Transcript: Nightly Business Report – April 23, 2018


and profits soar at Google`s parent company as it remains the dominant
player in online ads.

Stock slip as bond yields rise. The 10-year treasury note is closing in on
3 percent and investors are paying close attention.

Open house. They`re filled with buyers ready to stretch those budgets to
make a deal and get in before rates and prices go even higher.

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

Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I`m Sue Herera. My partner Bill
Griffeth is off tonight.

It is a busy week for earnings and we begin tonight with a blow out quarter
for Google`s parent company Alphabet. That firm easily surpassed both
earnings and revenue expectations despite privacy concerns. Alphabet saw
better pricing on advertisements and made money from its investment in

Alphabet earned $9.93 a share, 65 cents better than estimates. Revenue
rose 25 percent to more than $31 billion. The stock was volatile in
initial after-hours trading.

Josh Lipton has more on Alphabet`s quarter.


cites revenue is a key line for investors, that refers to company`s bread-
and-butter, the properties that it owns and operates like search and
YouTube. Revenue there did come in at a better-than-expected $22 billion.

B. Riley`s Sameet Sinha says that growth is key especially as the company
continues to face competition in many of these areas from companies like
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). On the flip side, Sinha
says operating (AUDIO GAP) core Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) did come down to 27
percent due to higher expenses a year ago, 31 percent.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton, San Francisco.


HERERA: One of Alphabet`s biggest revenue generators is YouTube. But the
digital video sharing company is facing a number of challenges.

Julia Boorstin has the details.


(NASDAQ:FB) has been the focus of widespread scrutiny for its privacy
practices and shortfalls protecting consumer data, Google`s YouTube is
drawing concerns as well. CNN reporting that ads from 300 major companies
including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Nordstrom
(NYSE:JWN) ran on YouTube channels with offensive extremist content.

YouTube responding, quote: When we find that ads mistakenly ran against
content and doesn`t comply with our policies, we immediately remove those
ads. We know that even when videos meet our advertiser-friendly
guidelines, not all videos will be appropriate for all brands. But we are
committed to working with our advertisers and getting this right.

But it`s not the first time YouTube has struggled with this issue.

ANTHONY DICLEMENTE, EVERCORE ISIS: The extent that YouTube can utilize
A.I. to ferret out content that would be unsafe for brands, content that
would be kind of inappropriate for children, that is certainly something
that YouTube is working on. It`s a tough task, right, because you have,
right, billions of hours being uploaded to YouTube from all over the world.

BOORSTIN: That`s not all. Earlier this month, over 20 privacy and
advocacy groups filed a complaint with the FTC, alleging that YouTube
illegally collects data about underage viewers, asking the agency to
investigate whether YouTube violates the Child Online Privacy Protection

YouTube says it`s not for anyone under 13, though anyone can watch YouTube
videos without an account or logging in. The company has a separate kids
app that doesn`t collect data for ad targeting.

Now, in the wake of the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Cambridge Analytica scandal,
U.S. legislators are looking at broad privacy regulations that would cover
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Europe is launching more
stringent privacy regulations next month.

DICLEMENTE: The higher-level question is whether or not Europe is going to
keep after Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) as intensively as
it has. We know that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) paid a massive fine last year,
$2.6 billion euros.

BOORSTIN: DiClemente says Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and YouTube aren`t as
exposed to privacy risks as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is due to the nature of
search. But “The Wall Street Journal” just reported that Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) has more total user data than Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

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


HERERA: Daniel Flax joins us now to talk more about Alphabet`s earnings
and the quarterly results and what it means for the stock longer-term. He
is senior research analyst at Neuberger Berman.

Daniel, welcome. Nice to have here.


HERERA: You said you were looking for pretty solid growth in the business.
It certainly seems from this report that you got it.

FLAX: I think the report looks solid, Sue. I think the company is
executing nicely on their core search business and they`re also seeing
continued momentum on the YouTube platform, as well as the Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) cloud platform. And so, when we think about the medium to
long term for this company, there are several growth engines underneath
that that we think can help sustain attractive growth rates for some years
to come.

HERERA: Such as?

