Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 1, 2019

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

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Trade truce.  The S&P 500  closes at a record after the U.S. and China ratchet back trade tensions and  resume talks.  So what`s next?  

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Semi surge.  Chip stocks  benefit from the easing of trade tensions and rally strongly.  So, where  does the group go from here?  

GRIFFETH:  And re-fi time?  Mortgage rates are plunging and many Americans  are taking the plunge to refinance.  Why now might be a good opportunity?
All those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday,  July 1st.  

HERERA:  Good evening, everyone, and welcome.  
It was a record close on Wall Street following what you could call a trade  truce.  Over the weekend at the G-20 Summit in Japan, the U.S. and China  agreed to hold off on levying more tariffs in an effort to get trade talks  going again.  President Trump also said the U.S. would relax restrictions  on American companies selling products to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.  

As a result, stocks got an initial lift.  And while the gains were more  than halved, it was still a record day.  The Dow rose 117 points to 26,717.   The Nasdaq helped by the chip stocks, we`ll have more on them in a moment,  rose about 85, and the S&P 500 climbed 22 to a record, its sixth so far  this year.  
We have two reports on trade starting with Kayla Tausche in Washington.  

KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  After a six-week  standoff, President Trump and President Xi brokered a cease-fire in 80  minutes.  Trump agreed to relax a ban on Huawei in exchange for China`s  buying more farm goods and there will be no new tariffs.  
The truce has no deadline, which means President Trump can end it whenever  talks fall through or keep it going as long as it`s politically useful,  telling reporters he`s in no rush.  

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  So we`re making a deal with  China, or we`re attempting.  And if we don`t, we`ll go back into, you know,  we have a tremendous ripe field of tremendous money that would be coming  into our country.  I`m not rushed.  I told him that I want to get the deal  right.  

TAUSCHE:  Multinational companies are relieved tensions have eased but have  more questions than answers about what comes next.  
ERIN ENNIS, U.S.-CHINA BUSINESS COUNCIL:  What`s the timeline for these  negotiations?  How serious are both sides at coming to a resolution?  What  happens if they can`t reach an agreement on these issues?  Because that  $300 billion list of tariffs is still looming out there, it`s just put on  hold for the moment.  

TAUSCHE:  And the issues that sank talks in May are still outstanding,  mainly, China`s ability to legally enforce the deal.  China`s hard-liners  don`t seem any easier to sway now and hawks in Washington are not happy the  White House is bargaining with a company seen as a national security risk.  

At least three Republicans slamming the decision and one, Florida Senator  Marco Rubio, suggesting he`ll introduce a bill to reverse it.  With so many  competing forces, future sales for Huawei vendors are still in question.  

BENN STEIL, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS:  Is this going to be part of an  end game trade deal, or is this something that he`s going to reserve as a  national security issue?  

TAUSCHE:  In Osaka, the president wouldn`t commit.  

TRUMP:  Huawei is very much in play in terms of our country and in terms of  intelligence and the intelligence community.  We`re not making it a big  subject.  We`re going to save that for later.  

TAUSCHE:  When later is isn`t clear.  Asked when a new round of talks could  take place, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Treasury  Department said they had no scheduling announcements.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in Washington.  

HERERA:  And now to China, with a look at how the trade truce is playing  out there.  
Eunice Yoon is in Beijing.  

EUNICE YOON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The Chinese are  generally relieved with the outcome but cautious.  In official statements  and media reports, they are pleased with the delay of new tariffs, that  there is no deadline for negotiations, and they`re especially happy that  hometown tech champ Huawei gets a reprieve.  

In addition, the Chinese side has been left with an impression that  President Trump has agreed to Beijing`s preconditions for a trade deal,  what are described here as its three red lines, lifting all the imposed  tariffs, more realistic purchases of U.S. goods and balanced text in the  final deal.  That`s because President Trump, according to the foreign  ministry, agreed to move forward on the basis of, quote, equality and  mutual respect.  

Despite the fresh direction, there`s still apprehension that a trade  agreement will get done.  Sources close to the trade talks on the Chinese  side have noticed that President Trump is already under pressure from  Congress and the national security community to maintain his original tough  position on Huawei.  One other interesting development here, the Chinese  press are not reporting China`s agreement to buy more American farm  products or that the U.S. has not reduced the current tariffs.  That shows  how sensitive the leadership is to appearing weak or that it`s giving in to  U.S. pressure, an indication of just how challenging the domestic political  environment here is, for Beijing to make even further, serious compromises.  

