Transcript: Nightly Business Report – March 19, 2018

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Bill Griffeth and Sue

stock has its worst day in four years after another privacy misstep. It
led tech lower, and it pulled the rest of the market down with it.

government could be shut down in just days as lawmakers try to work through
a number of thorny issues before Friday`s deadline.

HERERA: Falling out of love. Ten years after the crash, a new report says
fewer people are embracing stocks.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, March

GRIFFETH: And we bid you good evening, everybody. Welcome.

It was a rough start to the week on Wall Street today. All of the major
indexes fell more than 1 percent with the Nasdaq off the most. It was led
lower by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which had its worst day since 2014, as you
heard. That after the company said that a third-party firm improperly kept
data on millions of its users. We`ll have more on that story in a bit.

The sell-off, though, in tech, which has been one of the hottest sectors in
the past year, that led the broader market lower as well today with the Dow
closing down 335 points to 24,610. The Nasdaq was off by 137. The S&P
fell by 39.

Bob Pisani has more for us tonight from the New York Stock Exchange.


Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), down 7 percent. On the surface, it`s easy to blame
today`s market woes just on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). It`s a big name, big
valuation, a lot of momentum behind it.

When it reverses like it did today, it gives a lot of investors,
particularly momentum investors, pause. But the story`s bigger than
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Social media in general has been under assault for
over a year. Many now realize that services that companies like Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Snap claim they provide to them for
free, in fact, comes with a heavy cost — privacy. And the customers are
now coming to it understand that in many cases, they`re not customers,
they`re the product.

But there`s bigger problems for the market. There`s a big leadership
vacuum right now. No group is stepping forward as tech stocks have
dropped. Stocks started the year strong on the strength of leadership
among the biggest sectors like technology and financials, consumer

But tech is now rolling over amid an assault of social media and nothing`s
stepping forward. Energy stocks never recovered from the drops in early
February. Materials and steel stocks have been dropping after rallying
briefing. Industrials are faltering on these trade war issues. And banks
were the last leadership group to go. They too have trending down in the
last few days.

So, there is considerable nervousness around the Fed meeting with talk of a
fourth rate hike. Trade wars are weighing on stocks and the White House
drama is also a distraction. The issue, what`s left to power the markets

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.


HERERA: More now on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which shed more than $35 billion
in market value today.

And as Bob just mentioned, the stock dropped about 7 percent in a very
rough day of trading.

Julia Boorstin explains what exactly happened at the company and why
investors fled the stock.


(NASDAQ:FB) under fire. Lawmakers in the U.S. and U.K. calling for CEO
Mark Zuckerberg to testify, and the E.U. announcing an investigation into
violations of privacy laws.

Here`s what happened. In early 2014, an app developer accessed info from
275,000 users of its app, as well as the data from about 50 million of
their friends. Until April 2014, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) allowed app
developers to access that data. The developer illegally sold that data to
Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked with the Trump campaign.

When Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) found out in 2015, the data firm told Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) it deleted all of it. This weekend`s reports say the data is
still out there and note that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) failed to alert
consumers whose data was harvested.

blindsided, and they weren`t quick enough to acknowledge that their data
was hacked and their data was misused. I think they need to be more up
front about that, but there`s no question, these are very difficult I.T.
challenges for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

BOORSTIN: Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) says it`s investigating the accuracy of the
claims and just hired an outside firm to do a comprehensive audit. And
Cambridge Analytica denies wrongdoing, saying it cooperated fully with
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to delete the data, after discovering that the app
developer it was working with had broken the rules.

Facebook`s business is built on its more than 2 billion monthly active
users having confidence in the platform. And consumer reaction is mixed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I figure everyone has my data. Like, it`s all out
there, so I`m not so concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe these executives should be held accountable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still trust that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and other
companies are trying their best to do it the right way.

BOORSTIN: Users` trust is key to provide valuable data to advertisers to
target them.

BOB PECK, CREDIT SUISSE: They know at the end of the day, having the trust
of their consumer is paramount, it`s key, and if they don`t earn that trust
every single day, you will see users go off the platform. So, I think look
for them to try to self-regulate as much as possible as they go forward

BOORSTIN: Now, analysts are raising concerns about potential advertiser
backlash. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) warning that this creates a serious
public relations black eye and could lead to additional regulatory

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


GRIFFETH: So, could the allegations facing Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) cause a
wave of regulation to crash in on big tech? And if so, what would that
mean for the whole technology sector?

Joining us tonight to talk about it is Ed Lee, managing editor at Recode.

