Transcript: Nightly Business Report – December 7, 2018

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Bill Griffeth and Sue

sharply. The Dow wipes out its gains for the year as trade and economic
concerns grip Wall Street.

Fed official today became the first to suggest the central bank should not
hike this month.

HERERA: Eco-friendly fashionista. Meet the entrepreneur who`s helping
others turn their vision into reality with a sustainable twist.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for a Friday,
December 7th.

GRIFFETH: And we do bid you good evening, everybody. And welcome.

Now I know we said this before. But this really was an exceptionally
dramatic week on Wall Street and ended with more of the same. Stocks fell
sharply again dogged by the two great concerns, trade and the path of
interest rates. Early in the day, the government`s monthly employment
report showed the economy created 155,000 jobs last month and the
unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent and average hourly earnings
rose slightly as expected. Now many called it a goldilocks report, not too
hot, not too cold.

But it wasn`t enough to draw in the buyers today. By the close, the Dow
had plummeted another 558 points to 24,388. The Nasdaq dropped by 219.
The S&P fell by 62. For the week, the Dow lost about 1,100 points, about 4
percent. In fact, all three major averages down more than 4 percent,
making this the worst week for stocks since March.

Bob Pisani has more now on the rocky trading on Wall Street.


the red on Friday, jolted by another bout of trade-related tremors. The
Dow fell more than 600 points in session lows. But first, the November
jobs report showed a little bit softer but not necessarily weak trends on
the labor market. That gave investors some relief on the Federal Reserve`s
future rate hike path.

But then it became all about trade, as it often has been. One market
strategist from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) says the S&P 500 lost almost 10 percent
of the value due to trade and tariff uncertainty alone. That`s a bold call
but it maybe not far from the truth.

Just look at what happened today. First, the White House economic adviser
Larry Kudlow appeared on CNBC just after the markets opened at 9:30 a.m.
Eastern Time, saying President Trump would consider extending the 90-day
tariff truce if good progress was made on the talks. The Dow jumped more
than 100 points the next few minutes on that.

But less than a half an hour later, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro
appeared on CNN, said the U.S. would go forward with raising tariffs if
China trade talks were not resolved in 90 days. Stocks already off the
highs fell promptly and they just kept dropping from there. Industrial
names like Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) dropped about 3
percent or 4 percent each. Tech names also dragged down. Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) wiped out all of its gains for the year.

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


HERERA: The Fed also took investors for a ride today after a Central Bank
official put his foot down and argued against an interest rate hike when
the Fed meets next.

Our Steve Liesman has more.


in stock prices combined with new worries about the economy for next year
has the Fed debating publicly whether it ought to hike rates in December
and how much if at all to hike rates in 2019. St. Louis Fed President
James Bullard became the first Fed official to suggest the Fed shouldn`t
hike in December and should instead push it back to January.

The interest rate futures market had been putting about an 80 percent
chance on that December hike but came off those odds a bit on Bullard`s
comments. His remarks followed those from Fed Governor Lael Brainard who
suggested the Fed should hike near term but adopt a less certain view next
year depending more on the economic data.

LAEL BRAINARD, FEDERAL RESERVE: The most likely path for the economy is
positive, although some tailwinds that have provided a boost are fading.
And we may face some cross currents. The global growth that provided a
strong tailwind going into this year has moderated.

Here at home, the impetus to growth from fiscal policy is likely to fade
going into 2020. And after being exceptionally accommodative financial
conditions have tightened in recent months.

LIESMAN: Over the past several weeks, the Fed has gone from being
relatively confident in hiking several times next year to now suggesting
that future hikes will depend on the data and the outlook.

JAN HATZIUS, GOLDMAN SACHS: There is a good chance that there will be a
pause at some point in 2019. And we have — we haven`t had a pause. But I
think that, you know, markets, of course pricing in a lot less tightening
for next year, basically one hike price relative to that.

LIESMAN: The November jobs report was weaker than expected. But 155,000
jobs created is still a strong number. And the unemployment rate stayed at
a multi decade low of 3.7 percent. Most Wall Street economists saw the
numbers as strong enough for a December rate hike from the Fed, but weak
enough that after that the central bank probably should take a break.



GRIFFETH: So, what does our next guest feel about the Fed rate hikes in
the future? Joining us right now is Joe Davis. He`s the global chief
economist at Vanguard.

