Transcript: Nightly Business Report – November 6, 2018

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

Stocks climb as Americans head to the polls. But if the House flips, will
gridlock be good for stocks this time around?

it`s all about the economy in a number of gubernatorial races across the

HERERA: Watch them run. Meet the women who once ran companies who are now
running for office.

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday,
November 6th.

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

Wall Street was in a buying mood this midterm election day. Stock rallied
into the close as a matter of fact, helped by the technology sector that
has lately been beaten down. Industrial stocks also rose. That group
could benefit no matter the outcome of the election because rebuilding
infrastructure is one issue that both Republicans and Democrats may agree

Here are closing numbers for this day, with the Dow gaining 123 points to
close at 25,635. The Nasdaq added 47. The S&P was up 17.

Now, tonight, if the House flips to a Democratic majority and the Senate
maintains a Republican majority, it could possibly lead to legislative grid
lock. In the past, the markets have embraced such gridlock. But that may
not be the case this time around.

Bob Pisani explains why.


the House will be taken by the Democrats and the Senate remains in the
hands of the Republicans. And that this is good if for stocks because
gridlock is traditionally good for stocks. Well, experts say it`s not
clear it will be that way this time around.

Remember, much of the benefits to stocks in the last two years has come
because we are not in a gridlock environment. That`s how the tax cuts got
through. We didn`t have gridlock.

So, there is little chance the he wants Trump tax cuts will be rolled back
with the Republican Senate. But there is little chance they are made
permanent with the Democratic House.

More stimulus may be tough to come by. That`s an issue. Many also believe
the Republicans will be more concerned with the build up in deficits, which
will leave very little room for stimulus spending, particularly on
infrastructure projects. Everybody wants them and nobody can agree on how
to pay for them.

So, if there`s even a slight slowdown in the economy, this is another
problem. The president will likely blame the Federal Reserve for raising
rates, which will put the Fed in a box that will make it difficult for them
to back down. The Democrats will certainly launch a long investigation
into the president`s finances if the Democrats take the House. That`s an

Trade tensions will continue and rates will keep rising. The bottom line
is this. This is a very different environment from November 2017, a year
ago, when the tax cuts were imminent.

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


HERERA: So let`s turn to Ed Mills for more on the markets and midterm
elections. He is a Washington policy analyst at Raymond James.

Good to see you, Ed.


HERERA: Bob made the point that if indeed we do see the House flip, it may
be different this time around. Would you agree with that?

MILLS: I agree with a lot of it. But where I might disagree is that I
would really focus on the Senate. And I am a believer of the fact that the
reason the stock market is up as much as it`s been up since the election of
Donald Trump is the deregulatory agenda that he is pursuing.

So, if the Republicans maintain the majority in the Senate it is the Senate
and the Senate alone who confirms any of his picks. And so, with the
Republican majority in the Senate, the deregulatory agenda continues. That
is something that the market likes.

GRIFFETH: But if there is gridlock, what would — how do you think the
market would respond to that necessarily?

MILLS: Well, what I would ask is, is there anything that the market is
anticipating right now coming out of D.C.? You could argue we have had
grid lock for the most part since Trump has been elected to office because
you can`t get to 60 votes on basically anything in the United States

GRIFFETH: But you have had tax cuts, but you have had lower regulation in
the certain sectors, the financial arena.


GRIFFETH: I mean, it has been a boost to the economy and we have seen that
reflected in the stock market.

MILLS: Yes, and all of that regulation is going to continue. You say in
the face of regulation for financials, those confirmations are four or more
years long. We will have those individuals in their seats pursuing that
deregulatory agenda tomorrow regardless of the outcome of this election and
in many cases regardless of the 2020 election.

We did get the tax cuts. There`s nothing else that`s really there. And I
would actually argue that the Tea Party in the House has prevented a number
of bills that have wanted to be brought up.

And you could see in the House, a breakthrough on things like
infrastructure, things like an immigration bill, spending bills, the normal
way in which we get things done in a divided government is Democrats get
their priorities paid or and Republicans get their priorities paid for.
And we have a deal. So, that`s a continuation of fiscal stimulus on the
legislative side of the agenda.

GRIFFETH: Obviously, the market is a forward looking mechanism but what is
the market not anticipating out of the midterms?

