Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 3, 2019

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


BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Record run.  All three major indexes enter uncharted waters with all reaching new milestones and closing at all-time highs.  


SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Labor trouble.  A private report shows a drop in hiring last month.  Is that a bad sign for Friday`s jobs report and the economy as a whole?  


GRIFFETH:  And, end of the era.  He was the first celebrity CEO and a business titan who transformed the auto industry.  The legacy of Lee Iacocca.  


All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Wednesday, July 3rd.


HERERA:  Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Well, tomorrow may be the Fourth of July but there were plenty of fireworks on Wall Street today.  It was a record day.  All three indexes closing at record levels.  


Let`s get right to the numbers.  The Dow rose 176 points to 26,966.  The Nasdaq climbed 61, and the S&P 500 added 22.  That`s its third straight record close.  
Seema Mody has more on the rally.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


SEEMA MODY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The markets are still going full steam ahead on this holiday shortened week.  The S&P 500 managed to close up record highs for the third day in a row, its record close so far in 2019.  And the Dow dodging itself first record close since October.  


Tech and consumer discretionary thoughts continue to be the year`s best gainers, with both sectors getting all time highs again today.  Bond yields are hovering near three-year lows and that`s boosting rate-sensitive sectors like real estate, utilities, and consumer staples.  


What`s powering the rally?  A combination of easing U.S.-China trade tensions and the looming prospects for an interest rate cut this month.  Right now, the market is gearing up for a big rate cut and the Federal Reserve will react to a slew of weaker economic data, weaker manufacturing and services numbers, durable goods, business sentiment, to ramp up the stimulus once again.


Now beyond the headlines, market internals are still looking strong.  Stocks are near new highs and more stocks are advancing every day that are declining.  As long as it holds off, this rally may not be derailed any time soon.  The new highs of the S&P 500 are also expanding.  That is considered a positive sign.  


But the caveat is, earnings estimates are now flat for the second quarter and just about 2 percent higher for the year.  It`s hard to justify the higher stock market multiples when there`s very little growth expected.  Friday jobs report will no doubt be key to watch.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Seema Mody at the New York Stock Exchange.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  Meanwhile, shares of Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) took off today after word that Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is in talks to buy the cybersecurity software maker.  Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) had a 52-week high after soaring by about 14 percent.  Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) shares were down more than 3 percent.  


Now, this isn`t the first time Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) has gone down the acquisition trail.  In fact, some say it`s part of the CEO`s play book.  
Josh Lipton takes a look.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  This is what Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) CEO Hock Tan does — deals.  And he could be ready to make another big one.  


CNBC reports that Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is in talks to acquire Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), which makes cybersecurity software for both the enterprise and consumer.  The two sides have been targeting a mid July announcement, though the price is not set.  So, no guarantee that a deal really does get done.  But the FT reports that the transaction could be worth more than $15 billion.  


This is Hock Tan`s playbook — buying companies and building out a portfolio of products.  For example, acquiring Brocade for $6 billion for exposure to the high margin storage market, and buying CA (NASDAQ:CA) Technologies for $19 billion, capitalizing on its profitable mainframe business.  


CNBC asked Hock Tan about his acquisition strategy.  
HOCK TAN, BROADCOM CEO:  We`re very good at creating, building sustainable businesses and employment and innovation on businesses we acquire.  


LIPTON:  It doesn`t always work out for Hock Tan, though.  The Trump administration blocked Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) from pursuing Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) last year citing national security concerns.  
But analysts say this deal does make a strategic sense, that security would seem to be a logical addition to Broadcom`s portfolio — though they acknowledge that Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) investors could have questions as well.  After all, Hock Tan is pivoting, a traditional chip maker now moving harder into the software market.  Can he successfully integrate such companies in the same way?  


And Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) faces challenges of its own, including recent management turmoil and increasing competition.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton, San Francisco.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA: And now to another CEO, this one bringing a shake up in the cannabis industry, as Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton who also founded the company is out.  That sent shares higher by 2.5 percent.  
Aditi Roy has more about the move.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


ADITI ROY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The news came shortly before the market opened, and it was big.  Bruce Linton, the public face of the world`s most valuable publicly traded cannabis company was out.  Shortly after Linton told CNBC, the move didn`t come as a surprise and signal that Consolation Brands, the beverage giant which owns more than of a third of Canopy Growth, and a majority of its board seats, wanted to move in a different direction.  


