Transcript: Nightly Business Report – May 22, 2018


that`s not what investors got. Instead, uncertainty increased and stocks

bolts to Lowe`s in the middle of a massive overhaul for the iconic American

GRIFFETH: Feeling the heat. Hawaii`s erupting volcano has vacationers
rethinking their getaways to a state that relies heavily on tourism

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Tuesday,
May 22nd.

HERERA: Good evening, everybody, and welcome.

Wall Street spent the day searching for clarity, but the answers did not
come from Washington. Today, the president cast doubt as to whether the
planned meeting with North Korea`s leader will take place as scheduled next


work out. There`s a chance, a very substantial chance that it won`t work
out. I don`t want to waste a lot of time and I`m sure he doesn`t want to
waste a lot of time.

So, there`s a very substantial chance that it won`t work out. And that`s
OK. That doesn`t mean it won`t work out over a period of time, but it may
not work out for June 12th. But there`s a good chance that we`ll have the


HERERA: And that created a cloud of uncertainty over a closely watched
geopolitical issue and stocks fell into the closing bell. Now on the
close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 178 points to 24,834, the
Nasdaq was off 15, and the S&P 500 was down 8.

GRIFFETH: Remember, yesterday, the markets actually rallied on word of a
trade truce between the United States and China, but today was a different
story. The president said he is not satisfied with how the trade
negotiations are progressing. He called them a start. He also said no
deal has been reached with Chinese telecom company ZTE. One Wall Street
analyst said these mixed signals on trade were making investors more

HERERA: But there was some positive news on the trade front for
automakers. China said it plans to c tariffs on vehicles from the U.S.
from 15 percent from 25 percent starting in July. As we have been
reporting, China is an important market for American automakers and that
helped lift the shares of General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford, and Fiat Chrysler
in today`s session.

GRIFFETH: Also in Washington, the House this evening passed a measure that
some called the largest roll back of Wall Street regulations since the
financial crisis. The legislation is designed to ease restrictions on
small and medium sized lenders. The Senate has already passed this bill.
So, it is entirely possible it could be signed into law as early as this

HERERA: So, what impact might that legislation have on the regional banks?

Joining us to offer his insight is Ed Groshans. He`s the Height Capital
Markets senior analyst.

Welcome, Ed. Nice to have you here.

me on.

HERERA: Do you expect this roll back to basically lift all boats in the
regional banking sector?

GROSHANS: I certainly do. I think this is a big benefit for all the banks
in that 50 billion to $250 billion range. A lot of these heavy regulations
that were made for global international banks will be dialed back and give
management teams more freedom to handle their capital allocations.

GRIFFETH: So, the restrictions — these are coming out of Dodd-Frank. You
feel that perhaps they were overly restrictive, that they kept these banks
from being able to do their business and make more loans, is that the idea?

GROSHANS: So, all of the banks are subject to annual stress tests, and at
least all the banks over $50 billion. And to do that, you had to make sure
t that you didn`t fall below the capital minimums. So, all of these banks
held onto this excess capital, which they really didn`t need.

Once they become de-designated, they will not have to hold the excess
capital. They can return it via buy backs. They can return it via
increased dividends or they could use it to grow the balanced sheets and
make more loans.

HERERA: Are there anymore risks to rolling this back, to rolling back
those restrictions on the regional banks and the mid-sized banks?

GROSHANS: From my perspective, there are limited risks to doing that. It
could drive some excess risk taking, but even former Governor Tarullo (ph)
acknowledged that $50 billion was too low of a threshold and it needed to
be raised.

GRIFFETH: Right. But, I`m sorry, you said this will basically said this
will lift all boats. But how about some highlights here? The companies
that you feel will benefit the most from the lifting of these capital

GROSHANS: Sure. So, immediately banks like Comerica (NYSE:CMA) and Scions
Bank Corporation, they would be de-designated, so they wouldn`t be
systematically as soon as it`s signed into law, and they would then be
allowed to manage the capital the way they wanted to. They still need to
meet stress tests, but they don`t need to meet the CCAR stress test, which
is the onerous one.

And then as we go down the line, 18 months down the line, you would see
American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP), Huntington Bank shares, Fifth
Third, and a number of other banks also have more freedom with their
capital and have allocated amongst their balance sheet, their shareholders,
the things that they think are important, not the things that the Fed think
is important.

