Transcript: Nightly Business Report – July 25, 2019

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

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Tech check.  Alphabet crushes earnings expectations, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) says the future looks bright, but Amazon`s record profit run comes to an end.

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Changing flight plan.  
American and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) are shifting strategies as the
grounding of Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX ripples through the industry.  

GRIFFETH:  New way to save.  California is tackling the retirement crisis
with a program to help 7 million workers prepare for the future.  

Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Thursday, July 25th.  

HERERA:  Good evening, everyone, and welcome.  

A big night for big tech.  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet and Intel
(NASDAQ:INTC), some of the largest companies in the sector, are out with
their quarterly results just one day after the Nasdaq hit a record.  The
group has been a major driving force behind the market`s rally, despite the
threat of regulation from lawmakers, and being the target of inquiries from
government agencies.

But let`s start with the biggest of them all, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).  The
company`s record profit streak is over.  The online retailer reported mixed
results, missing earnings expectations but exceeding revenue forecasts.  
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) cited high shipping costs and weaker than expected growth in its clouds computing business.  Investors were disappointed and sent the stock lower in initial after-hours trading.

GRIFFETH:  And then there`s Alphabet, the parent company of Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), easily topped earnings expectations and reported a rebound in revenue growth, thanks to strength in its advertising business.
Investors cheered in initial afterhours trading tonight, sending that stock
sharply higher.

We have two reports for you tonight.  In a moment, it will be Josh Lipton
on Alphabet, but we begin with Deirdre Bosa on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEIRDRE BOSA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The big question for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) this quarter was could they reaction re-accelerate growth as it goes into spending mode with price initiatives like one-day shipping?  Total sales did grow over the quarter.  But at 20 percent, it was still short of the levels of the last few years.

Meanwhile, profits took a hit, missing Wall Street`s expectation and coming down from record levels.  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) also telling investors to expect more investment ahead as it continues to implement one-day shipping.

Deirdre Bosa, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Alphabet stock has been lagging the market this year, in part because of concerns about slowing growth, but the company just said its net revenues actually
accelerated, jumping 21 percent.  

Oppenheimer`s Jason Helfstein says a lot of hedge funds were short Alphabet too which could explain the move.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  Now, here is why these reports are so important.  When taken
together, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet make up 13 percent of the Nasdaq composite index, and when you add in Dow component Intel
(NASDAQ:INTC), together they make up 7 percent of the S&P 500.  

HERERA:  And that brings us to Intel`s quarterly results, which blew past
earnings estimates and topped revenue forecast.  The semiconductor company also confirmed that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is acquiring the majority of its smartphone business for $1 billion.  That sent the stock higher in initial afterhours trading.

Jon Fortt has more on Intel`s results.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JON FORTT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Chip giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) out with a report for the second quarter that beat on the top and bottom line, sales just stronger than expected.  That led to an
improved outlook for the full year.  Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Bob Swan
saying it was really the growth in data, just data applications, the demand
for data, that powered the PC business, as well as the cloud business which
uses Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) server chips.  And that`s what led to the
outperformance in expectations.  

Now, at the same time as Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announced earnings, also
announced it was selling its smartphone modem business, the majority of it
to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for a billion dollars.  That includes 2,200
employees as well as facilities and patents.  That`s a big deal that was
expected.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jon Fortt.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  On Wall Street, the Fed was back in focus today as well, with
investors growing concerned about the central bank`s next move after this
morning`s strong durable goods report and also comments from the head of the European Central Bank.  Orders for long-lasting goods rose by 2 percent in June.  That was the fastest rate of growth we have seen since August of last year.  It was well above expectations, and it could mean an upward revision of GDP forecasts and a less aggressive interest rate cut from the Fed next week.

Also this morning, the European Central Bank`s president Mario Draghi left the door open for interest rate cut later this year, but he also said there
was not a significant risk of a recession in that region.  So, investors
hoping for a big rate cut next week turned cautious.  The Dow fell by 128
points to 21,140.  Nasdaq was down 82.  The S&P slid by 15.  

HERERA:  So what will that strong durable goods report and comments from the head of the European Central Bank mean for the fed when it meets next week?

We are joined by Rob Martin, senior U.S. economist at UBS.  

Welcome, Rob.  Nice to have you here.  

ROB MARTIN, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, UBS:  Thank you for having me.  I
appreciate it.  

