Transcript: Nightly Business Report – October 6, 2017

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

TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Hurricane hit. Harvey and Irma take a bite out of the U.S. labor market, leading to the first month of job losses in seven years. But there was plenty of good news too in this month`s job report.

market monitor has three blue chips that he thinks you need to own right

MATHISEN: And staying on course. How one entrepreneur is on a mission to
fix what some called the broken business of student loans.

All that and more for Friday, October 6th.

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

For the first time since 2010, the U.S. economy lost jobs. Most of the
losses traced back to the hit from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. And while
many see the decline as a short term blip, it did catch forecasters by

In September, the economy shed 33,000 jobs, while economists were looking
for a gain of 80,000. The unemployment rate did dip, to 4.2 percent, the
lowest since 2001.

And as Hampton Pearson tells us, there were other bright spots in the
report as well.


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which closed thousands of business in Texas and
Florida, ended the 83-month streak for job gains. And the loss of 33,000
jobs in September was the first monthly decline in nearly seven years.
Restaurants and bars took the biggest storm-related hits, shedding 105,000

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan sees the setbacks as temporary.

ROBERT KAPLAN, DALLAS FED PRESIDENT: We knew that the September number was
going to be affected by Harvey and to some extent Irma, and it has been.

PEARSON: But there were also signs of underlying strength in the job
market. The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, the lowest in 16 years.

rate is a number that really got my attention because the BLS said that the
survey wasn`t really disrupted by the hurricanes. They said that the
response rate was in line with normal, even in the areas that were affected
by the storms.

PEARSON: And there was a spike in wages, average hourly earnings up 0.5
percent to 2.9 percent year over year, to nearly $27 an hour. The
government says that wage growth may be artificially inflated because so
many low paid workers were out of work in hurricanes hit areas. But a
leading Wall Street economist says upward revisions on wage growth in July
and August support the overall trend.

part is actually the upward revision to wages in July and August. That`s a
cumulative 3/10 of a percentage points.

PEARSON: It is that spike in wage growth that has most Fed watchers
predicting another interest rate before the end of the year.

coming out of this is we`ve seen interest rates actually rise off the back
of it, the probability of a Fed rate hike in December has gone up.

PEARSON (on camera): The Labor Department says when you add it all up, 1.5
million people were unable to work last month because of the weather, the
biggest setback in 20 years. And yes, a hiring rebound is expected as
those hurricane-impacted areas recover.

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


MATHISEN: Let`s turn now to Seth Carpenter for more analysis on today`s
jobs report. He`s the U.S. chief economist at UBS.

Seth, welcome. Good to have you with us.

I was speaking earlier today to a former mayor of New Orleans who said,
hey, yes, that`s right, it was kind of an aberrant report, the hurricanes
had something to do with it. But pay attention here, we may be at some
kind of inflection point. Do you agree or reject that thought?

SETH CARPENTER, UBS CHIEF ECONOMIST: So, neither, actually. It`s really
hard to tell from this month`s report any important trend in the data. We
knew that there was going to be a lot of noise coming in, because of the
hurricanes. And that`s really the way we see this whole report. It`s much
too noisy to draw any true signal from.

HERERA: So, what does that mean, Seth, for the Federal Reserve, who
watches that type of report very carefully in terms of, you know, the wage
issue, the participation rate, all of those different things? If it`s a
somewhat muddied report, does it matter less to them this time around, or
not? What do you think?

CARPENTER: Yes, no, I think this time it probably does matter less than it
does usually. The labor market report is traditionally just a very, very
important report. It tells you about jobs, which reflects on the health of
the economy. It tells you about wage inflation, which is giving you
signals about how tight the labor market is. But this time, it really is
pretty noisy.

Our view is that the Fed already has the forecast and inflation is going to
be rising gradually. And so, we already saw them hiking rates again in
December. This report is not going to change their underlying forecast.
And as a result, it doesn`t change our view that they`re going to hike in

MATHISEN: So, let`s look — drill down on one little piece of it, and that
would be the wage growth number, which was fairly healthy, fairly robust,
comparatively speaking, up 2.9 percent year over year. Was that number too
sort of contaminated by the noise, as you say, of the month?

CARPENTER: We think it was contaminated. I think some of the stories that
you`ll here that we`re sympathetic to are that some of the lower wage
workers probably were out of work during the survey week. And as a result,
you`re getting an upward bias at least for this month`s data in terms of
the wage inflation. So, we think you can discount the strength we`re
seeing there, at least somewhat.

HERERA: How does the overall economy look to you, Seth?

