Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 13, 2018

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

profit reports from three mega banks would give the sector a lift. But
today, that was not the case.

(NYSE:MCD) do a better job of containing a possible parasite outbreak that
rival Chipotle did?

HERERA: Behind the wheel. What Aston Martin is doing to find new growth
while maintaining its exclusivity.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, July

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

Stocks did finish the week higher but it could have been even better if it
hadn`t been for the financial sector. Three big banks, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)
Chase, Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all kicked off
earnings season today. Investors had hopes that the results would be
enough to snap that sector out of its recent slump.

But that didn`t happen. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) missed expectations and
despite better than expected earnings from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citi,
investors apparently were convinced that business should have been better.
It pressured all three stocks in trading today.

Leslie Picker has more now on the disappointing day for banks.


banks, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
receiving mixed reception from investors today after reporting their second
quarter earnings.

Wells Fargo`s numbers demonstrate it`s still climbing out from the years-
long scandal of her fake accounts that were opened so employees could meet
their sales targets. Their revenue and profitability declined during the
quarter. The numbers showed particular weakness from mortgage banking,
thanks to higher interest rates.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) saw some weakness in their consumer banking side, with
little to no growth in their branded credit cards unit and retail services.
The firm saw a bit more strength from the business it does with corporate
clients in terms of lending and helping large investors trade equities.

JPMorgan`s results were a bit more of a bright spot among the bank`s
reporting today. The firm posted record revenue and profit and growth and
nearly every metric reported. CEO Jamie Dimon touted what he sees as a
strong environment for banking. He says consumers and their companies have
money to spend and people are building houses, all of which are positive
for JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and the industry as a whole.

JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CEO: Consumer confidence and business confidence are
very high, albeit off their highs, probably because of something like
trade. So, if you`re looking for potholes out there, they`re not a lot of
things out there and the growth is accelerating. And then, of course,
things always will be different.

PICKER: Both Dimon and Citi`s chief financial officer John Gerspach said
on separate media calls that the trade war has only tangentially affected
their businesses because it creates uncertainty for companies.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Goldman Sachs
(NYSE:GS) report next week.



HERERA: Despite those bank earnings, the S&P 500 has its best close since
February breaking back above 2,800. The strength came from the tech sector
with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
all hitting new highs. The Dow rose 94 points to 25,019, the Nasdaq rose
two and the S&P 500 added three. For the week, all of the major indexes
were higher.

GRIFFETH: But one of the worst performing Dow components today was Johnson
& Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). A jury hit the company with $4.7 billion fine which
included $550 million in compensatory damages which we told you about
yesterday. This verdict was in favor of 22 women and their families who
said they developed ovarian cancer as a result of using J&J`s talc products
which J&J denies. That sent the stock down more than 1 percent in trading

Meg Tirrell has details now of the verdict and what might come next.


verdict yet in Johnson & Johnson`s years long legal battle over the safety
of its talc baby powder. The companies facing more than 9,000 lawsuits
over the product, one of its most iconic brands. J&J sells baby powder
with talc and also with cornstarch. While natural talc can contain
asbestos, all talcum products used in homes in the U.S. have been asbestos
free since the 1970s, according to the American Cancer Society. J&J
disputes the claims, saying the science shows its products are safe.

The American Cancer Society says the data on talc powder and cancer are
mixed, and if there is an increased risk, it`s likely to be very small.

BART WILLIAMS, JOHNSON & JOHNSON ATTORNEY: What`s happening is that the
courts haven`t caught up to the science and this isn`t the first time that
that`s happened in the history of American legal system.

TIRRELL: J&J has successfully appealed a number of talc verdicts,
including a $417 million verdict in Los Angeles last year. That was the
largest until this week. J&J plans to appeal this verdict as well.

An attorney for the plaintiffs says J&J should stop selling the talc
products or put a warning label on them. J&J`s attorney says it wouldn`t
be appropriate to put a warning on a product that doesn`t cause cancer.



HERERA: Shares of McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) were also lower after health
experts say they`re examining a possible link between the restaurant`s
salads and an intestinal parasite. We told you about it last night and
today, the stock was off a fraction.