HERERA:  You are expecting a cut of at least 25 basis points.  Does what
happened in Europe today with Mr. Drahgi`s comments or the durable goods report change your attitude about what is going to happen?

MARTIN:  Let`s focus on the data first.  You know, this morning`s report on
durable goods was one more piece of evidence that the U.S. economy actually really is doing quite well.  It`s growing nicely.  We have had a string of strong reports.

So far, the Fed has looked through them but the evidence is accumulating.  
That`s going to reduce the risk of a big cut.  

GRIFFETH:  And also, Fed Chairman Powell has been mentioning the global
economy, which clearly is slowing down — China, parts of Asia, and even
Europe at this point.  So a rate cut next week, would that be not just for
our economy but for the global economy as well?  

MARTIN:  Well, it is not so much that they would cut rates for the global
economy.  It is that they worry that whatever is dragging down those other
economies, whatever is weighing on growth in Europe, whatever is weighing on growth in Asia is also going to affect the U.S. economy, both through the direct ties through trade, for example, and because the U.S. is subject to the same kind of uncertainties.

The Fed already believes there`s a confidence shop working its way through the economy, the weakness in Europe is one of the reasons they really want to cut rates, but the strength of U.S. data, the strength of the U.S.
economy makes it difficult for them to go big.  That`s why there`s this
debate between 50 basis points or 25 basis points.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

MARTIN:  We see 50, but 25 is clearly on the table.  Either way, they do
want to provide accommodation.  

HERERA:  A lot of times the market looks to what the Fed says after its
actions.  In other words, the statement.  Are you expecting any major
changes in the language that the Fed uses?  

MARTIN:  No, we think they will be pretty comfortable with their language.  
Whether they go 25 or 50, they don`t want to signal that they`re completely done with rate cuts because they`re still nervous about the outlook.  They want to wait and see how the data is going to evolve, and so I suspect in their new language that they will be closely monitoring the economy coming into the September meeting as well.

GRIFFETH:  I mean, you have to admit, it is a rather interesting time for
them to be cutting with the consumers so strong right now, the employment picture the best in 50 years, and yet inflation is not where they want it to be.

MARTIN:  That`s right.  So inflation simply refuses to move up to 2
percent.  They`ve got these worries about foreign growth.  They`ve got
worries about that confidence shock.  This is what is driving them.  

So, it feels as if there`s some tension between what they want to do
cutting rates and what we`re seeing in the economy.  But to be fair to
them, that low inflation and those real concerns about foreign growth push
them to some kind of easing in the near term.  

HERERA:  We will see.  Rob Martin with UBS — Rob, thanks.  

MARTIN:  Thank you.  

GRIFFETH:  More earnings now.  

3M (NYSE:MMM) is feeling the impact of a slowing global economy right now.  The company saw its profits drop more than 30 percent, sales slid as well. The industrial conglomerate cited weaker demand from China.  In response, it cut production and reduced inventory, but it did reaffirm its previous outlook for the whole year, and the stock fell just a fraction in today`s session.

HERERA:  The ongoing grounding of Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX is rippling
through the airline industry.  American Airlines and Southwest both
reported better than expected earnings, but also said the results in the
second half could be impacted.  Southwest now says it won`t fly the MAX
before January of next year.  That resulted in a mixed finish for the
stocks.  

Phil LeBeau is in Ft. Worth, Texas, for us tonight.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The 737 MAX headache for American and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has turned into a problem that is changing how the carriers will operate the rest of this year.

GARY KELLY, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CHAIRMAN & CEO:  It is not a good situation. We`re not happy about it.  You saw here in the second quarter it cost us $175 million.  And that will be more in the third quarter.

LEBEAU:  With 34 MAX models grounded for at least a couple more months, Southwest says its capacity will drop in the second half of 2019.  That makes the most of a smaller than expected fleet, Southwest will stop flying out of Newark and it will focus its New York operations on LaGuardia
Airport.  

As airlines keep extending how long it will be before they expect to fly
the MAX, they are left with more questions than answers about the
beleaguered plane`s future.  

DOUG PARKER, AMERICAN AIRLINES CHAIRMAN & CEO:  We remain in limbo as everybody else does, as we wait to hear from the FAA, as to when they come to the conclusion that the aircraft is ready to go back in service again.

LEBEAU:  Boeing (NYSE:BA) will pay billions of dollars for the hundreds of
MAX planes that have been grounded.  For airlines, the money will not be
enough to cure MAX issues, expected to linger well into next year.  