Ed, already tonight, we`ve heard that the Connecticut attorney general is
talking about a new investigation there into these allegations. So, the
drumbeat is already starting to sound. What should Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) do
in terms of self-regulation, in your view?

ED LEE, RECODE MANAGING EDITOR: So, it`s a great question. I think that
sort of hits it on the head in terms of Facebook`s dilemma right now.
There`s a lot of political will getting into this in terms of, you know,
should Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) be regulated.

It`s going to be a test of Mark Zuckerberg`s leadership, the CEO. They
haven`t taken definitive action as of yet, right? They`re basically saying
we still need to investigate this, make sure that the reported claims are
actually true, that this data is still on these third-party servers.

But even after that, there needs to be a more systemic fix in place in
order to prove to Congress and to the American public that, you know what,
we`re going to keep people`s data safe. Right now, they`re just taking
these small, incremental steps.

HERERA: But as Bill mentioned, the risk of regulation is higher now than
it probably has ever been before for this company. If, indeed, regulation
is imposed, what do you think that would look like? Would it be more like
European standards, which are stricter privacy codes?

LEE: So, I think Europe is actually a good model in terms of where the
U.S. could look in terms of, this is what Europe does in terms of how they
restrict data, how they protect people`s privacy. The U.S. typically sort
of gives much more leeway, probably because these are U.S. companies we`re
talking about. They want to make sure they have certain advantages or
maintain a certain advantage.

I think if they really, really go full bore, they`ll want to restrict how
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) actually uses its data, in other words, how they sell
the data to advertisers which is — I mean, advertisers — advertising is
the life blood of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Snap,
these other social media companies. So, that`s the hardest they could hit
them. Chances are, it might be more of like a warning label type thing,
you know? When people sort of sign up for things, there might be a label
that comes up, says your data could be used without you knowing it, kind of
a disclaimer. That would be sort of at the other end.

GRIFFETH: And if the fears are valid, that if there are regulatory
restraints put on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the rest of the industry should be
worried about that at the same time. Do you think Twitter`s not far behind
or other social media platforms or other technology companies?

LEE: I think if Congress does craft some kind of regulatory framework for
how this is used, it`s not going to be just Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-specific.
I think partly to be fair but also to make it level playing field. So,
yes, if it affects Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), it`s going to affect Twitter, it`s
going to affect Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it`s going to affect Snapchat,
basically all online advertising.

And I think that`s the framework. Those are the stakes. They`re really,
really high. In order for it to be fair, it wouldn`t have to single out
one specific player. It should be across the board.

GRIFFETH: Ed Lee with Recode, always good to see you. Thanks, Ed.

LEE: Sure.

HERERA: To Asia now, and specifically, China, which has a new central
banker. Economists say the choice signals Beijing`s focus on economic
reforms and the need to get its debt under control.

Eunice Yoon has the details from Beijing.


central bank chief. His name is Yi Gang. And he is no stranger to the
United States.

He studied in Minnesota. He got his PhD at the University of Illinois and
tenure at Indiana University.

Now, up until now, he was a deputy governor at the People`s Bank of China
and a protege of the outgoing governor. The outgoing governor is known as
a pro-markets voice among Chinese policymakers and favors faster

Now, for foreign investors, there are two things that people want to know.
First, is Yi Gang going to be an advocate for opening up the financial

In his first comments of governor, Yi said a new slew of reform and opening
policies would be announced from now until early April, though he didn`t
mention anything specific.

Now, the second question for investors is what is Yi going to do with all
of the debt? Debt here has been rising, and the outgoing governor has
expressed his concern about it. Yi didn`t say anything about that today.

Now, it`s unclear how much influence Yi will have over policymaking. Here
in China, unlike the Federal Reserve or the ECB, the PBOC doesn`t have full
independence from the government or the communist party, and the man who
appears to be calling the shots on the economy is President Xi Jinping`s
close ally, Liu He. Liu is now vice premier and presents himself as a
market reformer, though so far under his guidance, we haven`t seen much
financial liberalization.

Xi`s team on the economy has been focused in recent months on reining in
credit and clamping down on shadow banking, but the question is, is as the
economy continues to slow down, will this team decide that they`re going to
stay the course, or will they reverse policy and start to pump up credit in
order to keep up the growth?

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Beijing.


GRIFFETH: Time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and downgrades

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is reaffirming its sell rating on Tesla. The
analyst there expects model 3 deliveries to come in below expectations.
The firm, though, is maintaining its 205 6-month price target on that
stock, the stock fell, though, 2 percent to $315.56.

