SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Dramatic selloff. Stocks slid
sharply on concerns about the health of a major bank. But it`s not a U.S. bank. This one is German.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Deadly commuter crash. It
happened during the morning rush at a major New York area transit hub. Now
the focus is on a high tech safety system that trains are not yet required
HERERA: Slowing down. Homebuyers retreated in August and high prices and
few choices may be to blame.
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday,
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
Drama in the markets today. A quiet morning didn`t stay that way. A
couple of hours into trading, stocks dropped sharply. At one point, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 250 points. It finished down 195, at
18,143. The NASDAQ fell 49. And the S&P 500 was off 20.
The reason for the swoon, a Bloomberg report that some hedge funds cut
their exposure to Germany`s Deutsche Bank. That sent shares of Deutsche
Bank to an all-time low and rippled into the U.S. financial sector. That`s
because the report was reminiscent of the financial crisis, when investors
sold on news of counterparties pulling business with banks like Lehman
Brothers and Bear Stearns. And that nervousness seeped then into the
Bob Pisani explains why.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The markets were fairly
quiet midday when a report from Bloomberg on Deutsche Bank dropped the
markets. They reported some hedge funds that cleared derivatives trades
with the banks and withdrawn some positions. It`s a possible sign of
concern about doing business with the bank.
It`s not much of a story, but it did revive long dormant memories of 2008.
Deutsche Bank dropped 7 percent on this. European banks that trade in the
U.S. dropped about 3 percent. U.S. banks dropped, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)
dropped 1.5 percent. The S&P dropped nearly 20 points before recovering
some those losses.
Now, wait a minute, what possibly does Deutsche Bank have to do with
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)? On the surface, there`s not much. But in the post-
financial crisis world view, it doesn`t take much.
The concern is if Deutsche Bank did go under, it would cause a crisis of
confidence in Europe. Never mind the chances are small that that would
happen. It`s small but it`s not zero.
And problems with one bank could lead to higher credit costs and slower
economic growth in general. Remember, markets hate uncertainty. Traders
losing confidence in your viability as a bank, that was a big issue in
What about rest of the market? Why, for example, did Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR)
drop $2 on this? Well, the simple answer is that today`s trading action is
dominated by traders who will pull their bids when there`s market
When you have heavier volume, fewer bids, prices dropped to attract the
buyers. You trend momentum guys, and that will more than adequately
explained how stocks that are not correlated could drop together.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
HERERA: So, should we be worried about the health of the U.S. banks or are
today`s fears overblown?
Jack Micenko is the banking analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. He
joins us now to discuss.
Jack, welcome, always a pleasure to have you with us.
What did you make of today`s actions, specifically as it referred to
JACK MICENKO, SUSQUEHANNA FINANCIAL GROUP BANK ANALYST: So, the Deutsche
Bank news is really reminiscent of what happens in `08, as Bob said. When
customers stop doing business with their brokers, it becomes a self
fulfilling prophecy and a crisis of confidence. And I think people, you
know, memories are short, and I think the weakness in the broader
financials today was then an extrapolation to say, look, this will have a
bad impact on the rest of the economy, when those firms went down, and I
think that was being priced in to some extent today.
MATHISEN: You know, a lot of people sell and ask questions later. So, let
me ask the questions. Is Deutsche Bank in trouble? Are any U.S. banks
going to be struck by any kind of contagion?
MICENKO: Well, any time you hear of clients pulling back, that`s a
concern, because that creates more concern from incremental plans and it
becomes sort of a snowball effect. Deutsche Bank is also a high lever now.
I do cover Deutsche Bank. I do cover the U.S. banks. And there are very
little parallels to make to the U.S. banking system.
The quality of the U.S. banks is pristine. It`s better than it`s been in a
decade. Loans are growing. You know, housing is doing very well, even
though we had a down number in August.
On a year to year basis, housing continues to grow very nicely. And we`re
just not seeing any of those kind of issues. In fact, you know, for some
of the banks in the U.S. with market exposure, you know, customers pulling
back from Deutsche Bank may create an opportunity for names like JPMorgan
(NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), to do more with those customers,
they take share.
HERERA: In other words, it might help the U.S. banks, because of the
pristine balance sheets and because of the perception of more safety?
HERERA: What about the Fed? Does this type of an event, especially if the
selling continues, have any impact on whether or not they feel less
comfortable or more comfortable moving on interest rates?
MICENKO: I would speculate that it makes them feel less comfortable right?
