Transcript: Nightly Business Report – October 5, 2018


lower as bond yields head higher with tech stocks taking the biggest had

level falls for the lowest level in nearly 50 years as companies face a
shortage of workers.

GRIFFETH: Swinging for the fences. The baseball bat business is dominated
by a few big players but an entrepreneur with a bright idea found his way
into the game.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday,
October the 5th.

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. Happy Friday.

Stocks fell sharply the second straight day capping a rough week for the
technology sector after a stunning run up this year. Equities dropped,
bond yields rose, again, to multi-year highs on speculation the latest jobs
report could clear the path for raising interest rates. We`ll have more on
that in just a minute.

But first the closing numbers for you. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped 180 points to 26,447, the Nasdaq was down 91 and the S&P 500 fell
6. For the week, the Nasdaq took the biggest hit falling more than 3

Bob Pisani has more on today`s selloff.


again the big driver of today`s declines. The markets digested the
September jobs report which showed that overall, job gains remain strong.
Wages are still growing at a solid pace. And the unemployment rate fell to
its lowest level in almost 50 years. That`s amazing.

That`s all good news for American workers. But all the positive economic
data this week sparked a rapid spike up in bond yields and that`s stoking
fierce in the stock markets. Big global industrial names like Boeing
(NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) with today`s biggest Dow laggards,
along with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), down about 2 percent. But remember, Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) and Boeing (NYSE:BA), they`re still up 30 percent for the

Now, on the flipside, the big winners in the blue chip index today were
safer defensive names, Procter and Gamble, or Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) or
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). This is called a flight to
safety trade. That happens on days like today.

Tech overall was another big decliner. The Nasdaq having its worst week in
more than a month. Higher costs and higher rates have also been crushing
the housing stocks. So, Pulte, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and Masco (NYSE:MAS) hit
new 52-weekly lows.

But some argue that investors shouldn`t panic about the drop because rates
are rising for all of the right reasons. Corporate earnings are at record
highs. The economy is growing at a rate we haven`t seen since 2005. The
unemployment rate is at a near 52-year low and the consumer confidence is
near a record high, and the odds of a recession, well, they`re pretty slim
right now.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.


GRIFFETH: More now on the monthly employment report. Those of you born
after 1969 have never seen an unemployment rate this low. The Labor
Department said the jobless rate fell to 3.7 percent in September, with
employers adding 134,000 jobs, making it a record 96 straight months of job

Now, most economists call this report solid even though the number of non-
farm payroll jobs added below expected. That may be because employers are
still having a hard time finding workers to fill open positions.

Ylan Mui reports tonight from Washington.


in Baltimore, Maryland, there are plenty of signs of a tightening labor

PAUL GABLE, GABLE COMPANY CEO: Today, we could use 200 people here in the

MUI: That`s 25 more workers than he has right now. Gable has been
creating visual displays for clients like Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and the
U.S. Postal Service for 38 years. Lately, he had to up the ante to attract
the best workers.

GABLE: We are also stepping up our compensation. We are reevaluating
everyone`s compensation in the company, making sure we`re — we`re at par
and even more in a lot of cases. The 401(k), the profit sharing components
of our compensation have never been higher in our company.

MUI: Across the country, average hourly earnings jumped 8 cents in
September to $27.24. That`s according to the Labor Department. Over the
past year, wages have gone up a strong 2.8 percent.

But so far, that hasn`t translated into higher prices. Federal Reserve
Chairman Jay Powell says this economy is almost too good to be true. Low
inflation expectations are giving the Fed some wiggle room to raise rates.

But former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned that the central bank
could get too complacent.

LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: They do need to be very mindful
lags between monetary policy and the real economy. You know, when you`re
in a shower, if there is a long lag between turning the faucet and the
water getting hot or the water getting cold, it`s very easy to scald
yourself or freeze yourself because you turn it, and you don`t feel much.
And then you turn it again. And then you turn it again. And eventually
the lags catch up.

MUI: Job growth in September came in below expectations. Some economists
blame disruptions from Hurricane Florence, the hospitality industry lose
17,000 jobs. But other sectors saw solid gains. Healthcare was up 26,000
jobs. Professional and business services added 54,000 jobs. And
manufacturing was up 18,000 jobs.

