SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Going positive. A flurry
of deals helps stocks start November way bang and pushed the Dow Jones
Industrial Average into the black for 2015.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Health scare.
Chipotle shuts down several dozen stores because of an E. coli outbreak.
We`ll take a look at the fallout.
HERERA: And, have and have-nots? Mortgage lending on the rise, but
mostly to those with stellar credit scores. So, what does that mean for
the housing market?
All that and more on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, November 2nd.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. Glad you could join
It was a strong start to the month of November. As a spate of mergers
set the tone and put investors in a buying mood on the first trading day of
this new month. More on those deals in just a moment.
Meantime, how`d the numbers do? Here they are: Dow Jones Industrial
Average up 165 to 17,828. Blue chip index now positive for the year. The
NASDAQ was 73 points higher. The S&P 500 notched a 24-point gain, with the
benchmark back above 2,100 for the first time since August.
HERERA: First up on the deal list, Dow component Visa (NYSE:V)
aggressively expanding its global footprint with its biggest acquisition
ever. The company is bringing Visa (NYSE:V) Europe back into the fold
after the two separated nine years ago. The stock was off about 3 percent
today, but that was mostly on an earnings miss.
Mary Thompson has more now on Visa`s $23 billion buy.
MARY THOMPSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Buying Visa
(NYSE:V) Europe means Visa (NYSE:V) is now truly everywhere you want it to
be. Paying more than $23 billion for the European bank-owned Visa (NYSE:V)
Europe gives San Francisco-based Visa (NYSE:V) Inc. access to 38 new
countries and 500 million new cardholders. Europe becomes Visa`s second
largest market behind the U.S.
CEO Charlie Scharf telling analysts on a call the deal fills in a
critical piece missing from Visa`s global footprint.
CHARLES SCHARF, VISA CEO: This transaction does create a truly
integrated global leader that will allow us to capitalize on strong growth
opportunities in a highly attractive region.
THOMPSON: Now, like smaller rival MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Visa`s global
profile will be unified, resulting in $200 million in cost savings, along
with added earnings soon after the deal closes.
SCHARF: We expect it to be accretive to our stand-alone revenue and
EPS growth before transition costs, beginning in fiscal year 2017, the
first full year of the combination.
THOMPSON: The world`s largest electronic payments firm paying cash,
preferred stock and an earn-out to investors based on the new company
meeting certain revenue targets. To fund the cash portion, Visa`s raising
$15 billion to $16 billion in debt while promising to continue its
tradition of aggressive buybacks.
Visa (NYSE:V) aiming to buy back enough stock over the next few years
to offset the diluted impact of the preferred stock it`s issuing for the
In addition to the Visa (NYSE:V) Europe purchase, Visa (NYSE:V)
reporting fourth quarter earnings a bit below estimates. The stronger
dollar and higher client incentives hitting results, two factors behind the
firm`s modest outlook for fiscal 2016.
Still analyst, Keith McVeigh saying the Visa (NYSE:V) Europe deal
positions Visa (NYSE:V) in the right place in a market still offering great
KEVIN MCVEIGH, ANALYST: People move away from cash and more toward
credit. You get a lot of focus on the U.S. in terms of GDP. But to us
where the real opportunity is globally as you start to see people use their
smartphones more for purchases, particularly in developing markets, they`re
front and center for that.
THOMPSON: Visa (NYSE:V) charging ahead with a plan to keep it at the
forefront of the global payments industry.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mary Thompson.
MATHISEN: Well, Visa (NYSE:V) may have been the biggest deal of the
day but it definitely wasn`t the only one. First, another drug merger to
tell you about. The London listed pharma company Shire (NASDAQ:SHPGY) will
purchase Dyax (NASDAQ:DYAX) in a deal worth $6.5 billion. Shire
(NASDAQ:SHPGY) fell 1 percent. Dyax (NASDAQ:DYAX) surged 28 percent.
And a deal we reported on last week is now official. Conagra
announcing it has agreed to sell its private label business to TreeHouse
Foods for nearly $3 billion. Conagra ended the day a fraction higher while
TreeHouse tumbled more than 5 percent.
Meantime, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) will buy a private drug
developer called Cardioxyl in a deal that could be worth $2 billion. That
along with a few other transactions, values today`s M&A activity a little
bit north of 30 billion bucks.
It`s also a heavy week for economic data culminating with Friday`s
jobs report. Today, we got a read on manufacturing and construction
spending. The growth rate in the manufacturing sector slowed last month to
its lowest level since May of 2013.
