TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Then there were
three. Anthem`s purchase of rival health insurer Cigna raises new
questions about competition, costs, choice, and what may change when you go
see your doctor.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Steer clear. How
Fiat Chrysler plans to fix its vehicles that are susceptible to being
MATHISEN: And money and politics. What presidential candidate
Hillary Clinton has planned for your investment returns.
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, July
EPPERSON: Good evening, everyone. I`m Sharon Epperson, in tonight
for Sue Herrera.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Welcome.
You know, it was a very rough end to the week on Wall Street. But we
begin tonight with a deal, a deal that change further an industry that
touches the live of every single American: health care. Anthem said it is
buying rival Cigna for $54 billion, in a tie up that would create the
largest health insurer in the country by membership. The deal comes just
weeks after Aetna (NYSE:AET) said it wants to buy Humana (NYSE:HUM),
quickly altering the landscape from five major insurance carriers to just
three, assuming the announced deals get regulatory approval.
Both Anthem and Cigna saw their shares fall in trading now, and not
just by a little.
And as Bertha Coombs explains, the wave of consolidation is raising a
number of questions about the power of these companies, competition and
costs per patients.
BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Anthem and
Cigna say together they`ll be able to cut out more than $2 billion in
overhead costs and ultimately that will be good for consumers.
JOSEPH SWEDISH, ANTHEM CEO: It will improve our ability to serve
customers across commercial, Medicaid, Medicare and international markets,
and create greater efficiencies and affordability for our customers.
COOMBS: The sheer scale of the $54 billion merger will attract
regulatory scrutiny. The combined company will have more than 50 million
members, covering nearly one in five Americans. But regulators will likely
look at the Anthem Cigna deal, alongside Aetna`s proposed $34 billion
acquisition of Humana (NYSE:HUM), which will reduce the top five insurers
to just three big players, including UnitedHealth.
RICHARD ZALL: It`s almost like we`re going to have a Ford, Chrysler,
GM situation in the world market.
COOMBS: In one of the nation`s top markets, California, where Anthem
is already a world leader, its market share would increase by 19 percent.
Insurers argue getting bigger helps them get better prices from large
hospital operators. Analysts say that could help the overall market.
DAN MENDELSON, AVELERE HEALTH CEO: Based on research that we`ve done,
they don`t substantially reduce the competitive dynamic in markets. And
so, what is happening is that you`re creating more capable companies, but
you`re not necessarily reducing the competitive situation in a market.
COOMBS: Consumer groups worry fewer choices will just mean higher
prices for individuals, employers and in Medicare Advantage. Antitrust
companies say the companies have to make a strong case to regulators that
ZALL: They can, in fact, become more efficient and they should be
able to lower the rate of increase of their prices. But as you know, in
the hospital sector to some degree and in other mergers, we frequently see
COOMBS: While Anthem and Cigna express confidence their deal will be
approved, it could take well over a year, and they have included a break-up
fee in their agreement.
Bertha Coombs, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.
EPPERSON: Let`s turn now to Zach Cooper to talk more about what the
consolidation in the health care industry will mean for you. He`s a health
economist at Yale University. Thanks for joining us.
ZACH COOPER, YALE UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me.
EPPERSON: Another big merger here in the insurance space, and we`re
looking at what it all will mean for the consumer. What will it mean?
COOPER: Yes. So, I think if history is any guide, it`s unlikely that
this merger is going to lower prices. I think, if anything, it`s gong to
You know, we look at history. So, there was a merger in 1999 between
Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Prudential. That raised premiums for consumers by
about 7 percent.
If we look at the exchanges on the Affordable Care Act, the areas that
are more competitive have lower prices for consumers. So, I just don`t
think this is going to be something that`s particularly good for our
MATHISEN: So, you heard all those executives, better efficiency, more
affordability, serve customers better, lower rates of increase. You`re not
buying any of it.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Tyler, I think it`s pretty clear why they want to
merge. I mean, these private insurers are playing a much, much larger role
in health care in the U.S. and Medicare and Medicaid and the federal
program. And the reason they really want to push for these mergers is that
provider markets are becoming much, much more competitive. It`s just not
clear that as these insurance companies get bigger, that they`ll pass on
any savings they make on to consumers.
EPPERSON: What about the Department of Justice? Will they really
agree to this merger, another one in its space? We`re going to only have
three insurance companies out there. Is that enough competition? What do
you think DOJ will they say?
