TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Goldilocks price?
Crude oil tops $60 a barrel. Is it the perfect level to keep producers,
frackers and consumers happy?
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Possible courtship.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reportedly thinking about buying Salesforce.com
(NYSE:CRM). But why would it want to?
MATHISEN: Redefining your golden years. Why traditional retirement
may be a think of the past. All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS
REPORT for Tuesday, May 5th.
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
A triple-digit loss for the Dow Jones Industrial average as bond
yields rise and oil prices break $60 a barrel, a key psychological level.
West Intermediate hit its highest levels of the year on continued unrest in
the Middle East and news that Saudi Arabia had raised its official selling
price. Oil closed higher by 2 1/2 percent at $60.40 per barrel, its
highest settlements since December, and up more than 20 percent over the
Jackie DeAngelis has more on the upward swing in prices and where they
maybe headed next.
JACKIE DEANGELIS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Crude prices appear to be defying gravity amidst global oversupply.
Today`s spike fueled by geopolitics, concerns again in the Middle East as a
crucial Libyan port was closed by protesters, and as Saudi strikes in Yemen
ANTHONY GRISANTI, GRZ: Technically, the crude oil market was showing
a lot of strength, but we needed to get above $60. When you look at the
geopolitical factors, the supply situation improving, the problems that we
have with Libya, production flat lining in the U.S., that was the factor
that we need to take it technically above $60.
DEANGELIS: Crude has been flirting with the $60 level for several
days. But every time it almost got there, it was shut down. What`s
different and will that strength continue?
GRISANTI: I think now that we are over $60, we`ll stay there at least
for the summer because we usually get a lot of demand for products in the
summer, gasoline and diesel. And that`s made out of crude oil. I could
see a very strong summer for crude oil. I could see us trading $65 to $67
by Memorial Day.
DEANGELIS (on camera): The timing of crude`s recent move coincides
with the start of summer diving season. Now, typically, there is a lag
between a spike in crude and the price at the pump, but this 20 percent
jump that we`ve seen in the last month alone has taken gas prices up to
$2.63, according to AAA. That`s up almost a quarter from just a month ago.
(voice-over): While gas prices tend to rise seasonally at this time
of year, traders agree it is a quick jump considering Memorial Day is still
more than two weeks away. On the relative basis, gas prices average $3.67
at this time last year.
So, consumers are still saving but the gas is closing in — just in
time before vacationers hit the road.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jackie DeAngelis.
MATHISEN: And with the recent recovery in oil prices, many want to
know exactly what Saudi Arabia, world`s largest crude exporter, thinks of
the market right now?
And Hadley Gamble spoke to that country`s oil minister today at a
conference in Riyadh.
HADLEY GAMBLE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Oil prices
punching above $60 a barrel today for the first time since last year, but
according to the Saudi Arabia`s oil minister, no one can set prices except
the law. And in an exclusive interview, 20-year veteran minister Ali Al-
Naimi told us he isn`t worried about what a nuclear deal with Tehran could
mean for the market and stopped short of predicting where prices are going
to go next.
ALI AL-NAIMI, SAUDI ARABIAN OIL MINISTER: I`m not worried about Iran
crude, nor would I try to predict where the prices. If I were to predict,
I would you be somewhere else, gambling.
GAMBLE: With several oil crisis already under his belt, Mr. Al-Naimi
led the move by OPEC last November to cut production, a calculated gamble
by the kingdom to maintain market share, one which some analysts say has
yet to pay off. But a recent government reshuffle inside of the kingdom
brings in new and younger blood, and rumors have surfaced about the fate of
Saudi Arabia`s oil oracle. The 33-year-old Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad
bin Salman this week announced a restructuring of state oil giant Aramco,
the world`s largest oil company. Many say it`s a first step in a long road
to privatization for that company and it`s a move that separates Aramco
from the ministry of oil.
So, who might fill Mr. al-Naimi`s shoes, well, there are rumors that
one of the king`s other sons might take over as the head of oil ministry
and, of course, that would be a break with precedent.
In the meantime, Mr. al-Naimi seems to be taking everything in stride.
When we caught up with him today, he was in a very good mood. He`s usually
quite standoffish with the press. He was happy to see us here in Riyadh in
his way to a big meeting of Gulf Arab leaders. On the table: certainly,
the talks in Yemen. They`re certainly going to be talking about Iran, Iraq
and what`s happening in Syria.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hadley Gamble in Riyadh.