GRIFFETH: How much time do you think it will take for the trickle down
effects of these regulations being lifted to impact the bottom line of the
banks and, therefore, as an investor, do you add those to your portfolio
now in anticipation of that trickle down coming sooner rather than later?

GROSHANS: That`s a good question. I mean, we — the financial sector was
the biggest recipient of the breaks from tax reform. So, everything else
we`re going to have down the line is going to be incremental, but this —
we were in a very good environment. The economy is growing, interest rates
are going up. There`s room to do lending. Now, we have capital freedom.

I think, you know, when you`re looking at financials broadly, I would be
over weight the sector and certainly looking at the regional bank space.

HERERA: All right. On that note, Ed, thanks so much.

GROSHANS: Thank you.

HERERA: Ed Groshans with Height Capital Markets.

GRIFFETH: Elsewhere, JCPenney`s CEO is leaving the company. Marvin
Ellison`s surprising exit comes just as the struggling retailer is in the
middle of a massive revamp. Ellison is leaving Penny to become the next
CEO of Lowe`s which itself has had a hard time keeping up with its rival
Home Depot (NYSE:HD).

This management shakeup sent shares of both companies down today.

Courtney Reagan has more now on the CEO switcherooo.


four years with JCPenney, CEO Marvin Ellison is moving on. Ellison will
take over as Lowe`s CEO in July. The move surprising investors and
JCPenney, too. A JCPenney spokesperson tells me the company was just told
days ago and didn`t know about Ellison`s decision when it announced
earnings on Thursday.

There`s a board meeting this week with the CEO search the main discussion.
A search committee has been formed to look both inside and outside the
retailer for its next CEO. Four executives will take over as part of the
office of CEO when Ellison leaves June 1st.

The abrupt departure is unlike Ellison`s very telegraphed move into the top
job. He spent a year as CEO designee under then CEO Mike Ullman. At the
time, JCPenney wanted a transparent CEO transition after the turbulence
associated with prior CEO, Ron Johnson. Before running the department,
Ellison spent 12 years at Lowe`s rival Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and 15 years at
Target (NYSE:TGT). Ellison`s critics have pointed to his weakness in
merchandising. Most of his career has been in operations like enhancing
home depot supply chain and integrating its stores and Website. But that
weakness is a key strength for his new job at Lowe`s.

The home improvement retailer has a history of falling behind Home Depot
(NYSE:HD) often cited by analysts as a better operator with better store
locations and bigger professional business. While Ellison instituted a
number of strategies at JCPenney with mixed results, the sudden resignation
isn`t what investors wanted. Many of his initiatives are still getting

Former JCPenney CEO Allen Questrom is also worried about the nearly 100,000
JCPenney employees.

liked but he had none of the background necessary to run that kind of a
company, so I have to feel sorry for the people at the Penney company who
have gone through several different CEOs in the last 10, 15 years. I think
that it`s really — you have to put them — set them back.

REAGAN: One analyst says Ellison`s applying execution and leadership
skills will be hard to replace. Another agrees that Ellison made some
improvements but in the end, those improvements were over shadowed by the
bigger challenges facing department stores overall.



HERERA: It is time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and

Shares of Macy`s (NYSE:M) were upgraded to positive from neutral at
Susquehanna. The analyst expects the retailer to report earnings above
expectations this year on stronger consumer spending and apparel sales.
The price target is 43, but despite the upgrade, shares of Macy`s (NYSE:M)
fell 4 percent to 33.12.

Manchester United`s rating was cut to hold from buy over at Deutsche Bank.
The analyst cites the stock`s valuation and the lack of any near term
catalyst. The price target is $21. Shares of Manchester United were off
nearly 1 percent to $20.90.

GRIFFETH: Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) was downgraded from neutral to outperform at
Credit Suisse. In fact, the firm also cut its outlook on the whole defense
hardware sector, which has been outperforming the broader market for the
past six year. The price target on Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) now: $219. Shares
fell almost 3 percent today to $207.73.

Micron Tech saw its price target raised by a number of analysts today after
the company said it would repurchase up to $10 billion of its own stock.
One of those price target hikes came from Stifel Nicolas which now sees the
stock hitting $106 a share. That is the highest price target on Wall
Street for that stock, which today was up 6 percent to $59.03.

