Oregon Protest; Tonya Couch's Extradition Hearing; Does Bill Clinton's
Past Matter to Voters?; New Tech Showcased at Las Vegas CES. Aired
[09:31:28] DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Wall Street's opening bell ringing just moments ago. Traders hoping for a rebound after Monday's selloff. So, what does that mean for all of us?
Joining me now, CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans, and at the New York Stock Exchange, Alison Kosik.
Alison, to you first. What are we seeing the markets doing in reaction to China and Europe?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, we are seeing a lot of anxious faces here as we see actually the Dow in positive territory, though seeing a lot of caution. Here's the thing, though. After a day like we saw like yesterday, the worst -- or the biggest decline for an opening day since 2008, you usually see a big bounce back. We're not seeing that today. So those worries about China still lingering.
Now, China did end its markets a little bit lower. That could be adding to the caution that we're seeing today.
But here on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the worry is more than just China. The worry goes on to say that there's a stronger dollar at play here. That could eat into company earnings. The worry about weaker oil prices. And, of course, the worry that the Fed will go ahead and be on a track to raise interest rates throughout the year. The worry is that will -- that will hold back expansion for many businesses on just expanding their businesses and having hiring.
Interestingly enough, in 2015, we did get some indication that momentum in the stock market would be lackadaisical, for lack of a better word. We saw the Dow and the S&P 500 end in the red for the entire year of 2015. So many analysts, Deb, are describing 2016 as a year where we will see tepid growth in stock.
FEYERICK: All right, Alison Kosik, thank you so much.
And, Christine, you heard Alison using the word lackadaisical and tepid. What can we expect in this first week of the new year?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, you had a lot of -- a lot of fear spreading around the globe yesterday because of those sharp moves in the Chinese market. But you don't see follow through of that fear here yet this morning. Last August, when we had big concerns about China and economic growth in China in the markets, it was two very big down days, you'll recall. A real correction in the market. You're just not getting that sense of follow-through this morning. So I think that's a bit of a relief.
Look, a lot of people asking me, what am I supposed to do with my 401(k)? It was a terrible day yesterday. What a horrible start to the year. And I tend to say, don't do anything. People who sell stocks on the day after a big move tend to make the wrong call. They say you can't time the market. I mean really smart people try to time the market and, quite frankly, they don't do a very good job of it.
So you should know where you're balancing your 401(k). You should know what your risk tolerance is. The closer you are to retirement, the less of your portfolio should be in stocks. The younger you are, the more it should be just in stocks. And I'll tell you, last fall, after that big pullback last fall, millennials and young people were the people who were really piling into the stock market. So for the average investor, you should be aware of where you are in the market, how long you have until retirement, but you should not be making moves based on one day of a stock market move.
FEYERICK: OK. Refreshing. Christine Romans, always with good guidance and good insights. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
FEYERICK: Thank you.
And, meanwhile, some good news for gun makers. Firearm stocks getting a big boost as President Obama prepares to unveil a series of executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence. Today's announcement comes as the FBI reveals 2015 was a record-breaking year when it comes to background checks on gun buyers.
Let's bring in CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci.
[09:35:00] And fascinating how the gun manufacturers see this as a great opportunity. They're not worried at all, even if Donald Trump threatens that this is the first step to taking people's guns away.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's the thing, Deb, if history is any guide, these numbers, the background checks, will only increase over the next several months. Bottom line is, people buy more guns when they think they will be taken away because there is a general fear that if somehow tighter controls come into federal legislation, then there will be less guns available, right? Kind of unfounded based on historical guidance, right? But, nonetheless, people buy more guns. And the two big shootings last year, Bernardino and Paris, really sparked the national conversation about tighter control. Less covered but just as important as what's going on at the state levels. The states are taking matters into their own hands. They're enacting tighter gun control. That's also making people more nervous about their gun, clinging closer to them, and that means that we may see the numbers for background checks increase even further going forward and Wall Street knows it.
