Transcript: Nightly Business Report – August 14, 2017

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Sue

bounce back and have their best day of the summer. As last week`s worries
morph into a reheated hopefulness.

of Merck (NYSE:MRK) resigns from the president`s manufacturing council,
creating a potential crack in the White House relationship with business.

MATHISEN: And wellness watch? Will Aetna (NYSE:AET) give an Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) watch to its millions of members? And if they do, would you
set aside privacy concerns and wear it?

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday,
August 14th.

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

A hot August day turned into a hot August rally. Stocks recorded their
best performance since April, reversing the losses that besieged the market
last week. The mood on Wall Street improved on easing tensions with North
Korea, thanks to an op-ed written by the secretaries of state and defense,
who said the administration would continue to pursue diplomatic resolutions
with Pyongyang. Now, add to that a solid quarter of corporate earnings,
and stronger than expected growth in Japan, and stocks took off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 135 points to 21993, the Nasdaq
gained 83, and the S&P 500 advanced 24.

Dominic Chu watched the rally from the floor of the New York Stock


long. What was shaping up to be a bigger scaled downturn in the stock
markets just ended up fizzling out, just like it`s done consistently over
the past year. On a bigger picture basis, major indices posted declines of
around a couple percent, only to bounce back today with gains in tech
stocks and bank stocks. The general consensus among many traders is that
geopolitical risks aren`t as big a risk yet.

JOHN CORPINA, MERIDIAN EQUITY PARTNER: I think as we continue to get
headlines out of North Korea, investors have seen that the situation there
might have calmed down a little bit for now and using this as an
opportunity, but time will tell how it really plays out.

CHU: While the lack of new developments related to North Korean intentions
may help lift stocks, there are still a lot of concerns on the horizon that
aren`t related to potential armed conflict.

STEVE GUILFOYLE, SARGE986 LLC PARTNER: There are two things the markets
care about, all right? One is on a day-to-day basis. That`s earnings per
share and revenues, how these corporations are faring against their
competitors within their own sectors. Secondly, you want to go out two,
three weeks, central banking becomes a big issue once again. As Mario
Draghi, president of the ECB, will speak at Jackson Hall. This will impact
currency valuations and treasury yields.

CHU: Later on this week, we`re going to get big earnings reports from
retailers like Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart. The
Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank`s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
takes place next week. It has produced market-moving statements in the
past and could this time around as well. All in the context of what could
happen down the line with the U.S. and global interest rate picture.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Dominic Chu at the New York Stock


MATHISEN: Here now to talk more about today`s snapback in the market, and
what he sees ahead for stocks and more, is Michael Farr. He is the
president of money management firm Farr, Miller & Washington in Washington,

Michael, welcome.


MATHISEN: You know, there`s been a tussle in recent weeks, on one hand,
fear, on the other hand, fundamentals. Last week, it seemed as though fear
had the upper hand. Today, it looks like fundamentals did. I got that

FARR: Well, it seems that way, Tyler. And that`s a good way to describe
it. Fear last week, certainly as the rhetoric in North Korea built, and
then — but, you know, fear led to, what, a 1 percent pullback. I think we
recovered that 1 percent again in the first 20 minutes or half an hour of
trade this morning.

So, markets can`t be kept down right now. Psychology is really bullish.
Bad news is getting dismissed and discounted. So, whether it was the
mother of all bombs in Afghanistan, or missiles being launched at Syria or
acts of terrorism or now really markets are in the up mode, they tend to
stay that way, and earnings are actually coming in to support this market

HERERA: Now, in the past, Michael, you`ve been a little bit nervous,
perhaps, about some of the valuations. Still finding opportunities,
certainly, and you share that with our viewers.

FARR: Yes.

HERERA: How do you feel about valuations right now?

FARR: I continue to think that they`re full. I think that the market is
trading, you know, near 20 times earnings is still an expensive market. I
think a market that`s making new all-time highs. What we`re just fractions
off of 22,000 today. So, this is a high market and if the rule is to buy
low and sell high, this is not low by any measure.

So, we`ve been — we`ve been running on expectations of change policy, of
all of these other good things. But earnings are improving and if earnings
in the forecasts are right and the interest rates stay where they are and
the dollar stays where it is and everything else doesn`t really move
around, and we`re at 17 times 2018 earnings, it wouldn`t be awful. So, I
find myself holding my breath a lot, in a very worried way because I manage
other people`s money.

