Transcript: Nightly Business Report – October 29, 2018

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

sharp declines as trade fears are rekindled and tech stocks tumble.

makes its largest acquisition ever, but will its purchase of Red Hat
(NYSE:RHT) transform this American tech icon?

HERERA: No way out. Why businesses caught in the trade war with China are
out of luck when it comes to getting an exemption.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday,
October 29th.

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

Wall Street went through yet another head-spinning trading day to start
this week. At the open this morning, the Dow rallied more than 300 points,
just when it looked like stocks might continue higher, the momentum started
to turn. And not long after the market`s gains completely disappeared,
thanks to a report that the White House is preparing for the possibility of
more tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports.

The selloff was so steep, at one point this afternoon, that all of the
major indexes briefly fell into correction territory. Meaning that they
were down 10 percent or more from their most recent peaks.

At the close, the Dow was down 245 points to 24,442. The Nasdaq slipped by
116. And the S&P 500 was down 17.

By the way, the biggest loser in the Dow today was Boeing (NYSE:BA). It
was down as much as 8 percent for a time, briefly dropping it into
correction territory, as well today.

Bob Pisani has more on today`s ups and downs.


at the open, but the Dow swung more than 900 points, selling off, going
towards the close, but then rallying right at the close, ending down 250
points. A wild day early on. Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) dragged the Dow
lower on news that the company`s brand-new Lion Air 787 jet crashed in
Indonesia overnight. Aerospace stocks all in the red — Lockheed Martin
(NYSE:LMT), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC).

Elsewhere, the stock market showed that once again, trade issues are what
really matters. Trade-related names all took another leg lower on reports
that the U.S. is already planning its next wave of Chinese tariffs, if the
talks between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping
failed next month. Those tariffs could amount to another $257 billion on
all remaining Chinese imports.

Tech was another loser today. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) drifted lower, along
with other large cap tech names on reports that the U.K. would roll out the
developed world`s first digital tax on tech giants. The taxes will go into
effect in 20 in the U.K., expected to generate 400 million pounds per year.
That sent broader FANG stocks, including Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) parent Alphabet lower on the day.

Volatility also spikes to its highest level in three weeks. And for the
moment, it looks like the bears are back in control. Seven out of 11 S&P
sectors are sitting in correction territory. That is down 10 percent or
more off of their recent highs.

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


HERERA: OK. So what happens next? It`s certainly something investors all
want to know. And it`s something that the major Wall Street firms are
trying to figure out.

Morgan Stanley`s top strategist says the October selloff could morph into a
bear market. While Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) says the mayhem has gotten out
of hand, and that stocks will rebound.

So, which is it?

Mike Santoli did some digging.


selloff has not only dropped the S&P 500 by more than 9 percent and pounded
the majority of stocks even harder, it has also placed the market right on
the line between a routine correction and more serious and lasting setback.

The sharp retreat has threatened to break a longer market uptrend that
stretches back to February of 2016 when the world indexes were emerging
from a six-month tailspin related to a global industrial slow down and oil
crash. The weakness recently has investors on alert for signs the market
is detecting signals of a sharp tapering off of U.S. economic growth and
corporate profits into 2019. At a time when the Federal Reserve seems
intent on raising interest rates a few more times through next year.

The mini market panic runs counter to an immediate sense of optimism about
a sturdy economy and third quarter earnings growth of 20 percent. The fact
that the stock market tends to lead changes in the economic trend has
heightened Wall Street`s anxiety and yet it`s also true that stocks
experience nasty pullbacks far more often than the economy skids toward a

If there is any bright side of the S&P being at risk of breaking its 32-
month uptrend, it`s that the selling has reached a short term extreme that
frequently perceives a very strong bounce. With three quarters of all
large stocks down more than 10 percent from their high, and nearly half off
at least 20 percent, a lot of damage has already been done. This suggests
that any reassuring evidence in the durability of economic growth, a let up
in the Fed`s tightening pace or perhaps simply the passage of the election
could be enough to propel at least a strong relief rally before too long.



GRIFFETH: So with more earnings on deck, the employment report out on
Friday, the midterm elections next week, what should investors be watching?

Joining us tonight for a strategy session is Cliff Hodge. He`s director of
investments at Cornerstone Wealth.

