TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Job hunt. Wall Street
turns its gaze toward tomorrow`s monthly employment report. We`ll tell you
what the market expects and why.
Handing over the keys. Ford names the new man behind the wheel, as CEO
Alan Mulally plans to step down in July. What`s the road ahead for the
And, student loan crush. How the government is hoping to deal with a
mountain of debt that already tops $1 trillion.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, the 1st
Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Susie Gharib is
Well, you know it has been five years since the official end of the great
recession, and even though the economy, the stock market and the housing
market have made tremendous gains, more than 10 million Americans who want
to working are still without a job. Today, there were no records set on
Wall Street as a lot of investors seem to be in a holding pattern, awaiting
tomorrow`s April jobs report — arguably, the most important metric on the
health of the U.S. economy.
Hampton Pearson with more now on what may be in Friday`s non-farm payroll
numbers and why some economists are more cautious than others.
HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Optimism for a Friday jobs report above 200,000 in April comes on the heels
of the mixed economic data in the last two days. The most positive trend,
private employers hiring more than 220,000 workers last month, according to
payroll processor ADP. There was also an upward revision in the March
data, to 209,000, the first back to back monthly gains above 200,000 in 18
months, a possible source of momentum for the markets in May.
JAMES PAULSEN: I think we`re setting up again for another run. Now, that
might not be the last call for the year. But I do think the rest of this
week`s reports could be the start or maybe it`s going to take another
month. But I think we`re going to find out, momentum is pretty good here
in the second quarter.
PEARSON: But weekly unemployment claims rose unexpectedly last week to the
highest level since late February — mixed news for an economy that appears
to be gaining momentum and the reason leading economists are cautious about
what Friday`s jobs report will tell us.
ALAN KRUEGER, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS FORMER CHAIRMAN: Looks to me
like the economy is continuing to heal, that we`re shaking off the effects
of bad weather we had over the winter. We`re getting some mixed signals,
but I think the direction is continuing to point towards expansion of the
economy and I suspect we`ll see solid job growth.
PEARSON (on camera): Consensus forecast calls for a slight drop in the
unemployment rate last month. For that trend to continue, we`ll need job
growth at/or above 250,000 per month in the days and weeks ahead.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Washington.
MATHISEN: Stocks edged mostly lower today, but not by much after a mixed
round of earnings and economic data, including that spike in new jobless
claims we mentioned a moment ago. But after wicked weather held shopping
in check during January and February, consumer spending surged in March,
the highest rate in four and a half years. Also personal incomes rose a
half percent that same month, and manufacturing was higher in April for the
third month in a row.
And at the end of the up and down trading session, the Dow fell 22 points,
the NASDAQ was up nearly 13, the S&P 500 sort of splitting the difference,
lower by just a fraction.
Two of the nation`s biggest oil companies reported earnings today and both
topped analysts` estimates. But profits at ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) declined
last quarter due to rising costs for refining and a drop in production.
That sent shares down 1 percent today.
Different story at ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), where net income rose on
higher prices for oil and natural gas and a boost in production, even at
operations in Libya. Shares were higher by 1 percent today.
Telecom giant AT&T (NYSE:T) is reportedly approach satellite TV provider
DirecTV about combining forces in a deal that could really shake up how you
watch television. Shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) were up a fraction lower, but
DirecTV shares shot up 4 percent.
Morgan Brennan has more now on the proposed deal and how it could change
the entire pay TV landscape.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, neither AT&T
(NYSE:T) nor DirecTV is publicly commenting on merger possibility, such a
deal could dramatically alter the pay TV landscape, creating a formidable
rival to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS). If its $45 billion purchase of
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable wins regulatory approval, experts say the pay
TV industry is already on the cusp of major changes, and this deal would
only help accelerate that transformation.
AMY YOUNG, MACQUARIE RESEARCH EQUITIES ANALYST: Well, I think you`re
seeing competition from every single product segment in cable, meaning
video, broadband, telephony, which will probably force a lot of these
companies, the incumbents to consolidate.
BRENNAN: DirecTV is the second largest pay TV operator in the U.S., second
only to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS). DirecTV and AT&T (NYSE:T)
together would claim nearly 27 million customers, compared to 37 million of
combined hat Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)
Such a deal would also enable AT&T (NYSE:T) to expand its reach and pay
television where its footprint remains relatively small. And it already
has partnerships in place with DirecTV in certain markets. For its part,
DirecTV would access more Internet services where cable TV competitors have
DirecTV has been a hot company for M&A speculation. Also reportedly
approached just recently by Dish Network, its biggest satellite TV
YOUNG: Well, I think Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX) Cable has set forth a wave of consolidation in pay TV. I think
if AT&T (NYSE:T) acquires DirecTV, probably Dish is the next one to go.