MATHISEN: Give me about 30 seconds on your view about energy. That is an
area that you think may be ready for a little bit of a rebound.

FARR: Well, I think it may be. Certainly saw energy fall today. We saw
oil fall back. Energy really has been dictated a lot by controlling of
supply out of Saudi Arabia and OPEC. But, you know, China`s a little bit
weaker economic data today may indicate that the demand is not quite there.
So, we might see a little bit of a bounce back in here, could be more of a
technical bounce back, but there seems to be plenty of oil overall.

MATHISEN: All right. Michael, thank you very much. Michael Farr of Farr,
Miller & Washington.

FARR: Thank you.

HERERA: At the White House, the president denounced white supremacists and
racist violence two days after bloody demonstrations and a deadly car
attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.


cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-
Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to
everything we hold dear as Americans. We are a nation founded on the truth
that all of us are created equal.


HERERA: His remarks follow criticism that his initial statement over the
weekend stopped short of condemning racist groups specifically.

That prompted the CEO of Merck (NYSE:MRK), Ken Frazier, to resign from the
president`s American Manufacturing Council early this morning. In a
statement, he said, quote: As CEO of Merck (NYSE:MRK) and as a matter of
personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against
intolerance and extremism.

The president responded in a tweet saying, Ken Frazier of Merck (NYSE:MRK)
Pharma has resigned from President`s Manufacturing Council. He will have
more time to lower rip-off drug prices.

MATHISEN: Well, the CEO of Merck (NYSE:MRK) was the only executive to
resign from that council. Other executives publicly denounced hate, racism
and bigotry, along with members of the president`s party.

John Harwood is following the story from Washington.

John, you know, the president kind of took a mulligan today I would call
it. What`s been the broader reaction in business and politics to his
handling of the Charlottesville violence?

Frazier, Tyler, decided that they weren`t going to need a mulligan, they
were going to act more quickly. And so, you saw in addition to his
resignation, you saw people like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)
putting out statements saying that they were going to denounce the
intolerant groups, white supremacists and the KKK that the president had
been reluctant to. They have their eyes on a broader constituency than the
presidents seem to this weekend, though he did step in today under pressure
and make that statement.

HERERA: You know, he was around — the president was roundly criticized by
both parties over the weekend. What does that tell us about the state of
the Republican Party in particular?

HARWOOD: Sue, Donald Trump executed a hostile takeover of the Republican
Party last year. He beat a bunch of Republican figures. He won the
nomination. He got elected. Members have been tolerating him, Republican
elected officials, because they share many of his policy goals.

But the longer we get into the year, the more trouble with the special
counsel investigation, the more difficulty with the agenda on things like
health care, the more people are deciding not to submerge their personal
feelings. And so, you saw over the weekend some Republican senators
criticizing President Trump more pointedly than they have so far. That is
a potentially dangerous situation for President Trump because he needs
political protection as he moves on in his presidency and Bob Mueller moves
on in his investigation.

MATHISEN: What could that restiveness in the GOP, particularly maybe in
the Senate and the House, among officeholders, what could it mean for the
president`s broader policy agenda?

HARWOOD: To do a big reform agenda, like, say, of the tax code, you need a
united party, strong presidential leadership. Anything that drives a wedge
between the president and his party or anything that creates turmoil within
the administration, and there`s some talk of a new staff shakeup, all that
makes the agenda much more difficult to enact.

MATHISEN: All right, John. John Harwood in Washington.

HERERA: And at the center of all of this is Charlottesville, Virginia, a
city that`s long been a destination for top-tier college students and more
recently retirees, but this quiet enclave 100 miles south of Washington was
targeted over the weekend by white supremacists. They were enflamed by the
city`s plan to remove a civil war monument from a city square.

Kayla Tausche reports on how local businesses there are responding.


companies like mobile app developer Willow Tree, the events of this past
weekend don`t shake its resolve to grow its business in this college town.

MIKE MOORE, WILLOWTREE PARTNER: We are a community about diversity, we`re
about inclusion, we`re about respect, and if anything, we`re going to
double down on those things. Not just as a community, but as a business.

TAUSCHE: Charlottesville`s economy is healthy. Employment and income
above the national average. And it consistently tops lists for the best
place to live. Local leaders were stunned after Saturday`s rally turned
fatal. The state of emergency shutting down businesses for the day.