FEYERICK: Well, one of the things in the president's proposals would be that they would add more FBI agents and more ATF agents. The FBI agents would be on call 24/7 to be doing these background check, which suggests two things. First, there will be more gun buyers. Second, they want their guns faster and so therefore they'll be more thorough by having more people checking. But it doesn't -- what ultimately staves sort of the purchasing of guns? If we keep seeing more and more people buying them, who -- who doesn't have one that needs one?
ALESCI: This is -- this is in your wheel house, Deb. This is in your wheel house. You know that the less we talk about it, the more calm everybody is about the issue, right? So that is the only thing that could stand in the way. But in the meantime, the gun stocks have just been on a tear. Last year, you know, the biggest one, Smith & Wesson, was up almost 150 percent. We've seen this time after time. And 2013 was the last time that we saw record background checks. Why? Because for the second half of 2012 we had two mass shootings, unfortunately, Sandy Hook and one in Aurora, Colorado, in that movie theater. The same thing happened there, a huge spike after that happened.
FEYERICK: Right. And so just to see an interesting bounce that gun legislation or proposed gun legislation is actually a very good thing for the gun makers. A little bit ironic.
ALESCI: Very ironic.
FEYERICK: All right, Cristina Alesci, thank you.
ALESCI: Of course.
FEYERICK: And starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, you can watch our special coverage leading up to the president's gun control announcement right here on CNN.
And new demands in that Oregon face-off between armed protesters and the government. The group's spokesperson, Ammon Bundy, tweeting last night they won't leave until "the Hammonds are freed and the federal government gives up control of the Malheur National Forest." The Hammonds waking up in prison this morning, a low security prison. The convicted arsonists turning themselves in last night. Now four days into their occupation, the activists have a new name.
Paul Vercammen is in Oregon with more on that.
Good morning, Paul.
I see you standing out there in the cold, in an isolated area. Kind of an interesting place to take over if you're trying to make a statement. PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is. And so isolated. Let's put this in context. This is the largest county in all of Oregon. It's larger than six states. It only has 7,000 people in it. That's less than one per square mile.
The demonstrators said they did want to go to a place that would not cause tremendous upheaval and they're calling themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom. They say that they want to restore the Constitution. They're also saying they want to defend it.
They are very upset. What they say are federal government land grabs out here in the west and they are now on federal property, of course. And let's give you a little glimpse of sort of the area where they are just down the hill from the right of me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: So we're getting a tour of this compound at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. They're now showing a storage facility. So far we have not seen anybody who is armed. They say they want this to stop peacefully. Right now there are way more members of the media out here than anything else in this extremely sparsely populated Harney County.
And how long will they stay here? They have not give us any specifics. But as you can see, it's not like this is a heavily populated area. This is just a show and tell right now that's taking some odd turns. As one town's person put it, a lot of this is very weird.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And the sheriff came out the other day and he said simply to the protesters, go home. And, by the way, as we stand here now in these subfreezing conditions, we have not seen any law enforcement officers, not deputy sheriffs, we haven't seen any of the federal officers or state. So this is not a true standoff right now. It seems to be the strategy is to sort of wait out the dozen or so demonstrators we saw in that compound of one story structures behind me, Deb.
[09:40:22] FEYERICK: Yes, I think I have to agree with that towns person that a lot of this is very weird. This is not your traditional standoff. You're not seeing any guns. And it's very rare that, in fact, journalists, or anyone else for that matter, can get close to doing that sort of show and tell of what has been sort of taken siege.
All right, Paul Vercammen for us. We'll continue to watch this story. Clearly the anti-government activists trying to make a point there, will determine the outcome.
All right, still to come, she was on the run and now she's heading to court. What could be next for the affluenza teen's mom.
FEYERICK: And the so-called mom of the affluenza teen is heading back to court. Tonya Couch is expected to appear before a Los Angeles judge today. This is for an extradition hearing. She's already back from Mexico, but this hearing is to bring her back to Texas. As for her son Ethan, his lawyer says it could now be months before the teen is back on U.S. soil.
Stephanie Elam is following the very latest for us in Los Angeles.
