Transcript: Nightly Business Report – April 2, 2018

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

Stocks tanked to start April as the possibility of a trade war takes center

tariffs on more than 100 types of U.S. imports.

BREWER: And cash to burn? Homeowners have record equity in their homes
and if they tap into it, what could they spend it on?

All that and more on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, April 2nd.

Good evening, everyone. Welcome. I`m Contessa Brewer, in for Sue Herera.

GRIFFETH: And I`m Bill Griffith. Welcome aboard. We`re glad to have you
with us here.

The New York area woke up on this April 2nd to a blanket of snow. And that
chill spread to stocks as they were hit by a pair of T`s to day that, is
tariffs and technology. China went through with its threat to hit U.S.
products with tariffs. We`ll have more on that in a moment.

And technology resumed its roller we`ve seen over the last few months, led
lower by shares of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) today. They were down 6 percent on
a Bloomberg report that says Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to use its own
chips instead of Intel`s in its Macs. That would start as early as 2020.

Here`s how things shook out when all is said and done. The Dow fell by 458
points to 23,644. It could have been worse though. At the low of the day,
the Dow was down about 760 points.

The Nasdaq again was the biggest loser percentage-wise. It was off 193 or
nearly 3 percent.

And the S&P 500 was off by 50. its worst start to an April, get this,
since 1929.

Bob Pisani has more for us tonight.


Wall Street. We saw broad base selloff all 11 S&P 500 sectors are now in
correction mode. That means down 10 percent or more from their recent

Investors were confused and frustrated by the uncertainty around trade
fears and technology woes and those concerns led to higher volatility but a
lighter volume initially. Now, as soon as the S&P 500 broke below the 200-
day moving average, that`s a key technical indicator, the selling picked up
steam led by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) also slumped on
reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may soon be using its own in-house chips
instead of Intel`s.

So, looking ahead, is this the start of a great tech unwind? We don`t know
yet. Earnings are expected to grow 20 percent in the first quarter.
That`s huge. The biggest in years, and to continue along that path for the
rest of the year.

Twenty percent is practically unheard of, particularly after such a long
bull run. But the earnings outlook is being clouded a little bit by
concerns about technology. The overall market may not be overvalued but
certain tech probably is overvalued. Semiconductors, for example, and
semiconductor capital equipment stocks which have all pulled back.

Now, the problem is technology has gotten a little too big for their
britches. Tech alone is 25 percent of the waiting in the S&P 500, far and
away the biggest sector. And the big five, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet,
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN),
Amazon`s tech related consumer discretionary stock, but you get the idea,
those five together account for 15 percent of the S&P 500.

And tech and financial earnings in the first quarter are expected to be
almost double the rest of the S&P 500. So, no wonder the market goes into
a tizzy when there`s even a small threat to tech earnings expectations.

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


BREWER: Another factor here, today, it was China`s turn to throw a tariff
tantrum, hitting more than 100 types of U.S. imports with taxes as high as
25 percent.

Eunice Yoon has those details from Beijing.


on its pledge to retaliate against President Trump`s tariffs on steel and
aluminum. Over the weekend, the finance ministry said that previously
announced tariffs would go into effect starting today. These tariffs
mainly target American meat, fruit, nuts, wine, steel, and aluminum
products. And they affect about $3 billion of goods.

The commerce ministry said tariffs were to balance the loss from U.S.
action and suggested the tariffs were not meant to escalate the conflict.
The ministry said: We hope that the United States will withdraw the
measures that violate the rules of the WTO as soon as possible so that the
trade of related products between China and the United States will return
to the normal track.

The tariffs impacted pork stocks in greater China. Stocks of local pork
producers jumped but WH Group, a Chinese company which owns Smithfield
Foods (NYSE:SFD) in the United States, saw its stock lose 8 percent. WH
Group`s imported Smithfield pork products are popular in China. Online
retailer distributes for Smithfield here and U.S. pork, fruit such
as Sunkist oranges and cherries and American wine are some of JD`s best

The tariffs were a major topic on Chinese social media with some expressing
concern about the impact on consumers here. Still, the commerce ministry
said the Chinese public largely supports this move. Like the U.S., Beijing
opened up a period for commentary by citizens as well as companies so that
they could share their thoughts, and according to the government, most
people said that they supported the government`s efforts to protect China`s
national interests and also said that they would support even tougher
action against the U.S. if it`s necessary.



