Asia Stocks Dip, Crude Oil Hit Below $35; Theaters Packed for "Star Wars" Premiere; House Set for a Tight Vote on a Massive Trillion-Dollar



Wars" Premiere; House Set for a Tight Vote on a Massive Trillion-Dollar

Spending Plan that would Avoid a Looming Government Shutdown; Bail Hearing

Set for Monday for the Man Who Bought the Assault Rifles Used in the

Terrorist Attack in San Bernardino; Pope Francis Signs Off the Second

Miracle Needed to Make Mother Teresa a Saint; Retailers Estimate that 3

Percent of Holiday Returns will be Fraudulent; Security Chief for Intel

Advises Consumers on Possible Hackable Devices; Federal Reserve Raised

Interest Rates Earlier in the Week; Stocks Expected to Open Lower; Pentagon

Plans to Move Another 17 Gitmo Detainees; `Force Awakens' Opens this

Weekend; Amazon Negotiating to Lease 20 Boeing 767 Jets for Its Delivery

Service - Part 5>

Grasso, Jack Otter, Jim McCann>

Holidays; Energy; Star Wars; Congress; Enrique Marquez; Mother Teresa;

Christmas Gifts; Hackers >


BARTIROMO: Opening night of "Star Wars" last night. The force has finally awoken. We'll take you live to Jo Ling Kent at Times Square movie theater that the lines are long right now. We'll have the latest right after this.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The newest "Star Wars" film finally in theaters. Jo Ling Kent is right in the middle of action in Times Square, New York City. Jo, is "The Force Awakened" living up to the hype? You saw it last night, right?

JO LING KENT, FBN CORRESPONDENT: I certainly did see it last night. It was excellent. I was in line with all of the big fans who had bought their tickets in advance of this very much anticipated movie. The lines here in New York City were very long with people snaking around the block, along with Los Angeles. In fact, there were two fans who had been waiting since December 5th. They waited so long that they just decided to get married and Darth Vader escorted the bride to the groom in Los Angeles. You can see that that wedding ceremony, those two fans, happened right there in Los Angeles ahead of the "Star Wars" premier.

Looking at some numbers, we're expecting big performance from "Star Wars": $2.5 billion in global ticket sales; $5 billion in merchandise. In fact, if you look at numbers of ticket sales estimated so far, 88-percent of the tickets were purchased in advance with North America estimated to put out $223 million this opening box office weekend, which would break the record of "Jurassic World." Disney CEO, Bob Iger, of course, very pleased with how things are going so far; with all of the positive reviews from critics and fans alike. He said, in London at the premier, that they have struck more than gold. He is expecting to put out more movies by 2020.

We're watching Disney stock right now. It is trading just about flat, Maria; but I want to say it is quiet out here but inside that theater there are two or three screenings going on right now.

BARTIROMO: That is amazing, Jo. That is great, that couple got married there. Keith McCullough, what kind of effect does this have on Disney stock? Jo, you thanks so much.

KEITH MCCULLOUGH, CEO, HEDGEYE: Well it's kind of a classic of what we say is do you sell on the news. People have known this is coming. Look, this is huge event and it's really captured both the adults and the children at Christmastime. This, to me, I would be betting on positive side of this, even though market, I've had emails from many, many money managers saying you know what, I've owned it for a while and maybe its all in stock.

BARTIROMO: And they've made a lot of money on it.

MCCULLOUGH: Tons. Tons. It's been a huge stock.

MCDOWELL: Keith's just proved that he is no Grinch, that he's no Scrooge; that he does have a beating heart in this because that was a very optimistic positive way to look at it.

MCCULLOUGH: Thank you. Thank you. I like some stocks. I like McDonald's.

MCDOWELL: He likes `Merica stock.