But the question for investors is, will McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) be able to
contain the damage better than Chipotle did when it faced a similar issue?

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) takes a look.


in two states have been hit with cyclosporiasis, an intestinal foodborne
illness possibly linked to salads at McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) restaurants.
The Illinois and Iowa departments of public health are currently
investigating a potential connection. A quarter of the cases in Illinois
had reported eating salads from McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) in the days before
they became ill.

In a statement McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) said: Out of an abundance of caution,
we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until
we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier. We are in the process of
removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution
centers which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants
primarily located in the Midwest.

The company has been in the midst of a turnaround under CEO Steve
Easterbrook who took the helm in 2015. Earnings last quarter beat
expectations, luring customers in with value promotions and menu
innovations, including fresh beef.

But foodborne illness can be a challenge for national chains, look no
further than Chipotle which was plagued with issues surrounding food safety
for years before bringing on a new CEO and regaining public trust.

R.J. HOTTOVY, MORNINGSTAR: It also appears that McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) has
at least identified the batch of lettuce that that was affected here,
taking the steps to remove it from the restaurants and the supply chain, as
long as we don`t see any other situations pop up and the company can
effectively communicate what happened and put in place preventative

I think that the company will at least have somewhat of a more mild impact
than say the Chipotle.

ROGERS: The illness is potentially presenting a new test for McDonald`s
(NYSE:MCD) and the CEO who`s launched a successful turnaround for the
iconic brand.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) in New York City.


GRIFFETH: The Papa John`s fallout is intensifying. Today, the pizza chain
said it`s going to remove founder John Schnatter`s face from its marketing
materials, and now, the sports world is distancing itself from the company.
The New York Yankees are suspending their relationship with the chain. The
Texas Rangers have suspended their marketing deal. And the University of
Louisville is dropping Papa John`s name from its sports stadium.

Papa John`s founder resigned as chairman on Wednesday hours after he
apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call.

HERERA: The Justice Department appeal of AT&T`s acquisition of Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX), quote, changes nothing, so says AT&T (NYSE:T) CEO Randall
Stephenson, who added that the merger is closed and that AT&T (NYSE:T) owns
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX).


have been tried. Twenty-five million pages of documents, testimony in a
trial, an extensive trial, and an extensive order. So, at the end of the
day, we feel like the laws are on our side. We feel good about where we
are and we think the appellate court will look at on the merits of the law.


HERERA: But shares fell in trading today and Raymond James cut its rating
on the company to neutral, telling clients the DOJ appeal is a negative
catalyst for the stock.

GRIFFETH: The Federal Reserve is downplaying the impact of trade wars on
the economy in its semi-annual report to Congress which will be delivered
next week. The Central Bank says that economic activity is solid and the
labor market is strengthening. The report did note some lingering concerns
like slow wage growth and it said the current path of monetary policy is
enough to handle any trade-related issues that might arise.

HERERA: But trade fairs did hit consumer sentiment. The University of
Michigan survey fell to a six-month low on rising fears of an all-out trade
war. The biggest concerns were voiced by Americans whose incomes ranked in
the top third of all households. Despite the decline, confidence overall
remains historically high, thanks to steady job growth.

GRIFFETH: Import prices unexpectedly fell last month, marking the biggest
decline we`ve seen in about a year and a half. The index dipped 0.4
percent in June, thanks to a decline in the cost of imported oil and
natural gas. Economists say that the drop was likely temporary given the
tariffs recently imposed by the Trump administration on lumber, steel and
aluminum imports.

HERERA: Tariffs and the threat of new ones could impact activity at the
nation`s busiest port and that is where Aditi Roy is for us tonight.


is the busiest in the country and China is its biggest trading partner.
Last year alone, about $145 billion worth of goods shuttled between the
world`s two largest economies through this entry point, which makes the
port of L.A. on the front lines of the trade war.

GENE SEROKA, PORT OF L.A. EXEC. DIR.: Most of the folks that we shop with,
Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Walmart, Lowe`s, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) —

ROY: Gene Seroka is the executive director. He says ironically, one of
the first impacts of the tariffs appears to be an increase in imports
because businesses are rushing their goods in before more tariffs take
effect. A new report shows imports nationally were at an all-time high for
June and they project another record month in July.

