ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Bill Griffeth and Sue
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: In the path, the winds pick up
on the Carolina coast. As local businesses close up shop and hope the
disruptions won`t last long.
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: How big is too big? The
FTC is holding hearings to figure that out and eventually decide whether
big tech needs more oversight.
HERERA: Giving back. The world`s richest man makes his biggest charitable
ever at $2 billion.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
GRIFFETH: And we do bid you good evening, everybody. And welcome.
It was a recipe for gains on Wall Street today. First, trade tensions
continued to ease. Then, inflation concerns were tempered once again. And
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares recovered from yesterday`s selloff.
You mix it all together and stocks finished the session on the upside. The
Dow Industrial Average advanced by 147 points today, back above 26,000.
The Nasdaq added 59 led by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the S&P was up by 15.
HERERA: But while stocks were higher today, an influential investor says
the bull market is in its late innings. And he sold some of his stock
Appaloosa Management`s David Tepper called this a tricky market and cited
the trade war with China in particular.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID TEPPER, APPALOOSA FOUNDER & PRESIDENT: If we do the tariffs on
China, that`s going to make it a little bit tough on the market here just
going forward. I don`t know if that`s an inning question or not an inning
question, but it does get to valuations and where we should be if we put on
a lot of tariffs. And I`m not saying we shouldn`t or should. Just
factually that`s the case. So, I don`t know how that`s in the market.
And the other thing if we don`t have it then, you know, we probably have,
you know, the question is how fast will the economy go? Because China is
stimulating and they are because they think the tariffs are coming. And
so, that might have a factor of pushing us into higher interest rates. So,
it`s kind of getting a little tricky at this point in time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Tepper says stocks could drop 5 to 20 percent if trade tensions
between the two were — the world`s two largest economies increase.
GRIFFETH: In the meantime, oil prices fell today amid talk that continued
trade disputes could dent demand even as supply tightens. The
International Energy Agency warned that global economic risks were mounting
especially in some key emerging economies. And at today`s settlement the
price of domestic crude dropped by about 2.5 percent.
HERERA: One of the most troubled of the emerging market economies for
investors in recent months has been Turkey. And today, that country`s
central bank finally took some action by raising interest rates sharply.
Hadley Gamble is in Istanbul tonight.
HADLEY GAMBLE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Another day of wild
volatility for the Turkish lira following a highly anticipated central bank
decision to raise rates, outstripped expectations and immediately sent the
country`s currency lower by as much as 5 percent. Wiped out earlier gains
following comments from the country`s president where he slammed the
central bank and called for a rate cut. It`s just the latest in a tit-for-
tat between the government and the central bank that has raised questions
about monetary policy autonomy in the country where the currency has
weakened 67 percent against the dollar year to date.
But many economists now predict that slowing growth could trigger a
recession as early as next year. S&P now warns that the economy could
shrink by a third, the lowest level since 2006. And already, the drop in
the lira had seen Turkey lose a third of its billionaires. Despite the
latest moves to boost that confidence, international investors remain
After 15 years in office, President Erdogan has tightened his grip on
power, appointing his son-in-law as minister of finance and himself as the
chairman of the country`s $250 billion plus sovereign wealth fund. And
while many say that this rate rise is a move in the right, it may not be
enough to stabilize the currency against the economic and geopolitical
For NIGHTL BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hadley Gamble in Istanbul.
HERERA: Here at home, investors are watching the track of Hurricane
Florence and trying to figure out if the damage will be severe enough to
impact the stock market. According to CFRA, during the most expensive
storms, the S&P 500 fell by 0.2 percent, the month after the hurricane was
formed. The index was nearly 4 percent higher in the subsequent three
GRIFFETH: Hurricane Florence has begun lashing the Carolina coast. We
have two reports for you tonight. Contessa Brewer is covering the
preparations under way in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But we begin
tonight with Jackie DeAngelis in the path of the home in Carolina Beach,
JACKIE DEANGELIS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The wind is
picking up and the ocean waves are making their way up to the dunes, all
ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence. The powerful capturing 2 storm
is expected to crash down on Wilmington, North Carolina tomorrow. With a
storm surge of 10 to 15 feet, as well as up to 40 inches of rain.
Flooding is the number one safety concern as the residents, businesses and
authorities make their final preparations. So, is the loss of power.