OTTER: To Keith's Grinch side though, if you look at the (inaudible) you'll see Disney has had a wonderful year. Hasbro has done very well because of all the toy sales. About a week or two weeks ago they started pulling back. I think it was kind of sell the news because everyone -- there was so much hype around it. Now the good news is, for Disney, it might actually be a achieving and maybe even exceeding the hype.


OTTER: We sent a "Barron's" reporter on Tuesday night and he raved about the movie, and he's a cynical guy. He loved it.


MCDOWELL: The expectations from analysts, from Wall Street analysts, Keith will love this, they are up there, but they're not as high as this box office could go.


MCDOWELL: They're not expecting this to be the highest grossing movie of all time, which is still "Avatar". I think it's almost $2.8 billion. It could easily exceed that if you get repeat business. Easily, and I don't think people - they're trying to couch it and say, oh, it's going to be like third, in terms of global box office domination.

MCCULLOUGH: When you look at the stock, I mean, it ripped to 120 before all this kind of was headline news, had a huge correction all the way to 96 -


MCCULLOUGH: -- and now it is at 112.

OTTER: Yes, that involved a lot of media stocks.

MCCULLOUGH: That is the other thing about Disney, you have ESPN. You have the Disney parks yesterday announcing that they're effectively in more of a lockdown situation than they have been because of the terrorist events.

BARTIROMO: That's a shame.

MCCULLOUGH: I mean there is a lot to think about when you think about Disney stocks. So you can't just day trade it based on how the movie flow; although, again, I would be bullishly biased on the movie flow.

BARTIROMO: All right, short break. Coming up, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to helping poorest of the poor. The Vatican announcing she will be a made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. we'll have the latest on the authorization by Pope Francis, how that process takes place when we come right back.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back; breaking news this morning: Mother Teresa will be made a saint. Pope Francis recognizing the second miracle that is required to elevate her to sainthood. I want to bring in Father Jonathan Morris on the phone with us right now. Father, thanks very much for calling in.


BARTIROMO: Can you explain the process to us about how this happens; how Mother Teresa will, in fact, become as saint?

MORRIS: Sure. So, first of all, I think it's important to explain that God makes saints. The Vatican doesn't make saints. Sainthood is really a declaration of holiness. Holiness is union with God. So the canonization process is just formalization saying, beginning with the people of god who recognize this woman to be very holy woman and then after her death seeing the devotion people had to following her way of love, her modeling of Christianity. Then, even more formal process of seeing if there is any proof that she is indeed with God by the two miracles that people have been talking about already. In other words, through her intercession would be like me saying, hey, Maria I'm sick, would you mind praying for me and then through that intercession being healed.

So again it is not Mother Teresa who has done these miracles according to Christian beliefs and Catholic doctrine but rather God through her intercession. So yesterday, Pope Francis declared that that second miracle was approved through a team of doctors and then, a date will be set for the formal process of a declaration for sainthood; most likely in September, which would coincide with her death of 19 years.

BARTIROMO: Why now, Father? Why is she being name a saint now? Go through those miracles for us.

MORRIS: Sure. It's really up to the Pope to decide when and the process has been being pushed forward for all these years; she died 19 years ago. It seems that Pope Francis has said this would be a good time for the church. It's also what's called right now "a year of mercy" that Pope Francis declared, a year of kind of a jubilee year within the church and so I think it will be a time for people from all over the world to come celebrate the holiness of Mother Teresa.

You know it used to be that the Vatican would wait hundreds of years after the death of somebody to declare somebody a canonized saint. I think in time of new media, the age of rapid information, I think the Vatican is now saying hey, it is a beautiful thing to be able to celebrate the life of somebody that we actually knew. I think Mother Teresa is one, perhaps the person in at least the modern era that has crossed denominational and religious divides and said, hey, no matter what you believe this woman did an amazing thing for the poor in Calcutta.

BARTIROMO: Beautiful.