The Institute of Supply Management`s index of factory activity came in
at 50.1, its fourth straight drop but slightly above expectations. Any
reading above 50 indicates expansion. But construction spending on October
rose more than half a percent to the highest level since March of 2008.
MATHISEN: Big week for data. Also, a big week on the earnings front
for big media. Questions will likely continue to focus on the future of
the industry as content and delivery companies wrestle with evolving
Julia Boorstin takes a closer look.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The hot topic
for media giants this week, the strength of the TV bundle. And the
subscription fees and ad dollars tied to it. Last quarter, Bob Iger rocked
the media industry when he warned that even industry-standard ESPN would
start to feel an impact of the fraying cable cord, reducing profit
projections for ESPN.
This quarter, investors will be listening closely for updates on
subscription fees, ratings and ad revenue that follows. Plus, how quickly
digital dollars are ramping and how much they can compensate for declines
in traditional models.
DOUG CREUTZ, COWEN & COMPANY: Everyone`s trying to figure out what
the new model`s going to be and how it`s going to work. Part of the
problem, frankly, is there isn`t necessarily a lot of agreement about that.
DAVID BANK, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS: One of the biggest questions I think
is going to come up on the call, on these calls is going to be the decision
of the partners of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS), of FOX, of Disney
(NYSE:DIS), to offer on Hulu, an ad-free product.
BOORSTIN: So far this earnings season, there is some good news from
the three largest cable companies, improvements in subscriber numbers,
which bodes well for the content giant.
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable
dramatically reducing video subscriber losses while Charter actually gained
subscribers, signs that concerns about the pace of cord cutting might be
And Cowen`s Doug Creutz says no matter the degree of cord cutting,
some companies are better positioned than others.
CREUTZ: We like CBS (NYSE:CBS) the most. And really the rationale is
they don`t have any basic cable networks. So, whatever happens to the
bundle, they have a lot less risk than their peers.
BANK: I probably worry most about the pure play kind of cable, big
bundle cable networks that have a lot of revenue, a lot of eyeballs spread
out over a lot of viewers. So that would be like a Discovery or a Scripps.
BOORSTIN: Now, we`ll see if expectations were so significantly reset
last year that the numbers we see this week end up looking positive.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
HERERA: Our guest tonight ringing a bit of the alarm bell on the
economy, saying there is a 30 percent chance the U.S. could fall back into
recession by 2017. Mohamed El-Erian joins us, chief economic adviser with
Good to see you, Mohamed. Welcome back.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, ALLIANZ: Thank you, Sue.
HERERA: Let`s start first of all with why you feel the 30 percent
chance exists. We`re talking about the market doing so well, a lot of M&A.
But what is it you see that perhaps the rest of us don`t?
EL-ERIAN: So the market is doing well. It`s doing well because of
liquidity. Whether it`s the liquidity of central banks or in this case,
the liquidity of companies being put back in.
The economy is doing less well. If you like, the economy ended up in
the hospital, in the ICU, during the global financial crisis, it`s out
there have. It has healed. But it`s still structurally impaired.
So, two things happen when you`re structurally impaired. First you
cannot run. You can walk but you cannot run. That`s why growth is stuck
in the 2 percent to 2 1/2 percent range. Second, you`re exposed to
external shocks. In the case of the economy the biggest threat
unfortunately, sue, comes from the rest of the world.
MATHISEN: So, as you look at the U.S. economy at 2 percent to 2 1/2
percent growth, do you think that is a phrase you used to use, the new
normal for U.S. growth, or can it lever up a little bit from there?
EL-ERIAN: So, it can and it should. And what it takes is for our
politicians to unleash the amazing productive capacity of this economy.
The problem is that they`re not doing so. So, when you look forward,
it`s hard to see this economy continuing at 2 to 2 1/2 without one of two
things happening in the next two or three years, either we will transition,
either private sector will be able to transition to higher growth and
there`s a lot of cash on the sideline, there`s lots of innovations, or
alternatively, we`re going to be dragged down by the rest of the world.
And that`s why I put the probability of a recession by 2017 at 25 percent
to 30 percent.
Now, the good news is that 70 percent to 75 percent is we stay out.
But it`s important to realize, especially important for D.C. to realize
that we need better policies to unleash the productive capacity of this
HERERA: What part of the world are you most concerned about that
would have the biggest effect on the U.S. economy? Is it China because of
its scope and size?
EL-ERIAN: So, two parts. First, the emerging world is now slowing
and two countries are already in recession, Russia and Brazil. So, it is
very hard for the American world to operate well in a world in which the
central banks in the West are experimenting.
