Transcript: Nightly Business Report – September 17, 2018

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

widely expected to make good on his promise of more tariffs on imports of
Chinese goods and investors are getting nervous.

Commerce in the Carolinas slows to a crawl as flood waters rise and
infrastructure is put to the test.

HERERA: Media baron. The CEO of Salesforce buys “Time” magazine, becoming
the latest tech billionaire to expand his reach far beyond Silicon Valley.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this
Monday, September 17th.

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

The $200 billion tariff threat on imports of Chinese goods may be close to
becoming a reality. The White House is widely expected to make that
announcement this evening which would escalate tensions between the world`s
two largest economies.

Ylan Mui is following the story for us tonight from Washington.

Ylan, what do we know at this point?

expecting the announcement to come at any moment. But one industry group,
the consumer technology association, has already put out a statement that
appears to reveal some details of the plan, including 10 percent tariffs
that would take effect on September 24th. Now that does match some of the
reporting that we`ve done earlier. And the group is saying that they are
opposed to these tariffs, they would stifle innovation and they`re also
questioning whether they`re even legal.

GRIFFETH: Which companies are going to be hurt the most? Usually it`s the
Boeings and Caterpillars, but what about now, with the additional tariffs?

MUI: It`s incredibly broad based. The U.S. trade representative office
feels that some 6,000 comments from industry and from individuals on the
impact of these tariffs. Companies like Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Intel
(NASDAQ:INTC), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) warned about the potential impact on
some of the products they use to make their goods. You`re also hearing
retailers like Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) saying that
they might have to raise consumer prices.

Then, of course, manufacturers like Cummings and Owens Corning (NYSE:OC)
(NYSE:GLW), they`re also saying that their supply chains will be disrupted.
So the size of the tariffs means that this is very broad based and almost
every industry will be affected.

HERERA: Ylan, China has vowed to retaliate. So where does this leave
negotiations between the U.S. and China?

MUI: Well, Sue, earlier today, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow
said that President Trump is not satisfied with the state of the talks with
China so far. However, he said they remain at the negotiating table. They
were waiting for China to come back and discuss these issues with them.
However, one senior administration official saying that though the
administration is unified, China has been over it.

Back over to you guys.

GRIFFETH: Ylan Mui in Washington, long night coming, thanks.

HERERA: Stocks fell into the close amid those increasing trade tensions.
Steep losses in some of the biggest tech companies also dragged down the
broader market. The Dow Jones industrial fell 92 points to 26,692. The
Nasdaq, though, was the hardest hit. It dropped 114 points and the S&P 500
was down 16.

GRIFFETH: And technology stocks are among the biggest laggards during
today`s down day in the market but, you know, the sector has clearly been
leading this bull market higher over the past decade or so. And small
caps, which are up 10 percent this year alone, have also played a role as
well. In fact, some say that group is even more attractive right now given
these rising trade tensions globally.

Gary Bradshaw is with us tonight. He`s portfolio manager at Hodges
Capital. He`s joining us from Dallas to talk to us about this.

And I know you guys are very much value-oriented even with the gains we`ve
seen over the last decade in the small caps. You still feel that they are
of value — present value right now because of the trade tensions, right?

The small caps are domestic, but more importantly, they put up fabulous
earnings this last quarter. Earnings for the Russell 2000, the stocks that
it reported have been up 48 percent this year — or, excuse me, this
quarter that we`re in right now and we expect the third quarter for them to
be up 36 percent.


BRADSHAW: So, earnings are driving the small caps at the Hodges Funds, we
love the small caps. They traded about 22 times next year`s earnings.
Growing the way they`re growing, we don`t think that`s too expensive.
They`re domestic, so tariffs don`t affect them too much and we think
they`ll continue to shine.

HERERA: You gave us some names of some of the companies that you like and
you also make the point there are simply fewer companies that are publicly
traded right now, and so, it`s kind of a supply/demand type of thing. But
one of the stocks you like is called Ollie`s Bargain Outlet which sounds
like a lot of fun to me.

Tell me why you like it.

BRADSHAW: It`s a great retailer, sue. And, Ollie`s, they are a deep
discount, treasure hunt experience retailer, but they`re only in 22 states
and they have 250 stores today. We think they could grow to 950 stores.