FLAX: So, we can`t speak specifically to some of the growth rates, but
when you look at the performance this quarter of approximately 20 percent
growth, you have other assets like Waymo, for example, in their — in their
autonomous driving program. And so, when you put all of these things
together, along with the investments that the company is making, we think
that there`s a significant amount of potential for where they can go over

So, the results certainly are always going to have puts and takes, but we
think this quarter demonstrates that they`re continuing to execute and
certainly have a very long term focus to what they`re doing.

HERERA: We should point out that Google`s first quarter ended March 31st
and that was a couple of weeks before the Cambridge Analytica story broke.
So, we`re not going to see any impact reflected in this particular report.

But, Daniel, do they not have to does doesn`t Alphabet have to address
longer term how they are going to use data collection, and explain it a
little bit more plainly to their investors.

FLAX: I think they do, Sue. I think it is incumbent upon alphabet and the
other platforms to really engage with their users and explain to them how
their business model works and provide a level of transparency to the users
so that they understand how the data is being used.

Stepping back though, if we think about businesses globally, be it in
technology or all the other industries, everyone is trying to gather data
and figure out how to deliver a user experience that is both compelling and
also enables them to make money. And so, we think and obviously there
regulations that are coming into force in Europe, and we would expect to
see more things globally, that all of these companies, and certainly
Alphabet included, are going to need to begin to adjust and help people
understand what it is they`re doing and what it is they`re giving away if
you like in terms of their data.

Now, I suspect they`re going to be plenty of users who are comfortable with
that, but there could be others who were less comfortable with that.

HERERA: All right. On that note, Daniel, thanks for joining us.

FLAX: Thank you, Sue.

HERERA: Daniel Flax with Neuberger Berman.

FLAX: While technology stocks were overall a drag on the broader market,
which saw the Dow fall for the fourth straight day, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average was off 14 points to 24,448. The NASDAQ was down 17,
and the S&P 500 was up just a fraction.

It wasn`t just the tech sector that investors were watching, but also the
yield on the 10-year treasury, which is within striking distance of 3
percent. So what might that mean for stocks?

Bob Pisani takes a look.


doom the stock market? Not necessarily, but it`s closing a little bit of
agita. Rising rates impact the stock market because they increase the cost
to borrow money for consumers and businesses.

For consumers, it translates into higher borrowing costs for things like
credit cards and mortgages, say, for corporations, higher borrowing costs
might curtail expansion plans. Overall, it means less money to spend it.
It also can mean less profit for corporations. So, will a 3 percent bond
yield really doomed the stock market? Is it that bad?

Well, it will certainly lift the rate of return investors expect from
stocks, but bulls insists that with earnings growing 20 percent this year,
the expected return may be sufficiently high, so that there will not be any
shift out of equities, that corporations are going to make enough money to
more than compensate for higher rates.

And bear in mind that the market has already been adjusting to the prospect
of higher interest rates. Utilities and real estate stocks compete with
treasuries for investors looking for yield. As treasury yields have risen,
utilities and REITs have dropped with real estate stocks down about 9
percent this year, utilities are down about 5 percent.

And the banks which generally do better when rates move up have
outperformed the S&P 500 by about 2-1/2 percentage points this year, and
would have gone even better had loan growth not been fairly anemic.

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


HERERA: Dow component Walmart is reportedly close to making a big
acquisition. The world`s largest retailer wants to spend billions of
dollars to buy a major e-commerce company in India, and that could pit
Walmart against Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Courtney Reagan has the details.


second most populated country in the world, with a retail market valued at
nearly $700 billion dollars. Along with China, India is one of Walmart`s
key growth markets.

While it hardly does any business there today, that could be changing soon.
The world`s largest retailer is reportedly close to spending billions to
buy a majority stake in India`s largest e-commerce site, Flipkart. The 11-
year-old online marketplace has more than a hundred million users and a
hundred thousand sellers shipping more than 8 million packages a month,
customers Walmart hasn`t been able to reach because of strict regulations
limiting foreign retailer`s ability to run big stores in India.

