TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: August surprise. The Dow
breaks through another big round number, 22,000 this time. History though
says August is a tough month for stocks. Could this time be different?
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Trade tensions. Washington
looks ready to crack down on China. But could the move trigger a trade war
between the world`s two biggest economies?
MATHISEN: And fair game. A new mobile game promises to take the U.S. by
storm. But some are concerned privacy and safety aren`t part of the ground
All that and more on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Wednesday, August 2nd.
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Well, what`s a day on Wall Street without a record? Pretty common place
these days and today was no different. The only thing that was different
was that the Dow broke through to a new milestone, hitting and closing
above 22,000 for the first time.
As we mentioned last night, Apple`s strong earnings would likely propel the
index to a record today and it did. So, here are the closing numbers: the
Dow rose 52 points to 22,016. Most of the gain was thanks to a 5 percent
rise in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Nasdaq was essentially flat. And S&P 500
tacked on a point.
And with the Dow sitting above 22,000, it`s worth keeping in mind that this
is historically a bad month for stocks. But as Bob Pisani tells us, the
hope is this time, there`s an August surprise.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Could we get an August
surprise to help us beat a summer swoon?
You know, August is typically a lousy month for stocks. It`s the second to
worst month of the year. It`s only been up five times in the last 20
years. That`s terrible.
But the bulls are hopeful that they can confound all the expectations to
pull out another monthly advance. The hope is that any profit-taking in
technology after Apple`s strong numbers will cause weaker sectors to rotate
to the forefront. So, rotation centers around two groups, energy and
financials. Is this going to work? Maybe.
For oil stocks to get moving, we need oil consistently over $50 a barrel.
We haven`t had that. But after being stuck in the $42 to $45 range for
several months, oil is trading at a regular $45 to $50 channel and energy
stocks had begun to respond, names like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Schlumberger
(NYSE:SLB). They`re up all their July lows, but it`s still very tentative.
The key to getting financials going is to get a modest breakout in short-
term interest rates and get President Trump`s administration to talk more
about deregulation. That`s the key. So, expectations for a modest rise in
rates have already begun to move large regional banks like BB&T
(NASDAQ:MSDXP) (NYSE:BBT) and Fifth Third since earnings ended a couple of
weeks ago. But this, too, is really very tentative. Ownership of bank
stocks are way up this year and there`s not a lot of confidence in the
Trump agenda at the moment, and that`s the biggest problem.
Another hopeful sign, however, several subsectors that have been badly
beaten up this year are starting to show some signs of life and they may
provide new leadership in August and September. So, for example, AT&T
(NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), the telecoms, have been great since
earnings, and the retailers, even retailers like Target (NYSE:TGT) and Gap
(NYSE:GPS) are finally starting to get over their Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
We`ll see if we can pull out another rally for the third quarter.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
MATHISEN: Now to Washington where it seems the Trump administration wants
to get tougher on China over its trade practices. Multiple reports say the
White House will open an investigation China`s intellectual property
policies, which require American and foreign companies who want to break
into the Chinese market to share their technologies with Beijing.
It`s believed the move is partly to force China to pressure North Korea
over that country`s nuclear program. The inquiry could result in tariffs
or other penalties, but it could also prompt a trade war.
Here to put it all into perspective is David Riedel, the president and
founder Riedel Research Group.
You understand how the Chinese think and how they react to actions taken
from one side to the other. We`ve got lots of potential commercial
disagreements with them from how we deal with Chinese companies that want
to invest in the United States to the dumping of steel or aluminum, to the
intellectual property matter.
Do you think if we get tough with them on these commercial interests, that
using that stick will cause them to be more helpful with North Korea or
DAVID RIEDEL, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, RIEDEL RESEARCH GROUP: I don`t think
so. They see the two issues at very, very separate. And they don`t think
they should be in the same sentence at all. Actually, someone in Beijing
just said that this week.
And remember, it`s a very symbiotic relationship. They`re our third
largest export market, huge market for our agricultural products,
especially soy beans.
And, of course, they`re a huge source of imports into the United States.
Ninety-eight percent of laptops in the United States, they`re imported,
come from China, 75 percent of cell phones, 93 percent of Christmas lights
and Christmas decorations, 75 percent of cell phones.
So, it`s a huge, that`s a huge apple cart to think about upsetting.