No debt. Same store sales up 4.4 percent, and so, a lot of growth in front
of this company. They`re coming to Texas next year. We love that. But
there`s just a wide variety for them to continue to grow and the consumer
loves them because they`re hunting for bargains. They`re treasure hunting
and we like Ollie`s for the next two or three years. We think it can be a
great stock.

GRIFFETH: You also like Diamondback Energy. Now, I`m curious, do you like
better than you like some of the energy giants in this country or what`s
going on with this one? Is it a cheap stock?

BRADSHAW: Well, we like the small cap energy plays. We recently had the
RSP Permian and Hodges Small Cap get bought out by Concho Resources
(NYSE:CXO). Diamondback just bought out a smaller company and they`re
going to grow cash flow, earnings, production greater than 50 percent in
the Permian basin. They`re a premiere oil company and we just think
they`re going to continue to put up positive numbers going forward even
with the —

HERERA: OK, I want to sneak in your last pick. Is it pronounced Conns?

BRADSHAW: Conns is based down in the Houston area. There`s 114. They`re
a retailer that is primary in appliances and consumer electronics. There`s
115 of them. They`re growing them.

They just beat the quarter for the ninth quarter in a row, and we think the
stock`s cheap, Sue. They should earn two fifty this year, three fifty
next, and on a $35 stock, we think we could look out and it could be a $50
stock over the next 18, 24 months.

GRIFFETH: Very good. Very good to see you again.

Gary Bradshaw with Hodges Capital joining us on the small caps tonight.

HERERA: Well, the intensity of Florence may be gone, but the Carolinas
face a new threat. It is flooding. Rising water damaged infrastructure,
closed roads and it left the city of Wilmington completely inaccessible for
a period of time and shut off power to residents and businesses, something
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is working to restore.


customers here in the Carolinas lost power. We serve about 4 million homes
and businesses and with 1.4 million customers having been impacted, we`re
pleased with the restoration progress that we`ve been able to make so far,
especially under such challenging conditions.


GRIFFETH: And amid those challenging conditions efforts are underway, as
you might imagine, to get business back up and running in that region.

Contessa Brewer is near Dillon, South Carolina, for us tonight.


trucks exit off I-95. The interstate closures, then tractor trailers
through tiny historic towns. Lines lumbering down Main Street.

Marion Clark is leading a group to respond to a train derailment in North
Carolina, but navigation is a challenge.

MARION CLARK, SWEEPING SOUTH: It`s like road closure, you have to wiggle
and zig and zag to get around.

BREWER: More than 100 major roads in North Carolina are closed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Know how to make a U-turn?


BREWER: A real problem, trying to move disaster recovery resources into
the worst-hit areas.

monitoring the roadways. As we see this water coming out from North
Carolina, at water levels are rising in certain areas and going down in
others. Even though people think there`s only two inches of water on the
roadway, it`s hard to tell if the under bed was washed away or part of the
roadway was washed away.

BREWER: The economic powerhouse of South Carolina, the port of Charleston,
is moving cargo once again as is the port farther north in Georgetown.
After sending 6,000 employees home last Tuesday, Boeing (NYSE:BA) restarted
operations with the thirteenth third shift last night. Norfolk Southern
(NYSE:SO) still has rail lines out in eastern North Carolina due to
washouts and downed trees and CSX (NYSE:CSX) had the train derail and it`s
rerouting others around flooded areas.

Amtrak uses those lines too and shut down passenger service entirely south
of Washington, D.C. Airports up and down the Carolina coast line are
putting passengers back on to planes with the exception of Wilmington and
Jacksonville, North Carolina, plagued by cancellations.

And the threat to commerce and commodities isn`t over.

MARILYN BRIGMAN, AYNOR, SC RESIDENT: The farmers will be in a lot of

BREWER: More than 12,000 farms in South Carolina are assessing wind damage
and watching for flooding that could crush the harvest and soy beans and

BRIGMAN: The crops can`t hold this amount of water for a long period of

BREWER: Is there anything you can do to protect it at this point?


BREWER: The rivers are running at flood stage. Many of them won`t crest
until later this week, so the danger is not over, and the difficulty
persists, moving people and supplies into the disaster zone.

Near Dillon, South Carolina, Contessa Brewer, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.