MCCULLOUGH: Isn't it amazing, like, in this kind of a news flow, if you think about when people talking about religion so negatively, that you have such a positive depiction of religion. I think, you know, more broadly, I think maybe more religions should think about celebrating the good side of their religion, whatever their religion may be. Do you think that this, Father, do you think this is opportunity to do more of that?

MORRIS: I think so, and I think she definitely is kind of the saint of Pope Francis's style, right? It's kind of getting back to the basics of what Christianity is all about. It's brass tacks Christianity. It's helping those who are most in need.


MORRIS: It's getting nasty, or as Pope Francis talks about, getting and smelling like the sheep. He calls us shepherds. To get down there and to actually do something for the people who are most in need. That is certainly what Mother Teresa did.

BARTIROMO: It is really is. Father Jonathan thanks so much for joining us; we appreciate.

MORRIS: Oh, my pleasure.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon, Father Jonathan Morris. Merry Christmas to you, Father; thanks.

Coming up next, President Obama will hold his end of the year news conference today, but will we hear the same details, or lack of details, we've been hearing all week about strategy? That's next. Then, much more coverage from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in theaters now. The stock is up in premarket, that would be Disney; back in a moment.


BARTIROMO: Good Friday morning, everybody. TGIF. I'm Maria Bartiromo; It is Friday, December 18th. With me this morning, Fox Business Network, Dagen McDowell; Hedgeye CEO, Keith McCullough; and "Barron's" Online Editor, Jack Otter. First, though, your top stories at 6:30 a.m. on the East Coast:


BARTIROMO: New developments has news on this morning in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Enrique Marquez, the neighbor of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik has been charged with supporting terrorism. According to the criminal complaint, Marquez and Farook were planning attacks on other targets.

Turning to the market this morning, we're looking at more selling at the yesterday's big selloff on Wall Street. Future's indicating a decline of about 40 points on the Dow Jones Industrial average today. The major averages under selling pressure.

In Europe, the major average is also lower this morning. Take a look, across-the-board declines fractional, that a quarter of 1 percent to half of 1 percent lower, but nonetheless, in negative territory.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's central bank says it will expand its stimulus program, the Nikkei is seeing a sharp loss down almost 2 percent. The other average is also weak. Shanghai composite is essentially flat on the session.

"The force awakens," finally in theaters in the United States. Fans lining up in theaters across the country to get into the first screenings of the hottest movie of the year, we will take you there, live to a theater, coming up.

In football last night the St. Louis Rams feeding off cheers from their fans, holding up a late rally by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning 31 to 23. And it may be the Rams' final game in St. Louis. Several people are trying to move the team to Los Angeles. Let's talk about this morning in sports.

First off, President Obama holding his year end news conference later today, before leaving for his annual Hawaii vacation. As for the conference, the president also plans to meet with families of the victims of the San Bernardino shootings in California.

We want to bring in Don Baer, he is the former speech writer and communications director under President Clinton. Don, good to see you.


BARTIROMO: Do you think we'll get good substance from the president today, what are you expecting?

BAER: I don't think we're going to get more than we've had, right? I mean, he did the Oval Office address, he has talked to the Pentagon, you're not going to see any more. I mean, the strategy, such as it is, is what's out there now. The big question, of course, is -- there's a lot of big questions, but one of them is this is now a major political issue, right? This is the major issue.

BARTIROMO: You mean terrorism?

BAER: . we need to contain right now. Terrorism, what our response to, it is how we're going to deal with it.

BARTIROMO: Yes, and?

BAER: Well, and you're going to see it fought out. The democrats are going to be talking tomorrow night, you saw the Republicans that's all that they talked about basically. And it's hard to sort of, for me, to parse the differences between and among the candidates for the most part, expect for no-fly zones or whatnot.

But, you know, that's what the issue is. And when you think, you look at the polls, I was with a bunch of executives yesterday and they were polled, about 100, 200 of them. And it was interesting, economic growth in terrorism, the two most important issues. And I'm sure, two weeks ago you would have seen economic growth all the way.