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) has started to shut its Brunswick (NYSE:BC) nuclear
power plant located about four miles from the coast. Storm surge in this
area predicted at 13 feet. Duke also says 1 million to 2 million of its 4
million customers in affected areas should brace for outages that could
last days or weeks. As experience in past storms, power outages that are
long are disruptive and dangerous.
GOV. ROY COOPER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and our
electric co-ops are estimating power losses in the millions. And families
need to have their emergency supplies ready.
DEANGELIS: While lives are the most valuable asset going into Florence.
Property damage will be surveyed after. Estimates suggest this storm could
cost between $20 billion and $30 billion. Core Logic says the total worst-
case scenario could elevate that figure to $170 billion.
For perspective, Hurricane Ike which hit Texas ten years ago today was also
a category 2. It caused $40 billion in damage. The fear is palpable and
the stakes are high.
BEN BUNN, EVACUATING FROM NEW BERN, NC: There is nothing we can do here.
When winds get off three digits, the own thing you can do inside the house
is die. You can`t do anything else. So —
AMY LORIO, NOT EVACUATING: We are staying. We live on the Trent River in
Trent Woods. And we are going to stay and — I think we can take up to 16
feet of water. So, I think we`ll be OK.
DEANGELIS: The storm was expected to cast a wide net. And once the outer
bands arrive and the rain starts, it won`t stop for days.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jackie DeAngelis, Carolina Beach, North
HERERA: And now to Contessa in Myrtle Beach.
CONTESSA BREWER, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Up and down the
Carolina coastline, this is a scene that`s repeated over and over. Flights
cancelled, empty ticket counters. For people who have not yet evacuated
ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, they`re running out of options.
TERRI WETMORE, SOUTH CAROLINA VISITOR: We didn`t realize the flight was
cancelled because we weren`t notified. We turned in our rental vehicle and
we have no way to get out of here.
BREWER: Terri and Ron Wetmore flew to Myrtle Beach for vacation last
weekend, their first flight in 35 years. Now they are stuck and can`t
escape back to Pittsburgh.
RON WETMORE, SOUTH CAROLINA VISITOR: Now what? What am I — what am I
going to do? What am I supposed to do here now?
I don`t have a vehicle. I don`t have — nothing is open. I can`t check in
anywhere. It`s — whatever.
BREWER: As Hurricane Florence bears down on the South Carolina coastline,
visitors and residents have limited options. With mandatory evacuation
orders, many businesses have been closed for days. A Waffle House locked
and boarded up is a rare sight.
The company tweeted out a picture of its command center and it has what`s
known as the Waffle House index. Green everything is open plenty of food
and electricity. Yellow, operating on limited supplies and generator
power. Red, closed.
It`s a gauge even the federal government monitors in judging disaster
Amy Leftis has owned the Pan American Pancake House for 35 years. She has
been through tough storms and is monitoring the Florence. She, like so
many other business owners in Myrtle Beach, depends on the tourism dollars
from nearly 19 million visitors who come annually.
AMY LEFTIS, PAN AMERICAN PANCAKE HOUSE OWNER: Financially, it makes it
difficult for everyone. Not just the business owners but all the
employees. They are not making a living either. You know, so the
evacuation is definitely hurting the whole Myrtle Beach.
BREWER: She says the decision to stay open gives her an opportunity with
the locals. Many public stores stayed open until mid afternoon for those
picking up last minute supplies, those intent on riding out the storm.
SUSAN COHEN, MYRTLE BEACH RESIDENT: I`m prepared to house people, any dogs
for six to eight weeks.
BREWER: Shelters are open. But getting to them now is the challenge. The
Wetmores got at lift with law enforcement and lucked out with a hotel room
at the last minute.
Forecasters are warning of dangerous flooding with long-lasting rainfall
and a storm surge as high as 13 feet. And authorities insist now is the
time to hunker down and brace for the impact of Hurricane Florence.
In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I`m Contessa Brewer for NIGHTLY BUSINESS
GRIFFETH: Well, the threat of the hurricane has also caused home builder
stocks to fall. The concern is that catastrophic flooding could result in
new home completions to be delayed to the fourth quarter from the third,
and disruptions might also cause new order growth to slow in this current
So, as a result shares of PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM), D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) and
Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) among others were all lower in today`s trading.
