Transcript: Nightly Business Report – September 1, 2017

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

created fewer jobs than expected last month, but is there anything to worry

Sticker shock. Gas prices jump overnight catching motorists off-guard.
We`ll tell you where the spike was felt.

And bulking up. How one entrepreneur got the bright idea to make warehouse
shopping mobile.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, September

Good evening, everyone, and welcome. Tyler Mathisen is off tonight.

August is a hot month, but job growth cooled more than expected. The
economy added 156,000 jobs, fewer than Wall Street had anticipated. Wage
growth also stalled and the unemployment rate edged higher to 4.4 percent.
And those hefty gains from June and July, they were revised lower by

Hampton Pearson has the story behind the numbers.


jobs and government hiring took a hit in August, while the auto industry
and construction drove the gains.

The president`s top economic adviser says a one-month stall does not offset
the overall momentum in the economy and the key to creating more jobs with
higher wages is tax reform.

GARY COHN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: If we get a tax system that
allows us to compete, we will hire people. When you hire people, you
compete for labor. When you compete for labor, you drive wages. We need
wage growth. We need job creation in this country.

PEARSON: Professional and business services have been consistent engines
for job growth, adding more than 262,000 workers in the last year. For
skilled professionals like Kush Lotia the job came looking for her.

KUSH LOTIA, PENFED SCRUM MASTER: Actually, I was not looking for a job. I
was recruited by my colleagues.

PEARSON: She`s one of more than 200 new hires at Penfed Credit Union so
far this year. The company plans to double that hiring pace between now
and the end of the year.

CEO James Schenck says the strength of the economy has helped grow demand
for financial services.

JAMES SCHENCK, CEO, PENFED: We feel a lot of strength for our products and
services across the country. We`ve grown our assets by $6.4 billion in the
last three years, which has allowed us at Penfed to increase our workforce
by 50 percent.

PEARSON: Analysts say continued growth is strong enough for the Fed to
start shrinking its $4 trillion balance sheet. But sluggish wage growth
makes it less likely there`ll be an interest rate hike this year.

(on camera): Next month`s job survey is likely to be impacted by the
economic fallout from Hurricane Harvey, where the disruptions in the energy
sector alone are expected to last for several weeks.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Washington.


HERERA: While the damage of Hurricane Harvey is still being assessed, some
estimates are starting to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars,
surpassing Hurricane KJatrina`s total damage of $160 billion. One area not
being talked about much yet is Harvey`s impact on jobs.

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) shows us how New Orleans fared and how that could
relate to Houston.


ways, New Orleans is still rebuilding a decade after Katrina which left its
wake massive job and population losses for the city. Today, some 90,000
fewer people live in New Orleans and in the first ten months after the
storm, 95,000 jobs were lost, along with some $2.9 billion wages, mainly
from the private sector.

The city also had a job vacancy rate of 12.5 percent, one of the highest
ever recorded in the U.S., according to analysts.

challenges facing New Orleans after Katrina was just trying to get people
back in place to do the rebuilding. Because of the geography of New
Orleans, it`s really surrounded by water on almost all sides, there`s only
a couple of major highways in and out. So, it was hard for workers to get
back into the area if they didn`t have a place to live.

ROGERS: During those months, more than 22,000 jobs were lost in tourism
and food services, 3,500 jobs lost in port services, and nearly 14,000 jobs
lost in health care. Meanwhile, construction thrived in the recovery,
adding nearly 5,000 jobs, something economists say will likely happen in
Houston post-Harvey.

(on camera): There`s one silver lining for Houston, it`s a very different
city from New Orleans. With more than 2 million people, Houston is the
fourth largest city in the country and it was also growing before the storm
hit. Meanwhile when Katrina made landfall, New Orleans had a population of
some 450,000 people, and it had already been declining.

BARNES: One of the benefits that Houston has is the geography, is the sort
of sprawling nature of the city. So, just outside of those flooded areas,
there are going to be places where people can pick up empty rentals, stay
temporarily in vacant hotel rooms. So, it`s going to be a little better
sort of logistically in terms of positioning assets, positioning the
workforce to be able to get back in and rebuild a bit more quickly.

ROGERS (voice-over): There`s also a strong diversified economy in Houston
and the population is much wealthier. Experts say all of this makes it
much more likely that people will come back home after the storm, instead
of fleeing the city the way so many did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.