So, Joe, you have one Fed official who says, OK, raise rates and then pause
after that. And then another official out today saying you should not even
raise rates this month. What do you think?

JOE DAVIS, VANGUARD CHIEF ECONOMIST: Well, I certainly don`t think the
federal reserve will pause and skip the meeting in — just in short order.
I think that would be somewhat alarming. Because I think it gives a signal
that perhaps the Fed knows more than the markets do which are skittish and
certainly underperforming.

Our view has been for some time, I mean, going back more than two years
that the Federal Reserve would be hard pressed to get Fed rates above 3
percent which meant only two hikes in 2019. So, eventually, we were coming
to the debate by the Federal Reserve which seemed to be approaching before

HERERA: So, why do you think the market is responding as vehemently as it
seems to be to the comments that we have heard this week from various Fed
officials and others suggesting that the economy is slowing down at the
rate at which the Fed should reconsider some of those rates?

DAVIS: Well, I think there are a number of forces. Clearly, the trade
uncertainty is one factor which already was going to lead to the market
volatility that we had. Secondly is the global slowdown. It`s one of the
themes of our outlook for 2019. And we will see weakness in the U.S. data.

And then, thirdly, I think there`s been the natural discourse that was
going to occur — the Federal Reserve has been a little bit more aggressive
in their view for the Fed path than the bond market. The Fed looked right
for 2019 in the bond market`s mind as short as two months ago. But we were
of the view that the natural rate was lower and hence the Fed wouldn`t get
as far.

And so I think all three forces are coming together at the same time that
the market was already, you know, certainly not fairly valued. And so that
is I think all coming to a head at the present time.

GRIFFETH: You know, Jerome Powell a couple weeks ago kind of started this
off by saying he felt like we were closer to neutral than previously
thought. What is neutral for you in terms of an interest rate, a short-
term interest rate here that the economy can withstand? It doesn`t hurt
growth but doesn`t impede growth at the same time?

DAVIS: Sure, it`s the missing variable that everyone wishes we knew with


GRIFFETH: What do you think it is right now, though?

DAVIS: I think we`re close to it. In our mind, it`s been roughly 2.5
percent. We`re with a range. I mean, that`s the same concept with full
employment. You don`t know until you`ve gone beyond it.

So, now, if we are right the Fed is close to pausing, 2019 clearly they
will. In fact we think they stop by June. That means that the most
cyclically sensitive sectors of the economy should have started to slow.
Housing is a good example.


DAVIS: And so we should see modest weakness in the labor market. So, I
think we are seeing that. I think it`s premature to start talking about
the Fed not raising rates this month.

GRIFFETH: Very good.

Joe, good to see you. Joe Davis with Vanguard joining us tonight.

DAVIS: Thank you. Thank you.

HERERA: And now to oil where a deal to cut production was reached by OPEC
and Russia after a one-day delay. That deal was bolder than most thought
sending the price of crude higher.

Brian Sullivan reports for us tonight from Vienna.


Vienna, in the end, OPEC not only delivered on a production cut, but a
bigger production cut that many had originally expected and the market
responded with oil rising a few percent.

In the end, OPEC cut production by 19.2 million barrels a day. However,
it`s not just the absolute number. It`s what they are cutting that off of
and the Saudis and others surprised the market by saying they would cut
that from October production levels which were lower than November,
therefore it was actually a larger cut than many initially expected.

Now, all day long, the rumors were flying about what they might do. But
about halfway through the day, the Iranian oil minister left the meeting

Can you confirm the 19.2 million barrel a day cut overall?

BIJAN ZANGENEH, IRANIAN OIL MINISTER: Yes, yes, this is — I agree. But
for another 400 —

SULLIVAN: And with the example.

ZANGENEH: I`m sure that they will reach agreement.

SULLIVAN: Is Iran a part of the cuts?

ZANGENEH: No. Iran is exempted.

SULLIVAN: Eight hundred thousand from OPEC members, 400,000 from non-OPEC
which is a majority of Russia. In the end, it was Russia`s participation
in today`s meeting which really changed the game. OPEC is fighting a world
where U.S. oil production is now the biggest in the world, and so, Russia
sort of joining with OPEC has created a new dynamic.

In fact, we had a chance to speak with the energy minister for the United
Arab Emirates and I asked him in an American shale oil boom world, does
OPEC still have power?

is not only OPEC alone, we can`t do it without non-OPEC. This is a global
producers who cares about consumers as well as their own countries.

