ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Sue Herera and Bill Griffeth.
BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Broad breakout. The Dow closes at a record powered by a handful of stocks, but some say a lot more shares about to hit new highs.
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Going private. Walgreens is reportedly exploring the idea. And if it happens it would be the biggest leveraged buyout ever.
GRIFFETH: Zero-sum game. As brokers just slash fees, there may be a downside to no cost investing.
Those stories and much more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday, November 5th.
HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. The Dow gains were small but they were enough, enough to take the world`s most recognizable stock market index to levels never seen before. Strong earnings promising economic data and reports of potential progress on trade between the U.S. and China lifted investor sentiment.
So, let`s get right to those closing numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 30 points, to 27,492, the Nasdaq up 1 and the S&P 500 fell 3. As we`ve been reporting, a handful of stocks are responsible for much of the market`s gains.
But as Bob Pisani reports, that could be about to change.
BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Beyond the record highs we`ve been riding, there`s a broader breakout that may be very near. Only 10 percent of the S&P is at new highs right now. Six of the seven biggest stocks in the S&P are outperforming — Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) parent Alphabet. But that could be changing. A handle handful of names are just below new highs close enough so that we get a little bit of move up more in the markets, we could have a significant expansion of new highs.
So, big names on that list. Pharmaceutical companies like Glaxo and Merck (NYSE:MRK). Discounters like Walmart and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST). Home improvement names like Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and alt of the semiconductors as well.
One breakout in particular that`s got a lot of traders talking, that`s this rally in energy stocks in the last few days. Why energy? Well, it`s partly because the rally has been broadening out. Energy has been the most beaten up sector this year. So, it makes some sense. Some of this may also be due to tax loss selling at the end of October that`s now abating. The Dow Transports are not at record high but they`re just shy of the mark as well.
One percent, that`s a positive sign for those who subscribed to the Dow theory. Remember, Dow theory suggests that when a new high in the Dow is confirmed in new high in the transports, that`s bullish sign.
Put it all together and it means the market is rotating a little bit. So, the old big cap leadership is fading. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Disney (NYSE:DIS), and McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD), Nike (NYSE:NKE) — they were leaders but they`re well off their highs for the year and they`re being replaced by a new bunch of leaders — banks, energy and small caps, classic value plays.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.
GRIFFETH: And with major indexes at or near new highs, we heard today from some well-known investors and CEOs who gave us their take on the market and the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY DALIO, BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATION FOUNDER & CO-CHAIRMAN: I don`t think it`s a breakout. And I don`t think it`s particularly overbought either, because what you have is the weight of money. There is a certain amount of money out there, a lot of money.
Central banks bought $15 trillion of assets and so on. So, we have a lot of money. And the question is where that money goes.
JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CHASE CHAIRMAN & CEO: There are a lot of valuable companies, rates are very low. You know, it looks like the stock markets are forecasting a pretty rosy outcome. And the bond market, it`s hard to say what it`s forecast because, you know, there`s a lot of bonds are bought by central banks. So, it`s hard to tell what that means when rates are this low in an environment which is not so bad.
DAVID RUBENSTEIN, THE CARLYLE GROUP CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: I don`t think today, there looks like there`s going to be a recession in 2020. I think there is enough strength in the economy to go past 2020. I can`t predict further than that. But right now, I don`t think there`s a recession likely in 2020 unless some exogenous event which can`t predict all of a sudden happens in the geopolitical world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: So, let`s turn now to Jack Ablin to talk more about the new highs that we`re making in the market today. He is founding partner and chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.
Good to see you again, Jack. Welcome back.
JACK ABLIN, CRESSET CAPITAL CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER: Thanks, Sue.
HERERA: You say that the next catalyst for this market has to be fiscal. Specifically, what are you looking for?
ABLIN: Sure. I mean, we pulled out all stops on monetary policy, right? Three rate cuts this year.
ABLIN: We have reasonable profit growth, nothing fantastic. Remember, last year`s profit expectations were negative. So, beating that number was pretty easy.
Analysts are expecting probably high single digit profit growth over the next four quarters. That`s likely to come down.
So, what we really need to get to the next level is something else, something other than monetary policy. We need either a breakthrough on this trade clash with China. We need some sort of resolution to Brexit that`s better than the no-deal Brexit. We need a little more clarity there.
We`d love to have European countries start to actually spend money and build some infrastructure. And that`s really what we need to get this market to move to, you know — next leg up.