HERERA: Let`s turn now to Anthony Chan. He`s chief economist at Chase.

Anthony, nice to have you here.


HERERA: I want to pick up from where Kate left off and I know it`s still
early days, but how much do you think the Hurricane Harvey might affect
next month`s jobless report? And we know it didn`t impact this jobs report
because those numbers were already tallied before the storm hit. But what
about next month?

CHAN: I think you will have a negative impact, just like Hurricane Katrina
that occurred in August of 2005. It occurred after the payroll survey
week, so that Hurricane Harvey.

But what you saw was that non-farm payrolls went from 196,000 in August,
and over the next two months, you saw a 241,000 lower number relative to
196,000. If you believe that Hurricane Harvey unfortunately is 40 percent
in terms of the damage of Hurricane Katrina, I could easily see somewhere
between 50,000 and 75,000 over the next two months of a lower number
relative to the August number of 156,000.

HERERA: Well, let`s talk about this latest report. Wage gains were once
again pretty muted.

CHAN: Wage gains are typically muted whenever you have a sluggish
productivity. I did a little bit of a study looking at productivity and
wages all the way back to 1960, and what I find is that when productivity
is weak, guess what happens? Our wages are weak and more importantly, when
productivity is weak, real average hourly earnings are weak, to the extent
of almost a two to one.

In other words, whatever productivity does and what we seen in the last
year is that productivity is running around 1.1 percent if you look at
business or if you look at the other non-farm business productivity, the
difference is a 1.1 and the other one is 1.2. But on average, real average
hourly earnings are about half. And guess what? Real average hourly
earnings are running around a half a percent.


CHAN: So, if we want wages to get stronger, we need to get productivity to
get stronger.

HERERA: What does this report quickly if you could do for the Fed`s
timetable on interest rate increases if anything at all?

CHAN: I think this report certainly causes them to raise some eyebrows
because if this weakness continues, it causes a little bit of a hesitation.
But right now, when we look at economic growth in the third quarter, it
still looks like it`s going to be a countable quarter that`s in excess of 2
percent. So, I don`t think the Federal Reserve is hitting the panic button
just yet.

HERERA: Anthony, have a great long weekend. Thanks so much for joining

CHAN: My pleasure.

HERERA: Anthony Chan with Chase.

It was a strong start to September for stocks, particularly the Nasdaq,
which closed at a record. The Dow rose 39 points to 21987, the Nasdaq
climbed six, and the S&P 500 tacked on nearly five. And it was a good week
for the three indexes, but the Nasdaq rose nearly 3 percent, the best week
of the year.

As expected, Hurricane Harvey and the massive flooding in Texas took a bite
out of August auto sales. Overall, business fell almost 5 percent compared
to July. But now, automakers are gearing up for an expected rebound in
sales over the next two to three months.

Phil LeBeau has more.


testament to how quickly Harvey swamped Houston. Flooded cars, SUVs and
pickups are spread throughout the city. The water is so high in so many
areas, it`s estimated up to a half million vehicles could be totaled. That
includes some that are under water at dealerships.

Right now, most auto dealers in the Houston area are likely to be closed
from this week, and when they reopen, business is likely to be slow, as
people struggle to put their lives back together, file insurance claims and
get around to buying a car or truck. Once that happens, sales will snap

MIKE JACKSON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, AUTONATION: Scrap the vehicles and are all
going to have to be replaced. So I expect a significant snap back in
Houston, which is both a tribute to the spirit and resiliency of the people
there, and that`s the American way.

LEBEAU: With used car prices already at a record high, it`s likely they`ll
move even higher. That`s because the supply in the Houston area will be
tighter than normal, at least initially.

(on camera): And what happens to all the flooded cars and trucks, well,
the vast majority will be scrapped. But as with Hurricanes Katrina and
Sandy, there are some that will be fixed, retitled and then sold, often in
states around the country where the buyers have no idea that the vehicle
they`re buying was once underwater in Houston.



HERERA: And now to Texas where Governor Abbott says more than 400,000
Texans have registered for government disaster assistance so far. And some
of those people are slowly starting to go back to rehab and repair their

Contessa Brewer has more from Houston.


home after home in Houston, the garbage is piling up.

REBEKAH RIVERA, FLOOD VICTIM: I just knew it had to go.

BREWER: Rebekah Rivera, a private tutor, just bought this house a month
ago. She never expected it to flood, but it did, and she`s wasting no time
now getting to demolition.