BARTIROMO: Right, on national security, number one issue right now for sure.

BAER: Yeah.

DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: How would you -- if you're going to put a letter grade on the president's response, not even in policy but just how he has spoken to the American people and A to F, where does he call?

BAER: Right. Yeah. I don't give letter grades but the.

MCDOWELL: How about, no miracle.

BAER: . the tonally, he's not being tough enough, he's not being strong enough. The country is right now is afraid. Right?


BAER: Perhaps understandably so. I mean, San Bernardino, Paris, here are things that could happen over the holidays going forward. By the way, we are probably a lot safer than people understand we are. But that's one of the problems, people need to understand, they need to be reassured and the tone of leadership right now doesn't need to be bellicose, it doesn't need to be war-ike but it needs to be reassuring and strong.

KEITH MCCULLOUGH, HEDGE EYE CEO: Well, how about that, like, I mean, today, you going to San Bernardino is an empathetic motion. I mean, you have some compassion there. So can have that but being tough like had Trump's guy sitting in that chair, like it's all about being tough.

BAER: Yeah.

MCCULLOUGH: So what happens if something happens over the holidays, Obama's going to be in Hawaii, are you going to see tough?

BAER: It doesn't matter where he is, right? The presidency sort of travels with him and will be able to communicate with the country. But, again, I do think, tonally, people need more. And President Obama's style is a whole lot more, sort of, thoughtful, and he sort of leans back a little bit more. We don't want -- I don't the country wants someone now who is tough to a fault, right? They don't want someone who's just being tough to do things.

MCCULLOUGH: I agree with tough. Yeah.

BAER: But what they do want is a sense of resoluteness and certainty about what we're doing.

BARTIROMO: And I don't think it's necessarily that he's this sort of laidback and that -- it's just because that's who he is, he's laidback, he's been reluctant.


BARTIROMO: . to call it terrorism. He's been reluctant to see what's going on and actually acknowledge that terrorists are actually not contained and they're not on the run at all.

BAER: I don't disagree with you. I will say this, having worked in the White House, I mean, worked for a president. When you're a president, the power of what you say, can be a really stunning thing.


BAER: . and you have to do it cautiously. It's different than being Donald Trump and being a candidate out there on the campaign trail. It's just is. And you've got the power of America, of the United Stated behind you.

That said, the country needs a president, and it needs the sort of sense, again tonally.


BAER: . that we are strong, we are going to deal with this, we are dealing with it. So I do think that there is more there that's necessary.

JACK OTTER, BARRONS.COM EDITOR: That's a communication is question. So.

BEER: That's all I know how to hear.

OTTER: . but people don't want to hear that. Everyone wants to hear Obama, because that feels good and frankly it's fairly easy compared to, how do you make the moderate Sunnis in Syria and Iraq actually feel the void to be creative. If we kill that one from ISIS involved, it's very complicated stuff.

How, as a leader, do you tell the cool, fun stuffs that people want to hear but also make it clear that this is a complex issue, we got to stop.

BAER: So leaders don't get to deal in cool, fun stuff, right? That's the problem, right? Leaders have to parse what they say. But again, this is where the balance is. But be able to say it in a clear way, because it is complex, right? These are difficult problems, they've been vexing presidents and leaders for decades.

OTTER: But people don't want to hear that.

BAER: Right. And so, what they do want to hear is, we are dealing with it, we are going to deal with it. Sometimes, it's a great idea throw out a few proof points. Here is what we have done. Here is what we have stopped.

MCCULLOUGH: What do you think of the debate, on that front that Bush had this moment with Trump which is, you can't insult people, it's not just about being tough. And well, what do you think about Bush in that moment?

BAER: Well, you know, I thought Bush was tough in his explanation to Donald Trump about how it's not just about talking tough, right?


BAER: And when -- Bush knows, right? He understands. He knows what his brother had to do. He knows what his father had to do. He has seen what leaders have to do. This is not as easy.