GRIFFETH: Yes, I was thinking about that today, Jack. Isn`t it interesting that even as we have these so-called bricks in a wall of worry, Brexit, and the trade war, and, you know, Fed policy that that was questionable for a long time, we`re sitting here at all-time highs today.
If anything, isn`t that enough to get you to think twice about wanting to invest in a market that`s already as high as it`s ever been?
ABLIN: That`s it. I mean, you know — you know, at the end of the day, I`ve got to look at the numbers. I`ve got to look at valuation.
And, yes, relative to bonds, stocks still appear to be reasonably priced. But relative to themselves and relative to their own history, stocks are expensive.
So, the question is — you know, assets are probably inflated because of the egregiously low interest rates, we are seeing a preponderance of corporate debt which certainly could spell trouble in a downturn. Right now, it`s not an issue. But overall, in a market like this, it`s very difficult to jump in with both feet and expect to make a lot of money over the next few years.
HERERA: But according to your strategy, you still like some things in the market like master limited partnerships. Why do you like those and what tranche?
ABLIN: Sure. So, master limited partnerships are really energy infrastructure. Bob just talked about how energy being the worst- performing sector this year is starting to make a comeback. I think partially because it is cheap. They`re trading on a valuation basis in the bottom quartile of their historical range.
But also, the fact is — and we heard that earlier — that we don`t see a recession in sight. I I`m not — you know, wringing my hands over the future of the U.S. economy. I think we`re in really good shape. The consumer is in fantastic shape.
So I think that given that backdrop low interest rates and a reasonable economy, energy infrastructure and what we like are the C-corps, not just the master limited partnerships themselves, are interesting deal right now that pay a pretty attractive yield, too.
HERERA: All right, Jack. We`ll leave it there. Thank you so much.
Jack Ablin with Cresset Capital.
ABLIN: Thank you, Sue.
HERERA: Speaking of trade, investors grew hopeful today that the U.S. and China will roll back tariffs in order to reach a partial trade deal. But as with most reports on trade these days, it`s not always straightforward.
Here`s Kayla Tausche.
KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: U.S. and Chinese officials have been discussing trade at the ASEAN Summit in Thailand in recent days as they work to hash out this phase one deal ahead of a signing in the coming weeks. The focus now is on what happens to all of these tariffs. China has been pushing for the U.S. to roll them back, but at the very least, to rollback the tariffs in September and to cancel the tariff slated for December 15th. I`m told U.S. officials are open to that so long as they get something in return.
And then there`s the question of where this deal gets signed. President Trump on Friday said Iowa is top of mind. I`m told the White House is also considering North Carolina, a tech heavy swing state that might come into play in 2020.
China meanwhile has floated Hawaii and Alaska as potential venues, and I`m told Alaska is China`s preference because it`s an energy rich state that`s a little easier on the jet lag and the optics. We`ll see what the White House decides and when that signing takes place.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in Washington.
HERERA: The trade deficit narrowed in September on a decline in both imports and exports. The deficit in goods and services shrank 4.7 percent in September to more than $52 billion. Economists say it`s the latest sign that the trade downturn is accelerating and it`s a softening growth abroad is spilling over into the U.S.
GRIFFETH: And as the U.S. and China continue to negotiate, China`s President Xi wants the world to know that his country is open for business.
Eunice Yoon is in Shanghai for us tonight.
EUNICE YOON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: This whole forum in Shanghai has been organized by the Chinese government as a way to convince an increasingly skeptical international business community that China is open to the world. President Xi Jinping delivered the keynote address attempting to make that point saying, China`s door would only open more.
President Xi highlighted that China would launch its new foreign investment law on January 1st, further lower tariffs and sign high standard free trade agreements with more countries, saying about trade barriers: We should break the wall instead of building one.
But Xi`s speech is full of familiar promises that business people here say have not translated into action. As an indication of the souring attitude, you can look at the participation of the forum. Nearly 200 American companies are here, Boeing (NYSE:BA), P&G, Skechers, Impossible Foods, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), but the U.S. didn`t send a high-level delegation nor did most Western nations.
The Chinese are aware of this credibility gap. President Xi attempted to address what`s been dubbed promise fatigue, saying China keeps his promises. What we say counts.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Shanghai.
HERERA: The number of job openings in the U.S. hit an 18-month low. According to the Labor Department, total vacancies fell to 7 million in September. Vacancies however still outnumbered those looking for work by a little over million, pointing to a still tight labor market, with the so- called “quit rate” which measures how many people voluntarily left their jobs edged lower to 2.3 percent.