MILLS: Well, I think that the market is underpricing the risk we have with
the China trade deal. And immediately tomorrow, we will be focused on the
G20 meeting at the end of the month. We`ll be focused on what`s coming out
for the Mueller investigation and that could add to a lot of volatility
over the next couple of months, and potentially for the remainder of the
presidency of Donald Trump.

So, the volatility is what I look for because there is underappreciated
risk. There`s a lot of known, unknowns out there today.

HERERA: OK. Ed, as always, thank you.

MILLS: Pleasure.

HERERA: Ed Mills with Raymond James.


GRIFFETH: Well, the battle for control of Congress may be getting a lot of
attention. But some crucial battles are being played out at state level as

Scott Cohn has a rundown of what`s at stake. He reports for us tonight
from Atlanta, Georgia.


choosing governors this year and no race more close or nasty than Georgia.
Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp accusing of Democrats of trying to
hack the state`s voting systems. Democratic former state legislator,
Stacey Abrams, accusing Kemp who`s overseeing the election while running in
it of suppressing the vote.

But this race, like the rest, is also about the economy, a similar story in
Florida, pinning a progressive mayor against a conservative congressman.
In Wisconsin, Republican Scott Walker is seeking a third term while facing
growing questions about billions in subsidies for Taiwanese electronics
company Foxconn, the questions from his Democratic opponent, state school
superintendent Tony Evers.

And in Illinois, it`s the battle of the billionaires. Republican governor
Bruce Rauner fighting for his political life against Hyatt hotel heir J.B.
Pritzker. Republicans hold 26 of the 36 seats up for grabs, meaning they
have the most territory to defend.

GOV. BILL HASLAM (R), TENNESSEE: What we`ve talked about is, let`s look at
the results. What states are the best rated as a place to invest? Where
is the best educational outcomes?

COHN: Democrats think they have the winning message.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: We are going to restore democracy and
jobs in America and get people health care.

COHN: The governor`s races are just the beginning. Voters will also
decide more than 6,000 state legislative races, some $76 billion in state
and local bond issues, and ballot initiatives that could fundamentally
change the economy in a number of states.

With health care a key issue nationwide, voters in four states will
consider Medicaid expansion.

JANEEN MOLBORN GEORGIA VOTER: Economically, the most important issue is
health care and making sure that my elderly parents are going to be able to
have coverage.

COHN: And half a dozen states will consider tax measures, including
Washington state, where they`ll vote on a first in the nation carbon tax.

INSLEE: Look, the clean energy jobs in America are growing twice as fast
as the rest of the U.S. economy. So, you bet, this is an economic growth

COHN: Also what stake in the states, who will control congressional
redistricting after the 2020 census, an election with impact that will last
for years.



HERERA: Shares of cannabis companies rose today as investors wait to see
if voters in two more states, Michigan and North Dakota, legalize
recreational marijuana. Investors in pot stocks appear optimistic, sending
shares of Cronos Group, Canopy Growth and Tilray higher in trading today.

GRIFFETH: The price of crude oil briefly fell into bear market territory
today, meaning it`s down 20 percent or more from the recent highs. The
domestic crude today settled around $62 a barrel. That extends the recent
slide that has pushed prices down more than 16 percent in just the past

Jackie DeAngelis takes a look at why oil is coming under so much pressure.


oil intensifying after the deadline for U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran went
into effect on Sunday night. The reason, Iran`s oil isn`t going to
disappear from the market with the flick of a light switch. And all other
factors considered, oil may actually be falling back into oversupply mode.

With respect to Iran, countries that buy the oil are receiving waivers.
Eight were issued out of Washington last week. Iran`s top importers:
China, India, South Korea.

Furthermore, the president saying yesterday that the sanctions will put
pressure on gradually so as not to spike oil prices. Add to that, a
stronger dollar, OPEC production on the rise and preparation for Iran`s
shortfall, the U.S. pumping more than $11 million barrels a day, all in a
seasonally weak period. And the recipe may yield oil prices lower from

The good news, at the average for a gallon of regular, $2.75, according to
AAA. That`s down 16 cents in a month.



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

Square was upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi ahead of its earnings
report tomorrow. The analyst cites the company`s growth potential. The
price target is $90. The stock rose 3 percent to $77.31.

Shake Shack was upgraded to buy from neutral at Longbow Research. The
analyst says the recent stock selloff does not reflect the company`s
fundamentals. The price target is $60. The stock gained 5.5 percent to

And “The New York Times (NYSE:NYT)” was downgraded to underweight from
equal weight at Barclays. The analyst there cites the stock`s valuation,
because those shares are up more than 40 percent so far this year. The
price target is $19. The shares fell more than 3 percent to $26.94.

