SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: What`s changed? The
rally is building. So why are the markets stressing about all the things that used to have them so worried?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: Today, we face a crisis in our airports.
We`ve all read the headlines, three-hour long security lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Tempers flare in Congress
and at airports. But Delta and the TSA may have found a solution to get
you through security more quickly.
EPPERSON: Science or science fiction. Medical technology is advancing
faster than ever before, changing the way we treat illness. The first part
of our “Modern Medicine” series begins tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT
for Wednesday, May 25th.
Good evening, everyone. I`m Sharon Epperson, in tonight for Sue Herera.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Welcome, everybody.
Well, two straight days of gains on Wall Street, sizable gains in fact, a
rise in oil prices, optimism over the economy, even positive news out of
Greece, yes, Greece helped fuel the rise. And get this — some investment
pros say now that higher interest rates may not spell trouble for the
economy or stocks after all.
With that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 145 points to
17,851. The NASDAQ added 33 and the S&P 500 was up 14.
MATHISEN: But the market had a long list of worries, just a short time
ago. What happened to them all?
Dominic Chu explains?
DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Many of the market
risks haven`t changed, but the market perceptions of how risky they are may
have. So we`ve put a lot of hot button topics on our thermometer here of
risks to the overall market.
We`ll start with some of the ones that traders are valuing pretty highly
right now. A summer interest rate hike from the Fed possibly, the ripple
effects there could be huge. Also watching what`s happening with the
possible Brexit, that is to say U.K. leaving of the European Union, also
perhaps a rolling of the markets around that and, of course, what`s
happening with the U.S. elections coming up this fall.
China was a huge topic last year and into this year early, and it still
remains a big topic but maybe not as important or as flaring as it was at
that point here.
Corporate earnings slightly better than expected although still not great,
not as hot a topic here. And oil prices, they`ve stabilized. They thought
they were going to down huge, but they managed to stabilize for now. So
maybe not as much of a risk, at least for this moment.
And then, of course, one of the thing to watch here, U.S. economic data has
generally gotten better, it`s up for debate right now, but still, some
people say if the U.S. economic situation isn`t going gang busters but it`s
still going good enough, is that enough to help power the markets.
All of these will be risks being assessed by traders and investors
throughout the course of the summer months and, of course, into the U.S.
elections this fall.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu.
MATHISEN: Jim McDonald joins us now to talk more about the markets. He`s
chief investment strategist at Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) Asset
Mr. McDonald, welcome. Good to have you with us.
You know, as Dom said, the risks haven`t gone away necessarily. Maybe our
perception of them has changed just a little bit. I don`t want to make too
much out of two days of triple-digit gains, but does this feel like a
sustainable change in momentum to you or not?
JIM MCDONALD, NORTHERN TRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT: Well, Tyler, I think we`ve
covered the positive aspects of what has come out from an economic data
standpoint and some reduced geopolitical risks. The thing I would add
that`s new is investor sentiment was awful heading into this week. So,
individual investor sentiment is very bearish and that means that we`re
really run out of sellers.
So, I think that`s the additional piece that`s led to the rally we`ve seen
over the last couple of days.
EPPERSON: Are investors are becoming too complacent when it comes to
thinking about the Feds, thinking that we`re going to see a rate hike and
we`re definitely going to see an exit from the E.U., Britain, that we`re
going to see a U.S. election that`s going to end however one might think
it`s going to end? Are investors getting complacent in their ideas of what
is going to happen outside of the economy somewhat, and that`s helping to
fuel what`s happening with the market?
MCDONALD: No, I don`t think we`re close to complacency. There`s still a
concern about Britain leaving the European Union. The concern about the
Fed is a little bit more justifiable. The reduction in concern because if
the Fed does raise interest rates, that`s a sign the economy`s a little bit
better. It`s a sign that financial markets are stable and the fact that
the market`s moving up at a time when investors are thinking the Feds may
raise rates I think is a good sign.
MATHISEN: So, Jim, so you very gracefully sidestepped my question about
whether you think this little rally or rally-let may be it is can continue.
You said that sellers we sort of ran out of them. Do you think that`s an
enduring possibility or that sellers are going to come back at the first
sign of trouble?
MCDONALD: So, Tyler, what I`ll be looking for is a continuation of the
economic data showing a moderate expansion. So, we saw good housing data
but we saw relatively mediocre purchasing index reports. So, we need to
see the economy continue to advance for the market to keep working.
Sentiment is a help but we really do need economic data to continue to come
MATHISEN: So, what about the elections here and let`s get a quick thought
on the Brexit possibility, the idea that England, Great Britain would leave
the European Union?