HERERA: Now with some more insight on the oil markets and whether or
not $60 oil is the right that makes everybody from oil producers to
consumers happy is John Kilduff. He is founding partner of Again Capital.
Good to see you again, John. Welcome back.
JOHN KILDUFF, AGAIN CAPITAL: Good evening, Sue.
HERERA: So, is $60 the magic number?
KILDUFF: Well, it`s an interesting thought that actually came to me
from y`all. It could be. It is enough certainly I think to sustain U.S.
producers and frackers who are hanging on by a thread, and they will
continue to hang on by a thread at $60 a barrel. And it`s also I think
that I think expensive enough at the pump to make people appreciative and
not necessarily being wasteful of what is really a precious resource.
KILDUFF: So, it`s a good one in two ways that way.
MATHISEN: I have been feeling, as I`m 60 years old, that 60 is the
new 40. So, maybe this is true, that 60 is the new 30.
MATHISEN: But here is the question. You know, oil prices tend in the
spring to go up as the driving season in the U.S. accelerates, and gas
prices do that. Is this sort of — is this as temporary a blip up as $42,
$43 was a temporary blip down?
KILDUFF: I think it may well be, Tyler. The past several years in
particular, we`ve seen the gas prices rally right now, and they actually
hit their peak just before Memorial Day.
MATHISEN: Right before Memorial Day.
KILDUFF: And then actually come down all summer long, particularly as
the vacation schedule ends which it does for the rest of the country as
early as mid to late July. So, and the pressure then comes off, the
inventories, the storage of gasoline, and takes sort of the heat out of the
worries and we go into the shoulder season as the market then sort of —
MATHISEN: Is that what you expect this year?
KILDUFF: I do. I feel very much so.
All of the elements that got us in place to get us down towards $43 a
barrel remain and await to re-emerge again here over the course of the next
HERERA: So, you do ultimately expect oil to go back down?
KILDUFF: I do, I do. As a matter of fact, if these prices were to
continue to rally as we were hearing in some of the packages to over $65 a
barrel, there is about 500,000 barrels of fracked oil waiting to hit the
market at that price level. So, we have that cap.
We also have the Iran situation progressing. They are dying to get
their oil back on to the market and they have buyers who want it very
desperately — China, South Korea, Japan, really desire some Iranian oil
and want it back in their system.
HERERA: John, thank you, as always.
KILDUFF: Thank you.
HERERA: John Kilduff with Again Capital.
MATHISEN: Well, stocks close sharply lower as investors kept an eye
on rising bond yields, some mixed economic data and renewed worries about
Greece`s bailout. The Dow lost 142 points. It finished at 17,928, the
NASDAQ shed 77, and the S&P 500 was down by 25, more than 1 percent.
Now, about those rising yields, look at the 10-year note now stands
above 2.1 percent, almost 2.2 percent.
HERERA: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) possibly evaluating a takeover bid
for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM). According to Bloomberg, no deal is imminent
and there are no talks between the two companies, but still, the report
sent sales of Salesforce higher, while Dow component Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) ended lower.
Josh Lipton looks at the potential benefits and costs of such a get-
JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) really is evaluating a bid for Salesforce, what
would be the tech giant`s motivation for such an acquisition? Well, for
one, these are two companies that already have a partnership. It`s a
relationship that has only seemed to deepen since Satya Nadella became
Microsoft`s CEO last year. In fact, at Microsoft`s developer conference
just last week, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff was in the audience and
watching Nadella`s keynote address.
Second, Nadella is clearly laser-focused on building out his company`s
Cloud business, which is on track to do more than $6 billion in annual
On the other hand, there are real questions about whether Nadella
would want to do a deal like this right ahead of the launch of Windows 10.
Also, there is the sheer size of the deal, up to $64 billion, according to
(on camera): So, the benefits of such a potential acquisition are
clear, but so too are the costs.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in San Francisco.
MATHISEN: One of the market`s bright spots early on today was Disney
(NYSE:DIS) after shares of the entertainment company briefly hit an all-
time high following its latest quarterly report. Disney (NYSE:DIS) beat on
both earnings and revenue, with a big lift from the company`s theme parks.
After spiking higher following those results, Disney (NYSE:DIS) shares did
fall back and ended the session on this down day fractionally lower.
Julia Boorstin has the details.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
The happiest place on earth yielding magical results. Disney (NYSE:DIS),
the media giant, exceeding expectations on both the top and bottom lines.
