might
be a good buying opportunity.
FLAX: Thanks, Sue. Look, at Neuberger Berman, we try to take a longer
term view on this. While we expect a lot of these shares, including Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL), to remain volatile, we think there`s certain elements that
So, for example, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), you have a very strong ecosystem
which is underappreciated by the market. And as we look out over the next
one to two years, we think growth could improve driven by the new iPhone 8
which is likely to come in the fall. We would also add that Apple`s
revenue and profit pull is more stable I think than people appreciate,
helped partly by their services growth.
HERERA: What about that, Charlie? Some of these companies do have — to
use Daniel`s words — an echo system that is well-developed.
BOBRINSKOY: Well, sure, that`s what they always say. But if we were
having this conversation 15 years ago, it would have been about how the
BlackBerry has this wonderful ecosystem. Everyone had a BlackBerry in the
business world 15 years ago. Now nobody does. The stock is virtually
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is earning more than half of its profits from phones,
from hardware, and there is just no predictability that they`re going to be
the leader in ten years from now, in phones. I`m predicting that they
actually won`t be.
Daniel, what about that point? I mean, mentioning the BlackBerry certainly
does bring back those days when everybody did have them. That was the tech
stock that everybody had to own. How do you make sure that when you do add
a tech stock, or when Neuberger adds a tech stock to the recommended list,
that you are going to have something that has longevity?
FLAX: I think which distinguishes Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from BlackBerry is
apple has been able to build a platform upon which others are able to build
and create. And so, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) builds integrated systems, which
include the hardware, the software and the services, but the key is that
the developer community has really been able to build on top of that.
And so, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has paid out over $70 billion to developers
over the last several years. And so, by bringing others along with it, and
helping to create a differentiated user experience, this in our view is
what`s going to help Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) attract new customers, and of
course, get their installed base to continue upgrading.
HERERA: You know, Charlie, I know we had a pullback in the NASDAQ for the
last few days or so. And in same case, on some stocks, it`s been a little
worse than others. But a number of these stocks have been big winners for
Do you worry about missing out on that kind of growth?
BOBRINSKOY: No. You want to be selling what others have been buying. And
buy what others have been selling. And, clearly, you`re absolutely right,
apple has benefited from this big move in the index fund and the S&P.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the biggest name in the S&P. So, when people move
money into an S&P index fund, that fund is forced to buy more Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) — more Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) than anything else.
So, as money`s flown into indexes, it`s flowing into Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
And that`s what pushed all of these big tech names up. When that slows
down, and it will, you`re going to lose the big tailwind that you`ve had
behind these names.
HERERA: Daniel, have you been adding to your tech positions with the
downdraft that we`ve seen Thursday, Friday and today? Or no?
FLAX: Sue, we can`t speak to what specific funds are doing. But what I
would say is, if you look back over time, many of these technology
companies` shares have been volatile. At Neuberger Berman, our focus is
really on the fundamentals. So, for example, we are looking for
significant earnings growth out of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) over the next one to
two years. Alphabet is another name that we think has attractive earnings
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), which is a name where the shares are inexpensive, has
been a contrarian name. That`s a company that we continue to like, driven
by changes to its underlying mix. And so, while the indices are at record
highs, we are really looking for names that we think can outperform
virtually regardless of the market environment, which, again, we expect is
going to remain pretty volatile.
HERERA: All righty. On that note, gentlemen, thank you. Good discussion.
FLAX: Thank you.
BOBRINSKOY: Thank you very much.
HERERA: Daniel Flax of Neuberger Berman and Charlie Bobrinskoy with Ariel
A second federal appeals court ruled against President Trump`s revised
travel ban. The new ruling from a three-judge panel affirms a March
decision to block major parts of the order, which limited travel from six
predominantly Muslim countries. The judges wrote that the order exceeded
the scope of the authority designated to the president by Congress. The
ruling will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, which is already
considering a similar case.
There are a few other stories as well out of Washington that investors need
to be keeping an eye on.
Not surprisingly. John Harwood is here to talk about them with us.
John, it`s good to see you, as always.
So, let`s start with Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, testifying
tomorrow on Russia. Why should investors specifically be watching closely?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is key
testimony in the investigation for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and
it may factor into the special counsel`s investigation as well, because
Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has been involved at both ends here.
First of all, he had undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador that
he had not initially told Congress about, when he was up for confirmation.
And then in addition to that, having recused himself from the Russia
investigation, he was involved in the firing of James Comey, who is leading
This is a scandal that has the potential to destabilize the administration,
and Jeff Sessions by testifying in public is raising the stakes.
HERERA: Yes, it certainly seems that way. What about the impact that this
might have, the investigation, the testimony, et cetera, on the president`s
agenda, most immediately health care, tax reform, last week was
infrastructure leak. How will that be affected, if at all?
