Transcript: Friday, December 13, 2013

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and
Susie Gharib, brought to you in part by —


holiday crunch time for retailers. And as wicked weather gets ready to
blanket parts of the country this weekend, which companies have the most at
stake if shoppers stay home?

(NASDAQ:AMZN) wants Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Sam`s Club don`t want to give
up — their customers. And the online retailer reportedly has a new plan
to take a bigger slice of the growing packaged goods industry.

GHARIB: And market monitor, our guest tonight has a list of stocks
that she says could gain 20 percent or more in the New Year.

We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Friday, December 13th, Friday the 13th.

MATHISEN: Wow, it`s going to be a lucky one, I`m promising you.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Tyler Mathisen.

Christmas 12 days away and for the second weekend in a row where
millions usually plan to hit the malls, a massive snowstorm will be dumping
upwards of a foot of snow in the many areas of the country, from the
Missouri Valley, all the way up to New England. Cold weather is one thing,
but messy, snowy weather is another, keeping would be shoppers at home
instead of heading into stores and spending money. That`s going to hurt a
lot of retailers, but it may be a balloon to others at this most critical
time of the year.


MATHISEN (voice-over): Millions still reeling from winter weather in
the eastern third of the nations, getting ready to get hit again today,
tomorrow and Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have seen over two feet of snow here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully, you got some holiday shopping done.

MATHISEN: Up to a foot of snow is expected inland and anywhere from
one to five inches along the coast.

For retailers, it`s anything but a winter wonderland. Foot traffic
was up at stores over Thanksgiving weekend this year, but total sales were
down. A reflection of deep discounts, which may get as deep as the snow in
some places, if retailers are left with more inventory on their shelves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tomorrow, I`ll be home, because I know the
weather is going to be bad.

MATHISEN: Retailers worry whether shoppers can get to brick and
mortar stores or left hoping they`ll still buy, even if it means trading
bricks for clicks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fortunately for me, I`ve done the majority of
shopping online, and everything else I`ve done ahead of time.

MATHISEN: In fact, 35 percent of the respondents in CNBC`s all
America survey say they`ll shop online this year. But in another ominous
note, the survey says shoppers will spend almost 10 percent less, about $57
a head less than last year.

their incomes are lower, it`s because I think the economy is in bad shape.
There`s even some sense that Washington is weighing on consumer spending
because 5 percent said they reduced their spending in just the past month.

MATHISEN: You might be surprised to learn the drop was driven by
those with incomes above $100,000. They are cutting back by $300 on
average from last year`s layout.


GHARIB: So, what can retailers in the Snow Belt expect this weekend,
and how is the holiday shopping season shaping up everywhere else in the

Thom Blischok is the chief retail strategist at Booz and Company.

Thom, nice to have you back on the program.

I know you`ve been going around and looking at the stores. What do
you think is going to happen this weekend? Are the online retailers just
going to be the big winners as people stay home and do their shopping that
way? And what are the strategies the brick and mortar guys are planning?

going to be a tough weekend, with a foot of snow, without question. People
are not going to be able to get to stores. But I would expect to see a lot
of online traffic this year, actually this weekend.

The big weekend for success will be the 22nd. Just be glad we don`t
have the snowstorm on the 22nd.

MATHISEN: If you see falloff on foot traffic this weekend, would you
then expect to see a boost in discounting in the coming days?

BLISCHOK: Oh, absolutely. We`re going to see a tremendous amount, a
tremendous amount of deals as retailers close down these last 12 days.

So, shoppers are going to get a great deal for the rest of the season.

GHARIB: So, you`ve been talking about three trends that are going on
— searching, showrooming and selection. Tell us what it is and who wins
and loses from that strategy?

BLISCHOK: Well, the shopper wins. The shopper really has chosen to
get online, do a lot of their — I call it — e-showrooming and e-browsing.
They selected their store and then they are going into the store for the
best deal they can get.

So, the three S`s of 2013 will in fact, reshape retailing going

MATHISEN: Who is winning? Which stores? Which kinds of stores are
winning from where you sit this holiday season, and which are bringing up
the rear? Which are suffering?

BLISCHOK: Well, it`s clear to me that the stores which have an omni
channel or a brick and mortar, click and mortar, and click`s capability are
the real winners. Retailers that don`t have that capability will find
themselves losing out on that growing amount of Internet sales.