Cliff, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

having me. Great to be with you this evening.

GRIFFETH: For you, this week will be about earnings. You`re looking at
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), among others. But what about
the fact that the market this month has treated good news still as bad
news? They have sold off even on positive earnings reports?

HODGE: Well, it`s a great question, and really there are two key things
that I`m watching this week — earnings and jobs. So, we do have a slew of
earnings reports this week from bellwether stocks and big cap tech names,
which if we get any sort of good news, can go a long way toward turning the
tide with this negative sentiment that we have had over the past month.

HERERA: So I think you just heard Mike Santoli`s report. One street, one
house on the street thinks that basically we`re going to morph into a bear
market. The other thinks that everything is overdone.

Where do you stand on that debate, given some of the hurdles the market
still has ahead of it?

HODGE: Sure. And that`s the really important question that investors are
grappling with. When you look historically, whenever we have had these
selloffs that are not accompanied by a recession, they`ve gone on to be
great buying opportunities. And while I`m not ready to call the bottom
just yet, none of the recession indicators I watch are flashing yellow or
red at this point.

So I think ultimately, we will go on to make new highs before the economic
expansion and this bull market come to an end.

GRIFFETH: What about jobs? The last few reports have been okay. Not home
runs, but okay numbers, and enough to keep the Fed on track to raise rates
some more. Do you think that will happen on Friday, as well?

HODGE: Sure. So the jobs number on Friday is the most important number
going into the midterms. And while the headline unemployment number will
garner most of the attention, I`m actually going to be more focused on wage

So, the market is forecasting an hourly average earnings increase of 3.2
percent year over year. I think anything less than that will actually be a
positive for the stock market, because it will be an additional data point
that may cause the Fed to hike going forward.

HERERA: You said you —

HODGE: I think an overly —

HERERA: Go ahead.

HODGE: I`m sorry. I think an overly aggressive Fed is the number one
concern for markets going forward.

HERERA: Very quickly, once the midterms are over, is that a green light
for the market? The market always hates uncertainty.

HODGE: The market does hate uncertainty. And you never want to say never.
But when you look back historically, since 1950, U.S. stocks have never had
a price decline 12 months after midterms. And the average annual return of
the S&P 500 over that same time span is over 15 percent. So in my mind,
history is certainly on the side of the bulls going forward.

GRIFFETH: All right. Very good. A bullish Cliff Hodge joining us tonight
from Cornerstone Wealth — thanks for joining us.

HERERA: Investors fled from actively managed funds, which suffered their
worst quarter in seven years. According to “The Financial Times”, more
than $86 billion was pulled from stock-picking funds globally in the third
quarter, just as volatility started to pick up. Active funds have been
losing market share to passive funds for years.

GRIFFETH: And not even a massive technology deal could make investors
optimistic today. As you have probably heard by now, IBM confirmed this
morning, it is acquiring software and services firm Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) for
$33 billion. That is the third largest tech takeover ever.

The purchase gives IBM a bigger presence in the cloud. But it`s paying a
big premium for it, as well. Shares of the Dow component fell slightly,
while Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) stock soared by 45 percent today.

And even as IBM touts the benefits of the deal, there are still plenty of
questions to be answered.

Josh Lipton has details.


just made her biggest bet yet on the cloud, calling the acquisition of Red
Hat (NYSE:RHT) transformative.

GINNI ROMETTY, IBM CEO: For us, it`s all about resetting the cloud
landscape. And this is to create the number one company that will be the
number one hybrid cloud provider.

LIPTON: IBM`s strategy is to capitalize on the market for what`s known as
hybrid cloud computing, where Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is a big player. That`s
where companies store some data in the public cloud like Amazon`s AWS and
Microsoft`s Azure, and other information in their own private data centers.
That`s often necessary to do, because of regulatory reasons.

ROMETTY: You have to be hybrid. You have to be able to handle multiple
clouds. You have to be open technologies. You have to do multi-cloud
management. And that`s what we can do.

LIPTON: Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is the largest distributor of Linux, the
popular open source operating system. The company makes money by providing
software tools to companies as they build apps and services for the cloud
era. So, will investors this excited as Rometty? That remains to be seen.

Analysts say this was a fairly expensive acquisition, and that it does not
address some of IBM`s broader challenges.

