SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Targeted and precise.
President Obama says taking action in Iraq is still an option, sending
shockwaves through the oil and gas market.
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Inflation nation.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen called the latest data noisy. But how
concerned should consumers and investors be about rising prices?
GHARIB: And, big miss. Oracles` earnings disappoint. The stock
tumbles an after-hours trading, and there`s one key takeaway from the
report investors need to watch.
We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Thursday, June 19th.
Good evening, everyone. I`m Susie Gharib.
GRIFFETH: And I`m Bill Griffeth, in tonight for Tyler Mathisen.
Always glad to be here with you here, Susie.
GHARIB: Same here.
GRIFFETH: Chaos in Iraq has created turmoil in the oil and gas
markets, as you know. And today, President Obama was very clear — the
United States will increase support for Iraqi security forces but he
reiterated that American forces will not be returning to combat. The
president`s comments came as the Iraqi government tried to prevent an
advance into Baghdad by Sunni militants.
And while the president spoke, oil prices continued to rise. Brent
topped $115 a barrel during the day for the first time this year, while
west Texas intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, rose a fraction to $106.43 a
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is on the ground tonight in Iraq.
MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: After
many consultations with his national security team over the last week,
President Obama said today he is willing to take limited military action in
Iraq, but only under certain circumstances.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because of our increase
intelligence resources, we`re developing more information about potential
targets associated with ISIL. In going forward, we`ll take targeted and
precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the
ground requires it.
CARUSO-CABRERA: He was quick to follow-up and say the number of
personnel would be limited to 300 military advisors.
OBAMA: American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq
CARUSO-CABRERA: As he spoke, the battle for Iraq`s largest oil
refinery in Beiji raged on. “The Associated Press” taking photos of smoke
rising from the facility and of militants controlling check points and a
seized Iraqi Humvee.
With the Baiji refinery still inoperative, gas lines have grown even
longer in the neighboring region of Kurdistan where hopeful buyers waited
hours and hours in line in 110-degree heat. This refinery in Kurdistan is
operating at full tilt, but has the capacity to process only 100,000
barrels of crude oil per day, not enough to offset the 300,000 barrels
worth of capacity lost at Baiji.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Northern Iraq.
GHARIB: Now, the violence in Iraq is one reason why gasoline prices
here in the U.S. are unusually high for this time of year, and experts say
they could keep going up.
Morgan Brennan has more on what drivers can expect when they fill up
at the pump.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Gas prices are rising.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s expensive, though. They`re up.
BRENNAN: With the national average hitting $3.68 today according to
AAA. It`s the highest price for this time of year since 2008 when gas
topped $4 a gallon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a lot more money. I mean, I travel everybody
and the company I work for, they pay a lot in gas. So, it could affect our
paychecks even more.
BRENNAN: The increase is largely thanks to the crisis in Iraq as the
country`s biggest refinery goes offline and oil companies like ExxonMobil
(NYSE:XOM) evacuate workers. That`s driven the international price of
crude oil higher and with it, U.S. gasoline.
MICHAEL GREEN, AAA: It`s pretty much guaranteed at this point that
gas prices are going to continue rising over the next few days given the
fact that oil costs more and makes it more expensive to produce gasoline.
BRENNAN: Gas prices typically peak in the spring, as refineries go
offline for maintenance, and drop lower in the summer, just in time for
peak driving season. But analysts project that prices could keep climbing
this summer. AAA says that won`t cut into American`s vacation plans but it
may affect other kinds of purchases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less eating out, for sure. More cooking at home,
BRENNAN: Another factor that could push gas higher, a new bipartisan
Senate proposal that would increase the federal tax on a gallon of gas from
18 cents to 30 cents over the next two years.
(on camera): But with many in Washington facing midterm elections,
passage of this proposal could be an uphill battle. Still, drivers can
expect to feel more pain at the pump this summer.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Fort Lee, New
GRIFFETH: And on Wall Street, a slight gain on stocks was enough to
send the S&P 500 further into record territory. It rose for the fifth
straight session, along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which at the
close gained almost 15 points to 16,921. The S&P was up 2 1/2 to 1,959.
The NASDAQ, other direction, it fell by three points to $43.59.
And investors flocked into gold today big time, sending prices up
about 3 percent, back above $1,300 an ounce. One reason cited, the
sentiment toward interest rates in yesterday`s Federal Reserve statement.
