SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Don`t let the rally
fool you. The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered higher, but it was all
because of one stock. And a closer look shows some underlying market
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: “Proud to be gay.”
And with those words, Fortune 500 CEO Tim Cook of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may
have changed the business world.
GHARIB: Stronger than expected. Economic growth exceeded
expectations in the third quarter, but can the momentum continue?
We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Thursday, October 30th.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
One day after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy was strong
enough for the Central Bank to end its latest bond-buying stimulus program.
The Dow rallied and how. The blue chips zoomed to another triple digit
gain. Powering the move today: strong corporate earnings most notably from
the credit card giant Visa (NYSE:V). It said, simply enough, that more
people charged more money on their cards, equals more money for them.
Also helping, better-than-expected economic growth last quarter and
initial jobless claims stay hovered now around 14-year lows.
Here`s how things looked at the closing bell: The Dow up a big 221
points. But the NASDAQ was only up about 17, and the S&P 500 rose a
relatively modest 12 percent.
Bob Pisani now with more on the Dow`s big rally, despite some
underlying weakness in the markets. He reports from the New York Stock
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It was a strange
day with the Dow soaring while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were only up a
little. What`s up with that? Well, what happened was Visa (NYSE:V), a Dow
component, reported terrific earnings and guidance quarters and guidance
was up about 10 percent. Because the Dow is a price-weighted index, most
of the gain in the Dow about 160 of the 221-point gain was due to Visa
Unfortunately, the rest of the market was not nearly as strong. There
were only three stocks advancing for every two declining at the New York
Stock Exchange, and the sector with the biggest gains was utilities, which
closed at an historic high. But utilities are hardly a market leader.
Elsewhere, two big sectors had terrible days, tech and energy.
Semiconductors in particular had a bad day, down several percentage points,
a smaller chip firm Intersil (NASDAQ:ISIL) reported disappointing earnings
and talk about an inventory correction in the computing market.
Oil dropped again today, and big oil got hit, particularly oil service
names like Nabors and National Oilwell Varco, exploration and production
names like Habachi (ph) were also weak.
The bottom line is, good news that the market have moved up even as
oil has dropped. It`s also impressive that the market hasn`t sold off
because the Fed was fairly optimistic in its assessment of the U.S.
economy. Now, in the past, stocks might have sold off due to fears that
higher interest rates might be coming. But that hasn`t happened yet.
Maybe the market is finally shedding some of its fears of higher rates
down the road.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock
GHARIB: More now on that strong report on the economy`s growth in the
third quarter. The gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.5 percent
during the summer months, thanks to big gains of business spending, sales
of U.S. exports and more military spending.
Steve Liesman breaks down the first look at the health of the U.S.
economy and what might be ahead.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Maybe Janet Yellen and the Fed knew something. Some eyebrows were raised
Wednesday when the Federal Reserve ended quantitative easing and spoke
confidently about the U.S. economic recovery and its policy statement,
citing solid job gains. But today, the government announced the growth
topped expectations with a 3.5 percent rise in gross domestic product.
Coming on the back of a strong second quarter, it was the best six-
month gain for the economy since the Great Recession ended. Four of the
past five quarters have seen growth north of 3 percent. And that to some
means the Fed needs to move even faster.
JOE LAVORGNA: To me, the trend is sustainable. Clearly, the economy
does not need excessive monetary policy, but we`re going to have it. We`re
going to have the Fed continuing to pursue extraordinary accommodation
until it`s obvious that inflation or inflation pressures rise. And they`re
not there yet.
LIESMAN: Yet, there were details in the GDP report that raised
questions about whether the numbers could continue. A surge in national
defense spending seems unlikely to compete. Trade added 1.3 percentage
points to the 3.5 percent number. But a strong dollar could weaken U.S.
exports. And consumer spending growth was middling in the third quarter.
It will have to accelerate in the Christmas season if the rosy economic
strength will maintain its shine.
(on camera): And all of this with economic weakness overseas, and
with the Feds next move all agree to tighten monetary policy, even though
that move may not happen until well into next year.
So, attention now turns to data for the fourth quarter, because in
this post-crisis economic world, even when you have a number above
expectations confidence runs very low. And a new round of pessimism is
just one data point away.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman.
MATHISEN: We told you about Visa`s strong earnings and outlook. Not
to be outdone, MasterCard (NYSE:MA) had a pretty strong third quarter.
