Transcript: Nightly Business Report – April 2, 2019

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


BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Typical quarter.  Walgreens cut its profit outlook hurt by a drop in the price of generic drugs and it doesn`t look like that trend will end any time soon.  


SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Border disorder.  The president starts to soften his tone, but again, threatens to shut down the Mexican border.  But what happens to our economy if that happens?


GRIFFETH:  And closing the gap.  The industries leading the way working toward equal gender pay and ones that still have a ways to go.  
Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Tuesday, April the 2nd.  


HERERA:  Good evening, everyone, and welcome.  
Stocks were mixed after yesterday`s big rally and one of the reasons was Walgreens.  The nation`s largest drugstore chain reported weaker than expected earnings and said the future doesn`t look much better.  The company cut its profit outlook for the year after getting squeezed by some of the many pressures running through the entire health care industry, including the price of prescription drugs.  To remedy the problem, the CEO is calling for more cost-cuts now, totaling about $1.5 million by the year 2022.


And investors did not like that news.  Shares of the Dow component hit 15 percent, hitting a 52-week low and their worst day in more than four years.  


Bertha Coombs starts us off with the challenges facing Walgreens.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Walgreens called this the most difficult quarter the company has seen since the merger with Boots Alliance in 2014.  


STEFANO PESSINA, WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE CEO:  A number of the trends we had been expecting and preparing for impacted us significantly more quickly than we had anticipated.  


COOMBS:  Results in the pharmacy division were hurt by lower price increases on brand-name drugs and generics than had been expected.  Analysts say that`s in part due to pressure from Washington on drug prices.  


BRIAN TRANQUILUT, JEFFERIES:  Brand inflation normally starts in the beginning of every year and we`re used to seeing that in the 10 percent to 15 percent range and as, you know, media pressure and congressional pressure has landed on the pharmaceutical manufacturers, inflation rate has dropped about 5 percent.  


COOMBS:  Lower priced increases meant lower profit margins for

Walgreens.  The company is taking steps to cut costs while at the same time focusing on adding new health options in store.  


ALEX GOURLAY, WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE CO-COO:  One is driving the very important core business of pharmacy in sales, and there`s no changes there apart from driving that more directly and secondly to look at future profit streams and it is health care services.  


COOMBS:  For Walgreens, like rival CVS (NYSE:CVS), services are becoming a bigger focus because Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is undercutting them on the goods they offer in store.  


TRANQUILUT:  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is starting to introduce more over-the-counter medications and health and wellness products.  So think about cough, flu and cold medicine, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has their basic care line that is way cheaper than what Walgreen`s sells. 

 
COOMBS:  Walgreens expects to get a better handle on drug priced margins later in the year and analysts say the political pressure on drug prices isn`t likely to let up any time soon, with new pharmacy drug discount rules expected from the Trump administration later this spring.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bertha Coombs.  


(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  And in fact, Walgreen`s was the biggest decliner among the components inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average today and a decline in consumer staples and also energy shares pressure the market, as well as the Dow snapped a three-day winning streak and by the close it was down 79 points.  Walgreen`s accounted for 55 of those points, by the way, but the Nasdaq was higher up 19.  The S&P was unchanged.  


HERERA:  President Trump today said he was prepared to close large portions of the border with Mexico repeating a threat that he made just days ago.  The issue he wants fixed is illegal immigration though today he credited Mexico with taking new steps to solve the crisis.  But that crisis and the threats are already causing disruptions that could ripple through the economy.  


Scott Cohn reports from the border for us tonight.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


SCOTT COHN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Trucks by the dozens are already backed up in California according to a senior homeland security official as the personnel who normally processed freight are sent elsewhere to process migrants.  


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Our system is absolutely maxed out.  


COHN:  The president yet again threatening to shut the border unsettling to many of the 130,000 people who use this crossing alone every day, many for work.  


NANCY CRESPO, SAN DIEGO LOGISTICS ADMINISTRATOR:  That would mean probably that they`re going to lay us off at least a day or two, and we are about 40 in the company.  


COHN:  At stake, $1.7 billion in trade every day between the U.S. and Mexico.  The president acknowledged Mexico is now taking steps that he says are a result of his threat.  


TRUMP:  So Mexico has as of yesterday made a big difference.  


COHN:  But the president is not backing down.  


TRUMP:  It`s going to have a negative impact on the economy.  It`s one of the biggest trade deals in the world that we`ve just done with the

USMCA.  It`s a very big trading partner, but to me, trading is very important and the borders are very important, but security is what is most important.  


COHN:  Business leaders are urging caution.  


THOMAS DONOHUE, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CEO:  My view is that the president and the administration in particular have to — whatever they decide to do, they just have to do it without screwing up the economy. 

 
COHN:  So is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER:  Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic, economic impact on our country.  


COHN:  While White House officials look for ways to blunt the economic effects of a shutdown.  


LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR:  I think the answer is we can, and people are looking at different options, particularly if you can keep those freight lanes and truck lanes open.  I mean, that`s probably the nub of it.  


COHN:  But that`s easier said than done in a trading zone that is as sensitive as it is massive.  The last time this crossing shutdown for a matter of hours in November, officials say the handful of businesses just in the neighborhood lost more than $5 million.  The president is threatening a shutdown that is much bigger, much longer with impact the people here can`t begin to imagine.  