GRIFFETH: Still ahead, CVS`s prescription for the future of health care.


HERERA: CVS (NYSE:CVS) health turned into a strong quarter, thanks to
higher sales of prescription drugs. The company also said it expects its
$69 billion purchase of Aetna (NYSE:AET) to close this month, which it says
will help reduce costs. Shares of CVS (NYSE:CVS) gained more than 5.5

Bertha Coombs has more on the company`s results and its vision for the


it`s on track to close a $69 billion merger with Aetna (NYSE:AET) by
Thanksgiving. With only a handful of states left to sign off on the deal.
CEO Larry Merlo told the analysts on the earnings call that the two firms
are already targeting new programs to coordinate care for Aetna (NYSE:AET)
members and CVS (NYSE:CVS) customers that will improve their health while
lowering costs.

is the better management of five chronic conditions: diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma and behavioral health. And
we`ll accomplish this by building upon our near-term medical cost savings
through the tighter integration of pharmacy and medical claims.

COOMBS: CVS (NYSE:CVS) reported $3.4 billion in profits for the third
quarter, with pharmacy benefits margins up 6.5 percent, and retail pharmacy
prescription sales also increasing from a year ago. Starting in the New
Year, the focus will be on building up CVS`s private care services at in-
store minute clinics. Some larger stores will become health care hubs.
Initially just for CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) insured patients but
eventually for other insurers and large employers.

MERLO: We will have the concept stores up and running through next year
and through these stores, we will pilot the programs just mentioned and
explore new services to better address the cost quality access challenges
of consumers.

COOMBS: CVS (NYSE:CVS) says it will hold off providing the 2019 earnings
guidance until next year following the close of the Aetna (NYSE:AET) deal.

But still expects to reach more than $750 million in cost savings in the
first two years of the combined company. And it says its customers will
see savings as well, from more streamlined care.



GRIFFETH: A profit and revenue beat at Ralph Lauren, not enough for
investors. And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The retailer did top Wall Street estimates but comparable store sales,
which is a key metric for analysts, those were flat. Even after the
company increased its marketing budget by 30 percent. And that news sent
the stock down more than 6.5 percent today to $127.79.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) reported better than expected earnings and revenue and
raised its full-year outlook. That company said that sales gains for newer
drugs help offset declines for older ones.


DAVE RICKS, ELI LILLY CEO: In the last three or four years, we launched
ten new medicines in the U.S. and around the world. And that`s really
driving our growth this quarter, in the past quarters as well. Revenue up
7 percent, and good cost control in the middle of the income statement, EPS
growth of 32 percent, and we`re excited about the next wave of growth as


GRIFFETH: Some drugs though did in terms of sales fall short of estimates
and that resulted in a mixed quarter overall. Shares fell almost 4 percent
today to $105.90.

Archer Daniels Midland reported better than expected quarterly profit,
thanks to strong export sales to countries other than China. Sales in
China have been affected by the tariff tiff with the U.S. The company
reported a rice in profit margins for the oil seeds business. The shares
did fall more than 1 percent today to $47.33.

HERERA: Toyota (NYSE:TM) raised its full year profit forecast thanks to a
weaker yen and sales growth in Asia and the U.S. sales were particularly
strong in China even as its competitors warn of a slowdown in demand in
that country. China is the world`s largest car mechanic market. The
shares rose more than 1.5 percent to $117.58.

Private equity problem Thoma Bravo has reportedly reported approached
Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) about a takeover. According to “Reuters”, it`s not
certain that the interests will lead to a deal. Private equity firms Bain
Capital and Silver Lake are investors in the cybersecurity firm. The stock
popped 1 percent to $22.54.

And after the bell, Papa Johns reported quarterly loss and disappointing
sales. The company said a big drag on results were the millions of dollars
that it paid to remove the image of the former chairman John Schnatter from
its franchisees and marketing materials. Same store sales were down across
the board but the decline at franchised locations was smaller than
expected. Shares initially rose in after-hours but finished the regular
day down nearly 2 percent to $53.47.

And the fast food chain Wendy`s said weaker than expected sales in North
America locations caused overall revenue to come up short. Earnings
climbed higher, however, it beat expectations. The shares were initially
lower in after hours but ended the regular day up a fraction to $17.08.