GABLE: The economy is on fire. There is an optimism that I haven`t seen
in many, many years. And we are excited about all of the positive effects
that has on Gable as a business entity.

MUI: What he needs now are workers to help turn his big plans into

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Washington.


HERERA: Mark Zandi joins us for more analysis on the labor market and the
economy. He is the chief economist at Moody`s (NYSE:MCO) Analytics.

Good to see you again, Mark. Welcome back.


HERERA: It really did seem to be a stellar report. And you put some of
the job creation softness up to weather concerns like Florence.

ZANDI: Yes, I think that was a big reason. I mean, if you extract
Florence, underlying job growth is around 200,000 per month. That`s what
it`s been over the past six month, the past year, really over the past
eight, nine years.

And that is very strong. That`s double the rate of growth in the labor
force, the number of people coming into the labor force looking for work.
And thus, unemployment and underemployment continue to decline, and we are
now at 3.7 percent unemployment rate. So, this is a very, very tight labor
market that`s going to get a lot tighter.

GRIFFETH: And I think it`s safe to say it got everybody`s attention when
we were saying that it was the lowest rate we have seen since 1969.


GRIFFETH: So, we had a little fun. We compared some other benchmarks from
1969 with today to see how we have done.

GDP was about the same back in `69, 3.1 percent. We are roughly 3.2.
Gasoline prices averaged 35 cents to $2.88 today. But you adjust for
inflation, that`s still lower than it was today.

Mortgage rates were 8.5 percent back then, Mark, compared to 4.7 percent.
And the Dow itself closed at just over 800, where we are — compared to
where we are today. That`s sort of a rounding error right now.

How do you compare our economy compared to the past?

ZANDI: That`s pretty cool, though. I like that. I think the music was
better back in 1969. Isn`t the Beatles “White” album?


ZANDI: Yes, something like that.

Here, it`s all good news. It`s all good news. But there is a cautionary
tale in that.

1969 was the year before the 1970 recession because it was unsustainably
strong. The labor market got too tight. Wage and price pressuring
developed. The Federal Reserve had to respond by raising rates and
ultimately, did the economy in (ph).

So, this is great, but enjoy it while you can, because this is
unsustainable, particularly as unemployment continues to decline because
we`re going into the low freeze and we`re going to hit more new records.

With — there is only two other times in the history we got to the low
threes on unemployment. One was in World War II, the other time was the
Korean War in early 1950s. So, there`s never been peace time when
unemployment is going to be as low as it is. So, this is going to be
pretty tough to sustain.

HERERA: Where does that put the Fed then, Mark? And I think you are heard
Mr. Summers in Ylan Mui`s piece earlier saying the Fed has to be careful
that they don`t over-adjust.

ZANDI: Yes, I love the metaphor he used. I have to — because that`s just
perfect. That`s exactly right. And that`s the concern.

You know, the Fed — you`re hearing a lot more discussion of the Fed trying
to soft land the economy. You know, raise interest rates just enough to
get unemployment to — for unemployment to stop falling and actually begin
to rise a little bit because we`re past full employment.

But soft landings are very difficult to pull off and in fact they have
never pulled it off, particularly when you continue to push past full
employment getting no into the low 3s means the unemployment rate really
much higher at some point, and that`s going to be a very difficult, very

HERERA: We will be watching. And I know talking to you more often on

Thanks, Mark. Mark Zandi with Moody`s Analytics.

ZANDI: Thank you.

GRIFFETH: More economic reports now. Record imports widen the U.S. trade
deficit in August because that`s our strong economy helped increase
Americans purchases of foreign products. According to the Commerce
Department, the trade gap expanded to more than $53 billion. It`s third
straight monthly increase. The deficits with China and with Mexico were
both at records.

HERERA: And optimism in the manufacturing sector is at a 20-year high.
According to the latest survey of the National Association of
Manufacturers, 92 percent of respondents pointed to tax cuts and regulatory
changes. But said a shortage of workers posed the real challenge.


manufacturers report that finding skilled labor is their number one
concern. It`s the headwind that we see right now. If you look at tax
reform and regulatory reform, those are the things that are responsible for
that 92 percent positive outlook.