For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Scott Cohn, San Diego.  


(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  So, what, potentially, would happen to the U.S. economy if the Mexican border is shut down?  


Clayton Allen is senior trade policy and geopolitical strategist with Height Capital Market and he joins us tonight to talk about that.  
Clayton, thanks for joining us tonight.  
Assuming it`s a short shutdown.  Where would we see the biggest impact initially, do you think?  


CLAYTON ALLEN, HEIGHT CAPITAL MARKETS SENIOR STRATEGIST:  On the shorter shutdown, the biggest impacts would be the logistics and transportation industry — trucking, freight rail, those would be the first things hit.  And then automotive, you`ll see that maybe two to three days less than a weekend after that.  


HERERA:  Does the type of shutdown, if indeed it does happen, make a dramatic difference in the economic impact?  We heard Larry Kudlow earlier saying that maybe they can keep the freight lines open.  
What would the economic impact be depending on what the shutdown looked like?  


ALLEN:  It would vary widely.  


I mean, the two things that matter are duration and type with freight lines and freight rail still open.  You would see the economic impact kind of restricted to border communities primarily as you noted earlier, you`re disconnecting workers from businesses and consumers from the markets, but you`d still be able to move goods into the interior of the country.  


GRIFFETH:  Speaking of goods.  Agriculture, if it`s a longer term shutdown, that could be catastrophic for agriculture, wouldn`t it?  
ALLEN:  It would be terrible.  You are already seeing awful repercussions from tariffs and lost store crops during the lower Mississippi flooding.  This would kind of just be one more terrible thing for the ag economy this year and last.  


HERERA:  So, you know, it also comes at a time when the U.S. economy is starting to slow a little bit and we`re seeing all of these headlines about the possible shutdown.  What about the psychological impact on the U.S. economy from the consumer?  


ALLEN:  I think consumers and investors both would take a lot of sort of negative emotional response to this, and you`re going to see that definitely dent people`s confidence that the economy will continue to grow and you`re going to see that dent investors` confidence that both the economy will grow and that they can trust this administration and D.C. in general to make the right choices.  


GRIFFETH:  Are we seeing at all?  Maybe you don`t know, often when there is a threat of a shut down of some kind or trade embargo, you will see a spurt of new trade go on.  Are we seeing that right now on the border in case there is a shutdown?  


ALLEN:  Trade on the border moves so quickly, I think it would be impossible to measure, but as you noted earlier, there is a backlog of trucks trying to get across.  


GRIFFETH:  Right.


ALLEN:  Trade against the Mexican-U.S. border kind goes full tilt 24/7.  
GRIFFETH:  It does.  It`s pretty critical.


Clayton Allen with Height Capital Markets — again, thanks for joining us tonight.  


ALLEN:  Thank you for having me.  


HERERA:  Auto sales for March show that sales are slowing, something we told you was likely.  Honda was one of the bright spots while sales at Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Fiat Chrysler fell.  General Motors (NYSE:GM) which reports on a quarterly and not a monthly basis said sales were down 7 percent.  Car sales at GM were off roughly 20 percent, but the lackluster demand were offset by higher car prices.  Over at GM, the average price was up almost $1,000 to more than $35,000.  


GRIFFETH:  Orders for long lasting factory goods fell in February.  This morning`s report said the durable goods orders were down 1.6 percent after three straight months of gains.  The decline was due mainly to soft aircraft orders which do tend to be volatile, and within that report, a key metric for business investment fell for the third time in four months.  
Meantime, there was yet more Brexit drama overseas today with the clock ticking and the U.K. government still unable to reach the agreement.  Prime Minister Theresa May said today she plans to ask for yet another extension from the E.U.  
Willem Marx reports for us tonight.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


WILLEM MARX, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Members of Theresa May`s government arrived one by one at 10 Downing Street this morning for a marathon cabinet meeting that was billed as a make or break moment for Britain`s future.  


With cell phones locked away and a near brief pause at lunch, they eventually left after hours and hours of discussions on how to break the Brexit deadlock.  


Late on Monday night, parliament had hit its own latest dead end.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, the noes have it. 


MARX:  Lawmakers again.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The noes have it.


MARX:  And again voted no on possible alternatives to the government`s negotiated deal with the E.U.  
Options, time and public patience are all running short ahead of an April 12th deadline that Theresa May must address when she meets European leaders in Brussels next week.  


(CHANTING)


MARX:  Tonight, the British prime minister`s stubborn streak, a source of surprise and sometimes even scorn, seemed to suddenly soften.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:  I`m taking action to break the logjam.  I`m offering to sit down with the leader of the opposition and to try to agree a plan that we would both stick to, to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.  


MARX:  May also said she would request a second Brexit extension from her E.U. counterparts, but it`s a promise to cooperate with her opponent Jeremy Corbyn and to honor the will of parliament if those talks fall apart that represents a real compromise, one that many critics have demanded for months and the troubled British pound rallied in response.  
But there remain a few guarantees about the future.  In Paris today, French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.  He insisted that the E.U. would not automatically grant the U.K. another chance to resolve its political problems.  


For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Willem Marx in London.  


(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  It is time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and Downgrades”.  


