Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 23, 2018

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

was high, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) parent alphabet blew past it, moving its
value ever closer to $1 trillion.

a bigger home? Why it may make financial sense to also keep the old one.

GRIFFETH: Less is more. Does working four days a week instead of five
make you a more productive employee?

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Monday,
July the

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

Alphabet is the first of the big tech companies to report earnings and it
did not disappoint. Google`s parent company easily surpassed estimates,
thanks to strong sales of online advertisements and a decline in costs.

So, let`s get right those numbers for you. Alphabet earned $11.75 a share.
The estimate was for a profit of $9.59. Revenue climbed 25 percent to more
than $32 billion. Investors like that report, sending shares higher in
initial afterhours trading.

Josh Lipton has more on Alphabet`s quarter.


investors make a beeline for in Alphabet`s report, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Properties, that came at a $23.3 billion, a jump of 26 percent. Aaron
Kessler of Raymond James says that`s important because that reflects the
growth of search and YouTube, the core higher margin drivers of the

Also, better cost controls in the quarter. TAC or what Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) pays as distribution partners came in at $3 billion, a
smaller increase, Kessler says, relative to recent quarters.

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


GRIFFETH: Joining us now to talk more about Alphabet`s earnings beat, and
what he`s expecting from other big tech names when they report later this
week. Daniel Flax is senior tech analyst at Neuberger Berman.

Daniel, thanks for joining us tonight.


GRIFFETH: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Alphabet, is such a far-flung company.
Where did you find strength? What did you like about this report?

FLAX: I think, Bill, what was notable was that there was strength across a
variety of areas. Core search was healthy. YouTube was strong, we`re
seeing the company make traction in initiatives like the Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) cloud platform. And so, when you put all that together, the
company has built a series of platforms that we think will enable them to
drive very solid revenue growth over the next few years. So, we liked it

HERERA: You know, the other two companies that we`re going to be watching
closely are Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). But let`s take
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). You mentioned the fact that for Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), there was — there was gains basically in a lot of different
areas of the company. Do you expect the same types of results for Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) and a positive result?

FLAX: We do expect solid revenue growth from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and we
expect them on their earnings call and we`ll obviously see how the data
comes in to really spend time talking about how they`re trying to improve
safeguards around data, and privacy that, of course, is an issue that all
of these companies face. But given the scrutiny around Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB), we`ll look for a little bit more insight on that later this

GRIFFETH: The other FANG stock, we mentioned Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). You
either love it or you hate it. You want it to turn a profit finally at
some point. But, boy, it sure is getting into a number of areas in retail
these days.

What are you expecting from them this time around?

FLAX: We expect to see solid revenue new growth. And what we`ll be
looking for in addition to the core e-commerce platform is really to gain
additional insight into Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services, which is their
cloud platform, and also some of their newer initiatives, for example like
advertising. And so, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is I think we appreciate — many
of us appreciate is an incredibly disruptive company. And so, we`ll look,
besides for the data, to get a little more insight on some of their newer
elements of their strategy later this week.

HERERA: You know, one of the things that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has had to
deal with and has created some volatility in its stock is the discussion of
possible antitrust issues. Sometimes it`s being tweeted out by the
president, sometimes it`s mentioned by Wall Street analysts and the like.
Do you expect any of that to be addressed? And do you view that as a
problem for the company if indeed those discussion goes a little further?

FLAX: Well, I think that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and frankly all of these
companies are going to be facing a lot more in the way of scrutiny and
regulation over the next several years. And that`s as much a function of
their size as the fact that they`re playing an increasingly large impact on
the economy. And so, while I do think it is a headline risk and if the
company didn`t take action that it could become a larger risk, but what
we`ve seen from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in this example is that they`re really
trying to get ahead of some of these issues and doing their best to really
attack them head on.

And so, we expect that to remain part of the story. It is a risk. But we
think if they continue to innovate, to execute and to invest in building a
robust platform over the next several years, that they can continue to
drive significant shareholder value over the medium to long term.

GRIFFETH: Daniel Flax with Neuberger Berman — again, thanks for joining
us tonight.

FLAX: Thank you.

HERERA: On Wall Street, the Nasdaq closed at yet another record and that
was before the results from Alphabet were released. But lingering concerns
outside of the tech sector capped the gains. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average fell 13 points to 25,044, the Nasdaq added 21, and the S&P 500 was
up five.