AYLA OLSEN, TALA ACCESSORIES: Things are getting tumultuous over here,

TAUSCHE: Ayla Olsen moved here from Turkey in search of stability. She
runs an accessories vendor downtown and has watched the political climate
boil over in recent months.

OLSEN: Just thinking about it makes me really, really sad, to say the

TAUSCHE: Rachel Gendreau manages a popular restaurant on Charlottesville`s
outdoor mall and hopes for the best going forward.

RACHEL GENDREAU, BIZOU MANAGER: I think that we`ve really been in touch
with our neighbors here on the mall and been able to communicate and to
mobilize in a way that we haven`t needed to in the past but in a way that`s
proven, like, pretty remarkable.

TAUSCHE (on camera): Statements from university and the town`s mayor have
described the white nationalist movement as one that`s converged on, but
didn`t originate here in Charlottesville. But yet, the racial tensions
here have resulted in a debate over whether to remove statues of
confederate generals like this one, now draped in signs bearing the name
Heather Heyer who was killed during Saturday`s protests.

has been a galvanizing issue.

TAUSCHE (voice-over): Tim Hulbert, president of the Regional Chamber of
Commerce, says recent rallies don`t define the town.

HULBERT: Nothing has changed other than the fact that we were captured for
about 24 hours by folks that would do us harm. They did us harm in the
national images, but we`ll get over that.

TAUSCHE: The lifeblood of the town is the University of Virginia whose
school year begins in a week. UVA`s president says there will be healthy
opportunities to discuss the issues driving this conversation.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche, Charlottesville, Virginia.


MATHISEN: Still ahead, tracking your health. Why Aetna (NYSE:AET) may
want millions of Americans to wear one of these.


HERERA: President Trump signed a memorandum that could lead to a trade
investigation of alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property. While the
measure does not take any specific action against China at this point, it
does direct the U.S. trade representative to look into options to protect
American intellectual property.


TRUMP: Today, I`m directing the United States` trade representative to
examine China`s policies, practices and actions with regard to the forced
transfers of American technology and the theft of American intellectual
property. We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American
companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market


HERERA: And the president suggested that more steps could be taken.

MATHISEN: And that is not going over terribly well with China which has,
to put it mildly, a very complex relationship with the U.S.

Eunice Yoon has more on the reaction from Beijing.


and the state media have been indicating that an investigation could set
back U.S.-China relations. Officially, Trump administration officials have
said that the trade directed is unrelated to what the president perceives
to be China`s lack of action reining in North Korea. However, based on the
president`s previous tweets and comments, Chinese officials I`ve spoken to
believe he`s connecting the two issues and it really bothers them.

Today, the foreign ministry weighed in saying the Korean peninsula issue
and the trade issue are two different categories. It is clearly
inappropriate to use one issue as a tool to press the other issue. The
Chinese state media had been threatening retaliation. “The China Daily”
said the U.S. action could trigger a trade war and the “Global Times”, the
communist party paper, said, we should make Washington realize that China
is not the one to be messed around with.

If you take the Chinese threats at face value, the concern now is that this
could descent into a tit for tat trade war that the global business
community has been worried about.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Beijing.


HERERA: This week, the president`s trade team will begin the task of
rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. The president
has repeatedly said that he wants to bring jobs back to the U.S. But what
happens to those workers who lose their jobs to trade?

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) takes a look at a federal retraining program.



after 22 years of the job at American Airlines as a shop mechanic, single
father, Hugo Nieves, found himself out of work. The company filed for
bankruptcy and closed down a maintenance base in Ft. Worth, Texas, as part
of its restructuring. Nieves` role was shipped off to China.

HUGO NIEVES, FORMER AIRLINE MECHANIC: You get comfortable in a career that
you`ve been doing for many years and you`re at a good place in life, you`re
making money, you`re saving, everything`s comfortable. You get taken out
of that environment and it`s a whole new world.

ROGERS: But today, he`s bounced back in a very different career as a
surgical technologist at Cook Children`s Medical Center in Ft. Worth,
assisting doctors and patients, thanks to a federal entitlement program
known as Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA.

To become eligible, a person has to be lost his or her job as a result of
foreign trade. TAA is administered at the state level and a company, union
or group of workers can petition the Department of Labor for benefits.

