Transcript: Nightly Business Report – April 24, 2018

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

bond yield hits 3 percent for the first time in four years, sending a chill
through the markets.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) reports strong quarterly results. But the euphoria
vanishes after the company says its earnings have peaked.

HERERA: Retire comfortably. Few Americans think they can. And many are
worried about not having enough to live on.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday,
April 24th.

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

The bulls were nowhere to be found on Wall Street today. Industrial stocks
got whacked, technology shares got pummeled, as high expectations for
earnings season turned into disappointment. Add to that, the highest yield
on 10-year treasury in years, and you had a recipe for a route, and that`s
what we had today.

The Dow Industrial`s off the lows, down 424 on the close to 24,024 — its
first five-day losing streak in more than a year, by the way. The Nasdaq
was off by 121 and the S&P lost 35.

Bob Pisani has more on today`s selloff in the stock market.


higher following a flood of earnings reports, but those gains quickly faded
and there`s four issues that are facing the markets right now.

First is the whole debate about peak earnings. Is this as good as it`s
going to get? Earnings will be strong through the rest of the year, but
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) today said that first quarter earnings would,
indeed, be the high water mark for the year. That dropped Caterpillar
(NYSE:CAT) and the entire market in the middle of the morning.

Second, rates are creeping higher. The yield of the 10-year hit since the
first time since 2014. The markets are nervous about higher rates because
the means the cost of borrowing goes up. Related to higher rates is
concerns over inflation. So, several companies, including Caterpillar
(NYSE:CAT), talked about rising commodity costs like steel and oil and
several talked about higher wage costs.

Third, there`s been some major resistance from momentum names, the big tech
stocks and the FANG names in particular. So, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) parent Alphabet, all about 10 percent or more from their
recent highs. And they`ve been down four days in a row for the most part.

Finally, consumer staples are hitting new lows. So, names like Clorox
(NYSE:CLX), Procter and Gamble and Pepsi are all trading around their 52-
week lows. They simply have no pricing power.

A lot of issues for the market.

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


HERERA: So, let`s dig a little bit deeper into the industrials. Today,
three major companies in that sector reported earnings. United
Technologies (NYSE:UTX) topped expectations and the company raised its
outlook. 3M`s earnings were in line, its outlook not so great. And as we
mentioned, it was Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) that really set the tone, when its
stock fell more than 6 percent, its worse decline since 2016.

Dominic Chu has more details.


weakness is being pinned on one company in particular, and that`s
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT). Things seemed to be humming along just fine with
shares of the construction equipment maker posting solid gains early in the
session after reporting better than expected results and boosting its full
year financial forecast. Then its earnings call kicked off and chief
financial officer Brad Halverson put a little fear back into investors.

BRAD HALVERSON, CFO, CATERPILLAR: The first quarter got off to a slow
start for project spend. We expect the target investments for future
growth to be higher over the remaining three quarters. The outlook assumes
that first quarter adjusted profit share will be the high watermark for the

CHU: In other words, the profits posted by Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) this
past quarter could very well be the best results we`ll see for the
remainder of the year. Yes, the forecast is still bullish, but the
investor concern is that they may not see anything better any time soon.
Those comments sent not just Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) shares lower but many
other industrial stocks as well.

The biggest drags on the Dow in addition to Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) were 3M
(NYSE:MMM) which fell after it lowered its full-year profit forecast and
aerospace giant Boeing (NYSE:BA) which fell in sympathy with the rest of
the sector. Boeing (NYSE:BA) reports its results tomorrow morning.

Despite today`s negativity, some experts are still feeling pretty good
about the health of the overall market.

SAMEER SAMANA, WELLS FARGO: We see that economic data is improving.
Earnings are still growing. Valuations are still pretty reasonable. You
know, we come away bullish. So, again, you want to make sure that, you
know, volatility, disorderly selloffs aren`t the new norm. But once you
get past the new norm, you start to think things are pretty good.

CHU: The sharp move lower today may be the latest sign that traders and
investors need to see much better forecasts before pushing stocks back
towards record highs and that the bar may be higher for the rest of the
companies who have yet to report earnings this season.



GRIFFETH: Well, joining us right now is Patrick Chovanec. He is the chief
strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management.

Patrick, thanks for joining us.

be with you.

