Transcript: Nightly Business Report – May 10, 2019

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

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Wall Street whirlwind.  The Dow stages a 450-point comeback, ending the day higher, and it was all because of trade.

Trade-proof stocks.  Our market monitor says he`s investing in names that
will perform well no matter what happens with China.  

Disappointing debut.  Uber takes a ride to Wall Street, but it didn`t
receive the warm reception expected, and shares of the high-profile IPO

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for this Friday, May the 10th.

And we do bid you a good evening, everybody.  Welcome.  Sue is off tonight.  

As anticipated it was a busy Friday in Washington and in New York to close
out this week.  Uber shares began trading and trade talks with China ended
with no deal.  

But we begin tonight with the big reversal on Wall Street.  It was all
because of trade.  After a tense start to the day and a 350-point decline
on the Dow, President Trump hinted that there was a chance that the tariffs
on Chinese goods could be removed and word that trade talks themselves will continue soothed some other fears and stocks took off.

At the close, the Dow was up 114 points back to 25,942.  The Nasdaq added
six and the S&P was up 10.  But for the week, it was a tough week.  The
Nasdaq and the S&P suffered their biggest weekly declines of the year so

Bob Pisani has more on all of the day`s downs and ups.  


BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Wall Street went on another wild ride today with the Dow sinking more than 350 points at its lows as the White House followed through with its threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.  All three major averages closed out one of the worst weeks of the year, down about 2 percent across the board.  But stocks managed to end well off session lows, basically flat during the day.

So what exactly is keeping the market afloat?  The key is the market`s
refusal to believe that there is going to be a long trade war that will be
ruinous for both sides.  The market has consistently chose to cling on to
hopes that the trade deal will get done eventually and they did it again
today, rallying after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the talks with
China were ongoing and constructive.  And that was it.  

And they took another leg higher on a single tweet from the editor of a
Chinese news outlet saying trade talks had not broken down and that the two sides agreed to meet again in Beijing in the future.

Overall, investors believe that if we end up kicking the can down the road
on a trade deal for another month, that`s fine.  But if the trade wars
carry over into the election, then global growth and earnings estimates
will seriously have to start coming down.  

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


GRIFFETH:  And from Wall Street to Washington, investors were watching our nation`s capital for any and all developments on the trade issues with
China.  Kayla Tausche was there for us.  


KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Company shipping printers and handbags for frozen fish and 5,700 other items from China will see their bill rise sharply when those goods reach U.S. shores in a few weeks, if there`s not a trade deal.  President Trump tweeting that the talks with China were constructive and candid and will continue into the future.  And the tariffs may or may not be removed as part of the negotiations.

China said it regrets that the White House heightened tensions and it would
have to retaliate, already reportedly buying Chinese stocks to soften the
fallout.  U.S. officials say China`s at fault for the escalation after
reneging on already agreed upon parts of the deal late last week.  China`s
vice premier still showed up for talks in Washington.  When he met with the trade representative and treasury secretary, he said: I come here under

But after four hours of talks Thursday evening and two hours Friday
morning, a cordial good-bye between the counterparts.  

Clete Willems, the top White House trade negotiator until two weeks ago,
said a deal may be delayed, but not off the table.  

CLETE WILLEMS, FORMER NEC DEPUTY DIRECTOR:  There has been a lot of back and forth.  There`s no question about that and that`s why I`m saying I think we can still get to a place where there is an agreement.  However, it is very significant that they aren`t willing to commit to specific things at this point and it`s critical for the United States that they get these
commitments and that this deal can be enforceable and make a difference
over the long term.  

TAUSCHE:  In the meantime, economists say U.S. consumers are already on the hook for that $69 billion in added costs for tariffs, $767 for the average
family of four.  But President Trump says there`s absolutely no need to
rush a deal, tweeting that the wealth created by tariffs would be greater
than any deal.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in Washington.  


GRIFFETH:  Now, we`ve been reporting all week on how tariffs are impacting various industries and businesses.  And tonight, we take you to different parts of the country where the trade tensions are definitely being felt.

Contessa Brewer is with the lobstermen in Northbridge, Massachusetts, Diana Olick reports on the home remodeling industry from Washington.  But we begin with Jane Wells at Ground Zero for Chinese imports at the port of Los Angeles.


JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Yes, you know, a funny thing is happening in this trade war between the U.S. and China, companies are finding workarounds to avoid paying tariffs.  How?