HARWOOD: The danger, Sue, is that the administration gets in a negative
downward spiral. Gallup today had the president`s approval rating at just
36 percent. There`s a special election coming up in Georgia in two weeks
to — or in one week, rather, to fill the seat that Tom Price vacated, the
If you see the president continue to go down, it makes it more difficult
for Republican members of Congress to stand with him on his priorities,
like health care, like tax reform, like infrastructure. And you could get
into a situation if he continues to erode in his popularity, where it`s
every person for him or herself in Washington, and that is not the kind of
unified front that Republicans need to push these agenda items through
Congress and get them on the president`s desk.
HERERA: We will be watching closely, John. Thank you, as always.
HARWOOD: You bet.
HERERA: John Harward in Washington.
Still ahead tonight, did the Supreme Court just help get some drugs to
HERERA: Across the globe, in Qatar, financial markets there stabilized
after a week of losses. This is as the government shows it can keep things
up and running despite being sanctioned by its neighbors.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the Qatari finance minister dismissed
fears of an economic crisis and stressed his country`s resilience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI SHERIFF AL EMADI, QATAR FINANCE MINISTER: If you look at what`s
happened, sometimes a lot of people think that we`re the only one to lose
in this. I don`t think so.
Qatar is a very strong economy, and it`s a big economy. And I think if
we`re going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also. I think there
is a lot of business among everybody around us. So, I think it`s — I
always like to have a win-win situation, but this incident, it`s very
unfortunate. It`s put a lot of lives, especially human peoples in
difficulties. Families are being disrupted around these countries.
This is not a measure that we wanted to be. It was forced on us, it was
taken by other countries. But I will say that Qatar is always open for
business. We`d like the people that live here, they have all the respects
and they have full accessibilities and actually getting in and out of the
country at their previous life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: As we`ve reported, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt are
among the leading Arab governments who have cut ties with Doha last week.
Puerto Rico votes to be the 51st state, but the legitimacy of that result
is being questioned because the turnout was so low. The governor, however,
said that he will create a commission to appoint a panel to lobby Congress
for statehood. Congress now has to approve any changes to the island`s
political status. Puerto Rico is in the midst of a financial crisis. It
has a debt load of $70 billion, and last month filed for the largest
municipal bankruptcy in the U.S.
A clothing retailer has joined the ranks of many other of its peers.
Gymboree has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This comes just
weeks after it partnered with a turnaround firm after missing a June 1st
debt payment. The company says it expects the move to move through the
process quickly and emerge as a stronger organization.
IMAX is cutting 14 percent of its workforce. That`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The movie theater company announced a $20 million cost savings plan which
includes eliminating approximately 100 positions worldwide. IMAX also
announced a new $200 million share buyback program. Shares of IMAX fell a
dime to $24 even.
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) raised its quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share, up
from its 40 cents per share. Investors liked the news, sending shares of
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) up more than 1 percent to $209.12.
Merck (NYSE:MRK) said it would pause new enrollment in two late stage
studies of its immunotherapy drug Keytruda used in combination with other
treatments for multiple myeloma, which is a form of blood cancer. The
stoppage was at the recommendation of an external data monitoring committee
to allow more information to be collected, to help understand why some
patients died given the therapy. Keytruda is approved for lung and skin
cancer. Shares of Merck (NYSE:MRK) initially dropped in afterhours
trading. They were unchanged in the regular session at $64.39.
And shares of Coherus Biosciences plunged after the FDA failed to approve a
bio similar drug that helps prevent infections for cancer patients who are
on chemotherapy. Coherus Biosciences finished down nearly 24 percent at
A ruling by the Supreme Court today could have wide-ranging implications
for the pharmaceutical industry. The court`s decision speeds up the time
that copycat versions of biologic drugs can get to market. Biologics are
an expensive class of medicines that can boost sales for the drug
companies. Biosimilars are copycat versions of those drugs.
Meg Tirrell is following the story for us and she joins us here on the set.
Always good to see you, Meg.
So, what — what was the case that the Supreme Court specifically ruled on?
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: That`s right. So,
this case is called Sandoz versus Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). Sandoz is a unit of
Novartis. And essentially it was over Amgen`s drug Neupogen that is a
biologic drug. Often, biologic drugs are administered through shots or
intravenously. They`re administered — they`re manufactured using living
And so, biosimilars are the copycat versions of biologics. And the
industry calls them biosimilars because they argue because of the way
they`re manufactured, they`re not identical. But we basically think of
generic drugs as sort of identical versions of the chemical versions of
drugs. So —
HERERA: It`s sort of a kind an equivalent.
TIRRELL: That`s the idea.
And so, what this ruling did today was essentially overturn a lower court`s
ruling that gave a six-month delay before when a biosimilar could be
introduced to market after it got approved. It said no delay needed there
as long as you give the notice to the manufacturer early, you can launch.