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

GRIFFETH:  Let`s turn now to Mohamed El-Erian.  He`s, of course, the chief  economic advisor at Allianz.  

Mohamed, always great to see you.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  


GRIFFETH:  What in your view is the message of the U.S. stock market right  now when you bear in mind that long-term treasury yields are close to two- year lows and now following the Osaka summit we still have tariffs, 25  percent tariffs for the foreseeable future.  Why are we at an all-time high  right now?  

EL-ERIAN:  For three reasons.  
One is the truce.  I like calling it the cease-fire.  Things won`t get any  worse.  
Second, the Huawei news was a surprise to the market, so that suggested an  easing of tension that goes beyond the headline of the cease-fire.  
And thirdly, it keeps the Fed in play.  Meaning that because the  uncertainty hasn`t been fundamental elicited, the Fed is likely to cut in  July.  
So the markets like the cease-fire because it calms things down without  taking away the fed rate cut.  

HERERA:  Are you surprised, though, at the lack of volatility that we`ve  had just recently anyway, Mohamed?  I mean, I`d say about three months ago,  every time we got a trade headline, we were either up 100 points or down  100 points.  And we`ve seen a lot less of that.  

EL-ERIAN:  We have, because there`s been a major pivot on the part of  central banks.  The four major central banks have all indicated that  they`re going stimulate more.  And markets have been conditioned to respect  liquidity from central banks.  

So, the more the central banks are willing to decouple the markets from the  underlying fundamentals, the more the market does that for them.  So, it  doesn`t really surprise me.  And what also doesn`t surprise me is  economists aren`t that excited about what happened over the weekend.  They  tell you the basic uncertainty isn`t gone.  
Companies are not going to invest based on a truce.  They want a peace  deal, and that hasn`t come yet.  

GRIFFETH:  What can you point to in our economy that warrants a cut by the  federal reserve in July, when you bear in mind that just last week Jerome  Powell said that the Fed`s monetary policy will not be based on what he  called short-term political interests?  What is it that`s going to prompt a  cut do you think next month or this month?  

EL-ERIAN:  If you look at the U.S. on a stand-alone, it`s actually very  hard to find reasoning.  If you look at the U.S. in the context of a weak  global economy, then this notion of an insurance cut comes up, Bill.  
But let me just warn people watching, the market has gone way beyond an  insurance cut.  The market is pricing in four cuts in the next 12 months.   That`s not insurance, that`s a signal there`s something really wrong with  the economy.  

HERERA:  And do you see that?  Do you see inherent risks in the economy  that might warrant what the market is expecting?  

EL-ERIAN:  I don`t think that the economy itself will warrant what the  market is expecting, unless you assume there`s going to be a major policy  mistake or a major market accident.  

The economy is still in a good place.  Yes, it`s not as strong as it was a  year ago, but it is still significantly moving forward and distancing  itself from the rest of the world.  

GRIFETH:  You`re one who likes to take the global picture of things and try  and make sense of it as a whole.  So, we`ve got the geopolitical concerns  in the Middle East that are pushing oil prices higher.  We`ve got those  yields here in the United States that are near two-year lows.  We`ve got  the Brexit mess that`s going on in Europe right now.  The trade tensions  between the U.S. and China.  
Where are we globally right now?  Are we seeing a meaningful slowdown  economically do you think?  

EL-ERIAN:  Yes, we are, in Europe in particular.  Something that has flown  below the radar screen today is what happened in Germany.  German 10-year  yields ended at minus 36 basis points, almost minus 100 percent.  Why?   Because the manufacturing data that came out overnight, they were horrible,  Bill, absolutely horrible.  

And I worry about Europe.  I worry about stall speed economies in Europe.   That`s what`s keeping our yields down.  
I`m all with your introduction, go and refinance because you`re really  getting a gift from Europe at this point in terms of downward pressure on  our own yields.  

GRIFFETH:  Indeed.  Mohamed El-Erian with Allianz — again, thanks for  joining us tonight, Mohamed.  

EL-ERIAN:  Thank you.  

HERERA:  As we mentioned, the big winner of the day, chip stocks.  The  sector rallied on the Huawei news.  The semiconductor index rising more  than 2 percent on the day.  
Josh Lipton has more.  

JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Chip investors had  been expecting good news at the G-20 summit and they got it.  President  Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed over the weekend to proceed  with negotiations.  Both sides said they didn`t plan to levy new tariffs  against each other`s products right now.  