BOB IGER, DISNEY CEO: Parks and resorts and consumer products had
great quarters. But actually, all of our businesses did. There are some
numbers that weren`t necessarily comparable. For instance, the studio had
a great quarter. But last year, this quarter, we had “Frozen”,
particularly, the video. So, that`s not a great comparison.
And then on the media network, we had some extra costs at ESPN because
of the college football playoffs and the NFL wildcard.
So, generally speaking, all of the businesses had a very strong
quarter. But from a percentage increase perspective, parks and resorts and
consumer products led the way.
BOORSTIN: Disney`s domestic parks driving upside surprise, with
higher than expected attendance and spending, higher ticket prices as well,
as more spending on merchandise and food and beverage.
While Disney`s broadcasting division reported a near doubling of
operating income on the sale of Marvel`s “Daredevil” to Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX), among other things,
(on camera): And CEO Bob Iger says that strength of the company`s
mega brands bode well for Disney`s future. With Marvel`s “Avengers: Age of
Ultron” opening to huge success this weekend and “Star Wars” coming up in
IGER: We certainly have grand plans for “Star Wars” merchandise.
You`re talking about the number one franchise in the world, in terms of
merchandise. And there hasn`t been a film released since 2005. So, we`ve
already seen interest in this film starting to generate increased interest
in the merchandise for this film.
BOORSTIN (voice-over): The company planning a big launch of “Star
Wars” consumer products in September, and “Star Wars” video game in
November, ahead of the film`s highly anticipated release in December. Iger
saying they`re pleased with the film so far and there is no question the
franchise will create value for years to come.
While Disney`s acquisition of Lucas Film and Marvel are paying off in
droves, that doesn`t mean anymore are in the works. Iger says the company
doesn`t have any holes to fill.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
HERERA: To the economy, where the trade deficit widened to a 6 1/2
year high in March, the resolution of the labor dispute at the West Coast
ports created a surge in imports, and a strong dollar held back exports.
Now, economists think that that labor dispute could have put even more
downward pressure on growth in the first quarter. And according to a new
survey, many believe the economy probably actually contracted slightly.
MATHISEN: One major pillar of the economy may have gotten unwanted
news today. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage broke through the
psychologically important 4 percent level. That according to industry news
letter, “Mortgage News Daily”.
HERERA: And one of the country`s biggest mortgage lenders is now
being sued by Los Angeles. The city alleges that Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
encouraged its retail bank employees to commit fraud to meet sales targets.
Kayla Tausche has more.
KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s a familiar
scenario: you go into a bank branch and looking for a checking account and
you get sold on refinancing your mortgage, or you want a credit line and
you get convinced to open a brokerage account as well. It`s called cross-
selling, the practice of getting existing customers at a bank to sign up
for more products and it`s been the only ways big banks with kind revenue
growth in a low interest rate environment.
It`s increasingly common, but L.A. city attorney says that Wells Fargo
(NYSE:WFC) may have taken it a step too far. A lawsuit filed Monday
alleges the bank engaged in what it called pernicious and often illegal
tactic to try to maximize the accounts customers took out.
Now, the practice was first uncovered in a 2013 investigation by “The
L.A. Times”, which found employees at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) branches were
trying to meet steep sales quotas by signing up customers for accounts and
credit lines without their consents, sometimes resulted in forged
signatures and unwanted fees, and even dinged credit scores. It was a
program that the lawsuit alleges created market dominance for Wells and a
significant price to the general public.
And the bank acknowledged that it fired any employees thought to be
involved in scheme. In a statement from the bank in the wake of the
lawsuit, the bank said, “The company`s culture is focused on the best
interest of its customers and creating a supportive, caring and ethical
environment for our team members.”
The company reiterated its commitment to the customers receiving only
the products and services they need.
By Wells Fargo`s measure, each household that did business with the
bank had six of its products at the end of March.
Now, few peers actually break out this figure, but J.P. Morgan did
said in 2013, saying that on average, each household had 7.6 products.
According to the lawsuits, Wells Fargo`s internal marketing slogan was
“Going for gr-eight”, highlighting the bank`s goal to reach that figure to
Now, each of these violations could come with a penalty of $25,000, as
well as restitution for the customers. But the bank for its part said it
will vigorously defend itself against the allegations.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in New York.
HERERA: Still ahead, it may still be six months away but could the
outbreak of bird flu impact your Thanksgiving feast?