GRIFFETH: What do you think, have earnings peaked at this point?

CHOVANEC: Earnings potentially will come under pressure from rising costs.
I mean, there are really two concerns here that I saw trigger the selloff.
The first is that interest rates, ten-year treasury rose above 3 percent.
There are a lot of people out there who are convinced that low interest
rates are what have buoyed this market. I don`t really share that view,
but that`s a popular view out there? And so, that means that the market is
in unchartered territory.

The second is this concern about inflation, if we start to see price
pressures rise that puts a squeeze on margins. It also puts more pressure
on interest rates to rise. And so, it`s — it`s really the same things
that cause the selloff in late January, which is concerns about inflation
and rising interest rates.

GRIFFETH: All right.

CHOVANEC: But I think it`s offset by the fact that you do have pretty good
economic data and earnings are up. They`re at least coming in looking like
they`re going to be up more than 20 percent year on year. It`s important
to keep that in perspective.

HERERA: Right. And, you know, we`ve seen the ten-year kind of approach,
the 3 percent mark for a few days now. I mean, it was kind of a foregone
conclusion by many people on Wall Street that we wouldn`t get that 3
percent mark. Perhaps it was the combination of Caterpillar`s comment and
the 3 percent. But as you point out, the economy is doing pretty darn
well. So, what`s the long term investor to do with this type of inner
market and inner day volatility?

CHOVANEC: Well, right now, because of the downward pressure on the market
over the last couple of months, the valuations in the stock market, how
much stocks are priced relative to the earnings that companies are making
is at its lowest point in nearly three years. Now, if you think the
economy is about to fall off the rails, either it`s going to go into
recession, or it`s — there`s going to be a tick off in inflation, that
might be a signal things are going to get worse.

But I don`t really see those things. I see inflation creeping up a bit and
it`s something to keep an eye on, and I see, by and large, the economic
numbers looking fairly positive, including new orders which is really an
indication of where the economy is going to be heading in the months to

GRIFFETH: Before you go, let me push back a little bit on your thought on
interest rates and their impact on the stock market. Isn`t — don`t you
think there will come a time when the yield on the 10 year will start to
provide some competition from the yields in the stock market and that will
have a problem for equity investors?

CHOVANEC: It really depends why interest rates are rising. If they`re
rising because inflation is picking up and there`s the expectation that the
Fed`s going to have to push back, that`s a negative. If they`re rising
because there is general confidence that the economic growth will continue
and that`s why interest rates are rising because stocks are actually — the
return of companies is actually providing a competition for funds, that`s a
positive thing. And so, unless we see start to see inflation really pick
up, my money for right now is the continuation of a positive story.

GRIFFETH: All right. Patrick Chovanec with Silvercrest Asset Management,
again, thanks for joining us tonight.

CHOVANEC: It`s good to be with you.

HERERA: Dow component Travelers reported earnings that missed analyst
estimates despite a rise in net income. The property and casualty
insurance company reported slightly higher catastrophe costs but also
higher premiums and improved underwriting and lower tax expenses.
Nonetheless, the shares fell about 3 percent in today`s trading session.

GRIFFETH: Coke has discovered that Americans are still willing to drink
soda after all. The Dow component reported better than expected earnings
and revenue in the most recent quarter and a big source of the company`s
growth came from soft drinks, especially all those new diet Coke flavors.


JAMES QUINCEY, COCA-COLA CEO: We`ve been trying a few things on Diet Coke.
It`s been a while since it grew. We`ve been learning and we`ve been
learning what will engage existing or lapse Diet Coke drinkers and what
will engage the millennials? And I think the team has done a great job in
finding something that`s really got people`s attention, whether it`d be the
packaging, the marketing, or the new flavors which are I think more
millennial relevant


GRIFFETH: The stock, though, was down, along with the broader market,
falling by 2 percent today.

HERERA: Verizon (NYSE:VZ) was a bright spot in today`s session as the
number one U.S. cellphone carrier topped earnings estimates and added more
new users than expected, thanks to smart watches and connected cars, not
phones and tablets. Shares of the Dow component rose more than 2 percent.
One of the few Dow components that was higher today.

GRIFFETH: Speaking of which, another Dow component IBM said today it is
raising its dividend by 4.7 percent to $1.57 a share. This marks the 23rd
straight year the company has increased its payout. It will be payable
June 9th to shareholders of record on May 10th.