HERERA: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits remains
at the lowest level in nearly half a century. Initial claims dropped by
1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 204,000, providing more evidence that the
labor market is at or near full employment.
GRIFFETH: And as we mentioned earlier in program, a key inflation gauge
rose less than expected in August. The consumer price index increased
just.2 percent last month. That followed that pull back in producer prices
that we told you about yesterday. An increase in the cost of gas and rents
were offset by declines in health care and apparel costs.
HERERA: And even as the economy strengthens, the financial crisis that
started ten years ago remains fresh in investor`s minds. And that means
many are always on the lookout for the next crisis.
And as Bob Pisani reports, it may come from an unexpected place.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Could a cyber-attack be
the cause of the next financial crisis? The big question. Imagine this.
A criminal gang or a state actor hack into a central bank or a custodial
bank, or a clearing system used to settle stock or bond or derivative
There`s not many of these firms. They are systemically important. The
operations of one or more of the firms are dramatically disrupted to the
point that the services are shut down. Key data is damaged or destroyed.
It`s difficult to replicate the services the firms provide. So the ripple
effect, and other financials services firm. This could happen. On
Wednesday, the depository trust and clearing corporation, which provides
clearing and settlement for U.S. financial firms, released a report saying
cyber threats may become the single most important near-term threat to
That`s pretty serious. You know, everybody agrees the next financial
crisis is not going to come in the same form as the old one. But figuring
out where it could come from is hard. The credit guys say it`s going to be
caused by excessive debt. The regulators say it could happen if we weaken
the regulatory powers too much. The traders say fragmented markets and the
rise of passive investing could cause a crisis.
Economists will talk about trade tensions and rising nationalism and
threats to longstanding international alliances like NATO or the European
Union. That could cause a crisis.
So, who is right? Maybe they`re all right. But a lot of people are taking
this cyber-attack as a very real possibility and a real problem for the
A similar report by the way came out from the office financial research
back in December. Saying a large scale cyber-attack could disrupt
financial networks, threatening the entire system and the broader economy.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
GRIFFETH: Time to look at the upgrades and downgrades.
We begin with Dow component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) which was upgraded to
market perform from underperform at Northland Capital Markets. The
analysts there cited the stock more than 20 percent pullback from its most
recent highs. Price target now is $46. That stock rose more than 1
percent to $45.57.
Meanwhile, Snap was upgraded to hold from sell at Pivotal Research. The
analyst cited the company`s long-term potential, saying it outweighs some
of near term risks we`ve been hearing about lately. That price target is
$9. But that stock finished right around that level today at $9.35.
HERERA: Wayfair was downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America
(NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch. The analyst is forecasting a deceleration in
growth and rising investment costs into next year. The price target is
$160. The shares fell almost 1 percent to $148.04.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI (NASDAQ:TBUS)) saw its price target raised
from to $140 from $125 at Argus Research. The analyst says initiatives
used at its Olive Garden brad can be implemented at its other specialty
restaurants. The rating remains a buy. The stock was up just a fraction
GRIFFETH: Still ahead, the FDA calls vaping an epidemic. But what exactly
is vaping? And Juul?
GRIFFETH: Big tech has gotten the attention of the Federal Trade
Commission. The agency is now holding a series of hearings to examine
whether some well-known companies are in fact monopolies, and it comes as
scrutiny from Washington grows.
Julia Boorstin has more on that story for us tonight.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Federal Trade
Commission wants to take a look at whether changing technologies demand
The FTC holding two days of hearings on competition and consumer protection
in the 21st century.
JOSEPH SIMONS, FTC CHAIRMAN: Today, our most significant and difficult
consumer protection issues often revolve around the use and abuse of
BOORSTIN: A series of panels examining whether the tech giants are
monopolies. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) with its dominance of search, Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) with its 2 billion monthly users and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) with
its nearly trillion dollar market cap and transformation of retail
landscape. All of these companies and their peers access to consumer data
raising questions about whether data privacy needs to be regulated
ED LEE, NEW YORK TIMES: Privacy is one aspect. And I think that`s
something the FTC wants to look at closer at. I think, you know, they have
always revised rules from time to time. This might be another moment to
clamp down looking at what the E.U. has done with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). And they might — the FTC might adopt similar rules
or come closer to the E.U. has been thinking about privacy.
