Transcript: Nightly Business Report – March 23, 2018

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

averages suffer their biggest weekly losses in more than two years, and the
Dow lands in correction territory.

China strikes back. The world`s second largest economy rolls out
retaliatory tariffs, leaving investors on edge around the globe.


bill like this again. I am a not going to do it again.


GRIFFETH: The president reluctantly signs into law that trillion dollar
spending bill as the drama in Washington spreads to Wall Street.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this
Friday, March the 23rd.

And we bid you a good Friday evening, everybody. Sue is off tonight.

Drama on Wall Street and in Washington again today. It capped off a rocky
and ugly week for stocks, after that 700-point decline yesterday, the Dow
fell sharply again today, pulling the index down more than 10 percent from
its most recent highs. And the S&P 500 just shy of that key 10 percent
correction level.

Concerns about a trade war, and the thread of a spending bill veto kept
investors on edge all day today. Although in the end, the president did
sign the bill into law. We`ll have more on that in just a moment.

But first, the closing numbers. Here they are. The Dow down 424 points
today to 23,533. The Nasdaq tumbled by 174. And the S&P lost 55.

The crazy day capped off a crazy week. The major averages all down more
than 5 percent, registering their biggest percentage weekly declined in
more than two years.

Bob Pisani has more now on the nervous market from the New York Stock


sideways until the last hour and a half when they drifted lower on the
large volumes of orders at the close. The big problem is that the two most
important sectors banks and tech are not showing any leadership. Without
them, it`s a hard for the market to advance.

The Dow moved in a 1,400-point range this week. The market showed it cares
about a lot of things, it`s worried the Fed might get more aggressive
regarding interest rates. It was even more worried that the president
might not sign the spending bill. But he did.

It`s worried about technology, a lot. It`s been a key leadership group all
year but Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) collapsed in the wake of its data mining
scandal and other social media stocks took a dive. Subsectors that power
techs higher last year, like FANG stocks, including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN),
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet have sold off. Energy and utilities
have led the charge this week, but they comprise a much smaller chunk of
the S&P 500 that banks and tech stocks do.

But the biggest single worry is trade protectionism. That`s because it is
potentially a threat to earnings growth, which is the main driver of the
stock market. Earnings are expected to increase about 20 percent this
year. That`s a lot. So, even a modest threat is enough to cause a lot of

Tariffs have the potential to cut earnings growth forecasts, particularly
in global and industrial stocks, but it`s difficult to model into these
earnings forecasts because we don`t know where these tariffs are going to
settle out or what industries they may ultimately affect. You see, you
have got a lot of chaos as a result.

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


GRIFFETH: And China is now ready to retaliate. The world`s second largest
economy is threatening to raise tariffs on about $3 billion worth of U.S.
imports, and concerns of an escalation in trade tension is playing out in
China`s manufacturing heartland as well, where they make that made in China

Eunice Yoon reports for us tonight from China.


U.S. trade deficit central, American companies have been relying on
factories like the one I`m in right now to make men`s shirts, toys, and
television sets that are eventually sold to U.S. consumers.

The word to describe the mood in this export dome is nervous. This
morning, we woke up to an immediate reaction from Beijing, tariffs are
being seen as a warning shot of things to come. Now, the tariffs were a
reaction not from President Trump`s announcement yesterday but to the steel
and aluminum tariffs earlier in the month.

And the Chinese chose their products carefully. If you look at the
pattern, the Chinese are going after Trump`s political bases, farmers and
swing states. In California, for example, they are targeting almond
country which went for Trump, and they`re looking to rattle corn growers in
the Midwest, who have been optimistic about selling ethanol to the Chinese.

And Chinese state media today says the next target should be soybeans.
Speaking with an American executive in the agricultural industry here, and
he said if soybeans go on the table, then we really are in a trade war.

And that`s the big fear here. It`s still not clear what tariffs will be
hitting which products. Businesspeople here believe if the Trump
administration wants to target high tech goods to counter Beijing`s made in
China 2025 industrial policy, however, those products are only a small
share of U.S. imports from China. So, the concern is that the tariffs
could hit a wider range of products. In a low margin business like
apparel, that is going to hurt.