Meanwhile, coverage of Fitbit started with a buy rating at Craig-Hallum.
They call the stock price compelling, saying all of the pieces are in place
now for a successful change to Fitbit`s strategy. Price target $10.
Shares rose 2 percent today to $5.37.

HERERA: Grubhub saw its rating cut to hold from buy over at Stifel. The
analyst there is concerned about the stock`s valuation, which has risen
about 50 percent so far this year. The price target is $110. That`s just
above where it closed today, which was $108.82.

Dr. Pepper/Snapple`s rating was raised to outperform from sector perform at
RBC capital markets. The analyst there noted potential improvements to its
coffee business following its merger agreement with Keurig. The price
target is $135, and the stock rose fractionally today to $118.36.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, why some Americans still shun the stock market,
even after one of the strongest bull runs we`ve seen in history.


GRIFFETH: President Trump was in New Hampshire today, where he outlined
steps to combat the opioid crisis. In fact, he said he is considering
suing some drug makers for the role they`ve played in fueling the epidemic.


Justice is looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against
some of these drug companies. We`ll bring it at a federal level. Some
states are already bringing it, but we`re thinking about bringing it at a
very high federal level.


GRIFFETH: In fact, those comments sent shares of three opioid producers
lower, namely Mallinckrodt, Endo and Depomed.

HERERA: The national debt has topped $21 trillion for the first time ever.
That milestone comes shortly after the suspension of the federal debt limit
last month. That allows the government to borrow an unlimited amount of
money. Economists expect wider budget deficits over the near term due to
the tax cuts that were signed into law late last year.

GRIFFETH: Congress has only a few days now to finish up the details on a
spending bill that was broadly agreed to just three weeks ago, and it if
they don`t come to an agreement, the government faces yet another shutdown.

Ylan Mui is covering that story for us from Capitol Hill.

So, what are the sticking points at this point, Ylan?

been meeting to discuss the final details of this $1.3 trillion spending
package just this evening.

As you mentioned, they`ve already agreed to the top-line spending numbers,
but there are side agreements that usually get attached to these types of
bills that they are still hashing out. One of them is stabilizing health
insurance marketplaces. That is one that we`re hearing is being negotiated
up until the last minute. Also, funding for a border wall and a pathway to
citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are brought to the U.S. as
children. The last we heard is that that will not be in the omnibus
spending bill, as it`s called. But again, those final details still to be

Also still up for debate is funding for the gateway project that includes a
tunnel between New York and New Jersey. That`s been a priority for Senate
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, but it`s something that the White House
has been adamantly against. So, lawmakers really see this as their last
chance to get a piece of the pie in what could be the final must-pass
legislation for Congress this year.

HERERA: If that wasn`t enough, what else is on the congressional agenda?

MUI: Well, once they get through this spending bill, it should clear the
decks for the next two years. You`re expected to see Congress really focus
on those midterm elections, but what also could be coming up is tax reform
phase two. We spoke to the head of the House Freedom Caucus,
Representative Mark Meadows, who said he believes we could see a rollout as
soon as April 15th, so mark your calendars, guys.

GRIFFETH: Wow. Tax legislation that close to an election, that should be

Ylan Mui in Washington, thank you.

HERERA: Oracle`s revenue comes up short, and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus.”

After the bell, the cloud computing company topped profit expectations but
saw its sales slightly miss targets. The company`s software licensing
revenue rose, but that, too, wasn`t good enough for the street. The shares
initially fell in the extended session. They ended the regular day down a
fraction to $51.95.

Shares of the smartphone technology-maker Universal (NYSE:UVV) Display were
pressured following a report that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is investing in next-
generation technology to make its own phone screens. Bloomberg says Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) has secretly been working on developing micro LED screens, a
feature that could make devices slimmer, but also improve battery life. A
finished product is said to be a few years away, but shares of universal
display fell 12 percent today to $109 even.

Newell Brands will give billionaire Carl Icahn`s five board seats in
exchange for support in fending off activist hedge fund Starboard Value,
which has been pushing for a management shake up at the consumer products
company. Last week, Icahn revealed a nearly 7 percent stake in the maker
of Sharpies. As part of its deal with Icahn, Newell will consider selling
some of its noncore assets. Shares of Newell Brands were off 6 percent to

GRIFFETH: Biotech firm Herron Therapeutics says its experimental
anesthetic (INAUDIBLE) undergoing specific surgeries significantly
decreased pain when compared to existing treatments. The company also said
that patients who were given new anesthetic needed fewer opioids in the
hours following the procedure. That`s certainly good news. Shares jumped
nearly 27 percent on that news to $27.30.

