BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Travel rush. Roads are
clogged and planes are packed, even as gas and jet fuel prices head higher.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: A conflicted Fed. The Central
Bank appears on track to raise interest rates next month. But one worry
GRIFFETH: Second chance. A felon learned to code in prison where there is
no internet and he`s now living by a new code outside those prison walls.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this
Wednesday, November 22nd.
And we bid you good evening, everybody. I`m Bill Griffeth, in tonight for
Tyler Mathisen, once again coming to you from the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: Good to see you, Bill. I`m Sue Herera. Welcome, everybody.
The holiday travel rush is on. Thanksgiving is well-known for being one of
the busiest times of the year to hit the road, the train or the sky.
The airline industry likes to see crowded airports and this year is no
different. Almost 4 million people are expected to take flight this
weekend, the most in about a decade. And it could be a welcome sign as
airlines face higher fuel costs.
Phil LeBeau is at Chicago O`Hare.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The long lines say it
all. The Thanksgiving travel rush is on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were wondering how crowded it was going to be.
But when we got here, it was crazy already.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not as bad as I expected, actually. It`s a
little bit better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m surprised it`s not worse than it is.
LEBEAU: Overall, the number of people flying at some point this long
Thanksgiving weekend is up 5 percent. They may not like the packed planes,
but they are paying less for their seat. In fact, airfares remain near
their lowest level in years. That`s good news for passengers. But for
airlines, the pressure on prices has made it tougher to boost revenues.
Meanwhile, jet fuel prices have been rising, which is cutting into airline
SUSAN DONOFRIO, MACQUARIE SENIOR ANALYST: Since July, we have been seeing
a pretty strong surge, up over 30 percent. So, right now, it`s a race
between fares and fuel. Right now, fuel is winning the race.
LEBEAU: The mixed picture on revenue growth is one reason airline stocks
have drifted lower. But for the millions flying this weekend, the best
news is that the vast majority of flights should be on time. The weather
is expected to be relatively mild for most of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been checking the weather, the incoming flight
and where I`m going to all week. It`s been nice to see that they have no
snow, no rain, no nothing. So, it should be smooth sailing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m on the basketball team at the University of
Chicago. And so, we get, you know, about a day to come home. So, if
there`s any delays, we`re probably not going home. So, no delays is great
LEBEAU: A smooth Thanksgiving weekend in the skies with few delays or
cancellations would be welcome news for the airline industry, and set it up
for what could be a strong holiday season that extends into January.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
GRIFFETH: Now, if you`re taking a car this weekend, good luck. Higher gas
prices do not seem to be stopping drivers from hitting the road.
Morgan Brennan is in Ridgefield, New Jersey, for us tonight.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Nearly 51 million
Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving week,
according to AAA, the most in a dozen years.
For the vast majority, that means a road trip.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit this year on the highway. We started at
around 4:00 a.m., it was busy towards D.C. And it picked up a little bit
here, heading to New York. So, we`re looking forward to getting there
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it`s been a while since I`ve done this, mostly
because I want to avoid this pain of travel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems that everybody I`ve been talking to seems a
lot more confident in the way the economy is going, anyway. So, people are
spending, and that`s all good.
BRENNAN: But AAA warns all those extra cars on the road could cause some
big delays, with drivers in some major metro areas likely to experience
travel times up to triple a normal day. Travelers in Los Angeles know the
pain, as standstill traffic snaked on both directions on the 405 Freeway
Tuesday night, all this despite higher prices at the pump. Thanksgiving
gasoline is at its highest level since 2014, with the national average for
a gallon of regular, $2.53, according to GasBuddy.
PATRICK DEHAAN, GASBUDDY: The biggest deal is that motorists have shown
that an incredible resiliency to higher prices. Normally this time of
year, prices are trending lower. We`re starting to see a lot of chatter
associated with higher gas prices.
BRENNAN: Gas climbed after Hurricane Harvey took a lot of refining
capacity offline. Since then, crude oil prices have strengthened as well.
Still, experts say consumers are shrugging it off because they`re feeling
more confident about the economy. But it isn`t just more travelers hitting
the road. There`s more trucks as well.
More train packages are being shipped. The American Trucking Association
has said truck tonnage surged 10 percent last month, compared to the year
prior. That means more trucks, more cars, and more traffic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Horrendous. Not really into New Jersey yet.