So the first part is that the emerging world is no longer the
locomotive that it has been, and it has been a really important locomotive.
Second, Europe has yet to emerge from its own crisis. They`re stuck at 1
percent to 1 1/2 percent growth. And they needed it more.
So, think of it as being a tentative economy overall. The U.S. is by
far the best economy out there. But it`s not immune to problems in the
rest of the world.
MATHISEN: Very quickly, you say that the best thing politicians could
do was to create policies that unleash the productive capacity of the
American economy. Give me the one change that would do more to do that
than any other. Is it reducing corporate taxes, bringing back overseas
EL-ERIAN: So there is no killer app. There isn`t one change. It is
basically pro-growth, investing in infrastructure, corporate tax reform,
improving the labor market.
There`s a whole list of things that they know about, immigration
reform, but they simply can`t get the political will to implement it.
HERERA: Mohamed, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Good
to see you again. Mohamed El-Erian with Allianz.
HERERA: A health scare at Chipotle. An expert will weigh in on food
safety at the nation`s dining chains.
MATHISEN: Home buyers now have the highest credit scores on record.
That according to new research out today. What does it mean for the health
of the housing market?
Diana Olick joins us to discuss.
Diana, this sounds like something we ought to be celebrating. Credit
scores are the highest they`ve ever been. I thought mortgages were getting
easier, but you say no.
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, no. The
numbers certainly aren`t reflecting that. We thought that the credit box
was opening up a little bit, that that noose around credit was easing up
after the housing crash.
But these numbers, 755 FICO score, the average FICO score of a person
getting a mortgage to buy a home today. I mean, the average credit score
of the average American is in the high 600s. So, what it`s really telling
us is it`s only those pristine buyers who are getting into the credit
HERERA: So is it impossible for someone that doesn`t have pristine
credit to get a mortgage today?
OLICK: It`s certainly not impossible. It`s just more expensive.
There are a lot of good loan products out there.
FHA, the government-insured loan product is there. They have lower
FICO scores available. They will take a borrower with a lower score. But
on top of that, you`re going to have to pay that mortgage insurance. And
you might not get the lowest rate that`s out there as well.
So, when you look at these numbers, even FHA is showing unusually high
average FICO scores and it might just be that when you have higher home
prices and you have these borrowers who are looking at added costs because
of their credit level, they just can`t afford it, so they`re not buying.
MATHISEN: Are lenders or regulators doing anything to widen the pool,
make it easier?
OLICK: Well, funny you should ask, Tyler. Fannie Mae recently
announced they`re doing a new type of scoring. They`re looking at a
borrower`s long-term credit health. They call it trended credit data. And
they`re using the credit agencies. So, you don`t just get a report that
says oh, this credit card`s up to date or that`s not. It goes and it looks
back at a borrower`s payment history over time.
And Fannie Mae at least is saying that that could help some borrowers
who might have been on the fringe to get into that loan that they
previously might not have been able to get to.
HERERA: Diana, thank you. As always, Diana Olick in Washington.
AIG posts a big earnings miss, and that is where we`re going to begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.
Income in all but one of the company`s underwriting businesses
declined, and market volatility weighed on the firm. The insurance giant`s
disappointing results also come as shareholders like activist investor Carl
Icahn have been pushing the firm to break up. Shares dropped initially
after the close but during the regular session the stock was up 1 percent
Hewlett-Packard`s split into two companies took effect today. The
personal computer and printer businesses are part of the Hewlett-Packard
(NYSE:HPQ) division while the rest of the company`s businesses like
software and services are part of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) enterprises.
CEO Meg Whitman explains why the move better positions the firm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEG WHITMAN, HEWLETT-PACKARD CEO: We looked at the market. We looked
at Hewlett-Packard`s strengths. And we said being smaller and more nimble
in this market is a huge advantage with not much depth. So, Hewlett-
Packard (NYSE:HPQ) Enterprise will have $5.5 billion of cash on the
operating company, which is a completely different capital structure. So,
two different strategies. We have a lot of confidence that our strategy
will be right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) was up about 13 percent to $13.83.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) Enterprises fell 1 1/2 percent to $14.49.
HSBC saw its profits rise in its third quarter. Earnings topped
expectations as a decrease in regulatory fines made up for increased
spending. The bank also says it will move ahead with cost-cutting
measures. The stock was off just a few cents to $39.04.
MATHISEN: Another smaller deal to tell you about in a day of deals.
