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118> <Type: SHOW> <Head: NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for July 30, 2013, PBS> <Sect: News; Domestic> <Byline: Tyler Mathisen, Sue Herera, Kate Kelly, Jane Wells, Sharon Epperson> <Guest: John Casesa, Kristina Hooper> <Spec: Business; Housing; Economy; Trade; Stock Markets; Education> <Time: 18:30>
ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Susie Gharib, brought to you by --
SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Home sweet home. What`s behind the surge in prices, which just recorded their strongest annual again in more than seven years?
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Big run for small caps. The sector has soared 23 percent so far this year, sitting now just below all-time highs. But have these stocks gone too far too fast, or is there more money to be made?
HERERA: Dollars and cents, who pays for college? Well, it`s not mom and dad. They are paying less these days, shifting more of the financial burden onto the student.
All of that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday, July 30th.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I`m Tyler Mathisen, alongside Sue Herera. Susie Gharib has the night off.
We begin tonight with more good news about housing, specifically rising home values. The S&P Case-Shiller home price index for May showed that home prices in the nation`s 20 largest cities rose 2.4 percent from April and more than 12 percent for May of just a year ago. That is the largest year over year increase in prices since 2006 before the start of the housing crisis. Home prices in Denver and Dallas are now at their highest levels since the year 200.
Survey director Robert Shiller, also an economics professor at Yale, expects those home prices to keep on hitting higher.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT SHILLER, CO-FOUNDER, CASE-SHILLER INDEX: For a short-term investor, there is a more sure thing in the real estate market. I mean, I think that when it`s up 12 percent in a year and it`s uniform across -- well, somewhat uniform across so many different cities, it`s probably going to go for another year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: Well, those rising prices are likely on the mind of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he arrived to the central bank this morning to keep off a two-day meeting on interest rates. The Fed is expected to keep its bench mark short-term interest rate right where it is, pretty close to zero percent for the foreseeable future.
But what Wall Street really wants to hear is when the central bank might begin pulling back on its $85 million in monthly bond purchases. They are designed to keep mortgage rates and other long term rates lower and spark more bank lending.
MATHISEN: Supporters are calling it a grand bargain. Detractors calling it awful. President Obama offering now Republicans a deal that he hopes they can`t refuse, lower overall corporate taxes, and in return, money to spend on the creation of jobs for the middle class. That`s how he puts it.
Here is how the president described the plan at an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).com warehouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here is the bottom line: I`m willing to work with Republicans reforming the corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning from a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle class jobs. That`s the deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATHISEN: But some Republicans, maybe predictably, not buying it. Former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire was quick to criticize the president`s offer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDD GREGG (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Sounds like an awful plan. Cutting taxes is a great idea but redirect the revenues makes no sense at all. Let the market decides where those revenue should go. One of our biggest problems in this country today is that we have a tax law which incentivizes people to invest for purpose of avoiding taxes rather than if we`re getting the best return.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERERA: On Wall Street, stocks end the day mixed, following a low volume up and down session as they look for direction. A mostly positive string of earnings before the bill was then offset by concerns about what the Federal Deserve will decide to do about its stimulus plan. In the end, the Dow was up 72 points for a time, but then ended one point lower. The NASDAQ added 17 points. The S&P 500 closed a fraction of a point higher.
And coming up, we`ll talk about a big run-up on small cap stocks and whether that can continue.
MATHISEN: A massive merger in healthcare announced today. Hospital owner Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) is buying rival not-for-profit hospital operator Health Management Associates (NYSE:HMA) for $3.9 billion. That creates a huge national hospital chain. And this comes just ahead, of course, of the healthcare system overall expected to provide coverage to millions more Americans.
Shares of both companies, though, ended lower today. HMA tumbling nearly 11 percent.
HERERA: There`s a huge fine to tell you about in the drug world. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which was bought out by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) in 2009, has agreed to pay $491 million to settle criminal and civil charges after unlawfully marketing a drug called Rapamune for uses not approved by the FDA. Rapamune was OK to help prevent the body`s immune system from rejecting a transplanted kidney, but Wyeth is accused of training its sales staff to push the drug for use with other organ transplants.
MATHISEN: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Chase, the nation`s biggest bank by some measures, agreed to pay $410 million to federal energy regulators to settle charges that its traders manipulated electricity markets in California and the Middle West. Traders allegedly used improper bidding strategies that forced over-payments by the local agencies running power grids in those areas. Now, the bank did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement and none of the traders involved will face sanctions or criminal charges.