The Nasdaq may be at a record but it`s been about six months since the
broader market last peaked. So, where does the bull market stands?

Well, Mike Santoli takes a look.


months in stocks last hit a record high. If it`s still a bull market, if
it goes half a year without gaining altitude, and if so, what might get it
flying again?

The S&P 500 remains more than 2 percent below its January 26th record,
having recovered most of the 12 percent February drop in a labored grind.
Most corrections within bull markets are fully recouped in less time, but
the prolonged sideways action in recent months might say more about the
exuberant nature of that January peak than about the underlying strength of
the market. Stocks had rushed to a 7 percent gain in less than weeks in
January, a pace unsustainable in any environment.

But the performance for the year has been perfectly respectable. The S&P
500 is up close to 5 percent, and on track for better than a 10 percent
annual return, including dividends. This might not seem all that
impressive given the 20 percent corporate profit growth in the first half
of the year, but flattish stock prices and rising earnings have made the
market appear far less expense then at the peak with the S&P`s valuation
back in line with its five-year average.

It`s not unusual for stocks to stall at a trading range for months
following a very strong low volatility year such as 2017 was. There was a
similar pattern of grudging gains and frequent pull-backs in the market
back in 2014 in fact, also a midterm election year that followed a powerful
rally the year before. Of course, a few big concerns specific to the
current moment continue to restrain the market despite stellar corporate
results. The intensifying trade conflict threatens to hurt U.S. exports,
raise prices and sap CEO confidence.

The Federal Reserve seems intent on lifting interest rates well into next
year, on top of seven hikes since 2015, and there are nagging worries that
the economic cycle is nearing a later stage. It`s important to remember
though that the later part of a cycle can last years, even if that`s where
we are, and it`s hard to find many leading indicators of recession that
suggest a downturn is imminent even as the boost from tax cuts recedes, all
of which indicates that the bull market is showing some wear and tear, but
probably has not seen its ultimate peak just yet.



GRIFFETH: And then there`s housing, which is clearly a key part of the
economy. It may be starting to stumble. A new report out this morning
said that existing home sales fell 0.6 percent in June, its third straight
monthly decline. Tight supply and high prices have been turning off
potential homebuyers, especially those first-time buyers.

And for those who want to move up to a bigger home, it`s becoming
increasingly difficult to find something affordable. But there`s one
strategy that`s becoming more and more popular.

Diana Olick tells us what it is.


already feeling right at home in her new place in suburban Maryland, she
and her husband didn`t want to leave the city but finding a larger house in
D.C. for their growing family was just too expensive, even this home was a

LIZ CHAMBERLAIN, HOMEOWNER AND LANDLORD: We bid on four houses and two of
them was kind of crazy into crazy bidding wars.

OLICK: In order to afford the bigger home, they needed to rent out the
home they already owned in an increasingly trendy neighborhood on Capitol

CHAMBERLAIN: We`ve ran the numbers. We — I literally made a spreadsheet
and ran all the different options like we stay in D.C.

We run out, we sell our house, and do you see all the different options.
And it made the most financial sense for us to keep our house in D.C., rent
it out and buy here.

OLICK: Home prices hit yet another record high in June, according to the
National Association of Realtors and the supply of homes for sale continues
to hover near record lows. Part of that is because investors scooped up
distressed homes during the foreclosure crisis, turning about 5 million of
them into new single-family rentals. Demand for homes both to own and rent
is still very strong as the largest generation millennials ages into
marriage and family.

Of course, not everyone can afford a down payment on a second home, but
there are low down payment options and it may actually be getting easier
now to get a second mortgage, especially as interest rates rise and lenders
are looking for more business.

looking at the possibility making more loans and prior say several years
ago during the depths of the housing crisis, there would have been
extremely strict. But now, they`re looking at the rental income as a
mitigating factor for carrying two mortgages.

OLICK: Being a landlord does mean additional responsibility.

CHAMBERLAIN: Certainly having an umbrella policy is a really good idea to
make sure you`re covered insurance wise and then I do think living in the
house and really knowing it and making sure it`s in good shape before you
leave and rent it out is probably one of the best things you can do.

OLICK: Because the last thing you want as a new homeowner is old problems.

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


HERERA: Gus Faucher joins us now to discuss his outlook for the housing
market. He is the chief economist at PNC.