Constant Contact (NASDAQ:CTCT), an e-mail marketing company, will be
purchased by Endurance International Group in a deal worth a little more
than a billion dollars. Endurance says the investment will give it access
to a half million new customers. Shares soared 22 percent to $31.88.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) saw its profit slide more than 10 percent. This
as expenses from its abandoned merger with rival U.S. Foods weighed on its
bottom line. Even a rise in sales couldn`t offset those costs. Shares
fell a fraction to $41.04.
Estee Lauder reported results that easily topped estimates. Despite
the impact of a stronger dollar, the beauty company saw sales rise. The
firm also hiked its quarterly dividend by 25 percent to 30 cents a share.
The stock popped 8 percent on the day. It finished at $86.97.
HERERA: Chipotle is temporarily closing more than 40 restaurants in
Washington state and Oregon due to an E. coli outbreak. Shares of the
company falling 2 1/2 percent today on the news.
Jane Wells has more on the health scare.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It turns out
there`s a dark side to eating healthy. Chipotle Mexican grill, popular for
fresh ingredients, may be the source of an E. coli outbreak in Oregon and
Washington state, which has sickened at least 22 people and sent eight to
DR. MARISA D`ANGELI, WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: A majority of
them have eaten at Chipotle restaurants, leading us to believe that a food
product at Chipotle may be the source of their infection.
WELLS: Health officials are asking others who may have eaten at
Chipotle in that region in October and have symptoms such as vomiting and
diarrhea to be tested. And as a precaution, Chipotle shut down all 43
stores in both states, telling us in a statement, “timing of reopening will
be dictated by the progress and pace of the investigation. That is the top
Health officials say the causes of E. coli outbreaks is changing. It
used to be often due to undercooked meat. That`s what happened with Jack
in the Box during the `90s. More recently, though, E. coli outbreaks are
due to fresh produce as Americans buy more fresh produce and as more
restaurants offer freshly prepared food.
Chipotle has had other health scares this year. A store in the Los
Angeles area was shut down when dozens of customers and staff showed
symptoms of norovirus. And a salmonella outbreak in the Minneapolis area
was traced to Chipotle tomatoes. The investigation in Oregon and
Washington could take days or weeks.
DR. JEFFREY DUCHIN: It`s not uncommon not to be able to pinpoint a
specific food item. Especially in complicated dishes where there are
WELLS: The good news, none of the patients had the most severe form
of E. coli and the clock is running out on new cases showing up. While
investors sold shares on the news today, many analysts are bullish on the
stock, assuming the problem has been contained.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: So from fast casual dining to fast food just how safe is
our food supply here in the United States?
Sandra Eskin is director of food safety at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
She joins us now.
Ms. Eskin, thank you very much for being with us.
Forty-eight million Americans a year are sickened by food borne
illness. What are the biggest contributors to that? Meat and poultry?
SANDRA ESKIN, THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS: Statistics show that an
increasing number of illnesses are linked to produce, but we have
historically seen illnesses due to meat and poultry products. So we still
have different food borne illnesses, different pathogens, related to
HERERA: But in general, when you look at the U.S. food system, it has
improved, has it not, over the years? Nothing`s perfect, obviously, and we
probably still need improvement. But how would you kind of rate it or give
us a thumbnail sketch of how safe it is?
ESKIN: Sure. Definitely the food supply, the safety of the food
supply has improved. We have one of the safest food supplies in the world,
but we can make it safer.
We had a lot of luck dealing with certain pathogens, certain bacteria
like E. coli. If you look back to the 1990s, as was mentioned in the
report, we had a surge of serious infections linked to a particularly toxic
form of E. Coli. What we`ve seen over the course of the last 20 years is a
significant decrease — 50 percent infections with this particularly
serious form of E. coli.
How did that happen? It was a combination of smart government
policies and improved practices by industry. We still have many pathogens,
salmonella being an example, where we just have not had a lot of success
bringing down the illnesses.
MATHISEN: Two questions for the price of one here, Ms. Eskin. Number
one is: are there any weak spots that we need to particularly be
addressing? So much more of our food these days, seafood, produce, is
imported. And number two, what can individuals do to minimize their
chances of getting sick?
ESKIN: Well, on the first question you did highlight one of the
concerns. A growing proportion of our food supply anywhere from 10 percent
to 15 percent is imported. And that`s something that is concerning. We
want to ensure that we have enough — we have enough ability to ensure that
the food we`re getting from abroad is as safe as what we produce here.