Seroka also says once the tariff effects trickle down, they could impact 15
percent of goods moving through here and put at risk 240,000 jobs
nationally. As a result he wants the president to rethink his trade

SEROKA: We fully support fair trade and investment rules to make our U.S.
companies competitive, but let`s go about this where we have a level of
certainty and we can continue to pump through all of this great cargo in
the supply chain that is so important to our nation`s economy.

ROY: Stephen Cheung is the president of L.A.`s World Trade Center. He
says since trade tensions have erupted, he`s been getting calls from
executives around the country who are worried about tariffs. Cheung says
since half of the imports coming through here end up in other parts of the
country, the tariffs impact isn`t just a local problem.

manufacturing center in the United States, with over 350,000 manufacturing
jobs right here, and these products get exported internationally. And so,
when the tariffs are hitting, it`s going to impact the way we were able to
export and sell our products to the international market. So, it`s more
than just trade and logistics.

ROY: Seroka says not knowing what will happen next in the trade conflict
is the hardest part.

SEROKA: I think the uncertainty doesn`t play well in our industry.

ROY: The uncertainty comes at a busy time of year. Retailers including
Walmart, Target (NYSE:TGT) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) are importing a lot of
goods from China as demand ramps up for the back-to-school shopping season.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy at the port of Los Angeles.


GRIFFETH: Time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and downgrades.

And we begin tonight with Blackrock. Their shares were upgraded to
outperform from market perform at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The analysts
there says that shares the world`s largest asset manager deserve a premium
valuation because of its leadership position. Price target they`re now
$590. Shares rose a fraction today to $507.09.

VF Corp was upgraded to buy from underperform at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
Merrill Lynch. The analyst cites increased momentum that should continue
through the back-to-school sales season. Price target, $96. The stock
rose 1 percent to $84.84.

And Domino`s Pizza`s price target was raised to $305 a share at
Oppenheimer. That firm is predicting growth in comp store sales. Rating
remains at outperform. Stock rose in today`s session to $281.40.

HERERA: Still ahead, a news conference, tea and protests. That defined
the presidential visit with one of our closest economic allies.


HERERA: President Trump is reportedly considering selling oil from the
nation`s emergency stockpile. According to Bloomberg, the options include
a small sale of 500 million barrels — of 5 million barrels I should say
and a larger offering of 30 million. The president has reportedly
expressed frustration at the rise in oil and gas prices. Domestic crude
settled today at about $71 a barrel.

GRIFFETH: Well, the president`s controversial visit to the U.K. included a
news conference today with Prime Minister Theresa May and tea with Queen
Elizabeth, all while protesters filled the streets.

Our Wilfred Frost is in London for us tonight.


coaster few days for the president in the United Kingdom. The big question
coming into the visit, was he willing to offer the U.K. a free trade deal
once Brexit has happened? Late last night, a bombshell interview he gave
to “The Sun” newspaper seemed to suggest the answer to that was no. He
even criticized the prime minister`s negotiating tactics with the E.U.

Then today, he softened his position.

Theresa is that we make sure we can trade, that we don`t have any
restrictions because we want to trade with the U.K., and the U.K. wants to
trade with us. We`re by far their biggest trading partner and we have, you
know, just a tremendous opportunity to double, triple, quadruple that.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There will be no limit to the
possibility of us doing trade deals around the rest of the world once we
leave the European Union on the basis of the agreement that was made here
at Chequers and that I`ve put forward to the European Union.

FROST: So, Trump and May seemed to agree now on trade. Whether or not
Theresa May can convince her own party of her plan for Brexit remains to be

From Chequers, the president went on to Windsor Castle for tea with her
majesty, the queen. Of course, her majesty has no hard power but what she
has in abundance is wisdom and respect. She also has impartiality.