Welcome back, Gus. Great to see you again.

What do you make of —


HERERA: — what do you make of where we stand right now in the housing
market? It certainly is, you know, a fascinating phenomenon from an
economic standpoint, but with the decline in housing sales for the last
couple of months, is it a sign that the markets peaked and is going down,
or just slowing down?

FAUCHER: I think it`s an indication that the market is just slowing down.
Inventories have been very tight. So, that`s really constrained home
sales. We saw sales fall in June particularly in the south and west where
markets have been tighter. So, I think now that inventories are rising
again, I think that there are more homes for sale that will bring more
buyers into the market and I`d expect to see sales increase through the
rest of this year.

GRIFFETH: We need home builders to build more homes, especially for the
first-time buyer. We need more home owners who plan to sell to put their
houses on the market so we get more inventory out there. Is that going to
happen? What`s it going to take do you think down the road?

FAUCHER: Right. You know, we are starting to see more inventories on the
existing side and we`re also starting to see improvements in supply on the
new home side. There are some constraints in home construction. There`s a
shortage of construction workers in some parts of the country. There`s a
shortage of developable land, but I think we`re seeing price gains of about
5 percent or 6 percent a year. That`s going to lead to more people putting
their homes on the market, that`s going to lead to more home building, and
so, we`ll eventually see supply catch up to demand.

HERERA: What about the interest rate phenomenon? I mean, we did see
interest rates tick up pretty decidedly in today`s trading session, and
that will translate into higher mortgage rates. Is — are we at the level
of interest rates on mortgages, the 30-year traditional mortgages, where it
will slow down demand, or maybe not yet?

FAUCHER: You know, I think that the higher mortgage rates that we`ve seen
over the past couple of years have weighed slightly on demand. That being
said, there`s still a lot of positives for housing demand. We have good
job growth. We have rising incomes. We have better access to credit.

And so, I think you put it all together that higher mortgage rates are a
bit of a headwind, but I still think there`s some good tailwinds for the
housing market. And so, I would expect that we`ll see sales increase over
the second half of this year.

HERERA: All right. Gus, thank you so much. Gus Faucher with PNC
Financial Group.


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

We begin tonight with Papa John`s which was downgraded to sell from hold at
Stifel Nicolaus. The analysts there cites what he calls a toxic culture at
that company that could hurt the prospects for a turnaround or maybe even a
buyout. Separately, Papa John`s said that its board had a today`s
shareholder rights plan that would act against any move by its founder to
take a bigger stake.

At this point, John Schnatter and his affiliates already owned just over 29
percent of the company. Price target now $38, shares dropped by 9 percent
today to $46.56.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) was downgraded to hold from buy at Argos
Research, with the analyst there saying that GE may continue to struggle to
meet the low end of its 2018 earnings guidance. The firm calls the outlet
for GE`s power business bleak. The stock dropped about 1 percent today at

HERERA: Walgreens Boots Alliance was downgraded to market performed from
outperform over at Cowen. The analyst says Walgreens is poorly positioned
in the move towards value-based care. The price target is $71. The stock
rose a fraction to $65.34.

Philip Morris was downgraded to hold from buy at Societe Generale. The
analyst their cites concerns over reduced risk products, which are
primarily smokeless tobacco products. The price target is $90. The stock
fell 1 percent to $83.22.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, the roadmap for Fiat Chrysler as a new CEO takes


GRIFFETH: Mexico reportedly wants to reach a NAFTA deal with the White
House by the end of August and today, President Trump hinted that something
could be coming soon.


NAFTA, and I think we`re going to have something worked out. The new
president, terrific person, I spoke to him at length. I want to call —
did a great job, got a tremendous vote and they have a lot of confidence in
him in Mexico and that`s good. But we`re talking to them about doing
something very dramatic, very positive for both countries.


GRIFFETH: The dollar fell against the Mexican peso when those comments
were made this afternoon.

HERERA: Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) was one of the first companies to get caught
up in a trade spat, which is why tonight`s quarterly results are being so
closely watched. The appliance maker earned $3.20 a share, which was below
expectations. Revenue fell to about $5 billion, also below estimates. And
the stock took a hit in initial after-hours trading as costs for the
company climb.

Contessa Brewer takes a look at the issues that that company is facing.