CARPENTER: That`s the whole point (ph). And regardless, even without a
hurricane, any single month`s worth of data is not going to be pivotal in
terms of your view of the economy. So, looking over many, many months, in
fact over years, the economy has been creating 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a
month. That`s really solid numbers, both a reflection of a strong economy.
A healthy economy creates jobs, but also a driver of the economy, because
with more jobs being created, there`s more household income and household
spending is about 70 percent of the economy.

So, we feel like the economy is on solid ground. It`s doing well. It`s
not gangbusters, but it`s pretty solid.

MATHISEN: Seth, thank you so much. Have a great weekend.

CARPENTER: Thank you.

MATHISEN: Seth Carpenter with UBS.

HERERA: To Wall Street, where stocks mostly ended the day lower after that
soft jobs report. The S&P 500 snapped its eight-day win streak, its
longest in four years. The Dow lost almost 2 points to 22,773. The Nasdaq
scratched out a gain of nearly five, and the S&P dropped about three. But
it was a good week for the averages, with all adding more than 1 percent.

Energy, though, is something to keep an eye on as tropical storm Nate
threatens the Gulf Coast this weekend. And companies have already shutting
down offshore oil and gas rigs.

MATHISEN: Well, this year has been a strong one so far for stocks, with
some dubbing it an all gain/no pain market. The question now is, does this
continue, or are we hitting a point of, it`s as good as it gets?

Mike Santoli examines this.


the all gain/no pain stock market. The broad S&P 500 index has climbed 14
percent this year. It`s only a brief dip of about 3 percent along the way.
That`s nearly five points of reward for each point of downside risk, making
this one of the most generous market years of recent decades.

Even strong rally years typically feature one or more setbacks of at least
5 percent along the way, with 10 percent drops happening in a majority of
years. The lack of volatility this year makes 2017 resembles such winners
at 2013 and 1995, when stocks rose 30 percent in remarkably gentle fashion.

This year, a global pickup in economic growth, stubbornly low interest
rates and record corporate profits help explain stocks` orderly advance.
The lack of progress to date on tax reform in Washington has been taken in
stride. In fact, those impressive rallies of 2013 and 1995 also occurred
in years of D.C. gridlock with government shutdowns and stalled fiscal

So, what does this steady, relentless rise suggest about the outlook for
the fourth quarter of 2017 and beyond? Well, for one thing, history tells
us this is not the way stocks tend to behave right before a serious peak.
Markets tend to get jumpy and unstable ahead of a major correction or the
end of a bull market. So, the next 5 percent pullback is unlikely to be
the big one.

In fact, stronger economic data combined with a slow pace of Federal
Reserve rate increases is prompting predictions of a so-called melt up, as
professional investors rush to get into a market that`s furnished few dips
to buy at lower prices.

That said, fresh concerns are surfacing. One is the chance the Fed might
move faster in lifting rates in response to a hotter economy and a pickup
in inflation. Perhaps under a new Fed chairman early next year. Also
raising some alarms, investor optimism may be approaching a short term
extreme after several successive all time highs in the indexes.

While neither of these worries suggest this bull market is in danger of
expiring, it could jolt the market in coming weeks or months and perhaps
inflict just a bit more pain to offset some of the market`s health gains.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mike Santoli at the New York Stock


HERERA: Despite today`s employment numbers, a new wave of innovation
technology is creating opportunity for job seekers.

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) shows us why one Dow component sees it as the next
big thing.


school, Eileen Lowry swapped band for a computer science class and hasn`t
looked back.

EILEEN LOWRY, IBM BLOCKCHAIN LABS & GARAGE: I`ve always been fascinated
with how do things work.

ROGERS: Today, Lowry runs one of IBM`s North American blockchain programs.

LOWRY: Every day, I`m talking with clients, working with them on building
blockchain applications and figuring out what good use cases exist for them
in their industry.

ROGERS: Blockchain is of transactions , a transparent and tamper-proof
digital ledger that allows users to share information quickly, freely, and
without fear that it could be altered without users detecting it.

EAMON MAGUIRE, KMPG BLOCKCHAIN SERVICES: It`s really the second wave of
technology innovation since the time of the Internet. It`s addressing a
lot of issues that robotics cannot address today, primarily because
blockchain is addressing the underlying data that is used in our processes.

ROGERS: Blockchain makes that data permanent and immutable, increasing the
level of confidence and reducing costs. Companies across a wide range of
industries from financial services to logistics, retail, and more are
betting big on the future of blockchain. And IBM is among the leaders.