BRUCE LINTON, CONSTELLATION FORMER CO-CEO:  At the end of the day, sometimes entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs because they`re not super employable.  I would say I probably don`t have a resume because I like creating businesses and driving them.  You don`t always mesh well with everybody in the play pen.  So, I think probably what they`re doing will probably be a better decision, it`s just not a great day for Bruce.  
ROY:  Linton`s co-CEO, Mark Zekulin, is now sole CEO of Canopy as the company searches for Linton`s replacement.  


In a statement, Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) says: The future of Canopy Growth remains bright as we look forward to the company`s continued success for many years to come.  


But Constellation`s CEO William Newlands was less sunny when he spoke about Canopy`s disappointing fourth quarter results on Constellation`s recent earnings call.  


WILLIAM NEWLANDS, CONSTELLATION BRANDS CEO:  While we remain happy with our investment in the cannabis base and its long-term potential, we were not pleased with Canopy`s recent reported year end results.  However, we continue to aggressively support Canopy on a more focused, long-term strategy to win markets and foreign factors that matter while paving a clear path to profitability.  


ROY:  Linton helped broker the $4 billion deal with Canopy last year.  A decision he does not regret.  


LINTON:  When you bring in a big check and you change the board, unless you`re like living in La La Land, there`s always some perceived risk.  But it would have been worse for the company if we can do that.
ROY:  Under his watch, Canopy launched hemp organizations in the U.S. and bought the rights to buy U.S.-based Acreage Holdings if the U.S. legalizes recreational marijuana.  


But those deals, along with supplying product for a newly legal Canadian market, and expanding internationally has lead to deepening operating losses and lower margins and missing analyst expectations on the bottom line last quarter.  Meantime, industry watchers like Cowen said in a note, it does not believe the shake-up will be disrupted and viewings it as a positive for Canopy Growth and Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ).  
Canopy`s second largest shareholder after Constellation, Goldman, tells me believes the company will stop making acquisitions and focus instead on financial discipline and increasing productivity and sales.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, San Francisco.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  On to the economy now where the services sector, which employs more than 3/4 of all Americans, that grew at the slowest pace in almost two years in June, while the service side of the economy is still growing, that growth has slowed this year.  On the manufacturing side, orders for U.S.-made goods fell for the second straight month in May.  A drag there, weak demand for transportation equipment, manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of our economy.  


HERERA:  The payroll processor ADP said employers added more jobs last month but fewer than expected.  Companies added 102,000 jobs in June, expectations for 140,000.  The report is sometimes seen as a precursor to the government`s jobs report, which is out on Friday.  
But the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, falling by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000.  The number points to a still strong labor market.  


GRIFFETH:  Let`s turn to Gus Faucher right now.  He`s talking about today`s mixed numbers on the labor market and what it may mean for Friday`s big jobs report.  He`s chief economist at PNC Financial.  
Always good to see you, Gus.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  


GUS FAUCHER, PNC FINANCIAL CHIEF ECONOMIST:  Thank you.  


GRIFFETH:  And I would point out that Friday`s jobs report will be the last one the Fed gets to see before their meeting at the end of the month.  What do you think is happening in the jobs market the United States right now?  


FAUCHER:  I think we`ve got a couple of factors weighing on job growth.  So, we added about 214,000 jobs per month last year.  We`re going to see slower growth this year in part because businesses are finding it difficult to hire and they can`t recruit the workers they need.  But also, there`s some uncertainty hanging over the U.S. economy because of trade and that`s weighing on job growth, as well.  So, expect to see slower job growth this year than compared to what we had in 2018.  


HERERA:  You also point out the fact that smaller businesses seem to be particularly concerned about the trade issue and the uncertainty surrounding it.  