Lyft shares were initiated with a sell rating at Seaport Global Securities.  The analyst says younger generations will continue to own cars and calls the thesis that millennials will forego car ownership a, quote, big leap of faith.  The price target is $42.  The stock closed at $68.97.  As you know, Lyft shares started trading Friday at an IPO price of $72.  
Disney (NYSE:DIS) was rated a buy in new coverage over at Rosenblatt Securities.  The analyst cites the likely success of its new Disney (NYSE:DIS) Plus streaming service.  The price target is $150.  Shares closed the day at $111.96.  


Exelon (NYSE:EXC) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Securities.  The analyst cited several factors, including nuclear-related legislative initiatives.  The price target is $57.  Today, the shares finished at $50.29.  


GRIFFETH:  Still ahead, a big player in Las Vegas has a lot riding on a hearing in Massachusetts.  


(MUSIC)


GRIFFETH:  A Senate panel in Washington has opened an investigation into whistleblower complaint against the FAA.  The Commerce Committee is looking into how the agency trained safety inspectors who had 737 MAX jets.  Senators say that there is a lack of training that could have led to an improper evaluation of the system at the center of the investigation into the crash of those two Boeing (NYSE:BA) jets.  


HERERA:  There`s a new company in the Dow index.  Its name, Dow, and it was spun off from DowDuPont, following all of that?  Well, Dow is a materials science-focus company that the CEO says is about to embark on a new, more focused era.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


JIM FITTERLING, DOW CHEMICAL CEO:  One of the things we wanted to do was make it easier for the shareholders to understand, one of the knocks on us long term is the Dow was too complex.  We didn`t understand how to operate this thing.  These six businesses, three market verticals, packaging, infrastructure and consumer goods, and we`re very focused on those businesses and it`s a good growth company.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


HERERA:  Shares of Dow rose 5 percent to $56.25.  


GRIFFETH:  A report issued today alleged that executives at Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) were part of a cover-up to protect founder Steve Wynn against allegations of sexual misconduct.  That investigation was conducted by Massachusetts regulators.  And the 199-page report was released just as a hearing got under way this morning to determine whether Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) will be permitted to run a $2.5 billion casino resort outside of Boston and keep its gaming license in that state.  


During this morning`s hearing, a financial consultant testified that there`s a lot at stake for Wynn.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


DREW CHAMBERLAIN, HLT ADVISORY:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) financial stability has not been negatively impacted by the events surrounding the misconduct allocations.  The financial stability of the company is contingent upon the company maintaining it`s gaining license in Las Vegas and Massachusetts and Macao.  That is paramount to successfully ongoing operations.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) is still hoping to open its new encore Boston harbor resort in June.  The company has been cooperating with the state`s investigation for the past year.  
By the way, the Nevada Gaming Commission also recently reviewed Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) and it assessed a fine of $20 million and it did allow the company to keep its casino license there.  Shares of Wynn resorts rose 4 percent in today`s trade.  


HERERA:  Delta`s shares takeoff and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  The airline raised its quarterly earnings guidance above expectations and said it expects unit revenue to rise 2 percent in the March quarter.  The carrier adds that revenue from its branded American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) credit card will likely double by 2023.  Delta rose 6 percent to $55.33.  Delta`s outlook rippled through the sector, lifting the other airline stocks.  


McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in the mobile app company.  The deal marks the fast food company`s first-ever investment in the mobile app vendor and its second major investment in the tech company in a week.  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is hoping technology will help them better target customers.  The shares were off 4 cents to $188.35.  


GRIFFETH:  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is undergoing a large reorganization.  The world`s largest asset manager is going to increase its bets on non-traditional investments including private equity and hedge funds and commodities and real estate.  The CEO Larry Fink said today that this will differentiate BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) from its competitors.  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) was off a fraction today to $436.45.  


And Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has suspended its relationship with Care.com, the web-based company best known for helping families find child care.  Yesterday, “The Wall Street Journal” reported that Care.com had removed tens of thousands of unlicensed day care center listings from its site.  Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) had used that service for its own employees.  Executives told “Reuters” today that it`s now doing a thorough review of both that service and the company.


And that small cap Care.com stock fell nearly 10 percent today to $16.64.  
HERERA:  Coming up, why some industries are better at closing the pay gap than others.  


(MUSIC)


HERERA:  In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed a bill designed to increase the flexibility of 401(k) retirement plans and improve access to them.  It was the most comprehensive change to retirement legislation in more than a decade.  As we reported yesterday, one major provision would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits.  


GRIFFETH:  Fidelity is out with its annual analysis of healthcare expenses and retirement.  


Now, there`s good new and there`s bad news.  We`ll start with a bad news.  A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $285,000 over the course of their retirement.  That`s before factoring in long-term care, dental or medical premiums.  


The good news, if you can call it that, is that the cost did not rise much in the last year.  Remember, this is just one estimate and the numbers can often vary widely among various studies.  