MCDONALD: So I don`t think that is the likely scenario. If you look at
the market reaction, the pound has appreciated by 6 percent or 7 percent
from its lows and the polls are indicating greater confidence that they
will remain in the European Union. The U.S. election is much harder to
handicap because we don`t know what`s going to happen not only on the
presidential side but with Congress. So, the market will likely churn
until we have better clarity on the likely outcome of the U.S. election.
MATHISEN: Jim, great to see you. Jim McDonald of Northern Trust
(NASDAQ:NTRS) Asset Management.
EPPERSON: A potential interest rate hike is not in fact a done deal but
the data is favorable so says the president of the St. Louis Fed. He
specifically pointed to the most recent reports on the labor market.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BULLARD, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ST. LOUIS PRESIDENT: Obviously,
we`ve tried to be data-dependent and I don`t think there`s any reason to
pre-judge the June meeting at this point. We can wait until we get to the
meeting to see what the data says and try to make a good decision there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EPPERSON: But Bullard said that while jobs data are strong, other measures
like gross domestic product are not as robust.
MATHISEN: In Europe, it has been a while since we heard about Greece
asking for money from its international creditors but that is what happened
overnight. In recent years, Greece`s debt lows have been a summertime hair
ball for stocks. But now, eurozone`s finance ministers and the
International Monetary Fund apparently like what they see out of Athens.
They approved Greece`s reform efforts and gave the country more than $11
billion in fresh bailout funds. Greece`s total debt now stands at about
180 percent of its annual economic output and that`s high.
EPPERSON: The French government is tapping its oil reserve to end gasoline
shortages. According to local French papers, one quarter of the country`s
gas stations have run out of fuel or were running very low. A strike over
new labor laws have spread across France`s fuel infrastructure and to all
of its eight refineries.
Total, which owns five of France`s oil refiners, threatened to review its
investments in response to this disruption.
MATHISEN: Domestic crude is closing in now on $50 a barrel. This after
the U.S. government reported a larger than expected drop in crude stock
piles. Oil futures settled at $49.56 a barrel, that`s the highest level
since October. Despite the rise, oil and gasoline prices are still
relatively low and that means a heck of a lot of people are going to hit
the road this holiday weekend.
According to AAA, in all, 38 million Americans are expected to travel and
most of that travel will be by car.
Jackie DeAngelis has more on what`s promising to be one of the highest
volume memorial travel weekends on record.
JACKIE DEANGELIS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The inspiration
is coming from cheap gas. The national average for a gallon of regular is
$2.30 today on AAA`s website, up 16 cents over the last month, but down 44
cents from this time last year.
Still, not everyone is satisfied.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think gas prices should be even lower but they`re
not as high as they were last year around this time. I do drive a lot with
my job and everything, so gas prices are very important.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to drive because I`m going to drive. And
if the gas prices are high, I`m not going to be as happy as I`m driving,
but I`m still going to go where I need to go.
DEANGELIS: Top destinations for road travel, Orlando, Myrtle Beach,
Washington, D.C., New York and Miami, all places expected to have nice
weather this weekend.
So far this year, Americans have saved about $18 billion on gasoline alone.
Where those savings are being spent is still debatable, but one thing is
for sure, cheap gas motivates people to get up and go.
ANTHONY GRISANTI, GRZ ENERGY PRESIDENT: We came in the summer with a huge
amount of supply of gasoline, and yes, we are drawing at record rates right
now for gasoline demand because prices are so low. But that demand should
be able to be met with the supplies that we do have. I imagine prices will
probably peak in the next two or three weeks barring any hurricanes,
geopolitical problems or things like that.
DEANGELIS: Crude is up almost 50 percent in the last three months alone.
If the market is starting to level off and stabilize, could we see a
national average back at $2 again?
GRISANTI: I don`t think it will happen until after the summer driving
season. What happens with the summer there`s a premium for the gasoline to
burn cleaner. Once we get through that season, in October, we go back the
cheaper winter gas and I think that`s the point where you could see $2 a
DEANGELIS: One thing for sure, most consumers aren`t kicking the gift
horse in the month. The cheapest gas in over a decade for this time or
year is nothing to sneer at.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jackie DeAngelis.
EPPERSON: And if you`re heading to the airport this weekend, you may be
wondering if flying means you`ll be dealing with long lines at security
checkpoints. Well, in Atlanta, Delta and the TSA hope they`ve found one
solution to make airport security lines move faster.