HERERA: And as for tariffs, some manufacturers said their costs have risen
from those duties. Others say they are benefitting from the protectionist

GRIFFETH: Automakers are not only keeping manufacturing plants busy, they
are also adding jobs. And today, Mercedes-Benz broke ground on a new
electric battery plant that will employ 300 new workers. It`s all part of
German auto makers expansion into the Deep South of the United States.

Phil LeBeau is at the Mercedes SUV plant outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


latest redesigned SUV, the GLE, with worldwide SUV sales at a record pace,
Mercedes expects the GLE to be in strong demand.

invented the premium SUV 21 years ago with the first M Class. Today, the
GLE. So, today, we see growing demand worldwide for SUVs, and especially
the luxury SUVs.

LEBEAU: This plant outside Tuscaloosa is critical for Mercedes. Two
thirds of the vehicles built here will be loaded up and exported with a
good chunk winding up in China.

While sales in China of SUVs like these are under pressure because of
higher tariffs in that country, it is not slowing down Mercedes-Benz plans
for expanding here in Alabama.

The company is breaking ground on a new plant here in Alabama, where 300
new works will build batteries for electric SUVs set to roll out in 2020.

JASON HOFF, MERCEDES-BENZ U.S. CEO: For our operation and let`s say for
the future of in plant and especially for the state of Alabama, it`s a
fantastic thing. This is the only battery plant we plan on building in the
United States. And it will serve all our battery needs for this operation

LEBEAU: Alabama is now a top-five state for auto production in the U.S.,
responsible for 9 percent of the vehicles built in this country, including
Mercedes redesigned GLE. The German automaker calling Alabama, a sweet
home for its growing SUV lineup.

Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Vance, Alabama.


HERERA: It`s time to look at some of the upgrades and downgrades.

HP was downgraded to neutral from overweight at J.P. Morgan. The firm
cites limited near term catalyst despite what it calls the company`s,
quote, excellent execution. The price target is $29. The stock fell about
4 percent to $25.34.

Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) was downgraded to neutral from buy at Mizuho. The
analyst sees a less favorable regulatory environment that could impact
margins. The price target is $37. The stock fell 2 percent to $35.29.

GRIFFETH: Pepsi was downgraded to neutral from outperform at Macquarie.
The analyst there cited higher input costs and rising freight costs, which
could impact profitability, of course. Price target now $107. That stock
fell a fraction today to $106.49.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at BMO
Capital Markets. The analyst cited the company`s long-term growth
prospects. Price target raised to $130. That stock rose more than 1.5
percent today to $115.02.

HERERA: Still ahead, the jobs of future.


(NYSE:ROG) in Queens, New York. And tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT,
we`re going to tell you about the importance of aviation technicians and
why the industry will need hundreds of thousands of them in the decades to



HERERA: We`ve been telling you about the ongoing shortage of skilled
workers facing both large and small businesses. The issue is also taking
flight at the nation`s aviation industry, which is struggling to find

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) looks at what one high school in New York is doing
to help close that gap.


ROGERS: This is not your typical high school shop class. At Aviation High
School in Queens, New York, teachers are training the industry`s next
generation of aviation maintenance technician like Genesis Santana.

The high school offers students an opportunity to obtain a high school
diploma as well as two FAA certified licenses to enter directly into the

would I think I`d be working on a plane and also doing a regular curriculum
volunteering, doing so much and aviation high school like opened those
doors for me.

ROGERS: The school`s role is important as Boeing (NYSE:BA) estimates some
750,000 technicians will be needed around the globe in the next two
decades. The job can pay some $70,000 a year, including benefits without a
college degree.

jobs. They come with training that keeps you current and keeps you ready
for the future. And it`s an exciting industry doing things that are
important for our nation`s economy, but also for our nation`s security.

ROGERS: The aviation industry is facing a growing set of challenges
including an aging workforce, a gender gap and lack of STEM educated
workers as it seeks to fill these important roles.

Lori DeMarco who now works at director of supply chain and material
operations at JetBlue was the first woman to attend Aviation High School.
She says there is a perception problem within the industry that the airline
and others are working to change.

of parents want their kids to be in white collar jobs. And so, they don`t
as much encourage their kids to work with the hands. So, I think that`s
where there is a smaller pipeline. So, I think we have to, within the
industry, we have to do a better job at partnering with schools.

