NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for June 21, 2016, PBS - Part 1



Harwood, Wilfred Frost, Dominic Chu, Phil LeBeau, Susan Li, Bertha Coombs>

Housing; Real Estate; Lifestyle>

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

TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Extreme caution. Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns of considerable economic uncertainty and gave no indication interest rates will rise anytime soon.

SHARON EPPERSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Housing heats up. Lennar (NYSE:LEN) posts a strong quarter. So, why does the CEO want to get back to basics?

MATHISEN: And rainy day funds. We all need them, but millions don`t have them and there`s one group of Americans who especially lack a financial umbrella.

All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday, June 21st.

EPPERSON: Good evening, everyone. I`m Sharon Epperson, in tonight for Sue Herera.

MATHISEN: And welcome, everybody. I`m Tyler Mathisen.

Well, considerable uncertainty, that is how Janet Yellen characterized the U.S. economy today. The most powerful central banker on the planet was on Capitol Hill and acknowledged the uneven recovery in the U.S. economy, global economic risks and lackluster growth here in the U.S.

Yellen reiterated her outlook that the central bank will eventually raise interest rates, but gradually and only if the headwinds she sees start to ebb, and there are a lot of them.

Steve Liesman has more on the Fed chief`s testimony.


STEVE LIESMAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: In testimony before the Senate today, Fed Chair Janet Yellen reinforcing her caution over the near-term outlook for the U.S. economy. She emphasized the uncertainty of the Brexit vote this Thursday, the recent slowdown in U.S. job growth, and global economic weakness.

JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: A U.K. vote to exit the European Union could have significant economic repercussions. For all of these reasons, the committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and their implications for domestic economic activity, labor markets, and inflation.

LIESMAN: Longer term, the Fed chair thinks the U.S. will overcome these challenges, suggesting the job market could even pick up momentum from here.

YELLEN: My expectation is that the U.S. economy will continue to grow. We have seen a pickup, a super strong pickup in consumer spending and growth in the economy. If the weakness in the labor markets the last couple of months was a reaction to earlier slowdown in growth, that looks to be reversing. I remain quite optimistic.

LIESMAN: After the hearing in the Senate Banking Committee, Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, was asked if Yellen is doing a good job. Shelby, who opposed Yellen`s nomination to become Fed chair, did not have kind words.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: She`s cautious. And she should be cautious. But she should know what she`s doing. I`m not sure the Fed knows what they`re doing.

LIESMAN: One takeaway from Yellen`s testimony is that it suggests a chair who accepts the market`s current pricing of a Fed that hikes maybe once this year unless there`s a big turnaround in the economic outlook. That issue did little to lean against the market`s dovish outlook on the central bank.



EPPERSON: One of the bright spots in the economy has been housing. Prices are sitting near record levels and rising demand and supply -- amid rising demand and supply constraints. Lennar (NYSE:LEN) was able to take advantage of that rise in demand. The nation`s second-largest home builder delivered more homes at higher prices during its second quarter. It was held by a strategy to diversify its activities which started during the recession.

And as Diana Olick reports, the CEO says he`s changing his strategy again.


DIANA OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Lennar (NYSE:LEN) doesn`t just build single-family hopes, which is why the home builder suffered less than some of its peers during the housing crash. As single- family sales plummeted, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) branched out into multi-family, into distressed mortgages, and into a major mixed-use community in Irvine, California, called Five Points.

Now, after reporting its strongest second quarter earnings in a decade, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) CEO says it`s time to get back to the basics.

STUART MILLER, LENNAR CEO: While under the Lennar (NYSE:LEN) umbrella, we all tend to thrive and work well together synergistically. The core mission right now is to revert to pure play as a home builder and to ultimately over the next years, as opportunities present themselves, find proper homes for those opportunities.

OLICK: Five Points has been heading for an IPO, but Miller says the market, quote, "doesn`t happen to be there yet." As for Lennar`s multi- family projects, Miller says they operate independently very well and he`s not concerned as others are that apartment rentals are overheating. He credits Lennar`s success in rentals to its deep roots in housing already and the company`s understanding of local markets.

MILLER: It also gave us a very sensitive group of tentacles in the market as to where activity was evolving. So, it enabled us to avoid the markets that were perhaps getting a little bit too hot while gearing towards the markets that had the most -- the deepest set of opportunities.

OLICK: As for single family, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) increased both new orders and average home prices in Q2, but it also had an aggressive presence in the entry-level product. It was well-positioned for the return of that buyer in 2015, unlike some of the other builders who focused only on the high end.

ROBERT WHETENHALL, RBC CAPITAL: They have a terrific entry-level product that met that buyer demand. We think that demand cycle will continue for the next three years at the entry level. Lennar`s going to be a primary beneficiary of that trend.