So, exporters are thinking about survival strategies. They are telling me
once the tariffs are out, they will likely dump targeted products, tweak
products to suit certain sects, move production to finish assembly in
places like Taiwan and Hong Kong, and move production entirely out of the
country to other places like Southeast Asia, but not to the United States.

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


GRIFFETH: Now, one of the industries that China could potentially target
is pork. And that`s not going over very well with American farmers right

Jane Wells has our story for us tonight.


time for tariffs. But now is an especially bad time.

lows. We really, really need access to those markets now.

WELLS: China is threatening 25 percent tariffs on U.S. pork, pork which
currently enters the Chinese market duty-free and it is a huge market, the
third largest export market for U.S. hog farmers in terms of dollars behind
Japan and Mexico.

Let me explain how the sausage is made. If your average American hog sells
for $150 on the market, well, $53 or a little over the third comes from
outside the U.S., and $9 is just from China. Well, that $9 adds up to over
a billion dollars a year.

Hog futures have already been dropping as China pork up its own domestic
production. And as rattled bank warns we maybe heading in to a pork glut.
But no one knows how much of the pork industry China may end up targeting
especially since a Chinese firm owns Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD), a massive
U.S. pork producer.

Still, the news is a slap to farmers who voted for Donald Trump in hopes of
making more money, not less.

NEWTON: We have been assured that agriculture at the end of the day is
going to come out better than where we are today.

WELLS: John Newton from the American Farm Bureau Federation says farmers
have been pleased with President Trump`s tax and regulatory policies. And
the USDA has released a statement which says the administration stands
ready to defend agricultural producers who may be harmed by foreign country

But the question remains after all of this, is whether net-net, hog farmers
will end up bringing home less bacon.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Los Angeles.


GRIFFETH: And the head of the World Trade Organization is warning a trade
war could disrupt the global economy and harm the fragile economy. He is
urging restraint on all sides. He says dialogue is the best path to
resolving these problems.

Elsewhere, a handle of countries are breathing a sign of relief because the
European Union and others are exempt from the Trump administration`s steel
and aluminum tariffs, at least temporarily.

Willem Marx is in Brussels, at a summit of European leaders.


weeks of uncertain European leaders woke up to the news Friday that the
European Union would be exempt from the Trump administration`s steel and
aluminum tariff until May 1st. They join other countries including Mexico
and South Korea who all won the same temporary reprieve.

But Europeans leaders meeting here in Brussels have insisted that the
exemptions should be permanent and the concerns that the U.S. would use
that May 1st deadline as negotiating leverage of unrelated trade issues in
the coming weeks.

The E.U.`s 28 heads of state released a coordinated statement in which
reiterated an argument made repeatedly by Europe`s trade commissioner
Cecilia Malmstrom to her counterpart, Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary,
and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, this week, that national
security was not a reasonable pretext for U.S. tariffs to be leveled on
European produced metals.

Europe say they are happy to cooperate with the U.S. to deal with the
problems of overcapacity, especially in terms of steel production but E.U.
still reserves its right to respond in any U.S. measures in a, quote,
appropriate and proportionate matter according to WTO rules. The bottom
line is that Europe says it`s committed to a multilateral trading system
with the WTO at its core and has expressed concerns that the current U.S.
administration is not.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Willem Marx in Brussels, Belgium.


GRIFFETH: Now to the other drama in Washington today. The Senate
overnight passed that $1.3 trillion spending bill averting a government
shutdown. But first thing this morning, the president threatened to veto
it. And then as we mentioned, he reluctantly signed out later in the day.

But for a while, it created a lot of uncertainty. Something that Wall
Street certainly doesn`t like.

Ylan Mui has more now on the bill and its winners and losers.


Washington after President Trump threatened to veto a massive federal
spending bill and then changed his mind and signed it with just hours to go
before a government shutdown. The $1.3 trillion package included big
spending increases for many federal agencies, a 10 percent jump for the
Health, Labor and Education Departments, 11 percent for Agriculture, 14
percent for the Defense Department.

But Trump was upset that the bill didn`t follow fund his border wall and it
didn`t address the fate of young, undocumented immigrants, the Dreamers.
He threatened to veto the legislation that Republicans and Democrats had so
carefully negotiated. A source says that House Speaker Paul Ryan
intervened, speaking with the president by phone, emphasizing all the wins
this the deal, particularly the boost in military spending, including a 2.4
percent pay raise for service members.