GHARIB: Well, it`s not just gold and gasoline prices that are rising,
but just about everything. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen didn`t seem
overly concerned about it at yesterday`s news conference, but today, some
economists say she`s too complacent. They are worried.
So, how concerned should you be about inflation?
Steve Liesman reports.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
You can smell it in the grocery store and you can smell it on an airplane.
And, of course, you can smell it these days at the gas station? The odor?
It`s faint whip of inflation walking through the economy.
Since February inflation marched steadily higher from 1.1 percent to
the latest reading of 2 percent compared to a year ago in May. It`s low by
historical standards but in this economy, it hurts consumers more because
wages are rising so slowly and there could be more to come. The latest
geopolitical uncertainty in Iraq has driven up prices, meaning it could
cost more soon to fill up your car.
Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve, whose job it is to
fight inflation thinks it`s all just temporary. The Fed is calling for a
gradual rise in prices over the next several years to its 2 percent target.
JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: I think recent readings on, for
example, the CPI (NYSE:CPY) Index, have been a bit on the high side, but I
think it`s the data that we`re seeing is noisy. I think it`s important to
remember that broadly speaking, inflation is evolving in line with the
LIESMAN: But some economists aren`t so sure it`s noise. They are
more worried about recent price gains.
IAN SHEPHERDSON, ECONOMIST: It is noisy, but there is stuff going on
that I think that kind of deliberately downplayed. I`m worried now they`re
going to find themselves blind-sided as inflation picks up further to the
second half of the year, and then they`re going to have to scramble and
that`s when the markets get upset.
LIESMAN: To be sure, the Fed tends to look through events and it was
right not to react to price gains in 2011 and 2012 as they gave way to
lower inflation in 2013.
Yellen said she`s not going to worry much about inflation unless wages
rise. Even then, wages have been stagnant for so long, they`d have to rise
a lot to get the attention of the Fed chair.
The trouble is that if the inflation hangs around and keeps rising,
the Fed may not be able to ignore the smell for very long.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
GRIFFETH: Well, certainly, inflation is something that investors also
need to pay attention to.
Dominic Chu now looks at what rising prices could mean to your
DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When
it comes to the stock market, certain sectors and industries will fair
better than others in an inflationary environment.
MARIAN KESSLER, BECKER CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Consumer stocks are very
good for a bit of inflation, a little bit of pricing power. Industrial
stocks are excellent as well as energy stocks. The stocks probably least
likely to perform well would be financial stocks, utilities that really
depend on a short term market.
CHU: But the story doesn`t end with the stock market. Gold is also
on the rise as investors buy it as protection against inflation and
geopolitical unrest in Iraq. As a result, gold mining stocks have been a
recent beneficiary. One exchange that tracks the industry has been
languishing over the past year but has surged around 17 percent in just the
last two weeks alone.
Other assets like bonds could also see a big impact from inflationary
environment. Bonds tend to lose value in times of rising prices and rising
KESSLER: I think the bond market is a risky place, and I think people
don`t realize how risky bonds can be. If you look back at 1994, for
example, the Fed raised rates seven times during the course of that year
and bonds actually lost people quite a lot of money.
CHU: Of course, just because the recent trend has been for higher
prices, that doesn`t mean everyone thinks it`s a longer term phenomenon.
BERNARD HORN: We actually think the developed world anyway is in a
period of sustained deflation and the companies that have been very
successful for us in that environment are those that are driving their
costs down lower and selling products that can actually save their
CHU (on camera): So, regardless of what you have in your portfolio,
many experts believe that now is the time to get a game plan in case, just
in case inflation becomes a bigger problem.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu.
GHARIB: Some positive news for people looking to buy a home and get a
mortgage. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell slightly
from the prior rate to 4.17 percent. That`s hovering near historic lows.
GRIFFETH: Well, certainly, one person who closely watches mortgage
rates and all kinds of interest rates and their impact on both consumers
and American businesses would be Frank Keating. He`s currently president
and CEO of the American Bankers Association. Of course, he`s former
governor of Oklahoma as well.
Governor Keating, good to see you again, sir. Welcome.
FRANK KEATING, AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION CEO & PRESIDENT: Thanks,
Bill. Susie, hi.
GRIFFETH: Do you think that the housing market right now is in such a
state where it could withstand an appreciable rise in interest rates?