(on camera): In 2016, the Labor Department estimates some 126,000 workers
nationally became eligible for TAA benefits. While President Trump has
emphasized America-first policies and renegotiation of trade deals to
prevent more jobs from being lost to foreign trade, the department did
request an increase in funding for the retraining program in 2018.

In Nieves` home state of Texas, some 3,500 workers are helped each year and
nearly three quarters entered employment once retraining is complete. Some
90 percent retain their jobs thereafter.

LISA GIVENS, TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION: It`s really an opportunity for a
displaced worker to have a second career, have a second chance.

ROGERS: After being notified by American Airlines that he may be eligible
for benefits, Nieves went back to school at age 45 and retrained to become
a surgical technologist. Even taking prerequisite courses in science and
going up against younger candidates for his new position.

NIEVES: The main motivation is my daughter. I`ve been a single father.
I`ve raised my daughter from birth. And it`s just been me and her. I have
to provide a good home for her, so I knew I had to find a career that was
beneficial for both her and I, one that I could survive on and make a
decent living.

ROGERS: And while he`s thankful for the new career the program has
afforded him, Nieves is hopeful others won`t have to rely on TAA the way
that he did.



MATHISEN: Fiat Chrysler reportedly puts the brakes on a takeover offer.
And that is where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

According to a report from automotive news, Fiat Chrysler recently rejected
the bid from an unnamed Chinese automaker saying the amount was too low.
The report also said other Chinese car makers are weighing an acquisition
of Fiat. Shares of Fiat Chrysler rose more than 8.5 percent on the session
to finish at $12.60.

The food distributor, Sysco (NYSE:SYY), said strength in its international
operations helped the company`s results beat estimates. Shares still fell,
though, down almost 1 percent, to $51.09.

HERERA: VF Corporation which owns brands, the North Face and Timberland
(NYSE:TBL), said it would buy work apparel maker Williamson Dickey for $820
million. VF Corp said the deal will strengthen its work wear business and
add to this year`s earnings and revenue. Shares of VF Corp rose 3 percent
to $63.50.

VM Wear said that it expects profits and sales for the current quarter to
come in ahead of street targets. The provider of cloud computing software
said it`s seeing strength across its product portfolio and expects that
trend to continue. As a result, the company also lifted its full year
outlook. Shares were higher by 6 percent to $98.02.

And the Chinese e-commerce site,, said a rise in marketing costs led
to a wider loss in the latest quarter. Still, the results were better than
expected. Sales rose and also topped analyst expectations. Shares fell
more than 3 percent to $44.25.

MATHISEN: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) reportedly held a
series of secret discussions last week to bring Apple`s health tracker
smart watch to millions more people connected to Aetna (NYSE:AET). As
first reported by CNBC, Aetna (NYSE:AET) is negotiating with Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) on a plan to offer a free or discounted Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
watch as a perk to Aetna`s 23 million members. Shares of both Aetna
(NYSE:AET) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose during the trading session today.`s health and technology reporter Christina Farr first reported the
story. And she joins us now from San Francisco.

Welcome, Christina. Good to see you as always.

Now, for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), a deal like this would mean obviously higher
sales of the watch, but why does Aetna (NYSE:AET) want to do that? And is
there evidence that they could use that these wellness programs reduce
costs for insurance companies?

great question, Sue. And, yes, it is obvious why Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would
want to move in this direction. For them, it represents a potential boon
in sales for the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) watch if it could partner with an
insurer like Aetna (NYSE:AET) and that could just be the beginning.

On Aetna`s side, companies are still exploring ways to reduce health care
costs by keeping their members healthier, rather than treating them when
they`re sick. And there`s some evidence, although it`s still limited, that
a wearable tracker that can look at everything from steps to blood pressure
and heart rate, like the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) watch, might be useful for
that. So, only time will tell and this will be the first potentially many
experiments like this with the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) watch.

MATHISEN: What do I — what do I think about the privacy concerns here?
Should I be worried at Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are going
to collect data that could be used ultimately against me in pricing of
health insurance coverage?

FARR: Yes, there`s certainly a creep factor here, Tyler. And I think
about this a lot as well. You know, if I`m wearing my Fitbit or my Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) watch, and my insurance company or my employer, maybe it`s a
self-insured employer, could see that data, it`s really fair to wonder what
they would do with it. Is there a way in which we would be penalized for
not keeping to you a certain schedule in the long run?