GRIFFETH: Time to take a look now at some of today`s “Upgrades and Downgrades”.
We begin with shares of Under Armour (NYSE:UA). They were downgraded to neutral from out performance at Baird. The analysts cited the ongoing investigation into that company`s accounting which we told you about yesterday. Price target now, $20. But despite that downgrade, the stock rose 4 percent to $17.90. Bouncing back from yesterday`s sharp decline.
U.S. Steel was downgraded to hold from buy at Argus. The analyst cited the company`s third quarter results and its guidance. The firm also noted the highly competitive industry for steel right now. Shares fell more than 1 percent to $13.10.
HERERA: Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) was upgraded to overweight from neutral at Cantor Fitzgerald. The firm cites the company`s drug pipeline going into the $20.20. Price target is $255. The stock rose a fraction to $215.08.
Beyond Meat was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Bernstein. The analyst cites the stocks valuation following a more than 50 percent drop in the stock price over the past few months. The price target is $106. The stock gained 2 percent to $81.45.
GRIFFETH: You don`t often hear about Dow components considering a buyout, but that`s exactly what Walgreens is apparently looking into. And if it happens, it would be bigger than any other. The report sent that stock higher in today`s session.
So, we asked Bertha Coombs to take a closer look.
BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Walgreens is weighing a potential deal to be acquired by private equity firms and what could be a massive leveraged buyout. A source familiar with the situation tells CNBC that the drugstore giant was approached by investors about a deal that would take the company private. And as part of its review, the board has subsequently approached investment bank Evercore to explore sale.
The drugstore chain has struggled to grow profits as pharmacies have come under reimbursement pressure on prescription drug sales, and face stiff competition in the front of their stores from online merchants like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). While rivals CVS (NYSE:CVS) bought insurer at nine an effort to leverage its health clinic model, Walgreens bid to acquire rival Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) was blocked by regulators.
The drugstore chain has tried to cut costs and whittle down its debt of roughly $17 billion dollars. With a market valuation of $55 billion, an acquisition by private equity firms would amount to a major leveraged buyout. Any deal would hinge on CEO`s Stefano Pessina`s approval. He`s Walgreens largest shareholder with a 16 percent stake.
Spokesman for Walgreens declined to comment on the report.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bertha Coombs.
HERERA: Still ahead, Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO`s vote of confidence.
GRIFFETH: OPEC today lowered its forecast for oil demand with the cartel citing tough market conditions and signs of stress in the world economy. As a result, the group said that its own production of crude is expected to decline over the next five years, and longer-term it sees its share of the world oil market shrinking in part because of rising climate activism and the growing use of alternative fuels. Price of domestic crude settled at about $57 a barrel today.
HERERA: Boeing`s new chairman says the company`s CEO has his support. Dave Calhoun also eased the minds of investors who think the 737 MAX crisis is one that the company cannot control. That may be one of the reasons why shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) rose 2 percent in today`s trading.
Phil LeBeau has more.
PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Less than a week after Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg was blasted on Capitol Hill —
REP. DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL (D), FLORIDA: Have you had an ounce of integrity, you would know that the right thing to do is just step down?
LEBEAU: Boeing (NYSE:BA) Chairman Dave Calhoun was emphatic, the board still backs Muilenburg.
DAVE CALHOUN, BOEING CHAIRMAN: From the vantage point of our board, Dennis has done everything right from the beginning.
LEBEAU: For more than a year, as investigators zeroed in on the cause of the 737 MAX crashes and fixing the planes defective flight control system, Muilenburg has been on the hot seat. Critics say he oversees a company where the push to roll out the MAX came at the expense of ensuring the planes are safe — an allegation Calhoun denies.
CALHOUN: That question of culture and anybody`s willingness to trade safety against anything else — never seen it, never touched it, don`t believe it.
LEBEAU: Still, Muilenburg is stinging from congressmen, questioning his $23 million pay package last year.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: Is anybody at Boeing (NYSE:BA) taking a cut or working for free to try to rectify this problem?
CALHOUN: Dennis called me Saturday morning, 10:00, with the purpose of suggesting that he not take any compensation for 2015 as in the form of bonuses, which is, of course, most of your compensation.
LEBEAU: Almost 90 percent of Dennis Muilenburg`s pay last year came in the form of a bonus and stock awards. Not only is he waving those for 2019, but also for as long as it takes for Boeing (NYSE:BA) to catch up on 737 MAX deliveries, which may not happen until early 2021.