Shares of the nation`s number two credit card and debit processer charged
more than 9 percent higher today after netting more than a billion dollars
in profit as consumers spend more.
GHARIB: It was just the opposite story at Citigroup (NYSE:C) and
surprising news for the bank`s investors tonight. After the market closed,
the bank sharply lowered the quarterly profits. These are profits that it
reported just two weeks ago. Citi now says it earned 88 cents a share, not
the $1.07 as reported originally. Revenue was lowered from $3.4 billion to
$2.8 billion. The bank blames the revision on a massive $600 million
increase in legal fees for regulatory inquiries and investigation.
Citigroup (NYSE:C) shares initially fell as much as 2 percent in after-
An historic day for corporate America as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim
Cook became the highest profile chief executive ever to come out,
proclaiming in a published essay that he`s proud to be gay.
So, what does it mean for Cook and the company he leads?
Josh Lipton has more.
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Apple`s CEO Tim Cook values privacy and doesn`t typically look to draw
attention to himself.
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: Great to see you.
LIPTON: But, today, Cook made a very personal and public decision.
In an op-ed, Cook wrote, “While I have not ever denied my sexuality, I
never publicly acknowledged it either until now. So, let me be clear: I`m
proud to be gay, and consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has
Apple`s board of directors applauded Cook`s statement, a sign of the
confidence they have in Cook as chief executive.
Others also see the business implications of the first CEO of a
Fortune 500 company openly declaring his sexual orientation.
TODD SEARS, OUT LEADERSHIP FOUNDER: Sixty percent of his profits come
from outside the U.S. Seventy-eight countries around the world, it`s still
illegal to be gay. And a third of those countries, punishable by death.
So, Singapore, two days ago, just reiterated that they were not going
to take away their anti-gay law. So, now, Tim Cook is openly, visibly out.
What`s Singapore going to say the next time he comes?
LIPTON: It`s an open question how the rest of the world does in fact
react to Cook`s op-ed. Still, whatever the reaction, this was an historic
day when the CEO of the world`s most valuable company said publicly and
proudly that he is a gay man.
So, why make such a statement now? Cook says that he is looking to
make a difference. If hearing that the CEO of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is gay
helps people struggling to come to terms with who they are, then it`s worth
the tradeoff he says with his own privacy.
Cook`s op-ed was not a total surprise, though. In fact, just this
week cook delivered a speech in which he called on his native state of
Alabama to do more when it comes to gay rights.
COOK: As a state, we took too long to take steps toward equality.
And once we began, our progress was too slow — too slow on equality for
African-Americans, too slow on inter-racial marriage which was only
legalized 14 years ago. And still, too slow on equality for the LGBT
LIPTON (on camera): Cook writes in his op-ed that he`ll continue to
fight for equality for all people until he says, his toes point up.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton, in Cupertino,
MATHISEN: Let`s turn to our guests to get their takes on what Tim
Cook`s personal disclosure will mean for the corporate world.
Bill George is a former CEO of Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and professor of
management at Harvard Business School, and Kara Swisher is co-executive
editor Re/code, a leading tech Web site.
Welcome to you both.
Let me begin with you, I spoke earlier today with Kara, by the way,
and asked her if this was a kind of Jackie Robinson moment. But I`m going
to pose a different kind of question to you, Bill, and that is, why has it
taken so long? Why have CEOs or board members been so hesitant to be open
about their sexuality?
BILL GEORGE, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT: I think
it is very disappointing. You know, in Minnesota, we had a big same-sex
amendment, was going to constitutionally ban this for all time. A group of
CEOs we organized in Minnesota who were willing to speak up and put their
companies on the line, like Ken Powell at General Mills (NYSE:GIS).
So, I think it has been way too long, Tyler, and the whole society. I
mean, actually, the business community in many ways is leading the way
ahead of sports and —
MATHISEN: But how can you say that, Bill, if Mr. Cook is the first of
the Fortune 500 or the first of the S&P 500 CEOs to acknowledge his
sexuality? How can that be ahead of the game?
GEORGE: Well, I can say to you that Lord John Browne, who I know
well, and served on the board member with him five years, has written a
brilliant book called “The Glass Closet”, and he did hold back and it made
me weep when I read it.
But I think more and more, the encouragement is there, the acceptance
is there. And I think within the business community, there is wide
acceptance today within the corporate world and benefits for same-sex
And so, no, I think we are actually, Tyler, moving ahead. And Tim is
a very humble, modest guy and he`s not one to say, look at me. So, this is
moving, to me, when he says, you know, this is my brick. We`re building
this brick by brick.