Uncertainty is never a good thing. If Deutsche Bank does suffer some sort
of event and Germany doesn`t step in, whatever may come, you know, could
that weigh on economic growth? Could it cause, you know, corporate America
to pause and further hold back, hold off on capital spending, hiring, those
types of those?
Well, those things would roll up into a slower GDP growth rate, and that
would potentially cause the Fed to hold off. I think there have been some
enthusiasm coming out of the September meeting that the Fed could raise
rates, and banks responded to that. This obviously calls that into a
question a little bit.
HERERA: All right. Jack, thank you so much for joining us.
MICENKO: Thank you.
HERERA: Jack Micenko with Susquehanna Financial Group.
MATHISEN: If you`re one of the millions of Americans who commute to work
by train, this story hits home. A crowded NJ transit commuter train,
operating in the third largest transit system in the country, plowed into
the Hoboken station during the morning rush. It smashed to a barrier at
the end of its track, knocking out pillars, killing at least one, injuring
Courtney Reagan reports tonight from the site of the accident.
COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It was the height
of rush hour this morning when a New Jersey transit commuter train crashed
at the Hoboken terminal here behind me. The Hoboken terminal is just one
stop away from New York City, where you have to transfer to get all the way
into the city from here. Governor Chris is calling it a tragic accident
and says it`s too early to speculate exactly what the cause was or whether
or not it could have been prevented.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We don`t know what the cause of the
high rate of speed was. Therefore, we cannot answer the question as to
whether or not any other apparatus or systems could have slowed the train
down or not based on that. So, we`re not going to speculate on that.
REAGAN: Hoboken, New Jersey, is a major commuter town. New Jersey Transit
says that on average, 3,900 passengers could have been on board on an
average day, by the time the train arrived here in Hoboken. Governor Chris
Christie does not have an estimate for when the train station will be up
and running again. Commuters are urged to look into other options to make
their way into New York City.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan in Hoboken, New Jersey.
MATHISEN: A team of safety inspectors arrived at that crash site today.
Morgan Brennan has reported extensively for us on the railroad industry and
legislated safety changes. She joins us now.
Morgan, there is a safety system called, what is it, PTC, Positive Train
MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: That`s right.
MATHISEN: — that governs speed. And might — had it been installed here
— have averted this accident. Why has it been so slow to be taken up?
BRENNAN: Yes. So, Positive Train Control is actually — it was mandated
by Congress in 2008 that all railroads, passenger, freight, and commuter
railroads have to install this high tech technology that basically would
prevent trains that are going at high speeds from crashing into other
trains or crashing into stations. It basically overrides the operator to
slow the train down or bring it to a stop.
So, it`s still an investigation that`s active. We still don`t have all the
details. If it turns out that PTC could have prevented this, it`s certain
going to draw attention to this technology that was supposed to be in place
by the end of 2015 and then had that deadline extended to 2018.
HERERA: Yes. So, why is New Jersey in particular so far behind? Because
some states have been — have been able to upgrade in a much more efficient
BRENNAN: Yes. So, this is an estimated cost to install this for all the
railroads in the country, is $10 billion. It`s very detailed technology,
New Jersey, specifically, New Jersey transit, none of their trains have it
yet. They`ve been a bit slower, as you mentioned, to adopt this
And a big part of that is because New Jersey transit just doesn`t have all
the funding it necessarily needs. About a fifth of its budget is actually
on hold because of disputes within the state around fiscal budget topics,
including that. But it`s been very expensive and a lot of railroads have
been having a hard time installing it.
MATHISEN: I know you could wonk out on this if you really wanted to. But
has it worked? Don`t wonk.
BRENNAN: OK. I`ll try to do this is that couple of sentences.
So, Positive Train Control, it basically automates the train system, the
railroad network. It uses airwaves, radio airwaves to connect the trains
to transmitters along the tracks, so that the folks that oversee these
networks know where every train is, how fast it`s moving. The trains can
sense where other trains are.
It basically automates the train system, the railroad network. It uses
radio airwaves to connect the trains to transmit along the tracks, so that
the folks that oversee these networks know where every train is, how fast
it`s moving. The trains can sense where other trains are. It basically
automates the railroad system
MATHISEN: And it slows the train down if it`s going too fast.
BRENNAN: Exactly. So it can override an operator if they`re moving the
train too fast.
MATHISEN: Morgan, thanks a lot. Morgan Brennan reporting.
