ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Sue Herera and Bill
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Focus on fundamentals. The
Dow rises ahead of the midterm elections. It`s not politics that investors
paid attention to.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Red hot. Businesses can`t
find enough workers to fill jobs. Will the labor market cool on its own or
will the Fed end the party?
GRIFFETH: Split decision. Why Amazon`s new second headquarters could end
up being a tale of two cities.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Monday,
HERERA: And good evening, everyone, and welcome.
But the bulls and bears were out in force on the eve of the midterm
elections. It wasn`t because Americans head to the polls tomorrow but
rather it was because investors were focused on a number of fundamental
issues within the market. The bulls led the broader market higher while
the bears trapped the tech sector and pushed that group lower.
So, here are the closing numbers, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 190
points to 25,461. The Nasdaq fell 28 and the S&P 500 was up 15.
Bob Pisani takes a closer look at today`s mix market.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Stocks largely rallied
ahead of Election Day tomorrow with the Dow soaring triple digits, though,
ending off the day`s highs. Reports are all abuzz about what the midterms
could mean for stocks. But the market moves today were not tied to any
specific election concerns. Fundamentals still very much front and center.
The bigger story, by far, is the Federal Reserve`s slated to meet later
this week and what officials decide to do about interest rates. And the
best case scenario, the Fed will keep looking to the data and remain
sensitive to the pace of economic growth both in the jobs market and
beyond. In other words, not hiking too aggressively.
Oil is perhaps the big driver of today`s market rally, energy stocks like
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) jumped after the U.S.
reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil production and natural gas also jumped.
Elsewhere, the Dow powered ahead despite a slump in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
shares. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) drew a second downgrade from Wall Street
analysts in the wake of its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, and amid
reports of a possible slowdown in the demand for its iPhone XR model.
President Trump also said he was considering looking into antitrust
violations against major tech firms like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) parent Alphabet. That put pressure
on the Nasdaq which fell back into correction territory, down 10 percent
from recent highs.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
GRIFFETH: So what do the midterms mean for the market?
Well, Dominic Chu breaks down the different possible scenarios.
DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The most expensive
midterm election in American history takes place tomorrow. The general
consensus among Washington watchers and Wall Street strategists is that the
Democrats take control of the House while the Senate remains controlled by
the Republicans. A divided Congress.
A less likely scenario is that Republicans retain control of both houses of
Congress which is the current situation, and a very unlikely scenario would
see the Democrats somehow win control of both the House and the Senate.
Under the likely scenario of a split Congress, history points to market
gains ahead even if there is shorter term volatility around the election
itself. That`s because a gridlock Congress may be unlikely to push through
any kind of major legislation which could allow businesses the freedom to
operate without fear of major regulatory change. Sectors like health care
and defense could see up side with no real ability to change the current
state of drug prices or defense spending.
If Republicans somehow keep both chambers, it could be very short term
bullish for stocks given the prospect for more tax cuts, government
spending, and less potential regulation. Perhaps a good environment for
retailers, and energy companies, tough questions that will remain over the
budget deficit and they will be more pronounced. If by some chance
Democrats manage to win both houses, there is a possibility for more
regulation that could hurt, say, the banks and the drug companies. But at
this point, all of those projections are just speculation.
While tomorrow`s big elections will have an impact on how certain investors
react, many experts still maintain that this is a shorter term issue that
shouldn`t affect one`s long term investing plans and that issues like
global trade are far more important to the health of the overall market and
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu.
GRIFFETH: And according to market watch, since 1946, there have been 18
midterm elections and after every single one, stocks were trading higher 12
months later. Did the election results matter? You decide.
During those 72 years, we have seen every possible political combination of
parties controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress.
HERERA: As Bob Pisani mentioned, tech stocks did come under pressure
today. And comments from the president were in focus. In a video
interview with “Axios” reporters, President Trump said his administration
is considering anti-trust action against some of the major tech companies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What about a monopoly? What about saying to the Justice
Department looking to —
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you do. You know, I
have so many people saying that, but it`s certainly something that we have
REPORTER: Would you ever break them up?