HERERA: It is time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and
downgrades. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) saw its rating raise to outperform at
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). The analyst sees a strong economy helping the home
improvement chain. Price target: $205. Shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
were off fractionally to $176.26.

BP`s rating was upgraded to buy to neutral at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). The
analyst cites the potential profitability of BP`s new project. The price
target is $54. Shares of BP rose slightly to $44.24.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, hitting the road in Beijing.


sales of American-made cars and SUVs are growing, even though they cost
thousands of dollars more than comparable models sold in the U.S.

I`m Phil LeBeau in Beijing.

What happens if China changes its trade policy when it comes to autos?
That story coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.


HERERA: Today at the White House, President Trump and French President
Emmanuel Macron vowed to seek common ground when it comes to Iran, and when
President Trump signaled that the U.S. and France are close to reaching an
agreement to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, oil prices fell. Domestic
crude settled down more than 1 percent to $67.70 a barrel. The U.S. has
until May 12th to decide whether to quit the Iranian nuclear deal and re-
impose sanctions against the oil-producing nation.

GRIFFETH: Well, strong consumer confidence lately has been helping car
sales, but automakers do find themselves caught in the middle of tariff
threats between the U.S. and China. China has said that it plans to
eliminate rules that would make it easier to build automobiles over in that
country while also threatening to double the tariffs on autos built in the
U.S. and shipped to China.

Phil LeBeau as you saw is in Beijing with more on what is at stake at the
world`s largest auto market.


LEBEAU: Drive around Beijing and you see them everywhere, SUVs and cars
built in the U.S. and sold in China, Teslas, Mercedes, BMWs, all popular in
China and all facing a popular doubling of the tax Chinese buyers may have
to pay in the future.

JAMES CHAO, IHS (NYSE:IHS) MARKIT: It`s a pretty severe tariff, and the
current proposed tariff, if implemented, is going to double that, to 50
percent. Now, it goes from severe to much more radical.

LEBEAU: Right now, the BMW X5 built in South Carolina costs just over
$57,000 in the U.S., but the current 25 percent tariff drives the price up
to $120,000 in China.

A Tesla Model X built in California starts at just under $80,000 in the
U.S., but sells for over $50,000 more in China due to the country`s tariffs
on U.S. autos. Tack on an additional $10,000 to $20,000 if China`s auto
tariffs were about to double, and you see consumers here may not be able to
pay that much.

CHAO: I think a lot of buyers would say, well, you know, at this price,
I`ll look at a locally produced model. And that locally produced model
could be potentially German but perhaps more likely would be Chinese.

LEBEAU: Another factor for Chinese buyers is the possibility the Chinese
government may actually lower not raise the tariffs on autos brought in
from the U.S. and elsewhere. Meanwhile, if the U.S. raises the current 2.5
percent tariff on vehicles built in China and shipped to the U.S., like the
Buick Envision, it could force automakers to rethink their business plans.

The bottom line is every automaker realizes China and the United States are
the two most important auto markets in the world, and if a trade war breaks
out, the biggest casualty could be the bottom line.



HERERA: Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), whose founder and CEO stepped down
earlier this year over allegations of sexual misconduct, reported better
than expected earnings in the most recent quarter. Revenue, however, was a
bit shy of estimates and the stock was choppy in afterhours trading.

Contessa Brewer has the one key takeaway from Wynn`s quarter.


upheaval Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) has faced in the first quarter, the
biggest surprise is that it`s hiking the dividend by 50 percent to 75 cents
per share. It also announced it continues to plan to open the resort
casino property under construction in Boston on schedule, in the summer of
2019. That`s despite all the talk of whether they might have to sell that

And consider all that`s happened to this company in this quarter. It
announced fourth quarter, earnings, January 22nd. Shares spiked 9 percent.
And four days later, a report came out detailing sexual misconduct
allegations against CEO and founder Steve Wynn. He resigned, lawsuits are
settled, three new women are named to the board, shareholder lawsuits are
filed, and still this company shares are up 7.6 percent since earnings were
last reported. For some comparison here, the S&P is down 5 percent in that
same time frame.

I`m Contessa Brewer for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.