SULLIVAN: So, OPEC is still powerful but with Russia. They are there to
counter the huge U.S. oil juggernaut which is really coming out of nowhere
and double production in less than one decade.

So, in the end, we`re seeing oil prices rise. OPEC gets a production cut
deal and the price of gasoline will probably be on the rise in the near

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Brian Sullivan, Vienna, Austria.


GRIFFETH: Elsewhere, as we have reported, the arrest of a Huawei executive
has added to tensions between the United States and China. And today, the
Chinese telecom giant`s chief financial officer appeared in a Canadian
court for a bail hearing where prosecutors said the United States wants to
charge her with fraud, alleging that her company continued to do business
with Iran despite the sanctions imposed on that country. This is a very
delicate moment for the world`s two largest economies.

And as Eunice Yoon reports, the Huawei CFO`s arrest is not going over well
in Beijing.


maker Huawei is putting on a brave face after its CFO Meng Wanzhou was
arrested by Canadian authorities. With Meng away, Huawei has designated
its chairman, Liang Hua, as acting CFO. Liang was CFO before Meng.

Huawei is also trying to reassure its suppliers that the arrest isn`t going
to have a big impact on its business. In a letter to its global suppliers,
Huawei said the U.S. move was, quote, against the spirit of free economy
and fair competition. And went on to say: regardless of how unreasonable
the U.S.`s approach becomes, the partnerships we have with our global
suppliers will stay unchanged.

What happens to Meng could complicate trade negotiations between the U.S.
and China. Officially, the Chinese government isn`t directly linking
Meng`s arrest to the trade talks. But unofficially, the state media is
arguing that it`s a political decision and a way to stifle Huawei and
China`s tech ambitions.

White House officials though say President Trump wasn`t aware of the arrest
before his negotiations with President Xi. Separately, there are reports
that Japan is considering restrictions for gear made by Huawei and ZTE.
Government officials say that a meeting to discuss the matter further could
take place as early as Monday.

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


HERERA: It is time to look at some of today`s “Upgrades and Downgrades”.

Tesla was upgraded to buy from hold at Jefferies. The analyst says the
electric carmaker has demonstrated its profit potential. The price target
is $450. The shares fell in more than one 1 to $357.97.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) joins the chorus of analysts cutting price targets
on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) lowered its target to
$236 a share. The analyst cites weakness in the Chinese market. The firm
maintains though its overweight rating on stock. The shares fell 3.5
percent to $168.49.

Still ahead, looking for stocks that will grow earnings in any type of
economy? Our market monitor has some ideas.


HERERA: Sentiment among CEOs declined the third straight quarter, although
it remains at historically high levels. According to the latest survey
from the Business Roundtable, confidence overall remains strong. But the
survey does show a decline in expectations for capital investment, hiring
and sales. A separate gauge of consumer sentiment shows that Americans
continue to feel good about their economic prospects in part because of the
strong job market.

GRIFFETH: Speaking of which, the tight labor market may be good for
workers. But it is creating a challenges for employers. It`s no secret
that many companies, big and small, are still having a hard time finding

Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) went to Horse Cave, Kentucky, to see what one
business owner is doing about it.


chain workers like Joshua Ash are crucial.

Ash works in quality assurance at the company which owns the salad dressing
maker Marzetti, bread company Sister Schubert and supplies sauces to food
companies like Chick-A-Fillet and Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD). He`s
moved the chain in the past 11 years, now working as a supervisor with a
team of 17.

JOSHUA ASH, QUALITY ASSURANCE SUPERVISOR: We get about 500 ingredients in
this plant. We make about 300 different products. So, every day, there
must be something different.

ROGERS: Companies like T. Marzetti are looking to beef up their supply
chain teams nationwide, which can prove challenging in an increasingly
tight labor market. These are careers with competitive wages that can
reach into the six figures, depending on the role and experience that
workers have. But sometimes that`s not enough.

A 2007 study stays a worker shortage may turn into a full-fledged crisis in
the near future with as many as six open positions for each available

and pray and expect to get plenty of qualified applicants coming through.
You have to go out and poach and hunt talent. That`s exactly what we do as
an executive search firm.

ROGERS: At T. Marzetti, some 2,800 people working in the supply chain and
the company is looking to hire an additional 300 works across the country
in roles that range from engineering to quality assurance and even customer

DVID NAGLE, T. MARZETTI SVP SUPPLY CHAIN: Some of our bigger labor
challenges are filling the more skilled maintenance type positions. And
what we found is, you really have to be — you have to pay. You got to the
market price to get good talent. Then you got to — in order to keep them,
you really have to make sure you have, you know, ongoing training.

