Transcript: Nightly Business Report – June 1, 2018


economy`s job engine shifts into overdrive, sending the unemployment rate
to an 18-year low and stocks soaring.

world`s largest retailer is going high-tech, to transform its business and
attempts to disrupt the ultra-competitive retail industry.

GRIFFETH: The accidental entrepreneur. How one woman turned a hobby into
a multi-million dollar fashion business, far from the bright lights of New
York or Los Angeles.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this
Friday, June the 1st.

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

Phenomenal. Solid. Packed a wallop. That`s just some of the ways that
people described the May jobs report, which saw the unemployment rate fall
to 3.8 percent, matching April of 2000 as the lowest reading since 1969.

Even wages, which have been stuck in neutral for some time now, rose
modestly, and that sparked a jobs-fueled rally on Wall Street. The Dow
Jones Industrial Average advanced 219 points to 24,635. The Nasdaq rose
112. And the S&P 500 gained 29.

Hampton Pearson takes a closer look at what`s driving all that hiring.


was on in fire in May, hiring the 218,000 new workers, pushing the
unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent, an 18-year low.

Job growth was widespread. The retail sector led the way with 31,000 new
hires, followed closely by health care, up 29,000. Improving weather
boosted construction employment by 25,000.

And revisions show the economy actually created 15,000 more jobs than
previously reported in March and April.

strong number? It`s great, we should be celebrating that over the last six
years, we`ve come back from a terrible downturn and we`re now in a pretty
good spot.

PEARSON: This week, the Fed Beige Book reported labor markets getting
tighter, with shortages of skilled workers in many parts of the country.
The trucking industry, in particular, is sounding the alarm. There`s a
shortage of 50,000 truck drivers nationwide, according to the American
Trucking Association.

The TransForce Group, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has nearly
10,000 drivers on the road in nearly 30 states. Business is booming. But
there`s fierce competition to hire drivers and wages are skyrocketing.
TransForce founder and CEO, David Broome, says wages have really spiked in
the last six months. Five percent a year is the new normal.

DAVID BROOME, TRANSFORCE GROUP CEO: Today, right out of a truck driver
training school, the beginning wages are around $45,000 to $50,000 a year.
That`s really great for a new entry opportunity in today`s world. And what
we`re seeing as you go through and how much you`re willing to work, and if
you`re going over the road or if you`re staying local, those ranges can go
up to $75,000, $80,000, even up to $100,000 as a truck driver today.

PEARSON: Year over year wage growth stands at 2.7 percent. No alarm bells
yet when it comes to policy makers about inflation, but those trade tariffs
as the new wild card.

themselves are very small. The big text here is uncertainty. Washington
needs to let people know what the game is, the rules of the game, then
American businesses can invest.

PEARSON: The jobless rate is falling faster than Fed forecast, and there`s
new data showing industrial production and consumers spending on the
rebound. Fed watchers see an all-clear signal for a June rate hike. What
happens after that depends on which way the trade winds are blowing.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Washington.


GRIFFETH: Let`s take a deeper look at this report and what it means for
the economy. Joining us tonight to talk about, Mark Zandi with Moody`s
(NYSE:MCO) Analytics.

Mark, good to see you again. Welcome back.


GRIFFETH: How much lower does the rate go? How much tighter does this job
market become? And do you expect to see wage growth start to pick up even
more now?

ZANDI: Yes, unemployment is going a lot lower. We have all this fiscal
stimulus dead ahead, that`s deficit financed tax cuts, deficit-advanced
spending increases. So, just a little bit of arithmetic, unemployment
could be in the low threes, even below three by the end of the decade.
That`s rarefied territory. We`ve only be there two other times in history,
and that`s when we were in war, World War II and the Korean war.

So very, very low unemployment. Very tight labor markets. I think wage
growth and price pressures will develop. The real risk now developing is
that the economy will overheat.

HERERA: And that means inflation will creep up, as well. What does that
do for the Fed? Does it change their trajectory in terms of raising
interest rates?

ZANDI: Well, they think — they have said that they`re going to normalize
rates, raise rates. You know, right now, they`re expecting to raise rates
a couple more times this year, three times next year. But I suspect that
as unemployment goes lower and those wage and price pressures develop, that
they`ll have to raise rates more aggressively.

So, in my view, I think they`re going to have to raise rates, you know,
three more times this year, four times next year. Rates are going to go
much higher.