BRENNAN (on camera): Still, one thing is for certain, analysts expect to
see more deal-making in the space. And consumers can expect to see more
changes in their pay TV options, as companies attempt to consolidate.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) has mentioned in Morgan`s
story is the parent company of CNBC, and they produce this program.
Another big telecom has a lot to brag about today. T-Mobile, the nation`s
number four wireless carrier, added a record number of new customers in the
first quarter, thanks to aggressive marketing and discounting. The company
added 2.4 million new subscribers in just the first three months of the
year, more than its top three rivals combined.
Even though the company lost $151 million last quarter because of all those
discounts, shares of T-Mobile surged 8 percent today.
April was a huge month for auto sales, putting the industry on track for
more than 16 million units sold this year. That`s way ahead of last year`s
pace. After all that brutal winter weather, dealers saw strong sales of
pickups and Jeeps and small SUVs last month. For Detroit`s big three, the
big winner was Chrysler which had its best April ever, seeing overall sales
rise 14 percent. Sales at its Jeep division, up a stunning 52 percent.
Despite recalling millions of cars last month, sales at General Motors
(NYSE:GM) still rose 7 percent, but sales at Ford were down a fraction on
Wall Street, stocks mirrored those figures with G.M. shares ending a little
bit higher and Ford just a bit lower.
MATHISEN: Well, despite that slight selloff, Ford Motors made some big
headlines today, announcing who will take over for CEO Alan Mulally when he
steps down exactly two months from today.
Phil LeBeau has the story and what lies ahead for Ford.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: A big day in the auto
industry as Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Company announced the succession plans for
CEO Alan Mulally who will be stepping down on July first. He`ll be
replaced by COO Mark Fields, at a town hall meeting today at the company`s
headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Fields says he has no plans to alter
Ford`s business plan in the near future.
MARK FIELDS, FORD COO: Our One Ford Plan has served us so well over the
years and it is going to continue to serve us well.
LEBEAU: Field has served as COO running the day to day operations at Ford
since late 2012. But why did Ford finally decide he was the person who
should replace Mulally?
Chairman Bill Ford says it was all about finding the right candidate both
inside and outside of Ford.
BILL FORD, FORD MOTOR CO. CHAIRMAN: I`ve got to make sure that we are
scouring the globe for the best talent. But, you know, I really kept
coming back internal, as did Alan, to Mark because we thought he was a
great candidate. He`s grown tremendously as an executive. And as I said,
really importantly, he`s part of the culture of Ford that I think is so
LEBEAU: As for outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mulally, he says he is focused on
his final two months at Ford. And beyond that, he is not indicating any
plans in terms of working for another company or taking another position in
corporate America. But make no mistake — Alan Mulally will be in demand.
ALAN MULALLY, FORD CEO: I have not decided what I will do next, because
the most important priority has been this orderly transition. But I really
look forward to the future and look forward to serving. But I really like
that you know — that retirement thing sounds a little bit good, too. So –
LEBEAU: Alan Mulally`s legacy at Ford? The stock price appreciated 92
percent over the last eight years, and when you look at the financials did
for Ford, in his first two years between 2006 and 2008, Ford lost $30
billion as he was right-sizing the company and dealing with an auto
industry that was imploding.
Since 2008, Ford has made $42 billion.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Hartford, Connecticut.
MATHISEN: So, will that momentum continue? Will Ford continue to shine?
Our next guest thinks so. And he has an “outperform” on the stock. He`s
Emmanuel Rosner, U.S. auto analyst for CLSA Americas.
Emmanuel, welcome. Good to have you with us.
Mr. Mulally, stepping aside, a charismatic executive, always seemingly very
positive. What will the cultural change be like inside of Ford? Will it
be big, small, what?
EMMANUEL ROSNER, CLSA AMERICAS: So, Mulally certainly has accomplished a
tremendous lot at Ford, but we think that Mark Fields will very much
continue in his path. He was the lieutenant of Mulally, and he was in
charge of, in particular, of implementing the One Ford Plan which has
gotten Ford where it is.