COOPER: So, I think pretty clearly, the DOJ is going to have a very,
very hard look. What they`re going to be looking at, is to the extent that
these different companies have overlapping markets in particular areas, and
I think in certain instances they do. I mean, you can look at the national
market, for example. Or you can look at New Hampshire, where in a small
and large group markets, Anthem and Cigna do have a significant amount of
We can also look at some recent precedent from the Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS)-Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) deal that fell apart where
they said, look, big purchasers, monopsonists, that`s not an organist for
these types of mergers. So, I think my instinct is that this will go
through, but I think what we`re going to see is probably some divestment
and a very, very hard look from the DOJ.
MATHISEN: My sense is that the real driver here is to enable the
insurers to have the bulk to deal with the big health care institutions,
the hospitals, the medical practices, so that they in the same sense — and
I don`t mean to overstate the analogy — like Walmart can effectively
dictate the price to the vendor. Have I got that right?
COOPER: You`ve got that totally right and that`s where the complexity
really comes in. So, these insurers, they want to be bigger players at the
negotiating table. But at some level the argument they`ll make to the DOJ
is, look, we`re not getting bigger in the same market. So, if their
argument is, this gives us more power, this allows us to negotiate. At the
same time they can`t argue they don`t have overlapping markets.
EPPERSON: The government will certainly have a lot to look into.
Certainly a lot of complexity and a lot for the government to look into.
Zach Cooper with Yale University, thanks for joining us.
COOPER: Thanks for having me.
MATHISEN: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first of
a new generation of cholesterol drugs. The FDA did, however, limit the
drug`s use to patients whose cholesterol problems stem from hereditary
issues. The drug, made by Regeneron, will be expensive, about $14,000 a
year. That`s more than I pay for mine.
Those limits on the drug pressured shares which closed down 2 1/2
EPPERSON: Tyler, on Wall Street, the blue chip Dow index finished the
week with a triple digit decline, on concerns about slowing global growth
after both China and the Eurozone issued disappointing manufacturing data.
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 163 points to
17,568. The NASDAQ dropped 57 points, way down by shares of Biogen which
saw a double digit decline. We`ll have more on that later in the program.
And the S&P 500 sank 22 points.
For the week, all the major averages fell more than 2 percent. It was
the largest weekly drop for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ since March.
MATHISEN: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Sharon, was easily the top performing
stock today in the S&P 500, this after it reported an unexpected profit and
a blowout quarter which we told you about right here last night. The stock
jumped nearly 10 percent tonight, as you see there, and that brings its
total gain for the year to about 47 percent.
Jon Fortt tells us what`s driving Amazon`s business, and whether it
can continue to stay in the black.
JON FORTT, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) is known for delivering all kinds of items, but investors got
a surprise package this week: profits. And that raises the question: after
two weeks of watching Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) invests nearly every dollar it
makes to fuel growth, are we seeing the beginning of a new consistently
Don`t count on it. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is
known to show earnings now and then perhaps just to remind investors that
he can. But, meanwhile, Bezos has already set his sights on some expensive
new frontiers, international ecommerce growth in countries like Spain,
Italy, and India, and continued dominance of the Cloud, which sees Amazon`s
Web Services unit or AWS, buying and managing computing resources and
renting them out to customers.
NEIL DOSHI, MIZUHO SECURITIES: They`re definitely investing in future
growth areas. But we like the fact that they`re investing around their
core retail business, AWS, and the marketplace opportunity. You know,
they`re not investing in driverless cars and rocket ships. So, they`re
investing in the prime business.
FORTT: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also spending big money making
original movies and TV shows like Golden Globe winner transparent. Those
production costs, a nine-figure expense will appear this quarter.
So, don`t expect Bezos who manage to grow sales 20 percent last
quarter, thanks to his big spending ways, to schedule a profit delivery
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jon Fortt.
EPPERSON: American Airlines says it had its most profitable quarter
The world`s biggest airlines saw it earnings nearly double as cheaper
fuel helped lower cost and offset a decline in revenue. But passengers
paid less per mile in the second quarter than they did last summer, and
they expect that trend to continue. That outlook pressured shares which
fell 7 percent.