LISA ELLIS, MOFFETTNATHANSON PARTNER: Despite it being an attractive,
compelling, large deal, by far the largest one IBM has ever done, it
doesn`t solve the core problem that IBM has or even really make a lot of
progress in solving that problem, which is that IBM still has about 40
percent of revenues in structurally declining areas of enterprise I.T.,
areas that are not coming back.

LIPTON: One more possible challenge, there`s plenty of competition for IBM
in this market, too, from other tech companies, like Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) Enterprise and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL)



HERERA: So let`s turn now to Arvind Ramnani for the details on deal and
also the outlook overall for IBM. He`s the tech analyst at KeyBanc capital

Arvind, nice to have you here. Welcome.

Thanks for having me on.

HERERA: We`ve heard both sides of this. It`s a transformative deal, or
they`re so far behind, it`s going to take them a while to integrate this
deal and start to compete with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT). Which is it in your book?

RAMNANI: Look, I mean, IBM and Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), they`ve been dating for
about 20 years. They`ve been partnering since 1999. So they have a lot of
experience working together. They`ve created a giant product together.
They have invested in labs together.

So, the 20-year-old relationship I think has a lot to do with the deal. So
while I think it`s a fairly large deal, the fact that they`ve had a long-
standing relationship I think serves them well in ensuring this relatively
quick integration.

GRIFFETH: OK. So they`ve been dating a long time, but there are a lot of
people on Wall Street who think the wedding was too expensive at $33
billion. They`re going to have to make an awful lot of money to get this
deal back. What do you think?

RAMNANI: Look, I mean, the cloud market is a $1 trillion opportunity, and
that trillion dollars is still growing. So, it`s a fairly large
opportunity that they`re chasing. And potentially, it has a potential of
changing course for IBM`s future. When you look at it in that context, you
know, it`s actually a small price to pay. Given the size of the
opportunity and the potential for IBM to change course.

GRIFFETH: How quickly do they have to integrate these two companies, which
have very different cultures, even though they have been dating for a long
time? They have to get that integrated fairly quickly, do they not?

RAMNANI: They have until late 2019 before the transaction closes. And I`m
sure there`s going to be a lot of prep work from now until late 2019. And
after that, they still have a year or two. You know, given the fact that
they have been working together, I kind of look at it as more from 24 to 36

GRIFFETH: Before we let you go, quickly, what do the competitors do?
Anything? Does Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle
(NASDAQ:ORCL), anybody else have to do something to respond to this?

RAMNANI: Look, I mean, I think like I mentioned, it`s a humongous
opportunity. It`s a trillion-dollar opportunity. I think there are going
to be multiple winners. I don`t think this is a —


RAMNANI: — winner-take-all situation.

With this transaction, basically, IBM is playing more on the private side,
on the hybrid side. And I think they have their own spaces to work in.

HERERA: Arvind, thank you very much. Arvind Ramnani with KeyBanc Capital


RAMNANI: Great, thank you.

GRIFFETH: You bet.

So, investors were watching a number of other stories unfold across the
globe. In Germany, for example, Chancellor Angela Merkel, once the most
powerful political figure in Europe, said she will not seek re-election in
2021. That led to a decline in German bunds, but a rally in German stocks
as investors believe that Merkel`s eventual exit will lead to an easing of
austerity measures in that country.

And in Brazil, an aggressive proponent of free markets won that country`s
presidential election over the weekend. And analysts say that Jair
Bolsonaro`s victory could lead to broad economic reforms and the
privatization of some of Latin America`s biggest companies.

HERERA: It is time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and
downgrades. Ford was upgraded to buy from neutral at Goldman Sachs
(NYSE:GS). The analyst cites the restructuring plan and rollout of new
models. The price target is $12. The stock rose 3 percent to $9.28.

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) was downgraded to sector weight from
overweight at KeyBanc. The analyst cites concerns over the company`s
pipeline. The firm expects a downward revision to the company`s earnings
estimates, and the stock fell 5 percent to $91.19.

GRIFFETH: Meanwhile, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was given a buy rating in new
coverage over at Jefferies. The analyst there says that Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) can build a massive services operation from its core iPhone
business. Price target now $265. That stock fell more than 1 percent to

Ralph Lauren was rated a buy in new coverage at Deutsche Bank. The analyst
says the apparel maker is, in his view, of the early stages of a brand
turn-around. Price target: $149. That stock rose more than 2 percent
today to $130.88.