And I actually the momentum is really there, and even Pope Francis can
call bishops together and put a statement out. It`s moving, and I`m
encouraged. My wife Penny and I have been big supporters of trying to have
equality for everyone, and no discrimination.
GHARIB: OK, good, Bill.
Let me get Kara in this conversation.
You know, Kara, in the Silicon Valley and in the tech industry, the
attitudes towards gay rights is much more progressive. But you just heard
in the report a comment by one of the people in the story saying you know
in other countries, and Singapore was the example he gave, there are a lot
of laws against gay rights, and that this will be difficult for Tim Cook to
deal with the businesses overseas.
What are your thoughts on that?
KARA SWISHER, RE/CODE: Well, it`s not laws against gay rights. It`s
laws against gays. They`re killing them in certain countries. I mean,
it`s not just getting rights to get married or anything like that.
You know, I think he probably put it in the calculation, it doesn`t
matter. He`s got — someone has got to be a leader. And, you know, it
took him a while to do it but he did it. He is now a big leader in this
issue. He is the most prominent executive in the world, one of them and
he`s coming out and saying I`m proud of what I am. And you know I think he
just made the decision that the rest of the world has to get used to him
rather than the other way around.
MATHISEN: Kara, what was the reaction in Silicon Valley, a place that
you know so well, you know probably more people than out there than any
single person? What was the reaction today?
SWISHER: It`s positive, uniformly positive. I mean, I think, nobody
— you know, there was some back and forth on Twitter with crazy people.
But in general, the people in Silicon Valley have always been very
progressive in issues of gay rights compared to most industries. Even
though there have not been outed CEOs or out of VCs (ph) or things like
that, there has been a relative tolerance for around gay issues. And
obviously, San Francisco, the Bay Area, is one of the areas that has been
most tolerant around this country, at least.
GHARIB: Well, let me ask you the same question, Bill. I mean, how
does this admission by Tim Cook change the conversation in corporate board
rooms towards gays, towards gays and management?
GEORGE: I think it really is going to open things up. And
legitimatize the fact.
There are lots of gays. There are a lot of gays around us all the
time, whether they`re open or not, and allow people to be themselves.
My writing in “True North”, it`s the whole idea is got to be yourself.
And having something like “don`t ask, don`t tell” or hiding who you are is
an antithesis of being an authentic leader.
So, I think it`s going to open corporations in many ways where people
haven`t felt comfortable and to recognize we all have differences. And
honestly speaking, any form of discrimination, including people of sexual
preference, is legitimizing all forms of discrimination. So, I think this
is the last major one to fall and it`s moving fast and I`m excited to see
it finally going this way so we can accept people for who they are.
MATHISEN: Kara, does this disclosure by Mister — by Tim, Mr. Cook,
does it open up for LGBT individuals who might otherwise have held back,
not gone for the brass ring, out of some fear? Does it — does it now make
them feel more liberated that they can, in fact, compete in the same way
that straight people do?
SWISHER: Well, there has been gay CEOs in history.
MATHISEN: Of course.
SWISHER: And there`d been gay everything in history, it has just been
I think it allows you to be yourself. Like, you know, there are a lot
of stories about not talking about your spouse and partner and colleagues
being able to, not being able to reveal yourself totally. Now, the work
place, you don`t do a lot of personal stuff but there is a personal element
to the work place and I think if people know a little bit more about your
life and you become more of a human, you`re a better leader.
And, you know, it`s a lie when you are just closeted. It just is.
And so, anytime you do — you know, when you`re in the closet and you`re
not fully revealing yourself, you`re not being as good a leader as you can.
And I think probably Cook has — people at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) did know
about this, his friends did know about it. But this puts a real stake in
the ground in terms of the next step is that we all have to talk about it.
And it is fine.
And I think people below Tim Cook, not at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), because
I think Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a hugely tolerant place, but in other
companies, can now look up and say, you know, why am I doing this? And
what`s the cost to me for doing this?
MATHISEN: Kara, thanks very much.
GEORGE: Tyler —
MATHISEN: Bill, one final very quick thought, Bill.
GEORGE: Six years ago, I wrote the first case ever at Harvard
Business, I was shocked there were no cases about people coming out, about
a woman who came out at Verizon (NYSE:VZ). And, you know, it`s interesting
— it encouraged people to be who they are. And we`ve just got — Tyler,
we`ve just got to encourage people always to be who they are. And I think
this is just an important step that we`re moving in the right direction.