KEATING: Well, I think the artificially low rates and very low rates
for first-time home buyers, single family home loans, I think those could
go up and people still would find the price of a house and the rate to
borrow to buy that house to be appropriate. The difficulty is that the
house price itself is going up, even though the rates themselves are still
low, and I think attractively low, so a combination of rising house prices,
a modest recovery, obviously, young people with a lot of student loan debt
and very rigged mortgage rules, we`ve seen less activity than we would like
to see but this is a great time, this month is a housing month in America
is a good time to buy a house with very, very low rates.
GHARIB: And yet, Governor Keating, we always hear from people
anecdotally that how tough it is to get a loan, even if you have a good
credit score and you have a good credit history. From the big things that
you talk to the regional banks you talk to, do you see any of that changing
anytime soon in terms of qualifying borrowers to get a mortgage or any kind
of interest rates or loan?
KEATING: Well, I think all of us know that the only way a bank makes
money is by making loans. They pay their employees, they pay their
stockholders as the result of making loans. But the rules the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau has applied to this industry, the qualified
mortgage who are requiring 42 percent debt to income, there are a lot of
people that simply can`t meet that.
To be a QM loan, for example, you have your dad or mother co-sign the
loan, to do some creative financing and have the owner collateralize a
portion of it. That`s not a QM loan. So, what we`re looking for is some
sanities perhaps too extreme a word, but some understanding, some
creativity and opportunity to really look at the borrower and get creative
about the financing. But if we could do that, then I think you would see a
lot more housing activity.
GRIFFETH: There are those who feel there is a dire trend going on,
and you eluded to it with those young people who are saddled with the
student loan debt, you know, which totals more than a trillion dollars
these days, there are those who feel maybe there is a lost generation
that`s not going to be able to afford a home for years to come.
Do you think that`s the case? And what do you think that does for
housing down the road?
KEATING: Well, the first home I bought was a duplex actually when I
was 27. Today, it would be 37. Young people my age back then, we all were
trying to buy houses in our mid to late 20s, but now, you can add five,
six, or seven years to that.
Now, why is that? Well, student loan debts are part of it. The
absence of creative financing, the expense of a home compared to your
income back then and you`re income now, it`s a much higher percentage of
income but it still is a savings account.
I think a home is a great investment long-term and I would hope that
we would get some rationality in some regulations so young people would
have a shot at it, because right now, they don`t. And they may have to
wait until they are 37 to get their first home.
GRIFFETH: Yes, that`s about the case. Former Governor Frank Keating
now with the ABA, thanks for joining us.
KEATING: Fair enough.
GRIFFETH: You bet.
GHARIB: Still ahead on the program, investors in retailer Coach
(NYSE:COH) are looking for signs of a turnaround, and today, they got just
the opposite. Details on why the stock was one of the worst performers on
the S&P 500. That`s coming up.
GRIFFETH: Well, a big miss for Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). After the
closing bell tonight, the company reported earnings and revenue that were
below Wall Street expectations. The company earned 92 cents a share in the
fourth quarter. That was 3 cents below estimates. Revenue came in at
$11.3 billion, also, slightly below what analysts were looking for.
And investors as a result sold the stock in after hours trade tonight
pushing shares sharply lower in those extended hours down on the day.
Seema Mody has been following that story and has the latest right now.
What do you see as one of the key takeaways for investors on that
SEEMA MODY, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bill, this
is a disappointing report from Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), particularly sales of
new software licenses coming in lower than expected. Keep in mind — large
cap text stocks like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) have been in favor this year. In
fact, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) up about 8 percent over the past six months but
due to those disappointing reports, specifically around software licenses,
you`re starting to see investors question the investment thesis around old
Now, while the bulls are saying Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) is still sitting
on a lot of cash, it offers a dividend and it`s buying back stocks. So,
that in itself is a reason to stick with old cap text, some experts say.
So, expect to see this debate come to light in the coming days around
whether old cap text is a good investment.
Back to you.
GRIFFETH: All right. Seema, thank you.
And Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and its rival SAP are two companies that
battle it out over day in the business world. We would compare those two
in our ultimate stock cup. That`s a little bit later in the program
GHARIB: A big sell off in Coach (NYSE:COH) after the luxury retailer
gave investors a gloomy outlook. And that`s where we begin tonight`s
At it`s investor day meeting today in New York City, Coach (NYSE:COH)
said it expects revenue to decline in the low double digits for fiscal
2015. Coach (NYSE:COH) also plans to close 70 of its underperforming
stores. The stock tumbled almost 9 percent to $35.69.