HERERA: It is the biggest outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history and
today, “Reuters” is reporting that the government approved $330 million in
emergency funds to help contain that disease. The virulent strain is
wreaking havoc on poultry in the Midwest. And there`s already concerns
about rising prices and even an impact on, of all things, Thanksgiving.
Morgan Brennan has more.
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
It keeps getting worse. But Iowa and Minnesota have announced more
probable cases of bird flu, bringing the total number of chickens and
turkeys likely affected up to 25 million. This is now the biggest outbreak
in avian influenza in U.S. history, surpassing a bout in the early 1980s
that claimed 17 million birds.
The USDA and CDC say the strain poses little risk to human health, and
that it has not entered the food supply. But as cases and costs mount,
what does it mean to consumers?
David Maloni, president of American Restaurant Association, says this
is an egg and turkey story.
DAVID MALONI, AMERICAN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: Roughly two-thirds of
the cases so far with egg-laying hens, a third with the turkey production
industry, the broiler mate or chicken market for the chicken meat supply,
that industry has been insolated so far, and we expect that to remain at
least through the summer.
BRENNAN: In the U.S., poultry is a $48 million market broken down
into three categories, broiler chickens raise for meat, eggs and turkeys.
Broilers are two-thirds of the market, eggs make up about 20 percent, and
turkeys the remaining 10. Broilers have been largely unaffected since most
are raises in the South.
But Iowa and Minnesota, the top producers for eggs and turkey,
respectively, have been hit very hard. Eggs are currently the biggest
issue, including pending cases, roughly 6 percent of the layer hens have
been taken offline. Experts expect that to push up prices.
MALONI: We just bumped our forecast higher for egg prices for 2015 by
about 15 cents a dozen. That should put us somewhere pretty close to 2014
inflated price levels at wholesale.
BRENNAN: In terms of turkeys, roughly 1 1/2 percent of the U.S.
supply has been impacted. Seasonally, turkey is stockpiled from December
through August. And so far, that phase has been normal. If inventory
growth begins to swell however, consumers may have to pay more for
(on camera): Experts are also keeping a close eye on exports.
Broilers haven`t been infected, but they are the main poultry product
shipped overseas. With top trade partners like Mexico and China imposing
import bans and restrictions, the price of wholesale dark meat chicken has
been falling, about 30 percent lower than a year ago.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan.
MATHISEN: Jennie-O Turkey says it is temporarily laying off 233
employees at its processing plant in Minnesota because of that bird flu
outbreak. The outbreak has cut the number of available turkeys. And as a
result, the company is going to shift now to a — switch now to a single
HERERA: Sprint added more than a million new customers in the first
three months of the year, but it came at a price, and that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The wireless carrier saw its revenue fall as it aggressively cut
prices to attract new customers. But the CEO says that`s all part of
Sprint`s business plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCELO CLAURE, SPRINT: In our industry, in order for you to grow,
you`ve got to invest money. It costs money to attract new customers but we
have a very clear plan in terms of, you know, when does the company
generate free cash flow, and we have clear plans in terms of how we`re
executing on all fronts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: The quarterly loss was in line with estimates. The shares
fell 3 percent to $4.99.
New product launches helped Estee Lauder`s bottom line in the first
quarter, and the makeup company says it even sees faster growth this year,
despite some currency headwinds. Shares rose 4 percent to $86.90.
Kellogg`s reported better than expected quarterly numbers, profits and
sales. The world`s largest maker of breakfast cereals cited stronger
demand in Latin America. But the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies
reported a decline in its U.S. morning foods business. Kellogg (NYSE:K)
stock drops almost 1 1/2 percent to $63.18.
MATHISEN: Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), which properties
include Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and others posted stronger than
expected first quarter earnings. The company says international growth,
higher distribution, and a slight increase in domestic ad revenue helped
drive those results. Nevertheless, shares of Discovery fell along with the
market today, more than 2 percent to $32.59.
But News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) missed both profit and revenue
expectations. The publisher of “The Wall Street Journal” said results were
hurt by a stronger dollar and falling ad sales at its newspapers. Shares
were flat following the news after the bell. But they ended the regular
session down about a percent at $15.92.
The video game publisher Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) posted better
than expected numbers, thanks to strong digital sales and a release of a
popular new game title. The company also said it`s going to buy back up to
$1 billion worth of its stock. Shares spiked after the results, but closed
down a fraction at regular trading. It finished $59.16.