BOORSTIN: Today`s hearings come just after the Internet Association, the
lobbying organization represents tech giants including Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT), release suggestions for federal regulations around data
In her testimony on Capitol Hill, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg
saying she believes regulation is inevitable. But that she hopes it`s down
in a way that protects consumers while also enabling companies to continue
to innovate and provide useful services to consumers.
LEE: The game now is how much can they participate in that decision
making? Where will the lobbyist be able to get their way in to sort of
help craft what those new rules will look like? They are going to accept
it. The game is how much influence can they have over what that these new
rules look like?
BOORSTIN: It`s not just the FTC and Congress looking closer. Attorney
General Jeff Sessions is reportedly preparing an investigation into social
media companies for censorship, amid growing concern that the tech giants
are biased against conservatives. The regulating impartiality has never
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
HERERA: Walmart made a big push into ecommerce a couple years ago when it
purchased jet.com. Now the world`s largest retailers wants to remake the
shopping site and shift its focus.
Courtney Reagan explains.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Jet.com is getting
a makeover. The site began as a low cold front retailer that allowed
shoppers to pay with a debit card or waive returns to save money. While
that`s still part of the offering, it`s no longer Jet`s main message. Two
years after Walmart purchased the company for $3 billion, it`s making a
renewed push for younger, more affluent city shoppers.
SIMON BELSHAM, JET.COM PRESIDET: We have refocused the business on the
urban consumer. And it is a very customer-focused business that we are
building. And we know that there is an opportunity to build something
that`s very different from other people in other competitors in the city.
REAGAN: But reports suggest Jet`s traffic is declining, increasing the
need to turn the tide.
To do that, Jet is adding products from popular brands like Nike
(NYSE:NKE). Customers will also be able to buy from local businesses like
Orwashers Bakery in New York City.
And in the Big Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), jet.com is promising faster grocery
delivery options, taking a direct aim at its competitors, Whole Foods,
Target (NYSE:TGT) and Fresh Direct. This allows Jet`s parent company
Walmart to reach city shoppers it otherwise wouldn`t and get groceries
delivered to them, an important part of Walmart`s growth strategy.
BELSHAM: Being part of the Walmart business gives us access to the scale
which helps us with pricing and for the products for consumers, and also
the infrastructure that we have that sits behind the business.
REAGAN: But questions remain whether Jet.com`s redesign will help Walmart
in its ongoing competition with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.
GRIFFETH: Kroger`s same-store sales rise less than expected. And that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The nation`s largest supermarket operator blamed its overall revenue miss
on the transition to new store layouts and a change in its product mix.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) did top profit estimates but it did see its margins weaken
as price cuts and higher freight cost pressured results. Kroger (NYSE:KR)
shares were off nearly 10 percent today to $28.50.
Hershey`s is growing its snack portfolio. The maker of Reese`s Peanut
Buttercups said it was buying Pirate brands from B&G Foods for more than
$400 million. Under the deal, Hershey`s will gain control over Pirate`s
Booty Popcorn and Smart Puffs. Hershey`s shares were up a fraction today
Meanwhile, “The New York Post” is reporting that activist hedge fund HG
Vora Capital has quietly amassed a stake in Caesars Entertainment with the
intention of pushing the casino operator to sell itself. And as Caesar`s
won`t consider a sell, then “The Post” says HG Vora would like it to sell
significant assets. Shares of Caesars rose nearly 1 percent today to
HERERA: Shares of Restoration Hardware spiked on news that the retailer`s
CEO bought nearly 8,000 RH shares which translates to about $1 million
worth of stock. RH shares finished up 3 percent to $135.28.
After the bell, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) reported a drop in same store sales
that improved from the previous quarter. The retailer initially planned to
release results before the market opened but then postponed. Sears
(NASDAQ:SHLD) says it is still seeking ways to return to profitability.
Shares initially rose in after hours but finished the regular day down 9
percent to $1.21.
And also after the bell, Adobe said stronger sales in its creative and
document cloud divisions helped its earnings beat expectations. The
company also gave upbeat revenue guidance for the current quarter.
Separately, CNBC is reporting that Adobe is in talks to buy a privately
held cloud marketing software company in an effort to better compete with
rivals Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). The report said
Adobe could pay upwards of $1.5 billion. Adobe shares were volatile in the
after-hours sessions but they finished the regular day up a fraction to
GRIFFETH: Yesterday, we told you about the concerns the FDA has raised
about the growing use of e-cigarettes by minors. And today, we`re taking a
closer look at Juul. This is the company that dominates this market with a
valuation of about $16 billion.
