Transcript: Nightly Business Report – August 1, 2019

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

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Ratcheting up.  The U.S. will impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports.  The president warns of more to come and stocks sell off.

BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  Hazy outlook.  Today`s stock market decline could be a preview of what`s to come given August`s bumpy history.

HERERA:  Shifting taste.  The fast food industry is betting that plant-
based burgers turn into cash.  

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, August 1st.

GRIFFETH:  And we do bid you a good evening, everybody, and welcome.  
Welcome to August, that is.  

If today`s trading session is an indication of how this month is going to
go, investors had better buckle up.  The day started with a pretty powerful
rally.  The Dow was up as much as 300 points, essentially gaining back what
was lost yesterday when the Fed cut interest rates and then hinted that
there might not be any more.  

But everything changed at midday when President Trump tweeted that he
planned to impose another 10 percent in tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese
goods, and the market reaction was immediate and sizable.  The industry
average fell 280 points, 26,583.  The Nasdaq was down 64.  The S&P slipped
by 26.  

And companies most vulnerable to higher tariffs were especially hit hard,
including Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).  

Eamon Javers starts us out tonight from the White House.  


EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  President Trump spoke to reporters at the White House today after issuing that series of tweets suggesting he`s going to be raising tariffs on Chinese products coming into the United States.  He said he wasn`t concerned at all about that stock market sell-off we saw this afternoon in the wake of his announcement.  He said he expected that, and he effectively here blames the stock market for not fully understanding what he`s doing in terms of his tariff strategy.

I asked the president on the South Lawn today why 10 percent, why not 25
percent, why not 5 percent.  Here`s what he said.  

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I did more than anybody thought with the first $250 billion and the 10 percent is for a short-term period, and then I can always do much more or I can do less depending on what happens with respect to a deal.  But I`m very happy the way it is right now.

JAVERS:  So, the president leaving himself a little flexibility there to
raise or lower the tariff rates as he sees fit.  That all puts a lot of
pressure now on this meeting in Washington, D.C. in early September between the U.S. and Chinese sides.  Negotiators will meet again face-to-face.

Will this tariff increase put pressure on the Chinese side to come to a
deal or will it drive them farther away from the bargaining table?  That`s
the big question heading into September.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eamon Javers at the White House.  


HERERA:  And the fear among investors is that additional tariffs could slow
growth globally.  That concern played out in the oil market today which
relies on demand from around the world.  The price of domestic crude
settled about 8 percent lower in today`s session, its biggest decline since
2015, and that pressured shares of Exxon and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) as well.  

GRIFFETH:  The retail industry is one of the most exposed to China.  That`s
why it has also been one of the most vocal about its opposition to tariffs
on Chinese imports.  And as you`ll see here, the retail exchange traded
fund, which is made up of more than 80 retail-related stocks fell 3 percent
today in response to the president`s tweet.  

Courtney Reagan has more.  


retailers have been working on diversifying supply chains outside of China
for years and accelerating those plans when possible in recent months,
China is still the number one country where U.S.-sold apparel and footwear
is made.  

The National Retail Federation saying in part today, these additional
tariffs will only threaten U.S. jobs and raise costs for American families
on everyday goods, and the tariffs imposed over the past year haven`t

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shares down more than 10 percent today in reaction.  In May, then CEO Hubert Joly said it was, quote, premature to speculate on the impact of further tariffs, adding it`s unclear whether list four will
actually be implemented, what products would be included, at what rate and when.

Shoe seller Steve Madden shares lost more than 9 percent.  Nearly all of
the products it sells in the U.S. are made in China.  

But even retailers and brands with lower exposure to Chinese manufacturing like Tapestry, the owner of Coach (NYSE:COH) and Kate Spade, and Capri Holdings when owns Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, sold off on the news.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.  


HERERA:  Investors were not expecting to start August this way, and if
history is any guide it could become trickier to navigate.  

Bob Pisani is at the New York Stock Exchange.  


BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Talk about a tough setup for August.  The market sold off today on a string of tweets from President Donald Trump signaling more tariffs on Chinese goods are coming next month.

But even beyond today`s move, history has not looked kindly on the month of August for stocks.  It is the worst month for both the Dow and the S&P
since 1987.  The S&P might be up 20 percent this year, was, but earnings
are flat.  That`s making stocks look expensive right now.  