MATHISEN: Great —
GEORGE: Finally, it`s too late.
MATHISE: Great conversation, Bill George of Harvard Business School,
Kara Swisher at Re/code — thanks a lot.
GHARIB: And still ahead on the program, how Kroger (NYSE:KR), a major
player in the increasingly competitive grocery business, has defied the
odds and pushed back the competition. That story is next.
GHARIB: While Walmart being the nation`s biggest seller of groceries,
supermarket chain Kroger (NYSE:KR) is eating its lunch, posting 43 straight
quarters of sales growth. How does Kroger (NYSE:KR) do it?
Sara Eisen has more.
SARA EISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight
million customers per day, more than 2,600 stores and nearly $100 billion
in annual sales. Kroger (NYSE:KR) has defied the odds and the competition
to become America`s second biggest grocer behind Walmart. How? It was
early to bring in natural and organic food and it lowered prices to match
Walmart and compete with Whole Foods.
RODNEY MCMULLEN, KROGER CEO: What`s really our associates are doing
it, and improving and our associates do a great job every day of improving
our customer`s experience. And they do that in terms of the shopping, the
products that we offer. And when you look at all those things together,
plus a great price, it`s just really done a great job.
EISEN: The stock has more than doubled in the last year, driven by 43
straight quarters of sales growth.
CEO Rodney McMullen is investing in new stores and e-commerce, to keep
the momentum going and stay ahead of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fresh and others.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) is also benefitting from a recovering consumer, and
cheaper gas prices at the pump.
MCMULLEN: If you look at from a digital standpoint, when we merged
with Harris (NYSE:HRS) Teeter, they had a very strong click and collect
operation that we`re now testing in the store here in Cincinnati, and we`ll
start rolling that out. We merged with a company called Vitacost where we
can deliver to home. So, it`s — and we have an app that`s one of the best
class in Apps that`s having 50 percent to 100 percent growth.
EISEN: Another key that distinguishes Kroger (NYSE:KR) is its own
soon-to-be billion dollar Simple Truth brand of organic products. It is
set to double over the next five years, according to McMullen, because the
entire consumer shift to healthy for you better foods is here to stay.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sara Eisen.
MATHISEN: No caffeine buzz for shares of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) late
today. And that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”
After the closing bell, shares of the world`s biggest coffee chain
fell on disappointing fourth quarter sales. And the company says the
outlook for the first quarter isn`t much better. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)
blamed softer traffic. After the bell, shares initially tumbled about 5
percent — you see it on the chart right there — at one point. During
regular trading the stock rose 1 percent to $77.32.
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) beat on the top and bottom lines. The career-
focused social network saw its membership rise in the last quarter, above
what analysts expected, but the company gave a lackluster fourth-quarter
forecast. Shares were volatile after hours, there you see it. Before the
close, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) almost 2 percent higher at $202.90.
Cigna hiked its earnings outlook for the year after it reported strong
results. The health insurer said its performance was driven by growth in
premiums and fees as it added new customers. The CEO says he expects that
growth to continue. Shares popped $3.10 to $97.10.
GHARIB: “The New York Times (NYSE:NYT)” says higher circulation
revenue helped it narrow its loss in the third quarter, but advertising
sales continued to decline. The paper is also projecting a further decline
in those ad sales for the current quarter. That disappointed investors.
Shares fell about 5 percent to $12.74.
Avon reported a profit for its third quarter that topped estimates,
but revenue came in below expectations. The cosmetic firm blamed weak
foreign exchange rates and higher supply chain costs. Shares tumbled 9
percent to $9.97.
Two very different companies made their Wall Street debuts today.
Boot Barn, this is a Western footwear and apparel company priced 5 million
shares at $16 a piece, raising $80 million. Fifth Street Asset Management,
this is a credit focused asset manager, sold 6 million shares at $17 each.
But look at how the shares turned out — Boot Barn rose 9 percent to
$17.45. Fifth Street tumbled 21 percent to $13.37.
Shares of Trulia fell today as investors reacted to a disappointing
quarterly profit. The real estate Web site operator reported a loss that
met estimates, but sales came in weaker than forecast. Shares fell
slightly to $44.34. Zillow, which will acquire Trulia, also saw its shares
fall, down 1 percent.