HERERA: Still ahead, the glass ceiling shatters at the New York Stock


HERERA: Global deal-making is happening at a record pace. The value of
mergers and acquisitions has reached $2 trillion so far this year. New
data from Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) shows the value of M&A is more than 60
percent higher this year than the same period last year. Though some who
watched the M&A market say the drive to do deals could be reaching its

GRIFFETH: It is no secret that CEOs earn a lot more than the average
worker, and a new report shows just how much. According to the AFL-CIO,
average pay for chief executives in the S&P 500 was nearly $14 million last
year while the average, worker earned about $38,000. The union`s findings
were based on publicly reported compensation data. In fact, this is the
first year that businesses were required to disclose the ratio of CEO pay
to median worker pay in their annual proxies.

HERERA: The New York stock exchange will have a new boss. Stacy
Cunningham will be the big board`s first female leader in its 226 year
history, making her one of the most powerful women in global finance.

Bob Pisani takes a look at who she is and the challenges facing the NYSE.


woman president, Stacey Cunningham, who started as an intern right here on
the trading floor in 1993. She has been named the president of the 226-
year-old institution.

She`ll be facing a number of challenges running the NYSE.

First, it`s just getting more companies to go public. The NYSE makes a lot
of money charging companies to list on their exchange, but the IPO business
is smaller than it was 20 years ago, partly because of more regulation,
partly it`s because private equity has thrown so much money at fast-growing
startups like Uber and Airbnb, that it`s just easier to stay private. Her
job is to convince them to go public.

The second issue is fragmentation of trading. About 40 percent of all
trading occurs off of the exchanges in so-called dark pools that don`t
provide displayed prices. She wants more business to come back on the
exchanges which would mean, of course, more revenue.

Wall Street is often thought of as a place that employs mostly men. That`s
true, but it`s slowly changing. The two most well known stock exchanges in
the world are run by women. Stacey Cunningham here at NYSE, Adena Freedman
has been CEO of the Nasdaq for a over a year.

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


GRIFFETH: There has been a lot of talk recently about the increasing
number of women who sit on corporate boards, and while some progress has
been made, it has not been easy. In fact, the current shareholder battle
at Destination Maternity (NASDAQ:DEST) is a good example.

Leslie Picker has that story for us tonight.


bumping up the number of women directors on boards, one key hurdle remains,
many don`t have prior board experience. Women currently hold about 17
percent of board seats among the 3,000 largest companies listed in the U.S.
That is despite numerous studies which show having more diverse boards
helps company outperform.

That`s the crux of a shareholder fight at Destination Maternity
(NASDAQ:DEST), which also owns brands like Pea in a Pod and Motherhood

Shares of the company are trading around $2.60 each. Five years ago, they
were 10 times that amount. A group of unhappy shareholders want to
overthrow the current board of three men and one woman and replace it with
three women and one man.

Shareholders will vote tomorrow at the company`s annual meeting. One of
the dissident nominees Marla Ryan says greater female representation could
help turn the company around.

men wouldn`t understand or wouldn`t be great ideas to the table, but I
think it`s highly more likely that a woman would truly understand and would
anticipate and think about things from the customer`s perspective more
quickly and probably with better results.

PICKER: But an influential proxy adviser which advises shareholders how to
vote, pointed out that none of the dissident investor nominees have
previously served on company boards. They`re urging investors not to vote
for any of the women nominees on either slate.

PETER O`MALLEY, KENOSIS CAPITAL: If the company`s argument is this
chauvinistic trope that qualified women executives could not join a board
of directors because they`ve never been on as a board of director before,
then this embarrassing situation in corporate America will never be

PICKER: Institutional shareholders service has declined to comment beyond
its report. Destination Maternity (NASDAQ:DEST) did not return five
requests for comment over the course of five days, but the company did put
out a letter last night vowing a commitment to increasing gender diversity
at the board level by identifying and appointing at least one additional,
highly qualified female director to the board as soon as possible.

Regardless of which side wins tomorrow, more diversity may be a necessary
step in quickly turning around the embattled retailer.



GRIFFETH: And to read more about Destination Maternity`s gender diversity
board debate, you can head to our Website at

HERERA: Higher costs hurt the profits over at Toll Builders. That`s where
we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The homebuilder missed earnings expectations and reported weaker margins as
construction and building expenses climbed. Despite the miss, Toll
Brothers (NYSE:TOL) did beat on sales and said it is seeing strong demand
for orders even as interest rates rise. Shares of Toll Brothers
(NYSE:TOL), though, closed down more than 9.5 percent to $39.46.