BRENNAN: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan, in Ridgefield,
HERERA: On Wall Street, the Nasdaq closed at a record, despite the Federal
Reserve`s concern about the impact the stock market`s sharp rise has had.
We`ll have more on that in just a minute.
Trading volumes were light as they usually are the day before Thanksgiving.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64 points to 23526, the Nasdaq rose
four to that all time high, and the S&P was off nearly two.
GRIFFETH: Consumer sentiment has cooled from a 13-year high this month.
But Americans do remain optimistic about their prospects for income,
employment, and inflation, and that`s key for economists since the report
comes as we head into the critical holiday shopping season. In theory, of
course, the better people feel, the more they spend. That helps bolster
HERERA: Meantime, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
fell last week, pointing to continued steady job growth. According to the
Labor Department, jobless claims dropped 13,000, remaining below the key
300,000 level, which is associated with a strong employment market — Bill.
GRIFFETH: Meantime, the Federal Reserve does seem to be ready to increase
interest rates at its next meeting next month. That`s what the minutes of
the last meeting out today appear to be saying. But the decision may not
be an easy one for some policymakers.
Steve Liesman explains.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Fed officials
continue to grapple with the persistent conflict of inflation that`s too
low and asset prices that to some at the Fed are worrisomely high. Minutes
to the Fed October meeting show the Fed is likely on track to hike rates in
December, another quarter point. But the minutes also showed a broad
inflation debate with a few participants saying the Fed shouldn`t hike
until the data show that continued low U.S. inflation is convincingly on
track towards the Fed`s 2 percent target.
And while most still think the Fed will ultimately hit its inflation
target, many are also concerned that the forces behind low inflation could
prove to be persistent, not temporary as they`ve said most of this year.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a speech Tuesday night provided a curtain raiser
on those broad-based concerns.,
JANET YELLEN, CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: We expect it to move back up over
the next year or two. But I will say, I`m very uncertain about this. My
colleagues and I are not certain that it is transitory and we are
monitoring inflation very closely and I`ll go back to what I said earlier
about keeping an open mind and not assuming you have a monopoly on truth.
It may be that there is something more endemic or long lasting here that we
need to pay attention to.
LIESMAN: But from the other side, arguing for higher rates, the minutes
many Fed officials think the economy is operating at or above the
employment rate, that could spark inflation. They believe eventually that
the connection between low unemployment and higher inflation will begin to
work in the U.S. economy.
After the meeting, markets continue to see a 93 percent chance of a rate
hike this December and they`re about split on whether another rate hike
follows in March of 2018. The minutes show some are also worried that
keeping rich too low for too along could cause, quote, “increased risk of
financial stability” and worried about the buildup of financial imbalances.
Translation, stock prices may be too high and some at the Fed are worried
its own low rate.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
HERERA: Meantime, corporate America`s decision-makers are feeling more
optimistic about the economy. And there are a few issues in particular
that are top of mind.
Jackie DeAngelis surveyed the nation`s chief financial officers and got
some interesting responses.
JACKIE DEANGELIS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Chief financial
officers are more than just number crunchers. They make some of the most
important decisions in the business community, from hiring to pay raises to
investment. CNBC`s global CFO council represents some of the largest
public and private companies in the world, collectively managing more than
$4 trillion in market capitalization across a number of sectors.
We asked them a lot of questions. And the takeaway is they`re optimistic
about the future. Here`s why: tax reform.
The majority answered that they think the proposed plans making their way
through Congress will create jobs and stimulate growth, although they don`t
expect their effective tax rate next year to be lower than this year`s.
About a third say tax reform will increase wages, though others weren`t
sure. They do have plans to repatriate cash using that money to buy back
Second, there are opportunities for growth. The most attractive place
seems to be on the other side of the globe. CFOs bumped up their outlook
on Asia-Pacific, China and Japan from stable to improving.
Third, the feel-good scenario could bode well for investors. Nearly half
have said the Dow will cross 24,000 before it drops under 22k.
But they do have one big concern. Cyber attacks. Hackers are now viewed
as the biggest risk facing business.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jackie DeAngelis.