And ship equipment-maker KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) is buying technology
company Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK) for about $3.5 billion. KLA said that the
deal will grow its customer base and create new revenue generating
opportunities. Separately, KLA launched a $2 billion share buyback
program. KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) Shares fell more than 3 percent today to
$115.98. Meanwhile, as might be expected, shares of Orbotech (NASDAQ:ORBK)
popped by 6 percent to $63.99.

And McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) reportedly is going to settle a lawsuit charging
the fast-food giant with alleged labor law violations at its franchises. A
union group representing McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) employees had previously
claimed that workers were fired after participating in protests seeking a
higher minimum wage. Shares of McDonald`s fell 2 percent today to $159.01.

HERERA: Well, it`s been a decade since the start of the financial crisis
that wiped out trillions of dollars worth of assets held by U.S.
households. Since the crisis, though, a bull market has emerged and stocks
have enjoyed quite significant gains. But despite the run-up in stocks, a
“Reuters” report says many Americans are staying on the sidelines,
investing about $900 billion less than they did in 2007.

Joining us to talk about that is Stephen Wood. He`s the chief market
strategist at Russell Investments.

It`s always good to have you here, Stephen. Welcome.


GRIFFETH: Welcome back.

HERERA: So, what do you think is behind this? First of all, what do you
think about that report and the statistics, and why do you think it is?

WOOD: Well, I think there are certain generational impacts. If we look at
our grandparents, how the Depression affected them — our parents, how they
react to inflation given their experience in the `60s and `70s. That
financial crisis was a serious blow to a lot of investors. So, I think
there`s some aspect of that even a decade later, and it could be

I think there is also an aspect where the average retail investor typically
looks to buy at the top and sell at the bottom. And that`s something we
work hard with our strategies to minimize, but that is, unfortunately, a
common characteristic of investment patterns.

GRIFFETH: There are probably plenty of people who feel like they missed
the boat this time around, so they`re going to wait for a significant
pullback to get into the market, right?

WOOD: Well, that would be people that are paying attention to the market
specifically. That may not be everyone.

GRIFFETH: Well, let me ask this, where are they putting the money, if
they`re not putting in the stock market right now?

WOOD: I think, right now, you`re seeing cash build-ups and I think a lot
of people are probably just sitting on the sidelines. As you mentioned,
they`re waiting for maybe a higher rally in the market to confirm.

So, there`s a lot of behavioral finance, the psychology of investment
that`s really impactful, and I think that`s why you need a very good,
global, disciplined strategy to minimize some of those behavioral biases.

HERERA: Perfect segue into where to put your money to work and you do like
a global strategy. You like Europe, Japan, emerging markets?

WOOD: We do. As I`m sharing with you earlier, I`ve been in Portugal,
Spain, just got back from Japan. So, the time zone I`m in, I don`t know.
But —

HERERA: You`re not sure.

WOOD: I`m not sure, I`m not sure. But assuming we`re in New York right
now, the message is similar in Japan, it`s similar in Europe, and it`s
similar here, that if you look at the cycle right now in the U.S., the
economy looks okay. Earnings are going to look good, but it`s a very
expensive market.

So, for an American or a dollar-based investor, this is a pretty good time
to start thinking about rebalancing globally, just being disciplined,
blocking and tackling, looking at Europe, which is cheaper. They`ve got an
earlier economic cycle. And whereas our central bank is raising rates,
they`re still accommodative, similar to Japan.

So, ten years ago, the U.S. was lagging. Right now, the U.S. is leading.
So, rebalance globally and be disciplined, which, again, it minimizes some
of those behavioral mistakes.

GRIFFETH: But we`ll see if the millennials who were damaged by the
financial crisis of ten years ago decide they want to get into the market,

WOOD: Well, the benefit for them is they`re young and they`re going to
live a lot longer than we will. So they`ve got time.

GRIFFETH: We can only hope.

Stephen Wood of Russell Investments, always good to see you. Thanks.

WOOD: Thank you, sir.

HERERA: Coming up, retail`s extreme makeover.


Reagan in Las Vegas, Nevada, at one of retail`s biggest conferences of the
year where established brands, tech companies and start-ups are all coming
together to figure out what the future of retail will look like. I`ve got
the story coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.



GRIFFETH: Here`s what to watch on Tuesday.