FAUCHER:  That`s right.  We have seen small businesses, according to the ADP survey.  They`ve actually reduced employment in both in each of the past couple of months.  You know, I think they`re more sensitive to, perhaps a downturn in the economy or uncertainty.  So, it could be they are indicating a turning point in job growth ahead of the broader economy.  


So I do think that small businesses are perhaps a little bit more vulnerable and we should watch closely what happens with their hiring over the next few months.


GRIFFETH:  Are you saying we`re at peak employment at this point?  Is this as good as it gets?  


FAUCHER:  Well, I think we`re continuing to see jobs go up.  They`re just going to go up at a slower pace in 2019 and then again in 2020.  We`ve had a long stretch where the economy has been added 175,000, 200,000 jobs per month for the past five or six years.  We can`t continue at that pace indefinitely.  There simply aren`t enough workers to do that.  
So, we are going to see some slowing job growth, no matter what happens with trade.  Just because of the tighter labor market and the underlying demographics.  


HERERA:  What sectors do you think will continue adding jobs.  I know manufacturing has been pulling back a little bit.  That is trade-related and tariff-related situation there.  
But what areas do you think still have room to grow?  


FAUCHER:  I think it`s going to be on the services side.  And we continue to see consumer spending go up.  So, I would expect we`ll see sectors like education and health care, leisure hospitality services, and then I think industries like financial services, professional business services that serve the service sector, I think they`re going to continue to add jobs, as well, just at a slower pace over the next year or so.  


GRIFFETH:  All right.  Gus Faucher with PNC Financial — again, thanks for joining us tonight.  Happy Fourth of July.
HERERA:  President Trump has named two new nominees to the Federal Reserve`s Board of Governors.  St. Louis Fed staff member Christopher Waller and hard money advocate Judy Shelton.  
Ylan Mui has more details from Washington.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


YLAN MUI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  One is a conventional pick.  The more could be more controversial.  Christopher Waller is a traditional nominee.  A respected academic and economist, he was chairman of the economics department at Notre Dame before joining the St. Louis Fed a decade ago.  He`s now the director of research and has close ties to St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is calling for the central bank to cut rates.  


Waller hasn`t spoken publicly very often, but he did write a white paper back in 2011 defending central bank`s independence but warning it needs to be held accountable.  


If a central bank`s policies are not credible, he wrote, then the bank will eventually lose the support of the nation`s policymakers and maybe its independence.  


The White House reached out to Waller about the position in June and President Trump met with him yesterday.  
Meanwhile, Judy Shelton`s nomination could draw some backlash.  She`s a local advocate for so-called “sound money”, including a return to the gold standard.  And she wants the Fed to cut rates now.  


JUDY SHELTON, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORRS NOMINEE: Well, the big thing for me is you don`t want the central bank or Federal Reserve giving you an artificial interest rate.  I have more faith in free market mechanisms or more organically determined rates.  So, the last thing you want to do is starve a high growth productive economic trend by not providing the financial resources.  So, that is — that is a difference and that is why I`m prepared to concentrate on the mechanism.  


MUI:  Yesterday, Shelton tweeted that she will strive to support the U.S. pro-growth economic agenda with the appropriate monetary policy.  Unlimited potential beckons for America.  
And both nominees will have to be confirmed by the Senate and President Trump`s past four picks have fizzled out.  But presenting Waller and Shelton together as a package deal could make it easier for both of them to get confirmed.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  Up next, what is behind the spiking demand for apartment rentals?  We`ll try to explain.  
(MUSIC)


HERERA:  Demand for rental apartments usually falls off this time of year.  But just the opposite is happening now.  Demand is spiking even as mortgage rates continue to fall.  Diana Olick tells us some of the reasons why.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  In a closed in D.C. suburb, a massive apartment rental and condo complex is going up.  And apparently it can`t happen fast enough.  


TOBY BOZZUTO, BOZZUTO GROUP CEO:  The metrics we`ve seen this year have been off the charts.  


OLICK:  Toby Bozzuto is CEO of the Bozzuto Group which currently has over a billion dollars worth of residential Class A construction in the works across the North and Southeast.  