GRIFFETH: Well, let`s turn now to two market pros for more on how trade
war fears and the slide in tech is affecting overall market at the start of
this second quarter. We have with us tonight, Brett Ewing, he is chief
market strategist at First Franklin (NASDAQ:FFHS) Financial Services, and
James Wang is tech analyst at Ark Investments.

Good to see you both. Thanks for joining us tonight.


GRIFFETH: Brett, the feeling is that there won`t be a trade war, that
somebody`s going to have to blink, because nobody wants a trade war right
now. But, yet, Wall Street acts as if there could be one. What do you
think is going on here?

EWING: Well, I don`t believe that there is going to be a trade war, nor do
I believe that Wall Street fully thinks there`s going to be one as well. I
think markets like to overreact in the short run, and combine that with the
actions of the Federal Reserve and interest rates where they`re going. I
think you have a perfect storm to create a nice correction.

BREWER: And, James, when we`re talking about a potential trade war, the
president has pointed out that there are issues with intellectual property
coming in from China and how they deal with that with the United States.
How much of what we saw today with the selloff in tech was about this trade
war looming and how much of it was just about tech itself?

JAMES WANG, ARK INVESTMENT TECH ANALYST: I think it`s mostly tech itself
at this stage. A trade war is not going to hurt tech as much as it does
some of the other industries. There were some specific name selloffs today
with Tesla and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). So, I don`t think it`s really the
trade commentary but more the tech sector.

GRIFFETH: And actually, you think the selloff in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has
been overdone, right?

WANG: It has been overdone. I mean, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is not a perfect
company. It hasn`t managed privacy very well. And they`re taking steps to
address that. But Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is now has a cheaper valuation than
Walmart, which I think is the clearest sign that it`s way overdone.

BREWER: So at this point, do you think it`s the time for people to jump
in? Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has seen a deep dive in the share price. Could
this be a good buying opportunity?

WANG: I think retail investors generally should not be trying to time the
market. They really should take themselves out of the occasion as much as
possible. So, being invested in products that auto balance like ETFs and
doing just dollar cost averaging. If you just do that methodically, yes,
right now is a good time to buy because the same great companies are now
selling at a discount.

GRIFFETH: Brett, you use that word correction. People have been waiting
for one. Clearly, we got something going here and have for the last few
months. Are you are ready to step in yet or do you think there is more
down to come here?

EWING: Look, I think the last time we`ve been in this position where we
broke the 200-day moving average was the Brexit event. And if you look
back at that time period, and you look at the underlying economy back then
relative to where we are today, that was a great buying opportunity back
then. And if you look at the economy today, I think it`s much, much
stronger and has some catalyst to upside here with the recent fiscal
policy. But we`ll see how that works out.

GRIFFETH: Do you step in and buy the technology which has been the upside
and to the downside, or is there another group you prefer?

EWING: You know, the way we look at it, it`s been a broad nice breath on
the selloff, double digits across the board from the intraday highs this
year. And we would tell — if our clients have a long enough time horizon,
we think it`s great opportunity to put some capital to work here.

BREWER: And at this point, James, do you think that there are specific
stocks that you`re looking at, specific companies that you think represent
an incredible value during the volatile times?

WANG: You know, the selloffs for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and maybe Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) can be justified based on the concerns about their
advertising business. Not all the FANG companies are the same. The
companies that have a direct business model or relationship with the
consumer like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), they are —
they`ve been sold off for no reason at all.

So, we think those are great names. We`re actually bullish on all the FANG
names and continue to be. So, I think investors can be selective and
they`re a good opportunity in the market.

GRIFFETH: What about Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) though? The president has taken
aim at that company with their tax situation and he feels like that they`re
taking the Post Office for granted as well. You don`t see that as a big
headwind for this company?

WANG: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is keeping the Post Office alive. I mean, if
it weren`t for the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) packages coming through every day,
I don`t know what the Post Office would be delivering. I think the
president generally has a pretty good sense of what is good with populist

In this case, he may have made an error because Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is
extremely popular with consumers. Consumers do not have a problem with
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or any of their business practices. They enjoy the
low prices and I think they`ll continue to like the company.

