Transcript: Nightly Business Report – August 28, 2017

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

dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas, creating catastrophic and
historic flood, with more on the way. Refineries are closed. Ports and
closed. And the nation`s fourth largest city is essentially under water.

The human and economic impact of this monster storm tonight on NIGHTLY
BUSINESS REPORT for Monday, August 28th.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome. Tyler Mathisen has this week off.

We begin tonight with the devastation hitting southeast Texas, where Harvey
made land over the weekend as a category 4 hurricane and then stalled
dumping torrential rain which could top 4 feet in some areas when all is
said and done. There has been and will be historic flooding. There have
been mass evacuations and several deaths.

Tens of thousands are without power in Houston. The nation`s fourth
largest city, well, it`s at a standstill. And the heart of the nation`s
energy infrastructure is impacted. We have reports up and down the Gulf
Coast. In Corpus Christi, near where Harvey made landfall, Galveston, of
course, but we begin with Contessa Brewer in Houston.


with persistent flooding and relentless rain now measured in feet rather
than mere inches. And all the while, officials are grappling with families
still begging with the need to be rescued.

(voice-over): On boats, by helicopter, even being carried, thousands of
people were rescued from rising waters.

JACOB JOSEPH, DISPLACED RESIDENT: Five o`clock in morning, we started to
get water inside the house. And it kept creeping up and finally there was
about 3 feet.

BREWER: Jacob and Meagan Joseph watched water intrude on their beautiful
home and overtake their cars.

JOSEPH: (INAUDIBLE) brought us to midway point, this church in Bel-air,
and then had HPD bring us in a high volume, high-water vehicle to bring us

BREWER: At the convention center, they found shelter and some place to
sit. By day`s end, they were joined by thousands more, babies and the
elderly, the disabled and small students missing out on the first day of

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: It was damage in the flood so we had to walk through
water. They took us to the library. So, and — we took a bus. So, that`s
how we ended up here.

BREWER: As they join other families made homeless by the storm, FEMA
announced it expects half a million Texans to apply for federal disaster
aid because of Harvey damage and the federal government is preparing its
financial response.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: My focus here is on the tragedy that`s
unfolding. People whose lives are in jeopardy, and the people who need
help. But I have been spending day and night working, trying to coordinate
with local officials, county judges, mayors, speaking with the governor,
repeatedly speaking with the president, the vice president, the cabinet
(ph) as we`ve (ph) been trying to marshal federal assets to save lives.

BREWER: In Houston, airports remain closed until Thursday. Downtown,
business after business is closed. And streets are impassable. Locals are
putting off thinking about the financial toll.

GEORGE GIBSON, ATTORNEY: We`re shut down for today and we don`t know how
long we`ll be shut down this week, primarily it`s because of the impact on
our colleagues and employees.

BREWER: Three million workers have jobs in the Metro Houston area. Jacob
and Meagan Joseph are eager to return to work. He is a physician at a
local hospital. She, a speech pathologist. But for now, they`re simply
grateful to be safe, dry and together.

(on camera): The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from two
nearby dams, knowing that they`re going to flood neighborhoods more in
downtown Houston but preferring that as the option rather than risking a
breach from reservoirs that are at capacity.

In Houston, Texas, for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Contessa Brewer.


HERERA: As we mentioned earlier, Houston is the nation`s fourth largest
city and the region is a huge contributor to the nation`s energy output.

Brian Sullivan is in Galveston with more on Harvey`s potential hit to the
oil market and Houston`s impact on the economy.


unprecedented flooding and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Houston and
lower Texas region, there may be an economic crisis as well because 15
percent of the oil and gas that is refined in the United States is
currently offline, shut down by the flooding as a result of Hurricane
Harvey. The Houston area produces more than 2 million barrels of oil and
distilled gasoline every single day.

And many of the refineries around here are now shut down, including the
second biggest refinery in the United States, the Baytown facility from
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), also Shell`s Deer Park facility is also shut down.
And there`s no clear word of when those facilities will open.

The other hit comes from the port economy. The majority of those
refineries lie along the port of Houston, which is actually a series of
four different ports and every ship that comes or goes has to come through
a channel right over there. And that ship channel, the busiest in the
United States, is currently shut down and there`s no indication of when it

In addition, many of the men and women who had worked at the refineries,
the pipes, the shipping facilities, the offload facilities and the ports,
simply cannot or will not get to work because they are facing a much more
serious issue.