TRUMP:  We had a great meeting.  We will be continuing to negotiate.  

LIPTON:  That`s welcome news for chip companies because China is a key  market for them, as well as an important link in their supply chains.  The  SMH, an ETF that tracks the chips, rose in today`s trade and that`s after  surging higher in June, its best month since September 2010.  
President Trump also suggested that he would lift the ban on U.S. companies  selling equipment to Chinese tech giant Huawei in cases that don`t involve  U.S. national security.  Analysts say that could benefit chip companies  that count Huawei as an important customer.  

MITCH STEVENS, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS:  Yes, from a high level we think this  benefits semi cap equipment.  Essentially, this equipment makes chips for  all companies.  And so, we don`t think that will be deemed as a national  security risk.  That will be Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), Lam Research  (NASDAQ:LRCX) and ASML (NASDAQ:ASML).  

Secondly, we also think this benefits Micron as Huawei is about 13 percent  customer.  And so, now, they can ship as many chips as they would like to  them.  We think that will improve sales.  

LIPTON:  But Steve says the implication of the Huawei announcement was  unclear for other chip companies like Nvidia and AMD.  While he thinks  those companies ultimately trade higher, he said their products do  represent potential national security risks.  

As a sector, where do the semis head from here?  Analysts note that the  second half of the year is a typically strong one for chips, but they point  out that if chip stocks are going to keep posting gains, investors need to  see continued signs of trade progress.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.  

GRIFFETH:  And there was also this news out of the semiconductor sector.   Chip equipment maker Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) is buying Kokusai  Electric from private equity firm KKR (NYSE:KKR) for a little over $2  billion.  The Japanese firm makes wireless equipment.  That sent shares  higher by nearly 2 percent today.  

HERERA:  And while the chip sector is rallying on the temporary truce,  intellectual property is still a key sticking point between the U.S. and  China, and it`s not just the chip companies that are vulnerable.  
Joining us to discuss that and who stands to win or lose is Timothy Lesko,  principal at Granite Investment Advisors.  

Good to see you again, Tim.  Welcome back.  


HERERA:  You make the case that we need to cast a broader net, if you will,  or a wider net, that all companies that have intellectual property are at  risk.  

LESKO:  Yes, basically, you know, Chinese manufacturers have been copying  American goods, whether they be technology goods, whether they be consumer  goods for decades.  One of the things that we failed to put into place  would be some sort of recourse, that when our goods are either copied or  intellectual property stolen, there`s no court system for us to go to in  China to get a remedy.  And that`s really what these negotiations are  looking for.  We really haven`t seen any sign of that yet.  

GRIFFETH:  But the Chinese have made clear, Tim, that they are not going to  change their laws to change how they go after intellectual property.  In  that case, are we realistically going to get a change in how our  relationship is with the Chinese as relates to IP theft?  

LESKO:  I think we will.  I think that they see us as a very valuable  market.  We see them as a long-term trading partner.  

And so, I think the hope is, is there becomes some remedy, whether it`s a  Chinese law that is changed or whether they`re willing to live by World  Trade Organization rules or general agreements on tariffs and trade that we  come to a point where we have perhaps a mutual ground to air these  grievances in the future.  

HERERA:  What companies would be on your watch list that are perhaps most  vulnerable between the situation between the U.S. and China as it stands  now?  

LESKO:  Well, I think we`re on the cusp of the great move toward  automation.  Everything that`s going to be automated is going to rely on  fifth generation cellular technology as well as a lot of other technologies  that are either developed here and made in China or in some cases developed  in China.  So companies like Google`s Waymo division, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)  if they`re developing a car.  You have to think that everybody wants to get  involved in the infrastructure associated with that automation.  

And if there are a lot of tariff battles and intellectual property battles,  some of that technology will be slower and slower to bring to market.  So,  it really casts a pretty wide shadow over the entire industry.  

HERERA:  On that note, Timothy Lesko with Granite Investment Advisors —  thanks, Tim, good to see you.  

LESKO:  Thanks for having me.  

GRIFFETH:  And coming up, a peek behind the curtain of big money donors.  

YLAN MUI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Charles Koch is one of  the most powerful names in conservative politics, and we get an inside look  at his exclusive retreat for business leaders, donors and politicians,  coming up next.  

HERERA:  OPEC has agreed to extend production cuts by nine months.  The  deal must now be approved by non-OPEC allies tomorrow.  Domestic crude  crossed $60 a barrel earlier in the day but closed just below that mark.  
Brian Sullivan has more from Vienna.  