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
GRIFFETH: Kate Spade drags on tapestry and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”, with the company formerly known as Coach (NYSE:COH) beating earnings expectations, but they did fall slightly below revenue forecasts, thanks in part to global same store sales at it`s Kate Spade brand, which fell 16 percent. But the company still sees its full-year outlook above estimates. Tapestry shares rose more than one-and-a-half percent today to $26.95.
Regeneron topped analysts` estimates because of strong sales of its eczema drug, Dupixent, and its blockbuster eye drug, Eylea. The drug maker is also buying back up to $1 billion of its shares. The stock rose more than 7 percent today to $332.60.
And drug maker Mallinckrodt saw lower sales and higher expenses due to legal settlement costs from the opioid crisis. That led to a quarterly miss on sales but an earnings beat, and the company did raise its earnings guidance down the road as well. But shares fell 13-1/2 percent today to $3.33.
And last night, Peloton posted a bigger than expected quarterly loss in its first earnings report since going public. But the fitness bicycle maker did beat revenue forecasts, thanks to stronger subscriber growth. And the company is looking to make new investments as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN FOLEY, PELOTON CEO: For us, profitability is a managed outcome. We could pull back on growth and become profitable tomorrow. Our core U.S. bike business is profitable. So the investments were making in international and digital and new products and new content, they`re all smart investments. We`re very excited about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFETH: Rather surprisingly, shares of Peloton dropped more than seven and a half percent today to $22.74.
HERERA: Chesapeake Energy`s results missed expectations because of a sharp drop in production and lower natural gas prices, making it the third straight quarter of disappointing results. Also, Chesapeake sees next year`s capital expenditures down 30 percent. Shares were off about 18 percent.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) said it`s profit will be better than Wall Street is expecting. The grocery chain says it expects to see more benefits from investments in store modernization and deliveries shares. Surged more than 11 percent to $27.83.
Adobe raised its earnings guidance driven by strong demand for its Photoshop brand and stronger sales of cloud software products. The company is also looking to increase its presence on the digital platform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHANTANU NARAYEN, ADOBE CEO: When you are consuming any piece of content on any screen, we want to play a role in making that happen. So, whether it`s in the car that you`re driving, whether it`s in the airport, when you go in and check into a terminal, certainly all the video that you`re consuming on the internet, retail stores in Las Vegas when you look at what`s happening with digital displays, everything is a piece of content which is digital. It needs to be personalized, it needs to be engaged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Adobe was up more than four percent to $289.29.
The FCC officially approved T-Mobile and Sprint`s $26.5 billion merger after more than a year of review. The new company will become the nation`s second largest wireless carrier. Sprint shares were down a fraction to $6.14, while T-Mobile was up a fraction to $81.47.
GRIFFETH: Coming up, is zero cost investing too good to be true?
GRIFFETH: Various mayors in California are now joining the campaign to buy out bankrupt utility PG&E. The idea was first floated last month by the mayor of San Jose and the group now includes the mayors of Oakland, Sacramento and more than a dozen other California cities. And together, they represent about a third of the population served by PG&E. The coalition is asking Governor Gavin Newsom and state regulators to consider their offer before the company`s bankruptcy reorganization plan is approved.
HERERA: Discount brokerage Charles Schwab with client assets topping $3.7 trillion dollars has made a major shift in its strategy, no longer charging commissions for all us stocks, ETFs and options trades. And it`s not the only disruptive move that company is making.
Senior personal finance correspondent Sharon Epperson reports tonight from the company`s annual impact conference in San Diego.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT SENIOR PERSONAL FINANCE CORRESPONDENT: Advisers and other attendees at the Schwab impact conference are buzzing about the impact of zero-commission trading on the industry and investors.
DAN GENTER, RNC GENTER CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: What it`s going to do is it`s not only going to provide more activity but it`s going to allow people to purely focus on investment decision-making without having to be concerned about the cost.
EPPERSON: Charles Schwab kicked off a flurry of other brokers, including TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) and ETRADE in eliminating commissions on buying and selling stocks and exchange-traded funds. It`s a game-changer for money managers and those developing products.
ED ROSENBERG, AMERICAN CENTURY HEAD OF ETFS: Now what`s amazing about that is we`re all the same, right? Every ETF can be bought just on its merit, how it behaves, what the investment philosophy is, not just whether it`s commission-free or not, and not whether it trades a lot. But realistically, what is the advisor looking for that and investor?