Aditi Roy has our report tonight.
ADITI ROY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s sleek, stylish and
looks more like a USB device than a vaporizer. That`s just one reason why
e-cigarette company Juul is so popular among teens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are one of the more popular products that we
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, on my college campus, it`s really popular.
ROY: The FDA says teenage use of the product is so rampant, it`s become an
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FDA COMMISSIONER: There`s probably steps they could do to
perhaps even shutdown their online sites. I`m not sure they`re going to be
willing to do that. But we are willing to step in and remove these flavors
from the market. We think they are one element of what`s making these
products appealing to a youth.
ROY: Juul is one of five e-cigarette companies that have been ordered by
the FDA to submit plans in the next two months how to discouraging teenage
use of their products. In a statement responding to the commissioners`
remarks, the company says: Juul is intended for current adult smokers only.
We cannot be more emphatic on this point. No minor or non-nicotine user
should ever try Juul.
Its founders have said they started the company to get people to quit
JAMES MONSEES, JUUL CO-FOUNDER: But we had always intended to build this
company around the idea of making cigarettes obsolete.
ROY: Colorful pods and flavors like mango and cream, Juul`s users include
Since the company spun off more than a year ago, its growth has
skyrocketed. Juul now owns 72 percent of the market. Sales have increased
800 percent in the last year. And the company is valued at more than $16
But critics say the company`s success rides on the youngest users. Its
early slick social media ads seem to target young people. Juul has since
replaced those ads, but the craze among youth remains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s definitely are more popular among the youth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My nephew is in junior high right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Silas (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he told me about Juul before I had to hear about
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you serious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That`s what kids are doing.
ROY: Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes don`t burn tobacco.
Instead, they have cartridges filled with nicotine making parents like
Laura Bishop Bass worry.
LAURA BISHOP BASS, AUSTIN, TEXAS: I have a 22-year-old daughter and a lot
of her friends are using these products. And I`m warning them that there
again you are going to be addicted to this tobacco.
ROY: Experts tell us some of the side health effects of nicotine among
youth include asthma and there is evidence linking it to lung disease. The
FDA says it will soon release data on the growing use of e-cigarettes among
teenagers and the agency could order companies to change their sales and
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, San Francisco.
HERERA: Coming up, the world`s richest man is spending billions to give
GRIFFETH: General Motors (NYSE:GM) is recalling one million pickup trucks
and SUVs that could suffer from a steering malfunction. The automaker has
identified 30 crashes and two injuries connected to this defect, says there
has been no deaths though. The recall covers certain Chevy Silverado 1500
and GMC 1500 pickups, as well as the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and
Cadillac Escalades from the 2015 model year.
HERERA: The CEO of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the world`s richest man and now
he`s announcing the creation of a multibillion-dollar charitable fund and
outlining his philanthropic plan.
Robert Frank has more.
ROBERT FRANK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The world`s richest
man is giving away more of his money. Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie
are launching a new philanthropic fund called the Day One Fund, with a $2
billion commitment. The fund which Bezos announced on Twitter will focus
on two things, the homeless problem and education for preschoolers in need.
In the announcement, Bezos said the Day One Families Fund will work with
existing non-profits to help homeless families and is modeled after the
famous Mary`s Place non-profit in Seattle where Bezos lived and which has a
rising homeless problem.
The Day One Academy`s Fund will launch and run scholarship Montessori-style
preschools in underserved communities. Bezos wrote that he will use,
quote, the same set of principles that have driven Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
The gift follows criticism about Bezos`s fortune now at $164 billion
compared with the low pay for some Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) employees. And it
comes after increased scrutiny of his philanthropy. He hasn`t signed the
giving pledge, and until this announcement, he had given away less than
This month, he announced a gift of $10 million to super PAC that helps
elect military vets to Congress. And last year, he gave $33 million to a
scholarship fund for the Dreamers.
Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter last summer for his philanthropy and
tweeted, quote, it feels me with gratitude and optimism to be part of
species so bent on self-improvement.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Robert Frank.
HERERA: And that`s it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. See you tomorrow.
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