HERERA: From flooding to business disruptions, the economic impact of
Hurricane Florence is now starting to be tallied.

Steve Liesman has more.


from Hurricane Florence continue to rise, so do the costs, in lives lost,
homes and communities crushed and tens of billions of dollars of damage in
property and economic damage. Rivers are not expected to crest until
tomorrow. So, the water at historic levels will continue to rise and lift
the cost of the storm.

DAVID MAURSTAD, FEMA: One inch in a home can cause $25,000 worth of damage
so what we`re seeing here is going to certainly be an extreme event and
policyholders are going to have a lot of damage when they get back to their

LIESMAN: While Charlotte is the biggest city to be hit, it`s the 17th
largest by population, compared to Harvey that hit Houston, the fourth
largest city. But the weather effects from Florence were so widespread
that JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) suggests the way to think of it is the GDP of both
states of North and South Carolina, and that`s bigger than Houston, though
smaller than New York which was hit by Sandy.

Typical effects of big storms are going to cause deep pain in the local and
regional economies but rarely have much lasting impact on the broader U.S.
economy. Some of the losses are made over time through building and recoup
spending, but not all. For example, hundreds of thousands of cars were
ruined by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey. That prompted a massive
rebound in the sales of cars in the wake of the storm, but they trailed off
overtime to a more normal level.

Other data, including the jobs report and hours worked can also be
distorted, making it difficult for policymakers to suss out the effects of
storm. On net, these storms are negative for GDP, but there are offsets
and the broader economy tends to absorb the shock especially now with
growth surging, but that`s cold comfort by those whose lives were inundated
by the surging waters.



GRIFFETH: And a bit later in our broadcast, a closer look at flood
insurance and how to spot gaps in your coverage.

In the meantime, it`s time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and
downgrades. We begin tonight with American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP)
which was upgraded to overweight from equal weight at Stevens. The analyst
says that the company is successfully monetizing its card network. Price
target now $131. That stock fell a fraction today to $109.20.

MasterCard`s rating was raised to conviction buy at Goldman Sachs
(NYSE:GS). The analyst there cited the company`s potential to gain market
share in Europe and also opportunities in the business to business segment.
Price target $260. That stock fell a fraction to $216.47.

HERERA: Lululemon`s rating was raised to outperform from market perform at
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). The analyst says the company`s positive momentum
should continue through the second half of this year and well into next
year. The price target is $200. The stock rose 1 percent to $155.38.

Twitter`s price target was lowered to $21 from $23 at MoffettNathanson.
The analyst there expects cost to rise into next year. The firm though
maintains its sell rating. The stock fell 4 percent to $28.86.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, what FedEx`s results released tonight say about the
health of the global economy.


HERERA: The head of the International Monetary Fund says the outlook for
the global economy has deteriorated. Christine Lagarde cites trade
tensions and points to signs that growth has peaked in some advanced
economies. She described the IMF`s outlook this way.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR: Clouds on the horizon have not
become lighter but darker.


HERERA: Many now expect the IMF to revise the forecast lower for global
growth next month.

GRIFFETH: And certainly one company considered a bellwether for global
growth is FedEx (NYSE:FDX). Obviously, the more packages that are shipped
in theory, the better the economy. Well, tonight, the company reported
mixed quarterly results. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) earned $3.46 a share. That was
35 cents below expectations though. Revenue was up 11 percent from a year
ago to about $17 billion, but investors were concerned about expenses, and
that sent the stock initially lower in after hours trading tonight.

Leslie Picker has more on FedEx`s results.


seen as a bellwether for the economy as well as the forthcoming earnings
season. Because of this, traders and investors place bets for and against
the stock ahead of their quarterly report.

While the stocks sold off in after-hours trading, analysts say that the
company`s forecast is what investors should be paying attention to. FedEx
(NYSE:FDX) raised its guidance by 20 cents to $17.20 to $17.80. And much
of that range surpassed analysts` expectations of $17.32. Some sold on the
news that earnings missed investments but the executives at FedEx
(NYSE:FDX) expressed continued confidence in the growth of the economy and
their ability to execute. The company also says that the tax reform has
benefitted their ability to pay their workers more.



HERERA: So, let`s turn now to Donald Broughton for more on FedEx`s results
and what the numbers may be telling us about the health of the global
economy. He is managing partner at the independent research firm Broughton

Welcome. Nice to have you with us tonight, Don.


