Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 5, 2019

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

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Hiring rebounds.  June was a hot month for job creation.  But what`s good for Main Street may be keeping Wall Street on edge.  

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Amazon at 25.  The company disrupted entire industries and changed our day-to-day lives, but the next quarter century could look very different.  

HERERA:  Show me the money.  Filing for financial aid can be daunting, but 
one entrepreneur is helping families negotiate and lower the cost of 
college.  

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, July 5th.  

GRIFFETH:  And we do bid you a good evening, everybody, and welcome.  

Well, the labor market came roaring back in June following that weak job 
growth we saw in May.  The Labor Department reported this morning that the economy added 224,000 jobs last month, far more than expected.  The 
unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.7 percent, in part because more people entered the labor force, but that number is still historically low.  

And while this latest jobs report is clearly positive news about the 
economy, it may make it harder for the Federal Reserve to cut interest 
rates at its meeting later this month, and that sentiment pulled stocks 
back from their all-time highs we hit on Wednesday.  Dow Industrials fell 
43 points to 26,922.  Nasdaq was down 8, the S&P slid by 5.  

Ylan Mui has more on America`s employment picture from Washington.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YLAN MUI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  America`s job market is once again red hot.  It even surprised President Trump.  

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We had great numbers this morning.  I think it was 224,000 jobs.  Those were really unexpectedly good.  And our country continues to do really well.  Really, really well. So, we`re very happy about it.  

MUI:  Businesses across almost every sector of the economy added jobs last 
month.  Professional services added 51,000 jobs.  Health care rose by 
35,000, and manufacturing was up 17,000 jobs.  

But that good news may have been bad news for Wall Street.  The Federal 
Reserve is expected to cut interest rates later this month.  Investors are 
worried that a strong job support could stay its hand.  

JOHN SILVIA, DYNAMIC ECONOMIC STRATEGY:  I think the market will be really upset in terms of valuations.  I think people will be asking, why aren`t they cutting, what is going on here?  Because it doesn`t appear that the overall economy is picking up.  

MUI:  The job market is so strong the president said it is getting harder 
to recruit workers to the military.  The unemployment rate for veterans was 3.2 percent in June, and for the past year it has hovered at the lowest 
levels in nearly two decades.  

CHRIS NEWSOME, RECRUIT MILITARY SR. VP OF CANDIDATE ACQUISITION:  Military personnel are unique in that they are taught and groomed from day one of basic training or boot camp to essentially be the best of the best, to be masters of their trade regardless of — in what capacity they serve, what their MOS was, what their branch was.  

MUI:  Hundreds of veterans attended this recent job fair in Maryland where about 70 organizations were hunting for fresh talent.  

RAPHAEL CRICHLOW, JOB SEEKER:  It has been good.  I was a little nervous at first, but I mean you just got to get over that and get some confidence, 
and just kind of get the balling rolling and just bounce from different 
person to different person.  

MUI:  Fed Chairman Jay Powell will be testifying on Capitol Hill next week, 
and investors will be watching closely for any hint that the central bank 
will be changing course.  

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA:  More now in the jobs report.  We turn now to Chris Varvares for 
more analysis on the report.  He is the co-head of U.S. Economics at 
Macroeconomic Advisers by IHS Markit.  

Welcome, Chris.  Nice to have you here.  

CHRIS VARVARES, MACROECONOMIC ADVISERS BY HIS MARKIT:  Good to be here.  

HERERA:  So, we had pretty solid growth and wages increased at a pretty 
decent level.  What did you think overall of the report?  

VARVARES:  Yes, very solid.  Not really anything in the report not to like.  
Good growth in private employment.  Overall job gains were good.  
Government employment was up a lot.  

Unemployment ticked up a bit but that is because so many new folks were led into the labor force.  So, overall, a very solid report.  Not much to be 
disappointed in.  

GRIFFETH:  But, of course, the elephant in the room with this report is the 
Fed and what it will do about that.  If I understand your position 
correctly, you don`t think they need to cut, but you think they will 
anyway.  Why?  

VARVARES:  Yes, absolutely.  So we think the economy is still on pretty 
solid footing.  The Fed`s pivot is a lot about focusing on down side risks 
and, you know, playing the risk mitigation strategy.  But, yes, we think 
the economy will do fine without a rate cut, however, the markets and Fed 
speakers have certainly sort of pushed everybody to expect a rate cut.  

As you know, even the possibility of 50 was on the table there for a bit.  
So, yes, they`ll probably go ahead, although it is not a foregone 
conclusion.  And if they for some reason decided not to go ahead, we think 
the economy would do just fine this year and into next year.  