The city of Houston does more than $500 billion per year in gross domestic
product. It would make it one of the top 25 nations in terms of economic
output. It is the fourth biggest economy in the United States and while
the city grapples with a humanitarian crisis, and the rescue of many of its
citizens, there`s also the future issue of gasoline, oil and shipping which
is shut down and is so vital to this area and to the United States.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Brian Sullivan in Galveston, Texas.


HERERA: It`s not just Houston and Galveston. Harvey came ashore first
right near Corpus Christi, where more of the nation`s refineries are
located and that`s where we find Jackie DeAngelis.


eye of Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal towns of and around Corpus Christi
hard. In nearby Rockport, businesses and homes destroyed.

RICK MILLER, ROCKPORT, TX RESIDENT: I`ve lost everything. I have nothing.
And I`m trying to be positive and make this a fresh start.

DEANGELIS: Rick Miller, a Rockport resident, is disabled and was unable to
evacuate the area ahead of the storm. The roof was ripped off his home and
its interior decimated. Luckily, his neighbors took him in before impact.

Bill Eberharet, Rick`s neighbor, describes the experience.

BILL EBERHARET, ROCKPORT, TX RESIDENT: Devastating is the first word,
obviously. The howling wind was pretty crazy. But we were getting through
it. And the next morning was just heartbreaking. When you see destruction
like this and your community and your lives, it`s hard, but we`re alive.

DEANGELIS: The mayor of Rockport advised those who evacuated to not
immediately return because rebuilding the infrastructure and restoring
power could take weeks. Governor Abbott and Senator Cornyn also toured the
area today to survey the damage. Governor Abbott deployed the entire Texas
National Guard in response to the disaster, 12,000 people to help the
rescue and relief effort.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: We`re going to be dealing with immense,
really record-setting flooding in multi regions across the state of Texas.

DEANGELIS: Meanwhile, as Houston remains under water, another issue in
focus is the refineries on the Gulf Coast, a total capacity of about 900
million barrels a day, a little less than 50 percent of what the U.S. can
churn out.

(on camera): And it looks like as of now, projections indicate that 2
million barrels a day have come offline. That means that prices most
likely at the pump are likely to rise as well.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Jackie DeAngelis, Corpus Christi, Texas.


HERERA: With the severe flooding, along parts of the Gulf Coast, the price
for U.S. gasoline futures jumped to a more than two-year high today, while
domestic crew fell nearly 3 percent as the market tried to assess the
storm`s impact.

John Kilduff joins us now to tell us what this all means for gas prices,
founding partner of Again Capital.

Good to see you, John.


HERERA: Thanks for joining us on set tonight.


HERERA: Really an unprecedented situation. And as we were just talking,
this storm is moving so slowly. They`re in for more rain. How is the
market for energy trying to price this in?

KILDUFF: The market for energy, I think, is really struggling with what
we`re dealing with here. We`re used to big storms coming and trying to hit
the heart of the refining sector. We put them all there for whatever
reason. They`re vulnerable for this sort of thing, but they`re built to
withstand it — high winds, some rain.

But flooding of this magnitude, volumes of water of this magnitude, could
make it nearly impossible for days, if not longer, weeks, for the folks
that turn the dials and flip the switches to get back to these refineries
that you saw Brian and Jackie talking about.


KILDUFF: This could take some time. Plus, they have their hands full with
their personal lives. So we`re not seeing the rush, nor should we, for
these people, this staff, to get back to the units. So, that`s what`s
going to hold back production of gasoline and diesel fuel over the next
several weeks and drive those prices higher.

HERERA: Because it is a multiple-day event, the governor is saying please
don`t come back.

KILDUFF: Exactly.

HERERA: So that, I think, it was one of the factors I heard a lot about in
the energy market, it`s almost impossible to handicap when those refineries
are going to come back online and it`s not that easy to bring a refinery
back online, is it?

KILDUFF: No. This is what was called a sudden — this is going to be what
they call a cold restart. So, they were able, and fortunately, to be able
to shut them all day in an orderly fashion. But getting them back takes
the full team, all hands on deck, because there`s obviously so many
combustible parts in the refinery because you`re running crude oil up a big
stack, literally, and then pulling off, like you do with milk, the cream,
the heavy milk, and the skim. And you need everyone there for that and
you`re not going to have — be able to get that staff back soon.