This is just the latest example of a story NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT brought you last week involving the complicated and profitable world of banks operate in commodities markets.
Kate Kelly has been following the story for us closely and joins us now.
You know, last week, we heard about banks that were operating storage facilities for commodities, whether it was aluminum, copper and others. Now, this settlement in the electricity market.
What are the banks doing? Well, the banks, for a number of years now, Tyler, and a bunch of them, have owned physical commodities, as well as trading paper commodities, if you will, futures, derivatives and other things that are in the financial markets. But they`ve owned these physical commodities like metal storage, like power plants, if you will, and the point of it has been ostensibly to compliment the businesses that they already have, to perhaps give some added knowledge, maybe even a trading edge in some cases, or just purely as a good investment that`s going to make returns.
Now, though, some of that is coming under question. But one thing, there is a deadline in September at which Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NASDAQ:NBXH) (NYSE:MS) hit a five-year anniversary of becoming bank holding companies, which subjects them to a different raft of regulations when it comes to commodities holdings, and could potentially force them to sell them off.
HERERA: You know, Congress is getting involved now, and they`re asking questions, wondering whether or not banks should be allowed to have any role in the commodities market, physical or paper-wise. What are you hearing?
KELLY: Well, I`m hearing a number of things. It depends on which bank and which holdings, of course.
KELLY: There are concerns that some of these business activities pass on higher costs to customers. For example, with the aluminum Goldman situation. It`s a metal storage business, which is known for stockpiling metals and keeping them in storage longer than perhaps it needs to, jacking up prices on consumers. So, that`s created some questions.
At the same time, you know, if the banks get rid of commodities holdings, they`re going to go somewhere. And in many cases, they may go to Europe and be handled by companies that are beyond the reach of U.S. regulators and perhaps will have even less transparency. So, there are issues on both sides with either letting the banks keep these businesses or allowing other competitors to come in and possibly take them out.
MATHISEN: When we first told the story last week, it`s one of those who knew banks were doing this.
Kate Kelly, thank you very much.
HERERA: Well, in corporate news, shares of Goodyear tire and rubber shot up 9 percent after blowout earnings last quarter. Profits more than doubled by selling more tires around the world led by a 4 percent increase in Latin America.
MATHISEN: Profits of Chrysler also revving higher. Net income last quarter rose 16 percent, helped by strong sales in the U.S. especially for pickups and Jeeps. This marks the eighth straight quarterly profit for the bailed out automaker, which is now majority owned by Italy`s Fiat.
And joining us now to talk more about the U.S. auto industry is John Casesa. He is managing director at Guggenheim Securities.
John, welcome back. Good to have you on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
I guess there is kind of a drum beat that adds up to this, American cars are back. Do you agree?
JOHN CASESA, GUGGENHEIM SECURITIES SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR: I do agree. I mean, the market is back and Americans are buying cars. But the U.S. companies are competitive, the most competitive they`ve been in probably 40 years. I mean, back to the first oil crisis.
HERERA: And can that continue, John, because, you know, there is some talks that U.S. growth may slow a little bit -- excuse me, if the Fed starts raising interest rates, does that change the scenario or not?
CASESA: Well, I think, as it relates to the whole market, the average age of a car in the United States is 11 years, almost 90 percent of Americans get to work by car. So, the car is a necessity. The fleet is old. It has to be replaced.
So, unless rates skyrocket, I think auto sales will continue to healthy. As it relates to competiveness of the U.S. companies, even through the crisis they have been getting their act together in productivity, quality, design and styling and once they got through the restructuring and their balance sheets were better, they were able to plow money back into product.
So, Chrysler is selling a lot of the Dodge Ram. Ford is selling a spectacular Ford Fusion. GM`s Chevy Impala got almost the highest rating for a sedan in "Consumer Reports." That money spent over time is starting to pay off today and they`re competitive now with the Japanese.
MATHISEN: What are you seeing in terms of market share of the U.S. automakers in the U.S.? How has it changed, if at all? Is the needle actually moving?
CASESA: Well, it`s moving a little bit. This year, they have about 46 percent of the market. That`s up from the low of 44 percent two years ago. But to put that in context, 33 years ago in 1983, they had 73 percent of the market. So, there`s been a very long slide and in the last years, that chart turned up.