GHARIB: All right. So give us some ideas, you`re talking now about
Walmart, Macy`s (NYSE:M), companies like that, that have both online and
also the actual stores?

BLISCHOK: Yes, I think — I think Walmart with it`s integration of
Walmart itself, with the holiday — the Thanksgiving weekend, coupled with has been a real winner. I also think Macy`s (NYSE:M), Macy`s
(NYSE:M) in the same kind of boat where it really has driven an integration
of online and offline.

MATHISEN: Selling, is it electronics Christmas. Is it a shoe
Christmas? What is it?

BLISCHOK: It`s an electronics Christmas, much more than I ever
expected. Electronics, clearly home appliances. I saw on Thanksgiving
weekend, appliances going out the door in droves, shoes. It seems to be an
aspirational Christmas. What we see is that America has been afforded a
tremendous amount of value.

GHARIB: All right. You know, so, Thom, I know you`ve been spending
time walking the isles in all kinds of stores. At the end of the day, at
the end of this crucial holiday shopping season, what are the numbers going
to look like?

BLISCHOK: I tell you, it`s going to be tough. You`re going to have a
couple winners. You`re going to have some winners, I should say. You`re
going to have a lot of losers.

My guess is a paltry a couple percent over last year and last year was
pretty paltry, couple percent over the previous year.

MATHISEN: Thom, if I want to give Susie a nice home appliance for
Christmas, what should I give her?

BLISCHOK: Well, I`ll tell you what, these crock pots, these $20 crock
pots that you link together seem to be really hot. Juicers, coffeemakers –

MATHISEN: Linkable crock pots, that`s what you need Ms. Gharib.


GHARIB: It wasn`t exactly on my wish list, Tyler. I`ll give you my

MATHISEN: You like little blue boxes.

GHARIB: Thom, thanks so much for coming on the program, and don`t
give Tyler these bad ideas.

Thom Blischok, chief retail strategist at Booz and Company.

MATHISEN: All right. On Wall Street, blue chip shares wrapped up
their second losing week in a row. That is the first time that has
happened since early October when the government was shut down. In a
choppy session today, stocks were flat to slightly higher and some experts
took heart from that after three sessions of sharp losses spawned by
concerns the Fed may dial back its stimulus next week.

Here is how stocks faired today. The Dow up 16 points, the NASDAQ
added two, S&P added a fraction lower and it was the worse week for those
major averages, three of them since August.

GHARIB: Well, speaking of crock pots, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is cooking
up a new service aimed at taking on companies like Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and
BJ`s. Investors like the idea and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares rose nearly
1 percent on the news.

Courtney Reagan explains.


It may not be drones, but it could still be a big move for Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN). The online behemoth is reportedly working on a new business
called Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) pantry, focused on products often found in the
central aisle of grocery and warehouse club stores like paper towels,
cleaning supplies and pet foods.

The consumer packaged goods market is a big one, estimated to rack up
$850 billion in sales per year. While Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has taken
market share in areas like electronics and media, the type of goods offered
in an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) pantry business are still largely purchased by
consumers in physical stores. But that doesn`t mean shoppers wouldn`t
change those habits with an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) offer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is taking over the world,
so why not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I shop a lot at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). So, I
definitely find anything I need over there rather than drive to Costco

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My basic cleaning supplies, if it doesn`t cost
me more I can buy from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but it won`t take away the
need to go to Costco (NASDAQ:COST), you know, for other things.

REAGAN (on camera): Reports say Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) pantry would
target the retailers` prime members. Those consumers may then just have to
pay a small fee to ship a box full of those items up to a certain weight.

(voice-over): The more Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) can sell and ship in one
box, the more revenue each order generates, which helps Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) offset the shipping cost, which can be hefty for these type
of goods.

they branch out and do basically what fresh direct does, where you can get
anything any time you want without paying a service charge and it comes to
your house, basically the same day or next day basis, they can be a
disrupter because they are so big and they have such a huge footprint on
the Web, people will order from them.

REAGAN: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may be the 800-pound gorilla for
traditional retailers, but it`s the white night for consumers, offering a
huge selection of goods shipped quickly for little to no additional charge.



GHARIB: A major merger might be in the works in the telecom industry.
Dow Jones is reporting that Sprint may be gearing up to make an offer to
acquire rival T-Mobile. The deal could be worth as much as $20 billion.
Sprint, the nation`s number three wireless carrier, is controlled by
Japan`s Soft Bank. Shares initially rose after that report.