And, Stephanie, what is it that we're looking at? What can we expect today?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we are expecting today, Deb, is that the mother of the affluenza teen, Tonya Couch, will appear here in court. Now, she was caught in Puerto Vallarta and then brought to Los Angeles. We understand her son is still in Mexico.
We do not have any timing today, but it is still expected that she will be here for this extradition hearing and whether or not they will send her back to Texas, which we understand my be likely.
[09:45:08] It's just not clear on the timing of that today.
So while that is happening with her -- and keep in mind this is a felony charge that she's committed here, because, as far as they're concerned, it's hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. So she's looking at a around 10 years in prison if this does happen, if she's convicted of this. Much worse than what her son will face, seeing as he's still considered a juvenile and he didn't, they say they don't believe he committed any crimes while he's in Mexico. So he just violated his probation.
If you remember, back in 2013, when he was 16 years old, was driving drunk, had a car accident that killed four people, but he was only charged with -- only was forced to serve probation because the judge said he was just too rich and spoiled to know how to act and to do the right thing. Ergo the "affluenza" title that we've heard about this.
But now his lawyer in Mexico saying it may be months before he is removed from Mexico and brought back to the U.S. This is what he had to say on ABC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF FERNANDO BENITEZ, LAWYER FOR ETHAN COUCH: That's my first question to him, do you want to contest this deportation or not? If he does not want to contest it, we will desist from the federal injunction that is in place. The stay will be liefted and he would be delivered onto American authorities immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: The thing about Ethan Crouch's situation is that if he came back, he would have to serve in a juvenile facility until he turns 19 in April. Some people thinking that's not harsh enough. But at this point it would just look at incarceration, Deb, and nothing longer than that, for a short period of time, despite the fact that his actions led to the death of four people back in 2013. That has nothing to do with the fact that he violated his probation this time around.
FEYERICK: Yes, so many people weighing in on the subject. They feel that justice was not served with respect to Ethan Couch in the death of those four people. Stephanie Elam, thank you.
And still to come. Hillary Clinton wants to be the next president, but will Bill Clinton's past get in her way? What voters have to say, next.
[09:50:13] FEYERICK: Donald Trump says Bill Clinton's personal life remains fair game in the battle for the White House. But do voters agree? Randi Kaye spoke with some Clinton supporters as the former president hits the campaign trail on behalf of his wife.
BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think this election is about restoring broadly-shared prosperity, rebuilding the middle class.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Clinton on the campaign trail in Nashua, New Hampshire, trying to keep the focus on the issues, speaking for about 30 minutes, without even acknowledging Donald Trump's personal attacks on him. Focusing, instead, on his wife's credentials.
BILL CLINTON: Everything she touched, she made better.
KAYE: But even if Bill Clinton isn't talking about Trump's comments regarding his infidelities, supporters here are.
(on camera): What about the fact that Trump is attacking him. Is it fair to attack a spouse like this, certainly about these issues?
NORMA SHULMAN, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, if he wants to attack, I remember the expression about people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I think that he needs to watch where he steps, because his personal history is not stellar and it's really petty.
KAYE (voice-over): That may be true, but Donald Trump is breathing new life into Bill Clinton's personal affairs, tossing names like Monica Lewnsky and Paula Jones. It all began after Trump used the word "schlonged", referring to Mrs. Clinton's 2008 loss to Barack Obama.
She told "The Des Moines Register" Trump had a penchant for sexism. Now he's turning those words against her and her husband.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I hit her back and I talked about her husband and the abuse of women, and the tremendous abuse. No, it's tremendous abuse.
DIANE DANAULT, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: He's not a an abuser of women. I know he has a bad history and I wish that hadn't happened, but I don't know of any situations where he denigrated women the way Donald Trump has.
KAYE (on camera): Do extramartial affairs have a place in this campaign?
PAM MALCULT, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't think so. I think the public is really concerned about world affairs and the economy and kids being able to go to college.
KAYE (voice-over): Most here are looking to the former president to energize the base. Even those undecided told me whatever Mr. Clinton did, even his impeachment, is old news.
(on camera): His scandal, does that type of thing have anything -- any place on this campaign trail?