Kohl`s (NYSE:KSS) saw profits and revenues edged past expectations,
prompting that retailer to raise its earnings guidance for 2018, and that
news was overshadowed, though, by Kohl`s warning that it expects sales
growth to slow in the second half of the year. The shares were off more
than 7 percent to $60.61.

Well, more customers visited T.J.Maxx and its other store brands this past
quarter. The off priced retailer topped both profit and sales expectations
and said it was raising its four year earnings forecast even as it expects
costs to rise. The shares finished up 3.25 percent.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) said unseasonably cold weather caused sales to lose
momentum resulting in an overall revenue miss. The auto parts retailer
topped earnings expectations but it also warned that higher employee wages
would cause costs to rise this year and those latter comments sent shares
lower by 9 percent to $6.02.

GRIFFETH: Meanwhile, rival Advanced Auto Parts grew profits but a decline
in same store sales caused total revenue to come up a bit short. Shares
skidded 3 percent today to finish the day at $115.33.

Telecom services provider Dicom industries said that a decline in contract
revenues caused earnings to fall and miss street targets. The company said
the results prompted it to cut its profit and sales guidance for the full
fiscal 2019. Shares of the company were down 20 percent as a result of
that news today.

And higher customer spending helped Cracker Barrel deliver an all around
solid quarter. The restaurant chain also said that it was hiking its
dividend by 4 percent to $1.25 and added that it continues to expect same
store sales growth of between 1 percent and 2 percent this year. You`ve
got to love their turnip greens. It`s my favorite. Shares were off a
fraction today to $157.42.

HERERA: Well, a new vaccine is being put to the test. It is made by Merck
(NYSE:MRK). It is also experimental and it`s unlicensed. It is targeting

Meg Tirrell has more.


that began in West Africa in 2014 became the largest ever reported. By the
time, it ended it infected more than 28,000 people and led to more than
11,000 deaths. The epidemic spurred a call to action for vaccine and drug
development and though several entered clinical trials, none were available
fast enough to make a dent in that outbreak, but experimental vaccines are
available now and one is being deployed in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, whereas of Friday there are 25 cases and 25 deaths.

We have also identified contacts, more than 500. Around 570 I think as we
speak. And this will help us, one for case management and, second, for the
vaccination that we are planning to start on Sunday.

TIRRELL: The vaccine is being provided by American pharmaceutical giant
Merck (NYSE:MRK) which licensed it during the West African outbreak in two
clinical trials. In 2015, while Ebola was still being transmitted, the
vaccine was tested in a 7,500 person study in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
After ten days, nobody who received the vaccine developed Ebola while 23
cases developed in a group that wasn`t vaccinated or received it later.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and GlaxoSmithKline also developed
experimental vaccines. None have yet received regulator approval. And
Merck (NYSE:MRK) is being used on an experimental basis. As of Monday,
Merck (NYSE:MRK) had provided the World Health Organization more than 8,000
doses of the vaccine with an additional 8,000 expected this week.

And there are logistical challenges. The vaccines must be kept extremely
cold at minus 83 Celsius (NASDAQ:CELH) or minus 112 Fahrenheit. And the
epicenter of the outbreak is hard to reach. The vaccination will take
place both there and in a large city to the north where at least one case
has been confirmed.

Despite the challenges, public health experts are optimistic. The
availability of a vaccine, even experimental, is an important tool in
fighting Ebola, and they say they`re encouraged by the swift response to
this outbreak, another change from 2014.



GRIFFETH: And coming up, are the relentless volcanic eruptions putting a
multi-million dollar dent in Hawaii`s tourism industry?


HERERA: Hawaii is one of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S., but
the relentless volcanic eruptions may be starting to hurt one of that
state`s biggest industries, tourism. There are reports tonight that
vacation bookings have fallen almost 50 percent since those eruptions

Seema Mody has the details.


plumes of ash and boulders shooting into the air. Hawaii`s volcanic
eruptions which started in early may show no signs of quieting down pushing
travelers to rethink their Hawaiian (NASDAQ:HA) get away.

Already, two large cruise ships, Norwegian cruise lines Pride of America
and Royal Caribbean`s Radiance of Seas skipped a visit to Hilo, the Big
Island`s port, located about 40 miles away from Hawaii`s Volcano
(NASDAQ:VOLC) National Park, a popular tourist destination which has been
mostly shut down for several days now. Local authorities say the closure
of the park has already cost the island nearly $170 million, and that`s
likely to increase if more tourist the cancel their trips.