MATHISEN: American is one of five U.S. airlines under investigation
now for possible price gouging. The Transportation Department is looking
into whether Delta, American, JetBlue and United raised fares while train
service between New York and Washington was disabled following that deadly
Amtrak crash outside Philadelphia in May. The northeast corridor is one of
the most heavily traveled areas by plane or train. There is a second
investigation into the airlines, one by the Justice Department examining
whether the airlines worked together to illegally keep fares high.
And Fiat Chrysler issues a major safety recall to block its vehicles
from hackers. The recall covers about 1.5 million automobiles and follows
the recent revelation that moving Jeep vehicles can be controlled remotely.
Phil LeBeau has more on what may be the first of its kind recall for
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The video is
startling. A driver losing control of his 2014 Jeep Cherokee (NASDAQ:CHKE)
while a hacker uses his computer to tell the vehicle what to do. It was a
planned hacking, exposing a flaw in the software of Jeep infotainment
Now, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.4 models built between 2013 and
2015. The owners will receive a USB device and can update their vehicle
software without visiting a dealership. Fiat Chrysler says that aside from
the planned hacking, there have been no cases of models being hacked
One of the persons that exposed the Jeep software flaw says the odds
of the cars being hacked is still incredibly low.
CHRIS VALASEK, IOACTIVE: Charlie and I had spent the last three years
of our life doing this research and a year on the Jeep alone. So, it`s not
easy to do. I`m more afraid of someone texting and driving and running
into me than I am someone hacking my car, if that will tell you anything.
LEBEAU: With self-driving cars quickly becoming a reality, concerns
are growing automakers have not done enough to make sure strangers cannot
gain remote control of those cars.
That`s why cyber security is rapidly becoming a primary focus for
automakers and regulators who want to make sure hackers cannot get control
of millions of vehicles out on the road.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Chicago.
MATHISEN: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it
encouraged Fiat Chrysler to examine those vehicles and it will examine the
effectiveness of the automaker`s proposed anti-hacking fix.
EPPERSON: It was a very busy week for earnings and we`re not done
yet. Next week promises to be an interesting one as well, and as Bob
Pisani tells us what to watch, we`ll hear from him from the New York Stock
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The focus will
again be on earnings next week, but as always, a small number of companies
will be in focus. There is a lot riding on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) which
reports Wednesday, because the stock is up 20 percent in the last month on
expectations of a strong report.
Investors have piled a lot of money into a small group of big cap tech
names. Good news dramatically boosted Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), but even the smallest disappointment hurt Apple
Traders will also be scrutinizing big international companies for the
impact of the strong dollar. So, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), for example,
gets 65 percent of its business outside the U.S. They`re going to be
reporting Thursday. Other multinationals that have already reported have
noted a significant impact on the strong dollar.
The two biggest energy companies, Dow components ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM)
and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), will report at the end of next week. We all know
it`s going to be awful. Chevron`s earnings will probably be down 55
percent, but estimates have been coming up a bit for them, and they`ll be
scrutinized for any indication of when the oil slide may stop.
It`s not so much the earnings, it`s the guidance for the third quarter
that really matters. Earnings growth is expected to be positive in the
second half of the year. But the expectations for the third quarter are
now also expected to be down.
That`s a problem. That`s one reason the markets had so much trouble
What`s the problem? You`ve heard about it, slow growth in China, slow
growth in Latin America, but also the dollar strength, and weak oil has
continued into the third quarter.
The Fed told us a strong dollar and weak oil might be transitory.
That hasn`t been the case. The bottom line, growth is proving to be very
elusive this year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock
MATHISEN: Still ahead, what presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
has planned for your money and your taxes.
EPPERSON: The Federal Communications Commission has cleared the way
for AT&T`s $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV. The deal will create one of
the largest pay TV providers in the country and removes one of the biggest
hurdles that had been standing in the way of the merger. Early this week,
we reported that the approval was near. Shares of both AT&T (NYSE:T) and
DirecTV finished the day with gains.
MATHISEN: Sales of newly built single-family homes fell last month.
The Commerce Department reported a decline of 6.8 percent in sales to their
— taking sales to their lowest level in seven months. Home builders,
however, came under pressure falling into today`s session, as you see
EPPERSON: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a plan for the
economy. She`s asking businesses to focus on long-term investments rather
than short-term profits. In a speech today in New York, she outlined a
series of policy proposals that could impact your investment returns.
John Harwood was there.