And this especially applies to, say, you know, women who have just had a
baby and returning to work and don`t quite have the same energy that they
did before. So, there are groups you could see being marginalized by
something like this and I think privacy is a really, really important
question here for a company like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and one that they`re
going to have to address.

HERERA: So, do you — do you get the feeling, because this is your area of
expertise, that there`s more of this to become?

FARR: Absolutely. And I believe Aetna (NYSE:AET) is the first of many
insurance companies that would want to partner with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on
something like this. We saw Fitbit take the same direction. They`ve been
working for years with insurance companies and self-insured employers. So,
naturally, it makes sense that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) watch as it looks to
overtake its rivals, especially Fitbit, would move in this direction also.

MATHISEN: So I can see how the Fitbit can help me. I know how many steps
I`ve taken. I can see my blood pressure, my heart rate, and so on and so
forth. Would it necessarily then sharing that information with Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) and then on to the sponsor of this proposed initiative, Aetna

FARR: Well, we`ve seen Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tyler, stress again and again
that it is a company that makes money by selling devices and not through
data and the company really stressed with something like health
information, which is a lot more sensitive, we really do not want our steps
and heart rate ending up in the wrong hands. They`ve said that they will
not share this device with third parties. This kind of data will stay on
the watch and not beyond that.

So, you know, only time will tell whether Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will stick
with its policy, but that is what the company has said thus far.

HERERA: All right. Christina, thank you so much. Christina Farr in San
Francisco for us.

And coming up, eclipse economics. Prices are spiking as people try to
chase the moon`s shadow.


MATHISEN: Here`s a look at what to watch tomorrow. The Dow component Home
Depot (NYSE:HD) reports its results. We`ll find out if spending on home
improvement is still strong.

A few companies in the struggling retail sector also release their
financial results including Coach (NYSE:COH), TJX and Urban Outfitters

And a big day for economic reports. Retail sales for July, along with
import prices and home builder sentiment due out and that is what to watch

HERERA: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has signed an exclusive deal with the woman
behind hits like “Grey`s Anatomy” and “Scandal”, delivering a blow to
Disney (NYSE:DIS). Disney (NYSE:DIS) owns the ABC television network which
is home to the series. Shonda Rhimes` multi-production deal ends a 15-year
relationship that it had with ABC Studios. Some say the move is another
example of big talent moving away from advertising-funded TV.

Last week, Disney (NYSE:DIS) said it`s taking all Disney (NYSE:DIS) and
Pixar content off of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) within the next few years as it
launches its own streaming video service.

MATHISEN: Well, the first solar eclipse, total one, in 99 years, is coming
to North America, and people and businesses are preparing for this once in
a lifetime event.

Jane Wells has our story.


be a migration across America, the likes we haven`t seen since the gold
rush. People invading a swath of the country, from Oregon to South
Carolina, to see the full solar eclipse on Monday. Colorado is warning of
traffic nightmares. The population of Wyoming could double.

Yours truly will be in Madras, Oregon. A million tourists could hit the
state. Hotel rooms near Madras, if you could still fine one, are going for
eight times normal prices. People are renting out their backyards on
Airbnb for thousands and companies are trying to cash in.

Krispy Kreme`s glazed donut will go dark next Monday. I mean, it`s going
crazy. There`s a special Amtrak train which is going to Carbondale,
Illinois, for the eclipse. It sold out immediately.

Alaska Airlines has chartered a specific flight to chase the eclipse.
Hertz overbooked cars in Portland and is now calling to apologize to

And then you have the sales of solar glasses. OK? These do not count.
Regular sunglasses do not look at the sun with them next week during the
eclipse. Sales of real solar glasses have eclipsed expectations. In fact,
you can buy them on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is trying to reach out to people who may have bought
counterfeit fake glasses. Don`t do it.

And, ironically, finally, states which depend on solar energy from
California to North Carolina next Monday are trying to figure out how to
keep the lights on when the world goes dark.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, in Los Angeles.


MATHISEN: It`s going to be fascinating to see or not see.

HERERA: Going to be fascinating. Or not see. Exactly.

MATHISEN: I hope it`s not cloudy.

HERERA: Oh, gosh. That will do it for us tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us.

MATHSEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for me as well. Have a great
evening, everybody. And we`ll see you back here tomorrow.

HERERA: Yes, what if it rains?


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
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Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests
and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
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