ROGERS: There are other challenges in hiring, including overnight shifts
with off hours. But technicians like Dianna Rodriguez, a JetBlue
apprentice, say ensuring passenger safety means the job is important and

me, safety is the top priority. I mean, you can have your family member,
your friends flying on the plane. You never know. So, safety is number
with one.

Queens, New York.


GRIFFETH: ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) raises its quarterly dividend and
that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The energy giant increased its dividend by 7 percent up to 30.5 cents a
share. The yield on the stock is now above 1.5 percent. Shares of
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) finished up a tick to $78.39 today.

And in a regulatory filing released today, David Einhorn said his hedge
fund Greenlight Capital exited its position in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the
last quarter due to the tech giant`s heightened valuation and also the
possibility of China`s retaliatory tariffs. The investment had been valued
at about $40 million. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares today were off more than
1.5 percent to $224.29.

HERERA: Greenlight Capital also had some words for Tesla. In its
quarterly letter, the hedge fund, which has a short position on the
electric carmaker, said the car company`s issues resembles those of failed
Lehman Brothers. Greenlight added that Tesla`s, quote, deception will
catch up to the company. Tesla shares fell 7 percent to $261.95.

And investors had the first chance to react to the better than expected
earnings from the memory storage supplier Smart Global which came out after
the bell last night. Shares of the small cap popped more than 25 percent
to $34.15.

GRIFFETH: Now to the market monitor, he has names that he says will grow
at least 10 percent over the next year regardless of what happens with the
midterm elections or trade or other geopolitical issues in the coming

Joining us tonight is Doug Butler. He`s portfolio manager at Rockland

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


GRIFFETH: These are all companies that are going over these three
companies they have done very well in the last couple of years. But you
still see them doing well.

The first one is — O`Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY). I was just looking.
A couple years ago, it was below $200. it`s now around $340. So a great
ride so far. Why do you still like it?

BUTLER: Yes, it`s been a wonderful ride this year. It`s up more than 40
percent this year. And really why we like it is again it`s one of the
things, the economy is still doing well. And people will still fix their
cars. There is — you know, our common theme is things that have been
doing really well of late that we can see doing well even if there are
issues around trade, even if there is political issues, even if there is
instability in either Europe or in the Middle East, we see these names
continuing to run.

So, you know, for example, O`Reilly, you know, when your car breaks down,
you need that part now to get it back up and running. So, they`re sort of
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) proof in that you can`t wait two days to get that
part. You need it in the next, you know, hour.

HERERA: The next company is IDEXX Labs, which basically does lab services
and equipment for the veterinary practices. Bill and I both have dogs, I`m
sure we contribute contributed to their bottom line.

Why do you like it?

BUTLER: Well, one thing is that the Butler family just got a dog this past
weekend. So, I`m about experience IDEXX Labs profitability.

But, no, again, people, you think about the amount pet ownership has grown
over the last 20 years. It`s up to 68 percent of families have a pet. And
not only that but people are spending so much more on their pets than we
did as, you know, when I was a kid and my first dog and I think probably
went to the vet twice.

And now, you know, most of the friends having dogs, they`re going four
times a year at least. So, the amount that Americans spend on their pets
has tripled over the last 20 years.

GRIFFETH: Finally, MasterCard (NYSE:MA), and again another stellar
performer Two years ago was an $80 stock. Today, $213. But you think
there is room to grow.

BUTLER: Yes, our clients had a nice ride in MasterCard (NYSE:MA). And we
still like the name because I think the notion that credit cards are sort
of dying off across the globe is not — is not true. There is still so
much more penetration that can happen for the card industry, as well as
that everybody loves their rewards. Everybody loved — they`re the one
stop shop that a bank can go to get — to provide all sorts of payment

So they`re a name that we like. We like them better than Visa (NYSE:V).
We like them better than American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) because we
still think they have much more room to grow.

GRIFFETH: All right.

BUTLER: Internationally and across the payment spectrum.

GRIFFETH: Doug, good to see you again. Thank you for joining us again.

BUTLER: Thanks for the time.

GRIFFETH: Doug Butler with Rockland Trust. Well, good luck with the dog
as well.


GRIFFETH: And you can read more about his picks at our website at

Coming up, the crack of the bat. Music to the ears of one entrepreneur who
took his one-time hobby all the way to the major leagues. That`s tonight`s
bright idea.