HERERA:  Our economy may be doing fine, and this does show some pretty 
slow, steady, solid growth.  But the global economy, there are some hot 
spots out there and we still do not have a trade deal with China.  

VARVARES:  Yes, to be sure.  I think those are the two major areas that 
everyone is focusing on as potential, you know, traps that the economy can 
fall into.  

You know, the thing with trade, it is really tough.  There`s a lot of 
uncertainty.  Businesses don`t know if there`s a trade war whether their 
industrial will be subject to countervailing tariffs, so that certainly 
casts a pall over decision-making for businesses, whether to invest.  

That`s a problem.  Of course, weakness abroad is something that`s an issue as well to be watching very carefully.  

HERERA:  OK.  

VARVARES:  But at this point it is a down side risk, not necessarily 
needing Fed — 

GRIFFETH:  All right.  Chris Varvares with Macroeconomic Advisers By IHS 
Markit, thanks again for joining us tonight.  

HERERA:  And as Ylan just mentioned, Fed Chair Jerome Powell will indeed be delivering his semi-annual economic report to Congress next week.  The 
printed version of the report was released today, and in it, the central 
bank said the economy was growing at a solid pace, but it also noted that 
growth likely weakened in recent months as higher tariffs slowed global 
trade.  And once again, the Fed pledged to act as appropriate to sustain 
the economic expansion.  

GRIFFETH:  And to that other big market issue, that would be trade.  China 
appears to be renewing its demand and there are reports now that the 
country is questioning some of the promises made by the U.S. 

Eunice Yoon reports for us tonight from Beijing.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EUNICE YOON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  A China state media blog says China won`t buy American crops if the U.S. flip-flops in the trade talks.  The Taoran Notes blog, which is associated with the Economic Daily and believes has insight in Beijing`s strategy posted a commentary today saying: If the U.S. flip-flops in negotiations, the promise to buy American agricultural products will also be overturned.  

The piece comes after the Hong Kong newspaper, “The South China Morning Post”, quoted sources saying that China is putting off buying American soybeans to gauge how the White House eases restrictions on national tech giant Huawei.  On Thursday, the Commerce Ministry plugged Beijing`s concerns that the U.S. might not make good on what the China see as President Trump`s promise.  The ministry said U.S. companies should be 
allowed to sell to Huawei right away.  

In addition, the ministry stressed the importance of one of Beijing`s 
previously stated conditions to a deal that all imposed tariffs should be 
lifted.  The U.S. Trade Representatives Office says that the two sides are 
working to arrange a phone conversation for the top negotiators as early as 
next week with the fate of Huawei quickly moving to the top of the agenda 
for the Chinese.  

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  Believe it or not, it has been 25 years since Amazon launched as an online bookseller.  And today, of course, it is the largest ecommerce 
retailer in the U.S. and it made its founder, Jeff Bezos, the world`s 
richest man.  But the next 25 could take the company in a new direction.  

Deirdre Bosa has more.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Twenty-five years ago today, Jeff Bezos filed paperwork to create what was originally called Cadabra Inc.  Now, Amazon, a household name, the company has disrupted entire industries from publishing to retail to cloud computing.  It`s also become one of the largest companies in the world.  Today, it`s worth close to a trillion dollars in market value, second only to Microsoft.  

The next quarter century though is likely to look very different.  Amazon 
is making big moves in a number of new industries.  Groceries with its 
acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, health care with its pill pack 
purchase, and joint venture with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway.  
There`s also advertising smart homes, even ironically brick and mortar with the growing physical footprint of bookstores, convenience stores and pop-ups.  

But as Amazon sets out on the second quarter century with more ambition 
than ever, the company is facing more scrutiny and criticism than ever.  

STEVE MILUNOVICH, WOLFE RESEARCH MANAGING DIRECTOR:  Historically, Europe has talked about competition in the market.  The U.S. talked about harm to consumers, but the Justice Department is starting to talk about, well, you know, it is not just your prices are low, it is do we have a competitive market. 

So I don`t think what is happening in Europe other than a short-term 
dislocation will have a lot of impact.  I think what is going on in the 
U.S. longer term could be more interesting.  

BOSA:  More antitrust scrutiny around the world could make it difficult for 
Amazon to grow as quickly as it has over the last few decades.  It could 
even turn the tables and disrupt Amazon`s own structure as lawmakers like Senator Elizabeth Warren call for a breakup of big tech.  

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  So my view on this is it is a little like baseball.  You can be an umpire, a platform, or you can own teams.  That`s fine.  But you can`t be an umpire and own one of the teams that`s in the game.  