Phil LeBeau has more on what`s being done.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It looks like a
regular TSA security checkpoint, but Atlanta`s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
has a new system designed to quickly move travelers through security
BILL LENTSCH, DELTA AIR LINES: If it`s as successful as we believe it is,
I think airports are going to be looking for this technology very quickly.
LEBEAU: Here`s how it would work — when travelers get to the checkpoint,
there are five stations for five people to but their belongings in bins.
When the person is done, regardless of where they are in line, they push
their bin down the line to the x-ray machine and walk through a metal
detector. If there`s a problem with their bag, it`s automatically sent to
an area beyond the x-ray machine for further inspection, that way it
doesn`t hold up the line.
And with five people constantly going through one of two metal detectors
the lines should move even if some people are occasionally stopped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It went fast up to this point, but quicker than the old
way to unload your bags.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t think it was faster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seemed to go pretty quickly. Went through the front of
the line and my bag did get screened, but it only took about ten minutes
LEBEAU: With long lines in many airports, the TSA is adding more officers
and more overtime.
Meanwhile, the embattled head of the agency found himself on Capitol Hill
answering questions on how the TSA can relieve security line headaches.
REP. MARK WALKER (R), NORTH CAROLINA: You`re undergoing an impossible or
trying to take on an impossible task. That probably doesn`t encourage you
very much today.
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: Do you think that the number of bags
going through our check points is problematic?
LEBEAU: Delta spent $1 million developing this security system and now in
its first day in use, there were a few hiccups with TSA agents and
passengers adjusting to the new set up, but nothing major.
If it works as planned, this new system could clear up to 25 percent more
passengers than a standard TSA checkpoint, which would be welcome news for
those travelers tired of waiting in security lines.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Atlanta.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) guts its smartphones
business. Does one of the world`s biggest tech companies have a mobile
strategy that will work?
EPPERSON: A real estate firm with ties to a senator is reportedly under
investigation. According to “The Wall Street Journal”, the FBI and SEC are
focusing on accounting practices at CBL and Associates. Investigators are
asking questions about the relationship between the firm and Senator Bob
Corker, who has profited over the years from trading CBL stock. Shares of
CBL fell more than 8 percent.
MATHISEN: A report by the State Department`s inspector general slammed
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton`s use of a private e-
mail server while she was secretary of state. The report was delivered
today to members of Congress.
Eamon Javers is following the story for us.
Eamon, tell us what the report said and how damaging is this to her
EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is damaging,
Tyler. The report did say that the method that Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton had chosen to store her e-mail on a personal sever was not an
appropriate method of preserving documents. It also found that her
practices failed to comply with department policies.
That`s bad news for Hillary Clinton especially as you go through the
details that were in this report of staffers at one point or another
raising concerns about this arrangement, those concerns being brushed off
by people close to Hillary Clinton. It paints a picture that Republicans
have been trying to paint on the campaign trail that Hillary Clinton was
sort of blithely unworried about e-mail security and decided that she would
rather protect her documents in her own home in her own computer server
rather than allow the State Department system to have access to those
EPPERSON: Eamon, what about her own private e-mail address? Did we find
out more about why she chose to keep that e-mail?
JAVERS: Well, that`s the question here, is why did she decide do this in
the first place? And the report sheds some light on the decision making
very early on. It`s clear that this decision was made at the very
beginning of her tenure as secretary of state. And you can see in the
report, staffers grappling about what to do, what the implications of that
are, that she owned her own e-mail server that lives in her home and is not
controlled by the State Department, how do they handle that?
They were proposing giving her a separate BlackBerry at one point, giving
her a separate computer that could sit on her desk that would be connected
to that server at home. All of that was being wrestled out in early days
for Hillary Clinton. So, clearly, this was a decision that was made early
on and they stuck to it.
MATHISEN: Mrs. Clinton has said I`ll talk to anybody any time about this,
I encourage my staff to do the same. Did she?
JAVERS: About the e-mail issue in particular?
MATHISEN: Did she talk to the inspector general? Did she cooperate in
JAVERS: You know, she had said she would cooperate with the investigation
in every step of the way, and clearly, they got access to all of the e-
mails between, say, her aide Huma Abedin, and Hillary Clinton. In fact,
there`s one in which they discuss whether or not for her, and Hillary
Clinton says, no, I don`t want a State Department e-mail but I don`t want
that personal e-mail being circulated within the State Department.
MATHISEN: Quick question and answer, is Speaker Ryan going to endorse Mr.