ROGERS: The company is also retraining some of its workers as it moves to
automate repetitive parts of the supply chain.

of your people. You involve them in your operation. Let them be part of
the problem solving. And, you know, they want to be here. They want to be

Cave, Kentucky.


HERERA: A big decline for shares of Big Lots (NYSE:BIG). And that`s where
we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.

The discount retailer reported a wider than expected loss. The company
also lowered its outlook. It attributed part of its loss to trade tensions
and higher distribution and freight costs. The shares plunged 23 percent
to $31 even.

The cigarette maker Altria made its investment in cannabis producer Cronos
official. Altria is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos valued at nearly
$2 billion with an option to increase it to 55 percent. As we told you,
Altria is also reportedly in talks to take a minority stakes in the e-
cigarette maker Juul. Shares of Altria were off a fraction while Cronos
Group soared 21 percent to $12.72.

GRIFFETH: IBM late yesterday struck a deal to sell some software assets to
an India based software company for nearly $2 billion. The sale is all
part of IBM`s efforts to deemphasize its legacy businesses. The stock fell
more than 3 percent during this selloff to $119.34.

Also late yesterday, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) says it plans to spend $20 billion
on capital projects in 2020. This would amount to the energy company`s
first year over year capital spending increase in four years. Shares were
down a fraction to $115.49.

And late today, Facebook`s board approved a $9 billion increase in its
share buyback program, adding to the $15 billion it previously authorized.
The repurchase program does not have an expiration date either. Shares
rose in initial after-hours trading after falling 1.5 percent during the
regular session.

HERERA: It is time now for the weekly market monitor who was betting on
companies he says are poised for earnings growth over the next three years.

Joining us tonight, Charles Bobrinskoy. He`s the vice chair at Ariel

Charlie, it`s good to see you again. Welcome back. What a week to have
you here.

you had me on a better week. But I`m happy to be here.

HERERA: Yes. Well, actually, you have some picks that probably will
weather most market storms, if I am reading your notes correctly here.
Blackstone is one of them. Why do you like it?

BOBRINSKOY: Well, what`s going on in the market right now is people are
afraid we could be going into a recession. And they are punishing stocks
that don`t tend to trade well when the market is soft.

And Blackstone does invest in a lot of leveraged buyouts, real estate,
private investments. And those things will lose value if the markets go
down. So the market has gotten very scared. And it`s punished companies
like Blackstone who are market sensitive.

But the good news is Blackstone`s business is wonderful. People are
investing in leveraged buyouts. Big universities are sending money to real
estate funds. And Blackstone has more money under management than it`s
ever had before.

GRIFFETH: BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA), auto components and parts and things. I
guess you`re going to tell me that they`ve been punished by the tariff
situation. It`s getting better you think?

BOBRINSKOY: It`s not so much the tariffs, Bill. It`s that people are
worried that we`re going to have a downturn in the automotive the industry.
That we`ve had a peak here and that people are going to be building less
cars. And when they build cars, they are going to start being electric

And we think just both of those things are exaggerated. People are going
to be buying gas-powered cars for a long time. Electric isn`t going to
reach 20 percent in our opinion for 15 years or more.

So people are still going to buy gas powered powertrains, and turbo
chargers, which is what BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA) is so good at.

GRIFFETH: And we finish up with CBS (NYSE:CBS) Corporation. You`re
focusing on some really good earnings growth.

BOBRINSKOY: Yes. I mean, people are very negative on traditional media.
Everybody they think is going to watch Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other over
the top TV shows. But CBS (NYSE:CBS) has a wonderful library of
programming. The sports that are on CBS (NYSE:CBS), including the NFL —
and then the political advertising has just been spectacular. Every two
years, people spend more and more money on political ads. And they tend to
go to those CBS (NYSE:CBS), NBC, ABC broadcast companies.

GRIFFETH: On that note, Charlie, thanks so much for joining us.

BOBRINSKOY: Thanks for having me.

GRIFFETH: Charlie Bobrinskoy with Ariel Investments.

Coming up. Going green and making green. One entrepreneur who did it the
hard way had the bright idea to share what she learned.