HERERA: Still ahead, China`s bridge over troubled waters.


HERERA: The Commerce Department will restrict American companies from
selling goods to a Chinese state-owned chip maker. The government cites
national security grounds. The move is a blow to the Chinese company,
which relies on U.S. technology for production and which Micron
Technologies accused of stealing its intellectual property.

GRIFFETH: Well, a common theme in many company`s earnings calls this
quarter has been trade. And according to CNBC, 35 percent of the
conference calls that took place through last Friday mentioned tariffs.
Forty-five companies, including Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) and Costco
(NASDAQ:COST), said the tariffs were having some negative impact on their
business, while five companies, including Kansas City Southern (NYSE:SO)
(NYSE:KSU) and CarMax (NYSE:KMX) said tariffs actually helped their results
as customers pulled business forward to beat out the economic impact.

HERERA: And with reports that the U.S. is planning more tariffs, U.S.
businesses already caught in the middle of the trade war are hoping to win
exemptions. But so far, that has not been the case.

Ylan Mui is in Washington tonight.


Eagle Boats in Port Jefferson, New York. Kayaks, paddles, air pumps,
they`re all getting hit. And for owner John Hoge, there`s no way out.

JOHN HOGE, SEA EAGLE BOATS, INC.: The annual cost to our company, which is
a small family business, will be over $1 million a year.

MUI: Trump administration isn`t handing out any waivers from the latest
round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. And businesses say
that`s not fair.

it provides them an opportunity to hear from stakeholders about what those
impacts are. And to remove products for which there is no alternative
source for.

MUI: Retailers are pushing back. In a new letter to the White House, they
want an escape hatch before the tariffs jump from 10 percent to 25 percent
in January. And they`ve got support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
But critics say big business shouldn`t get any favors from Uncle Sam.

JOHN VECCHIONE, CAUSE OF ACTION: Whenever you have a high tariff
situation, you have everyone trying to game the system, and you have a high
propensity for cronyism and corruption.

MUI: Companies have been able to apply for waivers before. The government
was overwhelmed with nearly 50,000 requests for exemptions from tariffs on
foreign steel and aluminum. Officials are still working through almost
7,000 petitions from businesses trying to avoid previous tariffs on Chinese

This time, there`s no emergency exit. Hoge says higher costs will mean
higher prices for his customers.

HOGE: Tariffs will not save any American jobs in manufacturing. They will
only hurt jobs in distribution, in sales, in marketing, in I.T. They are
completely destructive effort in this industry.

MUI: He hopes Sea Eagle can ride out the storm.

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


GRIFFETH: And there are reports tonight that a Chinese regulator wants to
cut the tax that`s levied on cars purchased in China by half. According to
Bloomberg, the move would relieve some of the pain caused by the escalating
trade war, which threatens to affect demand and slow the Chinese economy
more broadly. China, as you know, is the world`s biggest automobile market
and a key battleground for GM and Toyota (NYSE:TM).

HERERA: To keep its economy growing, China is making a big investment in
infrastructure, and the world`s longest sea crossing in particular.

But as Eunice Yoon reports, that bridge has been surrounded by controversy.


world`s longest sea crossing. At 34 miles, it`s now the sixth-longest in
the world. The bridge used up four and a half times the amount of steel
needed for the Golden Gate Bridge and has a four mile sea tunnel in the
middle to avoid some of the busiest shipping lanes.

The purpose of the bridge is to more directly connect one of the world`s
richest cities, Hong Kong, to the manufacturing area in the Pearl River
Delta. This region has been the driver of Chinese manufacturing and the
idea is to make it easier to move people and goods around. The bridge is
meant to cut travel time from where I am now, in Zhuhai, to Hong Kong from
three hours to just 30 minutes.

President Xi Jinping was here for the opening ceremony. It was unusually
low key, perhaps because the project hasn`t been wildly popular, especially
in Hong Kong. The bridge has been expensive. Officially, there`s no
tally, but state media had put it as high as $20 billion.

The bridge has also become symbolic of the growing entanglement between
Hong Kong and China. There`s a feeling in Hong Kong that China is
encroaching on the city`s one country/two systems government framework.
One lawmaker described the bridge as an umbilical cord, a reminder of Hong
Kong`s ties to the motherland.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Zhuhai.