So, we think that the culture and also the business plan, everything is
likely to stay in the continuity of Mulally`s accomplishment.
MATHISEN: Very briefly, he mentioned One Ford Plan. You just did. What
ROSNER: So, One Ford Plan is essentially making better cars, but also cars
that are the same — based on the small amount of platforms and sold across
the world on that particular platform. So, it improves the quality, it
reduces the cost and more generally improves their profitability in a
pretty major way.
MATHISEN: At Ford, they used to say, what is our job one? It was quality.
What is job one for Mark Fields? What`s going to be his biggest challenge
on July 1st?
ROSNER: So the biggest challenge for Ford, that also its biggest
opportunity this year, is essentially the launch of the F-150 pickup at the
end of this year. This is — this accounts for half of the North American
profits. It`s been the best selling vehicle in the U.S. for the past 32
years and essentially, Mark Fields has to make sure that this is done right
from an execution point of view. This will be a revolutionary pickup
mostly because it`s the first one made entirely of aluminum.
And when we did analysis, we believe it will knock the socks off the
competition on almost every performance metric. So, a hugely important
vehicle for Ford, hugely important for profitability and his job one should
be — making sure — take his time, make sure that this launch is executed
in a flawless manner.
MATHISEN: Is your very favorable rating on the stock largely tied to what
you anticipate the profits will be coming out of this new Ford F-150? Is
that going to be a real profit driver? And I assume you — you assume it
ROSNER: Correct, what we tell the investor at this point is essentially,
this year is likely to be a bumpy ride because the significant amount of
things on Ford`s plate from an execution point of view, the tremendous
amount of investments for the future, but in the U.S. with the F-150
pickup, but also in China, a lot of new plants opening in Europe. To close
a plant, there is a lot on Ford`s plate.
But the point is, we think that these will pay a very handsome dividend
next year. So, we tell investors, it`s going to be a bumpy road this year.
Earnings may get impacted. The stock may get impacted. But use any
potential weakness to accumulate for the long-term.
We think that it will be a major, major profit driver.
MATHISEN: Very quickly, can Lincoln be turned around? Saved?
ROSNER: I think it`s going to be challenging. The product is
significantly better. The branding takes a tremendous amount of time to
turn around. So, I think it will be geared more towards exports in China,
rather than the U.S.
MATHISEN: Very interesting. Emmanuel Rosner, thank you very much.
ROSNER: Thanks for having me.
MATHISEN: Emmanuel is with — you`re very welcome — CLSA Americas.
Still ahead, the Cloud has been a big buzz word on Wall Street, but what is
it? And why are cracks starting to form in some Cloud company stocks,
while others see nothing but silver linings?
MATHISEN: Could Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) doing an about-face on its
controversial but shareholder-approved executive pay plan because of
pressure from Warren Buffet? “The Wall Street Journal” says the company is
considering now amending the generous plan after Buffett called it, quote,
“excessive” and refused to vote on it. This comes after a barrage of
criticism from David Winters of Wintergreen Advisers, a major Coke
Buffett`s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) is the beverage giant`s biggest
share owner, with about 9 percent. Wintergreen is now questioning whether
Buffett`s concerns about the compensation plans were even relayed to Coke`s
And a programming note: Susie Gharib is on the Buffett`s home turf right
now in Omaha, Nebraska, and she will talk with David Winters on tomorrow`s
program and with Warren Buffett on Monday`s broadcast.
Well, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) has settled a federal antitrust lawsuit with the
Justice Department over an agreement with Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), not to
poach each other`s employees. There`s no fine involved. Just an agreement
barring the Internet retail giant from colluding with any other company`s
on new deals over recruiting or hiring away workers. In a separate
agreement with California`s attorney general, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) will pay
nearly $4 million to help compensate potential victims in the state.
The outlook for a lot of companies investing in Cloud computing has
suddenly become a bit cloudy itself, especially after a hotly anticipated
initial public stock offering for the Cloud storage start-up Box has now
Dominic Chu has more now on the forecast for some of the companies doing
business in Cloud.
DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cloud
computing, it`s one of the latest hot topics for investors all over the
world. These days, companies are running their businesses over virtual
networks with remote computers, servers and storage. Basically, if you
watch streaming movies or TV shows over Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), you`re using
the Cloud. Or if you`re preparing your taxes on line with H&R Block
(NYSE:HRB) or TurboTax, you`re using the Cloud.