HERERA: Well, the nation`s economy grew just a little bit faster in the
second quarter than originally thought. And although it was better, it`s
certainly wasn`t great. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of
goods and services produce across the country expanded at a 1.4 percent
annual rate. That`s up from 1.1 percent it reported last month. That
report showed that growth in exports, which adds to GDP, outpaced gains for
imports. It also highlighted an improvement in business investment.
MATHISEN: Now to housing, which may be showing some signs of cooling off
just a bit. Buying slowed yet again in August with fewer people signing
contracts to buy existing homes. It is the third straight drop in so-
called pending home sales.
And as Diana Olick reports, realtors blame it on a lack of supply which is
DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: First time home buyers
Tyler and Marysia Mullen are doing the final walk through before closing on
their two-bedroom D.C. home. They knew they wanted it as soon as they saw
it, so they wasted no time making an offer. Eight months of house hunting
taught them that.
TYLER MULLEN, HOME BUYER: It was a bit shocking when you`re trying to find
a place within the price range and as soon as you start looking at it, it`s
OLICK: The number of listings have been dropping for 15 straight months
nationally. Realtors say it`s the primary reason for falling sales and
LAWRENCE YUN, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: Perhaps the buyers are
exhausted. They are not excited by the low inventory choices. And
furthermore, home prices consistently rising above people`s wages. People
are getting just knocked out.
OLICK: One quarter of U.S. housing markets are now less affordable than
their long term historical norms. And nearly two thirds of U.S. counties
are seeing home affordability worsen compared to a year ago, that according
to Adam Data Solutions. While some hot markets like San Francisco are
starting to see prices ease, other markets in Texas and Colorado are seeing
double digit gains.
The markets simply need more homes. But homebuilders are the no ramping up
production enough to meet demand, and only now are they starting to turn to
starter homes. That will help first time homebuyers down the road, but not
MARYSIA MULLEN, HOME BUYER: I think that`s what we found to be the most
surprising, is we saw a place listed on a Wednesday, and we were scheduled
to go see it on Saturday, and by Saturday morning, we got a phone call that
it was already under contract.
The Mullens` advice, if you want to move, move quickly.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
HERERA: Deutsche Bank wasn`t the only bank in the news today. The CEO of
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) back in Washington as shares of that bank fell to
multiyear lows. This time, John Stumpf faced questions from house
lawmakers over his bank`s fake account scandal. And members of Congress
were just as angry this week as they were last.
Wilford Frost reports from Capitol Hill.
WILFROD FROST, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Wells Fargo
(NYSE:WFC)`s CEO, John Stumpf, faced his second hearing on Capitol Hill in
just nine days, coming also two days after he agreed to forfeit $40 million
of his pay. His challenge today, to provide more detail and convince
people he was sorry.
JOHN STUMPF, WELLS FARGO CEO: May I respond to that, please?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll give the witness an opportunity to respond.
STUMPF: As I said before, I`m sorry that we didn`t get this right. I take
this very seriously. I`m not in denial. And we will get this right. We
will fix this.
FROST: As for the details, we did get it — the 2 million fake accounts
number could be as much as 75 percent lower based on the latest
investigation. He also said the full board is being investigated
internally, not just company executives like him. And the House committee
does plan to investigate the regulators as well as the company on whom
there was mixed opinion.
But the focus once again was the tone of the hearing as opposed to the
content. Lawmakers still angry and wanting more.
REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: The whole board needs to go, if they`re
going to allow someone to be in charge when time after time, you just
talked about you fired 5,300 employees, when you found out they were doing
something wrong, they were fired because they were doing something wrong.
Well, something is going wrong at this bank. And you are the head of it.
So, shouldn`t the board — from your own admission, if the buck stops with
you, as you came out here and said, “I apologize, the buck stops with me,”
and you have to also admit that criminal activity was going on in your
bank, then you should be fired because it stops with you.
FROST: The other big takeaway, this week, was the rising pressure for
other banks to be dragged into what so far has been a single company issue.
REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: We have institutions that are too big
to fail. In 2008, we found they were too big not to bail. The — Eric
Holder has told us they are too big to jail, saying that he fears for
putting them — for bringing a criminal indictment. We now learn that
they`re too big to manage, too big to regulate. It`s time to break them
FROST: Thus, the other banks will be keeping an eye on developments.
So, to sum up, the CEO John Stumpf performed much better today than he did
nine days ago in front of the Senate hearing. But the issue rumbles on for
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC).