KELLY:  We`re unhappy that it has taken so long and we`re in the dark on
it, just like you are, on a number of technical matters.  

LEBEAU:  American and Southwest believe they will eventually get past the
grounding of the MAX, but it won`t be quick, nor will it be easy, and it
will likely take well into next year to repair the damage of not having the
plane.  

Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Ft. Worth, Texas.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFETH:  Meanwhile, today, an FAA official said there is still no
timeline for the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX to return to service.  The acting
administrator said that when the airplane`s issues are addressed and the
MAX is safe, it will return to service.  And, yesterday, Boeing (NYSE:BA)
CEO told analyst he was confident the MAX could be back in service as early as October.

HERERA:  It is time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and
Downgrades”.  

UPS was upgraded to buy from neutral at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)/Merrill Lynch.  The analyst cites what he calls ecommerce revolution and the company`s plan to expand deliveries to seven days.  The price target is $130.  The stock rose 3 percent to $118.25.

AT&T (NYSE:T) was upgraded to neutral from under perform at Credit Suisse.  The analyst says video subscriber losses have peaked.  The price target is $29, and that stock rose more than 1.5 percent to $33.81.

And Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) was downgraded to neutral from buy at
Buckingham.  The analyst cites a lack of catalyst that would drive the
stock in the near term and sees a higher probability of lower earnings
growth.  The price target is $140.  Despite the downgrade though, the
shares rose 2 percent to $134.71.  

GRIFFETH:  Still ahead, if they build it, builders say they`ll come.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  I`m Diana Olick in San Antonio, Texas.  I`ll have a new twist on the fastest growing segment of the housing market coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERERA:  In Washington, the House passed the debt ceiling and the budget
deal.  It sets discretionary spending at about $1.4 trillion.  The
agreement also suspends the borrowing limit for two years.  That measure
now goes to the Senate, which is expected to pass it in the coming days.  

GRIFFETH:  Nissan plans to layout more than 12,000 workers.  That`s 9
percent of its global workforce.  The restructuring comes after the
automaker saw profits essentially disappear, falling more than 98 percent
compared to last year.  The company has faced a number of challenges, not
the least of which is the arrest in Japan of its former chairman, Carlos
Ghosn, eight months ago, and the tensions that caused with Nissan`s partner Renault, which Ghosn also ran.

HERERA:  It was a rough day in the market for Ford following its earnings
report, which we told you about last night.  The automaker issued a
disappointing forecast for the year.  Analysts are concerned that the line-
up of vehicles launched into next year could further delay an improvement
in profitability.  The stock fell more than 7 percent in today`s session.  

GRIFFETH:  Clearly, the auto industry is in transition as it cuts back on
the number of traditional sedans that it makes and gets ready to produce
more electric and autonomous vehicles.  What does that do to earnings in
the meantime?  

Joining us is Matt DeLorenzo.  He`s with Kelley Blue Book.  

Matt, good to see you again.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  

MATT DELORENZO, KELLEY BLUE BOOK SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR:  Great to be here.  

GRIFFETH:  It is a transition period right now.  I mean, Ford is targeting
2022 to be able to introduce some of these electric vehicles that it plans
to produce, but in the meantime what happens?  I mean, they have to cut
back here and there and invest an awful lot of money.  

DELORENZO:  Well, they do.  They`re playing it out in terms of the
transition because of their scale.  Their biggest selling vehicle is a
full-size pickup truck and that`s what the market is demanding right now,
those and crossover SUVs.  

So in the short term they bet heavily on the truck market.  I`m sure
they`re going to see some returns from it because the margins typically in
that part of the market are a lot higher than they are in the traditional
sedan market.  

HERERA:  But as Bill mentioned, they either have to invest a lot of money
or find some other avenue to — to the direction that the rest of the auto
industry is going in.  Does that mean partnerships?  Does it mean mergers?  
What do you think?  

DELORENZO:  I think in the short term or medium long-range term, they are going to be relying on partnerships.  The deal with VW to use the MEB
platform which will be primarily for the car side of the business, and then
they also have that $500 million investment in Rivian which builds electric
trucks and SUVs.  

So think what they`re trying to do is layoff a lot of development costs and
infrastructure costs in terms of production facilities to these partners
and hope that the demand for electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles
rises to where they can make that switch over internally and develop and
build those vehicles on their own.  