STEVE FERREIRA, OCEAN AUDIT CEO:  The Chinese factory might own a
production site in Vietnam.  They simply move the production from China to Vietnam, the Chinese factory still makes the profit, but the U.S. importer
is not taxed because the goods are coming out of Vietnam.  

WELLS:  OK.  Let me throw out new numbers in this trade war.  According to a congressional group which monitors U.S.-China trade during the first
quarter, U.S. exports to China fell almost 20 percent, but check this out.  
At the same time overall, U.S. exports grew 0.3 percent.  So, while China
is not buying as much of our stuff, somebody is.  

GENE SEROKA, PORT OF LOS ANGELES EXEC. DIRECTOR:  We are starting to see some more goods coming out of the Southeast Asia and Indian and subcon, but not nearly enough to make up for the China business.

WELLS:  The ports themselves meanwhile, are doing fine.  Along the Pacific, L.A.`s container traffic is up almost 5 percent year to date, Oakland had its busiest April ever, that`s because imports have surged, many from China meaning tariffs are being paid, but not by China.

FERREIRA:  The Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) incurred over a billion in extra costs on the last round of tariff increases, Walmart, a quarter of a billion
dollars and so, this ball just keeps on rolling and getting worse and worse
for importers in terms of cost management.

SEROKA:  The cargo that`s moving on the water right now will not be
impacted.  So we really won`t see a change for the next couple of weeks and at that point, we`ll take stock of where orders are going.

WELLS:  OK.  Is this affecting the U.S. consumer?  Well, it depends on what
you buy.  But overall, inflation is still only 2 percent.  What about the
hit to GDP?  

OK, bear with me as I show you one more number.  During the first quarter, the drop in U.S. exports to China shaved this much off GDP, 0.04 percent. That is $6 billion, that`s not nothing, but the president claims the U.S. Treasury is raking in several times that amount in tariffs.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jane Wells from the port of Los Angeles.  


GRIFFETH:  Now to Contessa Brewer in Northbridge, Massachusetts, at a
company feeling trapped by tariffs.  


CONTESSA BREWER, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  As the steel mesh roles off the welding machines at Riverdale Mills.

JAMES KNOTT, RIVERDALE MILLS CEO:  The tariff is a fancy word for a tax.  

BREWER:  The CEO is really feeling the heat.  

KNOTT:  When we get an invoice for steel, we pay the invoice for the steel
and then we pay the invoice for the tariff on top of that.  China is not
paying for that.  

BREWER:  Riverdale Mills makes 3,000 steel mesh products, everything from the high security fencing to the mesh for oyster cages.  The mesh
manufactured for lobster traps go into 85 percent of all those built in
North America, but the lobstermen are increasingly repairing their traps
rather than buying new ones.  That`s in part because the market for lobster in China plummeted when China slapped 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on American lobster.

KNOTT:  The reason we can`t pass that cost along is we have foreign
competitors that are not under the tariffs that we`re under.  So we have to
maintain the same price that they have to compete in the global market

BREWER:  When steel tariffs went into effect March of 2018, steel prices
nearly doubled.  Riverdale Mills has absorbed nearly all of that cost.  It
has applied for exemptions from the tariffs, but of those granted, it only
applies to roughly 3 percent of its steel purchases.  In the meantime, to
keep its profit margins steady and has tried to find cost efficiencies in
other areas, including reducing its workforce by 25 percent.  

KNOTT:  I understand the intent of the policy, but that policy hasn`t
helped us.  It`s actually hurt us from the competitive standpoint.  

BREWER:  Another round of tariff hikes.  More threats from China for
retaliation and the U.S. manufacturers say navigating the global trade war
requires nerves of steel.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Contessa Brewer, Northbridge, Massachusetts.  


GRIFFETH:  Our next stop, Washington, and Diana Olick.  


DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Are you looking to remodel your home?  You might want to take another look at your budget because the costs are suddenly going up thanks to higher tariffs on Chinese goods, from tile to countertops, laminates to lighting, all those fancy finishings about 450 of them are on the list that just went from 10 percent tariffs to 25 percent.  That represents a $2.5 billion cost increase.

BRUCE CASE, CASE DESIGN REMODELING CEO:  At the end of the day, yes, every — pretty much every kitchen and bath remodel prices are going to increase.