HERERA: We are seeing some spikes in gasoline prices, most notably along
the areas surrounding Texas. Perhaps that`s not so much of a surprise, but
do you expect that sort of ripple effect of higher prices to be seen across
the country?

KILDUFF: I do. I think initially here, as we`re seeing, it`s been a
moderately paced rise. The futures market and the wholesale markets have
priced in what looks to be a looming tightness. I do think that prices
ultimately could get as high as $1 over what they were just last week.

And I also think that in the Southeast, we will see spot shortages because
that`s the region that`s most reliant on the refineries you`ve been talking
about this evening on the program. In the upper Midwest, they have their
own refineries. East Coast, we have our own refineries and can get product
from Europe. California suffers on their own all the time, anyway, so
they`re out of the picture. So, we`re really talking about the Southeast

HERERA: Very quickly, late in the day this afternoon, NHK, the Japanese
broadcaster, reported and Japanese sources confirmed that the North Koreans
had fired a projectile. There were some reports that it was a missile.
Other reports disputed that.

What might that do, quickly, to the energy market?

KILDUFF: It is an extraordinarily bearish event for energy prices because
it`s going to strike at the heart, if there`s any kind of hostilities or
even higher anxieties, at the economic virtue of the Asian region, Seoul,
Tokyo, Beijing, they`re all in play on this if there`s any kind of
hostilities. This is why the equity market buckled a couple weeks ago as

HERERA: OK. John, thank you very much.

KILDUFF: Thank you.

HERERA: John Kilduff, with Again Capital.

Late today, President Trump pledged rapid government funding to Texas and
those hit by Harvey.


funding. It`s a terrible tragedy. We expect to have requests on our desks
fairly soon and we think that Congress will feel very much the way I feel,
in a very bipartisan way. That will be nice. But we think you`re going to
have what you need and it`s going to go fast.


HERERA: And corporate America is sending its help as well. Thus far, more
than a dozen major companies offered assistance to Harvey`s victims. You
can see them here on the screen. Some of note, $1 million from Walmart,
Pepsi, Chenier Energy, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), and
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), and $2 million from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

And from the sports world, the NFL Foundation, New England Patriots, and
Houston Texans are each pledging $1 million.

And with the airport closures, United Airlines which has a hub in Houston
says it will issue travel waivers for anyone impacted by the storm to 15
area airports. The waiver will be for any flights impacted between August
25th and September 5th. For a complete list of airports the waiver covers,
go to our Website at

Energy stocks weighed on the market today and insurer Travelers was one of
the biggest losers as investors took a step back to evaluate the impact of
Harvey. And as I mentioned, after the bell, the market could react to this
tomorrow. As we mentioned with John Kilduff, there was a Japanese news
agency report that North Korea launched a missile that passed over Japan.
As for today, the Dow lost five points to 28,808, the Nasdaq rose 17, and
the S&P 500 managed to add a point.

Coming up, assessing the damage.


in Windsor, Connecticut. Take a look behind me, weather analytics, social
media feeds, big data, just some of the tools that insurers like Travelers
are using to begin assessing damage from Hurricane Harvey, before adjusters
are even on the ground. That story is coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS



HERERA: We`re starting to see Harvey`s exposure for mortgage giants Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac. Fanny says there were more than 36,000 homes whose
mortgages in the initial impact area, with about $5 billion of unpaid
balances. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac estimates it has 167,000 mortgages in the
18 counties affected so far but says that number could grow.

Insurance stocks were hit today as investors wait on the initial estimates
of damage from Harvey. But the insurers aren`t sitting idly by. They are
using state of the art technology to get a head start on assessing the

Morgan Brennan takes us to Traveler`s catastrophe management center in
Windsor, Connecticut.


BRENNAN (voice-over): As Harvey continues to linger over the Texas coast,
insurers are using technology to model the damage. As they wait out the
storm to send resources into the state. Travelers has been monitoring
Harvey from its national catastrophe center using monitors displaying
weather analytics, big data, even social media feeds.

(on camera): This center and much of the technology in it is relatively
new. It didn`t exist for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or for Hurricane Ike in
2008. But now, it`s become crucial to the claims process at Travelers.

PATRICK GEE, TRAVELERS SVP OF CLAIMS: Many of the new tools have really
expedited a claim process. For instance, we can actually bill out the
footprint of a property before we`re on site to inspect it.

BRENNAN (voice-over): As more claims come in, this center will get even
busier. Three mobile claims vehicles were deployed to the coast. And many
of the adjusters heading there will use drones to make their assessments.

