SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Melting up. Stocks keep going
up and while that`s a good thing for investors, some say the reason isn`t
all that great. But does it matter?
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Sour note. Many Americans
don`t love Wall Street. And while the lack of the warm and fuzzies may not
be shocking, where the dim view is coming from might surprise you.
HERERA: And bug control, the big money battle to stomp out the latest
mosquito-borne virus that has people concerned.
All that and more on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Wednesday, April 20th.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. We`re glad you`re with us.
Stocks head higher again today, triple digit gain for the Dow as the index
sits at its highest level since July. This in the face of some so-so
earnings and tepid economic data. So, the question is, why? We`ll get to
more on that in just a moment.
But something that might help push stocks even higher is a beat on the top
and bottom line surprisingly perhaps by the Dow component American Express
(NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP). AmEx earned $1.45 a share. That was a dime better
than expectations. The company pulled in just over $8 billion in revenue
for the quarter, also above estimates.
Shares initially rose after-hours following the results and basically all
Kayla Tausche tells us the key thing for investors.
KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Shares of American
Express (NYSE:EXPR) (NYSE:AXP) gained in after hours trading as the company
reported a profit that declined in the first quarter less than analysts had
expected. Revenues for the company did rise 2 percent. That was more than
analysts had expected. Card member spending was up 6 percent. Expenses
were also up as the company incurred restructuring charges and gave more
rewards to their customers.
What really sold investors after this report was the fact that the company
reaffirmed its guidance for 2016 and 2017 amid changes it is making to its
business model and several portfolios that are roiling up. The fact that
the company had confidence to reaffirm that guidance was seen as a good
sign and that is why shares were up.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in New York.
HERERA: On the flip side Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was the biggest looser on the
Dow today. As sales of the beverage giant fell for the fourth straight
quarter, although they were slightly ahead of consensus estimates. But
worldwide case volumes rose, not enough though, missing Wall Street
targets. The strong dollar and weak in Europe was blamed for the drop in
revenue. Coke shares fell nearly 5 percent on the day.
MATHISEN: Homes sales rebounded last month after slumping in February
helped by strong gains in the Northeast and in the Midwest. The National
Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes up 5.1 percent in
March, adjusted rate 5.3 million units. The median sales price just over
Separately, more news in housing as mortgage applications rose more than a
percent last week, and the Mortgage Bankers Association says the average
30-year rate rose a tick to 3.83 percent.
HERERA: Stocks kept going higher today, but did come way off of their peek
late in the session, way down by a bit in that drop in Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).
The Dow rose 43 points to 18,096. That its highest level since July.
NASDAQ added seven and the S&P 500 climbed just a fraction.
Well, U.S. stocks are up about 15 percent from their lows back in February,
making this a huge comeback for the market in a short amount of time. So
what happens next to send the market from ice cold to red hot?
Mark Lehmann joins us, president of JMP Securities.
Nice to have you here, Mark.
MARK LEHMANN, JMP SECURITIES PRESIDENT: Thank you.
HERERA: So, what do you make of this phenomenon? We`re calling it a melt
up because we did get this big move after a really rocky start to the year.
What do you think is behind it?
LEHMANN: Well, melt up is not a bad phrase here. I think you have a lot
of things happened in the first quarter that had investors worried. At the
same time, you had earnings expectations for the first quarter that were
very new to the expectations and what`s happened since then is oil stopped
going down. I think China`s slowness has become less worrisome. And also,
we`ve had first quarter earnings that were at or slightly above
So, tie that together with better job growth. You had a market that wanted
to go higher so it had such a bad first six or eight weeks. And so, it was
easy comparisons for investors and this melt up that you described, albeit
with thin volume, has been quite impressive.
MATHISEN: And one of the comparisons must be the comparison to what you
can make in bonds these days, which isn`t very much.
LEHMANN: No, it`s not. I mean, you look at what the yields are in today,
the bonds obviously didn`t do quite well, but the stocks did. You`re still
getting 1.8 percent in your 10-year treasury and you look at global yields
on bonds, we`re talking yields in the negative territory in Japan and some
other markets. So, that is not a great alternative for 10 or 30-year
So, when you look at the equity markets I`ve been calling the U.S. market
the best market on the top block around the world, and I don`t think that`s
changed a lot. We still have job growth. We still have lots of
innovation. We`ve had a very tepid ideal market.
But the backdrop is not all that terrible and now we look at the political
landscape which looks like we know where we`re going for the next six to
nine months and I think investors see that as a positive.