So the principle here is break those apart, and you can work for the 
platform part, you can work for one of the teams, that`s a lot of fun.  But 
if you work for one of the teams, you compete like every other team in 
America.  

BOSA:  Far from its beginnings as an online bookstore, Amazon now begins 
its next chapter as one of the largest and most influential yet 
controversial companies in the world.  

NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Deirdre Bosa.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA:  Still ahead, school`s out for summer, but where are all those 
young workers?  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  I`m Kate Rogers in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  And tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, we`re talking teen jobs, who is working, who is not and why.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

HERERA:  And more on the jobs market and a new labor problem facing 
businesses.  Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to hire teens, 
even during the summer months. 

Kate Rogers is in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)  

JANIYA HILL, TEEN WORKER:  Hi, what can I get for you today?  

ROGERS:  Janiya Hill is kicking off her second summer working at Pucker 
Lemonades and Beach Fries in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The 16-year old is 
making $10.50 an hour, $0.50 above the state minimum wage, working the 
register and serving up cold drinks and fries to customers on the 
boardwalk.  

HILL:  Well, when I`m not in school over the summer, I like to keep myself 
busy.  I want to have a job.  I want to work.  I want to have a little 
money.  

ROGERS:  She may enjoy working, but the share of teens working or seeking work in June, July and August has been stagnant in recent years.  The labor 
force participation rates for teens in summer last year was 40 percent.  
Ten years ago, it was closer to 50 percent.  In the late 1990s, 60 percent.  

At the same time, the number of teens enrolled in summer courses has gone up significantly.  In 1985, just 10 percent of teens took courses in July.  
Last year, that number was up 45 percent.  

And while preparing for college is important, experts say so too is having 
that first job.  

ELLEN DAVIS, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION FOUNDATION:  We hear a lot of conversation about being college-ready.  We don`t hear a lot of 
conversations about being work-ready.  You can only learn so much in a 
classroom about how to actually work.  In many cases those first jobs are 
really important at teaching skills that supplement classroom education but can`t replace it.  

ROGERS:  Whether it is summer courses or other extracurricular activities, 
franchisee Mike Haynes says he has seen a shift in the availability of teen 
workers at his four Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in the Atlanta area.  

MIKE HAINES, TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE FRANCHISEE:  They`re doing things like volunteer work.  They`re engaged in their churches, whether it is volunteering there.  They`re looking at their extracurricular activities.  

They are taking additional summer courses, whereas previously the labor 
pool for summer, you know, for summer students would have been much higher. Now we fit a little bit differently in the mix.  

ROGERS:  In fact, he says in order to remain flexible with teen scheduling 
he is getting creative, hiring more workers.  

Meanwhile, Hill`s boss, Anthony Bannon, says he shifted his recruiting 
tactics as well, bringing younger workers into the fold as older teens 
became less available.  

ANTHONY BANNON, PUCKER LEMONADES & BEACH FRIES GENERAL MANAGER:  We found over the last couple of years as 15, 16, 17-year olds are not working as much we opened up to 14, 15 years old using programs like working papers and working with schools.  We had to expand the age range a little bit.  

ROGERS:  As teen worker availability shifts, so too do recruiting and 
retention tactics at businesses.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  Samsung warns its second quarter profit could be cut in half and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus” with the world`s largest smartphone maker and supplier of memory chips, citing a slump in demand for its semiconductors and let`s say the problem was exacerbated by the U.S./China trade dispute.  

Samsung doesn`t trade in the U.S. but the warning pressured those that do.  
Micron, Intel, and Broadcom were all lower in today`s trading session.  

Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining and other gold stocks fell on the stronger 
than expected jobs report today which many believe lowered the chances of a Fed interest rate cut, that raised the value of the dollar which in turn 
pressured gold and that sent gold shares down a fraction for Barrick to 
$15.80.  Newmont shares also fell to $38.42.  

HERERA:  And shares of mining company Rio Tinto and BHP fell on a report out of China.  It is reportedly they`re concerned and looking into the 
recent increase in the price of iron ore.  Rio Tinto`s shares were down 
more than 5 percent to $60.05.  BHP was down nearly 4 percent to $56.61.  

Alexion Pharmaceutical said the European Commission approved marketing for its drug use to treat a rare blood disorder.  That drug has already been approved by the FDA.  Despite that, the stock dropped more than 2 percent to $130.30.  

GRIFFETH:  Time now for our weekly market monitor who this week has the names of three high-quality large cap stocks that also pay a dividend.  