HERERA: You say that this actually could be a very good time with the
people`s Congress coming up for the U.S. basically to gain some concessions
from Beijing. But you think North Korea is going to get in the way of
RIEDEL: I think that`s right. There`s a great opportunity right now, the
Chinese really want things to be calm and productive and positive going
into this very important 19th national people`s conference in mid-October.
This will cement President Xi`s next five-year term. It`s really going to
build his power. So, he`s really motivated to see things resolve smoothly
and calmly here in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, I fear that Washington, D.C. is distracted by a lot of
things, most notably, North Korea.
MATHISEN: We do, though, have some legitimate beefs with China, don`t we,
over their trade practices. They don`t typically welcome our products with
a degree of reciprocality that we would like.
RIEDEL: That`s exactly right and it`s been true for a long time, and it`s
something that many administrations have had to face, but they face it I
think with more of an even keel in terms of the way that they`ve approached
this, privately, diplomatically, maybe not so publicly. That is something
that will rub Beijing the wrong way.
HERERA: What do you think the odds are that we would actually end up in a
trade war with China?
RIEDEL: I hope they`re slim because it would be a disastrous for both
sides — actually more for the United States. I think it would cause a lot
of inflation here. It would cost a lot of dislocation of people`s supply
chains, and China has many other markets they can deal with, in Europe,
across Asia and other developing countries. So, it would be — it would be
messy all around, but it will be especially ugly for the United States.
MATHISEN: David, thank you very much for your help tonight. David Riedel
with Riedel Research.
HERERA: President Trump signed into law new sanctions against Russia which
Congress passed last week as a response to Russia`s possible cyber attack
and interference with the presidential election. The new law allows
Congress to stop any attempt by the president to ease the sanctions.
Russia called the sanction the equivalent of a full scale trade war. The
president says he favors tougher measures, but calls this legislation
MATHISEN: Well, it was a busy day for Mr. Trump. He now says he`s
supporting a bill by a pair of Republican senators that would cut the
number of legal immigrants coming into the country by half over the next
decade. The bill called the RAISE Act would prioritize high skilled
English-speaking immigrants. The president said the bill would be
beneficial to the U.S. economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The RAISE Act will reduce
poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of
dollars. It will do this by changing the way the United States issues
green cards to nationals from other countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Joining us with more on these stories is John Harwood.
John, the White House has said that the Russia sanctions bill for days had
it on his desk. The president said he would sign it. So, what was new
about his action today?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: What was new today,
Sue, was that the president put out an extraordinary signing statement with
this legislation saying he thought it was seriously flawed. But they were
clearly unconstitutional provisions in it, but he was signing it any way
for purposes of national unity.
Now, in reality, the reason he signed it was there were overwhelming veto-
proof margins in both the House and Senate. This was shoved down his
throat, but he nevertheless gave a signal that he is not been moved on the
issue of whether Russia should be sanctioned or not. He went along with
it, but all along, he`s had a conciliatory stance toward Russia and said
this would inhibit me from making deals.
MATHISEN: Let`s talk a little bit more about the story that Sue just
mentioned. That is the shift back to immigration, Mr. Trump signature
issue. What does this RAISE Act purportedly do?
HARWOOD: Well, interestingly, Tyler, even though most of attention last
year was on the president`s fight against illegal immigration, he also
favored reduction in legal immigration. And this bill would embody that
policy. It`s sponsored by Tom Cotton and David Purdue, two Southern
(NYSE:SO) senators, and they want to reduce the number of family members
who can be brought in with green cards and generally, cut immigration
This is something that`s popular with the base, but not so popular with
HERERA: Yes. Does it have any chance of becoming law?
HARWOOD: Well, it does not have a good chance of becoming law at this
moment in part because of business opposition. You`ve heard senators today
representing both agriculture and hospitality stakes, say that by cutting
legal immigration in this way, you`re going to choke off the workforce we
need as the economy is looking to grow in the future.
One other aspect is, one reason the American economy needs more labor is
that we are aging, more and more people going on to Medicare and Social
Security without workers to pay the taxes to support those programs,
everything is going to get more difficult.
HERERA: All right. John, thank you. We`ll leave it there. John Harwood
MATHISEN: On to housing where there really hasn`t been a summer slowdown.
But even as would be home buyers crowd into open houses, some are actually
Diana Olick tells us why.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Demand for housing is
still very high. But the number of available listings continues to drop.