HERERA: What about participation? Have we see — you mentioned the fact
the volume is thin, which begs the question whether the individual investor
is getting in this markets or may be getting in this market on the fear
they`re missing out on this rebound.
LEHMANN: Yes, I think there is a little bit of — you know, the FOMO would
have been on the downside, the fear of missing out is on the downside. I
think if you talked to most investors and they said, where is the next 10
percent going, I think you talk — even when the market was dropping back
in February, people were more worried about downside than upside.
I think even with the market up 15 percent, there aren`t many people who
are worried they`re going to miss out on a big rally. And guess? This is
climbing the wall of worry and as we see earnings not as bad as people once
expected, I think there`s going to be a little bit more capitulation that
equities may not be such a terrible place to be, given the rates where they
are for the 10-year and 30-year treasury.
MATHISEN: U.S. stocks versus, let`s say global stocks and I`m thinking
mostly of developed country stocks, big caps versus small caps. Where are
you on that, Mark?
LEHMANN: Yes, I think — I think the U.S. market still leads the pack in
terms of innovation and where we are, and the reasons were multiple basis.
I think you`ve seen the dollar obviously weaken and that`s going to help
some of our multinational companies with the comparisons year over year.
I`m an emerging growth guy, as it is here. We haven`t seen lots of IPOs
and lots of participation from those stocks. I think the bigger names have
clearly participated here. I`m a U.S. small mid-cap growth guy going into
the fall where we should still see decent numbers, and the have market, the
haves that we`ve talked about before — Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN), Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), I expect those to continue to do
well, gain market share and the stocks you want to own.
HERERA: What are the dangers maybe lurking out there for the market that
investors should be watching for? A lot of people point out to the
upcoming election, that there may be volatile around that. Do you agree
with that or is there anything else`s out there that you might earmark as a
LEHMANN: The election clearly was more worrisome I think to investors 90
days ago. I think, again, not using New York as a complete bellwether for
where we`re headed, but I think, in the eyes of most investors, I think we
know where the conventions are headed for the fall and given that it looks
like a Trump/Clinton race in the fall, that may not be exactly what the
world want, that may not be exactly what investors had seen maybe six or
nine months ago, but I think there`s a comfort factor for investors.
So, risks — I think you also have risks of some unpredicted terror shock,
but frankly, I see less of that. ISIS seems to be a little more tame than
I think we would have thought six, nine months ago.
LEHMANN: I think some of the risks are going away.
HERERA: All right. On that note, Mark, thank you. Mark Lehmann of JMP
LEHMANN: Thank you.
MATHISEN: President Obama is in Riyadh, where he met with Saudi King
Salman about conflicts in the region and the long standing alliance and
partnerships between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
The visit, however, comes during a time of increasing tensions between the
U.S. and the Saudis. The two nations have lots of differences. They`ve
arisen over the shifting landscape in the Middle East, as well as the war
HERERA: The prolonged slump in oil prices is another key pressure point
for the Saudis. Crude is the life blood of that nation and the sharp drop
has led to budget cuts. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told NBC`s Tom
Costello the country is learning to adapt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK LEW, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think that the Saudis like all oil
producers are coming to terms with what is a lower price of oil for now. I
think one of the things we all know about oil prices is they go up and they
go down, and you have to plan on a certain amount of volatility if your
economy is based on a commodity like oil that fluctuates in price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Jackie DeAngelis looks at how the kingdom is doing whatever it
takes to ease the Saudi squeeze.
JACKIE DEANGELIS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Financial
problems appear to be on the horizon for Saudi Arabia and the evidence is
mounting. Over the last year, the kingdom has had to slash its budget as
it copes with shrinking GDP. It quietly sold bonds to raise cash and now,
it`s taking a $10 billion international loan. It basically recently
downgraded the sovereign, and today, seven of its banks as well.
While there`s also been a struggle to keep reserves high enough to maintain
the currency peg to the dollar.
In addition, the Saudi Aramco IPO now looks like it could get done next
year. The market taking this as a signal that the Saudis need cash.
Selling a 5 percent stake in Aramco was a game-changing move. This is a
nation that proudly kept control of its oil and one that isn`t particularly
transparent. While the sell wouldn`t include the Saudis oil reserve, it
makes a statement to investors that cash is king in a low oil price
ANTHONY GRISANTI, GRZ ENERGY PRESIDENT: Saudi Arabia really is OPEC at
this point. It`s kind of an every man for himself attitude where everybody
is kind of producing what they want because they need the revenue. I think
the meeting in Doha last week kind of singled that because no other nations
attended it but Saudi Arabia, as far as OPEC is concerned.
