NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for May 11, 2016, PBS - Part 1

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Javers, Mike Santoli, John Harwood, Josh Lipton, Phil LeBeau>

Transportation; Hyperloop; Technology; Travel>

ANNOUNCER: This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Tyler Mathisen and Sue Herera.

TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Retail wreck. Weak earnings from big names, scuttled mergers and concerned over the consumers, sends the retail sector railing and drags the market down 1 percent.

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Scrap the fees. Senators want to end long airport lines by cutting a lucrative revenue stream for the airlines. But will it work and will it fly?

MATHISEN: And fast forward. How travel of the future is one step closer to reality.

All that and more for Wednesday, May 11th.

HERERA: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.

The retail wreck that we told you could be coming came with a vengeance and weighed on stocks. Weak earnings from the likes of Macy`s, which we`ll get to in a minute, along with other weakness in the group brought the whole sector down. Now, couple that from those weak earnings from Disney (NYSE:DIS) last night, and you have the ingredients of 200-point plunge on the Dow.

When it was all said and done, the Dow fell 216 points to 17,711. The NASDAQ dropped 49. The S&P 500 was off nearly 20.

Bob Pisani has more on this down day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB PISANI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s been a confusing two days for the market. Remember, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 200 points yesterday, down 200 points today.

What`s going on? There`s a lot of confusing countertrends going on in individual sectors. In retails, Macy`s dramatically lowered its full year guidance and the formed trend that started last week with the April retail sales numbers, that people are spending more on cell phones and travel but a lot less on apparel and a lot of that business is going online. That`s an easy one.

But health care was also down today and that`s a little harder to figure out. High profile names like Valeant and Endo were down significantly. Endo sells branded and generic pharmaceutical products. It was recently announced that federal prosecutors are investigating the drug maker`s contacts with companies that managed prescription benefits in the U.S.

In energy, the good news is that oil rallied as there was a bigger drawdown of oil inventories than was expected. Well, that`s helping support the idea that demand is strong for the summer driving season, and that this huge inventory of oil is slowly being worked off. That`s positive and supports the idea that energy maybe at some kind of bottom.

There may be other issues that are adding to the volatile. For example, we`re exactly half way to the quarter. A lot of hedge funds will find out about redemptions right about now. That also may be a factor.

The bottom line here, there`s a lot of moving parts to the market right now.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Bob Pisani at the New York Stock Exchange.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATHISEN: Now, more on Macy`s. As Bob said, it lowered its guidance with the company CEO Terry Lundgren, citing continued weakness in consumer. And investors show no mercy, sending shares down 15 percent today.

The weak results coupled with previously poor earnings from other retailers like Gap (NYSE:GPS) lead to an overall retailer wreck, bringing the whole sector down. In fact, the group had its worst day in the stock market since August of 2011, and it seemed no one was spared. Accessory-maker Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) was punished after reporting lower profits, down 29 percent. Dow components Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Nike (NYSE:NKE), Walmart all lower. But Macy`s seemed to be the catalyst.

And Courtney Reagan takes a look at the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COURTNEY REAGAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: There was no magic for Macy`s in the first quarter. Sales disappointed analysts` estimates and the retailer`s initial guidance. As a result, Macy`s slashed its full- year forecast. Comparable sales, the most-watched metric of a retailer`s health, fell for the fifth straight quarter, this time down more than 5 percent, the worst performance since July 2009.

Earnings, however, were better than expected but not good enough to give investors hope for a near-term turnaround. Just as many analysts predicted, CEO Terry Lundberg confirmed that Macy`s` sales meaningfully slowed beginning in mid-March, and that`s on top of weakness experienced in the last several quarters.

What`s worse, the slowdown was primarily in goods Macy`s considers its core categories.

OLIVER CHEN, COWEN & CO. RETAIL ANALYST: Handbags have been a little bit soft, some areas of footwear. So, they missed comp and a lot of that is traffic. So, Macy`s is really needing to rethink the future of department stores and we think Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)`s a factor, too, as well.

REAGAN: Lower spending by international visitors is a big factor, too. It`s the second year of double-digit declines for sales to tourists, which in recent years had been a strong component of Macy`s` best-performing big- city stores. CEO Terry Lundgren sounds like he`s all but given up on the consumer, saying his team is, quote, "not counting on the consumer to spend more, so we`re working harder to give customers more reasons to buy from us."