Barry James is back with us.  He is president and portfolio manager at 
James Investment Research.  

Always good to see you, Barry.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  

BARRY JAMES, JAMES INVESMENT RESEARCH:  Glad to be with you.  

GRIFFETH:  Let`s start with Molson Coors.  I`m interested in this one.  
Here is a stock that lost roughly half of its value in the last couple of 
years with all of the competition from the small craft brewers.  Why do you 
like this company still?  

JAMES:  Well, there`s a lot of things to like about the company.  First of 
all, they`re really cheap.  They`re trading at a price that`s less than 
what the accountants say it is worth, so that`s one thing.  And compared to 
others in its field, it is much cheaper.  

They have been paying back their debt, so they`re very strong financially 
right now.  And if we do see a slowdown in the economy, that`s generally 
pretty good for beer makers, and they have expanded into a lot of the craft 
area.  Some of the names, you know, are pretty weird, some of the brand 
names that they have in their stable.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

JAMES:  But nonetheless, they`re taking the challenge head on.  

HERERA:  And next is in the finance sector, insurance company Travelers.  
Why do you pick this one?  

JAMES:  Well, it doesn`t have any effect from China trade, that`s one of 
the things.  It is all done here and it is really helped by interest rates 
dropping.  So much of their portfolio is invested in bonds that that is 
obviously a benefit.  They`ve got a bit of a yield and they`ve been buying 
back shares.

So, there`s a lot of positive things there for the company.  And in this 
type of environment, we think it is good to have something that`s somewhat defensive like a Travelers insurance.  

GRIFFETH:  And then, finally, Verizon.  I`m guessing that four-plus percent 
dividend yield is one of the first places you start at now?  

JAMES:  I hope it isn`t the bait that gets you hooked.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

JAMES:  And an unfortunate event happens after that.  

But, again, they`re just a cash machine, over $18 billion in free cash 
flow.  They can do just about anything, buy anything that they want as it 
were.  People have stacked up their bills and they say, number one, I`m 
paying my cellphone.  Not food, not credit cards.  It is their cellphone.  

So they`re in a very good position as far as that goes, and with some 
consolidation in the industry that works to their benefit as well.  

HERERA:  Very quickly, Barry.  The overall market, how do you feel about 
it?  

JAMES:  I think it is pretty risky right now.  People are kind of — they 
have a trifecta of anticipation, lower interest rates from the Fed, a 
rebounding economy, and China trade.  But the one thing that really worries me, 80 percent, 80 percent of the stocks are now controlled by machines.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

JAMES:  Sixty percent in index funds and 20 percent in quant funds.  And 
so, they are buying just because they exist, not because the earnings are 
good.  We have seen companies with no earnings go up more than companies with earnings.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

JAMES:  Again, it doesn`t make any sense.  That`s risky, so be careful.  

GRIFFETH:  Barry James with James Investment Research — again, thanks for joining us tonight, Barry.  

JAMES:  Good to be with you.  

HERERA:  It has been a tough week for Electronic Arts.  The video game-
maker released season two “Apex Legends” and expectations were high, but initital viewership numbers were considered disappointing.  And that sent 
the stock lower for the week and is putting renewed attention on its 
competition.  

Josh Lipton has more.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  “Apex Legends” launched with a bang in February.  The free-to-play game for Electronic Arts quickly attracted 50 million players.  

The new season of the game officially launched with a new character, new 
weapon and what are called new skins, meaning new costumes for the 
characters.  EA executives say “Apex Legends” is the fastest growing new 
game the company has ever had and they think net bookings or adjusted net revenue from the game could be as much as $400 million in fiscal 2020.  

But for all of the hype, analysts say the checks indicate that the initial 
fervor surrounding the game cooled.  In part, that`s because the company 
didn`t update the game as quickly as the competition, meaning this game, 
“Fortnite,” another free-to-play battle royal game and a giant in this 
market.  

“Fortnite” has racked up 250 million players and nearly $4 billion in 
estimated revenue.  The game is free to play but earns money when gamers 
make in-game purchases for item like weapons and costumes.  

So the question now is whether EA can spark renewed interest in “Apex 
Legends” with this new season and give the stock, already up some 30 
percent this year, a lift.  Some analysts are hopeful, but they also point 
out there doesn`t have to be just one winner with this style of game, this 
“Apex Legends” and “Fortnite” can and do appeal to different demographics.  

So which publicly traded game publishers can capitalize on this trend?  
Analysts say EA is well positioned but they believe Activision could make a 
strong move in this market too, perhaps offering a version of its popular 
“Call of Duty” game as a free-to-play title as well.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton, San Francisco.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  And coming up, looking to cut the cost of college?  Meet one 
entrepreneur who wants to make sure no money is left on the table.  