Well, it was the opposite story for BlackBerry. Shares of the
smartphone maker surged after reporting a smaller than expected loss and
revenue that beat estimates. The company says it spent less cash than
expected and its gross profit margins were up from last year.
Blackberry`s CEO John Chen says the turnaround plan is right on track.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CHEN, BLACKBERRY CEO: I have confidence we can break even or
actually make money off the devices. Next fiscal year, we should start
seeing the turn to profitability by growing. So, today, I`m focusing on
balance sheets. I`m focusing on generating cash.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: The stock popped more than 9.5 percent to $9.09.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) also out with strong earnings. The supermarket chain
reported a 4 percent jump in first quarter profit. It also upped its
earnings forecast for the year. Shares rose almost 5 percent to $49.66.
And shares of Pier 1 plunged after its quarterly results missed
estimates. The retailer cut its guidance for the year and warned of
continue margin pressures because of a highly promotional environment. The
stock tumbled 13 percent to $15.86.
GRIFFETH: Well, financial information company Markit saw its shares
jump in its trading debut today. The initial public offering raised more
than $1 billion after pricing its shares at $24 a share. That was in the
expected range. Company provides pricing and reference data as well as
index and evaluation services. The stock rose 11 percent in its debut to
Meanwhile, billionaire investor Carl Icahn is at it again. Now, he`s
calling for Family Dollar to put itself up for sale immediately. Mr. Icahn
disclosed a stake in Dollar store chain earlier this month. He said that
an overwhelming number of the company shareholders would be in favor of a
sale and that three of his representatives should be added to Family
Shares were down a fraction during the regular session today to $68.14
but after-hours, when that letter from Icahn was released, as you can
imagine, the stock jumped at that point.
We have another update on General Electric`s multi-dollar offer to buy
Alstom`s energy business. G.E. has now presented a revised proposal to the
French government and under these new terms, G.E. would form three new
joint ventures and would sell its signaling business to the Alstom group
for an undisclosed price. The deadline for the offer to be accepted or
rejected now is June 23rd. Sales of G.E. rose a fraction today to $26.93.
GHARIB: An agreement reached today in New York state to legalize
medical marijuana on a limited scope. Governor Cuomo and legislative
leaders agreed to make certain forms of the drug available to patients who
suffer from diseases such as cancer and AIDS. But it won`t legalize
smokable forms of the drug.
GRIFFETH: What deserves a patent and what doesn`t? The Supreme Court
made that a little clearer today. The justices rule that you cannot take
an idea, that`s not that original, figure out how to do it on a computer
and patent it. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said a company
called Alice Corp should not have been issued a patent because the company
took an idea that had been around for years and ran it through a computer.
GHARIB: Also in Washington today, a new leadership comes to the House
of Representatives. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from
California, was selected to serve as the next House majority leader.
McCarthy was chosen in an unusual election that was triggered by the
surprising defeat of outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise will become majority whip. That`s
a post left vacant by McCarthy`s promotion.
GRIFFETH: Coming up, soccer fans, of course, have the World Cup.
Well, investors have NBR`s stock cup? And tonight, we compare Oracle
(NASDAQ:ORCL) and SAP, two of the business world`s biggest rivals.
GHARIB: The U.S. and Germany are looking to advance in the World Cup
and will battle each other on the field next week. So, tonight in NBR`s
ultimate stock cup, we`re looking at the U.S. versus Germany in a different
way, the rivalry of two software giants, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) versus SAP.
GHARIB (voice-over): The flamboyant Larry Ellison, one of the
wealthiest people, twice a college dropout and twice a winner of the
America`s Cup, co-founded a software company in 1977. It later became
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). Now headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, its
2013 revenue, more than $37 billion.
The company was formed to build a database manager for the CIA, a
project code named Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). That work changed the way
businesses do business. When corporate IT departments run into trouble,
they call Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
Its programs have simplified inventory, shipping and supply chain
issues, and it`s the world`s second biggest software maker after Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT). Since 2004, it`s focused on enterprise software tailored to
individual businesses. That`s where oracle competes with SAP, systems
applications and products in data processing.