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Last week,
Hillary Clinton laid out her plans for more profit sharing to benefit
average workers. Today, she came to the NYU School of Business to push
back what she called quarterly capitalism and encourage longer term
investment. Her centerpiece proposal, a shift in capital gains taxation to
have higher rates for investments held for a shorter period of time.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, as president, I
would move to a six-year sliding scale that provides real incentives for
long-term investments. For taxpayers in the top bracket, families earning
more than $465,000 a year, any gains from selling stock in the first two
years would be taxed just like ordinary income. Then, the rate would
decrease each year until it returns to the current rate. This means that
from the moment investors buy into a company, they`ll be more focused on
its future growth strategy than its immediate profits.
HARWOOD: The capital gains proposal was just one of the ideas Hillary
Clinton offered to encourage long-term investment. She also said she wants
to discourage some activist investors for pushing for short-term profits
through means such as stock buyback. She also wants to make sure that
incentives for executive compensation are not tilted toward short term
CLINTON: Now, I`m all for rewarding the CEOs well when their
companies prosper, and their employees also share in the reward. But there
is something wrong when senior executives get rich while companies stutter
and employees struggle.
HARWOOD: As expected, the Republicans` critique of Hillary Clinton`s
plan was on the short term increase in capital gains tax rates. One
potential presidential rival, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, called it an
old style Democratic tax increase straight out of the 20th century.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m John Harwood in New York.
EPPERSON: Clinton`s speech came amid reports of a possible
investigation into her handling of highly classified e-mails while she
served as secretary of state.
MATHISEN: Biogen cuts the outlook for its blockbuster drug, sending
shares way down and that is where we begin today`s “Market Focus”.
The biotech giant lowering its forecast for full-year earnings and
sales, because it just doesn`t expect its key multiple sclerosis drug to
sell as well as hoped. And in the quarter just completed, total sales fell
short of the consensus. Shares as a result tumbled 22 percent today to
$300.03. That made Biogen the worst performer in the S&P 500.
And positive news on the other hand for GlaxoSmithKline. The firm got
approval from European regulators for the first malaria vaccine ever. The
vaccine does still face hurdles before being rolled out for use in Africa.
Shares off 1.5 percent. They finished at $41.39.
EPPERSON: Tyler, Xerox (NYSE:XRX) saw its revenue and profit tumble
in the second quarter, as currency fluctuations and the firm`s document
technology business dragged down results. Its earnings outlook also coming
in at the lower end of the expected range. Still, shares rose 1 percent to
And VF Corp easily beating Wall Street`s estimates on both the top and
bottom lines. The maker of North Face, Wrangler and other apparel brands
also hiked its full-year outlook. Shares were off a fraction, though, on
this down day to close at $74.50.
MATHISEN: And now to our market monitor who found opportunity in some
blue chip stocks he said should be in your portfolio for the long term, a
couple financials he`s going to talk about. The last time he was with us
was December 2014. He recommended ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). It is down 10
percent, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) down 13 percent and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB)
basically where it was.
Hank Smith, welcome down — chief executive officer at Haverford
Let`s talk first, for the record — I don`t mean to bring up painful
memories, but two of those three didn`t do so well. Has it not just been
very good for energy?
HANK SMITH, HAVERFORD INVESTMENTS: No, it hasn`t, but I like how you
emphasized for long term investors, and at least they got paid a well-
paying dividend and a growing dividend, both with Exxon over 3 percent and
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) now over 4.5 percent.
MATHISEN: So, you`re still happy owning those companies?
SMITH: That is correct. We still own them in our portfolios and
we`re buying them for new clients as well.
MATHISEN: Happy might not be the exact word that you would use, but
you`re certainly satisfied owning them.
SMITH: We are. Again, we have a long-term perspective, and over many
decades, regardless of where the price of oil has been, names like Exxon
and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) have delivered total shareholder returns.
EPPERSON: But, right now, you think investors should be looking at
financials as well, and what are the names that you like?
SMITH: Well, we like the two highest quality banks in the United
States, if not the world, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
They`re poised to do well in a rising interest rate environment that will
help their net interest margins. Also, particularly with JPMorgan
(NYSE:JPM), it looks like the headwind of legal and massive fees is
starting to dissipate and will be much less so on a go-forward basis. The
companies are returning money to shareholders in the form of dividend
increases, so you have a 2.5 percent dividend yield with both of those
companies, and you can expect annual increases each year, and they`re
valued quite reasonably at these levels.