Trade tensions are obviously ratcheting up.  There`s little clarity on the
global growth story in general, and as Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell
made clear at his press conference yesterday, future rate cuts from the Fed
are not a guarantee.  If there`s one thing that made it easier for the
bulls to stay bullish is lower interest rates.  The markets are become
reliant on central banks to provide a backstop to slower global growth by
cutting rates around the world.  

Still, plenty of bulls on Wall Street are arguing that the U.S. economic
data still remains strong for the most part.  Interest rates remain low,
and despite Powell`s reluctance to endorse a series of rate cuts yesterday,
central banks around the world are certainly in easing mode.  Still, the
perceived benefits from the Fed cutting rates may have passed and that
could be a problem for stocks in August.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.  


GRIFFETH:  Let`s turn to Brad McMillan now to talk more about today`s
market and his expectations for the month of August.  He is chief investor
officer at Commonwealth Financial Network.  

Brad, good to see you again.  Welcome back.  


GRIFFETH:  You called today`s market sell-off a sentiment reaction, not a
fundamental.  What did you mean?  

MCMILLAN:  Well, when you get this kind of a news item where the president is tweeting out, you can see a pullback.  The market gets disappointed. Everybody sells first and thinks later.  That`s what we saw yesterday, only to see the market bounce-back.  And since the fundamentals are solid, that`s probably going to happen again.

HERERA:  Indeed, because we do have a lot of headline risk still out there,
do we not?  Not only the trade situation, at least the debt issue is off
the table, but we still have Brexit and we still have slowing global

MCMILLAN:  Slowing global growth is important and so is Brexit potentially, but when you look at U.S. stocks, they track the U.S. economy.  And the U.S. economy basically depends on consumer spending.

We saw consumer confidence bounce-back close to recent highs.  We see job growth and wage growth continuing.  The consumers are going to keep
spending and that`s going to give us a cushion that should limit any damage from the headlines.

GRIFFETH:  What do you think Chairman Powell thought of today`s tweet?  I mean, he said — made it clear yesterday during his news conference that
trade is something that they`re watching very carefully and they`re
learning as they go.  

MCMILLAN:  And I think that`s — I think looking at Chair Powell, he
pointed out some of the risks and they actually said explicitly that`s why
they cut rates.  But the reason they`re not saying they`re going to cut
rates more — and this is something that isn`t really appreciated — is
because they see the economy as basically solid.  

And we don`t typically see sustained market draw-downs without a recession. A recession still looks fairly distant.

HERERA:  All right.  So, if you are a longer term investor, what do you do
and where do you look for prices that are reasonably valued at this point?  

MCMILLAN:  I think you sit tight.  I think the U.S., even though it is
pricey by standards for maybe four or five years ago, it is still fairly
valued by the standards of the past five or six years.  In fact, with
interest rates low, you can argue that stocks remain a good value.  I still
like U.S. stocks.  

GRIFFETH:  Brad McMillan with the Commonwealth Financial Network — good to see you again, Brad.  Thanks.

MCMILLAN:  Thank you, Bill.  

HERERA:  To the economy.  Manufacturing activities slipped in July to its
lowest reading in three years.  The Institute for Supply Management points
to slowing global growth and those trade tensions.  A separate report
showed the construction spending fell more than 1 percent in June as
investment in private construction dipped to its lowest level in 1-1/2
years.  And the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment
benefits rose last week, which was just about in line with estimates.  

GRIFFETH:  And in Washington, the Senate passed that two-year budget deal that made it through the House last week.  The legislation also lifts the
debt ceiling and raises spending by $320 billion over current levels.  It
now goes to the president and he is expected to sign it.  

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

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) resumed coverage of IBM with an overweight rating.  The analyst cites the benefits from IBM`s acquisition of Red Hat
(NYSE:RHT).  The price target is $170.  The stock was up 1 percent to

RH, the retailer formerly known as Restoration Hardware, was upgraded to
buy from under perform at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch.  The analyst cites price hikes, product momentum and less risk to margins.  The price target is $165.  Despite the upgrade though, the shares fell 2
percent to $136.08.  

And Corning (NYSE:GLW) was downgraded to neutral from positive at
Susquehanna.  The analyst cites execution missteps and a lack of confidence in the company`s ability to deliver earnings growth.  The price target is $30.  The stock fell 3 percent to $29.74.