HERERA:  Would a bigger salary make you happier at work?  Well, a new survey says not necessarily.  According to the CNBC SurveyMonkey workplace happiness index, the majority of respondents say things like additional paid time off and more training would increase their satisfaction and workers in some industries tend to be happier than those in others.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


JON COHEN, SURVEYMONKEY CHIEF RESEARCH OFFICER:  The happiest comes out to be consulting and research, which is the combined industry.  The happiness score there and, again, this is across all five of the factors that we identified is around 78.  So the least happy is in retail.  So people should probably be nicer to people when they buy a cup of coffee or take that ride in the ride-sharing vehicle.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  By the way, today is Equal Pay Day.  That is a date that symbolizes how far into the New Year that women must work to earn what men earned for all of last year.  According to a recent report, women in the U.S. working full time and year round made roughly 80 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earned, and experts do not expect that pay gap to close for a long time.  


Julia Boorstin has details.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The good news is that the pay gap is starting to close.  But progress is so slow at this rate, men and women won`t be paid equally until 2070.  That`s according to a new report from Glassdoor.  


The disparity is meaningful.  Women earn on average 75 cents for every dollar men earn in the U.S., pointing to the fact that men tend to dominate in higher-paying industries like tech and are promoted faster.  
JOELLE EMERSON, PARADIGM CEO:  It`s not enough when payout comes at the end of the day.  Two people in identical roles are paid the exact same.  Instead, we`re encouraging companies to look at all of the factors that inform pay, like what`s happening in the hiring process or in promotions or in negotiations.  


BOORSTIN:  Even with the same job and the same experience, women make about 95 cents for every dollar men make, and some industries have bigger gaps than others.  Media and retail have the biggest gap, a 6.4 percent for the same roles with qualifications according to Glassdoor.  


Finance and I.T. are in the middle of the pack with 5.6 percent and 5.4 percent pay gaps respectively.  The biotech and pharmaceutical industry, though, has the smallest gender pay gap of just 2.2 percent.  
Cisco`s executive vice president and chief people officer Francine Katsoudas has worked to help close its pay gap, looking beyond just adjusting pay.  


FRANCINE KATSOUDAS, CISCO EVP & CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER:  We need to see more women in leadership roles.  A lot of times when you look at the pay gap, what we`re looking at is the average of what men make and women make and those numbers are compared.  And so, the more women you have in senior leadership, you`re going to see that go down.  
BOORSTIN:  Equileap ranks the top U.S. companies for equal pay.  General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are number one and two.  Both have a pay gap of less than 3 percent across the companies.  With published pay information for three pay brackets.  
Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also top Equileap`s list because of their detailed paid disclosures and strategies in place.  


Companies that are transparent about pay are more likely to close their gaps.  It is not just about the gap between men and women, gaps for people of color, particularly women of color tend to be much larger, making it all the more important for companies to take a close look across their ranks and diversity and inclusion policies.  


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


(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  Ariane Hegewisch joins us now to talk more about the gender wage gap between men and women and how it could be hurting the U.S. economy.  She is the program director on employment and earnings at the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.  


Welcome.  It`s a pleasure to have you here.  


ARIANE HEGEWISCH, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN`S POLICY RESEARCH

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:  Thank you for addressing this.  


HERERA:  You maintain that one of the biggest on problems at the base of all of this is discrimination, correct?  


HEGEWISCH:  Yes and no.  So, discrimination not when you do the same job, but discrimination in the way we reward after what women typically do and what men typically do.  So, a teacher earns less than an engineer.  For example, a truck driver earns less than a secretary.  


GRIFFETH:  But I think about industries that are hiring a lot these days — two of them in particular, technology and healthcare.  But yet, we still hear about gender pay inequality where they claim in some basis that they can`t find enough skilled workers.  


How does that happen, do you think, beyond the issue of discrimination? 

 
HEGEWISCH:  I think one issue in the tech industry, the wage gap is a little smaller than in other sectors.  So, often, women go into those high-paying, non-traditional fields for women, they make a little better money.  
In the healthcare sector, there`s something we call the glass elevator that if a man comes in — you know, you can see him go straight to the top and the women move up much more slowly.  So that also happens.  


HERERA:  So what about the impacts on the economy?  If we were able to close this wage gap more quickly than people estimate we will, what would be the economic impact?  


HEGEWISCH:  So, we have estimated how much it would account for if women were paid the same as men for the same hours they work, the same education, the same years of experience in the labor market, and it comes to $5 billion which was 2 percent of the GDP when we did that study.  So, a huge amount.  


If you give that to women, women tend to spend money faster on locally, on their kids, on the house, on mortgages.  It helps families not just the individual women.  


GRIFFETH:  Very quickly, leverage helps a lot.  What leverage do women have that would help them close the gap in some ways?  


HEGEWISCH:  You know, I think it`s actually not just women.  It`s all of us, and I think we use our vote, talk to colleagues and talk to our bosses also, but a lot of it is around policies.  We need the cheap college access, better child care, and we need more enforcement of pay discrimination or against pay discrimination.  


HERERA:  Ariane, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

Ariane Hegewisch with the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.  


HEGEWISCH:  Thank you.  


GRIFFETH:  A report issued today alleged that executives at Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) were part of a cover-up to protect founder Steve Wynn against allegations of sexual misconduct.  That investigation was conducted by Massachusetts regulators.  And the 199-page report was released just as a hearing got under way this morning to determine whether Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) will be permitted to run a $2.5 billion casino resort outside of Boston and keep its gaming license in that state.  