GRIFFETH: Back in 2016, “Newsweek” reported that Americans doubled the
amount of clothing they toss out each year from 7 million to 14 million
pounds. And that`s why brands like Walmart and Gucci are working on
sustainable fashions, versatile enough to be worn more often and they`re
made in environmental and sustainable ways.

But startups interested in attacking this problem found it difficult to
find affordable materials and manufacturing. Until one Boston entrepreneur
got the “Bright Idea” to show them how.



GRIFFETH: Cara Bartlett`s clothing line Vetta is moving into a third
office in three years.

BARTLETT: Now, this space is almost tripled.

GRIFFETH: A sure sign of growth. Her multiuse pieces, zip-out sleeves
turn this blazer into a vest, for example, are ethically made and
sustainably sourced. That is her domestic manufacturers pay their
employees a living wage and that surplus fabric that she bought from
another company.

BARTLETT: If we launched this type of company ten years, I think it would
have bombed.

GRIFFETH: She credits Shannon Lohr`s Factory45 for making it work. That`s
a six-month online crash course on sourcing materials, manufacturing and
raising capital ethically and sustainably.

LOHR: I was a fashion bargain bin junky in college. I wanted the deal. I
was known for wearing a dress once, throwing it my closet, never looking at
it again.

GRIFFETH: But her attitude changed after college when she learned how
waste impacts the world, prompting Lohr and a business partner to create
The Versalette. One piece that could be worn 15 or more different ways.
But sourcing materials and finding a manufacturer took a year and a half.
Raising money on Kickstarter was the easy part.

LOHR: We set a goal of $20,000 and we ended up tripling our goal and
becoming the highest funded fashion project in Kickstarter history at that

GRIFFETH: The Versalette was profitable from the get-go. But Lohr wasn`t
into it for the long haul. Instead, she began to shared what she had

LOHR: There were so many people out there who wanted to start clothing
companies. They were even interested in sustainability and, you know,
ethical manufacturing. But they didn`t know where to start.

GRIFFETH: Lohr started offering classes in 2014, then she moved online.
This year, 120 designers are paying $500 a month for Factory45. Giving
them access to Lohr`s invaluable and growing database of suppliers and

This manufacturer in Fall River, Massachusetts, works with Lohr`s husband.
His company called Project Repat turns old tee shirts into quilts. Ross
Lohr says they`re on track to sell $10 million worth of quilts in 2018.

New Yorker Mary Bemis (NYSE:BMS) dreams of numbers like that. She is an
advertising data analyst by day but Factory45 helped her launch Reprise
Activewear this fall.

MARY BEMIS, REPRISE ACTIVEWEAR FOUNDER: I knew sort of the broad steps of
I need to find a fabric, someone will need to sow it for me. I`ll need to
distribute it. I need to raise money, but how to do any of that, I had no

GRIFFETH: Her workout gear is made of tinsel. It grows on eucalyptus
trees. There`s no polyesters.

BEMIS: It`s naturally cooling. It`s sweat wicking. It`s antibacterial.

GRIFFETH: Priced to compete with Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Lululemon, the
leggings are $109. She sold about 300 pieces in just two months.

The printer she found in Brooklyn offers water-based ink. It costs more
but owner Jose Andrade says there is growing demand for it.

JOSE ANDRADE, BKNY PRINTING GM AND FOUNDER: It`s more prevalent, more like
in our face in the past two years. And I think that`s kind of the future
for us right now.

BARTLETT: You can wear it open or closed.

GRIFFETH: And that`s the type of future that Shannon Lohr is betting on.

LOHR: This growth is just amazing, so exciting.


GRIFFETH: I mean, organic food is now a $50 billion a year industry. So,
who knows?

By the way, Shannon Lohr just opened a new section on her website called
Market45 where her clients can showcase greener brands as they try to bring
a different type of thinking to the fashion industry.

HERERA: All right. Take a deep breath. Before we go, here`s a lock at
the day on Wall Street. The Dow fell 558 points, the Nasdaq dropped 219,
the S&P 500 fell 62. For the week, the Dow lost about 1,100 points. And
the major indexes all fell more than 4 percent making it the worst week for
stocks since March.

GRIFFETH: And we still have the federal reserve meeting to go.

HERERA: I know.

GRIFFETH: The trade talks.

HERERA: So tune in again next week.


HERERA: Because that will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. I`m Sue
Herera. Thanks for joining us.

GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great weekend, everybody. We`ll see
you 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) 2018 CNBC, Inc.


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