Among other requirements, the Indian government requires big-box retailers
selling to Indian consumers get 30 percent of the goods they sell from
local Indian sources. It`s an effort to protect the mom-and-pop merchants
that make up the majority of the retail industry in the country. As a
result, Walmart`s only business in India is through a wholly owned
subsidiary with just wholesale stores called Best Price Modern, that sells
food, appliances and general merchandise only to other small and medium
businesses, not directly to consumers.

But e-commerce marketplaces that don`t sell their own merchandise but
operate a platform for sellers are not subject to the same regulations in
India. Since Flipkart operates as a marketplace, Walmart`s ownership would
allow it to legally sell to Indian consumers. The looser rules for
marketplace selling is also how Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has grown its Indian
business. While its U.S. marketplace as a combination of its own goods and
third-party sellers, in India, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is only a third-party
marketplace and a big one. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime India launched two
years ago and CEO Jeff Bezos says more prime members joined there in the
first year than any other country.

There are reports that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also interested in Flipkart,
but experts suggest a deal with Walmart is more likely since Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) already has a big business in the country and could face
regulatory hurdles.



HERERA: It is time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and
downgrades, which includes a number of Dow components.

We start with Merck (NYSE:MRK). Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) raised its rating
on that drug company to buy from neutral and named it to its conviction
list of favorite stocks. The analyst cites the potential for strong sales
of lung cancer treatment Keytruda. The price target is $73. The stock
rose 2 percent to $60.25.

Caterpillar`s rating was upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi. The analyst
cites improvements in the Chinese construction sector. The price target is
$180. Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) were up fractionally to $153.99.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) saw its rating raised to market perform from
underperform over at Raymond James. The analysts there says Exxon`s
dividend yield is the highest in decades. The firm also sees a decent
chance that Exxon will start buying back stock. The stock rose a fraction
to $79.57.

And Verizon`s rating was raised to overweight from equal weight at
Barclays. The analysts there cites a better revenue outlook. The price
target is $56 a share. The stock was up 1-1/2 percent to $48.66.

Still ahead, why Alcoa`s stock had its worst day in nine years.


HERERA: The Treasury Department is giving American customers of RUSAL,
that`s Russia`s biggest aluminum producer, more time to comply with
sanctions. the extension was bad news for rival Alcoa (NYSE:AA), which saw
its shares drop more than 13 percent, its worst performance since 2009.
Aluminum prices also fell on the temporary reprieve.

Jackie DeAngelis has more.


of national security, President Trump has changed the rules for certain
aspects of international trade. Earlier this year, Trump imposed a 10
percent tariff on aluminum. The goal: to level the playing field and make
it easier for domestic companies to compete with international ones that
receive subsidies. His target was China.

Next, sanctions on Russian aluminum, specifically a company called RUSAL,
because of its association to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was
alleged by the Treasury Department to be involved in a range of illegal
activities. Aluminum prices have been fluctuating wildly on all this news,
up last week on supply concerns then down today after Treasury granted more
time for companies to wind down their business with RUSAL.

JORGE VAZQUEZ, HARBOR ALUMINUM: I think it`s the beginning of the end for
that rally. I think the U.S. Treasury and the administration realized that
they made a mistake. They were not intending to impact the market as they

DEANGELIS: So, why do investors care so much about Russian aluminum? The
metal itself is important because of its multitude of uses, from things as
big as automobiles down to the can of whipped cream in your fridge.

The top three aluminum producing nations: China, Russia and Canada, in that
order. In fact, according to the aluminum association, the U.S. currently
imports more than one and a half billion pounds of primary aluminum from
Russia. That amounts to about 12 percent of all demand in the United

To put that in perspective, that`s enough aluminum to make more than 10,000
Boeing (NYSE:BA) 747s.

Russian aluminum comes through several major U.S. ports, New Orleans,
Baltimore, and Houston are the top three. There are some concerns that
slowing business there might have an impact on local economy. There`s also
a concern that higher aluminum prices will cost U.S. jobs as companies that
use the product will need to adjust expenses.

While the administration wants to take a tough stance on international
trade and other issues, it is clear that a balance must be struck, so as
not to have policies that backfire at home. That`s one reason analysts
think that Treasury announced it would take longer to evaluate the
situation with RUSAL.