GRIFFETH: Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) raises its full year outlook, and that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The drug maker said that higher sales for many of its medications helped
quarterly profit and revenue top expectations. Lily said that it`s
optimistic that the product pipeline will fuel the company`s next leg of


DAVID RICKS, ELI LILLY CHAIRMAN & CEO: We had a very strong quarter with 9
percent revenue growth and minus 5 percent on costs yielding, a large beat
and significant growth on the bottom of the income statement. So, the
company`s performing well against our priorities which start with launching
new products. We`ve launched nine new products in the last three years.
Hope to launch six more in the next year and a half. This is the beginning
of a new phase of growth for us and driven by new innovation for patients
with serious conditions.


GRIFFETH: Shares were down a fraction today to $80.09.

A rise in fighter jet sales helped results soar past expectations at
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT). The defense contractor also raised its full
years earnings guidance, but investors were disappointed to hear that the
company was maintaining its 2018 cash flow outlook. Shares fell 6 percent
to $336.49.

And sales inched higher at Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), helping the
motorcycle maker deliver an overall earnings beat. Total shipments during
that period did fall but the company reaffirmed its expectations during the
full year saying it sees momentum picking up in various foreign markets.
Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) shares climbed more than 2 percent today to


HERERA: Well, Bill, higher selling prices helped Pulte Home topped
expectations. Order also rose and that prompted the home builder to hike
its home sales guidance for the full year. Shares rose nearly 3 percent to

JetBlue reported stronger than expected profits as strong demand helped
offset higher fuel cost. Revenue also edged higher, but it wasn`t good
enough to beat estimates. The airline also said it expects a key measure
of its revenue to fall as much as 3 percent this quarter. Shares of
JetBlue fell nearly 2 percent to $19.53.

And the mining company Freeport McMoRan missed profit expectations and says
it sees copper sales slowing this year. The company also said its deal to
operate a large mine in Indonesia could be delayed due to disagreements
between the two parties. Shares plunged 14 percent to $16.08.

And the majority of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) shareholders chose to re-elect
the bank`s board of directors even as that bank remains under investigation
by the government. Investors also approved the bank`s compensation plan
for executives. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) shares finished down marginally to

GRIFFETH: We all know preparing for retirement can be stressful,
especially if you have not done a good job of saving for it. In fact, a
new survey out today finds that 26 percent of workers have less than $1,000
put away at this point.

And as Sharon Epperson found out, that`s not the only troubling finding.


workers are very confident in their ability to retire comfortably, and most
say preparing for retirement makes them feel stressed. According to this
year`s retirement confidence survey by the employee benefit research
institute, 45 percent of workers have less than $25,000 saved, 20 percent
have saved between $25,000 and just under $100,000, 15 percent have
$100,000 to $249,000 in savings and two in 10 report having $250,000 or
more saved.

These numbers include a worker`s household savings and investments but not
the value of their primary home, pensions or defined benefit plans. The
survey, which is the longest running of its kind, found having retirement
plan, a 401k or an IRA makes a big difference in the amount of money
workers have saved. Two-thirds of workers without a plan have less than
$1,000 saved, compared to 10 percent among workers who have one.

Another major finding with this year`s survey, six in 10 workers who are
confident about retirement overall are in excellent or good health, yet
less than 20 percent have figured out how much money they`ll need for
health care costs.



HERERA: OK. Well, that`s scary. So let`s talk about some strategies,
shall we?

Christian Weller joins us to talk more about retirement savings and why
many Americans are not comfortable with their retirement plan. He is
professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Welcome, professor. Nice to have you here again.

for having me. Thank you.

HERERA: It is scary, you know, but when I talk to people about retirement,
they say it`s just overwhelming when they have to think about how much it`s
going to take for them to retire. They don`t even get to the point where
they`re thinking about health care. How do we change that dynamic?

WELLER: Well, let`s look at that scary numbers a little bit more, in
particularly health care numbers. One in four retirees, for instance, say
the long-term care costs are larger than they expected. And as we know,
long-term care costs are overwhelming.

Speaking of overwhelming, saving for retirement, as you said, is sort of a
big challenge and the good news in the report and the survey is that when
people have a retirement plan at work, they feel more confident, they feel
more comfortable. The problem is that at any point in time, less than 50
percent of private sector workers actually participate in a retirement plan
at work.


