<Show: NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT> <Date: July 31, 2013> <Time: 18:30:00> <Tran: 073101cb.

118> <Type: SHOW> <Head: NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for July 31, 2013, PBS> <Sect: News; Domestic> <Byline: Susie Gharib, Tyler Mathisen, Hampton Pearson, Kayla Tausche, Courtney Reagan, Bertha Coombs> <Guest: David Kelly, Tim Maurer> <Spec: Economy; Federal Reserve; Policies; Consumers; Retail Industry; Taxes; Insurance; Health and Medicine> <Time: 18:30:00>

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Susie Gharib, brought to you by --

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TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: The steady Fed. The

central bank sticks with the status quo. Now, investors will hang on every word every Fed official says looking for any hint of what policymakers may do next and when. But is there a risk to talking too much?

SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Shop til you drop. Tax breaks are being offered to stretch your back to school budget. But are the big savings coming at a big cost to some states?

MATHISEN: Navigating long-term care. The cost can be staggering, so can long-term care insurance premiums. The answers you need as we kick-off our special series, "How to Navigate Long-Term Care."

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Wednesday, July 31st.

GHARIB: Good evening, everyone.

No change in policy and no clues on what happens next. That was the message today from the Federal Reserve as policymakers wrapped up their two-day meeting. The central bank is keeping interest rates at zero percent and gave no indication about its plans to trim back on its economic stimulus program, saying that the U.S. economy is growing at a, quote, "modest pace".

There was more proof of that today as the government reported the

nation`s gross domestic product or GDP picked up a bit in the second quarter, growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent. Now, that was better than expected but still pretty weak.

The reaction on Wall Street to all that economic news was pretty tepid, too. The Dow lost 21 points, the NASDAQ rose abou8t 10, the S&P off a fraction.

For more on that Fed meeting, here is Hampton Pearson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): For now, the Federal Reserve will keep buying $85 billion in mortgage and treasury securities per month in its ongoing effort to bolster the economy. Some Fed watchers however were disappointed. Ben Bernanke and his monetary policymakers refused once again to give any hints when tapering might begin.

KEN VOLPERT, VANGUARD FIXED INCOME GROUP: I did expect that they would -- they would have talked a little bit more about the programs starting to taper. So, that was the thing that was missing, that I think a lot of us expected that they would at least provide some kind of clarification on, even if they didn`t give the exact detail.

PEARSON: Policymakers say the economy is expanding at a modest pace, a slight change from June when the recovery was called moderate. The Fed is concerned about higher mortgage rates impacting the housing recovery. The latest GDP report shows it expanded at a faster than expected 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter and consumer prices holding steady, the core rate of 0.8 percent, well below the Fed`s 2 percent target.

The FMOC statement characterized inflation concerns this way, "The committee recognizes that inflation persistently below its 2 percent objective could pose risk to economic performance. But it anticipates that inflation will move back towards its objective over the medium term.

Key short-term interest rates will remain near zero, as long as unemployment remains 6.5 percent. And like the decision on tapering, any policy change will be data dependent.

VINCENT REINHART, MORGAN STANLEY CHIEF U.S. ECONOMIST: It depends on continued solid employment growth. The Fed wants to get out of the program, will probably start tapering at its September meeting. But as employment falls off between now and then, that will get them to push it back.

PEARSON (on camera): Two more months of job data starting with the employment report on Friday should give policy makers a much clearer

picture of just what`s happening with the jobs market by the time the Fed meets again in mid-September.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATHISEN: Here to talk more about the Fed and economy more broadly is David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Funds.

Mr. Kelly, welcome. You just heard Vince Reinhart of a company that will remain nameless, say that he thinks the Fed actually wants to get out of the stimulus business and begin tapering. I was talking about a half hour ago to a former policymaker who said, I don`t really think they want to start tapering and probably not until the end of the year at the soonest.

What do you think?

DAVID KELLY, CHIEF GLOBAL STRATEGIST, JPMORGAN FUNDS: I think they do want to get out of tapering, but what they are trying to do is they`re to quietly move an elephant out of a room and you can`t do that. And so, I was frustrated also by the fact that they didn`t put this timetable, which Ben Bernanke announced in June. They didn`t put that in the statement. So, we`re left wondering, are they continuing to remove QE`s starting at

the end of this year?