DEANGELIS: The Saudis have long maintained that they`re in a position to
withstand low oil prices, and perhaps they are. But with each piece of
news, investors are becoming for doubtful.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jackie DeAngelis.
MATHISEN: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton scored decisive victories in
last night`s New York primary, and while that was not surprising, what was
were the exit polls and feelings towards Wall Street in the state where
Wall Street resides.
Eamon Javers joins us now from the Washington.
Eamon, the numbers were little eye-opening. Where the opposition to Wall
Street comes from?
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it came from
the financial crisis of 2008 and that`s been playing out this whole year.
Look at these poll numbers. New York state voters were asked in exit polls
whether or not they thought that Wall Street helps the U.S. economy or
hurts the U.S. economy. Hurts the U.S. economy 64 percent of Democrats
said that`s the case, 51 percent of Republicans, traditionally a Wall
Street friendly crowd said that was the case. Helps the U.S. economy, 29
percent of Democrats and just 46 percent of Republicans.
So, Wall Street is under water as they say with both Democrats and
Republicans. That`s bad news for the industry, especially as you point out
in its own home state, Tyler.
HERERA: So, after last night`s primary and the results there, how is this
all setting up, Eamon?
JAVERS: Well, you look at the two front-runners and you think they have a
much better path toward their party`s nomination. That`s Hillary Clinton
and Donald Trump. And if you`re Wall Street, you`re looking at this and
you`re scratching your head. You talk to Wall Street bankers, they don`t
know what to make of Donald Trump who has said he might replace Janet
Yellen as Fed chair and other things that Wall Street would look at as
providing some instability or at least uncertainty into the forecast.
With Hillary Clinton, they don`t necessarily agree with all of her
policies, but they may feel like with the Clintons, on Wall Street, they
know at least what to expect. And that goes a long way for a big bank.
MATHISEN: Yes. So, in terms of the rest of the campaign, do you think the
anti-Wall Street sentiment which certainly Bernie Sanders has mined very
hard is likely to remain fronts and center or will it recede?
JAVERS: I think it will remain front and center. Donald Trump is no
friend of Wall Street necessarily when he`s out there on the campaign
trail. You know, he talks about big corporations with the same sort of
skeptical tone that you hear from some of the Democrats, including Mr.
Sanders. So, I think this is a trend that we`re going to see play out
throughout the year, Tyler.
MATHISEN: All right. Eamon, thanks very much. Eamon Javers in
JAVERS: You bet.
HERERA: And coming up, the hot new sport that`s growing at such a clip
that there`s no shortage of companies lining up to cash in. We`ll tell you
what it is and who`s in the best position.
MATHISEN: It`s an ends of an era at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). After being
in production for more than 10 years, the company announced today that it
will stop making the Xbox 360 console. That`s the one in my basement. The
360 successor, the Xbox One, will continue to be produced, with over 80
million consoles sold. Gamers are still going to be able to buy games and
accessories for the 360, as well as continue to play online through the
Xbox Live Service.
HERERA: Well, while the Xbox 360 is coming to an end, one area that is
booming is competitive video game playing better known as eSports.
Julia Boorstin takes a look at the surprising growth and who is cashing in.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Video game
competitions are the hot new sport to watch. Revenue projected to top $460
million this year. More than 40 percent jump from last year and the U.S.
has the biggest share of that revenue according to a study from News Biz
PWC reporting that eSports exceeds the top sporting events such as the
World Series and the NBA Finals.
DOUG CREUTZ, COWEN & CO. ANALYST: You`ve got events that are showing up
10,000-plus-seat arenas. So, there definitely is a large audience. The
question is, always, is how do you monetize that audience, right? I mean,
we saw with the Internet, just because you have eyeballs doesn`t mean you
BOORSTIN: And now, a range of companies are trying to build big businesses
around eSports, from traditional media players including Turner, airing its
first eSports competition next month, to game maker Activision Blizzard
(NASDAQ:ATVI), investing in a new eSports division and making a big hire
from ESPN to run it.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), the biggest video game company, in
January bought eSports company Major League Gaming. Just last week, it
announced record viewership — 71 million video views, watching a record
breaking 45 million hours of live broadcast.
CREUTZ: Ultimately, the people who own the key games are in the best
position. I mean, it would be like, if you owned the rights to football,
right? You`d be in a pretty good position to capitalize in the NFL.
BOORSTIN: Of all the game companies, Activision owns the biggest titles of
competition, including Call of Duty, Hearthstone and StarCraft.
But a range of other companies are also poised to cash in, including
Amazon`s Twitch and YouTube, which both draw millions of viewers to watch
game play, as eSports continues to grow in popularity.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Los Angeles.