(on camera): As you can imagine, a host of different companies are
involved in the infrastructure for Cloud computing. Big names like EMC
(NYSE:EMC) or Citrix, or even Rackspace, or they have large divisions
working on the next generation of connected computing. Big names like,
say, an IBM or an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).com.
(voice-over): Over the last year, a number of smaller companies in the
industry have gone public and had tremendous gains, but they have fallen on
some harder times in 2014 as investors have moved away from the buzz and
sizzle of these types of stock.
Cloud companies like Marketo, Benefit Focus, and Rally Software, are all
down big year-to-date.
Meanwhile, bigger name companies with Cloud exposure are up, like IBM,
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and H.P.
Some experts think that`s a trend that will continue.
GENE MUNSTER, PIPER JAFFRAY SR. RESEARCH ANALYST: It`s going to get a lot
tougher for these smaller guys to be competitive in the Cloud because there
is a big infrastructure, there`s a lot of money that spent to build this
Cloud. And so, ultimately it`s a bigger advantage to the larger companies
that are service providers to the Cloud.
CHU: That`s not to say that smaller companies won`t do well. After all,
if they`re that good of what they do, some bigger companies may just buy
them out and provide a nice payday for investors.
But bets are being placed on the success of the best companies in the
MUNSTER: The two big winners are going to be Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is coming out with more Cloud
services like G Drive and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has their Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) web services which basically powers a lot of companies` I.T.
CHU: There isn`t a lot of debate about how important connected or Cloud
computing will be in the future. But investors are taking different paths
on how to profit from it.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu.
MATHISEN: Good news on Microsoft`s fight against hackers exploiting a flaw
in its signature web browser. The company announcing it patched up a
security hole in its Internet explorer browser, which is often a default
engine for much of the web and is used by millions of people around the
globe everyday. The patch even works for older versions of the browser
that came with Windows XP, the operating system that Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) says it will no longer service.
MasterCard`s first quarter profits rose, thanks to an increase in customer
spending, and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
Overall results at the world`s second largest credit card company topped
expectations separately. MasterCard (NYSE:MA) warned that Russian
President Vladimir Putin`s plan to create a domestic card payment system
would create complications for its operations in the country. Despite
that, shares rose a fraction to $74.22.
And soggy cereal sales continue to weigh on Kellogg (NYSE:K). The food
giant posted a bigger than expected fall in quarterly revenue as its
breakfast division sales fell more than 5 percent. Cost-cutting helped the
company beat earnings estimate however. But investors did focus on the
weak sales number and the stock fell more than 2 percent to $65.37.
Avon will pay $135 million to settle a probe into whether it paid bribes in
China and other countries to gain favors. The cosmetics company also
reportedly first quarter earnings that missed estimates, sales dropped in
every region as more of the company`s sales representatives up and left.
Shares plunged 10 percent to $13.72, making Avon the biggest decliner in
the S&P 500 today.
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) posted an earnings and revenue beat after the closing
bell. The social network for professionals saw its revenue from its
recruiting business increase by 50 percent from last year. But its full
year revenue guidance was a little bit below the consensus. That sent the
stock down initially in after-hours trading. Shares were up more than 5
percent in the regular session to a big $161.22.
There were reports that Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) may up its offer for Britain`s
AstraZeneca to more than $106 billion and raise the cash portion of the
deal. Earlier this week, we told you that Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) approached its
British rival twice about a takeover only to be rebuffed. Shares of Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE) fell on the news, down a fraction to $31.15, AstraZeneca popped,
what would you expect, 2 1/2 percent, to $81.09.
And Cigna`s first quarter profit surged on higher revenues from its group
disability and life insurance businesses. Earnings topped estimates
easily. But revenue came in slightly short of expectations. The insurer
also upped its outlook but the CEO says he is still being cautious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CORDANI, CIGNA (NYSE:CI) CEO: We had a strong first quarter that
enabled us to increase our full-year outlook. Our full year outlook
increased is driven by two items. One, a better share buyback. Two, the
underlying strength of the first quarter results, and, finally, as we
discuss with analysts this morning, we`re still keeping some conservative
review in terms of what the rate of medical cost growth may be later in the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: Shares jumped to 2 1/2 percent to $82.05.
Coming up, how much of a drag is student loan debt having on the economy
and what is the Treasury Department doing about it?