(NYSE:WHR) is blaming it`s disappointing performance in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa, and it`s promising to take strong action to improve
operational execution. But it lowered its full-year guidance and shares
plummeted more than 8 percent in after-market trading. The second quarter
earnings miss shows Whirlpools struggling in spite of the 20 percent tariff
on imported washing machines from its foreign competitors.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) felt Korean makers LG and Samsung were taking them to
the cleaners and pressed Washington for more protection. The 20 percent
washer tariffs announced in January were among the first the Trump
administration slapped on imports. There was an immediate impact. The
share price shot up. Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) added 200 employees to its
factory in Clyde, Ohio, and LG announced it would hike prices of its
washing machines by roughly $50.

But customers started seeing costs of washers and dryers climb across the
board, up 20 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the
biggest monthly increases we`ve seen since the agency started keeping

Whirlpools told investors that it`s paying substantially more for raw
materials in part because of tariffs on steel and aluminum. Tuesday, CEO
Marc Bitzer will hold his earnings call and analysts may press him to
explain how the trade war has affected the company in the second quarter
and what competitive impact LG`s and Samsung`s investments in the United
States will have on Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR).



GRIFFETH: Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) gets a lift from Marvel toy sales and that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The toy maker reported a decline in profit and revenue largely due to the
loss of its main retail partner Toys “R” Us. But the results still came in
ahead of Wall Street`s lowered expectations. They were helped by strength
in the company`s entertainment and licensing division, as well as strong
demand for Marvel and Beyblade branded products. Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) also
said it plans to move some of its production out of China due to the
ongoing tariff fight. Shares jumped more than 12 percent today to $106.04,
making it the best performing stock in the S&P 500 today.

Then there`s the other company. Revenues came in stronger than expected to
oilfield services provider Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) as production ramped up
in the U.S. But the beat was overshadowed by concerns that demand is
slowing for Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) services in the Permian basin. Shares
fell by 8 percent on the day to $41.54, making it the worst performing
stock in the S&P today.

Higher selling prices helped egg producer Cal-Maine`s profit rise but a
decline in sales volume did cause total revenue to disappoint. Company
also warned that the market may see additional pricing pressures due to
excess supply. Shares were off 2 percent to $44.95.

HERERA: Health care services provider LifePoint said it has agreed to be
bought and taken private by the private equity firm Apollo Global
Management. The price tag nearly $6 billion. LifePoint Health will merge
with another Apollo-owned hospital company which will expand its operations
LifePoint Health rose 35 percent to $64.90.

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) said the stronger dollar would hurt margins
and cut into its full-year profits. The industrial products maker also
missed quarterly revenue expectations the shares were off 7 percent to

And after the bell, TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) said that cost cuts and
higher trading revenues helped to offset a decline in new client assets.
The brokerage firm topped both earnings and revenue expectations. The
shares were volatile in after hours, but they finished the regular session
up nearly 3 percent to $59.06.
GRIFFETH: The longtime CEO of Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari has suddenly been
replaced. The company`s announced over the weekend that Sergio
Marchionne`s health rapidly deteriorated over the past week, following
shoulder surgery earlier this month. Shares of both Fiat Chrysler and
Ferrari were lower as the automakers now faced questions about their
futures with new leaders behind the wheel.

Phil LeBeau has more on this story.


black sweater and a maverick style that took Chrysler from bankruptcy to
global growth, Sergio Marchionne`s tenure as CEO of Fiat Chrysler was a
huge success. So, the news that he will not be returning to work due to a
rapid decline in his health is a kick in the gut for a company that he led
for almost a decade.

The chairman of Fiat Chrysler said: Sergio taught us to think differently
and to have the courage to change, often in unconventional ways, always
acting with a sense of responsibility for the companies and their people.

PAUL INGRASSIA, REVS INSTITUTE EDITOR: His legacy is remarkable. I think
it`s hard to name any other CEO really in any other industry that`s
compiled his record over the last 10 or 15 years.

LEBEAU: FCA`s new CEO is Mike Manley, a longtime lieutenant of
Marchionne`s, who turns Jeep into the most profitable part of the business.
Under Manly, Jeep`s global sales skyrocketed to almost 1.4 million vehicles
last year, and he`s long been considered an heir apparent for the CEO job.