EPPERSON: Schwab`s president and CEO, Walt Bettinger, said the investor was the focus in making this move that had been long considered.
WALT BETTINGER, CHARLES SCHWAB CEO: There`s a history here of Schwab consistently disrupting the marketplace on behalf of the consumer. And every time we`ve done that, it`s led to more growth and more success.
EPPERSON: Look for more disruptions to come. Schwab will soon allow clients to buy just a fraction of a costly stock or ETF, instead of an entire share. Fractional share trading is another move aimed at increasing the firm`s competitive advantage, as well as flexibility for investors.
BETTINGER: Oftentimes, newer younger smaller investors struggle to invest in some of the companies they want to invest in if they have to buy a whole share. So, fractional shares is right along the line consistent with a strategy, opening up investing to as many people as we possibly can.
EPPERSON: Bettinger said Schwab will likely begin that offering early next year.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sharon Epperson in San Diego.
GRIFFETH: And, in fact, most high profile brokers now offer no fee trading — obviously good for investors. But is there a downside to it? After all, there are no free lunches.
Joining us with his thoughts tonight, Noel Archard is the global head of so-called SPDR Products at State Street (NYSE:STT) Global Advisors.
Good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight.
NOEL ARCHARD, STATE STREET GLOBAL ADVISORS: Thank you very much.
GRIFFETH: We`re calling it a downside. But, you know, if a company offers a free service or product, they`re going to have to make it up somewhere else. What`s the strategy here? What should investors know about where they`re going to pay for it elsewhere?
ARCHARD: I think — I think that`s the way to look at it. The needs of every investor is different obviously. But, you know, when they have a brokerage account, they now have a lot of choices, which is great to invest in either stocks or ETFs, even options for some clients at zero commissions.
That puts a lot of choice in the plate. That`s wonderful. An investor then has to see what`s the full suite of services or fees that they`re being charged within their account.
You know, they might have no commissions — that`s great. And if they trade four times a year, that maybe means they save $20. If your brokerage fees go up for your account by $30 a year, then you know maybe that`s not as good of a trade off.
So, as with everything, it`s the total cost of the experience that the investor needs to sit down and evaluate to understand, are they coming out, you know, ahead, neutral or a little bit behind in any kind of these deals?
GRIFFETH: And some people have suggested that you need to take a look at the cost structure at your particular brokerage because you may be charged say for advice depending on how much money you have in your account, almost like a premium service versus a standard service.
ARCHARD: Yes, I think in all these situations, that`s — it really does come down to the individual investor in their experience. And so, if you`re being charged for advice, if that advice is helping you and reach your end goals and it`s done at a — you know, in a reasonable level and now you`re taking trading costs out of that equation, that`s a — that`s a real positive. That`s something where the investor could end up ahead.
There`s — you know, talk in some of these accounts, what are you getting? What kind of interest are you making, maybe on your cash levels in these brokerage accounts? Is it equivalent to what you might get outside of your brokerage experience?
Well, if it`s half a percent less but you`re making up more than that in savings on your training, then again you probably have come out for the year and that`s a that`s a good outcome. We`re just seeing a lot of scale coming to the market at this place and a lot of our, you know, investors, the advisors and the clients that they work with are getting the benefits of that economy of scale. But they have to do their homework.
GRIFFETH: Before we let you go, the answer may seem obvious but I`m going to ask it anyway. Who do you think no fee investing benefits the most? Who`s the typical investor that makes it most attractive for?
ARCHARD: Yes, actually I think this is — this cuts across the spectrum. It`s one of these interesting, you know, shifts in the market environment. Whether you`re an advisor, whether you`re an end investor — you know, to succeed in an investing, you have to control what you can control and cost are one of those things that you can control.
We can`t really do much about what the market does on a day-in day-out basis. That`s what the long-term planning and asset allocation focuses on.
ARCHARD: But if you can control your costs and if you can take a big cut of that cost out of the system which is this — you know, frictional cost of trading —
ARCHARD: — that really benefits everyone from the biggest institutions to the smallest investors.
GRIFFETH: All right. Noel Archard with State Street (NYSE:STT) Global Advisors — again, thanks for joining us tonight.
ARCHARD: Thanks very much.
HERERA: And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for joining us.
GRIFFETH: I`m Bill Griffeth. Have a great evening. See you tomorrow.
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