Jerome Powell will chair his first monetary policy committee meeting. The
two-day meeting begins tomorrow, concludes with that press conference on

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) reports earnings that include results from its peak
holiday season. That should be interesting. And the Saudi crown prince
will be visiting the White House to discuss economic priorities between our
two countries. And that is what to watch on a very busy Tuesday tomorrow.

HERERA: Indeed.

Uber has temporarily suspended its self-driving car tests in all locations
after a deadly accident in Arizona. A woman was reportedly hit and killed
by a vehicle in self-driving mode as she crossed the street. That incident
appears to be the first time that someone has been killed by an autonomous
vehicle. Uber says it`s cooperating with the investigation.

GRIFFETH: The nation`s largest retailers are asking the White House not to
levy new tariffs on China. A letter signed today by 40 different
retailers, including Walmart, Target (NYSE:TGT), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST),
argued that tariffs would lead to higher prices, which, in turn, would hurt
working families who shop in their stores. There are reports, you may have
heard, that the White House is considering tariffs on at least $30 billion
worth of imports from China, beyond steel and aluminum.

HERERA: Teen jewelry chain Claire`s is filing for bankruptcy. The
retailer, which says it has pierced more than 100 million ears worldwide —
never heard of that statistic, but that`s what they say — is struggling
with a heavy debt burden. Now, the company operates in 99 percent of
America`s malls and was purchased by the private equity firm Apollo Global
Management for more than $3 billion back in 2007.

GRIFFETH: That`s over 40 years, by the way.


GRIFFETH: As the retail industry does change, many companies are looking
to technology to give them an edge.

Courtney Reagan reports now from a major retail conference in Las Vegas.


everybody is talking about the future of retail in which companies will
lead the way. There seems to be no doubt that technology will play a
critical role. Start-ups are announcing deals with established retailers
and tech companies are pitching ideas to make shopping better in store and
online. Walmart and Handy are going to offer shoppers TV installation and
furniture assembly services in 2,000 stores.

By the end of the year, shoppers in Macy`s (NYSE:M) stores can scan and
check out on their phones. CEO Jeff Gennette says mobile checkout saves
time than going to a cashier, even though store employees still have to
remove security tags and verify the purchase. Macy`s is partnering with a
tech company Marxent to roll out a virtual reality program so shoppers can
lay out Macy`s (NYSE:M) furniture in their living room to see how it will
look before they buy.

JEFF GENNETTE, MACY`S CHAIRMAN AND CEO: It`s increasing what they buy on
that purchase and it`s decreasing the amount they return, because they`ve
already kind of tested it. They`ve already kind of felt that the shape and
size will work in their home environment. You don`t have to have a
physical sample in the store, and that`s why the furniture space can be
half of what they are to do the same level of volume.

REAGAN: But infusing stores with technology will only be a winning
strategy if it brings shoppers in. Mall operator Westfield co-CEO Steve
Lowy thinks physical retailers are massively behind when it comes to
understanding their consumers. As chairman of One Market, it`s a retail
technology start-up. He`s working to change that.

STEVE LOWLY, WESTFIELD CORP. CO-CEO: The retailing industry really needs
to focus on servicing its consumer much better than it is. It`s currently
really boxing with a hand behind its back right now, because they`re really
only working with their own data. We don`t really have the ability to
share data across the network so they can better understand their consumer.
They have no idea what the consumer is doing before they actually make a

REAGAN: No one is sure what the future of retail will look like, but
there`s a ground swell of innovative companies here determined to figure it

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan in Las Vegas, Nevada.


HERERA: Little Caesars made a March Madness bet and now it owes everyone a
free lunch. The pizza chain said that if a bottom-seeded team beat a
number one seed on Friday night, everyone in the country would get a free
meal. Now, that seemed like a pretty safe bet, but that`s not how it
turned out when number 16 University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated
number 1 University of Virginia. So, your free lunch is April 2nd.

GRIFFETH: Meantime, “Black Panther” has marked yet another box office
milestone. The movie topped the domestic box office for the fifth straight
week, making it only the third film in the past 20 years to do that. The
Disney (NYSE:DIS) film took in another $27 million over the weekend in
ticket sales, pushing its domestic gross to more than $605 million.

HERERA: And here`s another look at the sell-off on Wall Street today. The
Dow is down 335 points, Nasdaq off 137, S&P 500 fell 39.

And that`s it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks
for joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great Monday evening, everybody. See
you tomorrow.


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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
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