And, by the way, the American people are smart, right? They understand it's not simple, right? But they do want to hear. And they want to hear from their leader. And again, I don't mean to overemphasize tone because there's a lot of substantive issues here.


BAER: . that are complicated and difficult. But they want to hear, the want you talk to them, they actually you to explain it to them.

MCDOWELL: Complain for a reason.

BAER: Trump is talking, that's for sure. They're continuing to talk.


BARTIROMO: Don, good to see you.

BEER: Great seeing you all.

BARTIROMO: Thanks so much Don Baer there. First, it was drones, then it was trucks, now Amazon is adding another potential game changes to the delivery fleet. Nicole Petallides is on the newest plan for Amazon. Next.

NICOLE PETALLIDES, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. That's right. Amazon is always looking for ways to get the goods out faster and cheaper. And now, Amazon is planning to own a piece of the sky. The company reported is in talks to at least 20 Boeing 767 jets for its own air delivery service.

The strategy here to create its own cargo operations unit to counter delays from the traditional big carriers, such as UPS, that company is having trouble meeting the escalating demand to deliver online purchases. Now, shares of Amazon have skyrocketed 118 percent over the past year, while shares of UPS have declined 9 percent over the same period.

So far, no official word from the Amazon executives. It's also very interesting as those reading through the article and tell me what you folks think about this, that Amazon, not only will do this to deliver their own products but also other companies' products. I mean, are we talking.


PETALLIDES: . Nike, home depot, are they all going to be shipping to Amazon and now compete against UPS?

MCCULLOUGH: They absolutely, I mean, that's how you get things fast. Because if you're like me, I mean, God forbid you're me trying to shop two days before. I mean, you might even get it.

BARTIROMO: Yeah. Somebody told me yesterday, they ordered something and it was at their desk in two hours. I said wow. I mean, that's really good, like, tell me you like me to, which I haven't gotten any gifts yet. But I will, I have.

MCDOWELL: Me too, me too. Actually, a guy in front of my building and kind of a beat up white van with no markings on the outside it, delivering Amazon packages, I was like, "Do you deliver Amazon packages?" And he's like, "Yes." Do you think, he might work for himself? As long as it gets there people don't care.

MCCULLOUGH: This is why this stuff, you can go like, meeting to meeting, hedge funds, mutual fund, any fund, they all love Amazon, because it's sitting at their doorstep every day. It doesn't matter what the multiple is.

OTTER: But it speaks to the huge moat that they are building and everyone says, "Once Walmart gets there into this business, you know, all that's rough." Not all, I mean, these guys have their own airplane fleet, their white unmark trucks, their distribution centers everywhere.

MCDOWELL: And then would also.

BARTIROMO: Does that tell you anything about the math roll call, because Dagen is making these points a lot and that is that consumers are buying stuff, they're buying at Amazon, they're buying at apple.

MCDOWELL: And online, yes and online.

BARTIROMO: And online, not necessarily in stores, you don't see that necessarily consumer, you know, euphoria out there, but they're doing it.

MCCULLOUGH: The problem is the context of the narrative. So, on Wall Street everyone likes to tell stories, and it's a very good story. But if you look at Amazon sales, it's a 110 billion in sales. Now, only 40 percent of that is in the U.S. U.S retail sales remains, Maria's, $4.6 trillion.


MCCULLOUGH: So even if Amazon, blew the doors out this, you know, this holiday, and had incrementally $5 billion sales that doesn't even touch the dial on U.S. retail sales. Retailers in this country employ a lot of people, retailers have a lot of inventory. Retailers are missing numbers, and this is a very, you know, it's trying to be as positive as I could be early on, but now I'm getting into the grinch.

BARTIROMO: He's getting into the grinch too.

MCCULLOUGH: But people are really, you know, they're missing numbers. And yes, the Amazon is winning but that's why it trade the 5,000 times earnings.