During this morning`s hearing, a financial consultant testified that there`s a lot at stake for Wynn.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


DREW CHAMBERLAIN, HLT ADVISORY:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) financial stability has not been negatively impacted by the events surrounding the misconduct allocations.  The financial stability of the company is contingent upon the company maintaining it`s gaining license in Las Vegas and Massachusetts and Macao.  That is paramount to successfully ongoing operations.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) is still hoping to open its new encore Boston harbor resort in June.  The company has been cooperating with the state`s investigation for the past year.  
By the way, the Nevada Gaming Commission also recently reviewed Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) and it assessed a fine of $20 million and it did allow the company to keep its casino license there.  Shares of Wynn resorts rose 4 percent in today`s trade.  


HERERA:  Delta`s shares takeoff and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  The airline raised its quarterly earnings guidance above expectations and said it expects unit revenue to rise 2 percent in the March quarter.  The carrier adds that revenue from its branded American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) credit card will likely double by 2023.  Delta rose 6 percent to $55.33.  Delta`s outlook rippled through the sector, lifting the other airline stocks.  


McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in the mobile app company.  The deal marks the fast food company`s first-ever investment in the mobile app vendor and its second major investment in the tech company in a week.  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is hoping technology will help them better target customers.  The shares were off 4 cents to $188.35.  


GRIFFETH:  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is undergoing a large reorganization.  The world`s largest asset manager is going to increase its bets on non-traditional investments including private equity and hedge funds and commodities and real estate.  The CEO Larry Fink said today that this will differentiate BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) from its competitors.  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) was off a fraction today to $436.45.  


And Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has suspended its relationship with Care.com, the web-based company best known for helping families find child care.  Yesterday, “The Wall Street Journal” reported that Care.com had removed tens of thousands of unlicensed day care center listings from its site.  Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) had used that service for its own employees.  Executives told “Reuters” today that it`s now doing a thorough review of both that service and the company.


And that small cap Care.com stock fell nearly 10 percent today to $16.64.  
HERERA:  Coming up, why some industries are better at closing the pay gap than others.  


(MUSIC)


HERERA:  In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed a bill designed to increase the flexibility of 401(k) retirement plans and improve access to them.  It was the most comprehensive change to retirement legislation in more than a decade.  As we reported yesterday, one major provision would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits.  


GRIFFETH:  Fidelity is out with its annual analysis of healthcare expenses and retirement.  


Now, there`s good new and there`s bad news.  We`ll start with a bad news.  A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $285,000 over the course of their retirement.  That`s before factoring in long-term care, dental or medical premiums.  


The good news, if you can call it that, is that the cost did not rise much in the last year.  Remember, this is just one estimate and the numbers can often vary widely among various studies.  


HERERA:  Would a bigger salary make you happier at work?  Well, a new survey says not necessarily.  According to the CNBC SurveyMonkey workplace happiness index, the majority of respondents say things like additional paid time off and more training would increase their satisfaction and workers in some industries tend to be happier than those in others.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


JON COHEN, SURVEYMONKEY CHIEF RESEARCH OFFICER:  The happiest comes out to be consulting and research, which is the combined industry.  The happiness score there and, again, this is across all five of the factors that we identified is around 78.  So the least happy is in retail.  So people should probably be nicer to people when they buy a cup of coffee or take that ride in the ride-sharing vehicle.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  By the way, today is Equal Pay Day.  That is a date that symbolizes how far into the New Year that women must work to earn what men earned for all of last year.  According to a recent report, women in the U.S. working full time and year round made roughly 80 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earned, and experts do not expect that pay gap to close for a long time.  


Julia Boorstin has details.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The good news is that the pay gap is starting to close.  But progress is so slow at this rate, men and women won`t be paid equally until 2070.  That`s according to a new report from Glassdoor.  


The disparity is meaningful.  Women earn on average 75 cents for every dollar men earn in the U.S., pointing to the fact that men tend to dominate in higher-paying industries like tech and are promoted faster.  
JOELLE EMERSON, PARADIGM CEO:  It`s not enough when payout comes at the end of the day.  Two people in identical roles are paid the exact same.  Instead, we`re encouraging companies to look at all of the factors that inform pay, like what`s happening in the hiring process or in promotions or in negotiations.  


BOORSTIN:  Even with the same job and the same experience, women make about 95 cents for every dollar men make, and some industries have bigger gaps than others.  Media and retail have the biggest gap, a 6.4 percent for the same roles with qualifications according to Glassdoor.  


Finance and I.T. are in the middle of the pack with 5.6 percent and 5.4 percent pay gaps respectively.  The biotech and pharmaceutical industry, though, has the smallest gender pay gap of just 2.2 percent.  
Cisco`s executive vice president and chief people officer Francine Katsoudas has worked to help close its pay gap, looking beyond just adjusting pay.  


FRANCINE KATSOUDAS, CISCO EVP & CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER:  We need to see more women in leadership roles.  A lot of times when you look at the pay gap, what we`re looking at is the average of what men make and women make and those numbers are compared.  And so, the more women you have in senior leadership, you`re going to see that go down.  
BOORSTIN:  Equileap ranks the top U.S. companies for equal pay.  General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are number one and two.  Both have a pay gap of less than 3 percent across the companies.  With published pay information for three pay brackets.  
Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also top Equileap`s list because of their detailed paid disclosures and strategies in place.  