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Wilford Frost in Washington.
MATHISEN: Still ahead, why some say Viacom (NYSE:VIA) and CBS (NYSE:CBS)
are better if they get back together.
MATHISEN: The FCC has delayed a vote on the controversial set-top box
proposal. The measure would have opened up the cable box marketplace to
competition by requiring TV providers to make their shows and movies
available through free streaming apps. But regulators pulled the proposal
because not all of the issues have been sorted out. The measure has faced
stiff opposition from cable and content providers.
HERERA: The Redstone family which owns a majority of both Viacom
(NYSE:VIA) and CBS (NYSE:CBS) called for the two companies to get back
together. Viacom (NYSE:VIA) and CBS (NYSE:CBS) used to be part of one
company until Viacom (NYSE:VIA)`s assets were spun off about a decade ago.
Shares of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) and CBS (NYSE:CBS), I should say, both rose in
Julia Boorstin takes a look at why these companies might want to reunite.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Sumner and Shari
Redstone`s holding company, National Amusements, today proposing that the
companies they CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NYSE:VIA) re-merge, saying a
combination of the two companies might offer substantially synergies to
respond more aggressively to the changing entertainment landscape.
Now, whether this deal happens is really up to CBS (NYSE:CBS) CEO Les
Moonves. He said that he`ll only do this deal if it`s beneficial to his
shareholders. And while CBS (NYSE:CBS)`s market cap is $23 billion to
Viacom (NYSE:VIA)`s $14.5 billion, CBS (NYSE:CBS) would likely draw a big
premium in the proposed all-stock transaction to make that deal happen.
Analysts have raised concerns about Viacom (NYSE:VIA)`s cable network,
struggling ratings and higher than average costs weighing on CBS
(NYSE:CBS)` growth. But there would be cost savings, and greater scale
could give CBS (NYSE:CBS) more power in negotiations for distribution and
more content for its digital apps.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin.
MATHISEN: Snacks and water help Pepsi`s earnings pop, and that`s where we
begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The food and beverage giant beat estimates, thanks to strength in North
America of its Frito-Lay and noncarbonated drinks like Propel Flavored
Water. That helped offset a continued decline in soda. Revenue surged in
some of the company`s key overseas markets, leading Pepsi to raise guidance
for 2016. Let`s take a look shares. They rose a fraction at $107.76.
And sticking with snacks, Conagra, whose brands include Slim Jim and Ready
Whip, don`t mix the two, posted better than expected earnings, thanks to
price hikes and less discounting. But revenue did slip a bit. The company
CEO says Conagra wants to refocus its business on healthier products to
keep up with consumer preferences. Shares of Conagra up, though, 7
Fitbit shares hard hit following an analyst downgrade. Pacific Crest
Securities cut the fitness device maker to underweight, which is
essentially a sell signal, from neutral, saying sales of the company`s
latest product were off to a slow start. The fitness tracking ban was seen
as a flagship holiday product. Fitbit`s share finished the day down 11
percent at $14.81.
HERERA: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) may reportedly acquire NXP Semiconductors
(NASDAQ:NXPI). “The Wall Street Journal” says Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is in
talks with the chip maker over a deal that could take place in the next
three months. The takeover could be valued at more than $30 billion.
Shares of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) were up nearly 17 percent to
$96.12, while Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) was up 6 percent to $67.45.
A district sales manager at Insys Pharmaceuticals was arrested on charges
he took part in a scheme to pay doctors kickbacks in exchange for
prescribing the company`s opioids spray. This is just the latest in a
string of charges brought against company employees dealing with the drug.
You may remember, we aired a series about the Insys scandal last year.
Insys shares were off 5 percent to $12.08.
MATHISEN: Critics of the Federal Reserve have been out in force, some say
it hasn`t moved fast enough on interest rates. Others accuse it of playing
politics, and some want to know why it didn`t do more to weed out the bad
behavior at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Now, there`s another issue.
Steve Liesman reports tonight from Kansas City.
STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Fed has been
criticized by Republican nominee Donald Trump for being political and
keeping rates too low, and by investors for confusing communications.
But a gathering wave of criticism has received less publicity — the lack
of diversity of the Central Bank. It became a topic this week when the Fed
chair faced Congress.
REP. JOYCE BEATTY (D), OHIO: We`ve had no African-American presidents.
We`ve had zero Latino presidents out of 134. So I want to make sure that
we stay focused on that. I think we can do better than that.
JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: We`ve made some progress but we need
to do better. At the level of presidential appointments, I would very much
like to see, I would very much hope that we can see greater diversity in
LIESMAN: In an effort to address these concerns, the Kansas City Fed held
the first ever banker`s conference this week in an attempt to identify
potential banking leaders who could one day be policymakers. Yellen
addressed the audience today and hinted at possible changes to come.
Rose Washington is deputy chair of the Kansas City Fed, involved in
economic development lending in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
ROSE WASHINGTON, TULSA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COPORATION: All money is green
but people are different. I bring a unique perspective to this
organization, to the monetary policy discussion, because of the community
that I serve, because of the community where I work every day, where my ear
is to the ground, collecting data from minority businesses, from small
businesses, from small manufacturers located in low income census tracks.
LIESMAN: The issue of diversity at the Fed came to the fore in Jackson
Hole this year when activists met several Fed officials and call for
greater inclusion on the Federal Open Market Commission.
ALDEN MCDONALD, LIBERTY BANK PRESIDENT & CEO: The Fed has done a pretty
good job in balancing things over the years. But I think more diversity on
the Fed board will bring more insight into what`s happening in the urban
communities in America.
LIESMAN: Amid calls for greater diversity, the Fed`s first test will come
not here in Kansas City but in Atlanta, where the Fed`s President Dennis
Lockhart has announced he`ll retire next year. The campaign has already
begun to seek out a minority to fill the post.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Steve Liesman in Kansas City.
HERERA: Coming up, change of plans. Why some families are rethinking
their fall and winter vacations to the tour-dependent tourism-dependent
MATHISEN: It took months, but Congress approved more a billion do fight
the Zika virus. It was included in part of the spending bill we told you
about yesterday that will keep the government fro shutting down. It comes
as families rethink their fall vacations to states that are dependent on
tourism like Florida.
Susan Li has our story.
SUSAN LI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: The Sunshine State,
Florida, is the second most-visit in the U.S. after California, welcoming
in over 106 million out of town and international tourists last year,
accounting for $90 billion, according visit Florida. This August, the
tourism sector took a hit after the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control,
slapped a travel warning on two neighbors in Miami-Dade County. That
includes the hot spot of Miami Beach and a neighborhood of Wynwood and that
is meant a change in travel plans for some Americans over the peak fall and
DANIEL DURAZO, ALLIANZ GLOBAL ASSISTANCE: Allianz Global Assistance just
did a survey of 500,000 travelers who were planning to go to Florida this
year as opposed to last year. And then we found that overall travel to
Florida during the peak season, which is about mid-November to mid-April,
is going to be down about 15 percent.
LI: Travelers booked 30 percent fewer trips to Miami, 32 percent fewer
flights to Tampa, and over 15 percent less flight to West Palm Beach.
According to the CDC as of last week, there were 43 locally acquired cases
of Zika in Florida. The state`s efforts to battle the spread also claiming
a victory last week, the CDC lifting the travel advisory to the Wynwood
area after no new cases of the illness were reported in the last 45 days.
Relief for Miami operators that have experienced some lost business.
BILL TALBERT, GMCVB CEO & PRESIDENT: We have 53,000 hotel rooms county-
wide and, you know, groups meet in hotels. And there have been the
cancellations have been in the hotels, small groups.
LI: Most major tourism businesses operating in Florida say they haven`t
seen any major effects from Zika, including Disney (NYSE:DIS), which
operates theme parks in Orlando. The company said earlier this month that
the virus was having no real impact on cancellations or future bookings.
Also, cruise lines that operate out of Miami`s ports.
ARNOLD DONALD, CARNIVAL CORP, CEO AND PRES.: I think on the Zika concerns,
it really didn`t impact us very much. The reality is every year there is
something, Zika this year, Ebola, those things come up.
LI: Booking for trips to Florida may have been down in the month of
August, according s new survey, but like the battle to control the Zika
virus, the state`s tourism sector is also hoping fortunes turn around soon.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Susan Li.
MATHISEN: To read more about the potential impact Zika could have on
Florida travel, head to our website, NBR.com.
HERERA: Here`s another look at the dramatic day on Wall Street today. The
Dow closed down 195 points. The NASDAQ fell 49. The S&P 500 was off 20.
And that is it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks very much for joining us.
MATHISEN: And thanks from me as well, I`m Tyler Mathisen. Have a great
evening, everybody and we`ll see you right back here tomorrow.
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