JAVERS: Boy, that is a good question. There`s a rumor that there`s a
phone call expected this evening between the two men. We`ll see whether
that leads to an endorsement or not. Paul Ryan under a lot of pressure to
fall in line, but he is trying to extract some political gain here from
Donald Trump and encourage Donald Trump to be more in line with Paul Ryan`s
MATHISEN: The great negotiator being negotiated with.
JAVERS: That`s right.
MATHISEN: Eamon Javers, thanks very much.
JAVERS: You bet.
EPPERSON: Regulators are launching an investigation into Alibaba, and
that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The SEC is looking into the accounting practices of the Chinese e-commerce
giant relating to its annual singles day event. Last year, the company
reported more than $14 billion in sales on that day alone. The news sent
shares of Alibaba down nearly 7 percent to $75.59.
AT&T (NYSE:T) may want a piece of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) after all. According
to Bloomberg, the telecom company has made an offer to buy the tech giant`s
core assets. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) had been considered the front-runner for
the businesses. Shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) up a fraction to $38.62. Yahoo
(NASDAQ:YHOO) shares though fell 5 percent to $35.59.
Lower tourist spending dragged down results of Tiffany`s once again. The
luxury jeweler saw its sales fall more than 7 percent, its biggest decline
in years. Its profit also fell and missed estimates. In addition, Tiffany
(NYSE:TIF) lowered its earnings forecast for the year. Shares were
marginally up, though, to $63.89.
MATHISEN: Sales growth stalled at the clothing chain Express (NYSE:EXPR).
The company reported a drop in same stores sales growth and warned of a
further slow down in sales for the current quarter in the full year.
Profit also below estimates with the CEO citing a challenging retail
environment. We`ve heard that one, lots of times lately. Shares fell more
than 8 percent to $14.68.
Williams Sonoma saw its revenue climb, thanks in part to strong growth in
its West Elm brand. That helped quarterlies at the home furnishings
retailer top estimates. Shared initially popped in extended hours trading,
as you see on that graphic, after ending the regional session up more than
2 percent at $52.10.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) meantime cutting more than 1,800 jobs in its mobile
phone business and the company will take a nearly $1 billion charge related
to that move. This unit has seen multiple rounds of layoffs and steep
write-downs since Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) bought Nokia`s phone business for
more than $7 billion back in 2014. Shares rose 1 percent.
EPPERSON: Still with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) streamlining its troubled
mobile unit, what will be the company`s next move?
Brian Blair, principal and co-founder at Grays Peak Capital joins us right
And, Brian, I have to admit, with a teenage son, I don`t know much about
this Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) phone because that`s not the one kids are
talking about. Is that part of the problem here for Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT), that millennials and younger people aren`t as interested in
BRIAN BLAIR, GRAYS PEAK CAPITAL PRINCIPAL & FOUNDER: Well, it actually
goes back several years. You know, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) maybe going
back five years thought their mobile operating system could take on Apple`s
iOS or Google`s Android system and they were late to the game. You know,
they first — they got in bed with Nokia (NYSE:NOK), you know, as a partner
before they ended up buying the hardware unit.
And it never went anywhere. There was really never much developer interest
and so, they never created a system. So, it`s clearly a problem now
because these phones aren`t anywhere, but the problem goes back five years
where they never got any traction with their mobile operating system.
MATHISEN: You have to remind me there is a Windows phone operating system
because it is such a third place finisher here.
MATHISEN: Is mobile ever going to be a big part of Microsoft`s business?
BLAIR: You know what, it can be, but it`s certainly not going to be on the
hardware side. That`s what we learned through this failed acquisition of
the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) device division. But it can be a meaningful part as
it extends from the cloud.
You know, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been successful in the cloud. Nearly
half of their revenues last quarter came from their cloud business, both
Office 365 and Azure. So, part of that is extending their Enterprise
applications into the mobile environment, not just the phones but the
tablets and to their own Surface Pro.
So, I actually think it can be a meaningful part because, you know, users
are mobile. Everybody needs the key applications and the enterprise to
extend to their phone, and that`s Microsoft`s future to approach it that
way — but certainly not from the hardware side, and not from the mobile
operating system side.
EPPERSON: So, then, it sounds like, Brian, you don`t think this is going
to have a major impact on Microsoft`s overall business, this misstep with
the actual phone, because the focus is really on the cloud and also
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office, right?
BLAIR: That`s exactly right. We saw quarter. You know, I think Azure
grew about 120 percent year over year, and it`s really becoming a cloud
You know, the PC side has been in a slide for a number of years now, which
has really pushed their move into the Cloud. You know, PCs I think are
down about 10 percent year over year now. But this is a small hiccup.