TRUMP: They were talking about this years ago. You know, they were
actually talking about this same subject, monopoly years ago, long before I
was in office.
REPORTER: You think you`ll be the man to do it?
TRUMP: In fact, a lot of people thought it was going to happen. And then
I guess a previous administration stopped it from happening.
REPORTER: You`re in charge now.
TRUMP: I`m in charge. I am definitely in charge. And we are certainly
looking at it.
REPORTER: This is antitrust.
TRUMP: Antitrust, yes.
REPORTER: Right. For Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)?
TRUM: For all three.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: We have been reporting that increased regulation is a risk for the
tech sector. And today, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google`s parent company
Alphabet and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) all traded lower.
GRIFFETH: Now to trade rumbling which, of course, have been ongoing
concern for the markets, President Trump said today that China is
interested in reaching some sort of an agreement but that he will only move
forward if it`s a fair deal. The leaders of the two world`s largest
economies are expected to meet at that G-20 summit in Argentina at the end
of this month.
HERERA: Meantime, China`s president wants to convince the world that his
country is shifting from being a global exporter to an importing power
Eunice Yoon reports tonight from a trade expo in Shanghai.
EUNICE YOON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: President Xi Jinping
wants to convince the rest of the world that China wants to buy more of
their stuff. At this expo here in Shanghai, one of President Xi`s pet
projects, he said that China would make the necessary changes so that
Chinese consumers could become even more important to the global economy.
That means promises for further tariff cuts, greater market access, a
tougher stance on IPR violators and creating what he described as a first
class environment for foreign businesses.
The problem is that he didn`t get specific on even one issue, nor did he
address the U.S. trade war directly. That had left many diplomats and
executives here with a sense of deja vu. There`s widespread frustration
that the Chinese government despite its promises is not opening up in the
way that businesses feel it`s fair. The Trump administration did not send
a delegation here and there are only a few global CEOs.
At the same time, some Chinese business leaders are getting frustrated by
the rhetoric out of the White House. Alibaba`s Jack Ma is here in Shanghai
and he described the trade war as the most stupid thing on the planet.
Some believe that President Xi could be saving his offers for the next
possible meeting with President Trump at the G-20 summit later this month.
But so far, there is no sign that China is going to cave into the U.S. If
anything, President Xi doubled down today. He described China as an ocean
that survived 5,000 years of storms. And he pointed out that China is
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Shanghai.
GRIFFETH: Meanwhile, a new analysis of the government data put together by
a coalition of business groups shows how tariffs are affecting American
industries so far and where they`re being felt.
Ylan Mui has the details for us.
YLAN MUI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: President Trump`s trade
wars with costing businesses big money. They slapped tariffs on steel and
aluminum. Chinese imports are getting hit too.
It`s all part of Trump`s push to rewrite bad trade deals. But it`s also
raising costs for American companies, $1.4 billion. That`s a new estimate
of how much businesses paid in Trump tariffs in September alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to show American leadership, we need to build
the right kind of coalition and tariffs are the wrong way to do this. They
just simply impose costs on American business, farmers and consumers.
They`re a tax, a massive tax.
MUI: That could sway the midterm elections tomorrow.
Red states, where Republicans are hoping to eke out a win are feeling
plenty of pain. Take Indiana. The tariffs cost businesses there an extra
$30 million in September. Nearly four times what they paid last year. In
Missouri, it was $14 million, West Virginia paid an extra $2 million.
On top of that, some states are getting hit by retaliatory tariffs as
countries strike back against the U.S. North Dakota, an important
agricultural state, it normally sells lots of soy beans to China. Exports
there have plunged an estimated 94 percent. The Trump administration says
the short term pain will be worth the long term gain of better trade deals
and an end to Chinese malpractice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can use the tariffs as leave re leverage. They`re
certainly not hurting the economy. The economy is doing really well. So
now is the time to use that leverage and that`s what we`re encouraging the
Trump administration to do right now.
MUI: There is hope that tensions with our trading partners will ease over
the next few months. But until then, the cost of tariffs keeps adding up.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Washington.