GRIFFETH: Bloomin Brands sees a good year ahead and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The owner of Outback Steakhouse and other restaurant chains reported an
increase in customer traffic as well as growth in comparable U.S. sales.
And as a result, the company increased its profit and sales guidance for
the whole year. Shares rose nearly 2 percent today to $19.15.

HSBC reported better than expected profit in its third quarter. The
biggest European bank said it benefited from stronger business in Asia as
well as from cost controls. HSBC shares were up nearly 4 percent today to

HERERA: First Data missed earnings estimates and cut its full year profit
forecast. The payment processing company says it is facing headwinds from
the negative impact of currency fluctuations. And so, First Data shares
took a beating today. They fell 16 percent to $18.01.

And after the bell, Mondelez said strength in its foreign market helped
earnings edge past expectations. The maker of Oreos and Sour Patch Kids
also reported a rise in sales, but those results came in shy of estimates.
Shares were volatile in the after-hours, but they finished the regular day
unchanged at $40.11.

GRIFFETH: Coming up, is the entertainment industry getting any closer to
closing the gender gap?


HERERA: When it comes to gender equality, a new survey has found that the
country`s entertainment industry still has a long way to go.

Julia Boorstin is in Los Angeles with the details.


by the Time`s Up and #MeToo movements and high-profile firings of men for
misconduct across the entertainment industry, Hollywood still has a long
way to go to get to equal. Both men and working entertainment see gender
gaps in the industry, according to a LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) CNBC survey of
over 1,000 people.

Even though equal pay is mandated by law, about a quarter of women and
about half of men say they think men and women in the same roles are paid
the same. Slightly more than that, say men and women are promoted at equal

SARAH HARDEN, HELLO SUNSHINE CEO: I`m not surprised. And look, I think
you`ve had immense structural bias in our companies. I don`t think it`s
always intentional. I think there`s deep unconscious bias.

BOORSTIN: Sarah Harden is the CEO of Hello Sunshine, a production company
founded by Reese Witherspoon to focus on female-driven content.

HARDEN: #MeToo and Time`s Up have opened up a conversation to shine a
light on that bias and say, look around. We have to do better.

BOORSTIN: There are obstacles in place that make it challenging for women
to advance, according to 80 percent of women and more than half of men we
surveyed. The biggest issue, an unsupportive or biased corporate culture.
Other challenges include a lack of female leadership and mentorship.

So, what will it take to close the gap in entertainment? The single-most
important thing is for industry leaders to speak out about the importance
of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Also considered key, a focus
on diversity and recruiting and casting. At Hello Sunshine, the mission is
to put women at the center of every story. Their female-dominated team is
producing for every platform, TV, film, streaming video, podcasts and audio

And Hello Sunshine`s harden says she thinks the traditional entertainment
giants will understand the value of embracing diversity.

HARDEN: I think the best companies will realize that their economic
futures, that they need to bring women into authorship at all levels of
their companies, whether it`s their boardrooms, whether it`s their writers`
rooms, whether it`s their meeting rooms, if they want to produce any
product or service that is looking to connect with women.

BOORSTIN: With companies like Hello Sunshine striking deals across the
industry, our survey found widespread optimism that the industry will shift
towards equal representation.

Two-thirds of men and women saying they expect that Time`s Up and #MeToo
movements to have a lasting effect.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.


GRIFFETH: And before we go, a final look at the day on Wall Street.
Another wild one. The Dow is down 245 points. The Nasdaq slipped by 116.
The S&P was down 17.

And given this volatile market stretch, we all need a reminder sometimes
about what to do and what not to do. So, tonight, we leave you with a
piece of advice from the CEO of Charles Schwab.


WALT BETTINGER, CHARLES SCHWAB CEO: The most important thing in a time
like this is either to do nothing, stick with your plan, or if things have
changed for you personally, update your plan and change your investment
approach to reflect that. But don`t make changes based on what the market
happens to be doing today, tomorrow, last week or next week. That`s a sure
losing strategy.


GRIFFETH: Good advice.

HERERA: Words to live by. Right.

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

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffith. Have a great evening. We`ll see you


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
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