Travelers is one of the biggest underwriters of commercial and residential
insurance in the region. Other insurers, including AIG, Chubb (NYSE:CB),
Allstate (NYSE:ALL), and State Farm, are also sending resources to the
region. Farmers insurance is deploying a small portable city for its
adjusters, many of whom will also for the first time after a hurricane use

JEFF DAILEY, FARMERS INSURANCE CEO: Our drones can map the damages for
about three houses an hour. Prior to this, it would take an adjuster, we
could do three houses in a day.

BRENNAN: While Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane, it has
largely become a flooding event, with several feet of water submerging
parts of Houston and the coast.

The federal government accounts for nearly all of the residential flood
insurance market, but homeowners insurance does cover wind. The private
sector also covers flooding for many commercial properties. From strip
malls to refineries to hospitals, as well as automobiles.

RANDY BINNER, FBR CAPITAL: A lot of cars are trapped under ground. And
so, the swing factor higher if we`re wrong about two to four on the insured
loss, the private insured loss, it`s going to be because the auto losses
are going to be a lot more.

BRENNAN: Harvey is expected to be one of the costliest storms in U.S.
history, with losses expected to reach tens of billions of dollars. But
with more $700 billion in surplus, the industry is well-prepared to weather
the storm.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Windsor, Connecticut.


HERERA: And as Southeast Texas is pounded by those unprecedented
floodwaters, the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire on
September 30th unless Congress can reach a deal.

Ylan Mui joins us from Washington with more.

Ylan, does the program have enough money as it stands now to take care of
the homeowners in Texas?

it may not. The program is already running in the red. It`s about $25
billion in debt, and that reflects claims going all the way back to even
Hurricane Katrina. The program maxes out at about $30 billion, so it`s
only got about $5 billion to $6 billion of wiggle there and likely the
claims from Hurricane Harvey will surpass that amount.

HERERA: So, what can Congress do about it?

MUI: Well, President Trump was just speaking today saying that the victims
of will receive the full support and cooperation of the federal government,
but there`s been a lot of debate in Washington about whether extending the
program should be accompanied by any spending reforms in the future. So,
we`ll have to see whether or not there is a bipartisan spirit that will
emerge when lawmakers come back to Washington after recess is over.

HERERA: Ylan, thank you so much. Ylan Mui in Washington.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) bets big on a potential breakthrough cancer
treatment. That`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus.”

Gilead said it was buying biotech Kite Pharma for nearly $12 billion. As
the drug maker makes a deeper push into the oncology field. Kite Pharma
which does not have any FDA approved therapies is working on a promising
treatment that modifies the body`s immune system to fight cancer cells.
Gilead`s shares were up 1 percent to $74.69. Shares of Kite Pharma
rocketed higher by 28 percent to $178.05.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will reportedly unveil its latest iPhone during a
product announcement on September 12th. According to multiple reports, the
event is also slated to include software updates and new Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) TV and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares
rose 1 percent to $161.47.

And speaking of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch, Fitbit unveiled a new line
of products today, including a smart watch. The wearables device maker
said the device called the Fitbit Ionic, rather, will retail for $300
starting in October. The watch is water resistant, includes GPS tracking
and can run third-party apps. Fitbit shares were higher by 3 percent to

Estee Lauder has denied reports that it`s interested in selling itself.
Over the weekend, the cosmetics company wrote a memo to its employees
saying there`s no truth to the rumors and the company places great value in
remaining independent. Estee Lauder shares fell marginally to $105.96.

And it looks like the high-profile search for Uber`s next chief executive
officer is at an end. The embattled ride hailing company has picked
Expedia`s CEO to head the company, and while Expedia`s chairman, Barry
Diller, says nothing has been finalized, he acknowledged the offer will
likely be accepted.

Deirdre Bosa takes a look at the man asked to take the wheel at Uber.


of drama, a corporate culture crisis, executive departures and board
infighting, Uber will turn a new page having finally selected a new CEO.
Expedia`s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was selected at the end of a dramatic
weekend that saw former G.E. boss Jeff Immelt drop out of the race via a
tweet. And HPE chief, Meg Whitman, reentered the running despite publicly
denying she was interested in the role.

Khosrowshahi is seen by early Uber investors as a very qualified and
respected choice.