MATHISEN: There is reportedly a deal being worked on between Volkswagen
and the U.S. to avoid a trial this summer over its emissions scandal. “The
Associated Press” says VW would pay a million dollars in compensation to
owners of diesel vehicles that used sophisticated software to cheat U.S.
HERERA: United Continental has reached a deal with several activist
investors where the airline will shuffle its board. Two new directors
picked by the hedge funds and one mutually agreed upon with the airline
will be added to the board. United also announced a beat on its quarterly
results after the bell.
Phil LeBeau has a look at the important takeaway from those numbers.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: United Airlines
posting better-than expected earnings in the first quarter beating
estimates by a nickel with revenue matching expectations, but down compared
to the first quarter of last year. Why? It`s all about passenger revenue
per available seat mileage, but under pressure at United and really for the
entire industry for the last six months and that was the case in the first
quarter as well, dropping more than 7 percent, United blames that on the
strong dollar as well as lower oil costs.
And one other factor that was pressuring revenue in the first quarter,
United saw a drop in close in or last-minute business travel bookings
around the Easter and spring break holiday. No indication of what was
driving that declining close in reservations. But again, United reporting
better than expected earnings for the first quarter.
HERERA: And shares of United fell initially following the release of those
MATHISEN: MGM Growth Properties, a real estate portfolio of MGM Resorts
(NYSE:MGM) International, went public on the New York Stock Exchange today
and that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The company`s shares were priced at 21 bucks apiece and looked to raise
over $1 billion in the offering. Shares of the first day trading rose more
than 4 percent to $22.1.
Toymaker Matel posted a loss last quarter as it continues to struggle with
foreign currency and other issues. Barbie sales were flat. American Girls
were down. Despite the results, the company announced a quarterly dividend
of 38 cents a share. That will be paid in June. Even Barbie will get
Shares of the company down more than 2.5 percent during the regular trading
to $33.04 and then they slid further as you see there initially in after
The medical device maker Saint Jude Medical raised its full year profits
guidance today, as well as delivering earnings that beat analyst
expectations. The company cited growth in various segments that helped
offset a decline in sales in its main cardiac rhythm segment. Shares of
the device maker up just shy of 4 percent to $60.94.
HERERA: Dish Network saw its subscriber count fall in the fast quarter of
the year, but it was still able to beat analyst profit expectations. Dish
cited a decline in interests expenses as the main driver for its higher
profits. Today is also a day that Dish`s carriage deal with Viacom
(NYSE:VIA) expires, potentially causing a blackout across Viacom`s family
of channels. Shares of the satellite receiver was up fractionally for the
day at $47.42.
Tupperware (NYSE:TUP) Brands is reporting better than expected earnings
this morning, as the company saw stronger sales in multiple regions. The
company saw continued issues with the strong dollar, but also raised its
full year earnings guidance. The results were not enough to please
investors, though. Shares of the company fell more than 4 percent to
Chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported its second quarter earnings after
the bell today and the results were above analysts` expectations. The
company cited stronger revenue from its licensing business, as well as
continued strength in its chipset unit. Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)
up fractionally for the day to $52.09 and initially traded higher in after-
MATHISEN: This week, we`ve taken a look at how the pharmaceutical industry
has joined efforts to fight the Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitoes.
Tonight, in the final piece of our three-part report, Meg Tirrell looks at
how to control the bug that spreads Zika.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The mosquito that
carries the Zika virus is not a new threat in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, this climate is also ideal for one of
man`s worst enemies, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, carrier of dengue and
TIRRELL: For decades, the Aedes Aegypti has been a known carrier of
multiple diseases. It`s a battle public health experts say we can win, but
we must start taking more seriously.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: Mosquito control has been successful in
the past. We can`t be cavalier.
TIRRELL: The best tools: pesticides, vigilance and hard work.
DAN STRICKMAN, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: It`s technically
possible to do a very good job of Aedes Aegypti control. The problem is
the logistics and the resources to do that. It gets very complicated,
especially in a large city.
TIRRELL: Companies including Bayer, best known as the maker of aspirin,
are developing tools for control of mosquitoes that carry disease.
KURT VANDOCK, BAYER PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: We have a couple of
thousand of the deadliest animal in the world right here.
TIRRELL: Like its product, Suspend Polyzone, which is spray to create a
barrier on surfaces that kills mosquitoes.
VANDOCK: That`s the way we like them, we like them nice and dead.