HERERA: The new reality of retirement involves working past the age
of 65. That`s according to a new survey by Trans America Center for
Sharon Epperson is our expert on that front and she joins us from the
New York Stock Exchange.
So, Sharon, is working further into retirement really the new norm?
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sue,
you know, we`ve seen study after study that has shown that many workers,
regardless of their age, think that they`re going to be working past the
age of 65, or maybe they won`t retire at all. Now, many of these folks are
doing it because of income reasons or healthcare concerns.
But some are also doing it because they want to and because they enjoy
working, and many say perhaps, they`ll even work in there with their
MATHISEN: Well, Sharon, are some of these people who are working, are
they cutting back on hours and working part-time as opposed to full time?
EPPERSON: Well, what I found interesting in the study was they really
took a look at what workers who are in their 60s want to do, and they`re
really the ones that are at the forefront of redefining retirement. And
half of them talked about the fact that they will be working past 65.
They`re going to continue to work in some capacity.
But what was interesting were the numbers that said they are going to
have some type of transition into retirement and that could be working in
another capacity with their same employer, something that`s less demanding
or it could be doing something where they are working at reduced hours to
have more time to enjoy their life.
HERERA: What are some of other obstacles? You mentioned a couple of
those — health issues, certainly, job loss. Or what about just the fact
that a lot of employers are trying to keep their company younger employees?
I mean, there are some obstacles out there.
EPPERSON: There are a number of obstacles. The obstacles that really
are confronting many individuals, though, really are of their own doing.
And that is they don`t have a plan. You cannot get to where you want to go
in terms of retirement if you don`t have a road map.
And so, it`s encouraging that about 75 percent of those in their 60s
have some type of plan for their retirement. But only 15 percent have
written it down. What does that mean? You just talk about it over coffee
with your spouse a couple of times, and you have some idea that you want to
be able to retire in some particular city or some particular fashion? But
you haven`t really written down how much money you`re going to need, how
you`re going to cover your health care need, how are you going to cover
living expenses, how much is going to be contributed from the government?
All of these things you really need to write down so you know what
you`re relying on from Social Security, what you`re going to get from other
benefits that you might get from other player and what you`re going to come
up with on your own.
HERERA: Sharon, thanks as always.
HERERA: Really appreciate it.
EPPERSON: My pleasure.
HERERA: Sharon Epperson.
MATHISEN: All right. Coming up, the markets were rocked by the flash
crash five years ago tomorrow. So, what changes have been made since then
and what still needs to be done?
HERERA: And here is what to watch tomorrow. Fed Chair Janet Yellen
and Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund speak in
Washington. ADP releases its private payroll report for April, something
that will be closely watched ahead of Friday`s government jobs report. And
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) hosts the shareholder meeting. And that`s
what`s on the agenda for Wednesday.
And tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the flash crash, the day
when the Dow plunged almost 1,000 points in just a few minutes time. Since
then, the report by regulators concluded the flash crash was the product of
high frequency trading. And last month, the British futures traders was
arrested and charged with contributing to that sudden market drop.
But as Bob Pisani tells us, many say much more still needs to be done.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Five years after
the flash crash, regulators have implemented a number of reforms to reduce
the chance it could happen again. The most important was the creation of
individual stock circuit breakers designed to halt trading when a stock
moves outside a narrow band above or below where it is currently trading.
Rules for market wide circuit breakers were also changed. Now, trading for
all exchanges will be halted if the S&P 500 drops 7 percent or more during
the trading day.
SEC Commissioner Dan Gallagher says the markets are safer.
DAN GALLAGHER, SEC COMMISSIONER: Five years later, you know, we look
back on it. There had been a number of measures taken to address that that
incident itself. But I think the fact is that we still have a lot to do to
really understand the current equity market structure.
PISANI: Indeed, many participants would like to see more changes
made. SEC chairman Mary Jo White said she wants to see high frequency
traders register with the SEC. She has also floated the idea of an anti-
disruptive trading rule that would ban high speed trading when the markets
are extremely volatile.
The SEC has appointed an advisory committee to advise them on what if
any changes should be made from here. But the regulator seems reluctant to
make any big changes right now apparently believing that the current
system, despite its flaws, is working reasonably well.
Bottom line: despite a lot of angst and some technology glitches along
the way, there hasn`t been anything quite on the magnitude of the flash
crash in the last five years. And regulators are trying to figure out how
to keep it that way.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock
HERERA: And that`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for joining us. Have a
great evening, everybody. We`ll see you here tomorrow.
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