The president is the 12th president to meet the queen. There have been
seven Republicans and five Democrats. She does not take sides and it is
that mixture of independence and respect that she will have used to try and
get a message really across to the present from her Prime Minister Theresa

Now, that positive development only tells half of the story. The other
half is protests and there was a record turnout here in the U.K. for
protests against a visiting leader. The protests were addressed as well by
the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who thanked the
attendees for their belief in hope, democracy and unity.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, in London, I`m Wilfred Frost.


GRIFFETH: Now, the president is in Scotland for the weekend. He`s there
for a golf holiday. And then he heads to Helsinki for a summit, of course,
with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

And today, ahead of that meeting, special counsel Robert Mueller charged
Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democrats during the 2016
election. The 11-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy, money
laundering and attempts to break into state election boards and other
government agencies.

HERERA: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) sends shockwaves through another sector and
that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) already manages cloud computing data centers. Now
tech website “The Information” reports the e-commerce giant is looking into
creating its own network switches within the next 18 months. Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) rose nearly 1 percent to $1,813.03. But the news sent shares
of several networking companies falling on the fear of Amazon`s potential
entry into that space.

Xerox (NYSE:XRX) is reportedly considering selling its debt-ridden leasing
unit to make itself more attractive to potential buyers. “Reuters” says
the company shed nearly $4 billion in debt if it sells that division
responsible for lending money to prospective customers. Xerox (NYSE:XRX)
has been exploring strategic options after it ended its $6 billion sale to
Japan`s Fujifilm. Xerox (NYSE:XRX) rose a fraction to $25.27.

GRIFFETH: Information technology firm Infosys reported a less than
expected rise in profits and weaker sales growth in its financial services
division. The company did say that the band remains strong and it expects
to meet its 2018 financial outlook. But shares did fall nearly 3 percent
to $19.42 in today`s trade.

And Northrop Grumman`s chairman and CEO Wes Bush says he plans to step down
from his role in January 1st of next year. Bush does remain as chairman
though through July of next year. Shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)
were down a fraction to $321.73.

HERERA: This week`s market monitor is finding opportunity in the U.S. and
is recommending ETFs that he says pay a good income. The last time he was
on in January, he picked the iShares Technology ETF, which is up 7 percent.
The Vanguard Total World`s Stock Index Less the U.S. which is down 15
percent, and the Vanguard Emerging Market Index which is lower by 10

Joining us once again is John Merrill, chief investment officer of
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management.

Welcome back. Nice to see you again.

Let me start —


HERERA: Before we get to the new picks that you have, I`d like to address
the Vanguard Total World Stock Index which is down 15 percent and the
Vanguard Emerging Market Index which is lower by 10 percent. Do you still
hold those? Did you add to the positions on the decline? Where do you

MERRILL: First, I don`t think the VEU is down 15 percent from when I was
on. It`s probably done closer to 5 percent, you know, from when I was on
last time. But to answer your question directly, we have reduced our
international holdings by about 20 percent, but I just still do own a big
position in the VEU. We have totally sold out of the emerging markets.

And that comes back to the one theme that I brought up and talking with
your producer, which is domestic over international. The introduction of
the U.S. corporate tax reform just totally upended the synchronized global
growth that we had going into this year that we assumed would continue into

U.S. corporations are very fortunate. They have had a cash windfall from
not only the lower corporate rates but also bringing money back from
offshore, and they can use this money for your investment, for expansion,
buybacks, dividends. And this is an advantage that foreign competitors
simply don`t have and that`s kind of overwhelming the market right here.

GRIFFETH: Right. Forgive me though, John, you didn`t see that the tax
reform package would give American companies that kind of advantage? I
mean, that was the whole idea behind those tax cuts.

MERRILL: Well, that`s a good point, Bill. You know that it was passed
December 22nd, we knew it would have an impact on earnings, we knew
domestic stocks would do well. So, right as we entered the year, we did
lowered to neutral our international ratings which actually at the end of
last year had been overweight because of the valuation discrepancy.

But I guess, yes, we missed the magnitude of the change and how it would
ripple through the foreign markets we would be an advantage to domestic
stocks, we didn`t really quite realize your right until maybe February and
March just how this was going to actually take away from some of the
foreign competitors.

HERERA: Well, let`s take a look at what you`re recommending this time
around for us, John. First up is the iShares one to three year treasury
bond. The symbol is SHY, ultra-safe income you say.