GRIFFETH:  Still ahead, the television industry faces a new threat, and
it`s fighting back.  


GRIFFETH:  Verizon`s latest earnings report topped estimates and the
company said it added more phone subscribers than expected during the
quarter.  Verizon (NYSE:VZ) pushed its deployment of the next generation 5G network which the CEO says will be accessible to half the country by next year.


HANS VESTBERG, VERIZON CEO:  Once we launch one or two markets and see it is really working, now we actually are deploying in all markets with all our vendors on infrastructure and with four different devices.  So, it
actually starts working very well.  


GRIFFETH:  Stock fell very slightly in today`s session.  

HERERA:  General Motors (NYSE:GM) posted a solid quarter, reporting better than expected earnings thanks to strong demand in North America.  That helped offset its struggling international operations.

Phil LeBeau takes a closer look at GM`s bottom line.  


PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  GM`s tale of two markets, the U.S. and China, shows the weakness in China is more than offset by America`s insatiable appetite for trucks and SUVs.

DHIVYA SURYADEVARA, GENERAL MOTORS CFO:  What you are really starting to see is the earnings power of our truck franchise that is starting to show through in our results, and that`s really driven by favorable customer
reception to our Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks.  

LEBEAU:  GM`s new pickup trucks, often selling for close to $50,000 a
piece, are in demand thanks to strong consumer confidence, low unemployment and the fact more buyers are moving into a truck.  In the first half of this year, Fiat Chrysler`s Ram brand outsold Silverado, partially because of aggressive marketing by Fiat Chrysler.  But GM says it will avoid an incentive war in order to move new versions of the Silverado.

SURYADEVARA:  Despite their pricing, headwinds that might have been out in the market, you can see how we delivered and our market share is up.  So what we need to do is keep focusing on our plan and executing to that, and we will continue doing that.

LEBEAU:  Meanwhile, in China where automakers are feeling the effect of an economy slowing down, GM`s profits fell 60 percent last quarter.  The
company is optimistic business in China will stabilize thanks to a wave of
new models.  

While GM`s business in the U.S. is strong right now, it faces a number of
potential challenges in the second half of 2019, including negotiations
with the United Auto Workers.  That contract ends in September.  And many believe that for the first time in two decades, there is a decent chance we could see lengthy strikes at U.S. auto plants.



GRIFFETH:  The theme park business is strong and today, Universal
(NYSE:UVV) announced plans to build a fourth park in Orlando, Florida, to
be called Epic Universe.  It is the single-largest investment the company
has ever made in its theme park division.  The announcement occurs just as Disney (NYSE:DIS) is about to open its second “Star Wars” theme park in

And just a reminder, NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC, which
produces this program.  

HERERA:  But the entertainment industry is also dealing with a new
headache, and it is pitting broadcast networks against a video streaming

Julia Boorstin has the details.  


JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  The big four media networks, CBS (NYSE:CBS), ABC, NBCUniversal and Fox, are filing suit against a free video streaming service called Locast for failing to pay retransmission fees or obtain permission to do so.  Locast is an Internet-based service, which means you can watch local stations through a web browser or your mobile phone app instead of having an antenna in your home.

This comes five years after the Supreme Court shut down a similar service,
Aereo, saying its TV streams violated copyright laws.  Unlike Aereo though,
Locast is a nonprofit.  So founder David Goodfriend says copyright laws
protect its service.  

DAVID GOODFRIEND, LOCAST FOUNDER:  The provision of the copyright act that we are using was designed to make sure that a nonprofit could boost the availability of that over-the-air signal.  That`s all we do.  The only
thing that`s different is we do it locally on the Internet.  By locally, I
mean you have to be inside the local market in order to get our service.  

BOORSTIN:  But the media giants argue that Locast is doing more than just
that, saying it strips out Nielsen`s ability to calculate ratings and that
it requires users to provide an e-mail address or log in with a Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) account saying, quote: That information is itself highly
valuable to Locast and it is one of the many forms of commercial advantage that Locast is securing for itself while it serves the commercial purposes of the two pay-TV players that has sustained Locast and extended its reach.