GRIFFETH: Brett Ewing with First Franklin (NASDAQ:FFHS) Financial Services
and James Wang with Ark Investments, thank you both for joining us tonight.

EWING: Thank you.

BREWER: Well, there are likely to be a lot of losers in a trade war.
California has a lot on the line and the fear is the Golden State could
become a trade war casualty.

Aditi Roy explains.


hit from China`s announcement of tariffs on the 128 U.S. products. The
list includes $3 billion worth of items, $2 billion in agriculture products
alone. Trade experts say the impact could be far reaching and could send
farmers scrambling to find other buyers.

to export, the product is going to be sold somewhere. And it`s going to
have a definitely a price depressing impact on those products.

ROY: Among the top states affected by the tariffs, California. Last year,
the Golden State exported $16 billion worth of goods to China, topping all
other states, and making China its third largest trading partner.

The state supplied nearly $2 billion worth of agriculture exports to China.
But the tariffs could cut into that revenue. Fruit, nuts, and wine are
California staples and on the list of products subject to tariffs.

SALMONSEN: In dealing with China, they take so much and it`s such a wide
variety of agriculture. It has been a market, a key market obviously in
the Asia-Pacific space, certainly a growing market.

ROY: It`s not just California exports that could be affected by a trade
conflict between the U.S. and China. In 2016, the state received $16
billion in investment from China. That`s more than any other state receive
according to the economic consulting firm the Rhodium Group. Some analysts
this say trade tensions between the two countries could hurt that
investment and cost jobs.

Wine is another key export product on the tariff list. It`s also becoming
increasingly influential. Trade group the Wine Institute reports U.S. wine
exports to China grew 450 percent over the last decade and totals nearly
$200 million last year. Most of that wine was from California.

Elsewhere in the country, farmers are still bracing for more possible
tariffs. Soy bean farmers like Brent Bible are especially on edge. While
soy beans didn`t make the current list of tariffs, they account for half of
all U.S. agriculture exports to China and some worry they could be targeted

BRENT BIBLE, STILLWATER FARMS OWNER: It`s the difference between a profit
for the year and a loss for the year.

ROY: Pork is another key item that was on the tariff list. The U.S.
exports more than $1 billion worth of pork to China and that product was
slapped with a 25 percent tariff. In response, the National Pork Producers
Council issued a disappointed saying it was disappointed in the new tariff
and are hopeful it will be short lived.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, San Francisco.


GRIFFETH: Well, there was at least one winner in today`s selloff. That
was insurer Humana (NYSE:HUM), which rose on word that the company is
talking to Walmart about strengthening their existing relationship. Humana
(NYSE:HUM) rose more than 4 percent on the day while Walmart was down about
4 percent.

Bertha Coombs has the story for us tonight.


expanding its online retail business to attract younger consumers. But
now, the retailer may be looking to make a bigger push into consumer health
to service its older customer base.

OLIVER CHEN, COWEN & CO.: If this deal could happen, there could be
synergies which will drive more people into the stores. And don`t forget,
a customer that`s pharmacy plus grocery is about 3.5 times more productive.

COOMBS: The retailer has pharmacies and most of the stores has had a co-
branded Medicare drug plan with Humana (NYSE:HUM) for a decade. Sources
say a merger between the two is unlikely. But an expanded partnership
could help both in an increasingly competitive Medicare market. Humana
(NYSE:HUM) could help the retailer expand health services beyond the
pharmacy for its senior customers with in-store clinics and through its
growing home services.

term question of health care is how much of it will be a touch business
which in my opinion will always be. And that means you need a physical
presence. I think the key for Walmart will be to access the home health
element here and Humana`s focused in on senior citizens.

COOMBS: For Humana (NYSE:HUM), Walmart could provide a bigger customer
base to compete with insurance rivals like UnitedHealthcare, which has
overtaken Humana (NYSE:HUM) as the number one Medicare Advantage insurer.
CVS`s pending $69 billion acquisition for Aetna (NYSE:AET) also threatens
to shake up the Medicare market even more. If the deal is approved, the
combined firm could offer compelling medical and drug benefit coordination,
as well as primary care services in CVS`s 900 pharmacies nationally.