BRIAN SULLIVAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  It was a long day  here at OPEC headquarters, but in the end, it did end with two pieces of  big news.  Number one, the group has agreed to extend production cuts of  1.2 million barrels of oil per day by nine months.  That`s longer than  expected and takes the group into 2020.  They are trying to counter the  weight of growing U.S. shale output as OPEC has lost a little bit of its  market power.  

But the second piece of news is designed to counter that.  The group has  signed a long-term deal of cooperation with Russia.  Russia is not a member  of OPEC but has been criticized lately for maybe placing too big of a role  on itself on to a group to which it does not belong.  But group finally  OPEC agreeing that they would agree to cooperate with a Russia-led  coalition which gives OPEC about 11 million barrels more day of oil of  market power.  

That is the outcome of today`s meeting, but that wasn`t all the drama.   First off, around the criticism that OPEC had become perhaps too close to  Russia.  In fact, the Saudi oil minister in the media scrum had to  acknowledge the fact that every OPEC member still matters.  

KHALID AL-FALIH, SAUDI ARABIAN ENERGY MINISTER:  We are very respectful of  every member country.  The fact of the matter is Saudi Arabia and Russia  are the largest producers and we are delivering the largest cuts.  And for  us to agree first and then to discuss our agreement with our colleagues  from other countries I think only helps reach the unanimous consensus that  we`re seeking.  

SULLIVAN:  Of course, the other overarching piece of news here hanging over  was Iran, upset with OPEC of what it perceived as lack of support around  U.S. oil sanctions.  We had a chance to catch up with the Iranian oil  ministers and asked them, what would it take to get Iran back to the table  with the United States.  

BIJAN ZANGANEH, IRANIAN OIL MINISTER:  If United States administration  wants to change that environment between two countries, firstly, should  lift all sanctions put against Iranian oil and other areas.  Then they  would see significant change in the environment and then we can do many  things.  

SULLIVAN:  A lot there and a lot of background noise as well.  Effectively  what he said was we would need to stop our blockade of Iranian oil exports  to have any hope of Iran coming back to the table.  Either way, OPEC got  Iran to the table.  They signed that long-term deal.  Tomorrow Russia makes  its presence felt literally and figuratively.  Could be another hot one  inside and outside here in Vienna.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Brian Sullivan, Vienna, Austria.

GRIFFETH:  More problems for Boeing (NYSE:BA) and that`s where we begin  tonight`s “Market Focus” with the Department of Justice reportedly  subpoenaing records at Boeing`s 737 Dreamliner production plant in South  Carolina.  “The Seattle Times” says the prosecutors are looking into  Boeing`s records due to allegations of subpar work at that assembly plant.   The stock fell more than 2 percent today to $356.46.  

Elsewhere, a railroad company Genesee in Wyoming was sold to Canada`s  Brookfield Infrastructure and Singapore`s Sovereign Wealth Fund for nearly  $6.5 billion in cash.  That deal makes the railroad operator a private  company at a time when the industry looks to switch to running fewer and  longer trains with tighter schedules.  The shares rose nearly 9 percent  today on that news at $108.85.  

HERERA:  Wynn shares rose after the Macau gambling authority said gaming  revenue came in better than expected last month, rising nearly 6 percent.   This comes as the Chinese economy was weakened from the trade war tariffs.   Wynn shares rose almost 6 percent to $121.35.  

Coty will be taking a $3 billion write-down as the cosmetics company looks  to restructure after acquiring brands from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)  nearly three years ago.  The four-year plan hopes to increase revenue while  also keeping up with rivals in the beauty cosmetics industry.  Shares fell  more than 13 percent to $11.59.  

GRIFFETH:  South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg`s campaign says the  presidential hopeful has raised nearly $25 million in the last three months  from almost 300,000 donors.  That is likely to be among the highest amounts  raised by any of the Democratic candidates in the second quarter.  

HERERA:  And Home Depot (NYSE:HD) co-founder Bernie Marcus (NYSE:MCS) tells  “The Atlanta Journal Constitution” that he plans to give up to 90 percent  of his fortune to charity when he dies.  It`s estimated his net worth is  between roughly $4.5 and $6 billion.  He is also a big political donor,  having been a top donor to President Trump`s run in 2016.  He tells the  paper he will contribute to his re-election bid.  