OLICK: Especially as the supply of entry-level existing homes for sale continues to fall.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.


MATHISEN: The return of first-time home buyers helped K.B. Home report a better than expected quarter. The home builder saw an increase in new orders and deliveries. The CEO says the improving job market and wage growth at the lower end of the income scale is boosting demand for starter homes. Results out after the closing bell sending shares of K.B. Home higher initially in after-hours trading.

EPPERSON: The home builder news helped stocks put together a second straight day of gains even as investors kept volumes low ahead of Thursday`s so-called Brexit vote. We`ll get to that shortly.

Looking at the numbers, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25 points. The NASDAQ was up 6. And the S&P 500 helped by gains in telecom and energy rose about 5 points.

MATHISEN: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton went after her Republican rival Donald Trump, characterizing him today as dangerous on the economy.


HILLARY CLINTON, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Just like he shouldn`t have his finger on the button, he shouldn`t have his hands on our economy. So, let`s take a look at what he did for his business. He`s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11.


MATHISEN: By attacking his private sector record, Clinton`s goal was to demonstrate Trump is unfit to manage the economy and it does follow a similar attack that she made on Trump on national security.

John Harwood has been following the story for us.

John, Ms. Clinton has been pretty adroit or adept, I should say, at ridiculing Mr. Trump. What else did she say and did she get her message across? Obviously, it was a friendly audience.

JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We`ll see what impact it has. As she did in the national security speech, she spoke very deliberately, and calmly. It was trying to portray a measured tone as compared to Donald Trump, who she`s casting as erratic and somebody you can`t count on.

She went after him on his comments about debt, suggesting he`d try to get a discount on U.S. debt, saying that could throw the United States into -- or the world into a financial panic, said the U.S. economy doesn`t work like the business world does where Trump has been operating. And she said his policies overall would throw the United States into recession.

EPPERSON: She has talked many times about Trump`s business background and his career as an entrepreneur and how that has worked. But she has also today talked a lot about his longer-term economic policies. How did Trump respond to all of this?

HARWOOD: Well, Donald Trump, he was fairly aggressive with tweets during the speech as it was going on, saying that Hillary Clinton as secretary of state oversaw a big run-up in the trade deficit with China and that she would be a disaster as president. He also put out an Instagram video of just a few seconds saying, she`s right about one thing, I do love debt, but debt`s different for the country than it is for my business, and Obama and Hillary Clinton run up the debt in their administration.

MATHISEN: John, there had been some stories comparing the cash balances of the two campaigns. I read in one story that never has the gap been wider. What`s going on?

HARWOOD: Well, it`s pretty incredible, actually, Tyler. Donald Trump only has $1 million in cash as of the beginning of June. Hillary Clinton had $42 million. That just shows the kind of campaign Donald Trump has run where he has loaned himself money, largely arranged things himself, not relied on donors.

But you cannot run a national general election that way. Hillary Clinton`s prepared for it, Donald Trump isn`t. We`ll see if he can get up to speed. He did fire his campaign manager yesterday in a move toward trying to get a professionalized operation.

MATHISEN: All right. John Harwood in Washington tonight -- thanks, John.

EPPERSON: As we`ve been reporting, one of the near-term risks to the market is the vote in the U.K. later this week on whether to leave the European Union.

Wilfred Frost is in London and asked some folks how to plan to cast their ballots.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m probably going to vote to remain. I think being part of the bigger union is a big thing for me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it would be in, because I desperately need the sovereignty. And also, I was pleased to hear anybody that`s going to come here has got to work for four years before they can take anything out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to vote to remain. I think the U.K. is much stronger as part of the European Union from an economic point of view. It`s better for the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to vote to leave. I`m sure there will be an economic impact and initially it won`t be very good. But I`m sure we`ll recover from it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look at E.U. and it`s so corrupt and so wasteful. A gravy train just roaring around Europe. How can I vote for those people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely Brexit. And main reason, immigration. We respect our own rules, not the E.U. making rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to decide until I`m actually in the booth.


EPPERSON: Now, the vote on Thursday is not just a big teal for those in Great Britain but also for investors around the world. Many want to know what they can do to protect their portfolios.

Dominic Chu takes a look.


DOMINIC CHU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: That looming vote on whether the U.K. decides to stay a member of the European Union or leave the E.U. is just a couple of days away. And here on our side of the Atlantic, many Wall Street experts have been and still remain busy advising their clients on what to do.

Are there certain stocks or sectors that will tend to do better or worse depending on the outcome of that so-called Brexit referendum? Many of the recent polls still have the outcome as a virtual coin toss.

BMO Capital Markets chief investment strategist Brian Belski saying you should stick with what`s working. So, if voters chose to remain in the European Union or keep the current status, he thinks you could see more economically sensitive sectors outperform. He likes the banks, other financials, as well as some of underperformers as of late.