And so did shares of T-Mobile, the number four carrier. It`s
controlled by Germany`s Deutsche Telekom.

All right. More now on that federal budget proposal we`ve been
talking about all week. Last night, the House overwhelmingly passed a
compromised two-year budget deal that holds the line on new taxes but
restores some spending trimmed by the automatic cuts that were part of a
prior budget deal.

Now, this Tuesday, the Senate will begin debating and voting on the
budget deal. The Senate is not a very happy place these days after the
majority pushed through some rules changes limiting filibusters. The
debate may get hot as a lot of tempers below the surface. There may be
resistance but it is still expected to pass.

GHARIB: The Senate will also be voting next week on the nomination of
Janet Yellen slated to be the next head of the Federal Reserve Bank. Also
in Washington, Yellen and other men and women at the Fed will kick-off a
two-day policy meeting. Some Wall Street pros are predicting those
policymakers could announce on Wednesday that the central bank will begin a
program to trim back its stimulus measures.

MATHISEN: And still ahead, a milestone in Europe. Ireland will be
the first eurozone country to exit the bailout and it could mean more
opportunities for U.S. companies and the Celtic Tiger.


MATHISEN: A historic day for the Emerald Isle three years after
accepting a massive bailout from the European Union and international
lenders, to avoid going bankrupt.

Ireland has officially ended its bailout. But as Julia Chatterley
explains, the nation and its economy still has a tough road ahead.


day for Ireland as the country becomes the first eurozone country to exit a
bailout program, the result of a property market crash, a banking sector
crisis that meant that the country had to borrow over $100 billion. The
finance minister told me it was a huge achievement for the country. But I
asked him, if it was too much pressure on Ireland to be a simple of hope
for the recovery in Europe.

MICHAEL NOONAN, IRISH FINANCE MINISTER: There never a feeling that we
were being used for symbolic reasons. We had a major economic and
financial crime sis, which need to be addressed, and we addressed it by a
series of progressive measures, which we have implemented on a time frame,
and we`re at the end of that process now.

CHATTERLEY: So, it`s seen as a hugely positive time for the Irish
economy, but there`s also crucial questions about how this country boosts
growth from here. It`s seen huge investment from the U.S. in particular.
We`ve got companies will Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN), all with operations here. The finance minister is set to
head to the U.S. early next year to promote the message that the recovery
is on track and there`s plenty of opportunities here for U.S. funds.

And I think that`s the key take away from what I`ve had from being in
Dublin over the last 24 hours.

Back to you, Susie and Tyler, in the studio.


GHARIB: After three days of meetings, talks broke off today between
Boeing (NYSE:BA) and its Seattle-based machinist union, that`s after the
union representing 32,000 workers rejected a counter-offer from the
aircraft maker over the manufactured of its plan 777X jet in Washington

Since then, the same union rejected Boeing`s initial contract offer
last month. The company has received offers from 22 other states looking
to make the new plane.

MATHISEN: DirecTV is exploring an online video service to target
young people who aren`t paying for cable and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The country`s largest satellite TV provider says it`s not planning to
go up against Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), not exactly. But it does wants to
develop a niche online video service with programming that appeals to
specific groups. There were also reports today that DirecTV and the NFL
have reached a deal to keep the exclusive Sunday ticket package on
satellite TV but the NFL is denying an agreement has been reached just yet.

Shares were down slightly today to $66.50.

A federal judge approved a $5.7 billion-dollar swipe fee settlement
between merchants and Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA). Merchants
sued the credit card companies, accusing the providers of fixing the fees.
They charge businesses each time customers use their card. The value of
settlement which was reached last year was cut down from $7 billion as some
merchants opted out. Thousands of retailers complained the settlement was

Both stocks ended the day higher. MasterCard (NYSE:MA) up a fraction
to $787.97, Visa (NYSE:V) nearly 2 percent higher at $207.36.

Well, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has promoted its COO to the top job at
the chip-making company. Steve Mollenkopf will assume the new title of CEO
in March. Now, the appointment was a bit of surprise because it was
speculation that Mollenkopf was in the running to succeed Steve Ballmer up
at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as the CEO. Ballmer plans to leave Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) next year. Let`s look at shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).
They were off slightly $72.58.