By this afternoon, Trump reversed course. He reluctantly signed the bill
to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

TRUMP: As a matter of national security, I have signed this omnibus budget
bill. There are a lot of things that I`m unhappy about in this bill.
There are a lot of things that we shouldn`t have had in this bill, but we
were, in a sense, forced if we want to build our military, we were forced
to have. There were some things that we should have in the bill.

MUI: Trump also said Republicans are on the side of the Dreamers and that
he is still open to a compromise. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
fired back with this statement, Republicans refused to join us to provide
real protections, offering only a temporary patch.

Now, lawmakers have already left town for Easter recess. The president
will spend the next few days in Mar-a-Lago. Perhaps everyone just needs a

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Washington.


GRIFFETH: Let`s take a look at some of today`s upgrades and downgrades
now, shall we?

Citi cut its rating on what has been the best performing semiconductor
stock so far this year. That would be Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU). But
it was cut to neutral from buy. The firm sited a decline in flash memory
pricing. The analyst however did raise his price target on the stock to
$60. Although, he does admit the new price forecast makes him nervous.
Micron fell 8 percent with the rest of the market today to $54.21.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is adding Dow component Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) to its
conviction buy list. The firm says the rally in Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares
so far this year is just the beginning of a bigger run for that stock. The
analyst bumped his price target to $54 a share. But Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)
shares fell more than 1 percent to $42.42.

And Barclays is raising its rating on Carnival (NYSE:CCL) cruise lines to
overweight from equal weight. The firm says the company`s strong bookings
and upbeat outlook from yesterday`s earnings report should drive earnings
higher throughout the rest of this year. Price target, $77. On this down
day, though, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) was off more than 2 percent to $64.41.

Coming up, this week`s market monitor has three picks he thinks could do
well despite rising trade tensions between China and the U.S.


GRIFFETH: More executives at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) are reportedly
leaving. According to the “Wall Street Journal,” four risk managed
officials plan to retire. The changes follow a recent enforcement action
by the Federal Reserve which restricted the bank`s growth and replaced
various board members.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is going to pay $42 million to New York state to
settle an investigation into electronic trading. The New York attorney
general said the bank had secret agreements with certain firms to send them
orders to buy and sell stocks. Those agreements were allegedly concealed
from clients over a five-year period.

And a Federal Reserve official today said that the Central Bank should
continue raising rates gradually over the next couple of years. Atlanta
Fed President Raphael Bostic cited a labor market that is at or near full
employment and inflation that is approaching the Feds` 2 percent target.
And as you know, the Fed raised rates this week and is forecasting two more
rate, this year, increases, and three next.

Elsewhere, orders for long lasting manufactured goods rebounded in
February, reversing January`s decline. Commerce Department said today that
durable goods orders rose by 3.1 percent thanks to strong demand for
transportation equipment. Durable goods are items designed to last at
least three years. The durable goods report also showed an increase in
shipments, which could be a positive sign that business spending grew in
this first quarter of the New Year.

Two new reads on the housing market out this week showed a less than
stellar start to the critical spring selling season, and the culprit is
pretty clear.

Diana Olick has our story tonight from Washington.


lot more expensive, especially these homes. The price of a newly built
home jumped to $326,000 in February, up 10 percent compared to a year ago.
In the hottest markets like California and Colorado, where home builder TRI
Pointe operates, prices are even higher.

DOUG BAUER, TRI POINTE CEO: The real story in housing is demand. Demand
is very strong across the board, entry level, all the way up to move up and
luxury. That demand is really pushing pricing, both at the entry level,
all the way up through the luxury price point.

OLICK: But new homes are needed most at the entry level. And that`s where
the existing home shortage is worse. Unfortunately, rising construction
costs, especially new tariffs on materials, make that harder for builders.

BAUER: Materials, labor, land, regulations, they have all had an impact on
housing, especially on the price of housing because we are continuing to
absorb those price increases with more price increases.

OLICK: Without builders ramping up, the existing home market is only
getting more competitive and less affordable. February sales bounced back
after two months of drops, but prices also continued to surge higher.