(MUSIC)

GRIFFETH:  Student loan debt now stands at $1.6 trillion and counting.  As 
we have been reporting, it affects career choices, home buying prospects, 
even marriage rates.  Yet an estimated $40 billion in financial aid 
resources goes untapped every year, and that`s why a 20-something New York City entrepreneur got the bright idea to find a better way to match 
students with those aid programs, and it is for free for users.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  For most, the free application for student financial aid or 
FAFSA is complicated.  

Even with an MBA, David Holder has his own set of adjectives.

DAVID HOLDER, PARENT:  It was quite daunting.  It seemed like it was never-ending.  It was a bit challenging.  It took a couple of days.  

GRIFFETH:  More than a third of eligible students don`t bother completing 
the 100-plus questions that FAFSA asked.  They`re missing out, not only on 
federal grants, loans and work study jobs but also aid from states and 
individual schools.  

Holder`s daughter Delaney, an incoming freshman at the University of 
Pennsylvania, saw her friends struggle with it too.  

DELANEY HOLDER, COLLEGE STUDENT:  A lot of my friends really didn`t know what they were doing.  

CHARLIE: JAVICE, FRANK FOUNDER AND CEO:  It was something so painful, my mom still complains about it.  

GRIFFETH:  That`s why Charlie Javice and her friend built a site called 
Frank.  

JAVICE:  If there could be a technology solution where you did not need to 
be financially literate to actually file this form, that would be a 
success.  

GRIFFETH:  They worked in person with Bronx students back in 2016, learning enough to launch the site in the spring of 2017.  In just one month, 10,000 students flocked to Frank and filed FAFSAs.  A little more than two years later, a half a million Frank users have secured more than $7 billion in aid.  The site helps them prevent a lot of common mistakes which can drive up their debt.  

JAVICE:  List whatever is the minimum in your account.  If not, you are 
doing yourself a disservice.  

GRIFFETH:  Despite the early traction, Frank`s path to revenue wasn`t 
immediately clear, but as tech companies often learn, the answers lie in 
the data.  

JAVICE:  Schools are having a really challenging time when it comes to 
enrollment today.  So, we started building a feet jury that would recommend a good match for them to send their FAFSA to.  

GRIFFETH:  Many who need aid apply to only one or two schools, but Frank 
helps them cast a wider net.  

JAVICE:  Little did we know a few months later, it could also be valuable 
to schools, where they said, wait a second, can we play. 

GRIFFETH:  Now, about 2,000 schools are paying Frank to help them find 
students who fit both their academic communities and their financial aid 
guidelines.  Frank won`t say how much they pay for access, only that it can 
make up a significant amount of marketing budgets, running well into six 
figures per month.  

But Frank`s core is the free FAFSA service.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I was like, oh, my god, this is extremely 
complicated, I don`t know what to do.  

GRIFFETH:  Frank can help students like Emlee Blanco (ph) from the Bronx 
navigate details like figuring out adjusted gross income versus straight 
salary, or excluding real estate and 401(k)s from liquid assets.  Blanco 
turned to Frank before her junior year in college, completing the 
application in minutes.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It tells you, take line 58 from the income tax, 
subtract line 57 from it, and then that`s what you`re putting here.  The 
financial aid website does not do that.  

D. HOLDER:  They match you with a school.  

GRIFFETH:  David Holder wants that kind of help, not only for his daughter 
but also younger brother Jeremiah, who is likely headed to college in three 
years.  

D. HOLDER:  A one-stop shop place.  If there is one, that would be 
extremely helpful.  

GRIFFETH:  And that`s, quite frankly, is what Charlie Javice is hoping to 
accomplish.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  By the way, Frank also offers non-FAFSA financial advisors for 
less than $20 per month.  The annual deadline, by the way, to complete a 
FAFSA just passed on June 30th, but it does open again for the 2020 school 
year on October 1st.  

HERERA:  And before we go, here is another look at the final day`s numbers on Wall Street.  The Dow, 43 points to the negative side, the Nasdaq was down 8, and the S&P 500 slid just a little bit more than 5.  

But all of the major indexes were higher for the week.  

And that does it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight, I`m Sue Herera.  
Thanks for joining us.  

GRIFFETH:  And I`m Bill Griffeth.  By the way, we apologize for the 
technical issue with our guest earlier, but it happens sometimes in 
television.  

HERERA:  It does.  

GRIFFETH:  Have a great weekend.  See you Monday.  

END

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