GRIFFETH:  Well, the Koch name is among the most influential when it comes  to political fund-raising.  And today, one of the Koch brothers brought  together big-money donors to discuss where to put their money in our highly  politicized world.  
Ylan Mui got a rare access to the summit in Colorado Springs.  

MUI:  Out in Colorado, in the foothills of the Cheyenne Mountains, hundreds  of wealthy donors and business leaders are gathered for a three-day retreat  led by billionaire Charles Koch.  It`s an exclusive event.  And cameras  aren`t typically allowed, and who attends is kept strictly private.  
But we got some rare access to understand the evolution of one of the most  powerful forces in conservative politics.  Here`s a video donors saw at the  start of the summit.  

CHARLES KOCH, FOUNDER, STAND TOGETHER:  We`re in the midst of a shift that  could be even more transformative than the invention of the printing press  or the industrial revolution.  It means the future is one of unlimited  possibilities.  But it`s also disrupting key institutions of our society.  

MUI:  Koch`s political and philanthropic network has had to change its  strategy ever since President Trump was elected.  They didn`t support him  in 2016 and are sitting out this race as well.  Instead, Charles Koch told  donors that he`s willing to work across the political spectrum to advance  specific causes: free trade, free speech, immigration and the economy.  
KOCH:  Just imagine what the country would be like if we had many, many  more people with this philosophy.  If we had millions more who were  dedicated to uniting with anybody to do right.  That`s been my lifetime  goal.  

MUI:  It`s a philosophy that helped the network build a coalition of  Republicans, Democrats and even celebrities to pass criminal justice reform  last year.  And now, it`s bringing in unlikely new partners, like former  NFL MVP Shaun Alexander.  He learned about the Koch Network through  friends, and they helped put him in touch with a nonprofit called Cafe  Momentum that employs teenagers who have been in jail.  

SHAUN ALEXANDER, FORMER NFL MVP:  We all are in agreement that if we have  the same values, same vision and that we can complement each other, then we  can actually get together and do something special, one body with many  parts, you know?  So sometimes if you`re good at being a knee and I`m the  calf, it literally makes us run faster if we work together.  
MUI:  Alexander wants to bring Cafe Momentum to every NFL city in the  country.  It`s an approach the network calls bottom up social  entrepreneurship, and they say that`s the path toward healing the nation`s  divisions.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Colorado Springs.  

HERERA:  Coming up, with mortgage rates falling, is now the right time to  refinance?  

GRIFFETH:  Finally tonight, homeowners take note.  Now could be a great  opportunity to refinance your mortgage.  
Diana Olick has some surprising new numbers.  

DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Mortgage rates have  been on a rollercoaster but now they are sitting at the bottom of the track  and that`s a big opportunity for borrowers.  The average rate on the 30- year fixed hit a three-year low of 3.73 percent last week, according to  Freddie Mac.  It was right around 5 percent less than a year ago.  
At today`s rate, just over 8 million borrowers can refinance and lower  their interest rates by at least 75 basis points.  That`s the largest group  since 2016, according to Black Knight.  It`s also a jump of more than 6  million eligible borrowers since last November.  

How much can the average borrower save?  About $266 per month.  Most  borrowers tend to refinance after several years, but those who took out  their mortgages last year could benefit most, about 1.5 million of them.   Not surprise, mortgage applications to refinance were up a striking 92  percent annually last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  
While refinancing can lower monthly payments, it`s also an opportunity to  take cash out of your home, but very few people are doing that.  Home  equity levels are very high right now, but borrowers took out just $54  billion collectively.  That was the lowest amount in four years an less  than 1 percent of what was available.  

Today`s borrowers seem more conservative, which makes sense given what  happened the last time homeowners started using their homes like ATMs.   For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.  

HERERA:  And before we go, let`s take a look at what was a winning day on  Wall Street and in some cases a record day.  The Dow rose 117 points to  26,717.  The Nasdaq rose about 85, and the S&P 500 climbed 22 to a record.  

GRIFFETH:  Welcome back, by the way.  We missed you last week.  

HERERA:  Thank you very much.  

GRIFFETH:  Remember the days when summertime would arrive and the market  would slow down?  

HERERA:  Would slow down.  No, they`re gone.  

GRIFFETH:  It doesn`t happen anymore.  

HERERA:  No, which is why you have to join us every night.  

GRIFFETH:  Exactly.  

HERERA:  That does it for us tonight on NBR.  I`m Sue Herera.  Thanks for  joining us.  

GRIFFETH:  I`m Bill Griffeth.  Have a great 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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