This is something we`ve seen for a while. They`ve been talking it down.
There really hasn`t been any traction.
So, this is something they probably should have done a year or two ago and
we`re just finally now seeing them say, that`s enough, let`s cut our losses
now and look ahead.
EPPERSON: All right. Sounds like a plan and what they`re going to be
doing forward. Thank you so much, Brian Blair —
BLAIR: You bet.
EPPERSON: — Grays Peak Capital.
Coming up, how the Department of Defense is helping doctors do things that
just a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable. The first part of our
series on modern medicine is next.
MATHISEN: Here`s what to watch tomorrow.
The G7 Summit convenes in Japan. The expected to be, as you might expect,
the economy, trade, energy, among other things.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) hosts its annual meeting. I wonder what they`ll be
serving. Executive compensation is one of the items on the menu there.
Initial jobless claims, durable goods, pending home sales, they`re going to
give a look at the state of the economy, and that, folks, is what to watch
EPPERSON: Shares of Sarepta soared after the Food & Drug Administration
said it`s delaying a review of a drug made by the company. Some
interpreted that delay as an indication of a possible approval by the
agency. And as we reported last month, an advisory panel recommended that
the FDA reject the controversial medicine for Duchenne muscular dystrophy,
which has no effective treatments. Sarepta shares spiked more than 26
percent today on that news to $23.35.
MATHISEN: Medical technology is advancing faster than ever before. Things
that physicians didn`t think possible just a few years ago are today
Meg Tirrell begins our “Modern Medicine” series with a look at how high
tech prosthetics are changing the lives of injured vets.
FRED DOWNS, VIETNAM WAR VETERAN: I lost my arm up here when I stepped on a
land mine and almost lost this arm and almost lost my legs.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Fred Downs was 23 and
a soldier in Vietnam in 1968, when a land mine took his arm. When Downs
returned from the war, his options to address his injury were limited.
DOWNS: The Army fit me with the — what I call a hook, which is a plastic
arm that was the only thing available in those days.
TIRRELL: He wore that style of prosthetics for 47 years. Then, in 2009,
he was given a chance to use this.
DOWNS: Here is my power grip.
TIRRELL: The Deka arm is built by Deka Research and Development and funded
by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, a branch of the
Department of Defense.
Downs uses censors mounted on his shoes to control the arm, and he says the
technology is a huge improvement from his old prosthetics.
DOWNS: Well, it`s strange because for the first time in 40-some years, I
have the ability to use my left hand to grab things.
TIRRELL: It`s part of a wave of technology that`s helping the way we think
about what prosthetics can be.
DR. JUSTIN SANCHEZ, DARPA BTO DIRECTOR: Let me show you something cool.
TIRRELL: Dr. Justin Sanchez is project manager for DARPA`s biological
technologies office. He works with teams of researchers across the
country, testing new types of prosthetics, and they`re doing things that
just a few years ago seemed like science fiction.
The next generation of prosthetics connects directly to the brain, and has
the same range of motion as a natural arm. It even has censors to allow
the user to feel pressure.
SANCHEZ: We can do very light touches, we can harder kind of touches and
the person can actually distinguish between the light touch and the hard
TIRRELL: Patients like Jan Sherman are showing how promising this
technology can be. Sherman was diagnosed with a severe neuro degenerative
disorder that left her unable to move her arms and legs. She entered a
trial at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, funded by DARPA, and
underwent surgery to have censors installed in her brain that could control
a prosthetic arm.
After some training, she showed that she could control the arm by just
thinking about moving it, feeding herself for the first time in a decade.
Something as simple as that can make all the difference in the world.
DOWNS: The ability to take care of yourself is crucial, you know, combing
your hair and brushing your teeth and getting dressed, all of those are
what you need as a human being to have your dignity, to have dignity.
TIRRELL: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
MATHISEN: And you can read more about the evolution of prosthetics on our
And tomorrow, Meg will look at how a high tech implant in the brain gave
one woman a new outlook on life. I thought that last gentleman made it
exactly right, gives you back your dignity.
EPPERSON: Dignity, and just thinking about what you want to do and being
able to do it after years of not being able to do it.
MATHISEN: And the simple things that we all take for granted.
MATHISEN: Taking an egg out of a cart.
Before we go, here`s another look at today`s big gains. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average climbed 145 points to 17,851, the NASDAQ added 33, and
the S&P 500 was up 14.
That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sharon Epperson. Thanks
so much for watching.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great
evening, everybody, and we`ll see you right back her tomorrow night.
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