HERERA: So, even though Wall Street may be a little disappointed with some
of the components of the earnings report, you make the point that this is
the quintessential American company in the right place at the right time,

BROUGHTON: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, everything — time you
order something from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or any other e-tailer, odds are
that FedEx (NYSE:FDX) is going to be one of those that deliver it. What`s
interesting in this quarter is that not only was the volume of express U.S.
and globally up 5 percent, but the average weight per package was up 6
percent, which means people are paying to express ship even heavier items.
That`s a bullish sign for the economy.

GRIFFETH: But their expenses have been going up, and for both FedEx
(NYSE:FDX) and UPS, especially as we get closer to the holiday shopping
season, both of them have struggled to keep up with this incredible number
of packages that are sent during the holidays and they try and beef up
every year even more.

Isn`t that a headwind for them?

BROUGHTON: Well, it`s a headwind, but I don`t think it`s quite fair to
characterize it as both struggled. Consistently over the last five or six
years, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) has made service standards and UPS has failed to
make service standards.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) has made a very, very aggressive multi-billion dollar,
multi-year investment in technology, in expanded sortation, automated
sortation. More efficient aircraft or fuel efficient equipment, you name
it, across the board, and that`s paid off to meet the surge of volume and
they`ve been able to book better margins.

HERERA: We talked a lot in the program tonight about trade tensions and
the chairman of FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and CEO Fred Smith is warning against
protectionist trade policies. How vulnerable are they to a potential trade
war or the tariffs that are being levied?

BROUGHTON: Well, there`s nothing in the current volume that suggests that
all the saber-rattling about tariffs has produced any real change, any
material change in trade laws. However, though, the CEO and founder of
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) is exactly right, that a trade war would be detrimental to
everyone`s economy and detrimental to everyone`s prosperity. And so, I
think he`s both correct and it`s just the right thing to do to be very
vocal about why it would hurt everyone.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and just globally the economy.

HERERA: On that note, we`ll leave it there, Don. Don Broughton with
Broughton Capital.

BROUGHTON: Thank you.


GRIFFETH: Sales disappoint at Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and that`s where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

After the bell tonight, the enterprise software giant topped profit
estimates that said that weaker growth in its cloud services division
caused revenue to miss the mark. The company also announced a $12 billion
stock buyback as well. Shares initially fell in after-hours trading. It
finished the regular session down a tick at $49.18.

The Department of Justice has given the green light to Cigna`s $52 billion
acquisition of Express (NYSE:EXPR) Scripts. The company said that they now
expect that deal to close by the end of this year. Cigna shares rose by 1
percent to $197.84. Shares of Express (NYSE:EXPR) Scripts were higher by
nearly 4 percent to $95.23.

Teva Pharmaceutical said that its treatment intended to prevent migraines
has now won approval from the FDA. The therapy is viewed as a crucial
source of revenue in the generic drug maker`s turn around. Teva shares
were up more than 2.5 percent today to $23.43.

HERERA: The cloud software company Nutanix saw it shares come under some
pressure after the information reported that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) maybe
launching a rival service that combines server, storage and networking
capabilities in a private data center. Shares of Nutanix plunged 11
percent to $46.43. Alphabet shares were off 1.5 percent to $1,159.83.

And security software company Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) says it has reached a
deal with activist investor and hedge fund Starboard Value to add new
members to its board. Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) appointed three directors and
will work with Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) on selecting an additional member
after the company`s annual meeting. Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) shares fell 1
percent to $19.80.

GRIFFETH: Hurricane Florence could result, of course, in billions of
dollars of insured losses according to the Consumer Federation of America.
Most of those losses will be filed under the National Flood Insurance
Program, but many residents in affected areas are not adequately insured
and that, as usual, has homeowners across the country wondering if they
have enough coverage.

Sharon Epperson is with us tonight to talk more about flood insurance.

This reminds me of earthquake insurance out in California. Even if you can
get it, it`s expensive, isn`t it?

And, you know, a lot of people are not adequately insured. The Consumer
Federation of America says it believes that one in four families in North
Carolina who have flood damage and two out of five of those who are in
South Carolina who have flood damage do not have adequate flood insurance
to cover any of their losses, which could be rather extraordinary. They`re
looking at potentially 100,000 claims for flood insurance, talking about $7
billion the cost of that.