GRIFFETH: Late today, Ford said it informed its global salaried workforce
of a reorganization that includes job cuts. The automaker did not say how
many positions would be affected. But that a decision will be made in the
second quarter of next year.

HERERA: Toyota (NYSE:TM) is recalling about 2.5 million hybrid cars
worldwide. The automaker says the vehicles could stall while driving. The
recall affects more than 800,000 Prius cars in the U.S. Toyota (NYSE:TM)
says the defect occurs rarely but did not say whether it linked crashes,
injuries or deaths to that problem.

GRIFFETH: You know, when baseball was born in the mid-19th century, its
name was two words — base ball. The rules were different and so were the
uniforms and equipment. But since the mid `90s, hundreds of teams in the
Vintage Baseball Association have been honors that era. But finding a
reliable vintage baseball bat was no easy trick until a woodworker from
just outside Columbus, Ohio, got the bright idea to make a better bat.


GRIFFETH: Few appreciate the crack of the bat like Charley Trudeau. A
woodworker by trade, he joined the Ohio village muffins vintage team in the
early 1990s. But their vintage bats literally cracked far too often.

breaking at all. I mean, it`s not like we are facing 90 miles an hour

GRIFFETH: The bats weren`t made to be used, they were souvenirs. So
teammates asked Trudeau if he could do better.

TRUDEAU: Some of the old bats were just enormous.

GRIFFETH: He studied pictures of the longer, heavier and thicker bats from
the mid-19th century.

TRUDEAU: The heavier the bat, they thought the big are bad, the more mass
you had, the harder you can hit the ball.

GRIFFETH: The wavy grains that add character to furniture can actually
weaken a baseball bat. Straighter grains, they make a better bat. His
teammates were impressed.

TRUDEAU: Guys started going, hey, can you make me one? I want my own.

And it just kind of grew somewhat organically.

GRIFFETH: Other vintage teams began buying Trudeau`s bats. And Phoenix
Bats named for bringing back the vintage bat, became his full-time job.

The buzz reached Minor League pros in the Columbus area. So, he made them
modern bats. More weight in the barrel with thinner handles to improve bat
speed and power.

TRUDEAU: You want it through the strike zone fast and hard.

GRIFFETH: Naturally, he began to dream.

TRUDEAU: I was like, wouldn`t this be cool if we could have bats in the
big leagues?

GRIFFETH: Those Minor Leaguers then began reaching the majors in 2003.
And all the while, Trudeau was upping his game.

TRUDEAU: Even those guys in rookie ball, they`re different than everybody
else. Change is as small as like a fraction of a millimeter off of the
handle, they can feel it.

GRIFFETH: Trudeau stuck with the white ash to make the early bats but
became an early adopter of the harder maple and then birch which is in

TRUDEAU: Ash. Birch. Maple.

GRIFFETH: Phoenix customers have included Miguel Cabrera, the Triple Crown
winner, and Ohio native Adam Eaton (NYSE:ETN).

By 2003, one of Trudeau`s teammates Joel Armbruster became Phoenix employee
number one.

it every day.

GRIFFETH: A year later, they went to Italy to buy a computer-driven lathe,
costing more than $200,000. It can cut and sand a bat every two minutes.

ARMBRUSTER: There`s the finished product.

GRIFFETH: Phoenix makes about 20,000 bats a year, mostly priced between
$50 and $150 each. Pros account for about 20 percent of the business, the
made to order business with custom shapes and colors.

ARMBRUSTER: We want to be that high-end boutique bat company all about
quality, customer service.

GRIFFETH: But Trudeau is really more about bats.

TRUDEAU: Probably my downside was that I wasn`t ever focused in on the
business and the sales.

GRIFFETH: About six years ago, Trudeau left Armbruster in charge and
happily went back to restoring houses, satisfied that his swings are indeed
bringing some vintage joy to mudville.

TRUDEAU: I was always and always — probably always will be a production

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are witnessed the great game of baseball.


GRIFFETH: By the way, Phoenix doesn`t pay the pros to use those bats, but
it`s been known to give them a discount. No bat business compares with the
American icon Louisville Slugger which was sold for about $70 million a few
years ago. But Armbruster believes that Phoenix with 10 full-time
employees now ranks in the top ten.

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

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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