Also check out what`s happening with retail-oriented stocks and technology stocks as well here.

On the other hand, if the U.K. chooses the anti-establishment route and votes to leave the E.U., it could lead to market volatility. In that case, he`s looking for less economically sensitive stocks with bigger dividend payments to outperform. That would be say the utilities or telecom services stocks, certain real estate-related investment trusts or REITs, as they`re more commonly known.

But while the big U.K. vote is still the concern for the hour, it could be overshadowed later on this year by more data on the U.S. economy, more Fed interest rate meetings, and, of course, corporate earnings reports, and that big presidential election later on this fall.

Belski and others believe it`s a fool`s errand to try to time the ups and downs of the market and that there are still signs that the bull market for stocks is intact. On the other hand, there is a lot of uncertainty around future events. So, will investors choose to accentuate the positive or the negative?



MATHISEN: Still ahead, flagged for safety problems. Why the death of an actor could be linked to a recent auto recall.


MATHISEN: Fiat Chrysler has been vaulted into the spotlight, this after one of its recalled vehicles led to the death of an actor, Anton Yelchin, known for his role on recent "Star Trek" movies. It`s too soon to determine the cause of this particular accident.

An official says the actor was killed when his Jeep rolled down his driveway and crushed him against a wall. The automaker issued a recall on the Jeep for a gear shift issue that reportedly has confused drivers.

Tom Costello of NBC News demonstrated the problem.


TOM COSTELLO, NBC NEWS: Here`s the issue on these cars. It`s in the gear shifter, an electronic gear shifter, and it`s spring loaded. So, watch what happens. I take my gear and I move it into a drive position. Watch what happens with that. It springs right back into a center position.

One more time. I`m going to take the car, it`s in park right now. I`m going to put it into drive. So I do this. And it springs right back into this middle position.

So that has been a problem, because some people think they`re in park, but in fact, they`re in reverse or in neutral.


MATHISEN: Phil LeBeau is covering the story for us.

Phil, how unusual is this recall, either because of the scale, the number of cars, or what it involves especially?

PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s a big recall from the size number. You`re looking at 1.1 million vehicles. So, this is not a small number of vehicles being recalled.

What`s unusual here, Tyler, is that it`s still unclear whether or not we`re looking at a potential software issue with the gear shifter, a mechanical issue with the gear shifter, or if this is user error which many have suggested saying, look, some of these people in these more than 200 accidents that have been reported, they were simply confused, and therefore you`re looking at the ergonomic design being in question and should Jeep have done a better job in designing this so they don`t confuse drivers?

That`s the confusion here or really the unusual part of this is the fact that it`s not your typical recall. Usually you have in a recall, we`ve got a part that is not working. We`re going to fix that part. In this case, it may be the design of the device.

EPPERSON: Well, now, it seems that in February, Phil, regulators were aware of roll-away complaints and alleged crashes involving the model. In April, they issued a voluntary recall. Is this the usual time frame? Even if they have issued this recall, how closely do consumers actually pay attention to these notifications?

LEBEAU: Well, there`s no usual time frame in terms of when problems are first spotted and a recall takes place. The federal law is, look, within five days of you learning of a problem, you`ve got to investigate. If there`s a recall you`ve got to initiate it.

The problem with this recall is going to be in terms of people getting it done. There`s already a fix that`s been sent out to Jeep dealers around the country. The question is whether or not people will listen to the recall notice when they get it in the mail or throw it in the garbage, or if they`ll even do it.

Really, about 70 percent of all recalled vehicles actually get fixed. The remainder do not get fixed.

MATHISEN: All right. Phil, that`s all the time we`ve got tonight. Phil LeBeau in Chicago.

EPPERSON: A lackluster outlook from FedEx (NYSE:FDX). The package delivery company said it will spend more this year to keep up with higher volume from online shopping. For the quarter, the company reported earnings of $3.30 a share, 2 cents better than estimates. Revenue of $13 billion also topped expectations. And were 7 percent higher than a year ago. The stock dipped initially following results.

Susan Li has more on FedEx (NYSE:FDX) quarterly results.


SUSAN LI, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: A strong quarter for Federal Express (NYSE:EXPR) on the top and the bottom lines. Pretty good numbers, off another important metric analysts were looking for, was their forward earnings guidance, which pretty was in line with market estimates. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) is often seen as a gauge and bellwether to see how global trade is doing. So, the fact that they made more money than anticipated is a positive.

Fuel costs was something that analysts were looking forward, given the jump back in oil prices back up again to $50 a barrel. And for the transport company, fuel is a big expense. For the recent quarter, it looks like fuel had a positive net impact.