JASON KELLEY, IBM BLOCKCHAIN SERVICES: When you think of making the
complex very simple, that`s what we look to do, in both technology and

ROGERS: They`re currently working with some of the leading food suppliers
like Walmart to help address food safety challenges.

KELLEY: It`s still a complex network, getting, let`s say, a mango from the
farm to the fork. There`s a lot of exchanges in there. And right now,
that causes lots of challenges and trouble with regards to that food

ROGERS: IBM employs more than 1,500 people to help clients build
blockchain based solutions. And as its business grows, the company is
looking to hire additional talent.

KELLEY: What we look for are people who are ready to move quickly, think
creatively, and be very close to our client.

ROGERS: IBM is ready to train the right candidate.

LOWRY: Blockchain is a new technology. So, finding people with experience
and expertise in the enterprise is not easy. So, we do look at a lot of
adjacent skill sets. So, software development, cybersecurity, cloud

ROGERS: IBM also considers new collar workers, people without a four-year
degree in IT, as well as veterans.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG), New York City.


MATHISEN: Big and ugly. That`s what this week`s market monitor calls the
stocks he thinks would be beautiful in your portfolio. We`ll tell you
which ones they are, coming up.


MATHISEN: Well, yesterday, we told you Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ)
raised its full year guidance on the back of stronger beer sales in the
third quarter. Now, this was a glimmer of hope for the fizzy stuff, which
has been a bit of a buzz kill for the industry as more people turn to wine
or liquor.

Landon Dowdy is in Denver. She got the assignment, with a look at what
companies are doing to compete for beer.


Super Bowl of the beer industry, the Great American Beer Festival. The
60,000 people expected to attend this weekend stormed in the door at the
kickoff last night. And more than 800 brewers like Colorado`s oldest brew
club Wynkoop are here pouring their latest brews to stand out in a
competitive marketplace.

JOHN SIMS, WYNKOOP BREW MASTER: We experiment a lot. We brewed beer
recently with yams and marshmallows. We also have a beer we made with
doughnuts and coffee, cucumbers and black sea salt. We`re trying to use as
many interesting ingredients and inspirations as we can.

DOWDY: You wouldn`t have any idea by the looks of the screen, but the beer
category is struggling. Overall beer sales were flat for 2016 and have
been on the decline so far this year.

CHRIS FURNARI, BREWBOUND EDITOR: Wine and spirits is definitely cutting
into beer`s share of total alcoholic beverage. Nobody is really loyal to a
specific type of alcohol any longer, be it spirits, wine or beer. And I
think that`s had an impact over the last 15, 20 years on beer`s overall
market share.

DOWDY: So with spirits and wine killing beer`s buzz, brewers are having to
adapt and get innovative.

flavor and variety. We`re seeing companies respond. There`s more options.
People are experimenting with one-offs, brands that change constantly by
the season.

I think the other thing is, clearly beer lovers want that experience. They
want to connect with brands. So, ways that you can engage with beer lovers
rather than just offering them a product. Give them an experience.

DOWDY (on camera): While trends haven`t been positive, don`t throw beer
out just yet. We are starting to see signs of hope, Q3 showed signs of
growth year over year. And 800 brewers are here, pouring their brews this
week, and a record 5,700 breweries are operating nationwide, investing in
businesses and betting on beer`s turnaround.

And craft brewers like Wynkoop are finding ways to stand out. They`ve
adapted a seal of independence, along with 2,300 other craft brewers, to
let consumers know what they`re drinking is truly craft. The seal is a
response to big beer companies like Anheuser-Busch and others buying up
more than a dozen craft breweries in the past few years to mass produce.

But does the seal actually impact the purchase power to help consumers know
that they`re supporting the little guy?

JASON MILLER, FESTIVAL ATTENDEE: I don`t really care. I`ll try out

DENNIS HOLDEN, FESTIVAL ATTENDEE: Sure, I mean, if I`m somewhere else and
I see, you know, I`m not familiar with any of the local beers, absolutely
I`d say, yes, let me get a craft beer, instead of some mass produced stuff
that I don`t really like anymore.

VICTORIA SPATES, DENVER BARTENDER: My job, it`s kind of nice, things that
you might not taste anywhere else, it could be a one-time thing. There`s
not necessarily consistency when you get that.

DOWDY: While the jury is still out on the impact of the consumer choice
since this bill (ph) was enacted in July, analysts say it may make a
difference with a niche group of beer consumers.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Landon Dowdy in Denver, Colorado.


