Transcript: Nightly Business Report – September 25, 2017

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

rattled after a North Korean official says the U.S. has declared war.

Hitting their limit. Home prices have acted like there`s nowhere to go but
up. But are they getting so high that no one wants to buy?

New game plan? How do you please both your employees and your customers
when your brand is at stake?

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Monday,
September 25th.

Good evening, everyone. And welcome. I`m Sue Herera. Tyler Mathisen is
on assignment tonight.

Stocks fell, gold rose as tensions escalated between the U.S. and North
Korea. Earlier in the trading day, North Korea`s foreign minister said his
country has the right to shoot down strategic U.S. bombers even if they`re
not in North Korean air space. One strategist said that made the market
nervous and stocks dropped sharply.

The major indexes did recover some of those losses by the close of trading.
Here`s how they look: the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 53 points to
22296, the Nasdaq was off 56, and the S&P 500 was down five.

While North Korea got a lot of investor attention, so did something else.
Bob Pisani explains.


rise once again after a war of words between President Donald Trump and
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un escalated today. North Korea`s foreign
minister said Trump has effectively declared war on the rogue nation, and
that North Korea now has, quote, every right to take countermeasures,
including, he says, the right to shoot down U.S. bombers when they`re not
in North Korean airspace.

We`ve had hear similar exchange of threats for a while now, the markets
have mostly shrugged them off but this marks the most direct warnings North
Korea has issued so far. Gold prices spiked more than 1 percent on heavy
volumes, to break firmly above the $1,300. Bond yields dipped to one-week
lows, putting back stocks under pressure and lifting real estate, consumer
staples and utility stocks. Those are defensive names.

And the volatility index, the VIX, widely thought of as the best gauge of
fear in the markets, rose to the highest level in two weeks. So, it`s
still low, around 11.

Despite these moves, the bigger story lately has rotation. There`s been
plenty of sector rotation in September. We saw it again today. Just take
some of the Dow leaders and laggards, for example. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and
Exxon, which have been under pressure all year, are two of the top
performers this month.

Meanwhile, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and UnitedHealth, two of the year`s best
performing Dow components are down more than 4 percent a piece. In fact,
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 8 percent. And tech stocks overall are
slumping today. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Nvidia, Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), all
down, as investors take profits off the table.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani, at the New York Stock


HERERA: Tax reform as we`ve been reporting is another issue important to
the market. This week, Republicans plan to outline their tax reform plan,
offering the first concrete details of a proposal they hope will accelerate
the economy.

Congressman Kevin Brady (NYSE:BRC) says the plan will offer specifics.


REP. KEVIN BRADY (R), TEXAS: We`re going to see details around a broader
range of the simplified tax plan for families, where nine out of ten
Americans will be able to use a simple postcard-style system to file their
taxes and lowest rates on businesses in modern history.


HERERA: Ylan Mui is with us to talk now about some of those details and
what they might be.

Good to see, Ylan, as always.


HERERA: SO, what do we knew about the plan so far?

MUI: Well, the formal plan will be unveiled on Wednesday, but a few
details have already started to leak out. I`m told to expect a 20 percent
corporate tax rate as well as a 25 percent rate on so-called pass-through
businesses, many of which are small businesses. One point that does seem
to still be under contention, though, is what the top rate for individuals
will be.

The White House I`m told has been pushing to lower that top rate to 35
percent, but there is some concern that that could be seen as violating the
president`s pledge to focus any tax cuts on the middle class rather than on
the wealthy.

HERERA: Speaking of tax cuts, do we have any idea how they plan to pay for
tax cuts?

MUI: Well, that is literally the trillion dollar question, Sue. So, what
Representative Brady (NYSE:BRC) has said is that they are seeking as much
permanence as possible. And that`s important, because in order to ensure
that tax cuts last beyond 10 years, they have to find a way to pay for
those tax cuts. So, it`s likely that some of the provisions might be
temporary in order to ensure that the numbers can work.

HERERA: You know, the Republicans have really been struggling to unite
around health care. Is it looking better for tax reform?

MUI: They`re taking a very different approach when it comes to tax reform.
The Ways and Means Committee, which is the tax-writing committee in the
House, and the president are having a two-day tax reform retreat. A
broader conference of House Republicans is going to be meeting on Wednesday
in order to talk about this. The president is making a speech on Wednesday
in Indiana.