OLICK:  Case says there is simply no way his business can absorb those
costs and still survive.  

CASE:  It`s probably a 7 percent, 8 percent increase and the net increase
to the consumer and I`d love to be able to eat some of that or, you know,
help with the consumer and not just pass it along, and at this point I
don`t know how to engineer around that, you know, to use different products that aren`t affected or anything like that.

OLICK:  Builders were already struggling with a labor shortage which also
cost them more and that is also getting worse.  Nearly three out of four
remodels this year reported higher costs for labor according to a new
survey from the National Association of Homebuilders.  

Higher costs for labor and materials have some consumers reconsidering
their renovation.  Case said the size of the average project went way down
last year as consumers tried to cut the budget.  

CASE:  That`s my concern for this industry is because we`re going to become — we`re going to price ourselves out of the market.

A real concern that hits home.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.  


GRIFFETH:  Meanwhile, a Federal Reserve official is weighing in on the
impact of tariffs.  Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic said today that
the central bank might have to cut interest rates if consumer spending
suffers which economists could happen if the new round of tariffs lasts
long enough.  He added that most businesses haven`t yet passed cost
increases to consumers and there`s a chance that that would have to change.  

And, in fact, the latest report on inflation showed that consumer prices
rose in April once again.  The consumer-price index rose last month lifted
by rising gas prices, rents and health care costs.  Over the past year, the
index has increased roughly 2 percent which is right in line with the Fed`s
target right now.  

Time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and Downgrades”.  

We begin with shares of Ford.  They were upgraded to buy from neutral at
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch.  The analyst cited the
automaker`s strong lineup of utility vehicles and trucks.  The price target
now, $14, and shares rose more than 1.5 percent today to $10.38.  

UnitedHealthcare was upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi.  The analyst
calls these selloffs in managed care stocks on fears that Medicare for all
overdone.  Price target $280.  That stock gained 1 percent to $240.59.  

And Pinterest was initiated with a buy rating at Nomura Instinet in new
coverage.  The analyst calls Pinterest the fastest growing of all of the
companies that he covers right now.  Price target, $34, and shares rose 1
percent to $29.05.  

Still ahead, rocky road.  Uber went to Wall Street to start its next
chapter, but investor enthusiasm was not there to greet it.  


GRIFFETH:  It was one of the most talked about IPOs in years and today,
Uber finally made its Wall Street debut.  It was an offering that captured
the attention to investors on Wall Street as well as drivers and passengers
on Main Street.  But when the rubber finally hit the road, the enthusiasm
just wasn`t there.  The stock notched a rare first-day decline for such a
high-profile IPO, falling more than 7 percent to close below its IPO price.  

Deirdre Bosa takes a look at what happened.  


DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  It was the most talked about IPO of the year.  But on its big Wall Street debut, it fell
short of expectations.  

DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, UBER CEO:  At this price, it reflected the environment.  Listen, the environment is uncertain right now, and any time there`s uncertainty in the market, investors are going to be a little hesitant to put $8 billion of their dollars to work.

BOSA:  The road to Uber`s initial public offering was already bumpy.  Its
smaller rival Lyft went public about a month ago, and it has struggled in
public markets as investors questioned its business model and wondered
when, if ever, it would ever stop losing money.  Uber`s losses are far
larger and it`s spending more on expansion and other businesses like food
delivery and trucking.

KARA SWISHER, RECODE EDITOR-AT-LARGE:  The amount of money they`re losing is massive, and that`s happened before with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and other companies.  But this is a lot of money and the question is, where did they — where did they figure it out?

ROGER MCNAMEE, ELEVATION PARTNERS CO-FOUNDER:  There are fundamental issues with Uber`s business model.  There are long-term issues that should give everyone pause, and when you raise $8 billion on an IPO, by definition, you are swamping the market with supply.

BOSA:  Choppy markets amid worsening trade tensions between the U.S. and China didn`t help, making investors less willing to take on an already
risky listing.  

NELSON CHAI, UBER CFO:  This is a little bit of rough kind of markets.  You
guys have been no better than me.  I think the Dow was down about 300
today.  There`s a lot of discussion about tariffs and if you look at the
broader market, I think this is a tough day.  

And as you know, that matters on sentiment.  There have been some IPOs that have not traded as well as you would have liked over time.

BOSA:  Still, Uber Dara Khosrowshahi is looking ahead to the future and not
just its first day of trading.  

KHOSROWSHAHI:  We`re going to be measuring success in three to five to ten years.  Not in one day.

BOSA:  Not just Uber.  The real test for the ride-sharing industry at large
is still to come.  


Now, with today`s IPO, Uber`s market value is just below $70 billion,
certainly enough to qualify it to join the Standard & Poor`s 500 index.  
However, you won`t find it there any time soon.  

Mike Santoli explains why.  


MIKE SANTOLI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Uber made its long- awaited public debut Friday as one of the 100 or so most highly valued in the stock market, but it`s not clear when or whether Uber might find the way into the key index, the S&P 500, or into the trillions of dollars worth of funds that track it.  At its initial valuation above $80 billion, Uber is more than ten times the minimum size to gain entry into the S&P 500, but the index keepers at Dow Jones, S&P indexes , require that the member companies report at least four quarters of profit using standard accounting measures to be considered for membership.

Like many fast growing Silicon Valley tech giants, Uber has never earned an annual profit and analysts don`t expect it to in the next couple of years.
Like its smaller rival Lyft, Uber is investing heavily to recruit drivers
and sign up new customers while subsidizing the cost of rise.  It`s common
for new IPOs to wait years before joining the S&P 500 if they ever getting
there at all.  

What`s unusual in today`s market is the vast size of the established tech
companies that are coming public after years in business with billions in
revenue, but no clear path to profitability.  

Following Uber`s IPO, aggressive office-sharing startup ReWork is planning
to come public while still deeply unprofitable as well.  

This will leave a fairly large amount of market value assigned to emerging
disrupting the tech giant and not reflected in the market benchmark and not owned by low-cost mutual funds and ETFs that have become by a large margin the most popular investor for retail investors.  Whether their absence for the S&P 500 is a good or bad thing for index fund investors, it won`t be clear until the market renders its verdict on the long-term value of Uber and its peers.



GRIFFETH:  Marriott reports a sluggish start of the year and that`s where
we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  

The world`s largest hotel company reported weaker than expected revenue growth, but Marriott described its business as stable thanks to additional fees and higher room prices.  The company also benefitted from a lower effective tax rate.  Shares finished the day down about almost 3 percent to $131.71.

Viacom (NYSE:VIA) reported a decline in revenue, but lower operating
expenses helped lift its profit.  The media company faces shrinking
distribution fees and the decline in its core television business, but
investors were encouraged by efforts to find growth beyond traditional
television in things like streaming.  That stock was up 2.5 percent today
to $34.70.  

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) reported earnings that matched Wall Street estimates,
but revenue once again missed forecasts and it also issued a soft second-
quarter forecast, as well.  The credit reporting agency said that costs
related to the 2017 data breach now totaled $1 billion.  And that stock
today was up a fraction to $191.40.  

TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) announced it`s going to be splitting into two separate
companies.  One for its product division and the other will focus on
intellectual property licensing.  The makers of setup boxes and digital
video recorders is looking to complete that deal early next year, but
investors are questioning that timeline.  They sent the stock nearly 14
percent lower to $7.56.  That is a 20-year low.  

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has offered to take Chico`s private,
but so far, the women`s retailer has not responded.  Chico`s CEO was
abruptly terminated last month, and Sycamore says that suggests that there
are serious issues with that business.  Sycamore`s offer is to pay $3.50 a
share.  Chico shares were up nearly 8 percent today, above that price now
at $3.99.  

Time now for our weekly market monitor who has names of stocks that he says are immune to the ongoing trade issues in China and he says they`re cheap, too.  Ernesto Ramos is with us tonight.  He`s head of equities with BMO Capital — BMO Global Asset Management.

Ernesto, good to see you again.  Welcome back.  


Bill.  Nice to see you.  

GRIFFETH:  They`re in different industries, but they each have — even
though they`re not immune to — they are immune to trade issues with China, they do have their own issues and we start with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).  I mean, a lot of the pharmaceutical companies right now are facing cost pressures and patent issues as well.  Why do you like this company?

RAMOS:  Well, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) in particular has a very strong product
pipeline as well as the strong protection on their patent.  So, they`re
relatively in good or better shape than their competition and the fact that
they trade at 14 times earnings is the main driver of our attraction.  So,
we`re looking for companies that have a strong fundamental case for their
growth and an attractive valuation, and that`s the case with Pfizer

GRIFFETH:  All right.  Then there`s Citi.  Everybody thought the financials
would do well this year if the interest rates kept going up.  But now, the
Fed`s on hold.  So what about them?  