LISA REAGAN, PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYER: Absolutely. That`s probably my
number one problem in searching for a home that I like is finding something
in my price range.

OLICK: Lisa Reagan has been searching for a home in the Atlanta area for
about a year but does not want to overspend.

REAGAN: I am concerned that I might be buying at the top of the bubble.
And I have done that before. And I don`t want to do that again.

OLICK: Rising mortgage rates like we are seeing now usually cool prices a
bit. But that is not the case in today`s market.

Demand is simply so high and supply so low that higher rates are not
holding back competition. In fact, they may be fuelling it, as buyers try
to get in faster before rates move even higher.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.


GRIFFETH: Boeing (NYSE:BA) dropped its tariff appeal, and that is where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The company is not going to appeal a recent rule by the U.S. International
Trade Commission which allows rival Canadian jet maker Bombardier to sell
its planes to U.S. companies without steep tariffs. Now, last year, Boeing
(NYSE:BA) launched a complaint with the commission, saying that Bombardier
was subsidized by the Canadian government which allowed it to sell planes
to U.S. carriers at unfairly low prices. No appeal though now. Boeing
(NYSE:BA) shares rose a fraction today to $321.

And Steve Wynn has cashed out entirely out of the gaming giant that he
created. The casino mogul sold his entire stake in Wynn Resorts
(NASDAQ:WYNN) after resigning last month following sexual misconduct
allegations. And separately, Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment said that it
was taking a 5 percent stake in Wynn. Shares of Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)
were up 34 cents to finish the day at $175.88.

And GlaxoSmithKline is taking itself out of bidding process for Pfizer`s
consumer health care business. Glaxo is seen as the leading contender to
buy that unit. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) now says it expects to make a decision
later this year on whether or not to actually sell that business. Shares
of GlaxoSmithKline rose 3-1/2 percent to $37.42. Shares of Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE) were down 3 percent to $34.49.

And shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) came under pressure today after the
chip maker said that all of its board nominees had been reelected. Six of
the directors, though, faced opposition from a majority of shareholders who
were concerned about how the company handled a recent takeover offer from
rival Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM). Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares fell more than
3 percent to $53.66.

Our market monitor tonight has names of stocks that he says will remain
valuable even with rising trade restrictions between the U.S. and China.
This is his first time on our program.

We welcome Jeremy Bryan. He is portfolio manager with Gradient

Jeremy, good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight.


GRIFFETH: I`m going to jump right in with your first pick, I`m curious.
It`s Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). You say it should do OK even if there are
trade tensions between the U.S. and China. But Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is
making a huge investment in China. Make your case.

BRYAN: Yes. So, the case is just a little bit of a different story with
regard to Chinese expansion. And that`s brand expansion. We think that
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), the brand over there — there is still a demand
for western brands in the Chinese region. And we think that Starbucks
(NASDAQ:SBUX) is one of the predominant sources of that.

We think that they`re going to continue to grow in China from a units
perspective, from a sales perspective. But also the U.S. side, we could
see a reacceleration as well. So, you get the double whammy of growth in
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).

GRIFFETH: So, you don`t fear any kind of retaliation by the Chinese
government could hurt Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)?

BRYAN: It could in the very short to interim term. But I still think over
a longer period of time, I still think the brand expansion, the brand
opportunity of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is too big and it`s still too in
demand to be affected by that over a long period of time.

GRIFFETH: OK. Chevron (NYSE:CVX), you are making a bet on oil and you
love that dividend. Who doesn`t love 4 percent, huh?

BRYAN: That`s exactly right. I mean, if you look at Chevron (NYSE:CVX),
the interesting part of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is it`s back to basically about
November 2016 levels. Oil prices during that time, oil prices were in the
low 50s then. And they are in the mid 60s now. And Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is
at the same price.

So, you get the dividend yield, which like you said, is over 4 percent.
And then also, I think you`ve got some free cash flow opportunity to where
they can increase that dividend and also do some share buyback going in the

GRIFETH: Finally, you have Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG). I know it has suffered,
this biotech company. Is this a value play? Is that how you see it then?

BRYAN: Yes. So, it can be a long fall from growth to value, which Celgene
(NASDAQ:CELG) has kind of been through. The funny story is we bought this
today. We think we are there. That`s the thought.