So, they`re doing a lot more to lay the groundwork for those discussions
and to get everyone on board. We will see if it makes a difference.

HERERA: We will see. Thank you, Ylan, as always. Ylan Mui in Washington.

And on Capitol Hill, a hearing on the Graham/Cassidy health care bill was
immediately interrupted by protesters. The hearing was suspended for about
15 minutes, while the demonstrators were taken out of room after Chairman
Orrin Hatch repeatedly called for order.

When the hearing did get under way, bill co-sponsor, Senator Lindsey
Graham, testified, as did Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, who was recently
diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: My goal is to get money closer to
where people live so they`ll have a voice about the most important thing in
their life.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: Health care is a right. It is a right. It
is not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it. But
Graham/Cassidy treats health care like a commodity that can be bought and


HERERA: Revisions were made to the bill over the weekend adding billions
of extra dollars for some states and easing coverage requirements to win
over wavering GOP senators.

While investors are hoping for a burst of economic growth, but according to
a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics, most
economists aren`t so sure.

Steve Liesman has the details.


percent up to 4 percent. I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent.
I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent.

Trump extolling the potential benefits of his proposed fiscal policy, but
eight months into his presidency, many economists don`t think that`s the
case. The latest forecast from a National Association for Business
Economics says, growth this year and next could be just 2.3 percent.

It`s higher than 2016, but far short of candidate and President Trump`s
estimates. The total effect of fiscal policies, NABE economists on average
say they add just 0.25 percent to growth.

MARK ZANDI, MOODY`S ANALYTICS: If we get a tax reform that is revenue
neutral, doesn`t add significantly to budget deficits in the long run, and
does lower corporate tax rates, then over the next 10 years, yes, roughly
at most as quarter point for additional growth. I think that`s optimistic.

LIESMAN: Even conservative economists don`t see much up side from the
president`s fiscal policies.

academic literature on tax reform, you can get to the upper bound about a
half percentage point per year over the long term. It`s rare that
something as pure as those things gets through a Congress by the nature of
the political process, so you start scaling back from there.

LIESMAN: Much depends on how much tax cuts boost deficits. They could end
up raising interest rates or strengthening the dollar if they`re not offset
and that would undo positive growth effects. But deficit neutral tax cuts
will get higher marks from economists, but they`re unlikely to mark those
up as high as 3 percent.



HERERA: The president of the New York Fed says weak inflation won`t last.
That could lead to further interest rate hikes.

Bill Dudley is the first among Fed officials to speak publicly since the
Central Bank`s decision last week to hold rates steady at least for now.
Mr. Dudley believes that inflation will rise and stabilize a round of the
central bank`s target of 2 percent over the medium term, and if it interest
rates do rise, mortgage rates could follow, potentially reversing the
historically low levels that home buyers have enjoyed. Low mortgage rates,
along with stiff buyer competition have help fueled sky high home prices
over the past year. But there may be a limit to how much prices can go up.

Diana Olick explains why.


so much demand for housing, and so few homes for sale, that prices have
nowhere to go but up, and rock-bottom mortgage rates are only adding to the
inflation. But all those factors are facing something more fundamental.
Some people just can`t pay that much for a house.

priced out of the market and their share has fallen from traditional rates.
We haven`t seen any real inventory increases in starter homes. What
inventory we do see come on the market is generally above $200,000,
$250,000 price point. So, it`s an expensive market.

OLICK: After hitting a peak in March of this year, national price gains
month to month have been coming down. In July, which was the latest read
on home prices, the game compared to a year ago stabilized at 6.2 percent.
That annual price gain had been accelerating in every other month this
year, according to Black Knights Financial Services.

Historically, home price versus always lagged sales, and sales have been
falling for the last several months.

RICHARDSON: What we saw earlier in the year is that the market was
transacting about nine days faster than last year. Now, it`s down to five
days. So, we are seeing a narrowing of that seller`s advantage.

OLICK: While prices are not falling, the gains are cooling, and the
competition among buyers is starting to ease.

Here in the Washington, D.C. area, where home prices had been hitting new
peaks for a year, they`re not falling, down over 5 percent in July compared
to a year ago.