Well, Adobe impressed investors with its subscriber growth, sending
its stock to an all-time high today. The PhotoShop and Acrobat maker said
it saw a 22 percent jump in its creative cloud sweet subscribers from last


SHANTANU NARAYEN, ADOBE SYSTEMS CEO: At the beginning of the year, we
thought we might have 1.25 million subscribers adopting the creative cloud.
We passed that number with over 1.4 million subscribers. And I think the
message really is that for consumers, it`s a better proposition.


MATHISEN: The CEO says he expects the subscriber growth to continue
and that sent shares soaring up almost 13 percent to $60.89.

GHARIB: Well, a different story for United Technology today. Shares
fell after the company revised its earnings outlook. The maker of
elevators and air conditioners gave guidance for this year and next that
just missed Wall Street estimates. Possible government spending cuts are
weighing down its defense unit, which makes engines for Black Hawk
helicopters. Shares slipped to $107.35.

Honeywell unveiled a $5 billion buyback plan today. The announcement
comes as the company`s old plan expires. Honeywell CEO said the new
program shows the company is confident about long-term growth prospects.
Shares rose a fraction to $86.61.

AT&T (NYSE:T) is hiking its quarterly dividend by 2.2 percent or 46
cents a share, its increase dividends for 30 years in a row. But the stock
was down slightly to $33.85.

And good dividend news from General Electric (NYSE:GE), as well. It`s
increasing its quarterly dividend by 16 percent. The Dow component will be
paying the 22 cent increase to shareholders at the end of January. Shares
rose 1 percent to $26.84.

MATHISEN: Well, our market monitor on this Friday says the stock
market in the new year will continue to quote surprise investors in a good

She`s Dianne Jaffe, senior portfolio manager at TCW, an asset
management firm with $130 billion under management.

Diane, welcome. Good to have you with us.

So, why are you confident the market can continue to move higher from
here, and are you concerned history suggests when there`s a switch in the
chairman of the Fed, see Bernanke, see Greenspan, Alan, there is often a
crisis that comes quite soon on the heels of that?

points but don`t forget that Janet Yellen has been the vice chair under
Bernanke and they are sort of the team that`s been putting this whole
quantitative easing process in effect. And I think that we`ll have a very
smooth transition.

In terms of the market, I think people are still generally nervous
about, you know, having risen so much, you know, is there more to come?
And we think that with earnings growth, and remember they are coincident
economic indicators, right? They`re not looking for it at all. It`s what
the company`s earnings today, it`s really going to bolster the market going
forward in 2014.

GHARIB: Now, you`re going to be talking about a couple of your stocks
and you like the financials. You have couple of them to suggest.

Let`s start with State Street (NYSE:STT). Tell us why you like this
regional firm and also it had such a nice move on its stock as you can see
on this chart here. Is there still room to grow as an investor puts new
money in now?

JAFFE: We think so. The cost cutting has really done a good job.
There are over $400 million cumulatively to date. Their technology is data
mining. Giving good services to customers.

And so, we do believe it`s got 10 percent to 15 percent more over the
next year.

MATHISEN: And a lot of their business, of course, in asset management
and trust services, I supposed.

Now, let`s move on to Citigroup (NYSE:C), which is another of your
choices. I`m curious is to why Citigroup (NYSE:C) above some of the other
choices in the big bank world.

JAFFE: Well, they — you know, they are trading below book value, so
when people say is there still value in the market, I point to names like
Citi because you can still buy below book value.

They pay a subpar dividend because they are waiting for the 2014
process to go through. In the meantime, they have been accumulating all
their capital requirements for the regulators so they should be very well
situated in the next year`s review and that means that they should be able
to return cash to shareholders in the form of increased dividends.

GHARIB: Diane, you have General Electric (NYSE:GE) as another one of
your picks and we just reported a moment ago that they are increasing their
dividend by 16 percent. I`m sure that`s going to make a lot of investors
happy. But when you look at this stock over this past year, even after
this past decade, it`s always been somewhat in this mid-$20 range.

Why should investors buy this stock?

JAFFE: Because they are finally figuring out how to separate the
industrial health care business from the G.E. Capital. And, you know, the
target is to be 70 percent industrials and only 30 percent G.E. Capital and
they are making good there. G.E. Capital has been up to the parent company
billions of dollars, and now we`re seeing it return to the shareholders in
the form of a dividend. They have the highest dividend yield in the
industrial group right now.