MERRILL: Exactly. You know, a couple of years ago, if you would have
bought a one or two or three years treasury bond, you`d have got exactly
almost zero. The Fed has been raising short-term rates and now you can get
literally almost 2.5 percent on a two-year treasury. That`s only about
thirty five basis points, less than what you get on a 10-year treasury for
a heck of a lot less risk.

So, we look at the short term a part of the treasury market as the sweet
spot for risk and reward.

GRIFFETH: The other two, and just in the interest of time I`ll mention
them both here. You`re looking at a master limited partnership from
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and the value — the REIT index from Vanguard.
Clearly, you`re looking for income down the road as the Feds raising rates.
But you`re convinced that rates aren`t going to go up that much down the
road. Why?

MERRILL: Well, just like we`ve experienced the last two years. The Feds
been raising short-term rates, but intermediate and longer-term rates have
been very sluggish and have not moved up in lockstep with the short-term
rates. And we believe that`s because there`s a lot of big factors that are
affecting inflation and interest rates forces like aging demographics, like
the transparency brought on by the Internet, things like that.

Right now, we have more aggregate debt in the world than we`ve ever had
before, all that debt has to be serviced. That puts enormous pressure on

HERERA: On that note, John, thank you so much for joining us once again.

MERRILL: Absolutely. Glad to be here.

HERERA: To read more about John`s picks, you can head to our Website,

GRIFFETH: And coming up, the road ahead to of an ultra luxury car that is
very much in demand.


by James Bond. Now, Aston Martin is looking at a future that will include
more models and potentially more investors. That story coming up on



HERERA: Ultra luxury auto sales are on pace for another record year and
one brand in demand is Aston Martin. In fact, the company that builds the
cars driven by James Bond has posted record revenue and is setting the
stage for a potential IPO.

Phil LeBeau takes us for a spin in Gaydon, England, where handmade
craftsmanship and performance sports cars come together.


LEBEAU: Aston Martin is on a roll. The British automaker known for ultra
luxury performance models like the DB11 is enjoying a surge in demand as it
expands its lineup, rolling out seven new models over the next seven years.

ANDY PALMER, ASTON MARTIN CEO: We`re going through a huge renaissance here
with the second century plan. Naturally, you`re seeing a significant
increase in the basic value of the company. And obviously, my shareholders
are pretty pleased about that.

LEBEAU: From the first ride and royal wedding, to the tricked-out cars
driven by James Bond, a unique ad campaign with quarterback Tom Brady
(NYSE:BRC), Aston Martin has always had plenty of cachet. What it`s lacked
has been consistent growth.

But under CEO Andy Palmer, that is changing. Sales last year topped 5,000
vehicles for the first time in a decade, revenue topped a billion dollars
for the first time ever, and Aston Martin is steadily expanding its lineup,
including an SUV.

But that expansion, along with plans to build electric cars will require
heavy investments, which is why Aston Martin is weighing a potential IPO.

JOHN CASESA, AUTO CONSULTANT: It`s a very attractive time to go public if
your Aston Martin. Stock markets are trading at very high multiples.
There`s an enormous amount of capital investors looking for unique
investment ideas, and Aston Martin is unique investment idea.

LEBEAU: As attractive as Aston Martin is to both drivers and investors, it
also comes with a huge question mark, how much will it be hurt by trade
disputes that could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cars being
exported from England?

PALMER: There isn`t a natural competitor for our cars are in the U.S. So
if you want an Aston Martin, you`re going to buy an Aston Martin almost
irrespective of the price.

LEBEAU: Aston Martin looking to double sales while protecting its air of

Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Gaydon, England.


GRIFFETH: Finally tonight, the last Blockbusters standing. There will
soon be just one remaining location of the iconic American video rental
chain. It`s in Bend, Oregon. Two other Blockbusters stores in Alaska are
set to close on Sunday.

The general manager of the Oregon location credits restores longevity to
amazing and loyal customers. And speaking of which one of our former
producers, Jim Connor, is one of those and he sent us those pictures there.
Thank you.

HERERA: Thank you, Jim.

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

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


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