TIRRELL: But with the difficulty with completely eradicating the mosquito
with current tools, as well as the emergence of resistance, experts say new
options are needed. And they note innovation for control of the bugs as
public health threats has been slow, in part because that market is so much
smaller than pesticides for crops.
The Gates Foundation`s Dan Strickman estimates the market is about $2
billion to $3 billion per year. The foundation is partnering with
industries to develop new methods of mosquito control through a group
called the Innovative Vector Control Consortium. It includes Bayer as well
as Sygenta, Du Pont and Dow.
Over the last decade, the consortium has screened more than 4 million
chemical compounds to find three to bring into development.
STRICKMAN: In some ways, the chemicals that are easiest to develop have
been developed and now we`re getting a smaller and smaller pool of
TIRRELL: And dialing new ways of mosquito control are also being worked
on, including genetically modifying the bugs to destroy their own kind.
Biotech company Intrexon is developing that technology, awaiting the FDA`s
go ahead to start testing in the Florida Keys.
But as mosquito borne threats persist, officials say we need to respect the
dangers those bugs can pose and make sure we protect ourselves.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
HERERA: Coming up, how the growing market for medical marijuana can help
your four legged friend
HERERA: Here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. Weekly jobs claims
always draw interest as they give an ongoing look into the health of the
labor market, and then we get a snapshot into the manufacturing sector with
the release of the Philadelphia Federal Reserves business outlook for that
And more big name earning reports are out, with Dow components Visa
(NYSE:V), Travelers and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and tech giant Alphabet, which
is Google`s parent, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which is also a Dow
And that`s what to watch for on Thursday.
MATHISEN: Well, today is April 20th or 4/20, a date of significance for
the cannabis culture for reasons you have to be high to understand. And as
legal marijuana rolls out in more states, entrepreneurs have found a new
fast growing segment, medical marijuana for your Fifi and Fido.
Jane Wells explains.
GIGI GRIFFIN (ph), JOY`S OWNER: I`m Gigi Griffin, and this is Joy, Joy
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Gigi Griffin is the
last person you`d expect to see in a medical marijuana dispensary in Los
Angeles. But she didn`t come her for herself, she came for joy.
GRIFFIN: Basically, Joy was diagnosed in January with cancer of the
WELLS: Radiation and chemo would cost thousands of dollars, but Griffin
had a friend who used medical marijuana to recover from cancer surgery and
GRIFFIN: I just knew that I wanted to try whatever would help my dog.
WELLS: And that`s how she discovered the hottest new field in cannabis.
DEBRA JANTZ, TYLER`S OWNER: Here we go. I just going to squirt in there.
WELLS: Pot for pets.
JANTZ: That`s a good boy.
WELLS: Debra Jantz has been giving her dog Tyler a cannabis-based product
to deal with arthritis.
JANTZ: He started swimming again and running in the park again.
WELLS: Jake Snapinn started giving the same product to Sunshine to stop
her seizures. It worked.
JAKE SNAPINN, SUNSHINE`S OWNER: She`s eating her whole meals when
generally she`s a picky eater. And so, she`ll finish the whole thing.
WELLS: There isn`t a lot of research of the effect of cannabis on animals,
which is one reason why the ASPCA and PETA are withholding supporter.
Also, vets cannot legally prescribe it.
So, to get a pet pot product like this you usually have to go somewhere
where they can sell it legally to humans and in California, that means you
have to have your own medical marijuana card.
Some veterinarians feel at the very least, the products can`t hurt
especially since they have very low levels of THC to prevent pets from
getting high and one vet even started his own line.
TIM SHU, DVM, VETCBD CEO: The sky is the limit in this industry because
what we`re doing is we`re using medical marijuana for very common ailments,
you know, pain, arthritis, anxiety and these are common ailments that we
see in the veterinary clinics every day.
GRIFFIN: Look at her, she`s just looks healthy, she eats well and has a
lot of energy.
WELLS: And instead of spending thousands of dollars on chemo and
radiation, Gigi Griffin is spending about 100 bucks a month.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Los Angeles.
HERERA: And finally tonight, Alexander Hamilton isn`t going anywhere, but
Andrew Jackson. The Treasury Department announced plans to replace Jackson
on the $20 billion with abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman. Last summer,
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he was considering replacing Hamilton on
ten with a woman. The back of the ten will have leaders of movements to
give women the right to vote. The $5 bill will honor the civil rights
movement and while Jackson will not be the face of the 20, he`ll be moving
to the back of the bill.
Treasury hopes to release the new designs by 2020.
MATHISEN: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Tyler Mathisen.
Thanks for watching.
HERERA: I`m Sue Herera. Have a great evening. We`ll see you here