Macy`s also owns Bloomingdale`s and it`s former CEO Michael Gould says retail struggles amount to more than a sea change in the industry.

MICHAEL GOULD, FORMER BLOOMINGDALE`S CEO: I really believe that we`re in an ocean change right now. I think the Internet is part of it. I think the way the millennials is part of it. I think when you walk in a store and see a 65-year-old who`s young, a 65-year-old lady walking up and down the aisle with her phone checking prices, we`re in more than a sea change.

REAGAN: Gould says consumers continue to spend more on experiences than material goods, which means Macy`s isn`t alone in its struggles. L Brands, Gap (NYSE:GPS), and Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) have all reported disappointing results recently and there`s likely more of a retail wreck in the earnings report still to come.

To adopt, Macy`s has hired real estate professionals to unlock value. It has a joint venture with Alibaba in China. It`s rolling out its own outlet type concept, it`s been a jewelry and beauty offerings and more.

But results from those initiatives aren`t expected until later this year. And the big question remains, is it enough?

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Courtney Reagan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA: Another hit to the retail sector came last night when a federal judge killed the planned merger between Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) and Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) because of antitrust concerns. The judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission, which had argued that deal would lead to higher prices. Shares of both companies got slammed today. Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) losing about 40 percent.

And this isn`t just the first deal blocked recently.

Eamon Javers joins us now from Washington to talk about that.

So, Eamon, I guess that`s the question, why have so many deals been scuttled and why are regulators being more aggressive?

EAMON JAVERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sue, that is an interesting question. Judge Emmet Sullivan`s decision this week means that that Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) merger goes on a long list here of other mergers.

Take a look at the list that had been blocked by the U.S. government over the last couple years, starting with GE and Electrolux. But also just recently, we had Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) blocked. We`ve also had Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NYSE:CCS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Sysco (NYSE:SYY) and U.S. Foods, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea. On and on, the list goes.

And the question is, are regulators being more aggressive now? They say no. You talk to them, they say they took each of these deals on the merits. They`re not necessarily looking to send some broader message than that, they say. The critics in the boardrooms of these companies that wanted to merge are saying they are disappointed and they would like these deals to go through, Sue.

MATHISEN: Are companies, Eamon, postponing deals or putting them off, not doing them, or are they or might they wait for an administration that might be more merger-friendly next year?

JAVERS: Well, put yourself in the mind-set of a company that`s contemplating a deal right now. You`re sitting here in the month of May 2016. You`ve got a few months left of the Obama administration. We just saw the Obama administration`s track record when it comes to this kind of deal.

If Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination and is elected, you can imagine that her appointees throughout the federal government, Department of Justice, FTC, as in the case this week with Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), those appointees would probably be very similar to what we`ve seen with Barack Obama.

Now, on the other hand, if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination, if he is elected in November and comes into office in January, what would his antitrust policy be? That`s anybody`s guess. It`s hard to gain that out at this point. I think a lot of CEOs contemplating deals right now are scratching their heads.

HERERA: I`m sure they are. Eamon, thank you so much. Eamon Javers in Washington.

JAVERS: You bet.

MATHISEN: Well, one thing that could be holding back Wall Street and business in general is red tape. At least that`s what JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)`s CEO Jamie Dimon thinks, and he sounded off today on regulations.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CEO: When I travel around America, I get a huge amount of complaints about regulation -- small businesses, middle market, large companies. There`s no question it is part of what is slowing down the economy. And I do think -- I`m hoping the next president looks at it and says, what`s the good regulations? What are the ones that are just hampering and haven`t created good? Is it a normal thing to look at them and clean them up and make sure we`re doing the right thing to protect the people, protect the consumer but also protect the economy?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HERERA: When you ask the question, which is doing better, Wall Street or Main Street, the knee-jerk reaction is usually Wall Street?

But as Mike Santoli tells us, this time around, the conventional wisdom may not be right.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE SANTOLI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Few are talking much about it, but Main Street has been outpacing Wall Street for the past year and a half. The stock market has gone exactly nowhere since Thanksgiving 2014, and quarterly corporate profits are down double digits.

Yet over that same period, more than 4 million new jobs have been created and average hourly pay is up almost 4 percent, including a solid gain for April reported on Friday. Real personal spending, consumer confidence and household borrowing have also picked up nicely since stock prices stalled.