GRIFFETH: Still ahead, from prisoner to programmer. A man who lived
behind bars for years is now making a living doing something few ever
HERERA: Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will soon let users find out if they liked or
followed pages created by Russian operatives. The decision is part of the
social media company`s effort to be more transparent about Russian activity
on its site. The tool will be available by the end of the year. And it
will track activity from the beginning of 2015 through August of this year.
GRIFFETH: As we all know, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has become more than just
an online retailer. It`s also a major player in the cloud, which is
basically a network of servers that store data. And it`s pretty much the
hottest thing in tech right now.
Amazon`s cloud unit is close to making a deal with medical data company
Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) which would give Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) a foothold in
the lucrative health care market. That report sent shares of both Cerner
(NASDAQ:CERN) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) higher.
In fact, CNBC.com`s Chrissie Farr broke the story and joins us from San
Chrissie, yet another business that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) seems to be
aggressively entering here. How big a deal is this Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN)
deal for them?
CHRISTINA FARR, CNBC.COM: Well, Bill, sources are telling me that this is
actually a huge deal for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS, which has some contracts
in health care. But it`s been tough for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to break in.
And that`s because of concerns about things like information security, and
compliance. So, having a stamp of approval from Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) is
going to really help Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) make that push.
It`s a big deal, I would say, for both of these companies.
HERERA: And how does it play, Chrissie, into Amazon`s broader strategy
which you`ve been reporting on previously that they might enter the
FARR: Well, Sue, that is the topic of discussion. Everybody wants to
know, is Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) going to do pharmacy? Are they going to
start selling Rx?
And I would say with this, it`s not really clear if it is related. It
might suggest that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is building up more expertise, more
partnerships, and Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) would certainly be helpful to them.
But this is more of a health IT or health technology deal versus anything
that very clearly would bring them closer towards that pharmacy push that
we`re all talking about.
GRIFFETH: Cerner`s stock was the best performer in the S&P today. So,
what`s in it for them and why Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and their cloud unit as
FARR: Well, Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) is not exactly known for things like
artificial intelligence, which is more an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS
territory. For Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN), it really makes them look like
they`re going to start offering more of this advanced technology. And the
partnership I`m told by sources is initially around their population health
product, that`s things like bringing predictive analytics to hospitals.
So, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS, I think it gives Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN)
definitely a bump over its rivals, as it pushes more into the global market
and it starts more of a technology rollout.
So, AI potentially coming next from Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN).
GRIFFETH: Very interesting. CNBC.com`s Christina Farr, Chrissie, good
job. Thank you. Have a good weekend. Happy thanksgiving.
FARR: Thanks and happy Thanksgiving.
HERERA: Uber was hacked. The breach affected 57 million customers and
drivers. Now, that`s a problem. But not Uber`s only problem.
The hack happened last year and it was covered up, and it comes as the ride
hailing company is in negotiations with investors to raise billions of
Deirdre Bosa has more.
DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Harry Campbell has
been an Uber driver since 2014. And he started a well-known blog among
other drivers, the RideShare Guy, with the goal of helping drivers earn
more by working smarter.
He was one of the 57 million Uber users around the world who had his data
hacked nearly a year ago. But he along with others has only just found
out. That`s because Uber paid $100,000 in hush money to the hackers to
hide the breach from the public and from regulators for over a year.
WILLIAM MCGEVERAN, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PROFESSOR OF LAW: If Uber lied
to the Federal Trade Commission while under investigation for a previous
data breach and concealed this new one, that`s a really serious claim and
possibly a criminal one.
BOSA: Uber`s chief of security Joe Sullivan, has taken the fall for the
cover-up. Uber firing him and a deputy this week. He was a high profile
hire back in 2015, coming from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) as their head of
In a blog post, Uber`s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, wrote that he won`t make
excuses, and he can`t erase the past but he commits to learn from Uber`s
But the damage is already done, and the fallout has been swift. The FTC,
already investigating Uber for another earlier breach, says it is, quote,
closely evaluating the serious issues raised in Uber`s handling of this
hack. Cybersecurity experts say that the latest could potentially open it
up to criminal liability.
MCGEVERAN: It`s like if the cops came to your house to respond to a noise
complaint and you said, everything`s fine, officers, but there`s a dead
body stuffed in the closet behind you. You can`t lie to the FTC`s face.