BRIAN NEIDER, LEAD EDGE CAPITAL PARTNER: I love it. I think he`s great.
And we`ve been following his career for a while. We`re super bullish.

heard about the great work he`s done at Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), it seems
like it`s a very good choice for the company.

BOSA: Khosrowshahi has presided over Expedia`s expansion to more than 60
countries and he`s made deals to bring in other brands like Travelocity and
Orbitz and Homeaway into Expedia`s fold. But he has his work cut out. If
and how much he`ll work with former CEO and founder Travis Kalanick is a
big question.

There`s also the lawsuit from Alphabet`s Waymo autonomous vehicle
technology, plenty of executive positions still to be filled, and not
least, boosting morale and fixing culture at a company that has just gone
through the wringer.

HOLLAND: I think all of the distractions associated with the company have
been unfortunate. And it seems to me from what I`ve read and from what
I`ve seen from other people covering this, that Dara is the type of person
that`s going to come in and institute a culture that`s going to kind of
take away some of those distractions and probably put them on a more
professional business path.

BOSA: And perhaps put Uber on the path to profitability and an eventual
IPO. Despite the drama this year, Uber has continued to grow while cutting

But investor confidence is another matter. Four mutual funds including
Vanguard and T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW) have lowered the valuation
of their Uber investments and smaller rival, Lyft, has been making inroads,
raising money and expanding to more of Uber`s territory. Cleaning up the
mess, while keeping the nearly $70 billion company humming, is no small
task for Uber`s incoming.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Deirdre Bosa, San Francisco.


HERERA: Coming up, Whole Foods slashes prices but will other grocers feel
the pressure?


HERERA: Here`s a look at what to watch for tomorrow. We will get a look
at how home prices are doing with the release of the S&P Case Shiller Index
for June. And then, a read on how the consumer is feeling when this
month`s confidence numbers come out. And corporate earnings are still
trickling out. Tomorrow, we get quarterly results from big box retailer
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). And that`s what to watch for on Tuesday.

And finally tonight, now that the $13 billion merger between Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Whole Foods is complete, the grocery chain has begun
slashing prices. In fact, on day one, whole foods cut prices on some items
as much as much as 43 percent. And now that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the
owner, many are watching the possible pricing impact on the industry

Courtney Reagan has more.


an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) owned Whole Foods and shoppers are already finding
lower prices on some bestselling items, including organic bananas for 69
cents a pound instead of 99 cents. Organic brown eggs are now $3.99, 30
cents lower. And 85 percent lean ground beef will cost you $4.99. Before
today, it was $1.50 more.

Most shoppers told us their biggest hesitation of Whole Foods are the
prices. But now, they`ll reconsider.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, I`m going to be shopping a lot more there, 43
percent drop. It came up on my phone this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to dropping their prices. I`m onboard
with that, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would absolutely go back to, you know, to going to
Whole Foods if the meat was dropped, if the prices were dropped.

REAGAN: Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joe Feldman says based on his
analysis, prices are about 25 percent less on the 30 or 40 so items with
new lower prices.

JOSEPH FELDMAN, TELSEY ADVISORY GROUP: That`s still a little bit higher
than, say, a Walmart or a Kroger (NYSE:KR) might be, but it is much more
within the range. I mean, previously, Whole Foods had been 35 percent, 40
percent more expensive than conventional grocery. And now, we`re talking
maybe 5 percent to 20 percent, 15 percent to 20 percent difference.

REAGAN: Don`t expect to see other supermarkets lower their prices further
in response. Kantar retail`s L.A. Simms says grocer retailers like Kroger
(NYSE:KR) set prices with food suppliers like General Mills (NYSE:GIS) only
twice a year, possibly losing shoppers like those we spoke to in the

Whole Foods has only a fraction of the stores compared to those of Walmart
and Kroger (NYSE:KR) nationally. Walmart, the biggest grocer, has ten
times as many locations as Whole Foods. Whole Foods requires its food
passes strict organic, no GMO and other standards. So, it`s not for

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t have Pepsi. Can you believe that? They
don`t have, you know, the conventional stuff that guys like me get.

REAGAN: Still, stock prices of food makers like Kraft (NYSE:KFT) and
grocery stores like Supervalu have gotten hit from each new development out
of the Whole Foods/Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) deal because of all the unknowns.
When Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) comes into an industry, it changes everything.



REAGAN: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera.
Thanks for joining us. We`ll see you here tomorrow.


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post
broadcast at The program is transcribed by ASC Services II
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
of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly
Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2017 CNBC, Inc.


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