I think they want to because they have to. People don`t talk about enough is the problems they are building for themselves by continuing to allow their balance sheet to grow. I mean, it`s not just status quo. They are adding a trillion dollars a year to their balance sheets and those are chickens that are going to come home to roost. And the bigger the balance sheet, the more of a problem they`re going to have in the long run.

So they do need to get out of it, but they`re so sensitive to doing anything to upset markets, that they didn`t put the timetable in the statement today. I think that`s a mistake. They got to layout clearly that if the economy is improving, there is some costs to this continued quantitative easing and they`re going to gradually get out of it.

GHARIB: Well, so, David, with all this uncertainty on what`s going to happen and when it`s going to happen with the tapering, what are you doing with your investment strategy? Are you changing it or tweaking it even? And what`s more important to you, all this taper talk or this jobs report? We have one coming out on Friday.

KELLY: Well, of course, they are connected. Our general advice to people is obviously be balanced. That`s the first important thing.

But over time we think the economy is improving. That`s going to push

up earnings. And we think the economy is improving and that`s going to push up interest rates. And so you want to be tilted towards equities relative to fixed income, and that`s the same as we`ve said all along for quite sometime.

I think that job supports are increasingly important. These markets will be sensitive because that does tell you about when they may start. Even if it`s a question of will they start reducing purchases in September or December, that depends a little bit on what we see this Friday and also in the August jobs report, which we`ll get a month from now.

So, those jobs reports will be very important. But ultimately, the economy is getting better and the Federal Reserve has to take off training wheels sooner or later.

MATHISEN: So, David, I sense that you`d like the Fed to be more transparent, actually put a timetable on what they`re going -- when they`re going to do something.

But as I think back to the era of Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, I have to feel that we`ve been spoiled by the level of transparency we have today. That would have never been the case way back then. Now, we hear, they tell us -- they signal very clearly what they`re going to do. Now, we want them to tell us precisely when they`re going to do it.

What`s your reaction to that perspective?

KELLY: Well, overall, I think they do need to be -- because of the extraordinary policy in place, they need to layout how they`re going to get rid of it. They opened this can of worms by saying -- first of all, by having QE and then by saying they`re going to get rid of it at some stage.

They need to layout a timetable to help markets adjust to it. To me, it`s like good parenting. You`ve got to be consistent in telling your kids what`s going to happen and if you tell them each time, they will get the picture. There is too much uncertainty in this economy. It`s caused by this program.

So, the Federal Reserve -- in part, so the Federal Reserve needs to be clear about how they`re going to get rid of it. I think clarity is important.

Go ahead.

MATHISEN: I was going to say, I think your point about the fact these are incredible or extraordinary policy measures that they`ve taken, so it requires some extraordinary explaining and signaling to the markets about what they`re going to do and when.

David, thank you very much for being with us.

David Kelly --

KELLY: Thanks.

MATHISEN: -- is chief global strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Funds.

And for more on the Feds and transparency, log on to our Web site, NBR.com, and you can read my blog about it.

GHARIB: Your golden years may have lost a lot of luster after a troubling report about underfunded pensions at some of the nation`s biggest companies. A report from the S&P, Dow Jones out today shows a record amount of underfunded pensions for the 2012 fiscal year at S&P 500 firms.

Data shows a combined shortfall of more than $450 billion. That`s nearly $100 billion less than levels of a year ago period. And that`s despite massive gains in the stock market.

MATHISEN: Another new study shows a staggering $1.2 trillion in corporate profits from America`s biggest companies being held in offshore accounts mostly to avoid U.S. taxes. A study from the watchdog U.S. public interest research group, which analyzed regulatory filings of the top 100 U.S.-based publicly traded companies, found that 82 of them maintained subsidiaries in the low tax overseas shelters like Bermuda or Hong Kong,

topping the list General Electric (NYSE:GE), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

GHARIB: Now, even with all that money parked overseas, it looks like investors are putting more money into bond funds. A new report from the Investment Company Institute shows that last week, more than $4 billion flowed into long-term taxable bond funds. That`s the first time in at least a month that investors put money into taxable fixed vehicles.

In that same period, more than $2 billion was pulled out of municipal bond funds.

MATHISEN: And when you think of banks, you often think of the giants, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). But many community banks, which hold more than 40 percent of all banking assets in the U.S., have survived the financial crisis intact and are now attracting attention and new investors.

Kayla Tausche has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): For small banks, the economic recovery has been an uphill battle, but it appears they are starting to get a stronger engine.

SCOTT CUSTER, VANTAGESOUTH BANK, CEO: Problem loans are down, new loan origination is up.