If that is what occurred here, that would be a different order of magnitude
of these data breach stories we`ve been seeing persistently for the last
BOSA: A lawsuit has also already been filed by a user, accusing the
company of negligence. And a key Democrat has called for Uber to testify
in D.C. The fallout has even extended overseas, with the U.K.`s
information commissioner expressing, quote, huge concerns.
Uber says that it is in touch with several state attorney generals and the
FTC and is ready to cooperate. As for CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, he`s left
cleaning up yet another mess from Uber`s past while trying to repair its
reputation and shore up its business as rival Lyft makes inroads.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Deirdre Bosa, San Francisco.
HERERA: Uber hired a unit of FireEye to investigate this massive data
breach. That helped lift shares of the cybersecurity firm in trading
GRIFFETH: Sue, Deere`s business picked up steam. And that`s where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
Improving demand in the U.S. and abroad helped the tractor maker top
expectations. Deere also expects that strength to continue, saying that it
sees earnings and sales for the coming fiscal year to outpace analysts`
estimates. As a result, shares rose by 4 percent and closed at $145.25.
Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) has turned down Emerson Electric`s third
takeover offer. Rockwell determined that the $29 billion offer is not in
the best interests of its shareholders and that it presents long term
risks, including difficulty staying competitive in a very quickly changing
market. Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) shares were off by 1 percent to
$191.02. Shares of Emerson were higher by 2.5 percent to $61.88.
And TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) has won a patent infringement case against Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS). The International Trade Commission ruled that
Comcast` set-top boxes violate two of TiVo`s patents. As a result, Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is now prohibited now from importing and selling
certain versions of that device. Shares of TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) jumped 7
percent to $18.90 while shares of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS), by the
way, the parent company of CNBC which produces this program, Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) shares off a penny to $36.41 — Sue.
HERERA: Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is reportedly close
to reaching a deal to buy the restaurant chain Cordova Mexican Eats, from
the parent Jack in a Box. “Reuter” says the deal valued at more than $300
million could be announced as nearly as next week. Shares of Apollo Global
Management rose nearly 1 percent to $30.43.
Chip maker Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is reportedly considering upping its $103
billion offer to buy Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM). “Reuters” says Broadcom
(NASDAQ:BRCM) may propose a more attractive bid by offering more of its own
stock. The potential move represents Broadcom`s eagerness to merge with
its rival, even saying that it is not opposed to launching a takeover
battle. The report added that Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is preparing to
submit a new slate of nominees for Qualcom`s board. Qualcom`s shares were
up 2 percent to $68.13. Shares of Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) finished down
marginally to $275.37.
MATHISEN: Earlier this year, we brought you a series called “Business
Behind Bars.” And it was then that you met a convict at San Quentin state
prison who was learning to code. Months later, life for that now ex-
convict is very, very different.
Jane Wells has that story from San Francisco for us tonight.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Can I ask what your
CHRIS SCHUHMACHER, SOFTWARE PROGRAMMER: My CDC number is T-31014.
WELLS: He`s a convicted murderer who spent years in prison.
SCHUHMACHER: And it`s amazing to think that in a few short weeks, I`ll be
walking out of the gates as a free man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab your stuff
WELLS: A few short weeks later, Chris Schuhmacher did leave San Quentin,
free for the first time in 17 years.
And get ready for his — he`s now a software programmer at a San Francisco
SCHUHMACHER: The code I wrote will work on any device.
WELLS: Even he can hardly believe it.
SCHUHMACHER: I mean, like this, right, just my mind is blown.
WELLS: The story of how a felon learned to code inside a state prison
where there is no Internet and then got hired by the Website Fandom when he
was freed is nothing short of a miracle. It`s a the sort of miracle
regularly coming out of the program called the Last Mile, started by
Silicon Valley venture capitalist __ .
They teach willing, qualified inmates coding skills on a fake server so
that when they leave prison and many will, they can be productive members
Many Silicon Valley companies support the program on the inside —
CRAIG PALMER, FANDOM PRESIDENT & CEO: But it`s another thing to then have
to face the decision individually to say, do I want somebody with Chris`s
background sitting next to me, working with me?
WELLS: Fandom`s Craig Palmer decided to put his money where his mouth is
and give Schuhmacher the chance to interview for a paid internship.
Schuhmacher went to the same process as everyone else and got the job.