Companies that are transparent about pay are more likely to close their gaps.  It is not just about the gap between men and women, gaps for people of color, particularly women of color tend to be much larger, making it all the more important for companies to take a close look across their ranks and diversity and inclusion policies.  


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


(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  Ariane Hegewisch joins us now to talk more about the gender wage gap between men and women and how it could be hurting the U.S. economy.  She is the program director on employment and earnings at the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.  


Welcome.  It`s a pleasure to have you here.  


ARIANE HEGEWISCH, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN`S POLICY RESEARCH

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:  Thank you for addressing this.  


HERERA:  You maintain that one of the biggest on problems at the base of all of this is discrimination, correct?  


HEGEWISCH:  Yes and no.  So, discrimination not when you do the same job, but discrimination in the way we reward after what women typically do and what men typically do.  So, a teacher earns less than an engineer.  For example, a truck driver earns less than a secretary.  


GRIFFETH:  But I think about industries that are hiring a lot these days — two of them in particular, technology and healthcare.  But yet, we still hear about gender pay inequality where they claim in some basis that they can`t find enough skilled workers.  


How does that happen, do you think, beyond the issue of discrimination? 

 
HEGEWISCH:  I think one issue in the tech industry, the wage gap is a little smaller than in other sectors.  So, often, women go into those high-paying, non-traditional fields for women, they make a little better money.  
In the healthcare sector, there`s something we call the glass elevator that if a man comes in — you know, you can see him go straight to the top and the women move up much more slowly.  So that also happens.  


HERERA:  So what about the impacts on the economy?  If we were able to close this wage gap more quickly than people estimate we will, what would be the economic impact?  


HEGEWISCH:  So, we have estimated how much it would account for if women were paid the same as men for the same hours they work, the same education, the same years of experience in the labor market, and it comes to $5 billion which was 2 percent of the GDP when we did that study.  So, a huge amount.  


If you give that to women, women tend to spend money faster on locally, on their kids, on the house, on mortgages.  It helps families not just the individual women.  


GRIFFETH:  Very quickly, leverage helps a lot.  What leverage do women have that would help them close the gap in some ways?  


HEGEWISCH:  You know, I think it`s actually not just women.  It`s all of us, and I think we use our vote, talk to colleagues and talk to our bosses also, but a lot of it is around policies.  We need the cheap college access, better child care, and we need more enforcement of pay discrimination or against pay discrimination.  


HERERA:  Ariane, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

Ariane Hegewisch with the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.  
HEGEWISCH:  Thank you. 

 
HERERA:  Auto sales for March show that sales are slowing, something we told you was likely.  Honda was one of the bright spots while sales at Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Fiat Chrysler fell.  General Motors (NYSE:GM) which reports on a quarterly and not a monthly basis said sales were down 7 percent.  Car sales at GM were off roughly 20 percent, but the lackluster demand were offset by higher car prices.  Over at GM, the average price was up almost $1,000 to more than $35,000.  


GRIFFETH:  Orders for long lasting factory goods fell in February.  This morning`s report said the durable goods orders were down 1.6 percent after three straight months of gains.  The decline was due mainly to soft aircraft orders which do tend to be volatile, and within that report, a key metric for business investment fell for the third time in four months.  
Meantime, there was yet more Brexit drama overseas today with the clock ticking and the U.K. government still unable to reach the agreement.  Prime Minister Theresa May said today she plans to ask for yet another extension from the E.U.  


Willem Marx reports for us tonight.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


WILLEM MARX, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Members of Theresa May`s government arrived one by one at 10 Downing Street this morning for a marathon cabinet meeting that was billed as a make or break moment for Britain`s future.  
With cell phones locked away and a near brief pause at lunch, they eventually left after hours and hours of discussions on how to break the Brexit deadlock.  
Late on Monday night, parliament had hit its own latest dead end.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, the noes have it. 


MARX:  Lawmakers again.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The noes have it.


MARX:  And again voted no on possible alternatives to the government`s negotiated deal with the E.U.  


Options, time and public patience are all running short ahead of an April 12th deadline that Theresa May must address when she meets European leaders in Brussels next week.  


(CHANTING)


MARX:  Tonight, the British prime minister`s stubborn streak, a source of surprise and sometimes even scorn, seemed to suddenly soften.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:  I`m taking action to break the logjam.  I`m offering to sit down with the leader of the opposition and to try to agree a plan that we would both stick to, to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.  


MARX:  May also said she would request a second Brexit extension from her E.U. counterparts, but it`s a promise to cooperate with her opponent Jeremy Corbyn and to honor the will of parliament if those talks fall apart that represents a real compromise, one that many critics have demanded for months and the troubled British pound rallied in response.  
But there remain a few guarantees about the future.  In Paris today, French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.  He insisted that the E.U. would not automatically grant the U.K. another chance to resolve its political problems.  


For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Willem Marx in London.  


(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  It is time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and Downgrades”.  