REBECCA LINDLAND, KELLEY BLUE BOOK: Anybody taking over for a position
that Sergio filled has incredible expectations put upon them. This is a
man — you know, Sergio is just iconic both in the industry throughout
Italy, throughout Canada, really on a global basis.

LEBEAU: While Fiat Chrysler`s future built around trucks and SUVs appears
clear-cut, it may be a bumpier road for Ferrari. Marchionne brought the
luxury brand public and its stocks surged under his vision of expanding
Ferrari sales, including adding an SUV.

Now, Ferrari board member Camilleri takes the reins. He may know the
luxury automaker, but will he have the same magic touch as Marchionne.

Sergio as nearly everyone in the auto industry refers to him was not a
perfect CEO and not everything he tried panned out. For example, Fiat
compact cars never really caught on here in the United States. Still,
Marchionne leaves FCA in far better shape than when he took over.



HERERA: Coming up, why a four-day workweek could be good for business.


GRIFFETH: So, what do you think? Could a four-day workweek be in your
future? Well, one New Zealand firm called Perpetual Guardian tried it out
for two months and it resulted in what they said was greater productivity,
lower stress levels, improve work/life balance, and higher team engagement
levels, all by working just one fewer day a week. So, is it in our future
and will it make us more productive?

Joining us tonight, Marc Cenedella is CEO of the job search site Ladders
here to talk about that,

Marc, good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight.

MARC CENEDELLA, LADDERS CEO: Thanks so much for having me.

GRIFFETH: I was just reading today that it was in 1940 that the five-day
workweek was mandated here in the United States. Before then, six days was
more common.

CENEDELLA: Things have gone pretty well since then.


So, here we are 75 years later, are we efficient enough to move now to a
four-day workweek? What do you think?

CENEDELLA: Well, this is part of a bigger trend where companies are
measuring the output of their workers rather than the amount of time they
put on the clock. So, I think we might see a lot more of this in the

HERERA: Does it also come down to what the employee wants in terms of
work-life balance? You know, depending on what part of the country you
live in, it can cost you a lot of money for housing and things like that?
How much of that is part of this trend?

CENEDELLA: A huge part. So, at Ladders, we focus on kind of 100k-plus
jobs, and we see at the higher end of the workforce that what people really
feel drives them is the ability to have control, the ability to be creative
and the ability to feel like they`re contributing to something that they
believe in.

So, the more that companies are able to put the onus on workers to you have
to produce in whatever amount of time it takes you to produce and we`re not
going to watch the clock —


CENEDELLA: — the more powerful they`re going to be.

GRIFFETH: You know, I would think it would be more it would be better in
the technology industry makes more sense there than it would in a
manufacturing. But interestingly, again, I`m doing reading today, and I
read it was the Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Company in 1926, was one of the first
companies to introduce the five-day workweek. So, could this work for all
industries do you think?

CENEDELLA: I think what it requires that it`s a really measurable business
or a really measurable industry where it`s very clear that the output of
the white-collar workforce or the blue-collar work force should be X units
of whatever it is they`re producing. In the case of perpetual guardians,
there are wills and state company. So, it`s pretty easy to measure how
many wills or estates you`ve handled this week.

So, the more you can measure the output and weigh what people do in a week,
the less you need to mandate the amount of time they spend on the clock.

HERERA: I know this is kind of a broad brush question, but what`s your gut
feeling as to how receptive most employers are to the concept?

CENEDELLA: So, everybody feel — I think a lot of employers feel that at
first, this is just going to reduce my output, it`s going to reduce my
productivity. But in a similar vein, remote work has become a big part of
the American workforce over the last five or ten years, and there we`re
starting to see a whole companies move to being remote workforces because
they put in place technology and systems that allow them to measure the

And I think as long as employers feel comfortable that they can measure the
output right of their employees, the more comfortable they`ll feel with
being more flexible on the time that they do it.

GRIFFETH: Marc, fascinating conversation, appreciate your thoughts

Marc Cenedella with Ladders joining us tonight.

HERERA: All right. Here`s a final look at the day on Wall Street. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points, Nasdaq added 21, S&P 500 was
up five.

And that`ll do it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.

GRIFFETH: Welcome back, by the way.

HERERA: Thank you. Good to be back. Missed you.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening we`re here all five
days this week.

HERERA: All five days.

GRIFFETH: 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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