This is a big reversal from the first few years following the Great Recession when stock prices and profits surged as the Fed supply easy money, while most Americans didn`t feel many benefits of the recovery.

So, why is the current political debate all about economic insecurity?

Well, it seems the recent pickup on Main Street is too little, too late to turn the decades-long trend of income inequality and wage stagnation. And economic story lines in politics tend to operate with a lag. Recall that Bill Clinton won in 1992, saying, "It`s the economy, stupid."

In retrospect, we know a recovery was well under way at that time. Of course, it`s unclear if Main Street can maintain its recent economic momentum. More big companies are defending their bottom line by cutting jobs and the energy bust has yet to work its way through the economy.

Then there`s the chance that all the campaign talk of a structurally broken economy could itself drag on consumer and business confidence. Standard Washington wisdom says it should be hard to win an election based on a dark economic message with unemployment at just 5 percent. We have nearly half a year to see if this idea holds up.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mike Santoli at the New York Stock Exchange.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATHISEN: Tax time is usually a good time for the U.S. government, but this year, it wasn`t its best. The government ran a surplus last month of $106 billion as taxes came in, but that was down from last April`s $157 billion. The Treasury did say the drop was due to a quirk in the calendar related to the timing of benefits payments. Nonetheless, in the 12 months ending in April, the U.S. budget deficit widened to slightly more than $500 billion. That`s 2.8 percent of GDP.

HERERA: Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)`s chairman and CEO, Doug Olberhelman is heading to Cuba to meet with representatives to, quote, "enhance its relationship with that nation." The company also says the trip is part of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)`s effort to promote open markets and free trade. In February, Cat signed a deal with Cuban distributors to start the process of selling machinery in that country, which would make it one of the first U.S. manufacturers to do so.

MATHISEN: Tomorrow, House Speaker Paul Ryan will meet with Donald Trump as the two try to reach some common ground. And today, House Republicans urged Ryan to get behind the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

John Harwood joins us now.

John, Donald is meeting tomorrow with Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan. What does Mr. Trump want to get out of it?

JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: What he really needs to do, Tyler, is unite his party. You cannot win in modern American politics unless you have your party overwhelmingly behind you. Donald Trump has not done that so far. He`s got active resistance from people like Paul Ryan, from Mitt Romney, who is today ratcheted up his pressure on income tax returns.

So, Donald Trump needs to smooth things over, get the entire party on the same page for reasons of turnout and for reasons of simply calming the waters before that convention this summer.

HERERA: All right. That`s what he wants to get out of it. What about the congressional leaders? What do they hope to achieve?

HARWOOD: Their goal is pretty singular, they want to hold their majorities. The Senate, Republican majority, they`ve got 54 seats. It`s in danger. There are seven Republican incumbent senators in states that President Obama carried twice.

The House has a more secure majority, but if there`s a big defeat for Donald Trump, that would mean trouble for that majority. Democrats need 30 seats to move ahead, put Nancy Pelosi back in the speakership and goal number one for Ryan is to make sure that doesn`t happen. He`s also thinking about potential presidential campaign down the line.

MATHISEN: Two questions in one, tomorrow at this time, what do you expect the tone to be coming out of Mr. Ryan, number one? And number two, how big of a problem is it for Trump that Mr. Romney again said turn over your tax returns before the election and Mr. Trump says I`m not going to do it?

HARWOOD: Well, on the tax returns, it`s a big problem because Mitt Romney is validating the critique that Mrs. Clinton is offering of him right now. Every presidential candidate for decades has released those returns, so Donald Trump`s going to face more pressure.

Now, it didn`t hurt him in the primary campaign. There`s no guarantee it`s going to hurt him in the general election, but the Mitt Romney, by siding with Hillary Clinton there, that`s a difficulty. In terms of the tone, I would expect Paul Ryan to have a positive tone but not committal, not come out and endorse Donald Trump. And I would expect Donald Trump to take a softer tone as well.

MATHISEN: All right, John. Thank you very much. John Harwood reporting.

HERERA: Coming up, want those long lines at the airport to go away? Sure you do. Don`t we all? Well, some senators say cut the baggage fees, but is that really going to solve it?