The broadcasters point to Locast`s ties to AT&T (NYSE:T) and Dish, which
direct their subscribers to use the service during blackouts due to
contract disputes with the broadcasters.  AT&T (NYSE:T) recently disclosed
a half million dollar donation to Locast.  The suit alleges that founder
Goodfriend, a former Dish executive and lobbyist, secured a loan from
another former Dish executive.  

The suit claims that Locast, quote, is a strategic play funded by and
functioning for the benefit of decidedly commercial interest.

GOODFRIEND:  If AT&T (NYSE:T) or any other company makes a contribution to Locast, that doesn`t somehow undermine our nonprofit status.  We are abiding by the IRS federal rules, by New York state rules for nonprofits. The notion that I as a former Dish executive or lobbyist for Dish Network somehow undermines our case, look, I have begged Dish Network to make contributions and they always say no.

BOORSTIN:  Now, the courts will decide whether this startup nonprofit which reportedly has 250,000 users can provide local broadcast TV for free
through the Internet.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.  


GRIFFETH:  Kellogg`s shares go snap, crackle, pop.  And that`s where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”, with the cereal and snack food maker
topping estimates, thanks to an increase in popular brands like Rice
Krispies Treats, Pringles and Pop Tarts.  Kellogg (NYSE:K) also reaffirmed
its full year outlook.  Shares rose more than 9 percent today to $63.63.  

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) posted mixed results.  They beat earnings expectations
but fell short on revenue.  The household products maker saw increased
sales in its cleaning products division but issued weak full-year guidance
due to challenges in its charcoal, bags and wraps businesses.  Shares fell
nearly 4 percent to $156.14.  

Cigna`s quarterly results were better than expected thanks to its health
services unit.  And even though the health insurer said that costs were
higher than expected, it did raise its full-year forecast.  Shares fell
more than 1 percent to $167.56.  

HERERA:  Dunkin` Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) saw mixed results in sales in the U.S. with an increase at its Dunkin` stores, but then a decline at its
Baskin & Robbins locations.  The company raised full-year earnings
guidance.  Dunkin`s shares dropped 1-1/2 percent to $78.96.  

Strong comp sales at fast food restaurant chains Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and
KFC helped parent company Yum post better than expected results.  Yum also got a lift from its delivery service relationship with Grubhub.  Shares
rose almost 4 percent to $116.94.  

Yeti topped estimates thanks to an increase in its drink ware, coolers and
equipment sales.  The company also raised its full year outlook, but a
bigger than expected build in inventory weighed on the stock, and shares
dropped nearly 7 percent to $32.34.  

And, Archer, Daniels, Midland missed both earnings and revenue targets due to a rough winter in North America.  The company also said it was hurt by the U.S. and China trade tensions as U.S. crop exports struggled.  Still,
shares were up a fraction to $41.15.  

GRIFFETH:  Beyond Meat came back to Wall Street for a second helping today.  It issued new shares of stock, a so-called secondary offering, priced at $160 a share.  That`s far above its initial IPO price of $25 a share just
two months ago.  Shares of the plant-based protein company fell 10 percent
in today`s session.  

Meanwhile, Beyond Meat`s rival Impossible Foods and Burger King announced that the Impossible Whopper is going to be rolled out nationally beginning next week.

It all shows just how these plant-based burgers are changing the fast food
industry as we know it.  

Aditi Roy is in Redwood City for us tonight.  


ADITI ROY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Introducing the Impossible Whopper, launching at more than 7,000 Burger King stores
nationwide next week.  It`s Impossible Food`s largest partnership to date
and a big win for the company in its race against competitor Beyond Meat
over deals with restaurant chains.  

PAT BROWN, IMPOSSIBLE FOODS CEO:  I think we have the best product of any kind, the best burger of any kind on the market, but it is really for
consumers to make that call.  

ROY:  Plant-based meat products from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are changing the fast food industry.  The two companies are quickly landing
partnerships with some of the biggest nationwide food chains, including
Carl`s Jr., Del Taco, White Castle and Red Robin.  

DAVID HOFFMANN, DUNKIN DONUTS CEO:  We think the big win here is bringing this to the masses at a compelling price.

ROY:  Some industry watchers believe it is not a fad.  Barclays says
alternative meat can take a 10 percent bite of $140 billion global meat
industry, and nearly a fifth of all-Americans are trying to reduce their
meat intake according to NPD Group.  Even iconic brand McDonald`s
(NYSE:MCD) might be eyeing plant-based meat.  