BOZZUTO:  I don`t think luxury is overbilled.  I think in certain markets like Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, L.A. San Francisco, et cetera, there`s a tremendous employment driver, very high income jobs.  Those people have the propensity to rent and want to rent.  


OLICK:  Apartment demand in the second quarter of this year spiked up 11 percent from a year ago.  That, in turn, pushed rent up an average 3 percent nationality to $1,390 a month, according to RealPage (NASDAQ:RP), a real estate software and analytics company.
Despite the increase, a record 82 percent of renters still say renting is more affordable than owning, according to a new survey from Freddie Mac.  That is up dramatically from a year ago.  Rental demand is currently highest in the nation`s largest cities with Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, New York, and D.C. leading.  


Apartment construction began booming back in 2014, and hasn`t pulled back much despite concern that lower mortgage rates would push more renters to buy.  There is still a lot of new product in the pipeline, which does pose a risk, especially as builders` cost rise and a slowing economy makes it harder to raise rents.  


BOZZUTO:  The construction business continues to be challenged in terms of labor shortages and, to some degree, some pricing increases from tariffs.  
OLICK:  All of which are passed on to the renters.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  Online losses might hit Walmart hard.  And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”, with Vox reporting that the retail giant is projecting more than $1 billion in losses for its e-commerce division.  
Three years ago, Walmart bought jet.com to make it more competitive with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but so far, it has not lived up to expectations.  So, to cut losses, Walmart is reportedly getting ready to sell women`s retailer Modcloth for less than what the company paid for it two years ago.  Walmart rose a fraction today to $112.32.  


AT&T (NYSE:T) is reportedly considering selling its regional sports networks as part of a plan to cut about $8 billion of debt from its balance sheet by the end of the year.  Bloomberg reports Sinclair Broadcasting, which acquired 21 Fox regional sports network from Disney (NYSE:DIS) in May, they could also be in the bidding for the AT&T (NYSE:T) regional networks that could be worth a combined $1 billion.  AT&T (NYSE:T) was up a fraction today to $33.98.  


HERERA:  The Nikkei Asian Review says HP, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are planning to move, quote, substantial production operations out of China because of increased tariffs.  The report says both HP and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) are looking to relocate as much as 30 percent of their notebook production capacity.  Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) shares were up nearly 1-1/2 percent to $52.92.  Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and HP rose a fraction.  


Ford reported weak sales for the first half of the year as the automobile company saw a decline in its car and SUV sales.  Ford did see an increase in truck sales, but its top-selling F-series truck line slipped in the first half.  Ford rose a fraction to $10.20.  


GRIFFETH:  They were sold by Congress as a way to bring investment to the most distressed communities.  But so-called “Opportunity Zones” have already come under fire for giving a tax break to the rich for funding luxury developments in affluent cities.  

I think in certain markets like Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, L.A. San Francisco, et cetera, there`s a tremendous employment driver, very high income jobs.  Those people have the propensity to rent and want to rent. 
OLICK:  Apartment demand in the second quarter of this year spiked up 11 percent from a year ago.  That, in turn, pushed rent up an average 3 percent nationality to $1,390 a month, according to RealPage (NASDAQ:RP), a real estate software and analytics company.


Despite the increase, a record 82 percent of renters still say renting is more affordable than owning, according to a new survey from Freddie Mac.  That is up dramatically from a year ago.  Rental demand is currently highest in the nation`s largest cities with Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Houston, New York, and D.C. leading.  


Apartment construction began booming back in 2014, and hasn`t pulled back much despite concern that lower mortgage rates would push more renters to buy.  There is still a lot of new product in the pipeline, which does pose a risk, especially as builders` cost rise and a slowing economy makes it harder to raise rents.  


BOZZUTO:  The construction business continues to be challenged in terms of labor shortages and, to some degree, some pricing increases from tariffs.  


OLICK:  All of which are passed on to the renters.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  Online losses might hit Walmart hard.  And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”, with Vox reporting that the retail giant is projecting more than $1 billion in losses for its e-commerce division.  
Three years ago, Walmart bought jet.com to make it more competitive with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but so far, it has not lived up to expectations.  So, to cut losses, Walmart is reportedly getting ready to sell women`s retailer Modcloth for less than what the company paid for it two years ago.  Walmart rose a fraction today to $112.32.