(MUSIC)

HERERA: The Federal Trade Commission may be taking another look at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)`s search dominance. According to "Politico", FTC officials have been asking questions about Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)`s search presence with another U.S. company that objects to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)`s practices. The report says the inquiry is in its early information-gathering stage. The FTC looked at something similar with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in 2013 but closed the case without any charges. Shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)`s parent company, Alphabet, finished off about 1 percent.

MATHISEN: Well, it is no secret that the relationship between the tech and government sectors of our economy have been strained. Today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter paid a visit to Silicon Valley, hoping to ease those tensions.

Josh Lipton has more from Mountain View, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSH LIPTON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: This was Secretary Ash Carter`s fourth official trip to the bay area where he acknowledged the tensions between Uncle Sam and Silicon Valley.

ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: There are also tensions, obviously, about how to handle technology in the context of security, privacy, a free Internet, but also one that is secure and that contributes to protecting people rather than harming people. That`s a difficult thing to engineer.

LIPTON: Perhaps even more difficult, now after the recent conflict over encryption, where virtually every major U.S. tech company came out in favor of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and against the government. And Twitter has now reportedly barred intelligence agencies from accessing Dataminr, a service that mines social media activity.

Secretary Carter has a plan in place, though, to win back consumer and enterprise tech companies. He created the defense innovation unit. Its mission is to help the DOD discover new, emerging technologies in Silicon Valley that could strengthen national security.

CARTER: This is an experimental outpost of the Pentagon and Silicon Valley, to try to create that connection between this vital mission for which I`m responsible, which is to protect our country and make a better and safer world with the great innovative nature of American society.

LIPTON: Today, Carter announced that he has requested $30 million in new funding for the defense innovation unit, recruited top talent from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and plans to open a second office in Boston. Now, some entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley may be wary of working with the government, worried about bureaucracy and red tape, but secretary carter says this new unit will be fast, agile and capable of moving at the speed of business.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Josh Lipton in Mountain View, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA: Wendy`s warns that its sales will slow, and that`s where we begin tonight`s "Market Focus."

Despite issuing quarterly results that topped estimates, the fast-food chain cautioned that same-store sales growth for the current quarter would fall below its own forecast. The company also raised its full-year guidance, but that news wasn`t enough to impress investors. Shares fell nearly 9 percent to $10.19.

The strengthening yen is expected to be a drag for Toyota (NYSE:TM). The automaker forecasts a 35 percent drop in profit for the fiscal year, which ends in March of 2017 as that company combats currency headwinds. Shares of Toyota (NYSE:TM) fell 6 percent to $98.44.

And analysts at Credit Suisse are bearish on SeaWorld. The financial services firm downgraded the theme park operator to underperform from outperform and also cut its price target to $15, down from $27. Those downgrades were attributed to competition from rivals and a lack of pricing power. Shares fell 3 percent to $17.87.

MATHISEN: Shares of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) surged today after the video game-maker reported better-than-expected results after the bell yesterday. Those results lifted by the sales of the "Star Wars Battle Front" game and the company`s sports games. Shares rose more than 13 percent on the day to $73.38.

Walmart will sue Visa (NYSE:V), alleging the credit card company is not allowing the retailer to let customers verify their chip debit card purchases with a personal identification number, which Walmart says is more secure. Walmart says Visa (NYSE:V) is forcing it to accept signature verifications only. Shares of Walmart fell more than 2.5 percent on this down day to $66.41. Visa (NYSE:V) also down over 2 percent to $77.30.

Chipotle has hired a food safety expert who was once a critic of the company`s response to last year`s E. coli outbreak. And one of Chipotle`s biggest supporters still sees promise in the brand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID NOVAK, FORMER YUM! BRANDS CEO: Chipotle is a very good brand. We`ve done a lot of research with millennials. There are three brands that over- indexed with millennials. One is Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). The other`s Taco Bell. And the other is Chipotle.

And Chipotle, you know, I think obviously has had its challenges, but, you know, great brands will come back. It`s just going to take time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATHISEN: Shares fell a fraction to $454 even.

Alaska Airlines secured the top spot as the best-rated traditional air carrier according to J.D. Power & Associates, a survey they did. It marks the ninth consecutive year the airline has won that title. Despite the positive news, shares were down today more than 2 percent to $67.60.

HERERA: Taking to the skies for summer vacation but dreading the long airport security lines? Well, two U.S. senators believe dropping airline fees on checking luggage this summer could help reduce those long lines and your wait time, which is about two hours prior to your flight.