(on camera): Realtors in this D.C. neighborhood say they`re surprised to
see the lack of a post-Labor Day bump. Usually both buyers and sellers get
more active at the start of the fall season, but even the less pricey homes
are now sitting longer.

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


HERERA: Still ahead, this holiday season means shopping, and for some
Target (NYSE:TGT) workers, a big paycheck.


HERERA: A cyberattack at one of the big four accounting firms may have
revealed confidential client information. Deloitte believes the hackers
may have gained access through its e-mail server. The company contacted
authorities immediately after it discovered the attack and said it notified
each of the very few clients impacted.

A global investor group is calling for an independent investigation into a
cyber breach at the SEC. The Investment Company Institute our ICI is also
urging the regulator to delay the submission of new monthly performance
data rules until it can assure investors that its systems are secure. The
ICI represents more 95 million shareholders who told more than $20 trillion
in assets. Today, the SEC chairman said he believes the software fix has
been successful.

Target (NYSE:TGT) is raising its minimum hourly wage to $11 from a current
rate of $10, and it vows to push it even higher in the coming years. This
as the retail looks for ways to attract and retain workers amid the
tightening labor market.

Courtney Reagan has more.


Target (NYSE:TGT) giving its employees an early holiday gift, a raise. The
big box retailer is bumping its minimum hourly pay to $11 in October for
both currents and new employees with plans to pay $15 an hour by the end of
2020. That means all 100,000 seasonal holiday employees will start at a
higher wage.

It`s the third time in three years that Target (NYSE:TGT) has raised wages.
Eleven dollars an hour puts Target (NYSE:TGT) above the minimum wage in 48
states, matching Washington and Massachusetts rates, well above the federal
minimum wage of $7.25.

the customer and it`s extremely good for retailers, because it feels like
they have finally gotten the message that it is time to reinvest in the
frontline sales associates.

Even in an omnichannel world where business is clearly moving on line, that
the frontline sales associate is still a very important position for
retailers, and I think target recognized that.

REAGAN (on camera): Target (NYSE:TGT) hinted at investing in its team at
February`s investor day, as part of the three-year $7 billion plan to
improve its entire experience from the store to the Website. The move has
likely been in the plans for some time, as the big box retailer still plans
to hit its profit forecast even with the higher cost of labor.

But Target (NYSE:TGT) is far from the first to announce pay raises for
hourly employees. Last year, Walmart began a nearly $3 billion two-year
plan to bump up hourly play for its workers. New employees start at $9,
then bump up to $10 an hour after training, plus annual raises. Walmart`s
pay gets a lot of attention, as the country`s largest private employer, but
gap was the first major retailer to raise its minimum wage for store
associates at Gap (NYSE:GPS), Old Navy and Banana Republic.

It`s hard to know exactly how higher wages help increase sales for
retailers, but some experts point to Walmart`s higher wages and its
subsequent higher sales as no coincidence, suggesting happier employees are
more helpful to both customers and their companies.

REAGAN: While there are many retailers that are struggling and closing
stores, the number of store openings still outweighs those shutting this
year. Couple that with low unemployment and high turnover in retail jobs,
it`s a challenging environment to attract and hold on to good workers.

Target (NYSE:TGT) is hoping its competitive pay will hit a bull`s-eyes with
its employees and eventually lead to happier shoppers, too.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m a Courtney Reagan.


HERERA: T-Mobile wants Sprint, but only at market value, and that`s where
we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

Last week, we told you that T-Mobile and Sprint were reportedly in active
merger talks. Today, Bloomberg said Sprint shareholders shouldn`t expect a
big premium if the companies entered into a stock for stock deal. The
report said Sprint`s largest shareholder, Softbank, would agree to a deal
that values the company at current market prices. Well, Sprint shares fell
nearly 8 percent to $7.82.

The FDA has rejected Johnson & Johnson`s rheumatoid arthritis drug, saying
it needs more information to evaluate its safety. J&J said it plans to
work with that agency to win approval. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) shares
fell 22 cents to $131.17.

Drugmaker Allergan (NYSE:AGN) said it`s launching a $2 billion share
buyback. The company also said its chief financial officer would retire.
Allergan (NYSE:AGN) shares rose 3 percent to $211.61.