GRIFFETH: We hear about the shortage of truckers. We know how tight the
market is and how it`s tough to find qualified employees in the technology
sector. Health care is doing very well. Construction`s picking up here.

But if you see unemployment going below 3 percent at some point, how much
tighter is this market going to be? Companies are going to be scrambling
for employees, won`t they?

ZANDI: Absolutely. You know, it`s already, I think for most businesses,
their number one problem, finding and retaining workers. And that`s only
going to guess worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out data on the
number of open job positions, it`s at a record high. And if look across
every single industry, even surprisingly, go look at retail, where the
brick and mortar retailers have been hit pretty hard, we had a near-record
or record number of open job positions and that`s now at 3.87 percent
unemployment rate.

Can you imagine, you know, what it`s going to be when we`re at 3 percent
unemployment? And adding to the pressure is immigration. You know, we`re
tightening down on immigration of all skill levels. And that`s just going
to exacerbate the problems that they face filling those open positions.

GRIFFETH: All right. A good problem to have, I guess, at this point.

Mark Zandi with Moody`s (NYSE:MCO) Analytics — thanks for joining us

ZANDI: Thank you.

HERERA: Well, investors watched as President Trump said the summit with
North Korea was back on. After a rare meeting with officials from
Pyongyang today at the White House, the president said the two nations will
meet as originally planned on June 12th. The official met with the
president for more than an hour and delivered a letter from North Korean
dictator, Kim Jong-un.

GRIFFETH: There was also positive news from the manufacturing industry
today. The ISM Manufacturing Index showed activity expanded at a faster
pace than forecast last month. That would be the 21st consecutive month of
sector expansion.

HERERA: And the strong labor market and the high consumer confidence are
driving Americans into the auto showrooms. Overall, 2018 is on track to be
one of the five best years ever for auto sales, even though the pace might
be slowing just a bit.

Phil LeBeau has more on what`s in demand.


showroom and prices at the pump may be rising, America`s love affair with
pickups and SUVs is still running hot. In fact, Jeep sales surged 29
percent last month, pushing Fiat Chrysler`s May sales up 11 percent, better
than expected, which was also the case for Ford, while Toyota (NYSE:TM)
posted a slight decline last month.

As for the best-selling vehicle in the country, the F-series pickup, Ford
had plenty in stock to grow sales in May, despite a fire at the plant,
knocking out F-series production for a couple of weeks last month.

Overall, 2018 is still on pace to be the fourth straight year with auto
sales topping 17 million vehicles. Fiat Chrysler expects auto sales to
remain strong over the next five years, during which the company plans to
double global sales for Jeep and expand ram`s business in North America.

The strong economy is what`s driving auto sales right now. It is also
convincing consumers they can afford to buy the new model that they`re
looking at. In fact, the average auto loan payment for a new vehicle is
now at a record high, $523 a month.



GRIFFETH: Walmart is embracing change. At the company`s shareholder
meeting today, the CEO said, change is a key part of his company`s
strategy. And that transformation involves going high-tech to stay one
step ahead of competitors.

Courtney Reagan is in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for us tonight.


still focused on its founding principles of low prices and customer
service, the company has come a long way from Sam Walton`s original vision,
as technology changes how Walmart operates and how its customers shop. The
executives spent shareholder`s week talking largely about the role
technology is playing in a business and previewing what`s to come.

This is one of 50 Bossa Nova robots Walmart is using for inventory
management. The robot`s mission is to make sure products are where they
are supposed to be, in stock and priced correctly. That information is
sent to an internal app, so store employees can make changes when needed.
The robot currently scans food and consumable products up to two times a
day, and the rest of the store once.

Without robots, the scans are done once every two weeks. Thirty Walmart
store stock rooms are using one of these fast unloaders, a system using
various technologies to unload delivery trucks faster and with four instead
of eight employees. It makes unloading and restocking job much easier —
important, because it`s the job with the highest turnover in the store.
Now, those workers can spend more time helping shoppers.

Walmart also runs its own tech incubator. It`s called Store Number Eight.
And its mission is to identify the new game-changing technologies that will
power retail in the future. Rent the Runway cofounder Jenny Fleiss works
for Store Number Eight and is now running the first program to come out of
that business.

JENNY FLEISS, JETBLACK FOUNDER & CEO: Jetblack is a personal shopping
service over text message. It`s a membership model, so we charge a monthly
membership fee. It offers frictionless delivery and shipping.

REAGAN: Jet black is just one of many new programs that Walmart is
experimenting with to change the way it has traditionally done business.