But will this really fix the problem?

Michael Boyd, chairman of The Boyd Group, joins us now with more on that.

Michael, what do you think? Is this -- is this going to solve the problem or at least put a dent in the problem?

MICHAEL BOYD, THE BOYD GROUP CHAIRMAN: No, it`s political air. Even before we had fees, we had full overhead bins. What we have today, if there`s any delays, it`s at the gate, not security.

So, this won`t fix a thing. It sounds good. I just wish they were as concerned about the quality of screening as they are the speed of the screening.

MATHISEN: It seems to me, Michael, that, you know, obviously, the theory there is that if you don`t charge people to check luggage, they`ll check more, which means there`s less luggage going through the gate screening. It seems to me as I travel around that there are no more TSA people, no more numerous places to go through than there were five or six years ago, and air travel has risen since then.

We`ve got more people going through the same portals.

BOYD: It`s risen very slightly. I mean, this year, it`s going to be up about 3 percent.

So, it`s not like a huge jump. And the TSA claims that their staffing was cut. Well, that doesn`t mean they weren`t overstaffed over.

So, what really need to do is look at TSA management, which has always been at the short end of efficiency anyway. Not the people in the blue shirts doing the work. They`re great. But the management, we need to look at that.

Doing something with baggage fees is not going to change the processing through security.

HERERA: But what is it going to take to revamp, if you will, TSA and the management specifically?

BOYD: Get new management, who knows what they`re doing. When you have a 95 percent failure rate like we found a few months ago, somebody should be fired. Just recently in Minneapolis, they failed nine out of 12 tests.

That`s not a problem, it`s a management issue. It`s not a processing issue, and it`s not the people at the screening points. It`s the fact that the people at the top are not particularly competent.

MATHISEN: But how is it not a problem with the people at the screening points if they failed tests on bags?

BOYD: Because of the way they`re managed and the way they`re screened and the way, the processes they use. Those people are good people, but the problem is they`re working for people at the very top who aren`t security people.

So the real issue is we`re not thinking like terrorists. We`re thinking like people who want to find pointy objects. So, I think it can be done better, but you`ve got to start at the head of the fish, not the tail.

HERERA: Do you think there`s political appetite for that, Michael?

BOYD: Obviously, with these two senators there isn`t. I mean, we`ve had this problem with improper screening for years and all they`re worried about is whether there`s a lot of throughput at the airports. They don`t particularly care too much about how it`s done. That`s why we have to have politicians that really look at the answer.

HERERA: Michael, we`ll leave it there. Thank you, Michael Boyd with The Boyd Group.

BOYD: Thank you.

MATHISEN: And from airlines to futuristic travel, why the hope for high- speed transit may be a step closer to reality.

(MUSIC)

HERERA: Here`s what to watch for tomorrow. The retail roundup continues. Fasten your safety belts with earnings from the likes of Kohl`s, Ralph Lauren and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN). We get our weekly snapshot of the labor market when initial jobless claims are released, and we get an earful from the central bank when three Fed bank presidents give speeches. That`s what to watch for on Thursday.

MATHISEN: Well, it promises to revolutionize how we travel long and intermediate distances. It`s called the Hyperloop, and it is one step closer to becoming a reality. One of the two companies developing the transportation system that will shuttle people in pods traveling up to 700 miles an hour has completed its first public test run.

It happened in the desert north of Las Vegas, and our Phil LeBeau was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Call it a glimpse of how we might travel in the future. Hyperloop 1 shot a test lead almost a half mile down this track in only a few seconds to show how the Hyperloop will eventually transport people hundreds of miles in just a few minutes.

ROB LLOYD, HYPERLOOP ONE CEO: This isn`t going to be about riding in a tube. We`re going to leverage technology and some of the smartest minds to create a transportation experience that feels like riding in an elevator but allows us to customize what we do when we`re moving, and we think we`re going to rewrite the rules and it`s going to be pretty cool.

LEBEAU: The Hyperloop vision is a network of low-pressure tubes that will transport pods holding people or cargo.

Electric motors in tubes like this, which are 11 1/2 feet in diameter, will propel pods on levitating rails at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour. In theory, making a trip from L.A. to San Francisco happening in just 35 minutes.

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