HERERA: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is reportedly close to deciding whether it
will get into the prescription drug business. And that`s where we begin
tonight`s “Market Focus”.

According to CNBC, the e-commerce company will decide by Thanksgiving if it
will start selling prescription drugs online. Previous estimates pegged
that timeframe within the next year or two. Analysts have estimated that
market to be worth more than half a trillion dollars a year. That news
sent shares of pharmacy CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens and pharmacy benefit
managers Express (NYSE:EXPR) Scripps lower. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) finished
slightly higher.

Data center operator Switch went public on the New York Stock Exchange
today, pricing more than 30 million shares at $17 apiece. That was above
the expected range. The offering value switched at more than $4 million.
Shares soared more than 22 percent in their debut, closing the day at

And the cereal giant Kellogg (NYSE:K) is buying a protein bar maker RXBar
for $600 million in order to expand its product portfolio. Kellogg
(NYSE:K) hopes the move will help it attract more millennial customers,
saying that generation is big consumers of that brand. Kellogg`s shares
fell fractionally.

MATHISEN: Flexion Therapeutic says the FDA has approved its non-opioid
treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain. The drugmaker said it will be
available in the U.S. later this month. Shares of Flexion up 10 percent to

The personal care products company Helen of Troy (NASDAQ:HELE) reported
results that beat analysts` estimates. But investors were disappointed to
hear that Troy was cutting its full year forecast to restructure its
business. And shares went to Helen in a hand basket. They fell more than
9.5 percent to $87.80.

And late today, Tesla`s CEO Elon Musk says the automaker will delay the
unveiling of its electric truck to next month. Musk says the company is
focusing on fixing Model 3 production bottlenecks and increasing battery
production in Puerto Rico. Tesla shares were initially lower after Musk`s
announcement. They finished the regular day up fractionally at $356.88.

HERERA: Time now for our market monitor, who says now is the time to be a
buyer of these big cap stocks with yields higher than U.S. treasuries. The
last time he was on March, he recommended DR Horton, which is up 24
percent, Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), which is up 20 percent, and Lennar
(NYSE:LEN) is 8 percent higher.

Joining us is Chris Bertelsen. He is the chief investment officer at

Nice to have you back, Chris. Welcome.

CHRIS BERTELSEN, PRESIDENT & CIO, AVIANCE: Thank you. Glad to be here.

HERERA: You say that — your stock picks which we`ll get to in a second,
are unloved, unwanted, and had been underperforming. But you think they`re
a good addition to the portfolio, correct?

BERTELSEN: Absolutely. You felt little pain with owning these over the
last four to five years. But that`s about to change, partly because they
all pay great dividends and they are really in the stages of transformation
in major ways.

MATHISEN: You have three picks that nobody — and nobody in the audience
will ever have heard of, Chris. Let`s start with one of them, AT&T
(NYSE:T). Why do you like it?

BERTELSEN: Tyler, 5 percent dividend yield when there`s 1 percent CDs out
there. So, certainly, you`re getting paid while you wait. And I think
everybody knows they pay this bill before they even pay their mortgages
now. So, you know that it`s going to be around in four or five years, it`s
only going to increase their dividend. The integration of Time Warner
(NYSE:TWX), which is a big step for them, is going to make them a far more
interesting media company than they are now.

HERERA: AT&T (NYSE:T) is next — I`m sorry, Walmart is next on the list.
We just did AT&T (NYSE:T). Walmart, you say it`s time to sell Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) and move into Walmart.

BERTELSEN: Absolutely, Sue. You know, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a great
company, but look at all the things they`re getting involved in, from
groceries on down the line, to just what I heard now, with pharmaceuticals.
You know, you look at it, you say, this is going to cost them a lot of
money, whereas Walmart has been in the grocery business for years. Plus,
the fact Walmart pays a very robust dividend that they raised almost every
year or have been raising every year.

And Walmart knows how to compete. They are the ultimate systematic cheap
skates. And I think that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is going to have real
competition with Walmart.

MATHISEN: And you say, finally, time to sell some Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and
buy IBM. That is a much-unloved stock, so unloved I think that Warren
Buffett even dumped it.

BERTELSEN: Yes, he did. However, you know, IBM, Ginni Rometty has done a
terrific job. They`ve changed from these big company orientation systems
back to the consumer. You see that with their Watson type of apps and all
that they`re doing on the basis of the cloud and everything.

May be a little late to it, but you`re getting paid 4 percent. The stock
is super cheap. I think they`re under a real transformation, and going
back to their roots.