MATHISEN: A brand-new stock began trading on the NASDAQ today. Navient,
the nation`s leading student loan management servicing center and asset
recovery company. It was created when Sallie Mae split in two with a
namesake company focusing on consumer banking and Navient servicing $300
billion in college loans to about 12 million customers.
Well, the Treasury Department is taking a closer look at the student loan
situation and how it impacts the cost of college and affects borrowers,
taxpayers and economic growth.
Sharon Epperson here now with more on what the Treasury Department is
thinking and doing.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tyler, the
student debt loan in this country has grown over $1.2 trillion, and nearly
90 percent of all student loans are federal loans. The government is now
growing increasingly concerned that student debt may threaten to choke off
U.S. economic growth as loan payments force households to delay home and
auto purchases, saving for retirement and limit other forms of borrowing,
investment and spending.
Sarah Bloom Raskin, the new deputy U.S. treasury secretary, talked to me
about why the Treasury is examining these issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH BLOOM RASKIN, DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY: The student loan debt
issues have a lot of connections to the economy. And anything that is of
interest to the economy is of interest to the Treasury Department. So, we
want to take a very careful look at the amount of student debt that`s
accumulating and try to understand with some granularity and specificity
what it`s due to, and whether or not it`s dangerous.
EPPERSON: Are you already seeing dangerous consequences of student loan
RASKIN: Well, the first thing to think about when you think of student
loan debt is that it`s really an investment. It`s an investment in
So, we want to make sure that that is something that is a possibility for
people, that it`s a viable possibility and that when people take advantage
of it, they`re being given the flexibility in terms of re-payment and being
— and in terms of interest rates and being able to afford it.
EPPERSON: One of the things that has also come up in the research for the
congressional budget office is the amount of money that has been made on
student loans, $41 billion last year. And that begs the question from many
critics as to why the government is making money on these loans when the
affordability is still for many is not there and there is a potential of
default down the road and tremendous debt.
RASKIN: One thing we want to make sure we do right is that we give
students and their families the opportunity to compare so that they can
compare different educational options, and compare schools and compare
levels of debt. And do standardized comparisons across schools, across
colleges so that students are well-informed before they go into a debt
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EPPERSON: Raskin admits that the Treasury Department does not have all the
answers, but she is on a mission to make sure they ask the right questions.
She says, if we can understand the patterns that lead to delinquency and
default, we may be able to predict and even preempts such outcomes to the
benefit of borrowers, taxpayers and economic growth, Tyler.
MATHISEN: Sharon, how can the government prevent people from taking on
debt they can`t afford to repay?
EPPERSON: Well, one of the things that she says is that it needs to be a
concerted effort of colleges and universities, of the government, as well
as loan servicers, and that they need to provide tools — whether that`s
going to the Web site like the Department of Education`s Web site, to their
college score card and seeing exactly how much debt you may take out and
what type of job you may have down the road. Will that make sense for you
to take out that much of a loan?
MATHISEN: So if people take out that much debt and do ultimately get into
trouble, what is — what is the ripple through to the economy?
EPPERSON: Well, the ripple effect is what they`re concerned about, because
if you have debt and you are paying it out over a 20-year period or more,
that is in your credit report. That can impact not only your ability to
buy a home or your car loan, but even the job that you might if your credit
is impacted. So, they`re looking at those issues very carefully.
MATHISEN: Are these loans — a lot of them bundled together and
securitized and then re-sold the way home mortgages were?
EPPERSON: Well, one of the things that they`re looking at is how people
are taking out these loans and whether they`re taking out the federal
direct loans, whether they`re adding to those loans with private loans and
what they can control, and 90 percent of the loans are federal loans. But
there are also private loans out there hurting a lot of people.
MATHISEN: Interest rates on those loans, there`s always have been a
kerfuffle about when they`re going to — the rates were going to go up or
EPPERSON: Right. Well, July 1st, they always revisit. And we are
expecting that we`re going to see a lot of states, rates will go up.
MATHISEN: All right, Sharon Epperson, thanks very much. Interesting story
and a big one for this country.
EPPERSON: One we`re going to continue to follow, too, and the Web site, as
MATHISEN: We`re going to refer people to the Web site right now.
To read Sharon`s whole interview with new deputy U.S. treasury secretary
about the student loan debt dilemma, head to our Web site, NBR.com.
And that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Tyler
Thanks for watching. Have a great evening, everybody. We hope to see you
right back here tomorrow night.
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