MATHISEN: The real estate watchers wondered why Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Capital, an equity fund backed by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), put $50 million
into Auction.com last March. Today, the answer was revealed. And it`s all
about the speed of information.
Diana Olick has the story.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It
is the power of the very public search. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) using your
search data to determine home sales, put it together with proprietary data
from Auction.com, and you get not a forecast but a now-cast.
RICK SHARGA, AUCTION.COM EXEC. VP: This now cast is about as close to
real time data as you can get. We`re looking at ongoing real-time search
OLICK: It`s the brain child of Google`s chief economist who says that
by using Google`s search terms and overlaying them onto auction sales data,
they can predict monthly home sales numbers about a month faster than the
(on camera): And why is that so important? Because knowledge is
power — for buyers, sellers, investors, government, even real estate
agents, knowing what is going on behind the closed doors of the housing
market can translate into big money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last and final count for $84,000.
OLICK (voice-over): Auction does a very small fraction of the
nation`s home sales but they do auctions almost every day. The realtors
are involved with a much larger share of home sales. Auction says they
have tested the model going back 10 years and they claim they`re very close
to the realtor numbers — and usually beat consensus forecast.
SHARGA: It`s not a question of Auction.com having more data. It`s a
question of Auction.com having more timely data.
OLICK: The realtors didn`t want to go on camera but told us they will
keep an eye on it, adding, “We stick by our data and believe it is most
representative of the market” — a market that has always been driven by
the search and never more so than today.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick, in Washington.
MATHISEN: Coming up, King James is back in Cleveland. And with that,
a one-man economic stimulus plan. What his return means to the local
MATHISEN: It`s the first lawsuit of its kind related to the Ebola
crisis. A California law firm is suing consumer products giant Kimberly-
Clark (NYSE:KMB), claiming it committed fraud by marketing and selling some
surgical gowns as protection against Ebola. The class action suit says the
gowns failed industry tests and don`t meet protection standards against the
disease, putting patients and health care workers at risk. The firm is
asking for more than a half billion dollars in damages. Kimberly-Clark
(NYSE:KMB) declined to comment on the suit.
GHARIB: Baseball`s World Series is now over and the new NBA season
has begun. And tonight, with the return of superstar LeBron James, a new
era begins for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and for the city`s beaten down
So, how much does the return of the King James mean for the city?
Morgan Brennan has more from Cleveland.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
The king is back in Cleveland. Tonight, the four-time MVP LeBron James
will take the court in his triumphant return as a Cleveland Cavalier.
LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: I am going to be extremely excited
and happy to be back on this floor. There`s going to be a special moment,
you know, and we can`t take it for granted. You don`t get moments like
this. They don`t come around every day.
BRENNAN: The city that angrily mourned when the basketball star left
for the Miami Heat four years ago is enthusiastically welcoming him home.
And it is not just fans.
ED FITZGERALD, CUYAHOGA COUNTY EXECUTIVE: They will sell out I`m sure
every single game. So, that creates jobs, but also in bars, restaurants
and hotels because their numbers go up. So, some of it directly, we`re
getting. There is all the ripple effect and the spinoff. And that`s
harder to calculate, but it`s a significant amount of money.
BRENNAN: Cleveland businesses are already seeing an impact, hotels
receiving more advanced reservations and restaurants are booked solid.
JUDE FEYEDELEM: We`re definitely starting to see an up-tick in
traffic on this. Previously on Cavs home games, we`d have a good showing.
And people are definitely coming into the games. But now, these games
really turn into more of a social event.
BRENNAN: Economists project the effect could add anywhere from $50
million to half a billion dollars to the local economy.
(on camera): Ticket prices for home games have surged, the highest in
the league on the secondary market. And both Cavs and James merchandise
have spiked, becoming the top selling items for the entire NBA.
LEN KOMOROSKI, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS CEO: The spotlight of the world is
on Cleveland. It`s something as well. That`s something that money can`t
buy, and it`s helping to change the dialogue about our city.
BRENNAN (voice-over): Now, the only question is, can LeBron James and
his new teammates deliver?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cleveland, number one.
BRENNAN: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan, in
GHARIB: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. Thanks so
much for watching. I`m Susie Gharib.
MATHISEN: Cleveland`s own Susie Gharib.
I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great evening, everybody. We`ll see you
Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at http://nbr.com. The program is transcribed by CQRC
Transcriptions, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of
our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent
the views of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented
on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as
investment advice. (c) 2014 CNBC, Inc.