HERERA: And the exchange rate you say will work in their favor as well?

BERTELSEN: Absolutely. All of them.

HERERA: All right. On that note, Chris, thank you so much.

BERTELSEN: Thank you.

HERERA: Chris Bertelsen with Aviance.

MATHISEN: And coming up, helping manage the debt load from student loans
for those still in school and those who are already out.


HERERA: And here`s a look at what to watch for coming up next week. On
Tuesday, we will get the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting. As
usual, the market will be paying close attention to anything related to
possible timing of future interest rate hikes.

Inflation in focus at the end of the week with producer and consumer price
data out.

And believe it or not, we`re there again, earnings season is coming. The
banks get the party started when Citi and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) release
results on Thursday. That is what to watch next week.

MATHISEN: The most wonderful time of the year, earnings season.

All right. Student loans are the second largest source of debt in our
economy, trailing only mortgages, 44 million people and counting hold,
believe it or not, $1.4 trillion worth of student loans. And that`s why
one entrepreneur got the bright idea to give borrowers a better shot at
lower rates and a guiding hand toward being able to manage their debt


MATHISEN (voice-over): For five years, Alex Kubo put his startup dreams on
hold, working at ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) to pay off roughly $40,000 of
student debt.

ALEX KUBO, COMMONBOND CUSTOMER: Ended up going to whatever company could
pay me the most amount of money.

MATHISEN: Kubo`s worked hard to manage his loan situation, entering
business school at Wharton in 2015, he found Commonbond, a private online
lender started by Wharton students. He locked in a 5.9 rate on a $70,000

average about $20,000 plus.

MATHISEN: David Klein got the idea to offer lower rates and better service
in 2011, as he entered Wharton with loans of about $90,000.

KLEIN: The market itself is pretty broken. High rates, complex process,
poor service.

MATHISEN: Ten years earlier, Klein consolidated his college loans with the
federal government at about 2 percent. But the game changed after 2010,
when the government stopped guaranteeing loans by private lenders. Eight
percent rates were common.

KLEIN: If consumers are paying 8 percent and investors are receiving 2
percent, there`s a lot of room to provide more value to the consumer by
lowering their rate, to the investor by increasing their return, and then
eke out a modest profit in between.

MATHISEN: Klein won`t say if Commonbond is profitable, only that it began
by making $2.5 million worth of loans to 39 Wharton students in 2012, went
national a year later, and now, it`s doing direct loans and refis for
students at more than 2,000 schools.

KLEIN: We have lent over a billion dollars to tens of thousands of people.

MATHISEN: Margins are improving. Early on, Commonbond paid investors 5
percent for loan capital. Now, it`s about half that. But still more than
the big banks pay.

Klein says Commonbond beats its competition on operating cost. It has no
bank branches, for example, and its high credit, low risk customers rarely

That`s partly due to the effort it makes to communicate and keep them on

KLEIN: You`d be shocked to realize that over 95 percent of the people who
go through that process, even MBA students, don`t know exactly what their
month payment is going to be.

MATHISEN: Which is why a thousand high schools are using a new video game,
“Payback,” to simulate college costs. It`s the brainchild of financial
educator Tim Ranzetta.

service firms providing financial education. What I think is lacking
overall, one in six high school students graduates with a personal finance
course. That for me is the biggest issue.

MATHISEN: It`s an issue Alex Kubo values too. He`s now at the New York
startup Burrow, an online furniture retailer. But he traveled to Ghana
last year to see how, for each loan it makes, the company is funding a year
of study for a student in developing country.

KUBO: Building schools, providing opportunity, made me feel a lot better
about the fact that I owe these people a lot of money.

MATHISEN: Feeling good about a lender? Now, that`s a new one.

KLEIN: A lot of the big folks out there don`t seem to make the connection
between treating the customer really well and having a long term
sustainable business model.


MATHISEN: Interesting business model. Like a lot of companies these days,
Commonbond offers a benefit to help its own employees pay down their
student debt, and it`s been partnering with other companies looking to do
the same.

HERERA: Well, before we leave you, let`s take a quick look at the day on
Wall Street. The S&P 500 snapped its eight-day win streak, its longest in
four years. The Dow lost almost 2 points to 22,773. Nasdaq scratched out
a gain of nearly five. The S&P dropped about three on the trading session.

MATHISEN: And that will do it for tonight`s edition of NIGHTLY BUSINESS
REPORT. I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks for watching.

HERERA: I`m Sue Herera. Have a great weekend, everybody. We`ll see you
right back here on Monday.


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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