And I would say now that share is up in 2010, in 2011, 2012, you know, there`s really some sustainable momentum. It`s not a fluke.
HERERA: There is a lot of talk that Chrysler will go public and perhaps the market conditions would make it a conducive time for them to do so.
CASESA: Well, I think it`s right. I mean, these auto companies, it`s very hard to be private. You need a lot of capitals and the public market makes sense.
Auto sales in the U.S. will probably rise for, at least a few more years, and Chrysler has a lot of new product coming. So, I think there will be investor appetite for the IPO when it comes.
MATHISEN: What have they done right, apart from styling and improved quality?
CASESA: Well, as it relates to all of the big three, you know, they have completely reconfigured their plants, they`ve changed their relationship with labor. They`ve streamlined the product development process, so instead of taking six years to do a car, they can do it in three years like the Japanese. So, they are more in sync with the market when the cars come.
And, of course, they`ve also spent a lot of money on power train. These cars get more fuel economy, even though just as big as they were five years ago.
HERERA: You know, the electric car movement doesn`t seem to have gained as much traction in certain parts of the country that a lot of people thought it would. Do you agree or not?
CASESA: Well, it`s a fact. Those cars are not selling that well, and I think the two things that will get them to sell well, either gas prices need to go up a lot and/or battery prices need to come down a lot. So, you know, in the conventional car, the engine is $5,000. In the electric car, you take that out, and replaced it with $15,000 in batteries. That`s a big premium.
MATHISEN: John Casesa, thank you very much.
John is senior managing director at Guggenheim Securities.
HERERA: And we want to know what you think about the comeback of the American auto industry. So we went to see if you`re buying American cars.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans cars have gotten higher quality in the past few years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there`s some affordable cars that have become better, like the Ford Fiesta, Focus kind of thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I probably would not consider buying an American car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would actually consider another Taurus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not consider American car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was very close to getting the Chevy Cobalt. But, at the end of the day, I went to a better price.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will buy an American car next time.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MATHISEN: And still to come: if you build it, will they come? Those investing hundreds of millions of dollars in rehabbing hold stadiums or building new ones hope the answer is yes.
But, first, a look at how the international markets closed today.
MATHISEN: Every major city has at least one sports arena, with more being built, refurbished or on the drawing board every year. But is the big business of sports stadiums a good business to be in? And, ultimately, who really pays for all those new venues?
Jane Wells has the story.
JOE WALSH, THE EAGLES: I spent a couple days in the Forum Club one night.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nothing says classic California like the Eagles and nothing says classic L.A. rock concerts like The Forum.
But the once fabulous Forum is nearly as dilapidated as the original in Rome. But now, men from the East have come to make it shine again.
JAMES DOLAN, MSG EXEC. CHAIRMAN: We`ll make the Forum a place where great performers will put on great shows.
WELLS: The Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) Company is spending $100 million to rehab The Forum in Inglewood, to take on powerhouse AEG Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) Center across town.
(on camera): Why The Forum?
HANK RATNER, MSG PRES & CEO: Why not The Forum? What an opportunity. The second biggest market in the world, the biggest entertainment market in the world, underserved with an iconic venue. That fell in disrepair.
WELLS: Built by Jack Kent Cook in 1967, this is where Jerry West played, Wynn Gretzky, Showtime with Magic and Kareem. But it`s also where Elvis performed, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and every major act from the `70s, `80s and `90s.
(voice-over): And to christen the new Forum next January, the Eagles will stage three shows.
GLENN FREY, THE EAGLES: This is only short of the Holy Grail, you know, for us in Los Angeles and it was just a great-sounding room. It was -- I don`t know how to explain it. It just sounds good. It feels good. It`s intimate.
But the stadium business is tough. Bankrupt Detroit is moving forward with selling bonds to help build a venue for the Red Wings. Washington wants to build a soccer stadium and for MSG, it`s spending a billion dollars to renovate Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG), but New York will not commit to letting the garden stay at its location beyond another decade.
Why come to L.A. and take on AEG?
VASILY KARASYOV, STERNE AGEE: The Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) Center is so overbooked, so many teams and so many events happening there. They believe that the market can support another major venue.