RIVERA: But the first step is just get out the bad stuff and that`s what
we did. Everything that`s wet, we said, yes, cut it, tear it out.

BREWER: Friends and family are pitching in. Work crews are in high

CoreLogic (NYSE:CLGX) analysis says residential losses alone could reach
$37 billion.

(on camera): Throughout the affected region, there are entire
neighborhoods that are still under water. This duck boat was brought in
from Mobile, Alabama, to retrieve a patient who desperately needs dialysis.

(voice-over): Fresenius Kidney Care has a massive coordinated disaster
response to care for some 3,500 Houston area patients. Generators, fuel,
high-profile military vehicles delivering supplies in still flooded

That disaster relief extends to many Fresenius employees.

struggling and they`ve lost their homes but they`re coming to work and
they`re here and they`re taking care of patients. It`s a big deal.
They`re sacrificing being home with their families and doing what they need
to do to take care of patients.

BREWER: Doing what needs to be done is a massive job for insurance
adjusters and water pumping crews, for waste collectors, and especially for
those who have lost so much.

RIVERA: It`s just stuff. It`s really just stuff. Like this can all be
replaced. I have — I have my health, my family. Yes, so this was an

BREWER: But this cancer survivor, a little perspective makes it easier to
dive in.

Contessa Brewer, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Houston.


HERERA: And the governor also says there is plenty of gasoline in Texas,
but overnight there was a spike in gas prices nationally and it caught
consumers off-guard, some hit worse than others.

Diana Olick has that story.


Americans have been watching closely the disaster unfolding in Houston, but
few it seems have been tracking its effect at their own gas stations.

(on camera): You didn`t even notice prices went up.


OLICK (voice-over): Disruptions that flooded Texas oil refineries are
rippling through the nation`s fuel lines, inflating prices at the pump.

Compared to a week ago before the storm hit, prices are now up 17 cents a
gallon nationally. But the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic are hardest hit,
particularly Georgia and the Carolinas and in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia
area where prices are up around 20 cents a gallon. That`s because the
Colonial Pipeline from Houston to New Jersey is running at reduced

In California, which has its own refineries, prices are only up around 6
cents a gallon, less to do with Harvey and more about overall low supply

While some didn`t notice the jump on the price boards, they are suddenly
rethinking their budgets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, definitely, probably have to cut back in a few
other areas.

OLICK (on camera): Like what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eating out, things like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I used to spend $30 to fill-up. Now, it`s like $45,
close to $50. So, yes, it hits you.

OLICK (voice-over): And for businesses that rely on transportation —

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re general contractors, so it affects our business
tremendously. We fill it up every morning. Now, we try to keep it on
full. We used to we used to be OK to run it down a little bit, but now, we
keep it on full.

OLICK (on camera): Gas prices could rise further in the coming week, but
then drop back as refineries come online and fuel starts moving again
through the system. That is unless another hurricane named Irma should
cause trouble in other spots where fuel is processed or shipped.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.


HERERA: Coming up, the opioid crisis is plaguing communities across the
nation. And now, there are concerns it`s also impacting the labor force.


HERERA: In July, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she thinks the
nation`s opioid crisis is related to the declining participation rate in
the labor market. Well, one thing is becoming clear, in counties and
states struggling to contain that crisis, the rampant abuse of prescription
drugs and their street incarnations are taking a toll on the labor force.

Ylan Mui has more.


epicenter of the opioid epidemic with workers battling their addiction in
secret. But here in the capital of Columbus, businesses and local
officials are trying to end the stigma that comes with drug abuse.

Tron Monahan started with painkillers, then moved on to heroin. He was
unemployed and at rock bottom before seeking help at a recovery center
called House of Hope.

TRON MONAHAN, FORMER DRUG ADDICT: Staying in a homeless shelter, OD`d in
the bathroom and luckily someone found me and called the squad, and I woke
up in the hospital, stayed there and I saw my future like I saw what was
happening at a very quick rate.

MUI: Nearly half of all men who were in their prime working age, but not
in the labor force are taking pain medication. That`s according to a
Princeton University study. Most of those drugs are prescription
painkillers. Businesses here say they`ve had a hard time finding workers
who can pass a drug test that`s forcing companies to rethink zero-tolerance
drug policies and focus instead on second chances.