HERERA: Sanctions on North Korea are also squeezing that country, and that
is why its leader Kim Jong-un appears to be shifting his focus.

Eunice Yoon is in Seoul tonight.


is hopeful, with a big summit between the two Koreas coming up on Friday.
Over the weekend, we heard some encouraging comments out of North Korea
when a leader of Kim Jong-un said in a policy speech that North Korea no
longer needed to test long-range missiles or atomic bombs and would close
its nuclear site. Some North Korea watchers here say that an important
point out of Kim`s policy speech was that the priority in Pyongyang would
shift from nuclear deterrent to economic development.

To do that, Kim needs relief from economic sanctions that were imposed by
the United Nations to compel North Korea to stop pursuing a nuclear
program, those sanctions have started to bite. Even China, North Korea`s
longtime economic partner, has become tougher with imports of North Korean
goods to China falling 87 percent from last year in the first quarter.

Some North Korea experts see this as an opportunity now for South Korea and
the United States to make some progress on denuclearizing the Korean
peninsula. However, the White House has indicated that it won`t loosen
sanctions unless North Korea makes progress on dismantling its nuclear
program first. That`s why here in Seoul where people have seen it all
before, they`re waiting and watching.

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


HERERA: Sales lose steam at Hasbro (NYSE:HAS). That`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) said the bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us, one of its largest
retail customers, impacted its quarterly results. Weaker sales across many
of the toymakers brands also led to an earnings miss. But Hasbro
(NYSE:HAS) says it sees clearer skies ahead and it reaffirmed its profit
and its operating margin outlook for the year. So, shares climbed 4
percent to $86.12.

A rise in tissue sales helped Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) blow past
estimates. The maker of Kleenex also raised its revenue forecasts for the
full year, but shares of Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) fell 1-1/2 percent to

ESL Investments, that`s the hedge fund run by Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) CEO Eddie
Lampert, is interested in buying some of the struggling retailer`s
businesses. ESL said it sent a letter to Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), urging the
company to consider selling several divisions, including its Kenmore brand,
to improve liquidity. Shares of sears jumped more than 7 percent to $3.24.

Alaska Air eked out a profit that topped Wall Street expectations, while
posting revenues that were in line with estimates. Alaska said it plans to
improve performance by introducing new passenger fees later this year.
Shares soared 5 percent to $69.11.

A tech hedge fund manager who made a big bet on cloud management company
Box says his investment is paying off. The CEO of venture capital firm
Social Capital said the company compared with its rivals is likely to
profit the most from growth in artificial intelligence. He says the
company`s retention rates speak for themselves.


how sticky something is, the most important thing to look at is this
concept called churn which is how fast are people leaving the service, and
specifically, you can look at companies leaving the service or the amount
of dollars that you`re losing. And in any of those metrics, Box is
phenomenal. It is probably the top decile in terms of its ability to
retain customers and grow revenue.


HERERA: And as a result, Box shares jumped nearly 11 percent to $22.91.

Well, it`s no secret that the labor market is tight, the latest report
suggests a healthy job market in favor of job seekers. So, if you`re
looking for new employment, Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) tells us that you might
want to start with the CIA.


retired CIA operations officer. He spent 25 years at the agency and now
helps it recruit new talent.

for over specific career tracks, everything from cyber threat analysts to
accountants, from foreign language instructors to data scientists.

ROGERS: Wyatt says the CIA`s most proactive recruitment efforts are in its
directorate of operations. That deals with the clandestine work of the

WYATT: And they are charged with recruiting foreign sources around the
world who have access to information our government can`t get any other

ROGERS: Within the directorate of operations, salaries typically range
from $55,000 to $88,000 a year for entry-level workers. And new recruits
get a lot of training.

WYATT: Training for us provides people the tools they need to do the job.
It`s not an effort for our organization to determine where the best fit is.
We are only training those people we`ve already determined have the skills
to do it.

ROGERS: To be considered by the CIA, you need to be at least 18 years old
and a U.S. citizen, and most careers within the agency require a four-year

The agency is looking for talent across a wide array of demographic and
academic backgrounds. They also recruit across the country on college
campuses, including Georgetown University`s School of Foreign Service.