Founded in 1972 by five engineers who left IBM, it`s headquarters in
Waldorf, Germany. 2013 sales topped $22 billion. Its key innovation,
creating large data programs for financial accounting, helping to move the
world past the days of punch card.
Now, SAP, like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), is finding growth not but forging
a new world but by adapting, reaching into the Cloud, mobile and finding
ways to handle big data.
GHARIB: Dan Morgan weighs in on the Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)/SAP rivalry.
He`s senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust.
So, Dan, who is a stronger player here? And what`s the key reason for
DAN MORGAN, SYNOVUS TRUST: We are holders of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
We have over a million shares of the stock, that`s the stock that we`ve
been involved with from an investment perspective. Kind of going back to
things you featured in terms of their dominance in the relational database
One of the key things is their ability to acquire other companies and
obviously, the Cloud is a big issue going forward, who can get there
quicker is going to be the winner between these two companies.
GRIFFETH: Who does? I mean, you know, smaller more nimble companies,
Salesforce and other have beaten them to the Cloud and in many cases. So,
are they playing catch-up? Or what do you think?
MORGAN: Well, they are being forced to go to a subscription model as
opposed to licensing model. And both of these companies are trying to get
And, you know, the key is, you know, who can get there the quickest in
terms of either acquiring it or building it internally. And you`re right,
Bill, both companies are forced to go into areas they could not normally
want to go into but they have to.
GHARIB: So, Dan, you talk about acquisition within, Oracle
(NASDAQ:ORCL) has done hundreds of acquisitions, SAP just the opposite
(AUDIO GAP). Which is the smarter strategy?
MORGAN: Well, that`s why we like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). They have
such a great history of acquiring companies. Your viewers probably
remember people saw the big deal they did to get into enterprise resource
planning software to compete directly against SAP, you know, 10, 15 years
ago. So, that`s a prime example.
It`s two different strategies. We just favor the strategy of
acquisition. They have done a great job in terms of — when they are done
with the acquisition integrating the new company. And that`s a big part of
why we`re more bullish towards Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
GRIFFETH: How much of this is about Larry Ellison, as well?
MORGAN: Well, the Larry Ellison — you know, I don`t want to go there
in terms of his ego. But, yes, it`s a lot about Larry Ellison and he`s
been there forever and he`s a good CEO.
GRIFFETH: But he won`t be there forever. That`s the question.
MORGAN: Well, yes, that`s true.
GRIFFETH: He may tell you differently but —
MORGAN: He will live forever, right, Bill?
GRIFFETH: Right, right.
MORGAN: But you`re right. But he should be able to help them through
this transition into the Cloud. And, you know, you probably have read some
highlights out of SAP. They lost some key people over the last couple
months in their initiative in the Cloud, and that`s something their CEOs
had to really answer for.
GHARIB: You know, both Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and SAP were the big
innovators, way back in the `70s, `80s, and `90s. But looking ahead in the
next 10 years, are they going to be the innovators or is it going to — are
they going to have a place on the global stage or are they going to be over
taken by the upstarts that Bill was eluding to, Salesforce, Workday,
companies like that?
MORGAN: Well, they are the mature cash cow companies. And you`re
right, it does appear that some of these other companies be them to the
But we have to remember, that they have huge instillation bases.
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) has 400,000 customers. So, they have an advantage
over Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and Workday because they have such built in
customer base that they can then leverage to sell these products they
create. So, they do have an advantage for that perspective. But you`re
right, they are a little bit behind in terms of catching upright now.
GHARIB: All right. Dan, thank you so much. Dan Morgan —
MORGAN: OK, thank you.
GHARIB: — with Synovus Trust.
GRIFFETH: All right. So you just heard which stock our guest
prefers. Now, we want to hear from you. Is it Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) or
SAP? You can vote on our Web site at NBR.com.
And in the meantime, we have the results from Tuesday`s challenge
where we asked you to choose between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. The
winner, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) by a wide margin, 66 percent of you chose Apple
GHARIB: I`m not surprised.
GRIFFETH: I`m not surprised, either.
GHARIB: And our guest that we had on that subject, David Garrity also
said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the one.
GRIFFETH: Back on the rise again. That`s it.
GHARIB: That`s it for us, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight.
Thanks for joining us. I`m Susie Gharib.
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening, everybody. We
will see you tomorrow.
Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
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