GRIFFETH:  You anticipated my next question.  What do you think the demand will be for those electric vehicles?  I mean I guess — I don`t know.  It may depend on how old you are and your experience with those cars, right?

DELORENZO:  I think that`s true.  I think in the short term, electrics will
tend to move quicker up in sales.  There`s still a lot of regulatory
hurdles that have to be surmounted before we can get to full level five
autonomous vehicles being on the road.  

Once we get to that point, then we look at how the ownership model is going to change.  And if people stop owning cars or start sharing cars, there
could be a drop in production, and that could have an impact on earnings
down the road.  They could be in a position where they`re not building as
many vehicles because not that many vehicles will be needed.  

GRIFFETH:  Right.  

DELORENZO:  Since people will be sharing them and they will be returning
around the clock.  

GRIFFETH:  So many questions, so many changes coming, we know that.  

Matt DeLorenzo with Kelley Blue Book — again, thanks for joining us
tonight.  

DELORENZO:  Thank you.  

HERERA:  Strong results give Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) a jolt.  And that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  The company topped estimates
thanks to increase in same-store sales here in the U.S. and globally.  
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) added about 400,000 members to its U.S. loyalty
program and it raised its full year guidance.  Shares initially rose in
after-hours trading.  They closed the regular session up a fraction at
$90.98.  

Also after the bell, T-Mobile posted mixed results as it beat earnings
estimates but it fell short in revenue.  The mobile carrier saw an increase
in subscription and raised its guidance.  The shares were volatile in the
after-hours and they closed the regular session down a fraction to $79.91.  

AB InBev beat estimates thanks to seeing beer sales grow, the fastest in
five years.  The world`s largest brewer also had more consumers buying
higher-priced products as the company has been trying to sell more
expensive premium drinks.  The shares rose more than 4 percent to $99.49.  

Bristol-Myers topped estimates fuelled by strong sells of its Eliquis blood
thinner and Orencia arthritis treatment.  The drugmaker also lifted its
full year guidance.  Shares rose 5 percent today to $45.40.  

GRIFFETH:  Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) beat earnings estimates but fell short on revenue expectations.  The company added more customers to its high-speed Internet service but saw a decline in its video and phone businesses.  Shares were down a fraction to $44.61, and we need to mention that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) is the parent of NBCUniversal which produces this program.  Hershey topped estimated.

Hershey`s topped estimates but the candy maker gave weak guidance due to a wholesale price increase of its single served products, which affects about a third of its total sales.  Hersey`s raised prices to offset higher labor
and raw material costs.  Shares rose 2 percent to $149.72.  

An increase in travel bookings helped Royal Caribbean beat estimates, but
the cruise operator lowered guidance partly due to cancelled trips to Cuba
because of the return of those U.S. travel restrictions to that country.  
Shares were down almost 2 percent to $113.04.  

And Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) fell short of earnings estimates due to what the company called a tougher consumer environment and slower sales in China.  The maker of the Invisalign braces also issued weak guidance. Shares plummeted nearly 27 percent to $200.90.

HERERA:  Mortgage rates are close to a three-year low.  According to
Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage average 3.73 percent.  Now,
just a year ago, that average rate was 4.5 percent.  

GRIFFETH:  And despite those lower mortgage rates, demand for rental homes is growing and builders are stepping up to meet that need, redesigning and reimagining the single family rental.  They`re becoming landlords in the process.

Diana Olick is in San Antonio for us tonight.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OLICK:  Millennial Taylor Walters and Paree Dilkes want to get out of their
rental apartment and into a larger single family home.  

PAREE DILKES, PROSPECTIVE RENTER:  Yes, we have been looking online for months now for whether we want to buy or we want to rent, and this is
definitely up our alley.  

OLICK:  This is a brand-new community of 250 detached homes built entirely as rentals.  While some builders will sell a few to investors as rentals, it is one of the gated rental only projects.  The brainchild of Mark Wolf, founder and CEO of AHV Communities partnering with Bristol Group.

MARK WOLF, AHV COMMUNITIES CEO:  About 93 percent of the apartment stock consists of studios, one and two bedrooms, few three bedrooms.  We saw a growing need out of the downturn to provide three and four bedroom homes for the renter`s society.

OLICK:  He is basically taking the vertical apartment model and turning it
horizontal, offering three and four bedroom homes with two car garages but including high-end amenities like a gym, common areas, a dog park and
washing station.  

The rents are comparable to nearby apartments and the maintenance is all on site, lowering costs for AHV.  Wolf says he does not intend to sell the
homes any time soon.  