  
AT&T (NYSE:T) is reportedly considering selling its regional sports networks as part of a plan to cut about $8 billion of debt from its balance sheet by the end of the year.  Bloomberg reports Sinclair Broadcasting, which acquired 21 Fox regional sports network from Disney (NYSE:DIS) in May, they could also be in the bidding for the AT&T (NYSE:T) regional networks that could be worth a combined $1 billion.  AT&T (NYSE:T) was up a fraction today to $33.98.  


HERERA:  The Nikkei Asian Review says HP, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are planning to move, quote, substantial production operations out of China because of increased tariffs.  The report says both HP and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) are looking to relocate as much as 30 percent of their notebook production capacity.  Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) shares were up nearly 1-1/2 percent to $52.92.  Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and HP rose a fraction.  


Ford reported weak sales for the first half of the year as the automobile company saw a decline in its car and SUV sales.  Ford did see an increase in truck sales, but its top-selling F-series truck line slipped in the first half.  Ford rose a fraction to $10.20.  


GRIFFETH:  They were sold by Congress as a way to bring investment to the most distressed communities.  But so-called “Opportunity Zones” have already come under fire for giving a tax break to the rich for funding luxury developments in affluent cities.  

Robert Frank has more.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


ROBERT FRANK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Opportunity zones were a little-noticed feature of the 2017 tax cuts.  Here is how they work.  If you sell a company or asset and put the proceeds into an opportunity fund, you don`t pay a capital gains tax.  The fund has been invested in an opportunity zone, which is supposed to be in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  


Now, the capital gains tax is deferred or reduced depending on how long the investor keeps their money in the fund.  Opportunity funds and zones have become huge popular right now among the wealthy.  Over 130 funds are seeking to raise over $30 billion, including funds from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), RX Realty, and Steve Case who called opportunity zones a game-changer for reinventing struggling neighborhoods.  


Now, projects in the pipeline include Habitat for Humanity housing complex in Charlottesville, housing for teachers in Newark, New Jersey, and a logistics hub near Gary, Indiana.  But there are no reporting requirements for this program.  There are no dollar limits, no transparency, and no basic oversight.  


A study from the Urban Institute found that a quarter of the more than 8,000 opportunity zones in the U.S. are areas with already high investment levels.  Current projects and opportunity zones include a luxury high hotel in one of L.A.`s fastest growing neighborhoods.  Luxury apartments in downtown Denver, an office, retail, and restaurant complex in downtown San Jose, and several projects in New York City, including the Long Island City Development that would have housed Amazon`s second headquarters.  


Now, another new study from three prominent economists found the tax benefits so far for the program are flowing only to the specific landowners and property owners being developed rather than spreading to the broader area.  Quote: Our findings cast doubt on the capacity of the opportunity zone program to achieve its goal of creating value in low-income communities.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Robert Frank.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  Coming up, road trip, Fourth of July style.  
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


RAHEL SOLOMON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Gas prices are low and a record number of Americans are traveling for the holiday.  I`m Rahel Solomon reporting for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT at a rest stop in New Jersey.  Coming up, I`ll tell you where analysts are concerned about gas prices for the second half of the summer.  
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC)


GRIFFETH:  The National Retail Federation said we`re going to spend more than $6.5 billion for food alone for the Fourth of July and $1 billion on beer.  That all works out to about $73 per person.  
And not to be outdone, the national hot dog and sausage counsel says we`re going to consume 150 million hot dogs tomorrow.  By the way, that does not include the dogs consumed during the national hot dog eating contest.  One more fun fact, Americans are expected to spend $5 billion on new American flags and most of them were made in China.  


HERERA:  And if you are heading out for the Fourth, you`ll be paying less for gasoline than you did last year.  AAA says the national average for a gallon of regular is $2.73.  Last year, we were paying $2.85.  
But as Rahel Solomon tells us, those lower prices mean you will not be alone on the roads.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


SOLOMON:  If your celebration for America`s birthday takes you to the roads, be prepared for lots of company.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It`s really crowded out there on the highway.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We left at 4:00 in the morning.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Try to beat the traffic.  