HERERA: U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil kicked in today. The sanctions are
part of the White House`s effort to curb Iran`s missile and nuclear
programs and to weaken the influence in the Middle East.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Iranian regime has a choice. It
can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act
like a normal country or it can see its economy crumble. We hope a new
agreement with Iran is possible. But until Iran makes changes in the 12
ways that I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Iran, however, remains defiant saying it will break with the
sanctions and continue to sell oil abroad. The U.S. did grant eight
countries temporary waivers, allowing them to keep buying oil from Iran and
the president today said he wants to impose the sanctions gradually. After
rising earlier in the day and then falling back a bit, the price of
domestic crude dipped four cents extending a five-day slump.
GRIFFETH: Time to take a look at some of today`s upgrades and downgrades.
We begin tonight with a downgrade that Bob mentioned earlier. That`s
Apple`s rating cut to neutral from buy at Rosenblatt Securities. This is
the second downgrade for that stock since its earnings report of last week.
The analyst cited lower expectations for iPhone production and shipments.
Price target now $200. And that stock fell now 2.5 percent today it
Netflix`s rating was raised to buy from underperform at Buckingham. The
analyst cited the 27 percent decline in that stock price since mid-July.
Price target $406. The stock rose 2 percent today to $315.44.
HERERA: Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at
Credit Suisse. The analyst cites Chevron`s operational execution and
potential for free cash flow. The price target is $138. The stock gained
more than 3.5 percent to $118.94.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Mizuho
Securities. The analyst says the company`s earnings growth is set to
accelerate. The price target is $75. The stock rose just a fraction to
GRIFFETH: Still ahead, an industry divided. The San Francisco ballot
initiative that is pitting companies and technology against each other.
HERERA: The services sector expanded more than expected in October as
economic growth remains strong. According to ISM nonmanufacturing survey,
almost every major service industry expanded last month. The only one to
show a decline was education. The biggest complaints were around the
uncertainty created by the tariffs and lack of workers to fill jobs.
GRIFFETH: Speaking of which, the restaurant industry in particular is
feeling the effects of our tight labor market.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) rounds up some recent comments by CEOs.
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Restaurant companies
are feeling the squeeze of a tight labor market. On earnings calls this
season, companies across the sector said they`re hiking wages to attract
workers but some are still facing a shortage in industry where employee
retention is notoriously difficult.
At Dunkin` Donuts, CEO David Hoffmann said staffing is the franchise`s
number one challenge, adding it`s a reflection of a strong economy. To
offset those challenges, Dunkin is focusing on building and maintaining a
culture that draws workers in and offers flexibility.
Domino`s CEO Richard Allison said the brand isn`t immune to the tight labor
market, but said franchises are hiring drivers. The strong also economy
means more people are ordering pizza which is good for business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
ROGERS: The delivery drivers already working hard are extremely busy,
giving them an opportunity to make more money.
Meanwhile, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti noted mid-single digit increases
in wages projecting the same hikes next year. Garutti said in a
competitive environment, on demand jobs in the gig economy have begun to
compete with traditional restaurant jobs which can be a challenge when it
comes to hiring.
One notable exception, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). The coffee giant isn`t
currently struggling to find workers. Chief operating officer Rosalind
Brewer told CNBC. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is known for its company culture
and employee benefits.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG).
HERERA: But it`s not just the restaurant business that is feeling the
effects of a tight labor market. The need for workers is rippling through
the broader economy.
Steve Liesman has the details.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Remember the old
song “feeling hot, hot, hot”? Well, that by any measure is the best way to
describe today`s job market. And while economists — well, they don`t
often break out in a song. But 250,000 jobs created in October and the low
3.7 percent unemployment rate is about some exuberant language.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) writes in a research report, quote: Labor market
tightness is moving to levels rarely seen in post-war history at the
national level. It expects unemployment to fall to 3 percent.
ROBERT SHILLER, YALE UNIVERSITY: We saw an unemployment rate recently that
was the lowest since 1969. So, that marks it as pretty hot. And, of
course, 1969 was an outlier. The next thing that did happen is
unemployment went right back up. So, I don`t know if we can stay at this
level of heat for very long.