MATHISEN: Your final choice is Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). They have gone
through some very tough years. As you see them coming out of the woods.
How much higher do you think they could be a year from now than they are

JAFFE: We do conservatively see at least 20 percent upside. They
have the most improved pipeline of their peer group, after the Lipitor, you
know, sell off the cliff, and they`ve done a good job in terms of selling
off their nutritional business, rolling out their animal health business,
Zoetis, and, you know, now they are starting to plan the financials for the
innovative branded companies versus the generic. So, there could still be
more restructuring to come.

MATHISEN: All right. Diane, do you have disclosures with respect to
any of the stocks that you mentioned. There`s state, city, G.E. or Pfizer

JAFFE: I`m a shareholder in the fund and I — in all my funds and we
own those stocks.

MATHISEN: So, we like that you put your money where your picks are.

Diane Jaffe, thank you very much for joining us. Have a happy

JAFFE: You, too. Thank you.

MATHISEN: Diane, senior portfolio manager at TCW.

GHARIB: And coming up next, a longer odds but bigger jackpots. Why
the chances of winning tonight`s mega millions drawing are worse than ever.


MATHISEN: It may be Friday the 13th, but tons of people are feeling
lucky today. They`re buying tickets for tonight`s multistate mega millions
lottery. More than 20 draws, without a winner, the jackpot has ballooned
to more than $425 million. One of the largest in U.S. history.

Morgan Brennan has more now about the big rush to buy tickets and the
big money behind tonight`s drawing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good luck, sir. Thank you.

Next in line, please.

Hey, you never know, or so does New York state when it comes to the mega
millions lottery. The whopping $425 million jackpot in tonight`s drawing
is the second largest prize in the game`s history, that staggering sum
breaks down to a 228 million dollar lump sum payment before taxes.

But more likely than not, you won`t win that nine figure fortune.
Since the mega million revamped its format in October, the odds of winning
the grand prize changed, from 1 in 176 million, to 1 in 259 million. In
fact, since the formatting change, no one has won the jackpot, with the
grand prize rolling over 20 times now.

Still, when lotto jackpots swell this size, more hopeful Americans
flock to convenience stores to try their luck. The reason state lotteries
are by far the most popular form of gambling bling in the U.S., according
to past Gallup polls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like a fun thing to do.

BRENNAN: But while one lucky ticketholder may draw the right numbers
tonight, the real winner of the mega millions and its peers is the

In 2011, the 43 states hosting lotteries pull in a combined $55
billion in gross ticket sales, that according to the U.S. Census, and those
figures were up about 3.5 percent from 2010. After prizes, those states
netted roughly $18 billion. The top states in terms of sales, New York,
Massachusetts, and Florida were also the states where the most prizes were

So, what did the states do with that money? Each state is different.

(on camera): When I spend a dollar on the lottery in New Jersey —
thank you — only about 59 cents is allocated to payout winning tickets.
The other 41 cents will go towards things like education, small businesses
like this one and administrative fees.

(voice-over): In fact, the lottery is New Jersey`s fourth largest
revenue generators, raking in $950 million for the state last year. And 34
percent of those proceeds went to funding education and public
institutions. And even though someone could be catapulted into the upper 1
percent after tonight`s drawing, the lottery is not without its critics.
But with all that tax revenue on the line, don`t expect states to give it
up any time soon.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Passaic, New


GHARIB: And finally tonight, Friday the 13th turns out to be a lucky
day for Ben Bernanke. It`s his 60th birthday. But he`ll have to put off
any celebrations for a few more weeks, as Bernanke winds down his second
and final term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, he`ll decide next week
whether to winding down the Central Bank`s stimulus plans. And in another
month, the former economics professor at Princeton will leave the Fed. But
he hasn`t given any clues about where he is headed next.

So, from your friends at NBR, happy birthday, Ben Bernanke, and many

Tyler, I wonder what wish he`ll make out when he blows his 60 candles?

MATHISEN: I wonder. You know, I think, next week, they celebrate the
100th anniversary of the Fed itself and the three living chiefs, Volcker,
Bernanke and Greenspan will all be there. Of the three, I think Bernanke
had the toughest hand to play. Volcker had a very tough hand as well there
at the end of the 1970s and early `80s.

GHARIB: Well, we`ll be talking about all of that next week.

And I hope all of you tune in next week. But that`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS
REPORT. I`m Susie Gharib. Have a great weekend. Thanks for watching.

MATHISEN: And thanks from me, as well. Stay out of the snow, get out
to the stores. Have a great weekend.

We`ll see you back here on Monday.


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