Lyft shares were initiated with a sell rating at Seaport Global Securities.  The analyst says younger generations will continue to own cars and calls the thesis that millennials will forego car ownership a, quote, big leap of faith.  The price target is $42.  The stock closed at $68.97.  As you know, Lyft shares started trading Friday at an IPO price of $72.  
Disney (NYSE:DIS) was rated a buy in new coverage over at Rosenblatt Securities.  The analyst cites the likely success of its new Disney (NYSE:DIS) Plus streaming service.  The price target is $150.  Shares closed the day at $111.96.  


Exelon (NYSE:EXC) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Securities.  The analyst cited several factors, including nuclear-related legislative initiatives.  The price target is $57.  Today, the shares finished at $50.29.  


GRIFFETH:  Still ahead, a big player in Las Vegas has a lot riding on a hearing in Massachusetts.  


(MUSIC)


GRIFFETH:  A Senate panel in Washington has opened an investigation into whistleblower complaint against the FAA.  The Commerce Committee is looking into how the agency trained safety inspectors who had 737 MAX jets.  Senators say that there is a lack of training that could have led to an improper evaluation of the system at the center of the investigation into the crash of those two Boeing (NYSE:BA) jets.  


HERERA:  There`s a new company in the Dow index.  Its name, Dow, and it was spun off from DowDuPont, following all of that?  Well, Dow is a materials science-focus company that the CEO says is about to embark on a new, more focused era.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


JIM FITTERLING, DOW CHEMICAL CEO:  One of the things we wanted to do was make it easier for the shareholders to understand, one of the knocks on us long term is the Dow was too complex.  We didn`t understand how to operate this thing.  These six businesses, three market verticals, packaging, infrastructure and consumer goods, and we`re very focused on those businesses and it`s a good growth company.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


HERERA:  Shares of Dow rose 5 percent to $56.25.  


GRIFFETH:  A report issued today alleged that executives at Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) were part of a cover-up to protect founder Steve Wynn against allegations of sexual misconduct.  That investigation was conducted by Massachusetts regulators.  And the 199-page report was released just as a hearing got under way this morning to determine whether Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) will be permitted to run a $2.5 billion casino resort outside of Boston and keep its gaming license in that state.  


During this morning`s hearing, a financial consultant testified that there`s a lot at stake for Wynn.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


DREW CHAMBERLAIN, HLT ADVISORY:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) financial stability has not been negatively impacted by the events surrounding the misconduct allocations.  The financial stability of the company is contingent upon the company maintaining it`s gaining license in Las Vegas and Massachusetts and Macao.  That is paramount to successfully ongoing operations.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) is still hoping to open its new encore Boston harbor resort in June.  The company has been cooperating with the state`s investigation for the past year.  
By the way, the Nevada Gaming Commission also recently reviewed Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) and it assessed a fine of $20 million and it did allow the company to keep its casino license there.  Shares of Wynn resorts rose 4 percent in today`s trade.  


HERERA:  Delta`s shares takeoff and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  The airline raised its quarterly earnings guidance above expectations and said it expects unit revenue to rise 2 percent in the March quarter.  The carrier adds that revenue from its branded American Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) credit card will likely double by 2023.  Delta rose 6 percent to $55.33.  Delta`s outlook rippled through the sector, lifting the other airline stocks.  


McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in the mobile app company.  The deal marks the fast food company`s first-ever investment in the mobile app vendor and its second major investment in the tech company in a week.  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is hoping technology will help them better target customers.  The shares were off 4 cents to $188.35.  


GRIFFETH:  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is undergoing a large reorganization.  The world`s largest asset manager is going to increase its bets on non-traditional investments including private equity and hedge funds and commodities and real estate.  The CEO Larry Fink said today that this will differentiate BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) from its competitors.  BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) was off a fraction today to $436.45.  
And Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has suspended its relationship with Care.com, the web-based company best known for helping families find child care.  Yesterday, “The Wall Street Journal” reported that Care.com had removed tens of thousands of unlicensed day care center listings from its site.  Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) had used that service for its own employees.  Executives told “Reuters” today that it`s now doing a thorough review of both that service and the company.
And that small cap Care.com stock fell nearly 10 percent today to $16.64.  
HERERA:  Coming up, why some industries are better at closing the pay gap than others.  


(MUSIC)


HERERA:  In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed a bill designed to increase the flexibility of 401(k) retirement plans and improve access to them.  It was the most comprehensive change to retirement legislation in more than a decade.  As we reported yesterday, one major provision would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits.  


GRIFFETH:  Fidelity is out with its annual analysis of healthcare expenses and retirement.  


Now, there`s good new and there`s bad news.  We`ll start with a bad news.  A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $285,000 over the course of their retirement.  That`s before factoring in long-term care, dental or medical premiums.  


The good news, if you can call it that, is that the cost did not rise much in the last year.  Remember, this is just one estimate and the numbers can often vary widely among various studies.  


HERERA:  Would a bigger salary make you happier at work?  Well, a new survey says not necessarily.  According to the CNBC SurveyMonkey workplace happiness index, the majority of respondents say things like additional paid time off and more training would increase their satisfaction and workers in some industries tend to be happier than those in others.  


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


JON COHEN, SURVEYMONKEY CHIEF RESEARCH OFFICER:  The happiest comes out to be consulting and research, which is the combined industry.  The happiness score there and, again, this is across all five of the factors that we identified is around 78.  So the least happy is in retail.  So people should probably be nicer to people when they buy a cup of coffee or take that ride in the ride-sharing vehicle.  