ANNE STEEN, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: The fact that our students are global
thinkers, global problem-solvers and the fact that they speak some of the
critical languages is very attractive to the employers who work in the
intel community.

ROGERS: William Bilicic is a sophomore at Georgetown studying
international politics and security, minoring in French. Working as an
analyst for the CIA or another organization in the intelligence field is
among its top career interests.

servants doing amazing work each day just to keep our country safe and keep
everyone here and abroad safe. And that`s really what attracted me to that

ROGERS: But the application process for intel jobs is very competitive,
rigorous and requires patience.

STEEN: There are thousands of applications for these positions, so
students who put themselves out there need to understand that they need to
have all of their ducks in a row, put their best case forward.

ROGERS: The CIA seeks out candidates who are mission oriented, and want to

Wyatt cautions it`s not for everyone.

WYATT: When you combine what we`re looking for, that is interest in public
service, not needing public recognition for your successes, not being able
to share often some of your successes with the people you most love and
respect. That`s a sacrifice and it`s a lifestyle. We are mission-driven
and people have to realize that coming in.

Washington, D.C.


HERERA: Coming up, while bidding wars are the rule and not the exception
in this housing market.


HERERA: Here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. Earnings for several
dowel components are on tap. We`ll hear from 3M (NYSE:MMM), Caterpillar
(NYSE:CAT), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and Verizon

We`ll get new data on how the consumer is feeling about their finances and
the broader economy, and the manufacturing sector will be in focus, data
will be released showing how strong conditions are in two areas of the

Sales of previously owned homes rose more than expected last month,
existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to a four-month high, as buyers
remain undeterred by the limited number of properties available on the

Existing home sales account for 90 percent of the market. But as interest
rates rise, buyers are trying to get into a home before those rates go even
higher. The number of listings is no match for demand and homes are
selling not in days but in hours.

Diana Olick reports on the hotter-than-hot housing market.


Sunday in suburban Philadelphia, families toured a five-bedroom house
listed three days before at $600,000. It already had two offers on it.

PATRICK AGENT, AGENT, LONG AND FOSTER: The market is chasing the houses.

OLICK: Agent Patrick Clark had shown the house two dozen times already but
kept the Sunday open on, just in case. Competition is so fierce that more
buyers are jumping at deals and then backing out, hurting the seller.

CLARK: It`s incredibly difficult to recreate the sense of urgency that you
have a chance to create the first time you go out on the market. So, we
put this on the market Thursday and advertised it that we would not look at
offers until Monday, just to put that strategy in place.

OLICK: And the urgency spiked even more this week, as mortgage rates stuck
in place for a month suddenly moved higher.

realizing that the glory days of being in the 3 percents are well over, so
people are definitely more concerned now of rates going higher towards 5
percent and beyond.

OLICK: While interest rates are still historically low, home prices are
rising very quickly, and bidding wars are the rule, not the exception.
That leaves buyers with less wiggle rooms in their budgets for any changes
to the monthly payment.

The Mayer (ph) family relocating from Florida is getting sticker shock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being in the budget has been a little difficult.
Everything has been — so far, has been pretty pricey, whether it`s the
house itself or the taxes.

OLICK: The combination of higher rates and prices suddenly has more buyers
stretching their limits, with lower down payments, an option that is only
now opening up.

GRAFF: You could always put low down payment on lower price to homes, but
once you start getting to $500,000, $600,000, $700,000, $800,000 price
range, it typically was 20 percent worth. Now, you can do 5 percent. So,
we are seeing that absolutely, especially I would say within the past year
that has spiked up.

OLICK: The only cold water for this hot market would be more homes for
sale, but higher rates also means fewer sellers will want to list and lose
the record low rate they already have.

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


HERERA: And before we go, here`s a look at the day on Wall Street. It was
off on the Dow, 14 points to 24,448, the Nasdaq was down 17, and the S&P
500 was up just a fraction.

And that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight, I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us. Have a great evening. We`ll see you tomorrow.


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
of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly
Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2018 CNBC, Inc.


This entry was posted in Transcripts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply