Transcript: Nightly Business Report – June 13, 2019

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

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Crude realities.  Oil prices  climb after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman and the White  House says Iran is to blame.  

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Production shift.  Some  companies are moving operations out of China and into Vietnam to reduce the  tariff impact, but is it a risky bet?  

HERERA:  Unconventional wisdom.  When it comes to saving for retirement, is  the traditional approach outdated?  
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,  June 13th.  

GRIFFETH:  And we do bid you a good evening, everybody, and welcome.  
It`s been a while since the energy market was rattled like this.  Oil  prices today climbed after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of  Oman which is near the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial passageway for global  crude shipments.  The attack lifted the price of domestic crude by as much  as 4 percent during the course of the day and it settled up 2 percent.  
Now, this is a region between tensions between Saudi Arabia were running  high lately anyway.  And, in fact, late today, the White House blamed Iran  for this latest attack.  
Hadley Gamble reports for us tonight from the United Arab Emirates.  

HADLEY GAMBLE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  U.S. Secretary of  State Mike Pompeo blaming Tehran for the attacks on two tankers in the Gulf  of Oman earlier today, but stopping short of calling for a military  response.  

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE:  It is the assessment of the United States  government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks  that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.  This assessment is based on  intelligence, the weapons used and the level of expertise needed to execute  the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact  that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency  to act with such a high degree of sophistication.  

GAMBLE:  The U.S. Fifth Fleet responding to distress calls around 6:00 and  7:00 a.m. local time today as the two tankers, the Front Altair, and the  Japanese tanker Kokuka Sangyo were engulfed in flames.  The two attacks  took place just 70 miles from where we`re standing, on the coast of  Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, right in the middle of one of the  busiest shipping lanes in the world, and coming just a month after a  similar on four other tankers right off the coast of UAE, and as Japan`s  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran looking to mediate.  

Just hours after the attack, the president tweeting: While I very much  appreciate Prime Minister Abe going to Iran to meet with the ayatollah, I  personally feel that it`s too soon to even think about a deal.  They are  not ready and neither are we.  

It`s a big shift for the president who over the last several months had  said again and again that all he`s waiting for is a call from Iran.  And  while clearly, these attacks are singling a change of tone from the White  House, there still hasn`t been much of a response from countries here in  the region, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hadley Gamble in Fujairah.

HERERA:  So, if these attacks continue to escalate, what will it mean for  the price of oil and both the global and domestic economy?
We are joined tonight by Kyle Cooper, an analyst at Ion Energy.  
Kyle, welcome.  Nice to have you here.


HERERA:  Many of us were surprised that we didn`t see a bigger reaction on  the close in crude oil.  Why do you think that is?  

COOPER:  Absolutely.  I think the biggest overriding factor that is  limiting these price increases is the recent trend in U.S. inventories.   The proceeding 12 weeks have seen U.S. petroleum inventories rise 91  million barrels and that`s second only to a 92 — little over 92 million  barrel increase registered all of the way back to June of 2001.  
So, with ample inventories, there`s simply less fear that a supply  disruption would truly cause a physical disruption.  

GRIFFETH:  Having said that, though, as we pointed out at the top, it`s  been a while since energy prices have responded to a geopolitical event  like this.  Is the market trying to tell us something this time around, do  you think?  

COOPER:  Yes, absolutely.  And I think it goes back to the inventories.   Quite simply, the world is more comfortable since U.S. inventories are so  robust and also, they`re worried about the continuing implications of trade  tariffs and what an escalation here would do to the global economy and thus  demand.  So, there`s been a huge demand focus and this while certainly  highlighting the supply risk also points to the possibility of lower  demand. 

HERERA:  And how much of a reaction would you see, do you think, on a  global basis given what the president said that we`re not ready to make a  deal.  These attacks, and these are not the first attacks and we don`t have  a trade deal yet with China.  What are your longer term expectations?  

COOPER:  Right now, I`m still bearish in the near-term just because in  general, if you look at the market over the last year or so, the market was  bullish up until the October of `18 high of almost $77, and it collapsed  into December to $42.36, and it ran up to $66.60 and now we have a bearish  trend.

And right now, as I mentioned, you know, had this event happened two months  ago, I think we would have been up $3 to $4, and it reflects the current  sentiment that`s quite bearish across the market.  

GRIFFETH:  What do you think OPEC does with all of this?  I mean, they`ve  been trying to keep prices going up anyway as they hold the line on  production cuts.  But in light of what`s going on between Saudi Arabia and  Iran, what do you think OPEC does with it.  

COOPER:  Absolutely.  And the bare minimum, they`re going to try to keep  the current production in place and to highlight the bearish sentiment is  there was a report that Algeria was floating the idea of possibly  increasing the current production cut from 1.2 million barrels to 1.8  million barrels, and the market just doesn`t believe it.  So, at a minimum,  they`re going to try to keep this level and I think Saudi Arabia would like  to see even further production cuts.  

HERERA:  Does it have implications for monetary policy?  
COOPER:  Certainly does.  I mean, while the Fed doesn`t say they react it  and they a lot of times look at CPI (NYSE:CPY) excluding energy and food.   Clearly, the sentiment would be detrimental if prices were to rise  significantly as a result of a confrontation.

But right now, obviously, that`s not a problem.  Import prices today were  lower and even actually a little weaker than expected.  So, right now,  there`s not a problem with the inflation, but certainly could be and  certainly if there was a true escalation that significantly spiked oil  prices. 

HERERA:  All right.  Kyle Cooper with Ion Energy — thank you very much.  
COOPER:  Thank you.  Have a great day.  

GRIFFETH:  To the market now, the rise in oil prizes did help lift energy  shares which, in turn, gave the overall stock market a boost.  It was the  first rise in three days for the major averages, as a matter of fact, with  the Dow climbing 101 points to 26,106.  The Nasdaq added 44.  The S&P was  up 11.  

HERERA: The cost of imports fell in May for the first time this year.  The  import price index dropped 0.3 percent last month, reflecting a decline in  the price of most foreign made goods, including those coming from China  that had been hit with tariffs.  Experts say Chinese suppliers may have had  to cut prices to retain their market share.  But the decline may also be  the result of a broader slowdown in the global economy.  

GRIFFETH:  And as we`ve been reporting, the retail industry has a lot at  stake when it comes to the trade war with China simply because they source  so much of their products and materials from that country.  Many companies  have continually said that they`re watching the situation very closely and  now some details of a tariff strategy in retail are emerging.  
Seema Mody has our details.  

SEEMA MODY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Home retailers are  starting to outline just how they plan to get around higher tariffs.  RH,  parent of Restoration Hardware, said it`s selectively raising prices to  offset higher tariff related costs, moving some production out of China,  while also setting up its own manufacturing facilities in the U.S. 

According to Wedbush Securities, approximately 25 percent of its  merchandise value is sourced from China.  RH joins a growing list of  retailers that are proactively trying to decouple from China.  
Williams Sonoma recently telling CNBC`s Jim Cramer that it`s looking to  shift production to other countries in Asia.  

LAURA ALBER, WILLIAMS-SONOMA CEO:  We have a very sophisticated, vertically  integrated supply chain with a lot of people all over Asia.  And so, we  have a great relationship with our vendors and we start seeing it happen  and we start moving products.  

JIM CRAMER, CNBC HOST, “MAD MONEY”:  Moving what, from Vietnam?  
ALBER:  Moving products to Vietnam, to Indonesia, moving it to America, and  then also renegotiating with our current Chinese manufacturers.  
MODY:  The question is whether the strategy of sourcing goods from  countries outside of China will pay off.  Analysts say there are risks of  shifting productions especially to developing productions in Asia where you  may not get the same level of quality.  

SETH BASHAM, WEDBUSH:  There`s also additional risk that if we start moving  production out of China and roll back the tariffs from 25 percent to 20  percent or zero percent, you spent all of this time and effort moving  production out of China and you go back to China?  There are big question  marks as to whether or not it is worth the effort at this stage of the  game.  Some are still taking a wait-and-see approach.  

MODY:  One of the benefits of shifting the supply chain is lower prices,  but industry experts say the next six months will determine whether taking  a proactive approach to get around tariffs was the right move.  

HERERA:  As we`ve been reporting, there is a big push in Washington and  among many states to examine the power of big tech.  Senator and Democratic  presidential candidate Cory Booker told John Harwood that while he doesn`t  want to break up Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), he would like to see some type of  crackdown.  

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Now, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)  is really problematic.  They`re doing things that are — that all of us in  America, we just saw the Mueller report that pointed to how foreign  adversaries were using platforms like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) —  
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC HOST:  But you`re not willing to say Facebook  (NASDAQ:FB) should be broken up?

BOOKER:  I`m willing to say that we need to look at tech companies in  general because we have a problem in this country with corporate  concentrations of power that are undermining basic free market, basic  democratic ideals.  And so, if I am the leader of this country, which I  hope I am, I`m going to be coming after hard these large monopolistic  companies.  

HARWOOD:  But the fact that Zuckerberg was a supporter of your initiative  in Newark with a lot of money, that`s not the reason why you will not  specifically like Elizabeth Warren, say, break up that company?  

BOOKER:  Oh, there need to be a lot of companies in America that need to be  broken up, but it needs to be done in a sober, systematic way.  So, what I  do have more of a problem with is the tech companies who are allowing  China`s values on privacy, on security, using those tech platforms to  squelch the human rights of others and to surveil their citizens.  These  are things I have a problem with and tech companies that are willing to  sacrifice values for profit, that`s unacceptable to me.  

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

We begin with shares of Lennar (NYSE:LEN), they were upgraded to outperform  from neutral at Wedbush Securities.  The analyst cited improving sales and  lower interest rates right now.  Price target $62.  That stock rose nearly  2 percent today to $53.08. 

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) was downgraded to equal weight from overweight at  Barclays.  The analyst cited a number of fundamental challenges facing the  rail operator right now.  Price target: $170.  That stock fell more than 2  percent to $167.15.  

And Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has raised its price target on Disney  (NYSE:DIS) to $160 a share.  The analyst cited the company`s new streaming  service which begins in November and expects total subscribers to reach 130  million by 2024.  The firm has an overweight weighting on the stock and the  shares rose 4 percent today to $141.74.  
HERERA:  Still ahead, what the dairy industry can do to improve its image  with consumers.  

GRIFFETH:  Chewy is expected to price its initial public offering tonight  and begin trading tomorrow.  The online pet supply retailer is the latest  in a string of companies to go public in what has been a very busy IPO  market this year.  And with some exceptions, the reception on Wall Street  has been pretty positive.  
Here`s Bob Pisani.  

BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The IPO market just  keeps getting hotter, but how much is really left?  That`s the big  question.  

Look at cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.  It priced and opened above its  expected range.  Online pet food retailer Chewy upsized its IPO ahead of  its Friday debut.  

You know, way back in February, a lot of people were fearful that an  avalanche of IPOs would cause the market to crash, but the big tech IPOs,  other unicorns, they`ve been all winners so far this year, with Beyond Meat  clearly leading the pack up more than 400 percent.  Zoom Video and  PagerDuty up more than 100 percent each, it`s no wonder the Renaissance  Capital IPO ETF, a basket of 60 biggest recent IPO, up 34 percent this  year, double the S&P.  

Prices are holding up well.  Sixty-five IPOs priced this year, 40 percent  priced at the high end of the range or above.  Beyond Meat, Zoom,  CrowdStrike, PagerDuty, what do they have in common?  Fast growth and a  large market opportunity.

Beyond Meat is disrupting the food industry.  Zoom is profitable with huge  potential for spin and video conferencing.  CrowdStrike, end point security  business, rapidly growing.

How about those unicorn disappointments?  I know, Uber and Lyft, right?   Uber is down 6 percent.  Lyft`s down 20 percent, that tells us that  investors are not impressed with ride hailing, specifically valuation  issues and deep losses.

But there`s nothing like this up market to boost IPOs, the S&P up 15  percent a year.  That means a lot of these IPOs vulnerable should there be  a downturn.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.  

HERERA:  Mixed results for Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM).  That`s where we begin  tonight`s “Market Focus”.

After the bell, the chipmaker reported better than expected earnings, but  it missed on revenue.  The company warned of a broad-based slowdown in  demand due to continued geopolitical uncertainties.  Shares initially  dropped in the after-hours trade, but closed the regular session up a  fraction to $281.61.  

Activist investor Jana Partners disclosed more than a 9 percent stake in  Callaway and says it plans to talk with the golf equipment and apparel  maker about selling all or part of the company.  This despite Jana  acknowledging Callaway`s innovations and durable market share.  Callaway  surged nearly 14-1/2 percent to $18.19.  

And another activist investor Vintage Capital is offering to make a buyout  bid for Red Robin.  In a letter to Red Robin`s board of directors, Vintage  said it is prepared to pay more than $40 a share in cash for the restaurant  chain, and called on the company to launch a strategic review.  Red Robin  shares soared 31-1/2 percent to $33.48.  

GRIFFETH:  Target (NYSE:TGT) is trying to keep up with rivals like Amazon  (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Walmart by now offering same-day delivery to more  customers.  Target (NYSE:TGT) shoppers in 47 states will now be able to get  items delivered the same day by paying a flat fee of $9.99 per order.  The  retailer is using Shipt, that`s a delivery platform service that Target  (NYSE:TGT) acquired back in 2017.  Target (NYSE:TGT) shares were up a  fraction today to $88.30.  

And the country`s largest meat producer, Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), is going  to begin selling plant-based nuggets this summer.  It will be sold under  the new company brand that will sell plant-based and blended meat products.   Tyson shares rose a fraction to $82.53.  

HERERA:  The dairy industry is facing a number of challenges and not the  least which is increased competition from non-dairy drinks like soy and  almond milk.  And now, the industry faces a very different challenge.   There is a growing backlash from a video that has gone viral and we want to  warn you some of the images are very disturbing.  
Rahel Solomon has the story.  

RAHEL SOLOMON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The video is hard to  watch.  Young calves in a farm in Indiana reportedly are being abused,  kicked and in extreme heat.  Our images also show them being choked and  dragged.

But the undercover animal rights activists that filmed it at Fair Oaks Farm  say abuse like this happens daily at dairy farms around the country.  
RICHARD COUTO, ANIMAL RECOVERY MISSION FOUNDER:  More than having arrests  in this case is education, is showing the world not just what Fairlife has  been doing to their animals in their dairies, but what the dairy industry  is all about in general.  

SOLOMON:  The farm is the largest producer of dairy in Indiana and the  alleged practice has now ensnarled one of the largest beverage companies in  the world.  
Why Coke?  

Because Coke distributes products from Fairlife, which receives dairy from  Fair Oaks Farm.  It`s an issue that`s important to millennials who tend to  be more animal-friendly and also a major source of spending.  Another  challenge, in the past decade, sales of milk alternatives like nut-based  beverages have soared.  

ALEXIA HOWARD, BERNSTEIN ANALYST:  If you look at the way that nut-based  milk market develops, almond milk when it took over from soy milk, that`s  taken about 15 percent of the market over the last ten years.  
SOLOMON:  Sales for cow`s milk was down 6 percent for the year ending June  2019.  

Fairlife has said it will no longer use milk from the farm in question and  are taking steps to ensure humane treatment of animals at its other  suppliers.  

Coke says any form of animal cruelty is unacceptable and that they`re  investigating.  Although it`s unclear that will be enough for some  protesters.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We`re asking Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), do the right thing  and go to plant milk and not dairy.  
SOLOMON:  The Indiana incident, perhaps a black eye on an industry already  under pressure and according to local media, the employees involved in that  video have all been charged with misdemeanors.  

HERERA:  The National Dairy Council has this to say: The U.S. dairy  community has a long standing and strong commitment to animal welfare and  takes allegations of animal abuse very seriously.  Like consumers, we are  deeply disappointed and saddened by the actions shown in the video as  animal abuse in any form is not tolerated on U.S. dairy farms.  The recent  videos released are in no way indicative of how our country`s dairy farm  families operate.  As a community, we are deeply committed to the  continuous improvement in all aspects of animal care.  
For the full statement, you can head to our Website,  

GRIFFETH:  Well, is a statement like that enough to help repair the dairy  industry`s image and what else needs to be done in terms of damage control?  
Joining us tonight is Karen Tiber Leland.  She`s brand expert who runs her  company, the Sterling Marketing Group.  
Karen, thanks for joining us tonight.  

GRIFFETH:  You know, the problem they have is that social media works so  quickly.  The video goes viral before they have a chance to even respond to  it, and most people will just see the video and not hear the response,  right?  

TIBER LELAND:  Absolutely.  And the truth is that we now live in a world  where one of the trifecta of issues that people like the dairy industry has  to deal with is the rapid social media where everything just goes instantly  across.  And I think it`s one of the things the dairy industry hasn`t taken  into account in terms of their branding.  

HERERA:  So, what do they need to do?  You say there are several things,  three in particular, that they could do that might turn this around?

TIBER LELAND:  Well, I think one of the things they need to do is they need  to consider that we`re living in a different world.  You know, a recent  study showed that 60 percent of consumers are more concerned about animal  welfare now than in the last few years.  So I think they need to keep up- to-date with what`s actually happening with their consumer base.  
Another survey showed that nine out of 10 millennials will change to  another brand product if they believe more in the cause that that  particular product is supporting.  

So, I feel like one of the things they have to do is they have to get up to  speed with how their consumers are now considering their product and their  company now, and I don`t think the dairy industry is up to speed with that  right now.  That`s one of the things that they need to do.  

GRIFFETH:  And we`ve talked about the changing consumer taste going to non- dairy drinks as well.  

TIBER LELAND:  Not milks.  

GRIFFETH:  How well do you think they`ve responded to that?  

TIBER LELAND:  I think they respond to that very poorly.  Last year, just  in New York City alone, I remember there was — we were out of oat milk in  all of the grocery stores and there was this uprising because there was no  oat milk.  And I think that the dairy industry has failed to realize that a  huge percentage of their market sees an alternative now, and they just  haven`t addressed that.  

You know, if you think about it, milk is very iconic, right, in America.   You think about pie with a glass of milk.  You think about a hot glass of  milk when you go to bed at night.  But the reality is, is that there`s a  whole bunch of alternatives that didn`t exist five or 10 years ago, and I  don`t think the dairy industry has paid attention to that.  

GRIFFETH:  All right.  Karen Tiber Leland with the Sterling Marketing Group  — thanks again for joining us tonight.  Appreciate it.

TIBER LELAND:  My pleasure.  

GRIFFETH:  And coming up, an unconventional approach to saving for  retirement.  

GRIFFETH:  Something unusual has been happening in this market lately as  “The Wall Street Journal” points out, so-called safety stocks are not only  rising along with the rest of the market, but they are also outperforming  it right now.  Experts say that investors are attracted to the group`s  consistent dividend payments and lower volatility, and it just demonstrates  how risk-averse investors have become.  

HERERA:  And risk aversion is what you may think of when it comes to  retirement savings.  Conventional wisdom says you should invest more  conservatively as you get older by increasing your bond holdings, but there  are some who say you should actually do the opposite.  
Joining us to talk about this is Win Smathers.  He is the managing director  and financial adviser at Shorebridge Wealth Management.  
Welcome.  Nice to have you here.  


HERERA:  Are you one that recommends you do the opposite, or are you in the  you-need-to-remain-nimble and flexible camp?  

SMATHERS:  I`m in the flexible camp.  I think with today`s interest rate  environment, at 40-year low yields, the traditional thought process of how  you asset allocate has to change.  And in retirement, it`s very difficult  today to have a significant allocation to bonds like the old days, perhaps,  40 years ago, and be able to attain all of your objectives.  

GRIFFETH:  Yes.  I mean, that was at a time when interest rates obviously  were much higher and there were fewer products that you could garner income  from.  There were so many exchange traded funds and mutual funds and other  things that can provide you with some income, in addition to growth, right?  

SMATHERS:  Well, that`s true.  I mean, certainly, the product menu has  expanded greatly in the last 20 years in particular, but in traditional  asset allocation, you want to have your safe assets being the fixed income  part of the portfolio and how you do that could be with ETFs, mutual funds,  individual bonds.  But the old days again, when you used to have 50, 60, 70  percent fixed income in a portfolio, you really can`t achieve your goals  anymore and to do that to drive the income you need as well as to fight  inflation.  So, as a result, the equity component of a portfolio is more  significant today.  

HERERA:  And how do you handle that?  Obviously, every individual investor  is different, but if you do increase your equity position, do you end up  trading a little bit more?  In other words, when you have a significant  gain in a position, do you exit that position and bank the cash?  How would  you — how would you deal with portfolio management?  

SMATHERS:  Well, traditionally, we start with an asset allocation split  between stocks and bonds, for example.  The stock portfolio is the vehicle  of how we try to exceed the rate of inflation and grow the portfolio  principle.  The bond portfolio, we tried to buy very secure, safe bonds.  
The bond portfolio plays a role in our case of being an air bag so that  when the stock market falls, which it inevitably will do, we have a  reservoir of safe money to rebalance our portfolios.  

SMATHERS:  Yes.  And the other way that we think about fixed income and  this really resonates with our clients is that when we do our allocation,  we consider maybe eight to ten years worth of their income needs in their  bond portfolio.  

HERERA:  Right.  
On that note — 

SMATHERS:  So that way — I`m sorry.  

HERERA:  That`s OK.  Win, we have to run.  Thank you so much.  

SMATHERS:  Absolutely.  

HERERA:  Win Smathers with Shorebridge Wealth Management.  

SMATHERS:  Thank you very much.  Bye.  

GRIFFETH:  Out of time.  


GRIFFETH:  Finally tonight, the St. Louis Blues are Stanley Cup champions  for the first time in their franchise`s history, but the big winner may be  one of the team`s fans.  Back in January, that fan while in Las Vegas bet  $400 that the Blues would win the Stanley Cup.  Now that $400 has turned  into $100,000.  At the time he placed the bet, the Blues were in last place  and the odds of them winning the cup were listed 250 to 1.  Good for him.

HERERA:  Talk about good luck.  
And before we go, here`s a look at the day`s final numbers from Wall  Street.  The Dow climbed 101 points, the Nasdaq added 44, S&P 500 was up  11.

And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight.  I’m Sue Herera.  Thanks for  joining us.  

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

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