KEVIN MOSLY, UNDECIDED VOTER: Well, it will get played up but it's almost old news. I mean, he what he did. That might be a little trouble with the women vote maybe. But, you know, Donald Trump has got the same problems probably. So I think it will be a wash in the end.
KAYE: Nobody we spoke with thought Bill Clinton should get into a grudge match with the billionaire candidate, suggesting there's no way to win a street fight against Donald Trump.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Exeter, New Hampshire.
FEYERICK: Checking our top stories.
FEYERICK: Still to come for the technology nerd in you and all of us, we've got a look at all the gadgets and gizmos you will want. The latest from the Consumer Electronic Show straight ahead.
[09:57:16] FEYERICK: Virtual reality on your smartphone, bendable TV sets, smart rollerblades or skateboards, all that could replace those exploding hoverboards, all part of the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas, opening to the public tomorrow. And it gives you an early look at what could become the next big thing in technology.
Samuel Burke joins us live from Las Vegas. Samuel, we saw you on that skateboard there. Didn't quite move on its own. But what are the big headlines so far? A Chinese rival to Tesla's electric car?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Deborah, it's called CES, but I'm beginning to wonder if the C stands for Chinese Electronics Show. What's happening here is we're seeing big companies backed by Chinese multimillionaires come in and really steal the headlines. Faraday, for example, this is a company looking to rival Tesla, very mysterious company, based in California. And last night they showed up with a lot of their Chinese backers and finally unveiled their concept car, trying to go after the luxury market, go after Tesla. Tesla's way ahead. They say they might have a car within the next couple of years on the market, Faraday says.
But, you know, I just drove from Phoenix to San Diego, Deborah, and it only cost me 30 bucks. So right now electric cars are a loss maker.
But all around the Consumer Electronics Show, we see these Chinese companies. You were talking about that skateboard. I'm on it here. It's from a company called ACTON and they have a Chinese CEO and American co-founder who's with me. It's a smart skateboard. It connects -- I'll try -- I just had my appendix out so I'm going to try and be careful and not get hurt again. But there I go. All right, that's it for me. I don't want to go back to the hospital.
But this has a lithium battery, much like those hoverboards, Deborah. So I have the CTO of the company with me, Peter Treadway. Is this going to blow up like when I'm on it, the way it did with so many people over Christmas with the hoverboards?
PETER TREADWAY, CTO, ACTON: No, it won't, unless of course you're talking about explosions of speed and excitement. You'll be looking at -- you know, this is much higher quality and much nicer equipment.
BURKE: and that's the problem, really, that you say a lot of those companies were using cheaper lithium batteries. That's why they're exploding?
TREADWAY: They're all trying to -- exactly, they're trying to outdo each other in the lowness of the quality. So they want the prices to be as far down as they can get them so that theey can sell more of them, but everyone's suffering.
BURKE: This one will set you back 499 bucks. They also have smart skates I've been trying out. Also, Oculus Rift, a lot of people are talking about that virtual reality headset from Facebook. They're going on sale finally on Wednesday -- 1500 bucks. Big price tags here at CES, Deb.
FEYERICK: All right, well, bring me back one of those cars, Samuel. Thanks so much, we appreciate it. Have fun. Looks like a great one.
[10:00:01] And the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.
(Byline: Deborah Feyerick, Alison Kosik, Christine Romans, Cristina Alesci, Paul Vercammen, Stephanie Elam, Randi Kaye, Samuel Burke)
(Guest: Peter Treadway)
(High: Wall Street opens after a Monday sell-off. Gun stocks soar ahead of President Obama's executive action. An Oregon protest spokesman tweets the group's demands. Affluenza teen's mom, Tonya Couch, will appear for an extradition hearing today. Donald Trump says Bill Clinton's personal life remains fair game in the battle for the White House but voters don't seem to agree. New technology featured at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas, opening to the public tomorrow. )
(Spec: Wall Street; Stock Markets; Guns; Barack Obama; Safety; Policies; Oregon; Protests; Crime; Ethan Couch; Tonya Couch; Politics; Elections; Donald Trump; Bill Clinton; Technology; Business; CES; Consumer Electronics Show)