These are new health care models which haven`t been tested on such a big
national scale. But the competition to win at these new integrated
businesses could be a boon to consumers.

We want those savings to flow back to customers though. And for it to flow
back to customers, you need to have a competitive insurance market that
forces an Aetna (NYSE:AET) or a Humana (NYSE:HUM) to compete on premiums
and return savings back to customers. So, I think there will be a lot of
scrutiny to make sure that happens.

COOMBS: Neither Walmart or Humana (NYSE:HUM) would confirm their
negotiations but with the changing landscape in health care, most analysts
say some kind of alliance makes sense now.



BREWER: Let`s take a look at some of today`s upgrades and downgrades.

Jefferies upgraded Tesla to hold from underperform ahead of quarterly
production numbers expected out for the electric carmaker. But Jefferies`
analyst said Tesla is likely to miss its own estimates again, but still top
lowered Wall Street expectations. The price target here is $250 a share.
Today, Tesla shares closed down at $252.48. That was down 5 percent.

RBC Capital is raising the rating on Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI
(NASDAQ:TBUS)) to outperform from sector perform. The firm cited the
company`s valuation is appealing following a recent pullback in shares of
Olive Garden`s parent. To price target was raised to $97 from $93. Shares
closed off 1.5 percent to $84.07.

GRIFFETH: RBC also upgraded shares of payroll processing company ADP to
outperform from sector perform. RBC says it sees an improving growth story
there and better valuations. So, the price target was up to $130 from
$119. Today, ADP shares closed at $113.30.

And Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is cutting shares of Fitbit to underweight
from equal weight. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) says that it sees downside as
the company struggles to stabilize its revenue. The firm has a 12-month
price target now of $4 a share. And shares did head toward that number
today, losing more than 9 percent to close at $4.62.

BREWER: Well, coming up, why you`re filing your taxes for this year, a
heads up for people in the Northeast. It`s not a snow warning this time
but rather salt. We`ll explain.


GRIFFETH: Music streaming company Spotify is scheduled to begin trading
tomorrow at the New York Stock Exchange. The company is entering a very
crowded market, though, that already has some big players.

Julia Boorstin takes a look at how Spotify stacks up against that


streaming music subscribers, Spotify is the clear leader. But it`s facing
growing competition, a risk factor investors will weigh when it starts
trading Tuesday. Spotify has 157 monthly active listeners and nearly half
of them are paid subscribers. That`s almost double the next in line, Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) Music. Which announced last month it 38 million subscribers
and Pandora comes in last with about 5.5 million paid subscribers. Spotify
projected it will grow its subscribers as much as 36 percent this year to
between 92 million and 96 million.

FRED DAVIS, RAINE GROUP PARTNER: Spotify doesn`t have to outperform.
We`re at the early days of the music streaming revolution. It doesn`t have
to be one winner take all. Competition is good.

BOORSTIN: But Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Music is growing fast, adding 2 million
subscribers in about a month, with 8 million in free trials. Not to
mention Apple`s advantages, a half billion people visit the App Store
weekly and it`s integrated into iPhones in the home pod. And while Pandora
shares are down almost 60 percent over the past year, it`s not out just
yet. Its subscription tier is a year old and only launched on the web in

And then there is Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Music Unlimited. The company saying
today that it had tens of millions of paid subscribers, doubling its
subscription in the last six months.

And that`s not all. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Music has been around for
about five years with no official subscriber count.

Despite its rivals` deep pockets, Spotify scored a big win this weekend.
Taylor Shift shot a video for her new song “Delicate” just for Spotify. A
total turn around from Swift`s boycott of Spotify four years ago, as
Spotify says most of artist`s reservations about the platform have been
addressed. It also shows how video can be the next battleground for all
these music streaming companies.

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


BREWER: Shares of biotech Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) fell after the FDA
rejected the company`s drug application and that`s where we begin tonight`s
“Market Focus”.

The agency rejected Alkermes` experimental depression drug, saying there
wasn`t enough clinical data proving the treatment`s effectiveness. The FDA
said more tests are needed before Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) can reapply.
Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) says they strongly disagree with the FDA`s
conclusion and plans to appeal. Shares plunged nearly 22 percent to

Higher egg prices helped Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) report revenues that
rose more than expected. Earnings fell short of expectations. Shares fell
nearly 1 percent to $43.30.