Even now in summer, when housing is supposed to slow down.
Not the case as demand index from Redfin showed the same number of buyers
requesting home tours in July as in June, but number of offers written
dropped dramatically, down 11 percent. And that is showing up in the
mortgage demand as well. Applications for a loan to purchase a home
dropped last week and have been down three out of the past four weeks, this
as mortgage interest rates hover near five-week lows.
It`s not the rate, it`s a lack of everything affordable to buy, and it`s
not just in the hottest markets either. The national supply of existing
homes per capita is now at the lowest level since 1982, according to
Capital Economics. That`s because homebuilders dropped off the map during
the recession and have still not returned to even normal historical levels
of production. Even the number of vacant homes nationwide is at a 17-year
low. Again, not demand, but supply.
The worse this situation gets, the higher prices will go, which will
sideline more first time home buyers.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
HERERA: Coming up, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) goes on a hiring spree.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
already has prime day. Now, it has jobs day. The company is gearing up to
hire 50,000 employees in just one day. So, how was the turnout?
We`ll tell you coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: We got a snapshot of the labor market today when payroll
processor ADP said businesses added 178,000 jobs last month. That was
modestly below what economists expected. The government`s July jobs
report, the official one, is out on Friday. The expectation there is for
180,000 new head count.
HERERA: And while Wall Street waits for that jobs report on Friday, Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) is getting a jump on things. The company is holding its own
jobs day around the country, hoping to fill tens of thousands of positions
Deirdre Bosa is at one Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) facility in Robbinsville, New
BOSA (voice-over): This isn`t your typical job fair. There are hundreds
of candidates and thousands of open positions, but just one company is
doing the hiring. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).com, the e-commerce giant is
hosting what it calls the nation`s largest jobs fair at 12 locations across
the country, 50,000 jobs are up for grabs, some of them filled right here
on the spot.
JENNIFER HALE, AMAZON JOB DAY CANDIDATE: This is a great opportunity.
It`s great experience and they`re only hiring 1,500 employees and I will be
one of those 1,500 employees.
BOSA: The line of candidates at Amazon`s Robbinsville, New Jersey
fulfillment centers stretched around the building as candidates waited for
their turn to apply to other warehouse interview undergo a criminal check
and drug test and hopefully get an offer.
Amazon`s hiring frenzy underscores the company`s growth and consumer`s
shift to online shopping at a time when traditional retailers are closing
stores and cutting jobs.
(on camera): These applicants have been waiting here in 90 degree heat for
hours, also a chance to apply for one of Amazon`s warehouse jobs. But as
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) automates more and more of its tasks, question is,
will these jobs be here a few years from now?
(voice-over): We asked John Olsen, V.P. of human resources for Amazon`s
worldwide operations, about the role of robots and Amazon`s warehouses.
JOHN OLSEN, AMAZON GLOBAL VP HUMAN RESOURCES: We`ve had automation in our
site for years and we continue to have large numbers of employees in those
sites as well. And so, we`ll continue to hire. Our 50,000 hiring goal for
right now is testament to that.
BOSA: While robots may work with tandem with Amazon`s humans employees for
now, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is developing its own technology to expand
automation. At its Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Go grocery store in Seattle, its
technology has eliminated the cashier. But for now, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
is quickly becoming one of the top employers in the United States, breaking
the top 10 last year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Deirdre Bosa in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
MATHISEN: The CEO of Mondelez steps down and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
Following the snack company`s better than expected quarterly earnings and
revenue, the maker of Oreo cookie said its chief executive, Irene
Rosenfeld, would retire later this year. Rosenfeld will be replaced by the
CEO of Canada-based frozen foods company McCain Foods. Shares of Mondelez
rose 1 percent and all the Oreos she can eat to $44.10.
Qatar Airways said it`s no longer seeking a stake in American Airlines.
The Middle East carrier recently expressed interest in acquiring a stake in
American, as much as 10 percent that would be, a move that Americans CEO
called puzzling. But now, Qatar says the investment no longer meets its
objectives. Shares of American were off 1 percent at $50.45.
And Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) has reportedly ended talks with the movie and
entertainment company, Lionsgate, regarding a potential merger. “Reuters”
said the toy maker stopped negotiations after the two parties couldn`t
agree on a price. Shares down 1 percent to $104.77.