LIESMAN: Well, just how hot is the job market? A broad measure of labor
slack that is extra workers out there, it counts the unemployed, those
marginally attached to the labor force and those working part time because
they can`t find full time work. At 12.1 million or 7.4 percent, that`s
around the lowest since 2006, remember the Fed funds rate around there was
5.25 percent compared to around 2.25 percent now.
Bottom line, there aren`t a lot of bodies out there to fill vacant jobs.
All of which raises the question about whether the job market will cool of
its own accord or if the Fed is going to have to end the party. Goldman
Sachs (NYSE:GS) wrote, quote: The economy really needs to slow to avoid
SHILLER: I wouldn`t call it a strong economy. I would call it an
exuberant economy. So, we have to maybe end the party a little bit.
LIESMAN: The Fed would like to avoid slamming on the brakes on the economy
too hard. But if inflation breaks out because of the hot, hot, hot jobs
market — well, they may find themselves having to hike, hike, hike.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
GRIFFETH: CEOs are buying stock and that`s where we begin tonight`s
“Market Focus”. General Electric`s recently appointed chairman and CEO
Larry Kulp bought more than $2 million worth of his own company`s shares
last week. It happened the day before they closed at the lowest price in
nearly a decade.
And separately, a regulatory filing shows that IBM`s CEO bought $3 million
worth of her company`s shares. It comes a week after IBM announced the
purchase of Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) for $34 billion. Shares of those companies,
IBM rose nearly 4 percent today to $120.06. Shares of GE were down a tick
Food services business Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reported weaker than expected
profit in sales in its most recent quarter. The company said that its
costs are outpacing the price increases that it was able to pass to
customers. A tight labor market and a rise in overtime pay are
contributing to those higher costs. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares finished
down 9 percent today to $64.56.
And results of a new clinical trial show that Eli Lilly`s top selling
diabetes drug reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with
type 2 diabetes. The company did not detail the magnitude of the risk
reduction but executives did say that they plan to release the full results
of that large scale clinical trial in June. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) shares
rose 3 percent to $110.14 today.
HERERA: Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is restructuring its business lines based on the
types of customers served rather than by the type of service The three
groups will be consumer, business, and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) media group. This
is one of the first major organizational changes under the new CEO.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) shares were up 1 percent to $57.21.
Berkshire Hathaway`s profit nearly doubled in the most recent quarter. The
conglomerate reported earnings over the weekend and said its insurance
business benefitted from lower taxes. Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett
repurchased about $900 million in stock in the third quarter. Shares at
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) class A popped 5 percent to more than
And after the bell, Marriott International reported better than expected
profits but the total sales came up short. And that sent the stock
initially lower in after hours. It also finished the regular day down a
fraction to $120.68.
GRIFFETH: Voters in San Francisco tomorrow will be going to the polls
voting on a ballot measure that has divided the tech industry and spurred
debate over the issue of corporate responsibility.
Aditi Roy has more.
ADITI ROY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s one of the most
serious issues confronting San Francisco — the growing number of people
living on the streets. San Francisco currently has 7,500 homeless people,
1,000 more than it had just five years ago.
Now, Proposition C aims to solve the problem by taxing businesses in San
Francisco, up to 1.5 percent depending on how much money the company makes.
By doing so, the measure would double the city`s homeless budget.
MARC BENIOFF, CEO, SALESFORCE: We have a humanitarian crisis of epic
ROY: Marc Benioff is the CEO of Salesforce, the city`s largest private
employer. He`s one of the most vocal proponents of Prop C, despite the
fact that if the measure passes, Salesforce would have to pay about $11
million in taxes the first year.
BENIOFF: These numbers are really immaterial against the cost of
homelessness today. That is for our employees who don`t feel safe on the
streets or don`t feel safe in the BART stations, they don`t feel safe
walking to work, that`s a much greater cost than the financial numbers.
And any CEO who says that this financial number is too big or unfair or
unbalanced isn`t looking into the homeless themselves and understanding we
have a very serious situation. This is a crisis.