I mean, Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) was at 147 about six months ago. It`s about
85 now. So, we are still looking at a company that can do 10 to 15 percent
EPS growth over the next few years. If they even get one of their drugs to
come through into that pipeline, this could be, you know, a double stock in
the next two to three years.

GRIFFETH: But it is a good highlight that biotech can be very, very
volatile, right?

BRYAN: Absolutely. You have to be cognizant of that. And that`s why we
prefer to buy them when they are at these price levels where upside is
large potential both from the EPS growth and the valuation opportunity.

GRIFFETH: Jeremy Bryan with Gradient Investments — again, welcome.
Thanks for joining us tonight.

BRYAN: Thank you very much.

GRIFFETH: And to read more about our market monitor`s picks, you can go to
our Website at

And when we come back, a bright spot on Wall Street, and it came from the
tech sector.


GRIFFETH: The Justice Department has accused nine Iranians of
orchestrating years of cyber attacks on behalf of the Iranian government.
It is one of the largest state sponsored hacking cases ever brought by the
Justice Department. DOJ says that the hackers` goal was to steal data from
businesses, government agencies, and universities.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: They hacked the computer systems
of approximately 120 universities — pardon me, approximately 320
universities in 22 countries, 144 of the university victims are American
universities. The defendants stole research that cost those universities
approximately $3.4 billion to procure and maintain.


GRIFFETH: And that stolen information was then used by the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard or it was sold for profit in Iran.

Dropbox soared in its Wall Street debut today. Investors rushing to buy
into the biggest technology IPO we`ve seen since Snap came public last year
around this time. The cloud storage company closed out its first day of
trading with a gain of more than 35 percent.

Deirdre Bosa has more on drop box and its strategy for growth.


public debut, the company enters a land of land graphs (ph). Cloud
computing has been one of the hottest corners of the market over the last
year. It`s not just cloud-focused companies like Salesforce that are
playing in the field. Tech behemoths like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are major
players and they are only getting bigger.

So, where does Dropbox fit in? Well, the San Francisco based company has
500 million registered users and became a household name thanks to
popularity with consumers rather than businesses.

JOHN ELTON, GREYCROFT PARTNERS: It`s viral. It`s something that`s
incredibly sticky. And you see that across the metrics of the company.
So, if they can continue to innovate and develop, which they have proved
they can do in the past.

BOSA: But in the file sharing cloud business the money is in enterprise
and Dropbox is increasingly moving into the space on its path to
profitability. Dropbox CEO and founder Drew Houston says the company`s
consumer following will help it win more business customers.

DREW HOUSTON, DROPBOX FOUNDER AND CEO: So, we have over 500 million
registered users. And since the beginning, they have been bringing us into
millions of companies. And so, we have over 300,000 paying Dropbox
business customers. It starts really simply.

So, you start using drop becomes at home. You bring to it work. Start
sharing and collaborating with a team on a project, and that team becomes a
department, becomes the whole company, becomes the whole industry.

BOSA: Investors seemed to agree. While there were concerns as to whether
the public markets would value Dropbox as richly as the private market has
in the past, the company`s debut today suggests investors believe there is
plenty more room to grow. Now as a public company though it will have to
prove that it can grab more land in a competitive landscape.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Deirdre Bosa, New York.


GRIFFETH: Finally tonight, sad news in the business world. Wayne Huizenga
has died at the age of 80. He is still the only entrepreneur ever to
create three different Fortune 500 companies during his career. They were
Blockbuster Video, Waste Management (NYSE:WM), and Auto Nation. He also
cofounded the hotel chain Extended Stay America.

And Mr. Huizenga was also a fixture in the sports world. At one time he
owned three professional teams. They would be baseball`s Florida Marlins,
the NHL`s Florida Panthers, and football`s Miami Dolphins. What a life.

Before we go, here`s another look at the selloff on Wall Street today. The
Dow dropping by another 424 points. The Nasdaq tumbled by 174. And the
S&P 500 lost 55.

The major averages registered their biggest weekly decline in more than two
years this week.

That is the NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Bill Griffeth.
Thanks so much for watching. Have a great weekend. We`ll see you again on



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