Outfront Media said it was recommended to be awarded a new contract with
the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest public
transit authority in the U.S. The advertising company currently holds the
licenses for ads in the MTA`s network of subways, railways and buses. The
new deal would be for another 10 years. The shares popped 15 percent to

And after the bell, Ascena Retail posted a surprised profit and stronger
than expected revenue. The parent company of Ann Taylor and Dress Barn did
report a drop in same-store sales, but said it is making exports to improve
results. Shares of the small cap initially took off in after hours. They
ended the regular session up a fraction to $2.17.

Preliminary ratings for Sunday`s NFL games were down from the previous
year. That`s true for NBC`s primetime game as well as FOX`s afternoon
matchup. But on CBS (NYSE:CBS), ratings were up from last year`s week
three coverage.

Football ratings have been in decline well before yesterday`s coverage, but
the same is not true for the value of most football franchises. They`ve
been rising.

Robert Frank explains.


for the NFL may be falling slightly, but the value of NFL teams continues
to soar, driven by growing number of rich corporate sponsorship deals. The
32 NFL teams are now worth a combined $100 billion. That`s up 8 percent
from last year, and the top ten teams are up even more.

According to the “Forbes” list, the Dallas Cowboys remain the most valuable
team in Americans sports worth $48 billion and nearly doubled its value
from five years ago. Owner Jerry Jones` creative deal making of selling
tickets and sponsorships at its practice facility generated total profits
of $350 million last year.

The New England Patriots ranked second, now worth $3.7 billion with the
merchandise sales up 50 percent after the big Super Bowl comeback last
year. The NFL teams made $7.5 billion from media and TV deals last year.
That`s about half the league`s revenue, and news platforms like Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) could add even more in the coming year.

But stadiums remain the big cash cows. Miami Dolphins got a $250 million
naming rights deal with the Hard Rock. And the Atlanta Falcons say their
value jumped 19 percent after securing $900 million in sponsorship for
their new Mercedes-Benz stadium. All that explains why 19 of the NFL team
owners are now billionaires.



HERERA: Dean Crutchfield joins us now to talk more about the NFL
sponsorships and what to do when you find yourself caught in the middle.
He is a brand expert with his own firm, the Dean Crutchfield Company.

Nice to see you again, Dean. Welcome back.

Thanks for having me.

HERERA: The NFL has frequently found itself call the in the middle,
whether it`s social issues or other issues. This latest weekend event is
no exception to that, but if you are a sponsor, say a Nike (NYSE:NKE) or,
you know an Anheuser-Busch, how do you walk the line between the
controversy and your customers and your employees?

CRUTCHFIELD: It`s a great question. I think we have to — we live in
interesting times is one statement, but I think the other is we are living
in a highly politicized culture, and for a lot of marketers, especially
with these big brands, it`s unchartered territory. They could easily be
explosive and they`re trying to manage their own brand values. They don`t
want those taken away from them.

So, it really is — it`s a big issue for them in terms of how they handle
themselves. The most important thing for any of these brands to remember
is there`s no study out there that shows a political stance as to brand
growth. If anything, this study shows, it can actually have a negative
impact on your stock value. So, there`s no proof of that.

But most importantly, no brand should be getting involved in politics.
Brands are not politicians. They do not operate on a divide-and-conger
strategy. They actually have built their success by creating common
ground. So, that`s where they need to take their stance.

HERERA: You say they need a crisis management approach, prepare for the
worst and hope for the best.

CRUTCHFIELD: Absolutely. What more can you say? I think they need to
have — you know, they need to have a great plan. They need to be thinking
fast right now. They need to have a clear purpose in terms of what their
response will be, and they need to be bold when they do it.

That`s pretty much the nuts and bolts of crisis management. So, they just
need to be able to work that out.

HERERA: Does it matter what the crisis is?

CRUTCHFIELD: No, crisis is the same thing. You have to handle the
expectations. That`s why you plan it. You have to have a team in place,
infrastructure in place for when the crisis hits. You have to be putting
together a purpose-driven plan that talks about you as a business as your
brand, your purpose, not about the political climate. Then, of course, it
needs to be bold.

I think some statements were made today from Nike (NYSE:NKE) talking about
the freedom of expression of the sports players in the game. So, those
statements are already coming out.