STEVE EASTERBROOK, MCDONALD`S CEO:  We`re keeping a close eye on it and watch this space.

ROY:  Still, there are skeptics, like the CEO of Chipotle who recently said
the chain would not include alternative proteins on its menu because
they`re too processed.  

BROWN:  It is crazy because people think of processed food as like, you
know, salty junk food made by food manufacturers that don`t care about the health of the consumer.  We are incredibly conscientious about the health of our consumers.

ROY:  Besides changing the restaurant industry, alternative proteins are
also landing on grocery store shelves.  Impossible Foods has announced it
will soon start offering plant-braced ground meat products at grocers and
retailers starting next month.  

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Aditi Roy, Redwood City, California.  


HERERA:  Coming up, the other space race, the one that powers our everyday lives.


HERERA:  And here is a look at what to watch for tomorrow.  We will find
out how many jobs were created last month when the government releases the employment report for July.  Exxon and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) report their earnings, and we`ll also get quarterly results from Honda and Toyota
(NYSE:TM).  That is what to watch for on Friday.  

GRIFFETH:  Meantime, mortgage rates are still hovering around three-year
lows.  According to Freddie Mac the average rate on the 30-year fixed is
now at 3.75, that`s down from 4.6 percent a year ago.  Freddie Mac says
that low mortgage rates, a tight labor market and high consumer confidence should help support the housing market in the months ahead.

HERERA:  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos sold nearly $2 billion worth of stock this week.  That`s according to new federal filings.  Numerous reports say this could be his largest ever stock sale in dollars terms. Bezos previously has said that he would sell about $1 billion in stock each year to fund his space company called Blue Origin.  Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) did not comment on the filing.

GRIFFETH:  News reports about Blue Origin and other space startups usually focus on the future of civilian space travel, but there`s more to this
growing industry than that.  We`ve got high-tech rockets being built right
now to deploy satellites which power much of the technology used in our
everyday lives.  

Morgan Brennan has that story.  


MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Virgin Orbit is the other space company owned by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, a startup focused on making and launching small rockets to put small satellites in orbit.

At its California facility, Virgin Orbit is developing LauncherOne, a 70-
foot-long rocket it hopes to send on its first test flight in a few weeks.  

DAN HART, VIRGIN ORBIT CEO:  LauncherOne will go up on the wing on a 747, and put about 300 kilograms of payload into low Earth orbit, which will
serve a whole bunch of customers from communication to earth resources to science.

BRENNAN:  Unlike SpaceX, whose 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket can boost up
to 50,000 pounds to low earth orbit, LauncherOne is limited to payloads
weighing 660 pounds or less.  The company touts a dozen contracts including with NASA and the Defense Department.  Launch price: $12 million.

It`s an emerging area of the space sector, but one expected to have
significant implications.  

HART:  We communicate using satellites.  The information we get about our environment and as we go forward about our businesses, about resources, we`ll have better communication across mobile devices, aircraft, ships, the Internet of things, all of these business ideas are percolating.  What has happened is the cost of satellites has come down substantially, and so now flocks of new business ideas are popping up because it no longer takes billions of dollars to develop satellites.  It can be done at a fraction of that.

BRENNAN:  But Virgin Orbit is not without competition.  Analysts estimate
more than 100 companies are targeting this multibillion dollar small rocket

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good afternoon from Rocket Lab.  

BRENNAN:  The leader is Rocket Lab, which has done seven missions and with the backing of venture capital is now valued at more than $1 billion.  And other players include Vector and Relativity Space, though established
giants like Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) have been making investments as

For Virgin Orbit, whose sister company Virgin Galactic, is set to become
the first publicly traded space tourism company, the plan for now is to get
to orbit.  

HART:  We have been fortunate in having the strong backing of Virgin Group and Mobala (ph) as our investors and the personal guidance of Richard Branson, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) predict a space economy over a trillion dollars within the next 15, 20 years.  So, there`s a lot of interest and a lot of people coming and asking how they can participate.



HERERA:  Here`s another look at today`s final numbers from Wall Street.  
The Dow fell 280 points to 26,583.  It had been up about 300 intraday.  The
Nasdaq was down 64 and the S&P 500 slipped 26.  

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

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


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