EPPERSON: Then when you look at insurance claims for wind damage, there
could be over 70,000 of those claims at a cost of $3 billion or more.

HERERA: Now, flood insurance is different from homeowner`s insurance. A
lot of people also mistakenly think they`re covered for a flood under
homeowner`s insurance and that`s not the case.

EPPERSON: That`s not the case. That`s a big mistake. Even if you have a
homeowner`s policy because you have a mortgage, you are not covered for
flood damage. You may be covered for wind damage, but you also may have a
deductible that`s higher than you expect for that, but it will cover
something like a tree falling on your house because of that damage.

With flood insurance though, that is something that is a federal program
and that is something that you get through the National Flood Insurance
Program and when you`re looking at that you want to get it from an
insurance agent. That sells and the average annual premium is $600, $700.
And you have to get it every year. You have to renew for that every year.

But people just don`t realize and they also think they have to be in a high
risk zone to get that flood insurance or to need that flood insurance.

GRIFFETH: Quickly, if you don`t have it, do you just rely on FEMA or what?

EPPERSON: There`s what`s very important to know. One inch of flood water
can result in $25,000 of damage.

HERERA: Oh, my goodness.

EPPERSON: And some people who do not live in a high risk area, I`m not
saying the woman sitting across from me isn`t one of them, but she is,
can`t have flood damage. You don`t have to live in a high risk area.

So, it`s very important to find out what your potential risk could be if
you`re in a low or moderate risk area, it`s important to get flood
insurance or to at least look into it, and to contact the insurance agent
and find out more about it.

GRIFFETH: Wise words as always. Thank you, Sharon.


GRIFFETH: Sharon Epperson joining us tonight.

HERERA: Coming up, “Time” magazine finds itself at the center of the new


HERERA: “Time” magazine enters a new era. The storied publication was
sold and the new owner is well known to investors and a heavy weight in
Silicon Valley.

Robert Frank has the details.


philanthropy. Tech billionaires buying up story print media names, not
just for profits but for influence and preserving big names in journalism.
Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff announcing that he and his wife Lynn are buying
“Time” magazine for $190 million. This is a persona purchase. It will not
be part of Salesforce and they promise not to be involved in editorial

Benioff worth around $6 billion tweeted, yesterday, quote, the power of
time has always been in its unique story telling of the people and issues
that affect us all. We all have deep respect for your organization and are
honored to be stewards of this iconic brand.

It was a big price at a time when print publications are fading fast. The
seller was Meredith (NYSE:MDP) Corporation which last year took over Time,
Inc., for $2.8 billion and has since put up “Time” magazine, “Fortune”
magazine, “Money”, and “Sports Illustrated” for sale. Same deals for those
other titles are expected, quote, in the future.

But the new breed of press barons is less like Citizen Kane and more like
Bill Gates, driven by charity rather than just profits. Lauren Powell
Jobs, wife of the late Steve Jobs, took over “The Atlantic” magazine last
year and added reporters and bureaus as part of what it called a radical

“The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO)” has been thriving after Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos bought it in 2013 for $250 million. And
billionaire entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the “L.A. Times”
this year. As Bezos said when he took over “The Post,” quote, we`re not
just trying to make money, we think this is important.

And they want a bigger voice, of course. Benioff has generally shied away
from supporting or criticizing the president but he does support liberal
social policies when it comes to gay rights and gender equality. But this
could make him more of a target for the president. President Trump has
often criticized “Time” for negative coverage and its covers, but praised
the magazine in 2016 when they named him person of the year.



GRIFFETH: Before we go, a quick update on our top story tonight. The
White House has released details of the new tariffs on Chinese imports
worth approximately $200 billion. The tariffs will go into effect
September 24th. The rate will start at 10 percent and go up to 25 percent
by the end of the year. About 300 product categories were removed from the
original list. The administration says it remains open to negotiations
with China. We`ll see if they answer these now.

HERERA: Ongoing story.

GRIFFETH: See if they answer these now.

HERERA: Right. That does it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue
Herera. Thanks for joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a wonderful evening, everybody. We`ll
see you tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2018 CNBC, Inc.


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