At House of Hope, Richard Mason helps the guys there get back into the
workforce. He preps them for interviews, walks him through the application
process, and doesn`t let them leave until they found a job.

RICHARD MASON, HOUSE OF HOPE: It`s always about rigorous honesty. And so,
what we want to tell them — what we want the employers to see is that you
have taken responsibility for your past, and have now changed your life.

MUI: Business owner Jonathan Rupert works with House of Hope. His company
makes and installs custom countertops and 15 of his 49 employees are
recovering addicts.

grown my company in four years with folks that have successively gone
through recovery program. But I wouldn`t trade for anything. It`s about
what they`re doing today and what they`re going to do in their future, and
not what they`ve done in their past.

MUI: As for Tron Monahan, he`s been clean now for nine months and a few
weeks ago, he landed a job at a local restaurant.

MONAHAN: My goal is upper management or even corporate. That`s where I`m
trying to go to the top.

MUI: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Ylan Mui in Washington.


HERERA: Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) wins approval for its leukemia drug and that`s
where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The Food and Drug Administration green-lighted the treatment for certain
adults and children with acute myeloid leukemia. The drug received
accelerated approval nearly two decades ago, but was then shelved after
unimpressive trial results and after a high number of deaths were reported.
Shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) today were up slightly to $33.96.

Lululemon`s shares soared today following the athletic apparel retailers
better-than-expected profit and revenue after the bell yesterday. The
company said the results were helped by strong ecommerce sales and today,
the CEO said he`s optimistic about the remainder of 2017.


LAURENT POTDEVIN, LULULEMON CEO: Early indication in Q3 is that, you know,
traffic is traffic is picking up. I see consumer confidence being a little
bit stronger. So I`m actually fairly optimistic for the second half of the
year, especially when I think about the product offering that we`ve got
coming in stores, whether it`s our men`s campaign with ABC, or whether it`s
our assortment of jackets and outerwear.


HERERA: Shares rose 7 percent to $61.69.

About 4 million Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) cable records dating back to
containing personal customer information were found last month on an
unsecured Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) server. The compromised data includes user
names, email addresses and financial transaction information. Charter
Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) which bought Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) last year
said the incident is being investigated. Charter shares fell more than 1
percent to $392.48.

And Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) said a more competitive market caused the
technology product distributor to miss earnings expectations. Revenue was
better than expected, but the company gave discipline earning his guidance
for the current quarter. Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) cratered. It was 20
percent to the downside, better than 20 percent, to $87.46.

Time now for our market monitor who has names of stocks he said you should
own if volatility picks up in the stock market, and growth slows in big
tech names this fall. Last time he was on in February, he recommended
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which is up 41 percent, Alphabet`s Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), which is up 18 percent, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which
is 19 percent higher.

He is Mike Mussio, portfolio manager at FBB Capital.

Welcome back, Mike. Nice to have you here.

How are you?

HERERA: Congratulations on those picks. They`re doing well.

MUSSIO: Tech has been the winner, for sure.

HERERA: It sure has.

Let`s get to your picks this time around. Accenture, ACN, why do you like

MUSSIO: Yes, this is another tech name, or our kind of theme going into
the last four months of the year, are investing in companies with quality,
which of course is always one of our themes, but that are growing in an
environment where growth may be slowing a little bit and that are providing
some diversification.

So, Accenture checks all those boxes and they`re diversifying away from
their kind of core consulting, strategic consulting, and tech consulting
business, and they`re getting into some of the new areas that are exciting
like cybersecurity and things like that.

The company pays kind of a market dividend and we think that it`s likely
that dividend is going to increase by low double digits, and then not-too-
distant future.

HERERA: All right. Arch Capital, the symbol is ACGL, you like it.


HERERA: You say it`s a better — one of the better management teams in
insurance and they`ve avoided the pitfalls of insurance which obviously is
being highlighted this week by Hurricane Harvey.

MUSSIO: Yes, Sue. I had to bring you a little bit of a contrarian play.
So, Arch is a smaller kind of insurance company. They do — they do have
some exposure to hurricanes stuff, but it`s less than their competitors and
they actually operate at a more profitable combined ratio than the
competition in the space.


MUSSIO: So, they don`t pay a dividend, but they are reinvesting cash flow
and buying and diversifying into other sources. So, one of their — in the
last year and a half, they bought a mortgage insurance company and they`re
trying to grow that as well.