HERERA: Strong demand for new products helped Fitbit grow sales and beat
analysts` estimates. The wearable device maker also reported a narrower
than expected loss. Fitbit shares initially popped in afterhours trading,
but finished the day, the regular trading day down just a tick to $5.07.
Some of the largest insurers also reported after the bill and the results
were mixed. MetLife (NYSE:MET) saw earnings arise, while Prudential`s
profit was nearly cut in half. AIG also reported lower income, but those
results still topped expectations. MetLife (NYSE:MET) shares ended the day
down fractionally, while shares of AIG and Prudential were higher.
And after the bell, Tesla reported a loss, but it was better than what Wall
Street was looking for. Sales at the automaker climbed higher and topped
estimates. The company said production on the new Model 3 is on track to
meet targets and Tesla expects deliveries for the Model S and X to increase
in the second half of this year. Tesla shares initially were higher in
extended hour session, and they also ended the regular lay up nearly 2
percent to $325.89.
MATHISEN: And the transportation system first conceived by Elon Musk hit a
new benchmark, its fastest speed yet. In the Nevada desert, the so-called
Hyperloop passenger pad hit a top speed of nearly 200 miles an hour in
about five seconds. The plan is eventually to get it up to a top speed of
750 miles per hour. The company Hyperloop One hopes to have its first
functional system by 2021.
HERERA: If you are one of the millions who bought a used car or truck this
year, you`re part of a huge shift in America. Used car sales are surging
to record levels, while interest in new models has cooled a bit and as Phil
LeBeau tells us, that has industry veterans steering in a new direction.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether
you call them used or pre-owned, nearly new vehicles are once again the hot
models in showrooms. This year, Americans are on pace to buy more than 41
million of them, an all time high. Now, AutoNation (NYSE:AN), the
country`s largest new car dealer is opening its first used only store.
MIKE JACKSON, AUTONATION CEO: When I look at AutoNation (NYSE:AN), you
know, three four years from now, are pre-owned business will be larger than
our new vehicle business. And don`t get me wrong. We`re going to run the
manufacture play. We`re going to sell as many — we`re going to give away
as many new cars as we can, as long as we`re going to grow profit, that`s
going to be in pre-owned and customer care.
LEBEAU: Why are sales of new cars and trucks cooling off? In part,
because so many people have bought so many new vehicles in recent years,
there`s simply less demand. At the same time, there is a glut of used
vehicles rolling into dealerships.
JACKSON: Because of all the lease programs started three, four, five years
ago, we now have 3.5 million, 4 million, 4.5 million vehicles that are
nearly new coming back to marketplace and consumers are looking at this and
say, well, that`s a great value.
LEBEAU: For auto dealers, the used market has always been lucrative
because older cars require more work, but these days, there`s another
reason owners are bringing their cars in for servicing. They`re more
complex, loaded with sensors and numerous high features. So, doing a
repair at home is not as easy, which is why AutoNation`s used dealerships
will not only feature more service base, but also a collision center and
wholesale auction lane where other dealers can buy and sell used cars.
(on camera): AutoNation (NYSE:AN) is not the only dealer that will be
opening stores that sell only used models. Group 1 is doing the same thing
and, of course, CarMax (NYSE:KMX) continues to expand its footprint around
the country, proof that pre-owned or used vehicles are more popular than
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
MATHISEN: Last week, we told you that Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) apologized
for issuing auto insurance to more than half a million people who didn`t
need it. Now, New York state`s banking and insurance regulator has issued
subpoenas to a pair of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) units over this issue. This
is the bank`s second scandal in the past year. The first dealt with more
than 2 million bank and credit card accounts that were opened without
HERERA: Up next, why some are saying a new mobile game craze coming to the
U.S. should also come with a warning label.
MATHISEN: Playing games on your senator phone is big money. How big?
Well, the industry is expected to rake in over $100 billion this year and
now, there`s a new hot game coming to the U.S. that could be even bigger
than last year`s Pokemon Go craze. But is the price your privacy?
Andrea Day reports.
JOE MARTIN, SNATCH FOUNDER AND CEO: We`ve got big things planned.
ANDREA DAY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Not long before their
new game drops in the U.S. and founders are hoping that Snatch is the next
MARTIN: The response in the U.K. is amazing.
DAY: The gaming market expected to top $130 billion by 2021.