Congress passed a law. The president signed it in 2011. That`s going
to address the safety of the overwhelming percentage of food supply
including food imports.
That is being implemented. We need to have enough funding. That will
make a big difference in assuring the safety.
On the second question, what you can do? Everyone should follow safe
food handling practices, make sure not to cross-contaminate. Don`t use the
same knives and cutting boards for meat and poultry as you use for other
foods. Make sure things are cooled and chilled.
But also, pay attention to news reports like this one. Be mindful
when there`s a recall. Make sure you that don`t eat food that has been
recalled. And I think for most of us that should protect us.
ESKIN: But there are some infections that are particularly serious,
mostly when we`re looking at sensitive subpopulations, young children,
older individuals, people with compromised immune systems.
MATHISEN: All right.
ESKIN: However, we do see that even healthy people can get really,
MATHISEN: Sandra, thank you for your help tonight.
ESKIN: You`re very welcome.
MATHISEN: We appreciate it. Sandra Eskin with the Pew Charitable
HERERA: Coming up, the growing pains of startup health insurers as
open enrollment season begins.
HERERA: Here`s what to watch for tomorrow. October auto sales are
out. Also on the data front a report on factory orders. And that is what
to watch for on Tuesday.
MATHISEN: The EPA says Volkswagen used devices also to manipulate
U.S. emissions tests for about 10,000 additional diesel vehicles, including
some of its luxury brands, Audi and Porsche. Volkswagen denies the new
allegations. The company admitted back in September that it did rig tests
on about 11 million cars worldwide.
HERERA: San Francisco voters will head to the polls tomorrow to weigh
in on Proposition F, otherwise known as the “Airbnb Initiative”. The
results could have a major impact on the service, which allows users to
rent out a room or their whole house to strangers. The proposal would
toughen the rules that users must follow like putting a cap on the number
of times a unit can be rented out.
Proponents say the service is pushing long-term renters out of the
city. Airbnb has reportedly spent more than $8 million to defeat that
MATHISEN: Open enrollment season is here, and this year marks the
third one for the Affordable Care Act. What began with very, very public
technical glitches on the Web site, now the system is seeing some success.
But as Bertha Coombs tells us, there are still growing pains.
BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: For software
firm tools forever, signing with a startup insurer seemed a good fit. Non-
profit Health Republic of New York`s rates were low.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a substantial amount of money it was going
to save our company.
COOMBS: They were happy to be in a Health Republic ad in 2014, but
then this fall things changed.
DEAN WEICH, TOOLS4EVER: We had received notice they were going to
increase our rates between 19 percent and 29 percent this year. And then
shortly after receiving that notification, we learned they were closing
COOMBS: An abrupt turnaround for the insurer launched with more than
a quarter million dollars in federal loans under the ACA. Its low prices
made it the second most popular carrier on New York`s exchange, with
But it was paying out more in medical costs than it was taking in.
Then federal officials set reimbursement rates to insurers for ACA plan
losses well below expectations, leaving Health Republic deep in the red.
Regulators forced it to shut down.
CECI CONNOLLY, PWC HEALTH RESEARCH INSTITUTE: For these small new
players they just didn`t have enough time and backup to really learn the
business and figure out who this new customer base was.
COOMBS: Health Republic`s rival start-ups, both privately funded,
also experienced growing pains.
Venture-back (ph) Oscar Health saw a loss of net loss of $27 million
in 2004, after taking in nearly $60 million in premiums. But with new
funding from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), it`s expanding to offer plans in
California and Texas while hoping to get near break even in New York.
MARIO SCHLOSSER, OSCAR HEALTH: We generally think we can get to
profitability maybe two or three years or so after we enter new markets.
So we should start seeing that now as we sort of like roll out in
additional markets in the U.S. We`ll again continue to invest two years
ahead of time, engineering teams (INAUDIBLE) and so on.
COOMBS: North Shore-LIJ Hospitals Insurance plan CareConnect lost
market share in its second year but its CEO says coordinated care through
the hospital has helped keep medical costs and pricing in mine.
ALAN MURRAY, CARECONNECT CEO: If you were a small group employer in
2014 with care connect and you had the same plan, you`re paying more today
than you would have when you started with CareConnect.
COOMBS: Tools4Ever has signed on with an established insurer for
WEICH: I`m optimistic this will work out for us.
COOMBS: Opting against start-ups for now and hoping for no more
Bertha Coombs, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.
HERERA: And that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight.
I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a
great evening, everybody. We`ll see you right back here tomorrow night.
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