(END VIDEO CLIP)


GRIFFETH:  By the way, today is Equal Pay Day.  That is a date that symbolizes how far into the New Year that women must work to earn what men earned for all of last year.  According to a recent report, women in the U.S. working full time and year round made roughly 80 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earned, and experts do not expect that pay gap to close for a long time.  


Julia Boorstin has details.  


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The good news is that the pay gap is starting to close.  But progress is so slow at this rate, men and women won`t be paid equally until 2070.  That`s according to a new report from Glassdoor.  


The disparity is meaningful.  Women earn on average 75 cents for every dollar men earn in the U.S., pointing to the fact that men tend to dominate in higher-paying industries like tech and are promoted faster.  
JOELLE EMERSON, PARADIGM CEO:  It`s not enough when payout comes at the end of the day.  Two people in identical roles are paid the exact same.  Instead, we`re encouraging companies to look at all of the factors that inform pay, like what`s happening in the hiring process or in promotions or in negotiations.  


BOORSTIN:  Even with the same job and the same experience, women make about 95 cents for every dollar men make, and some industries have bigger gaps than others.  Media and retail have the biggest gap, a 6.4 percent for the same roles with qualifications according to Glassdoor.  
Finance and I.T. are in the middle of the pack with 5.6 percent and 5.4 percent pay gaps respectively.  The biotech and pharmaceutical industry, though, has the smallest gender pay gap of just 2.2 percent.  
Cisco`s executive vice president and chief people officer Francine Katsoudas has worked to help close its pay gap, looking beyond just adjusting pay.  


FRANCINE KATSOUDAS, CISCO EVP & CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER:  We need to see more women in leadership roles.  A lot of times when you look at the pay gap, what we`re looking at is the average of what men make and women make and those numbers are compared.  And so, the more women you have in senior leadership, you`re going to see that go down.  
BOORSTIN:  Equileap ranks the top U.S. companies for equal pay.  General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are number one and two.  Both have a pay gap of less than 3 percent across the companies.  With published pay information for three pay brackets.  
Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also top Equileap`s list because of their detailed paid disclosures and strategies in place.  


Companies that are transparent about pay are more likely to close their gaps.  It is not just about the gap between men and women, gaps for people of color, particularly women of color tend to be much larger, making it all the more important for companies to take a close look across their ranks and diversity and inclusion policies.  


For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles. 
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  Ariane Hegewisch joins us now to talk more about the gender wage gap between men and women and how it could be hurting the U.S. economy.  She is the program director on employment and earnings at the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.  
Welcome.  It`s a pleasure to have you here.  


ARIANE HEGEWISCH, INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN`S POLICY RESEARCH

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:  Thank you for addressing this.  


HERERA:  You maintain that one of the biggest on problems at the base of all of this is discrimination, correct?  


HEGEWISCH:  Yes and no.  So, discrimination not when you do the same job, but discrimination in the way we reward after what women typically do and what men typically do.  So, a teacher earns less than an engineer.  For example, a truck driver earns less than a secretary.  


GRIFFETH:  But I think about industries that are hiring a lot these days — two of them in particular, technology and healthcare.  But yet, we still hear about gender pay inequality where they claim in some basis that they can`t find enough skilled workers.  


How does that happen, do you think, beyond the issue of discrimination?  
HEGEWISCH:  I think one issue in the tech industry, the wage gap is a little smaller than in other sectors.  So, often, women go into those high-paying, non-traditional fields for women, they make a little better money.  


In the healthcare sector, there`s something we call the glass elevator that if a man comes in — you know, you can see him go straight to the top and the women move up much more slowly.  So that also happens.  
HERERA:  So what about the impacts on the economy?  If we were able to close this wage gap more quickly than people estimate we will, what would be the economic impact?  


HEGEWISCH:  So, we have estimated how much it would account for if women were paid the same as men for the same hours they work, the same education, the same years of experience in the labor market, and it comes to $5 billion which was 2 percent of the GDP when we did that study.  So, a huge amount.  


If you give that to women, women tend to spend money faster on locally, on their kids, on the house, on mortgages.  It helps families not just the individual women.  


GRIFFETH:  Very quickly, leverage helps a lot.  What leverage do women have that would help them close the gap in some ways?  


HEGEWISCH:  You know, I think it`s actually not just women.  It`s all of us, and I think we use our vote, talk to colleagues and talk to our bosses also, but a lot of it is around policies.  We need the cheap college access, better child care, and we need more enforcement of pay discrimination or against pay discrimination.  


HERERA:  Ariane, thank you very much for joining us tonight. 

Ariane Hegewisch with the Institute for Women`s Policy Research.

 
HEGEWISCH:  Thank you.  


GRIFFETH:  Before we go, a final look at the day on Wall Street.  The Dow fell 79 points and you can blame a lot of that on Walgreens and their earnings report.  Nasdaq was up 19, the S&P was unchanged today. 

 
HERERA:  That`s it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.  I’m Sue Herera.  Thanks for joining us.  


GRIFFETH:  I’m Bill Griffeth.  Have a great evening.  See you tomorrow.  

END
Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at http://nbr.com. 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 of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. (c) 2019 CNBC, Inc.

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