But Hawaii`s Governor David Ige is urging travelers not to cancel, saying
all of Hawaii is open for business and visitors in that one area that
people need to avoid is lower Puna where the eruption is ongoing.

Hawaiian (NASDAQ:HA) Airlines CEO Peter Ingram also assured visitors that
the airports are up and running.

PETER INGRAM, HAWAII AIRLINES CEO: Even on the Big Island, the airport in
Kona is over 100 miles away from the affected area. Hilo is the closest
one to the volcano, and that`s 20 miles away. We`ve had no operational
disruptions at either of those airports.

MODY: SunTrust analyst Patrick Scholes says the big island of Hawaii is
not as popular of a spot compared to Oahu and Maui, but the eruptions may
still spook some travelers, potentially having an impact on tourism,
especially if the situation gets worse. That would be bad for Hawaii`s
economy given that tourism is at the largest industry.

Last year, visitors spent nearly $17 billion, accounting for almost a
quarter of the state`s GDP, making the active volcano a source of potential
economic pain.



GRIFFETH: CNBC is out with its annual list of the 50 most disruptive
private companies. These startups, if you will, are exploiting niches in
their respective markets and could one day be worth billions if they aren`t
already. The three biggest disrupters this year, Airbnb, the home-sharing
company. Number two is Uber, the ride-sharing company. And in the top
spot, SpaceX.

According to CNBC`s disrupter list, SpaceX has taken the lead now in the
new space race. And tonight, Morgan Brennan gives us a rare look inside
SpaceX`s operations in Hawthorne, California.


GWYNNE SHOTWELL, SPACEX PRESIDENT: We`re Elon-founded company. For us to
do great things in space and ultimately plan a settlement and put people on
Mars. So, that`s really the way we think of ourselves.

Technologies, SpaceX for short, has been racking up wins. Since last year,
the company has successfully flown a dozen rocket boosters previously sent
to space, including a launch carrying commercial satellites this afternoon.
In February, it made history when its Falcon Heavy became the most powerful
rocket ever launched by a private company.

And then they made history again when two of its boosters returned to
earth. That ability to reuse hardware enabled SpaceX to drive down costs,
dramatically undercutting competitors, even as it turned a profit.

Now, longer term both you and Elon have expressed this vision to see rocket
launches that are as regular as airliner flights, when that does that

SHOTWELL: We launched 18 times last year. It served the market. As I
said, this year, we`ll launch just under 30, serving the market. And we`re
doing probably 60 percent of the launches, 60 percent of the launches
across the globe. So, in order to launch every day, you have to have a lot
more launches.

And I think once we`re flying people, that could actually be realized.

BRENNAN: SpaceX is expected to begin carrying astronauts for NASA from
U.S. soil to the International Space Station as soon as December. And
development of an even more powerful rocket called the VFR is, according to
Shotwell, on track to sending humans to Mars in 2024.

SHOTWELL: I really want space exploration to be like what you see in the
TV shows, “Firefly”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “Star Wars.” I want to meet
other people or whatever they call themselves. I think that really should
be the ultimate goal. Mars is the stepping stone.

BRENNAN: That new rocket is under development, expected to be in use
within the next few years. Meantime, the company is building more of its
workhorse vehicles, producing an engine per day and using cutting-edged
manufacturing techniques like 3D printing.

Here inside SpaceX`s factory, the company has the capability to turn out
two rockets per month. Currently in production, the newest, most powerful
version of Falcon IX called Block 5. That rocket which first launched
earlier this month is intended to fly up to 100 times.

What does that mean for launch costs?

SHOTWEL: Launch costs hopefully will continue to go down, I think to the
point where the average person could actually buy a ticket to Mars. That`s
really the ultimate goal for what we`re trying to do here at SpaceX.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Hawthorne, California.


HERERA: I`ll let Bill do that. I`m going to stay grounded right here.

Before we go, here`s another look at the day on Wall Street. The Dow
dropped 178 points to 24,834. The Nasdaq was off 15 and the S&P 500 was
down 8.

GRIFFETH: Chicken.

HERERA: I know. I am. Totally. You`re the explorer.

That does it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a wonderful 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
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2018 CNBC, Inc.


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