BRETT BIGGS, WALMART CEO: Walmart`s always been the disruptor, and we
still are. We`ve done things differently. We still do.

DOUG MCMILLON, WALMART PRESIDENT & CEO: We`re positioning ourselves for
sustained growth, while at the same time, finding new ways to serve
customers today. We know we ask our shareholders for patience sometimes,
so that we can set this business up for long-term success.

REAGAN: While Walmart got a late start when it came to some of its digital
strategies, it`s working hard to play catch-up to be a better place for its
employees to work and for consumers to shop.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


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

American Airlines was upgraded to outperform from in line over at Imperial
Capital. The analyst expects the airline to reduce capacity some time
after Labor Day. The price target is $56. The shares rose 1 percent to 44

That same analyst at Imperial Capital downgraded shares of Southwest to in
line from outperform. The analyst cites heightened competition in the
California market and potential weakness in the Denver market. The price
target is $54 and the stock fell just a fraction to $50.96.

Twitter`s price target was raised to $43 a share at MKM Partners. That is
the highest price target on Wall Street. The analyst cites strong digital
lab market and the firm also says Twitter could see a sales boost from the
World Cup tournament. Twitter shares rose more than 5 percent to $36.65.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, why our market monitor is not running from European
stocks given the trade tensions and political drama. Instead, he`s
investing in them.


HERERA: Boeing (NYSE:BA) workers vote for a micro union at its South
Carolina plant. Last night, a small group of employees at the company`s
jetliner factory voted to unionize. The plane maker plans to challenge the
vote`s legality. The National Labor Relations Board recently made it
tougher for workers to form unions made up of small groups of employees.

GRIFFETH: Rising trade tensions between the U.S. and its largest trading
partners are creating uncertain futures for America`s farmers.

Our Aditi Roy reports tonight from a farm in Stockton, California.


there`s more than two apples in a bunch.

growing gala apples along with cherries and walnuts for 30 years on his
1,800-acre farm in Stockton, California. The galas are still young and
green right now, but by the end of July, these apples will be ready for
harvest, eventually ending up in stores like Walmart and Sam`s Club.

How are the apples looking this year?

COLOMBINI: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) crop looks very good. I think we`re going
to have some great-quality apples this year.

ROY: But he also exports a quarter of them to Canada, and about 10 percent
to Mexico. And now, with trade tensions rising among the U.S., its NAFTA
partners and the E.U., Colambin`s worried.

COLOMBINI: What`s kind of going through my mind is, here we go again.
Because unfortunately, when there`s any sort of a trade dispute,
agriculture always gets targeted first.

ROY: There`s a lot at stake for U.S. farmers, as leaders exchange tough
words amid President Trump`s announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum,
from Canada, Mexico, and the E.U.

COLOMBINI: You just don`t know what`s going to happen next.

ROY: Last year, the U.S. exported $43 billion worth of agricultural
products to Canada and Mexico, while importing $47 billion in farm
products, according to the U.S. trade representative.

COLOMBINI: It`s frustrating in that, you know, Canada and Mexico have been
very good trading partners with the United States.

ROY: The president claims the U.S. is being taken advantage of by those
trading partners. Just this morning, President Trump tweeted, Canada has
treated our agricultural business very poorly. This after Canada and
Mexico have fired back with their own lists of tariff targets, which
include agricultural products, like beef, grapes, and apples.

COLOMBINI: If I have to dump or not harvest 25 percent of my apples, it
means I`m not going to be making a profit this year and I`m going to have a
hard time paying my employees.

ROY: Colombini says three decades of farming has made him used to

You`ve seen a lot of trade disputes like this during your time?

COLOMBINI: Yes, I have.

ROY: While there`s a lot of hand-wringing among farmers, some agricultural
trade groups like Farmers for Free Trade are also speaking out, saying that
tariffs will take farm operations to the breaking point.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, Stockton, California.


HERERA: Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) wants to get more shoppers into its
stores. And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The clothing retailer, which is in the midst of a turnaround, reported
stronger margins and an increase in same-store sales, but it acknowledged,
it is not seeing a steady flow of customer traffic just yet. That
pressured the stock, which fell more than 8 percent to $21.77.

The CEO of the Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobras stepped down from his
role after facing criticism over how he set gas and diesel prices based on
the cost of oil. Brazil recently lowered the price of diesel fuel in that
country after truckers went on strike to protest the high cost. Shares of
Petrobras plunged 14 percent to $10.13.