MCDOWELL: But FedEx didn't miss its numbers. FedEx has good numbers.

BARTIROMO: That's right.

MCDOWELL: FedEx -- So that's an indication how online retail will do in December.


BARTIROMO: Yes, FedEx was good. That was a beat. Nic, thanks so much.


BARTIROMO: Great story. Don't forget to start your day everyone with a call on FBN:am, text it right here on the FOX Business Network right before Mornings at Maria, 5:00 A.M Eastern.

Coming up and historic weeks of the market, it's all covered in Barron's this weekend, we will have the sneak peek of what is in Barrons before it turns up on your doorstep, back in a minute.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back, Apple, hoping to tap into the credit-card market in China, Cheryl Casobe with that story and other headlines now, Cheryl.

CHERYL CASONE, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: That's right Maria. Apple Pay is now coming to China. Apple and China Union Pay announcing our partnership to officially bring Apple Pay to China by early 2016. Partnership been allowed China Union Pay cardholders to add their bank cards, to Apple Pay on their iPhone, the watch and iPad. Apple said that its mobile payment system is still undergoing regulatory tests by Chinese authorities.

OK. For the second time ever by the way, China has issued a pollution red alert. The first coming a little more than a week ago, China's weather services, the Beijing is going to see hazardous smug from tomorrow until next Tuesday and alert triggers restrictions on vehicle use factories and construction work. And listen to this great new version of Adele song, "Hello". This 3 year old girl is singing her heart out.

OK. That is Kimber Green from Montana, performing the hit song on her couch, that's a white cardboard guitar, she did this for her mom's birthday present. This video, guys, has more than 9 million views. I just checked it out on YouTube. What a heartbreak for three year old but there you go.

By the way guys, I want to add really this quick to you Maria, Adele's worth American tour went on this Hello is out within an hour, sold out within one hour, we're seen scalpers now trying to get $7,000 to $8,000 per ticket for some of Adele's shows here in North America.

BARTIROMO: Wow. Unbelievable. She's so fantastic. I know it will going to sell up, but $7,000, $8,000 a ticket, pretty unbelievable. Thank so much, Cheryl. Barron's gearing up for the weekend edition, Barron's online editor, Jack Otter with us this morning, Jack, good to see you.

OTTER: Great to be with you Maria.

BARTIMORO: How's what's been the magazine this weekend?

OTTER: I can't tell you the cover, we've got a single stock pick of huge company. I wish I could. I'd love to hear what keep us to think and say about it.

BARTIROMO: They have on stock pick another is that you're recommending.

OTTER: Exactly.


OTTER: Exactly, but a lot of the story that you can actually got a sneak pick, there's one story that we decided to put on line before we publish. It's about opportunities that we think we see in the junk-bond market specifically closed-in funds.

So, these are fund that have not had for selling, because in a close-in structure, you don't have to dump stocks or whatever you're holding.


OTTER: . when they go down, but fund sales at a huge discount to the net asset value, the stock it owns and the yields are enormous, 10 to 15 percent. Using a little bit of leverage but nothing that Janet Yellen said suggests that rates are going to skyrocket. So, we think that you get enough on cushion there that this is a really good way to grab a bargain right now.

BARTIROMO: And I know, you're talking about credit after Third Avenue.

OTTER: Yeah, exactly.

BARTIROMO: That certainly was one of the big stories of the week.

MCCULLOUGH: And when people, you know, hear Jack say that, they might get nervous because credits has been such a negative story and full disclosure were short, junk bonds, are the junk ETF.

But Jeff Gundlach actually, you know, made a very interesting comments are very much in line with what you said this week which is if you look at shorting the S&P versus buying this basket of clothes than basically high- yield, you could almost not lose money.

Now, anytime I hear that, obviously, there's a series of questions that follow but he really is one of the most awful people out there. He's also one of the people who nailed it this year.