SCHUHMACHER: I`m not going to say it was as hard as the parole board but
it was pretty tough, right?
WELLS: When Chris showed up for his first day of work here in downtown San
Francisco, most of his co-workers did not know about his background, they
did notice his age.
JON-PAUL ALES-BARNICOAT, FANDOM VP OF EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE: There were a
couple of jokes about who is the old intern.
WELLS: About a week after being hired, Chris Schuhmacher told his whole
story to the entire company.
SCHUHMACHER: The secret was out, right? And, of course, it`s always
nerve-wracking. You wonder how people are going to think. But the
feedback and the support has been really positive.
BARTOSZ BENTKOWSKI, FANDOM SENIOR ENGINEER: I was I think a little afraid.
It turned out great.
KEIKO LAI-TONG, FANDOM LOCALIZATION MANAGER: Yes, I was excited and
curious rather than scared.
WELLS: But there`s been a lot to learn outside the office. Like
Not long after leaving San Quentin, Schuhmacher and other Last Mile
graduates and supporters hiked into the hills above the prison.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not miss that place.
WELLS: Of the 30 Last Mile graduates, none has gone back behind bars. The
program is expanding to other prisons and other states.
For Chris Schuhmacher, it`s been a long journey of self-improvement, which
isn`t over. Where do you see yourself in two years, five years, 10 years?
SCHUHMACHER: Oh, my gosh. That`s a really hard question. You know, I see
myself on this side of the wall being a family man, being somebody that
cares really about life and people and somebody that`s — has a strong mind
and a strong character.
WELLS: He hopes to live by a new code.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, San Francisco.
HERERA: Still to come on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, stores say they`ve found
a faster, easier way to shop. But is it? We put a relatively new service
to the test.
GRIFFETH: Retailers are always looking for a way to stay ahead of the
competition. And this year, a number of stores are pushing a service that
they describe as more convenient than ordering online and waiting for
delivery. It`s called buy online and pick up in store. But is it faster
Our Courtney Reagan puts six of the biggest chains to the test with teams
in cities across the country.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Walmart and Target
(NYSE:TGT). Macy`s (NYSE:M) and Kohl`s (NYSE:KSS). Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
and Lowe`s. Each have a same day order online, pick up in store option to
save you time this holiday season.
The good news is, no matter which Macy`s we shopped, the experience was
consistent. It was the same case for each retailer we tested.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Kohl`s rate, 42 minutes, the Target (NYSE:TGT)
REAGAN: The bad news is, not all experiences were without hiccups.
I just got a call from Lowe`s that our order is ready for pickup except for
one item which isn`t available.
That happened at Chicago Lowe`s too. Ordering online is supposed to be
convenient. But each team thought it was the more cumbersome part.
Your pickup store. So, this isn`t even the closest store, it keeps going
Pickup was the easier part.
That was pretty easy. The order was ready in one minute from the time I
got to the counter.
So, which retailer was the fastest? Target (NYSE:TGT). All four orders
were ready in an average of 33 minutes. Kohl`s (NYSE:KSS) was second,
averaging 46 minutes. Though when ease of ordering and pickup was factored
in, the four cities put Kohl`s (NYSE:KSS) was slightly ahead of Target
Home Depot (NYSE:HD), third fastest, at one hour and 15 minutes. Macy`s
(NYSE:M) was fourth, two hours and 11 minutes. Lowe`s fifth, at two hours
45 minutes. Walmart comes up last, averaging six hours, 32 minutes.
The Dallas order was placed just before 5:00 p.m. but wasn`t ready until
after 9:00 a.m. the next day.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
HERERA: And finally tonight, if you plan on shopping for bargains this
Black Friday, there may be one item to avoid: the Christmas tree.
According to Square`s 2016 sales data, Christmas trees are the most
expensive on the day after Thanksgiving, averaging $66. The closer to
Christmas, the cheaper the tree, which makes sense, of course, which also
means on Christmas Eve, trees are the cheapest, averaging $30 on average.
I`m not sure what they will look like —
GRIFFETH: OK, don`t buy that tree on Friday. I`m making a note right now.
You got it.
HERERA: That does it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks so much for
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening.
By the way, be sure to join us tomorrow on Thanksgiving for a special
NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on retirement.
Good night, everybody.
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