GRIFFETH: Shares of workday remained under pressure today after the
enterprise software company reported slower quarterly revenue. That was
after the bell last night. The company did raise its guidance, though, for
the full year, but investors weren`t having it. Shares finished down more
than 1.5 percent to $126.29.

Meanwhile, shares of Marvel Technology rose today after the chipmaker
delivered an earnings and sales beat last night. The company also sees
earnings for the current quarter topping expectations and shares were
higher by nearly 3 percent to $22.17.

HERERA: Well, even as those trade tensions remain a hot-button topic,
tonight`s market monitor says he likes ETFs with exposure to the global
markets. This is his first time on as a market monitor. He`s Peter
Mallouk. He is the chief investment officer at Creative Planning.

Welcome back, Peter. Nice to see you again.


HERERA: So you are embracing the weakness we`ve seen across equities. And
one of your picks we`ll start, they`re all ETFs, shares emerging markets,
EMG. Why do you like it?

MALLOUK: Well, if you look at the dividend yield and the P/E ratio, just
from a valuations standpoint relative to the United States, the dividend
yields almost double. The P/E ratio is a little les than 15, so below
historical norm. You compare it to the United States, above the historical
norm, with double the growth rate.

So, you`re dealing with a lot of turmoil. There`s a reason it`s a value,
but this is a nice entry point for somebody accumulating.

GRIFFETH: Your — the second one, you`ve got the vanguard developed
markets. Now, it suffered because of the fears about the trade wars and
things, but you`re among those who feel like that`s been overblown in the
market, right?

MALLOUK: Yes, I mean, I think you have all kinds of things impacting that.
The Italian debt crisis, the strength of the dollar. But mainly, the
threat of a trade war.

I don`t doubt for a second that we`re going to have spats and there`s going
to be more to come from — I don`t know if you want to use the word —
there seems to be no intermediary word. It`s either nothing or trade war.

But there`s going to be something I think it`s overblown, because it`s not
in anybody`s best interests to have a prolonged trade war, including the
United States. I think this is all posturing and a little bit of back and
forth for the United States to get a slightly better deal. And you`ll see
that lift a little bit.

And if you look at how the markets have performed year-to-date with the
U.S. just barely up and overseas, just little bit down, you can attribute
most of that overseas weakness to this potential trade war.

HERERA: And if you want to reach for better growth or stronger growth in
that sector, you like the VSS, Vanguard All World Ex U.S. small caps. Why?

MALLOUK: You know, I think if you look at the small cap space overseas,
it`s — it`s got everything everybody doesn`t like put together. So,
you`re going overseas, then you`re going to the most up stable part
overseas with emerging markets. Then you`re going to the smallest, most
vulnerable companies.

And you look at that, you get a dividend yield that`s more than double,
small cap U.S., with again, a higher growth rate. And if you look at the
general backdrop, it`s very positive. They`ve got strengthening earnings,
declining unemployment, a high growth rate.

There are some very big, strong fundamentals in the background, but there
are legitimate reasons in the short run it`s a value. So, again, if you`re
willing to enter and be patient, this is — you can`t argue from a
valuation perspective. People look at the United States and say, I don`t
want to get in, because it`s too expensive and overseas, I don`t want to
get in, because it`s too dangerous.

Well, you know, it`s expensive when things look really good and a value
when things aren`t perfect. That`s what`s being presented right here.

GRIFFETH: Let me push back just a little bit here in Europe. Some of the
political turmoil that is going on there. You know, the U.K. is still in
the midst of trying to figure Brexit out. Italy is trying to get a new
government together here. The Spanish prime minister was just voted out,
lost a vote of confidence.

These are real problems that are still going on over there.

MALLOUK: Yes. I completely — I mean, those are definitely real problems,
and they carry over from Europe throughout the emerging markets, which are
even more unstable.

And I think to your point, that`s part of what`s being priced in here. But
at the end of the day, these companies are still pointing to strong
earnings. And their earnings are getting stronger. They`re just lagging
the United States a little bit.

I think in general, the markets see that. I mean, last year, even though
there was a lot of talk about how well the United States did, post-
election, we are — we underperformed the international markets and the
emerging markets with most of this political turmoil already in place.

So I think that backdrop of strengthening earnings is why you don`t see
foreign markets down substantially, despite all that`s happening with Italy
and everything else.

HERERA: Good to see you again, Peter. Thanks so much.

MALLOUK: Thanks. Have a great weekend.