WELLER: So, that`s sort of the entry point. From a policy perspective, we
need to do things to encourage more people to participate. Now, there is
different ways we can do this. One would be asking — encouraging, we have
done this through the law, employers to, for instance, automatically enroll
every new hire into a 401(k) plan, for instance.

The other way is sort of what California and Oregon are doing, and that is
offering a retirement plan that is separate from the employer and all the
employer has to do, would be required to do is take a part of the payroll,
deduct it into an IRA and if the employee doesn`t want to participate, they
can opt out, but that has to be the first step — getting more people to
participate in these plans.

GRIFFETH: But, yet, I think about that old Aesop`s fable. The grasshopper
and the ant. The ant is busy diligently putting food away during the
summertime while the grasshopper is playing his fiddle. When winter comes,
the grasshopper is going hungry because he didn`t put enough away.

Aren`t we just a bunch of grasshoppers? We`re not wired to think about the
future when, in fact, you know, we have all these incentives and these
retirement plans that are available to us, we don`t take advantage of it.

WELLER: Yes and no. I mean, all the survey data, not just the retirement
confidence survey, but also the datasets that we have from other sources
suggest that people do pay attention, they are worried about retirement,
they do want to save. They find it complex, perplexing.

But the other part is also they have so many other challenges. You got to
remember, the typical worker`s wages haven`t risen, at the same time costs
for health care and for kids` education have gone through the roof.
Housing costs, either rents or homeownership have gone up for the last
seven, eight years. So, people —

HERERA: So, Professor, I don`t want to interrupt you. Forgive me for


HERERA: But what about people who don`t have access to a 401(k)? Quickly,
what should they do?

WELLER: Well, save as much as they can wherever they can. But, again, it
depends on the personal situation. But I think asking around, finding ways
to save. Typically, there are sort of tax advantage savings in individual
retirement account world. I would only caution to be mindful of fees if
you go that route.

But for a lot of people it`s basically starting to build emergency savings.
I mean $1,000 in emergency savings, yes, that`s not going to get you a good
retirement, but it may give you some piece of mind today that will allow
you then to plan for the future.

HERERA: Professor, thank you so much.

Professor Christian Weller —

WELLER: Thank you very much for having me.

HERERA: — of University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Coming up, maybe you need a priceless antique. We`ll talk about why
Sotheby`s is taking a page from the “Antiques Roadshow” playbook.


HERERA: Sotheby`s is breaking records in the spring auction market. The
auction house is putting this Modigliani up for sale with an estimated
value of at least $150 million. The highest pre-sale value ever placed on
a work of art at auction. The auction is next month.

GRIFFETH: Well, if you don`t have the millions to spend on an art auction
like that, maybe you have something valuable in your home and you want to
find out how much it`s worth. Now, Sotheby`s can help get you an estimate
on just about anything.

Robert Frank explains for us.


looking to find out how much that antique vase or painting over the mantle
might be worth, Sotheby`s can now help. The auction house best known for
multi-million dollar Picassos and Monets is getting into the every day
estimate game using new technology.

Through its new online estimate tool, customers can e-mail Sotheby`s a
photo and brief description of an object they want valued and the company
will send an estimate or response within a couple of days.

Now, the program is just starting and Sotheby`s won`t say just how many
clients have submitted items or what technology they`re using, but last
year, it acquired a small artificial intelligence firm called Thread Genius
which uses image recognition and algorithms to identify objects and their

Sotheby`s currently does most of that work with specialists and expensive
experts. But eventually, the algorithms can help sort the treasures from
the junk and send the top prospects to specialists. Now, for Sotheby`s,
it`s a great way to find new business.

TAD SMITH, SOTHEBY`S PRESIDENT & CEO: If we can get more supply out of
your vaults, off your walls into the market, liquidity goes up and we will
have the demand to find it.

FRANK: Now, a couple recently sent the company a picture of a Chinese
ceramic they inherited from a relative. And it turned out to be from the
Ming dynasty. It sold at auction for $3.1 million. Another woman sent in
a picture of an emerald ring she had and it sold at auction for $1.6




Before we go, here`s a look at the day on Wall Street. The Dow plunged 424
points, Nasdaq was off 121 and the S&P 500 tumbled 35.

And on that note, that will do it for us tonight on NBR. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening. 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.


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