GRIFFETH: And shares of Snap were pressured after Wall Street firm
MoffettNathanson said users are unhappy with the platform`s redesign. The
firm said that they hosted three different focus groups then found that
each group was dissatisfied with Snapshot`s new layout. Moffett therefore
reaffirmed its sell rating on the stock. Snap shares fell more than 8
percent today to $14.46.

And CBS (NYSE:CBS) is reportedly planning to make a bid for Viacom
(NYSE:VIA) that is below market value. “Reuters” says CBS (NYSE:CBS)
expected to make its initial offer in the coming days and if a deal
happens, chief executive Les Moonves may stay in his role for at least two
more years. Both companies lower in today`s trade.

BREWER: The April 17th deadline to submit your tax return is quickly
approaching. And while next year`s tax season may not be on your radar
just yet, there is some important changes caused by the federal tax
overhaul that many taxpayers need to be aware of especially in the
Northeast. But you probably already knew that.

Ylan Mui has the details.


tax filing season is upon us. The deadline to submit your return is on
April 17th this year. But it`s never too early to start thinking about
what you might owe next year under the new U.S. tax law, especially if you
live in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, because there is
a very good chance that your bill will go up.

A recent analysis from the Tax Policy Center found that more than 8 percent
of taxpayers in these states as well as Maryland and D.C. will see an
increase under the new law. That`s the most of any state`s in the country.
For New Yorkers, the bad news gets worse, because even if you`re getting a
tax cut, it`s going to be smaller than just about anywhere else. Less than
1.5 percent on average compared to the national average of 1.7 percent.

The culprit: the new $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (R), NEW YORK: We had to restructure the tax code to
avoid the attack. They launched a missile. We were standing in the target
zone of the missile because of our tax code. We literally had to flee the
zone we were in.

MUI: To get around the new federal law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
struck a deal that turns property taxes into charitable contributions to
the state and gave workers the option of converting income tax into a
payroll tax. But it seems unlikely that the IRS and U.S. Treasury will get
onboard with that idea.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: But I think it`s one of the more
ridiculous comments to think that you can take a real estate tax that
you`re required to make and dress that up as a charitable contribution.

MUI: Both sides are gearing up for a fight.

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


GRIFFETH: Coming up, homeowners are sitting on a record pile of cash. So
how will they put that money to work? Some possible answers when we come


BREWER: Rising home values are making home buyers across the country
richer than ever before. The amount of equity they`re able to tap into is
now the highest level on record. Will they use it? And how?

Diana Olick takes a look for us.


fast rising home prices and tighter lending standards for the record amount
of tappable home equity available to homeowners today. That`s the amount
of equity above and beyond 20 percent of the home`s value which is what
lenders require for you to cash out.

Five-point-our trillions dollars at the end of last year, total, or nearly
three times what homeowners had during the recession and 10 percent more
than they had at the peek of the last housing boom. It rose by $735
billion just last year as prices soared. Unlike during the last peak
though, today`s homeowners are far more conservative. Last year, they took
out just $262 billion via cash out refinances or home equity lines of
credit, commonly called HELOCs.

That`s barely more than 1 percent of all available equity, which is a four-
year low. And it`s not that they can`t. More than half of all the equity
is held by borrowers with very high credit scores, meaning easy candidates
for HELOCs which are expected to rise more this year.

So, what will they spend it on? Remodeling, which is projected to rise
dramatically this year to the highest level in more than a decade. People
are choosing to stay and renovate rather than move.

That`s because there`s so little for sale, a record low level of listings,
even though spring has already sprung, usually the busiest season of the
year for housing.

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


GRIFFETH: And before we go, another look at the selloff to start this
second quarter on Wall Street. The Dow fell by 458 points to 23,644. The
NASDAQ was down by 193. The S&P down 59.

BREWER: Yes, these are sweaty palm days on Wall Street.

GRIFFETH: Yes, that`s for sure.

BREWER: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Contessa Brewer.
Thank you for much watching.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening. We`ll see you


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2018 CNBC, Inc.


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