HERERA: Peter Mallouk with Creative Planning — you too. For more on
Peter`s picks, head to our Website,

Coming up, meet the former call center operator who was a part-time fashion
blogger and grew her hobby into a full-fledged successful business. It`s
the latest in our “Bright Ideas” series.


GRIFFETH: Here`s yet another reason that social media is big business. I
mean, celebrities, they have long been a strong influence on how the rest
of us dress. But social media has turned average people, if you will, into
powerful influencers, as well. In fact, last year, sponsored influencer
posts on Instagram led to more than a billion dollars in sales.

And that number is projected to double in the next couple of years. That`s
one reason a former Indiana call center operator got the bright idea to
build her blog into a valuable resource for fashion retailers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So cute! I love it.

GRIFFETH: If Erin Schrader likes it, her blog readers notice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a striped tee.

GRIFFETH: If readers click a product link, they shop. And quite often,
they buy.

producing over seven figures in sales for those retailers every month.

GRIFFETH: Her blog, living in yellow, aims to highlight good looks at good
prices. When a reader clicks a product link, Schrader gets paid. If the
reader buys, Schrader might earn a commission.

What started as a diary in 2011 pays quite well these days.

SCHRADER: I am running a multi-million-dollar business.

GRIFFETH: And the Living in Yellow team makes it happen in Goshen,

SCHRADER: Occasionally, I would maybe go to Old Navy and pick up a few
things and then mention it on the blog. And people always seemed
interested in learning, not just about my life, but what was I purchasing
and liking.

GRIFFETH: In 2013, Schrader noticed retailers with products to push were
using marketing agencies to find and pay bloggers.

SCHRADER: It really depends on what your traffic is. So, it could range
from maybe a couple hundred dollars upwards of thousands.

GRIFFETH: Sometimes, tens of thousands.

Now, Living in Yellow claims more than 700,000 page views a month and
still, Schrader is considered a micro-influencer.

SCHRADER: We have a much smaller audience size than a lot of the mega
influencers, where we`re talking millions of followers. However, our
audience is a lot more engaged and converts for retailers.

GRIFFETH: Carrie Brown checks the blog daily.

CARRIE BROWN, LIVING IN YELLOW READER: The people I hang with, a good 75
to 80 percent follow the blog.

GRIFFETH: Tammy Mishler, a busy mom, can trace about half her wardrobe to
Schrader`s post.

TAMMY MISHLER, LIVING IN YELLOW READER: I promised my husband I would stop
purchasing for a while, until I`m on a good month`s streak of not

GRIFFETH: Schrader and her blog are proof that paying attention to
seemingly dry marketing data can definitely drive sales.

SCHRADER: We have full access to our analytics, so we can see what brands
people are shopping, what pieces they`re buying. That helps us better
shape our content.

GRIFFETH: A while back, a pink blazer just wasn`t selling, until Schrader
styled it, and 600 units moved. It sold out.

SUZIE TURNER, STYLEBUY FOUNDER AND CEO: As soon as she posted something,
we would see an immediate lift in the amount of units that sold.

GRIFFETH: That blazer carried one of Susie Turner`s three brand labels.
This year, she says about 30 percent of her business will come from data-
driven blog posts.

TURNER: It`s like having a crystal ball. It`s the first time I feel like
anything like this has been available.

GRIFFETH: Turner partnered her Gibson brand with Schrader`s Living in
Yellow to design a new line this spring.

SCHRADER: This is the Erin tunic.

GRIFFETH: Gibson X Living in Yellow debuted in march on

SCHRADER: We went to Gibson and we said, we want to do a tunic. They came
up with the idea of doing this little cross-hem detail.

GRIFFETH: With dreams of some day having her own line, it`s no wonder that
Schrader says the name of her blog, Living in Yellow, means living with

SCHRADER: This job is a lot of work, but it is the most fun and rewarding
job. The ability to connect with thousands and thousands of women on a
daily basis is — it`s amazing.


GRIFFETH: Now, Erin Schrader buys almost all the items that she posts
about, and as you can imagine, she really likes the sites that allow for
free returns, because one only has so much closet space. She also has
turned down items that retailers have sent to her, saying that she will
only post about things that she actually would wear herself.

HERERA: Good for her.

GRIFFETH: Good story, isn`t it?

HERERA: Great story. Absolutely.

Well, that will do it for us tonight on NBR. I`m Sue Herrera. Thanks for
joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great weekend. We`ll see you again
on Monday.


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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