ROY: Together, Salesforce and Benioff have contributed nearly $8 million
supporting the campaign. But a number of companies have bankrolled the
opposition including Stripe, Visa (NYSE:V), Lyft, Charles Schwab and
Marriott International. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce says the tax
would prevent companies from moving to the city.
One of the most outspoken critics of the measure is Square and Twitter`s
CEO Jack Dorsey. He got into a Twitter debate on the issue with Benioff.
Dorsey says Square would have to pay an extra $20 million from the tax the
first year since the measure classifies financial companies differently in
software companies. But Benioff counters that`s a small price to pay to
solve what he calls a crisis of inaction.
BENIOFF: Well, I strongly believe that business is the greatest platform
for change, and that businesses can not be extracted from the cities that
they do business in.
ROY: As far as how Benioff explains his support of the measure to
investors, he says the proposal does make business sense because the rise
of homelessness impacts the company`s ability to recruit talent which is a
challenge for businesses here.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, San Francisco.
HERERA: Coming up, the plot thickens. Why Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may be
ready to crown not one but two winners for its second headquarters
HERERA: Gas prices have been falling for the fourth straight week. In
fact, the national average price of a gallon of gasoline is $2.76, the
lowest level since April. And while it`s cheaper than six months ago,
today`s national average is 24 cents higher from a year ago. AAA says,
though, prices could even lower if demand continues to weaken.
GRIFFETH: But get ready to pay more for your packages that are shipped by
FedEx (NYSE:FDX). The delivery giant said today that customers will be
facing higher shipping rates starting in January because transportation
costs are pressuring results. Raise for FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Express
(NYSE:EXPR) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Ground will rise by nearly 5 percent.
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) freight prices will climb by nearly 6 percent. Shares of
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) finished up a fraction today to $222.61.
HERERA: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) meanwhile is offering free shipping with no
minimums during the holiday season. It is the first time that the e-
commerce giant has offered the service for nonprime members. Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) said the deal, however, expires once the company can no
longer promise deliveries in time for Christmas with the free shipping
GRIFFETH: Speaking of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), it turns out Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) may not be eyeing one location for its second headquarters
but two. NBC News and “The Wall Street Journal” are reporting that after
more than a year of deliberations, the e-commerce giant has decided to
split its so-called HQ2 between two cities, with 25,000 employees to be
hired in each location. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is said to be in final
discussions with officials in New York, Dallas, and northern Virginia.
And that`s where we find our Scott Cohn tonight.
SCOTT COHN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Arlington, Virginia
neighborhood known as Crystal City holds some clear advantages for Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN). Reagan National Airport is minutes away, so is the nation`s
capital, a short ride on the metro. The Pentagon is right next door, a big
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) customer.
And there`s already lots of vacant office space from defense contractors
that used to be here. But perhaps most important, this area has workers,
well-educated workers and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has plans to hire 50,000 of
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it will be pretty awesome. I think it would
potentially end up creating a better workforce around here.
COHN: A source with knowledge says Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) had a lengthy
conference call with local officials. Among the topics, a big
transportation upgrade. But the ultimate decision almost certainly rests
with CEO Jeff Bezos who said just last week you collect as much data as you
can, you immerse yourself in that data, but then you make the decision with
Bezos already owns “The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO)” and he`s renovating a
home here. No wonder three D.C. area locations made the finals.
But is there enough tech talent here?
That question is why Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may be looking at splitting HQ2
in two. And why officials in the other finalists like Nashville aren`t
giving up yet.
GOV. BILL HASLAM (R), TENNESSEE: You can`t actually compare bids. I mean,
I think there`s, again, I think it`s a little bit of what Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) is looking for, is that do they want that larger metropolitan
area, do they want a city like Nashville that I think is going to be more
COHN: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) could still change the mind. One company
official not involved in the selection process tweeting over the weekend
whoever is leaking news about Crystal City is not doing the community any
favors. A lesson to all the finalists, don`t count your chickens until
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) delivers them.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Scott Cohn, Arlington, Virginia.
HERERA: Here`s a look at the final numbers today. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average rose 190, the Nasdaq fell 28, S&P 500 was up 15.
And that will do it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening. Get out the vote
GRIFFETH: We`ll see you tomorrow.
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