WELLS: The company says the new Forum will have $1.4 billion impact over 30 years. Inglewood officials are willing to forgive nearly $20 million in loans if certain benchmarks are met. There`s already a naming rights deal with Chase. And if all goes according to plan, the Forum will return to its glory days and not turn into a financial Hotel California.
WALSH: Thank you for a real place to play in Los Angeles.
WELLS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Inglewood, California.
HERERA: Action in several sectors in our market focus tonight, beginning with biotech. Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) fresh off a blowout quarter soared again today on its reports that it`s hired Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to consider overtures from Roche Pharmaceuticals. Alexion specialized in so-called orphan drugs, which are treatments for rare diseases. Alexion gained more than 6 percent, closing at $117.08.
And investors bid up shares of Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), awaiting after the bell earnings, and rewarded with a strong quarterly performance. Revenues increased 5 percent, profits were well above analysts` estimates. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) concentrates on cancer treatments but makes drugs to treat other conditions, as well.
Volume was heavier than normal during the session. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) gained more than 1.5 percent to close at $111.20 a share.
And Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares closed in on its IPO price of $38 a share, not seen since May of 2012 as investors rekindled their interest in social media, following last week`s breakthrough earnings report. Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) jumped more than 6 percent to close at $37.63. That`s just 37 cents away from that IPO price. Volume was more than 1.5 times the usual phase.
Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the two big pharmaceutical companies in the Dow 30 reported before the bill this morning. Merck`s profit fell as patent losses on some drugs
hurt their sales. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has the same patent loss problems, but profits jumped as it sold non-core assets. Investors traded both companies at above average volumes.
At day`s end, Merck (NYSE:MRK) lost just a fraction, closing at $48.05. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) had a small gain, to $29.67 a share.
MATHISEN: Buffalo Wild Wings` net earnings grew. Total revenue jumped 27 percent. The company said it remains confident it`s going to achieve 17 percent profit growth for 2013. That sounds pretty good except the chickens.
But investors were expecting more. The stock drooped before the close and then dropped further on the earnings news. Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) at $97.69 at the close.
Coach`s profits matched estimates. Revenues were a bit shy. But the stock dropped at the open and was down all day. Coach (NYSE:COH) said both the North American president and COO are going to leave at the end of August and will sell a subsidiary brand back to its founder. Investors sold off on six times the normal volume. Coach (NYSE:COH) closed down almost 8 percent at $53.30.
And fertilizer stocks in the U.S. and elsewhere had a very rough day because a cartel that had supported the price of potash, a key ingredient in many fertilizers, collapsed. Investors fearing lower prices for fertilizer got out of the stocks big time, shares fell sharply on high volumes. Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), 10 times normal; Potash, 12 times normal, Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI), 40 times the normal volume, all hitting lower.
HERERA: So, let`s turn our focus now to another area of the markets, the small cap stocks. Small cap stocks have been on a tear this year, producing large returns with the Russell 2000 adding to its year-to-date gains, and recent record highs. But is the run-up in the small cap stocks coming to an end?
Let`s ask Kristina Hooper. She is investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors.
Kristina, welcome. Nice to have you on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
KRISTINA HOOPER, ALLIANZ GLOBAL INVESTORS INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Thanks for having me.
HERERA: I believe you think the small caps have a little more room to run. Tell me why.
HOOPER: Well, we think over the long term, small caps make a great investment choice for investors, nearly because we`re an environment of financial oppression. We`re going to be there for a long time and that really necessitates moving out on the risk spectrum, having exposure to a different variety risk assets and that include small caps.
MATHISEN: Let`s --
HOOPER: Now, over the longer -- over the shorter term, we`re excited about small caps. We do think there`s some positive aspects of small caps, namely that typically in a rising rate environment, small caps have out-performed. That`s typically coupled with an economic recovery.
In addition, one thing that I think is being overlooked by a lot of investors today is the fact that companies are sitting on record levels of cash, and typically one of the significant ways they deploy that cash is through purchases, mergers, acquisitions. And that could really benefit small cap stocks.
MATHISEN: Quick question and a quick follow-up, if I might, Kristina. You used the phrase financial repression. What does that mean?
HOOPER: That means an environment where rates are held artificially low and we are in that environment and we anticipate we`ll continue to be in that environment for years to come. There is a real asphyxiation of yield going for many traditional sources of income.