CRAIG DWIGHT, HORIZON BANCORP CEO: We`re seeing a return of purchase transactions. People are buying more homes.

TAUSCHE: From California to North Carolina, bank executives across the country striking an upbeat tone at the KBW`s annual conference.

Consumer credit getting better, businesses starting to send slowly but surely.

JOHN BURAN, FLUSHING SAVINGS BANK CEO: When you have a financial crisis like this, you really do have a reduction in confidence, and it takes awhile for that confidence to return.

However, the underlying trend is clearly better than it was last year.

TAUSCHE: The biggest roadblock -- regulation. Despite Washington`s efforts to ease the burden on small institutions like Prosperity Bank shares of Texas, CEO David Zalman says it`s still piling up.

DAVID ZALMAN, PROSPERITY BANK CHAIRMAN & CEO: The regulatory burden today is tougher and stronger than it`s ever been. The amount of money

that we`re spending on the regulatory burden, people wouldn`t even believe it. I used to say a bank of $500 million in size wouldn`t be able to make it with the regulatory burden. I think it may be a billion dollars now.

TAUSCHE (on camera): When costs get too high, banks get the urge to merge like New York`s Hudson City and Baltimore`s M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB). But according to KBW (NYSE:KBW) CEO Tom Michaud, regulators are quick to question those deals, too.

TOM MICHAUD, KBW (NYSE:KBW) BANK CEO: There are tremendous economic forces that are going to continue to encourage consolidation and it`s going to be a balance between the regulatory impact. I think in that particular case, it`s because the regulars don`t want to see more big, big banks.

TAUSCHE (voice-over): With mergers more difficult and costs on the rise, these companies banking on a better recovery.

Kayla Tausche, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GHARIB: Still ahead tonight, who doesn`t love a discount? Tax holidays help the back to school shoppers save, but what it costs the state.

But, first, let`s take a look at how the major indexes performed during the month of July.

(MUSIC)

GHARIB: Shares of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) surged today on news on another big named investor is buying in.

Billionaire investor George Soros revealed he has a nearly 9 percent stake in the nutritional supplement maker. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) has been at the center of a bitter battle between activist investor Bill Ackman, who accuses the company sales structure as a classic Ponzi scheme. And another well-known activist investor Carl Icahn who is heavily invested in the company.

Shares rose more than 9 percent in today`s trading.

MATHISEN: A late afternoon slump leads our "Market Focus" stories tonight.

JCPenney shares tumbled following a report that the retailer is having credit problems. "The New York Post" reporting that a commercial lender CIT has stopped supporting deliveries from smaller apparel firms. CIT had no comment on the report.

And as you can see, shares dropped more than 10 percent in the final hour as volume jumped. JCPenney finished the day at $14.60.

Investors raised the glass to Anheuser-Busch InBev as the global brewer`s profit and revenue beat expectations. North American sales fell but Brazil and other markets more than made up for the decline there. At day`s end, Bud gained more than 6 percent on twice normal volume, closing at $95.71.

GHARIB: Air Products and chemicals, an industrial supplier soared today on word that Bill Ackman`s hedge fund, Pershing Square, has taken a 9 percent steak. Ackman is the largest shareholder. Air Products gained almost 3 percent, closing at $108.64.

CBS (NYSE:CBS) reported strong profits up 11 percent. Revenues also rose sharply, and thanks to licensing its shows to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other streaming providers. Meanwhile, CBS`s retransmission dispute with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Cable is still festering. The contract deadline has been pushed to Friday.

Ahead of the earning`s news, CBS (NYSE:CBS) shares rose almost 1 percent, to $52.84. And CBS (NYSE:CBS) also gained in after-hours trading.

And Whole Foods is also reporting after the bill. It said sales grew 7.5 percent in the quarter and profits per share were a penny better than

analyst expected. Whole foods shares had a slight loss ahead of the report closing at $55.58 and then dropped more after issuing a weaker earnings outlook for 2014.

MATHISEN: A big victory for retailers tired of paying exorbitant swiping fees to debit card issuers. A federal judge struck down a rule governing the fees that banks can charge merchants for handling purchases made via debit cards. A group of retailers sued the Federal Reserve after the Fed set that cap at around 24 cents per swipe. That`s after a proposed 12 cent limit caused an uproar from bank lobbyists, leading the Fed to buckle and double that original cap. Now, the Fed must now create a new rule and the current cap will stay in place until it does.