MATHISEN: Yes, you`ve certainly chosen best of breed in that area.
UTX, United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), a company that`s been in the news this
week, they`re selling off their Sikorsky helicopters. They had a little
bit of an earning stumble, if I recall correctly. But you see this decline
in the stock as a buying opportunity.
SMITH: Yes, it`s almost a bear market type decline, about 20 percent.
They`re in great businesses. Otis Elevators, Pratt & Whitney jet engines,
the Carrier building facilities that have wonderful recurring revenues.
There are some temporary headwinds, the stronger dollar a concern over
China slowing, but we think this is a good buying opportunity. And to take
a Warren Buffett-like viewpoint, with the proceeds from Sikorsky, they`ll
be able to buy much more shares than previously at these lower prices, so
we think that will be good.
MATHISEN: All right. Hank, thanks very much. I appreciate your
long-term perspective. Hank Smith with Haverford Investments.
EPPERSON: And coming up, how Cuban interns are learning how to be
entrepreneurs, the American way.
MATHISEN: A major case today. A Chicago judge ruling that a 2014 law
aimed at reducing that city`s multibillion dollar pension shortfalls and
two of its major pension funds is unconstitutional. The overhaul, which
was previously approved by lawmakers, sought to eliminate nearly $10
billion in unfunded pension liability by cutting benefits and increasing
contributions. It would have affected more than 60,000 city employees and
Chicago has the worst funded pension system of any major U.S. city.
EPPERSON: Tyler, a wide-ranging tariff deal announced today by the
World Trade Organization. Dozens of countries have agreed to get rid of
duties on more than 200 information technology products, from video game
consoles to GPS devices.
This is the first tariff cutting deal announce by the WTO in almost 20
years. The U.S. trade representative says the agreement will support
60,000 American jobs.
MATHISEN: And speaking of job creation, when Americans want to start
a small business, the resources at hand are virtually endless. But in
Cuba, it is a whole different story.
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) tells us about a new program that`s giving
young Cubans a chance to become entrepreneurs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever had so much Wi-Fi bandwidth in your
KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: For these Cuban
students, the answer is no. But as the U.S. has resumed diplomatic
relations with Cuba, a program called Innovadores is bringing four Cuban
interns to New York City for several weeks this summer to learn about
entrepreneurship the American way.
Miles Spencer, tech entrepreneur and angel, is funding the program
through his non-profit CAA. The students are shadowing science,
technology, computer and math start-ups at Manhattan`s Grand Central Tech
MILES SPENCER, CAA FOUNDER: Our vision for the program is have these
four kids learn about innovation here and return to Cuba to solve problems
in Cuba, for Cuban people. But also to serve as the core for an incubator
in Havana where other like-minded innovators that are already in touch with
these four can gather, get access, get mentoring and learn to solve those
ROGERS: The program came to be, thanks in part to the help of John
Caulfield, former chief of the U.S. Intersection in Havana, who got the
State Department and Cuban government on board.
While young Americans have the ability to launch startup with little
more than a Wi-Fi connection, would-be Cuban entrepreneurs face significant
hurdles in launching new ventures in the communist nation — among them,
broadband connections and mentorship opportunities.
Sage is one startup at Grand Central Tech, providing mentorship. The
company takes food data and personalizes it for consumers.
SAM SLOVER, SAGE FOUNDER: I personally have lived abroad and did
internships myself when I was younger. I lived in Bolivia for a year,
which was a very impactful experience for me. So, I`m very happy to be
able to give somebody else an experience.
ROGERS: For some interns like Raul Perera, who study in
telecommunications in Havana, the technology alone at GCT is something to
RAUL PERERA: You have all the equipment here, where I couldn`t have
lasted in Havana. So I will love to see all and learn and try to make —
pass it to people in Havana and Cuba in general.
ROGERS: Others, like Gabriela Rodriguez, hope the experience will
prepare her to one day run a business of her own.
GABRIELA RODRIGUEZ, HAVANA UNIVERSITY STUDENT: We hope we get the
chance to start our new company. And if it happens to me, I`ll be ready.
ROGERS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG).
EPPERSON: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sharon
Epperson. Thanks so much for watching.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for me as well. Have a
great week, everybody. Enjoy it. We`ll see you Monday.
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