MATHISEN: You know, in some of the research I was doing, this afternoon, I was struck by the fact that there is some sort of nexus, maybe an inverse nexus, between how domestic small cap companies fair and how the emerging markets share. Can you probe that for us or what the theory is it?
HOOPER: Well, it seems that investors who are looking for growth, either favor emerging markets or small caps or at least that`s the theory behind it. However, I would argue that there is so much cash sitting in -- on the sideline, sitting in cash, sitting in core fixed income that could easily move into both emerging markets and small caps. That it`s not an either or proposition.
MATHISEN: There is enough fuel to fuel both in your view?
HERERA: What about the dividend for small caps?
HOOPER: Well, we think investors need to look for yields in all kinds of places, and if they are moving out on the risk spectrum and having exposure to risk assets including small caps, they should be looking for dividend income even in small cap stocks. So, that`s why we`re excited about dividend paying small caps.
MATHISEN: So, what percentage of a typical investor`s portfolio should be in small companies and are there certain sectors of that -- subsectors of that broad universe that you favor right now?
HOOPER: Well, there is no one percentage because it really depends on an investor`s risk profile. But we think there needs to be a diversification of risk assets. There might be some tactical allocation amongst different risk classes. But there also needs to be long-term exposure to areas like small caps.
In terms of areas within small caps, cyclicals are showing a lot of attractive values right now. So, for example, industrials, materials, those areas have continued to have attractive evaluations.
HERERA: All right. Kristina, we`ll leave it there. Thank you very much for joining us. Kristina Hooper, investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors.
HOOPER: Thank you.
HERERA: Coming up, tuition is rising and parents aren`t willing to pay as much for college as they used to. So, what`s a student to do? That story is next.
But, first, how commodities, treasuries and currencies performed today.
MATHISEN: It is a big day for a tiny college in Kentucky. Center College, Danville, Kentucky, with fewer than 1,400 students and best known for hosting a vice presidential candidate last year, just received one of the largest gifts ever given to a school. Center was given stockholdings worth $250 million from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust. The school says it`s going to use the money to set up 40 annual merit-based scholarships in the fields of science, computer science and economics.
HERERA: Well, with the exception of those deserving students at Center College, tuition bills nonetheless are skyrocketing, forcing some big changes over who is paying for college, and it`s not necessarily mom and dad anymore. A new study shows that parents are no longer paying for the majority of college tuition bills. That burden now falls on students who often have to find their own resources. And more of them are now getting free help.
Sharon Epperson has our story.
SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): More and more students are searching for and finding free money to pay for a large chunk of their college tab.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked into a school basically that could supply the most money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of institutions in this country that are publicly funded, that offer affordable ways to go to college.
EPPERSON: For many families, cost has become the top criteria when choosing a college.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s going to be going online and looking at any and all scholarships that she can find.
EPPERSON: The burden of who pays for college is shifting to the student, as parents foot a smaller portion of the college tuition bill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can`t afford to send her and her sister paying the whole thing, so she`s going to have to pick up some of the tab, as well.
EPPERSON (on camera): A student`s ability to find free money has trumped contributions from parents these days. A new study finds scholarships and grants are now the top sources for paying for college.
SARAH DUCICH, SALLIE MAE SVP OF PUBLIC POLICY: We`re seeing grants and scholarships pay for 30 percent of an under-graduate education, supplanting parent income and savings, which now have fallen to 27 percent of the share of college cost.
EPPERSON: Six out of 10 families say they`ve done an online scholarship search in the college planning process. Experts say finding resources that helps students plan for how they`ll pay for their entire college career is essential.
DUCICH: Make sure you look at the sources, develop that plan and make sure that the student is successful in achieving that degree.
EPPERSON: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Sharon Epperson.
MATHISEN: And join us tomorrow right here on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, when we begin our three-part series on how to navigate long-term care -- covering everything from when to buy insurance, to what it pays for, to how to pay for it, and tell us which stocks you would like our market monitor guests to discuss this Friday.
Click the link on our Web site, NBR.com to submit the question and don`t forget to tell us where you`re from.
That will do it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Sue Herera. Thanks for watching. Susie Gharib will be back tomorrow.
MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me, as well. Have a great evening, everybody. We`ll see you right back here tomorrow night.
Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post broadcast at http://nbr.com. The program is transcribed by CQRC Transcriptions, 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 of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. (c) 2013 CNBC, Inc.
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