WOLF:  We believe in the long term cash flow game.  So if you hold these
properties for ten-plus years or even seven-plus years, the residual cash
flow is worth more than the sale one time.  

OLICK:  Last year about 43,000 homes were built to rent according to the
U.S. census, the highest in nearly 40 years.  Investors are pouring into
the space, which is why big builders like Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and Toll
Brothers (NYSE:TOL) are building to sell to them.  

Renting used to come with a social stigma.  Homeownership was, of course,
the American dream.  But the average income of renters in this new
community is in the six figures.  Many of them can afford to buy a home.  
They simply choose not to.  

TAYLOR WALTERS, PROSPECTIVE RENTER:  I`ve done research.  The trend,
different articles on millennials buying houses.  I think the biggest thing
is the hidden costs they might incur.  

OLICK:  The yards here are small and the houses closer together to lower
cost for AHV.  

WOLF:  There`s a lot that goes into the recipe for success.  

OLICK:  Renters here pay their utilities and a landscape fee and the rent,
just the rent.  

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA:  Coming up, California`s plan to bridge the retirement savings gap.  

(MUSIC)

GRIFFETH:  We have been reporting quite a bit on the push in Washington to get more Americans to save for retirement.  Well, several states are also
tackling that problem.  California is the latest.  It now requires small
businesses to either join a state-sponsored retirement savings program or
offer a private plan.  

Sharon Epperson has our story.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Twenty-seven-year- old Ramon Gonzalez believes in having a game plan at work, and for his own finances.

RAMON GONZALES, RED BAY COFFEE PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR:  Roughly a month, I`m saving about $250.

EPPERSON:  A production supervisor at Red Bay Coffee in Oakland,
California, Gonzalez is saving for his future in a new workplace retirement
plan called CalSavers.  

GONZALES:  I will have a nice lump sum when the year is over and going
forward.  

EPPERSON:  Red Bay was one of the first businesses in California to enroll
its 47 employees in the state-sponsored program, allowing private sector
employees to save and invest in an individual retirement account at work.  

FIONA MA, CALIFORNIA STATE TREASURER:  We are open to full and part-time employees, and soon to those independent contractors or gig workers.

EPPERSON:  While not a traditional 401(k) plan, it is designed to help
bridge the savings gap for workers who do not have access to an employer-
sponsored plan.  

More than 7 million California workers have no retirement savings plan at
work.  Two-thirds are at small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.  

Forty-nine-year-old Maria del Carmen Castillo Vasquez (ph) who cleans
offices in the San Francisco Bay area, is now starting to save for her own
future and her family.  

SARAHI ALMENDRA, MARIA`S DAUGHTER:  She is very happy that she has this type of savings plan, but she has never had one before.

EPPERSON: Janico founder and president, Lorenzo Harris (NYSE:HRS), says he can offer employees including Maria a much-needed benefit that also
benefits the business.  

LORENZO HARRIS, JANICO BUILDING SERVICES OWNER:  It is pretty
comprehensive.  

CalSavers allows us to help to level the playing field when it comes to
attracting and retaining good workers.  

EPPERSON:  Through CalSavers employees can put away a portion of their pay into an account that works like a Roth IRA.  Contributions are made in
after tax dollars and the funds can be withdrawn tax free in retirement.  
The maximum contribution in 2019 is $6,000 or $7,000 if you are 50 or
older.  

KEVIN COX, ASCENSUS HEAD OF GOVERNMENT SAVINGS:  Employees are
automatically defaulted at a savings rate of 5 percent.  That 5 percent
comes directly out of the wages, and an employee can increase that amount. They can decrease that amount or they opt out all together.

EPPERSON:  Most of the employees at Red Bank Coffee are participating in
this portable program, and if they switch jobs they can take their accounts
with them.  

Ramon Gonzalez has no plans to leave the company soon, but he does have a plan in place to build his own financial security.

GONZALEZ:  So, it feels good to work at a place that is rewarding and also
knowing that I`m going to reap the fruits of my labor later on.  

EPPERSON:  For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sharon Epperson.  

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA:  And before we go, here`s a look at the day`s final numbers from
Wall Street.  The Dow fell 128 points to 27,140.  The Nasdaq was down 82,
and the S&P 500 slid 15.  

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

GRIFFETH:  I`m Bill Griffeth.  Have a great evening.  See you tomorrow.  

END

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