MARTIN: We`re using the technology in augmented reality and geolocation.
DAY: They call it a virtual treasure hunt, but instead of searching for
digital monsters, like Pokemon, players hunt for real prizes and cash. The
trick is holding on your prize for six hours while other players have the
chance to snatch it away.
JAMAL HIRANI, SNATCH PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER: We`re hoping that when we
launched in U.S., the first prize and the top of the list will be a car.
DAY: Snatch says its partners include major brands in the state, but won`t
release any details yet.
MARTIN: It`s not just about giving away free things. It`s about bringing
Snatch and that brand together and developing that relationship, which then
in turn, delivers the actual brand messaging for each of our individual
DAY: But privacy experts warn against blindly downloading any app.
Attorney Alex Urbelis.
ALEX URBELIS, BLACKSTONE LAW GROUP PARTNER: In exchange for some
entertainment, we are giving
DAY: Data he says that could include your contacts, photos, location
history, e-mail and more.
URBELIS: The social networks and applications are collecting an enormous
and exponentially larger amount of data than any active intelligence agency
in the world would arguably collect on people.
DAY: And he says most have no idea how that is being used or secured.
URBELIS: I`d be more interested in learning from Snatch what they will not
do with my data, rather than what they plan on possibly doing.
U.S. launch. And data`s only collected to make the gaming experience
HIRANI: We don`t give any of our data out to any of the brands that we
DAY: Beyond privacy, former LAPD chief, Michael Downing, says that gaming
apps like this are a concern for law enforcement.
MICHAEL DOWNING, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, PREVENT ADVISORS: If they`re
put in the hands of the adversary, they could use them to identify where
large groups would gather.
I think parents ought to be oriented to what the possibilities and
potentials are of luring kids to certain locations.
DAY (on camera): And he says the big thing to tell kids is to watch your
surroundings and don`t keep your head buried in the phone. You can
download the Snatch app right now, but you can`t really play or win prizes
until they officially launch later this year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Andrea Day.
HERERA: Well, take a look at shares of AMC losing more than a quarter of
their value after that company said last night it expects a big quarterly
loss citing declining industry box office trends. Some of those trends
could be the emergence of new options for moviegoers.
Julia Boorstin takes a look at AMC`s pain and what is hitting the industry.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A weak
summer box office and rise of at home entertainment options like Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX) are taking their toll on the nation`s largest theater chain.
AMC warning isn`t just confined to this quarter, saying the future doesn`t
loo like it will be much better. The company forecasting a, quote, very
challenging third quarter.
ERIC HANDLER, MKM PARTNERS: You have a very tough August and coming. So I
think they`re trying to get out of the curve. It looks like backing into
the numbers, we get to like a minus 15 percent for the box office in the
third quarter and that will probably have an impact on Cinemark and Regal
BOORSTIN: The company also unveiling a cost reduction plan, including
strategic pricing, promotional incentives and reductions in operating
AMC blamed a lackluster U.S. box office, dragging its ticket revenues down
almost 4.5 percent in the quarter. The company also taking a $203 million
charge on its investment and in theater marketing company, National
(voice-over): AMC`s pain echoed industry wide box office decline down 8
percent so far this summer. The result of a number of critical failures,
as well as a rise of at-home alternatives, such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
Its shares are up more than 90 percent in the past year as the company
continues to add more subscribers than expected.
But MKM`s Handler says movie-going will hold up over the long-term.
HANDLER: There`s been expanded entertainment options for 20 years. And
the industry has held on quite nicely and we continue to reach new highs.
So, I still like the industry. I still feel good about the prospects for
growth over the next year and a half.
We`ll hear more about AMC`s plan to battle the rise of streaming when it
releases its official second quarter earnings and holds its conference call
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: We both have sort of teen and preteen children. And if it
weren`t for taking them to a movie they want to see —
MATHISEN: I wouldn`t — there`s not much I want to see in the theater.
HERERA: I know, that`s really true.
MATHISEN: I`d rather stay home and watch something off of on demand or
HERERA: Yes, I think that`s very true and even my kids are not finding as
much at the box office as they have previously.
MATHISEN: And so much of the movies these days are the extensions of
HERERA: Yes, they`re sequels.
HERERA: What are you going to do?
That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. Thanks for joining us. I`m Sue Herera.
MATHISEN: And I would be Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for watching and we will
see you back here tomorrow night.
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