GRIFFETH: Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) certainly has big plans for China. It
began investing a lot of money in that market well before the trade war was
with the U.S. began. And today, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) CEO was in Beijing
mapping out his aggressive strategy.

Eunice Yoon has more.


Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) on the planet in terms of world longest coffee bar.
It`s really no surprise that this is in Shanghai, because outside the
United States, this is the market that Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is focused
on for the future.

Of course, there is a trade war going on, souring relations between the
U.S. and China. And I asked CEO Kevin Johnson if he`s seeing any impact on
the business.

KEVIN JOHNSON, STARBUCKS CEO: There is always something going on in
geopolitical relationships and the geopolitical situation. And we have
learned to navigate those things. So, you know, what`s happening right now
in the geopolitical situation, although we are not immune we have not seen
it impact our business. And so, we are staying focused on the things we do
and do well.

YOON: Johnson said despite the trade dispute there is no reassessment
going on of Starbucks` commitment to this market.

Their biggest initiative these days is delivery. Food delivery is huge in
China. Back in August, the company announced a new partnership with
Alibaba. And now, customers here can use a Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) app or
another Alibaba delivery called, and order a coffee delivered within
30 minutes.

JOHNSON: We have reengineered packaging of beverages with spill proof
lids. We`ve reengineered the packaging to separate hot from cold. We work
with the Alibaba group to make sure when the customer orders that beverage
and that food, that when it`s delivered to them and handed to the customer,
the beverage is the same temperatures that the barista just prepared it and
handed to do to them. So, it`s all about quality experience.

YOON: Since August, 1,100 stores in 17 cities now offer delivery. That`s
about a third of the stores overall. They expect to expand that to 2,000
by the end of this year. What`s really interesting is that Johnson said he
sees plenty of innovation here in China which could be leveraged and used
in other countries for their digital strategies, including the United

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


HERERA: Coming up, running for change.


businessman can be elected president why can`t a business woman? Coming up
we look at the women moving from the board room into politics.



HERERA: Women candidates are prepared to make their mark on the midterms.
A record number are running for office. And some are hoping to bring their
business smarts to government.

Jane Wells is in Phoenix for us tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Stacey Abrams.

WELLS: A record number of women have been nominated for higher office from
all walks of life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got me a Purple Heart and I became a second woman
ever awarded the distinguish Flying Cross.

WELLS: Many have never run for office before. In fact, some have been
running companies.

LENA EPSTEIN, CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS: People don`t always respect a woman
in business.

WELLS: Lena Epstein is running as a Republican in Michigan where he runs
an automotive oil company, one of the state`s largest female owned formed.

While in Indiana —


WELLS: Dee Thornton retired from Xerox (NYSE:XRX) running as a Democrat
for Congress. Businesswomen may come from different parties but united in
understanding money and managing.

industry and this world of politics, there`s a lot of common factors.

WELLS: Bibiana Boerio used to be the CFO of Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Credit.
Now, she`s a Democratic congressional nominee in Pennsylvania. Early on,
she tested two campaign ideas, one presenting herself as a female
executive, another just as an executive. Women like both candidates and

BOERIO: The results came out about 10 points higher that men were
interested in — in the candidate for which the sex was not determined.
You couldn`t tell it was a woman candidate.

WELLS: Also happening across the country, there are 33 races for the House
and Senate in which women are running against other women, including in a
hotly contested Senate race here in Arizona. And in another such race in
New York, the Republican nominee worked on Wall Street.

CHELE FARLEY (R), SENATE NOMINEE: I think even my mother laughed when I
said that I was running for the U.S. Senate. She said, don`t you need to
run for dog catcher first?

WELLS: Chele Farley worked at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and is now the
Republican long shot running against New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

FARLEY: But I think we need more business people as opposed to lawyers in
the Senate.

WELLS: And while some women this year got into politics to fight Donald
Trump, a common theme is that if that in a businessman can become
president, why not a businesswoman?



GRIFFETH: Now, after the midterm elections, Washington has its sights set
on several key issues, trade, infrastructure spending and health care just
to name three.

Now, to get a sense how those might be affected by tonight`s results, we
are joined here in studio, we welcome our Washington correspondent Eamon
Javers and our editor at large John Harwood.

Good to see you, both. Welcome aboard.

HERERA: Yes, indeed.