HERERA: Dean, are you surprised that we haven`t seen a more collaborative
effort from some of these sponsors? Because they all sponsor, you know,
pretty much the same types of events, sporting events, whether you`re
talking football, whether you`re talking baseball, whether you`re talking,
you know, soccer, European football. I`m kind of surprised there isn`t a
more united front from them.

CRUTCHFIELD: I agree with you. Obviously, there are some that wouldn`t do
that`s correct of course with the Cokes and Pepsis of the world. But I
think there`s a lot of opportunity.

This would not be collusion. This would just people of big brands having a
discussion, whether it`s the chief executive officer or the head of
marketing, having a wholesome conversation about the situation and what,
you know, what advice, what plans have others got in terms of their
response to it.

So, I`m very surprised that that hasn`t happened, but maybe you might find
behind closed doors conversations have happened.

HERERA: On that note, Dean, it`s always a pleasure to have you with us.


HERERA: Dean Crutchfield with the Dean Crutchfield Company.

Coming up, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) tighten their grip
on the digital ad market, but it comes as scrutiny of those same companies


HERERA: Uber`s CEO issued an apology to Londoners today. In a letter
first published in a London newspaper, he wrote: While Uber has
revolutionized the way people have moved in cities around the world, it`s
equally true that we`ve got things wrong along the way. On behalf of
everyone at Uber globally, I apologize for the mistakes that we`ve made.

As we reported Friday, London`s transport authority said it would know rye
new the license when it expires at the end of September. Uber said it
plans to challenge that decision in court.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) is threatening to pull its programming from the fourth
largest U.S. cable distributor. Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Altice, better known
as Optimum, are working on a new contract to replace the old one that
expires at the end of the month. Altice says Disney (NYSE:DIS) is asking
for hundreds of millions in new fees to be able to carry channels like ESPN
and ABC, even as ratings decline. Disney (NYSE:DIS) disagrees with
Altice`s characterization of the fee increase.

And at this week`s advertising week, anxiety is running high, not just
among television networks and their declining ratings, but also among some
of the most powerful ad giants like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google

Julia Boorstin is in New York City tonight.


year, digital ad dollars will grow 16 percent, surpassing all other types
of media for the first time, according to e-marketer. But the tipping
points comes as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) which
together draw almost two-thirds of digital ad dollars face unprecedented
scrutiny. The two companies are under attack for a range of issues, from
audience mis-measurement, to concerns about violent and extremist content
being streamed on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and YouTube, and the role Russian
purchased Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) ads played in manipulating the election.

But it hasn`t impacted Facebook`s bottom line.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). We think it`s a fantastic place to advertise, along,
by the way, with YouTube and Snap and Twitter. We really focus about where
people spend their type.

BOORSTIN (on camera): Despite all those negative headlines about Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB), its shares were up about one-third over the past 12 months, as
the companies repeatedly beat analysts` expectations.

SCOTT KNOLL, INTEGRAL AD SCIENCE CEO: There are certainly brands that have
threatened to pull advertising, but ultimately brands want to be where
consumers are, and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), YouTube, they are really, really

BOORSTIN (voice-over): And after an advertiser boycott of YouTube this
past spring, both Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have
announced changes to improve accountability and measurements.

some of the relationships with our third party measurement partners to
ensure that brands can better see the sales list of their programs on our
platform, which is more important than ever here.

BOORSTIN (on camera): Today, Facebook`s Instagram announced it`s added 100
million users faster than ever, to 800 million monthly active users and 500
million daily active users. That reach helping it grow its advertiser base
to 2 million, double the number it had in March. With that reach,
advertisers such as Unilever (NYSE:UN) are following consumers.

WEED: TV isn`t a way we`re pulling away. We`re increasing investments on
digital, but it`s more of a bounce than a major shift.

BOORSTIN: One ad agency CEO tells me that brands are going to continue to
move towards digital targeting capabilities, and this latest political
issue just means they demand maximum accountability from Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) and others.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin at Advertising Week in New


HERERA: And finally tonight, the world`s most valuable brand, Interbrand
is out with its annual list, and technology dominates. In the top spot,
you guessed it, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Alphabet`s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is
number two. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) comes in as number three. Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) was number eight, breaking into the top ten for the first time.
And of the top 10, Coke, Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Mercedes-Benz were the only
non-tech brands.

On that note, that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight, I`m
Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us. Have a great evening, and we will see
you right 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
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Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.
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