GHARIB: Well, it`s still July, but the start of the new school year is just weeks away for millions of young Americans. For parents, that means back to school shopping. And this year, more than a dozen states are helping parents with sales tax holidays on back to school items.

But as states struggle with budget deficits and belt tightening, are these tax breaks a good idea?

Courtney Reagan has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): While kids don`t always love going back to school, what kid doesn`t love, new sneakers and fresh crayons. Parents may not love footing the back to school bill, but they know it`s unavoidable. This year, at least 17 states want to make back to school purchasing a little less expensive, by offering sales tax holidays.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyway I can save money for back to school clothes, I`m there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look for sales. That`s what I look for, sales.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think right now, all the stores here should be able to have the opportunity to have a tax-free weekend and take advantage of it.

REAGAN: This weekend, 12 states will give consumers a break on sales tax for purchases related to back to school shopping. The limits and exceptions vary but most of the states will waive state sales tax on clothing, footwear and school supplies to a certain amount.

JOHN LONSKI, MOODY`S CHIEF ECONOMIST: The hope is if consumers spend more money on back to school items than otherwise because of tax cuts, this benefits the broader economy and leads to additional tax revenues

elsewhere.

REAGAN (on camera): However, many believe states end up being the biggest losers. Retailers end up relatively neutral, but consumers can be the biggest beneficiaries. Studies show that in the near term, the back to schools sales boost from the sales tax holiday nearly shifts purchasing, rather than adds to it.

(voice-over): So, why do states participate? Some interest groups speculate industries that benefit from these programs put pressure on the states. Also, these tax holidays are popular with consumers, which helps the politicians that support them. Meanwhile, Massachusetts seems to have reacted to the data, cutting its back to school tax holiday this year.

LONSKI: The benefits of that boost will dissipate quickly and, in fact, we may find after September has expired, sales sag a bit because a good deal of spending on back to school items had been advanced for the purpose of taking advantage of this temporary tax break.

REAGAN: Even if purchases are shifted in time, consumers could save money if they plan their shopping carefully. Over the years, back to school sales tax holidays have expanded beyond traditional classroomrelated purchases. This year, Iowa sale`s tax holiday will apply to water ski vests. Louisiana`s lists include all personal property goods, up to $2,500 a person.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATHISEN: Coming up, the rising cost of long-term care. Tonight, we start our special series, "How to Navigate Long-Term Care" with a look at when you should buy insurance to protect your financial future.

First, though, a look at how commodities performed today. For the month, oil gained almost 9 percent.

(MUSIC)

MATHISEN: E-health, the online health insurance exchange, reached a deal today with the federal government to help enroll low income residents of 36 states in qualified health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Shares shot to their highest level in more than five years today, surging more than 28 percent today alone.

GHARIB: Officials from the states of Florida and Georgia say health insurance rates will spike sharply higher because of the Affordable Care Act. Florida says average rates will rise up to 40 percent for individuals. Georgia said that premiums for a 25-year-old male currently in a high deductible plan would nearly triple next year and could double

for others.

MATHISEN: Long-term care insurance is expensive and getting pricier. That`s all the more reason to know what it covers, what it costs and how to shop smart. Some answers tonight as we kick off a special three-part series on NBR, "How to Navigate Long-Term Care."

Bertha Coombs reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHYLLIS DOUGLAS, CUSTOMER: I knew that I would need long-term care.

BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Phyllis Douglas bought long-term care insurance when she turned 70. It costs her $140 a month with a lifetime cap of $100,000 because she has rheumatoid arthritis.

P. DOUGLAS: The only thing I could get was limited because of my physical conditions.

COOMBS: She paid $20,000 in premiums over 12 years. Now, it`s paying for a private aide at the assisted living facility where the 85-year-old live since 2010.

P. DOUGLAS: I didn`t want the kids to take care of me that way if I didn`t have to. They do anyway because that`s who they are.

COOMBS: Her son Fred has already enrolled for long-term coverage at work after seeing how his mom`s plan has helped stretch her savings.

FRED DOUGLAS, CUSTOMER: It`s prolonging the point at which that money will get consumed at the high rate that she`s paying out because she`s paying for facilities.

COOMBS: Strategic Wealth Management`s Crystal Cooper advises clients to enroll for long term in their 50s, while they`re in good health and have more flexible options.

CRYSTAL ALFORD-COOPER, STRATEGIC WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP: Because the premiums can be pricey, but there are different policies that will allow you to change different features of the policies and make it more affordable for you.