GRIFFETH: How about starting with the tariff tiff with China? How is that
changed if at all?

EAMON JAVERS, WASHINTON CORRESPONDENT: Ultimately, I think the Chinese are
watching the election results tonight as well as everybody in the United
States, and looking to see whether the president has a stronger leg
politically after tomorrow than before than he did before. Ultimately,
they`re going to make a decision on how strong they think he is
politically. And that`s going to inform their negotiations. So, I think
it`s got significant impact not just here but around the world.

HERERA: And what does that mean, John, for NAFTA 2.0 depending on what
comes out of the election?

HARWOOD: You know, I spoke this afternoon to Nancy Pelosi who if the
Democrats win the House will take over as speaker. She said too quick to
say how we`re going to vote on that. It`s a work in progress. We haven`t
even all the details. But I do think Democrats are likely to come from the
left at President Trump and say he hasn`t cut a good enough deal for the
American worker.

GRIFFETH: So, the negotiations might continue then.

HARWOOD: I think so.

GRIFFETH: Yes. Obamacare we haven`t heard much lately about the attempts
to repeal it. Would that come back again do you think?

JAVERS: Well, look, health care is such an important election this year as
it`s been in the past. But ultimately the Republicans felt burned by their
efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. They weren`t successful. What
you have heard the president saying a lot recently is that he wants
ultimately to protect the ability for people with preexisting conditions to
get health care.

He said we the Republicans are the party that`s going to do that, not the
Democrats. I think that`s rhetoric that just reflects the importance of
the health care issue. But I don`t expect them to make a full run at
repealing and replacing Obamacare again because they were so badly burned.

HARWOOD: This issue, guys, is moving in the Democratic direction. What
Democrats are going to do is try to get President Trump to follow through
on his rhetoric about reducing prescription drug prices. He has taken some
steps in that direction. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will want to take

HERERA: What about infrastructure, John? Because that`s a big ticket
item. And depending on what happens with the house it`s going to be
interesting to see whether that still has traction.

HARWOOD: That is the biggest potential area of cooperation between the
president and the — Nancy Pelosi, given the stated priorities. However,
deficits are now over $1 trillion as we look to 2019. It`s going to be
very difficult to find the money to do that.

JAVERS: The politicians like to spend money, right? So, ultimately, both
Democrats and Republicans — you know to go to the ribbon cutting, to send
some money back to the district, that is a very tempting opportunity even
though I agree with John completely that deficits are a huge concern
particularly as we`re hitting the trillion dollar figure. There is going
to be a temptation to do something. That`s the one area where you might
see common ground.

HARWOOD: Well, then this will sound like a very naive question. But
fiscal policy down the road, the president talked about another 10 percent
cut for middle class. But if the House does get the majority again, on the
Democratic side, what happens to that?

JAVERS: Well, they control the power of the purse ultimately. So, they`ll
be the ones deciding what checks the United States government writes
ultimately. The president has said he is going to ask his cabinet
secretaries for cuts of 5 percent in spending. Ultimately, maybe more in
years to come.

We`ll see if that`s real or not. If that was just pre-election rhetoric or
if the president actually holds his cabinet secretaries to proposing those
cuts. Cabinet secretaries don`t like to cut the empires down by 5 percent.

HARWOOD: You are so naive, Bill.



HERERA: What do you think, John? To Eamon`s point, they don`t want to
come up with the 5 percent. But the president has ordered them to do so.
But what does it mean —

HARWOOD: That`s not going anywhere. The Republicans in the Congress would
not support those cuts. They`ve already maxed out in terms of what they
think they can do on discretionary spending. Of course, Democrats don`t
want to go any further.

I think this is going to be an alignment that is not good for fiscal
responsibility because it`s going to be very difficult to get deficit
reduction. I do not think that there will be either be those 5 percent
cuts in agencies or new tax cut for middle class.

GRIFFETH: All right.

HERERA: Fascinating.

GRIFFETH: We`ll let you both get back and start counting those votes.

Eamon Javers. John Harwood good to have you both here.

JAVERS: Thank you, guys.

HERERA: Great to have you here, guys. Thank you.

All right. Before we go tonight, let`s take a look at the final day`s
numbers on Wall Street. The Dow advanced 173 points, the Nasdaq added 47
and S&P 500 was up 17. And that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT
tonight. I`m Sue Herera.

Thanks for joining us.

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


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
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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.
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