HERERA: Mike, I`ve got about 30 seconds left. Carnival (NYSE:CCL)

MUSSIO: Carnival (NYSE:CCL) experiences over things, Carnival (NYSE:CCL)
diversifies away from kind of retail, which has been a wreck and consumer
discretionary. It`s the 800-pound gorilla in the cruising business, and if
politics continues to lead the — lead the charge in terms of news in the
fourth quarter, we all might like to get on a cruise. So —

HERERA: I guess we might. Mike, thank you so much. Mike Mussio with FBB

MUSSIO: Thanks so much.

HERERA: Coming up next, how one entrepreneur took to heart the term go big
or go home.


HERERA: Finally tonight, ever since Price Club introduced consumers to the
idea of stocking up and saving in the 1970s, we`ve been snapping up bulk
size packages. Now, the biggest of the warehouse stores, Costco
(NASDAQ:COST), Sam`s Club, and BJ`s, do about $200 billion worth of
business each year, and that`s why one New Jersey entrepreneur got the
bright idea to put bulk discounts online.


HERERA (voice-over): It sounds so storybook, starting a company in your
parent`s garage.

CHIEH HUANG, BOXED CEO AND CO-FOUNDER: The computer was right here. There
was still a car on that side. Man, it sure isn`t sexy when you`re sitting
here, and not getting an order on a single day.

Chieh Huang and his team went from the garage to $100 million a year
business. Boxed selling bulk sized snacks, food, paper towels, toilet
paper, Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Sam`s Club fair online.

HUANG: Here 150,000 square feet, the garage could only fit like 200 items.

HERERA: Just up the road from his parents` home, the newly automated New
Jersey warehouse can ship tens of thousands of items in a day. There are
also fulfillment centers in Las Vegas, Dallas and Atlanta.

Huang got the idea while he was in law school living in New York City,
where he didn`t have access to the bulk discounts his parents grew to
depend on in the suburbs.

HUANG: We just didn`t have the time, the patience or frankly living in a
city, the car to get up to the Price Club or to Costco (NASDAQ:COST) or to
Sam`s Club anymore. And so, we thought how many millions of other
Americans had the same problem.

HERERA: Huang and his team wanted a mobile solution, an app. Mobile is
part of their DNA, having sold their mobile video game studio AstroApe to

They went after retail and at the time, it was risky. Consumers were
shopping on phones in 2013, most of their buying was done on computers.

HUANG: Over the last four years, it`s become mainstream and that`s in 48
months. The consumer mindset has shifted in such a dramatic fashion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lunches, lunchtimes come in.

HERERA: Laura Kapuscinski has been using Boxed for more than three years.

LAURA KAPUSCINSKI, BOXED CUSTOMER: I always joke with people that I don`t
leave the house unless I have to. Boxed really helps me be home with the
children and doing things that I want to do as opposed to things I have to

HERERA: Boxed has no membership fees, competitive pricing and free
shipping on orders of $49 or more. Huang targeted busy individuals. But
in terms of dollars, its biggest customers are other businesses.

HUANG: That caught us by surprise, how big B2B is for us.

HERERA: Perhaps another surprise, no one lost a job when the New Jersey
warehouse turned on its automated system this summer. Eight months in the
making costing millions, it`s got a four story automated sorting system and
nearly three miles of track.

Boxed trained the same employees who pushed carts and filled orders by hand
to run its new system.

HUANG: It was about actually preparing them for the future were all jobs
and fulfillment centers and maybe even a lot of retail jobs will look like
what you`re looking at behind us.

It took a lot of folks getting out of their comfort zone to say, hey, I
don`t even have a college education and you`re asking me to troubleshoot
robotics when it goes down. And I said yes.

HERERA: And how about this for work-life balance.

HUANG: We`d love to pay for your wedding so that you guys can have it.


HERERA: Boxed is helping to pay for employee weddings and their children`s
college education.

HUANG: The last thing I want on my tombstone is here lies Chieh Huang like
innovator of toilet paper shipping. I much rather have, here lies Chieh
Huang, you know, made a difference in people`s lives.


HERERA: At the moment, it`s only the New Jersey location that`s automated
to such a large extent. But Boxed is also building a database to offer
automated ordering for customers, and they`re building their own robots
which they`re not quite ready to show off in public yet, but we`ll keep you

That does it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight. I`m Sue Herera, thanks
for joining us. Have a great weekend. We will see you on Monday.


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
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
(c) 2017 CNBC, Inc.


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