SOLOMON:  AAA says a record number of Americans will be traveling for the Fourth of July.  Nearly 49 million; 41.4 million will be driving, the most since AAA began keeping track in 2000.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We left at 4:30 each morning.  So, it hasn`t been too bad.


SOLOMON:  One reason so many people will be traveling this holiday is because Americans have money to spend.  The economy is strong, unemployment is low, and gas prices are low.  AAA says the national average right now is $2.75 per gallon.  That`s partly because we`ve had more supply than demand.  
Another factor — 


PATRICK DEHAAN, GASBUDDY.COM:  A concern over the global economy has translated into generally lower oil prices.  


SOLOMON:  Oil prices are about 10 cents cheaper than this time last year.  They`ve been rising lately.  One reason is tensions with Iran.  Another is that fire at the Philadelphia refinery a few weeks ago that shut down the plant and also, new gas taxes in about a dozen states.  One analyst I`ve spoken says he expects a rise in prices to continue through the back half of summer.  


DEHAAN:  I would view the U.S./China trade talks as certainly pivotal into establishing if we will see $60 stick or not.  If there is any resemblance of a trade deal, if the talks go well, look for $60.  But if the talks do not well, look for oil prices to backtrack to $55 a barrel, depending on what happens in the Middle East.


SOLOMON:  For now, drivers celebrate the relatively low gas prices while celebrating America`s independence with millions of their closest friends to keep their company on the roads.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Rahel Solomon in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  And, finally, tonight, he was America`s first super star CEO and, for a time, arguably the most trusted man in the country.  With the passing of Lee Iacocca at the age of 94, Phil LeBeau looks back at his colorful life and important legacy.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Lee Iacocca was a giant in the auto industry.  The legacy that goes far beyond saving Chrysler in the early `80s.  


BOB LUTZ, FORMER IACOCCA COLLEAGUE:  Whether it was devising a plan, executing a plan, eliminating the obstacles, or selling something that was difficult to sell, he was a master at all of those things.  


LEBEAU:  The son of Italian immigrants, Iacocca rose quickly through the ranks at Ford, making his mark leading a group that created the Mustang in 1964.  But after repeated clashes with Henry Ford II, who was chairman of the Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Company, Iacocca was fired in 1978.  
Two weeks later, he was hired at Chrysler, which was losing millions of dollars and sliding toward bankruptcy.  But Iacocca convinced the federal government to lend Chrysler over a billion dollars.  And he went to work transforming the company, cutting costs, buying American Motors, the parent of Jeep, and creating the minivan, which became wildly popular — as did Iacocca who was seemingly everywhere pitching Americans to buy a Chrysler.  


LEE IACOCCA, FORMER CHRYSLER CEO:  If you can find a better car, buy it.
I describe him as a very, very complex but highly intelligent and overall highly executive. 


LEBEAU:  By the early `90s, Chrysler had moved into a new headquarters north of Detroit and Iacocca was ready to finally turn over the keys.  In the years to follow, Chrysler would merge with Daimler, later go through a bankruptcy, and eventually be bought by Fiat.  


And while Iacocca faded from the auto world, his legacy carried on, a tribute to the man who transformed two of the big three automakers.  
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  And one more example of Iacocca`s stature, President Reagan appointed him to oversee the renovation and centennial celebration of the Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island back in 1986.  And, you know, there were those who wanted him to run for president.  


HERERA:  Absolutely.


GRIFFETH:  He repeatedly had to say no to that.


HERERA:  That`s very true.  
And he was also a very down-to-earth-nice guy, too.  
GRIFFETH:  He did.


HERERA:  Which is wonderful.  We`ll miss him.


That is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.  I`m Sue Herera.  Thanks so much for joining us.  


GRIFFETH:  I`m Bill Griffeth.  Have a great evening.  Happy Fourth of July.  See a special edition tomorrow, as a matter of fact, tomorrow night.

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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