Though it basically wiped out that six-month delay that would still
continue to allow accrual of sales for the original manufacturer.
HERERA: So, what are the broader implications for the drug industry?
TIRRELL: So, this essentially will have implications down the line as a
lot of these new drugs are introduced to market. Right now, we only have
about five biosimilars currently approved in the United States. And some
of them are still working their way through legal battles.
But as we see more and more of these biosimilars being produced, it will
mean that they`ll come to market a little bit sooner, and cut into the
original manufacturer sales more.
HERERA: Have you gotten any reaction yet from either the drug companies,
or, you know, the broader medical community that is using these products?
TIRRELL: Yes, it`s kind of interesting. The reaction was a little bit
muted. This has been a very long process to figuring out how to get
biosimilars to market. It`s actually taken years to continue figuring it
out. Probably the strongest reaction we saw today was from the payer
community, from — you know, the pharmacy benefits managers who are
encouraging use of these lower priced medicines.
However, what we`ve seen is when these are introduced, maybe they`re only
introduced at a 10 percent to 15 percent discount to the original drug.
So, it`s not that gigantic cost savings you`re looking to see.
HERERA: Right. I was wondering about that because the drug companies have
been under such scrutiny about cost increases, and the pharmacy benefit
managers are right in the middle of that. So, maybe a little bit of a
benefit, but not an extreme benefit for the consumer.
TIRRELL: That`s right. At the beginning, we`re seeing them introduced at
these kind of smaller discounts than you might expect to see, but people
say as we see more and more of these entering the market, that competitions
should bring prices down overall. That`s going to be a little ways off,
but we`re headed in that direction.
HERERA: Well, you`ll be following it, I know.
HERERA: Thank you so much, Meg.
TIRRELL: Thank you.
HERERA: Meg Tirrell.
Coming up, hitting the gas. While Uber struggles, rival Lyft is quietly
making some big moves.
HERERA: And here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. It is day one of
the Federal Reserve`s two-day policy meeting. As we reported, Attorney
General Jeff Sessions will testify in front of a Senate panel on Russia.
OPEC will release an update on supply and demand trends in the oil market.
And that is what to watch for on Tuesday.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) wants to hire 250,000 workers in the U.S. this
summer. And it`s doing it in a very modern way. It`s using Snapchat. The
chain plans to run ten-second videos on the social media service of current
employees talking about working at the company, at which point viewers can
then swipe to McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) website and apply.
There may be a new player in the U.S. grocery market. A German low-cost
grocer called Aldi plans to invest roughly $3.5 billion to expand its store
base. It`s an aggressive plan that would make Aldi the third biggest
supermarket chain behind Walmart and Kruger by the year 2022. The
investment comes at a time of intense competition in that industry.
Walmart, which is the largest U.S. grocer, is testing lower prices in 11
states and is expected to spend about $6 billion to regain its title as the
Uber`s chief executive will likely take a leave of absence. According to
reports, no final decision has been made, following a board meeting
yesterday. The board met over the weekend to consider recommendations from
an investigation into sexual harassment and related issues. A close ally
of the CEO, Travis Kalanick, has left the ride-hailing company, making him
the latest high-level executive to depart. Uber is a privately held
company but it is valued at roughly $70 billion.
While Uber continues to wrestle with high profile legal and public
relations problems, its rival Lyft is quietly making some strategic moves.
The latest has Jaguar Land Rover taking a stake in Lyft and Phil LeBeau has
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Uber may rule the road
when it comes to ride-sharing. But its rival Lyft is putting together an
impressive group of partnerships that could pay off in the long run.
That includes a new deal with Jaguar Land Rover. The luxury auto brands
are investing $25 million in Lyft, and will work with the ride share
company developing mobility services. The deal also calls for Jaguar Land
Rover to supply some vehicles to Lyft drivers.
This is the second automaker to take a stake in Lyft, following GM`s
investment of a half billion dollars last year. At the time, many thought
it would lead to Lyft working almost exclusively with GM. But since then,
both companies have branched out to also work with other tech and
transportation firms. For example, Lyft has also struck a deal with Waymo,
the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary that is leading the development of
And just last week, Lyft announced it`s working with the tech firm nuTonomy
to test self-driving vehicles with paying customers in Boston later this
Uber is also developing autonomous drive vehicles, testing them in
Pittsburgh. But with the company embroiled in a number of controversies,
ranging from the culture of the firm to whether or not it`s overcharging
customers, the time could be ripe for Lyft to gain ground on Uber,
especially in one or more of its partnerships takes off, and leaves the
company to greater growth.
It`s estimated the majority of the ride share business in the U.S. goes to
Uber. Lyft says it has nearly 30 percent of the market. But as Lyft
continues to expand and add new partnerships, it is slowly gaining ground
on Uber here in the U.S.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
HERERA: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us. Have a great evening, everybody. We`ll see you
right here tomorrow.
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