COOMBS: Individual plan premiums can start at about $2,000 a year for healthy individuals in their 50s, depending on benefit levels. Starting at $50 a day to cover a home made to help with housework, up to $2,000 a day for assisted living or nursing home care. It`s more expensive for those who are older.

COOPER: There is a 71 percent chance of people over the age of 65, that at some point in their life, they will need some long-term care services. And so, that alone, says that you have to have a contingency plan in place for that.

COOMBS: With long-term care costs raising, faster than inflation, insurers have been raising premiums sharply on older plans that date back to the 1990s, and changing their underwriting to take into account not just age and health but also gender.

(on camera): Some financial advisors say women may want to consider obtaining coverage sooner rather than later, because women have longer life expectancies, insurers tend to charge women higher premiums when they are older than they do men.

(voice-over): As with car or home insurance, there is a risk of paying for coverage you won`t use, but women like Phyllis Douglas usually do collect on long-term care claims. For her, it`s been worth it.

P. DOUGLAS: I believe more people should have it because they don`t appreciate what`s going to happen to you.

COOMBS: For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bertha Coombs in Somerset, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GHARIB: Our next guest says not everyone should buy long-term care insurance. He`s Tim Maurer, financial advisor with Financial Consulate. Sorry for that mispronunciation.

Tim, who shouldn`t get long-term health care insurance?

TIM MAURER, FINANCIAL CONSULATE: Well, I`ll tell you, there`s a spectrum of folks all over the board where if you have less than let`s say, $200,000, $250,000 of total assets, the chances are very good that the premiums that you would layout for long-term care insurance would be cost prohibitive relative to the risk that you`re actually shielding your assets from, because you don`t have enough assets. If you end up in a long-term care situation with less than $200,000 on assets, you`ll likely go through them in a short period of time and then Medicaid would step in to help you with that.

Now, if you have over $2 million worth of assets, you may consider self-insuring your long-term care needs. It`s still possible that you could consider doing long-term care insurance as a business transaction because of the potential probability but everybody in the middle there, and that`s a vast middle, should be considering some form of long-term care plan and possibly to include long-term care insurance.

MATHISEN: So, let`s ask the question for those who are in that big vast middle, at what age should I consider buying it beginning pay for it and am I guaranteed to qualify for it or can certain companies exclude me based on previous medical conditions or family history?

MAURER: The age that I recommend is in your 50s, as we`ve mentioned before. One of the things that should notice, from age 50 to 55, that`s one age band, from age 55 to 60, that`s another age band. Each of those are five years long, for most insurance companies. But once you hit age 60, each successive year, they`re going to increase premiums. So, that`s definitely something to consider.

Also, because of that stage of the game, you likely don`t have the types of preexisting conditions that would roll you out, but there certainly are preexisting conditions that would do so.

As we saw with Phyllis, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the things that really scares long-term care insurers. If someone happens to have heart disease in their genetic background, they`re not likely to care as much about that, well, let`s face it, if someone has heart disease, they will go in a moment. Not spend a long time with long-term care.

GHARIB: Tim, we have just a minute left. I wonder if you can go and answer this question.

We hear so many stories of people who do get this long-term care insurance. They pay huge premiums but when they need the coverage, they are denied because for some reason that service isn`t covered. Can you give us some tips on how to shop for the best policy?

MAURER: It`s very, very important to take a close look at the policy because each policy is written differently, and that`s one of the things people have been burned by. I suggest you only get a policy that will allow 100 percent of your benefit to be home healthcare, and then take a specific look at how many activities of daily living are required for you to get your long-term care benefit.

In that case, you want to take a look at the insurer to actually see their claims payment history to make sure they are paying up, and you also want to take a very close look at whether or not they have been increasing the premiums for existing policyholders. Ideally, you would be with an insurer who is not.

GHARIB: Big topic. Thank you so much, Tim.

MAURER: Thank you.

GHARIB: Tim Maurer, financial adviser with Financial Consulate.

MATHISEN: And tomorrow, our special series, "How to Navigate Long-

Term Care", continues with a further look at how the insurance business is changing, and what it could mean for you.

GHARIB: We`re going to have that series all week long. It`s a good one.

That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for tonight. I`m Susie Gharib, thanks for watching.

MATHISEN: And I`m Tyler Mathisen, thanks for me as well. Have a great evening, everybody. And we`ll see you back here tomorrow night.

END

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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