RAMOS:  Well, Citi is actually my top pick for tonight in the sense that it
trades at a very, very low valuation of nine times earnings under book
value.  Since the financial crisis, Citi has embarked on a multi-year
restructuring plan, investing in technology and has increased their
profitability very, very nicely.  And therefore, for the longer term
investor, this is my top pick for the night because of those continued
improvement and fundamentals, and the very attractively priced valuation.  

GRIFFETH:  All right.  Finally, in the utilities area, Exelon (NYSE:EXC).  
They have nuclear issues, but they`ve done pretty well here even though
there have been expectations of higher interest rates.  

RAMOS:  Well, utilities have been so overbought by investors, so in love by
investors that they`ve risen in valuation to very, very high levels and
Exelon (NYSE:EXC) is one of the exceptions.  They`re only trading at 15
times which doesn`t sound that bad or cheap.  However, the rest of the
sector trades at 18 times and they are very defensive in a market that
becomes more volatile as trade issues and other macro economic concerns
that dominate the headlines.  This is a stock that would do very, very

GRIFFETH:  All right.  Ernesto, again, good to see you.  Ernesto Ramos with
BMO Global Asset Management — thanks for joining us tonight.  

RAMOS:  Thank you, Bill.  

GRIFFETH:  And coming up, the final frontier, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) style.  


GRIFFETH:  Here`s what we`re watching for next week.

Monday starts Infrastructure Week around the country and there will be
focuses on how to fund needed improvements here and there.  On Wednesday, Dow component Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reports its earnings.  Thursday, Walmart releases its quarterly results.  Investors should be looking for comments on the impact of tariffs and looking at the growth in its digital business as well.

And that`s what we`re watching for next week.  

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a new Silicon Valley stock exchange.  This exchange is backed by a number of tech entrepreneurs who hope that the move will give high growth technology companies more options to list their shares outside the traditional changes like the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.  And, by the way, this will be the country`s 14th stock exchange.

Finally tonight, you know, the talk today may have been about trade and
about Uber, but Jeff Bezos also made a big statement, not related to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but to his vision of space exploration.  And his grand vision and aggressive timeline may sound like he`s taking a page from Amazon`s playbook.

Morgan Brennan has our story for us tonight.  


MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos unveiling Blue Moon, the lunar lander his space company Blue Origin has been developing for years.

At an invite-only event in D.C., the world`s richest man taking his lunar
ambitions public, saying the lander could be used to meet NASA`s new
ambitious deadline of getting Americans back on the moon in just five

JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON CEO:  I love this.  It`s the right thing to do, and for
those of you doing the arithmetic at home, that`s 2024, and we can help
meet that timeline, but only because we started three years ago.  It`s time
to go back to the moon this time to stay.  

BRENNAN:  In what was perhaps his most sweeping comments to date on his interplanetary vision, Bezos is betting on a future in which earth is used
for habitation and light industrial use and space for heavy industry like
mining and manufacturing.  

And he also believes at some point, we can have cell-sustaining orbiting
colonies called O`Neill colonies, but that will come later.  Right now,
Bezos sees the current task at making space less expensive and more
accessible, a strategy that starts with reusable rockets.  

BEZOS:  We have to use the resources of space.  We must have a future for
our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and it`s this generation`s job
to build that road to space so that the future generations can unleash
their creativity.  When that is possible, you will see amazing things

BRENNAN:  Bezos has been selling about a billion dollar worth of Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) stock annually to fund Blue Origin, also making clear he`s not as interested in Mars unlike Elon Musk and SpaceX.  Rather, he`s
betting big on space for Earth.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.  


GRIFFETH:  And to read more about Jeff Bezos` space vision, you can head
over to our website at  

Before we go, a look at the crazy day on Wall Street today.  The Dow was up
114 points after having been down 350.  Nasdaq added six.  The S&P was up

And despite today`s gains, the Nasdaq and the S&P this week suffered their
biggest weekly declines of the year.  

That is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight.  I`m Bill Griffith.  Thanks so much for watching us, have a great weekend.  Happy Mother`s Day.

We`ll see you on Monday.  


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