Now, one disappointing part of this report card was a lack of clarity or even an update on a $5 billion TNT acquisition. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) said its earnings report says it`s unable to forecast combined impacts of integration expenses and also financing costs and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) as a stock has been outperforming this year, up over 10 percent. And we`re still looking for an update as to what FedEx (NYSE:FDX) thinks of the upcoming Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) delivery competition.



MATHISEN: Canadian Pacific warns of an earnings slowdown. And that is where we begin tonight`s "Market Focus."

The railroad operator said lower bulk shipments and the recent wildfires in Canada`s Alberta province are expected to drag down results for the current quarter. The company sees profit falling as much as 18 percent, and expects revenue to decline about 12 percent. Shares fell more than 2 percent today on the news. They finished at $124.34.

Shares of United Continental took off today after the airline said it expects to have more than $3 billion in additional savings and revenue by 2018. In an attempt to increase overall profitability and reach that target number, the company plans to add more higher-priced seating and implement more cost cuts. United shares up 3 percent to $44.86.

Warner Enterprises warns of a profit shortfall. The trucking company expects earnings for the current quarter to fall well below estimates because of weak freight market and increases in employee pay. That`s called squeezing margins, folks. Moving forward the company said it will focus on cost management initiatives. Shares down more than 9 percent at $22.31.

EPPERSON: Boeing`s planes may soon be flying in Iran. The aircraft maker entered into a tentative agreement to sell planes to airliner Iran Air. If the deal finalizes the sale could be worth up to $25 billion. Shares fell 1 percent on news to $131.52.

Used car retailer CarMax (NYSE:KMX) saw profits fall for the third consecutive quarter citing competition challenges and increased general and administrative costs. The results were shy of expectations. Overall revenue rose, but that also missed estimates. CarMax (NYSE:KMX) shares fell nearly 5 percent on the news to $48.14.

MATHISEN: When it comes to saving for a rainy day, many Americans are falling short. According to a study, a whopping 66 million U.S. adults have zero dollars, none, set aside for an emergency. The poll found that Generation X`ers, those between the ages of 36 to 51, fared the worst.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, joins us more to talk about his findings.

Wow, Greg. This is something. You and every other person, including the lovely person sitting next to me, preached about having six months` worth of savings set aside for a rainy day. Why aren`t Americans doing it? And why aren`t the Gen X`ers doing it?

GREG MCBRIDE, BANKRATE.COM CHIEF FINANCIAL ANALYST: Well, I think with the Gen X`ers, Tyler, it`s an instance where if you`re not regularly adding to your savings, what little savings you have is eventually going to get chewed up, because those unplanned expenses are going to arise, and especially in that age bracket where raising families, you`re buying a house, you`re making tuition payments.

So, you have to be regularly adding to the savings. I think that`s part of the problem for the Gen X`ers. And really, just at large, the reason why people don`t have enough, they don`t prioritize savings. If you wait until the end of the month and try to save what`s left over, there`s nothing left over. You`ve got to pay yourself first, have that money come directly out of the paycheck into a savings account. That way you accomplish the savings before you roll out of bed on payday morning.

EPPERSON: Greg, maybe that`s what we`re learning now from those in their 20s and 30s, the millennials who are actually saving. What are they doing right, why did they fare best in this study?

MCBRIDE: Well, Sharon, they had a front row seat for the financial crisis. Because they saw the impact it had on their parents or older siblings, and this happened during their financially formative years. You know, a lot of ways, millennials are the modern-day equivalent of the depression babies in the sense that we see them as less consumption focused, they have more aversion toward debt, and as we`re seeing here, a greater inclination towards saving.

So, they have established that habit of putting a little bit of money away for that rainy day. I think that`s something that bodes very well for their financial futures.

EPPERSON: What about the millions who have not done that, who do not have an emergency savings? Where do they start? How can they start small and end up saving a lot?

MCBRIDE: Well, July is a month that has five Fridays. So, a lot of people are going to get a third paycheck or an extra paycheck next month. Here`s an opportunity to seed that emergency savings with an entire paycheck.

Now, don`t stop there. Direct deposit into a dedicated savings account, even if it`s modest, is critically important. You`re going to build some momentum. And every time an expense comes along and chews into your emergency cushion, you`re one paycheck away from starting to replenish that.

MATHISEN: You used a phrase at the top of the segment that my old dear friend Marshall Loeb (ph) used to use, pay yourself first. That`s the way to go.

Greg McBride of Bankrate -- thank you.

MCBRIDE: Thank you.

EPPERSON: Coming up, they`re popular, they`re convenient, but they may also be the one thing driving up spending on health care.


MATHISEN: Here`s what to watch tomorrow, folks.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, she`ll be back on Capitol Hill, day two of her testimony on the economy. Over on the House side, we`ll find out how the housing market is doing. Existing home sales for May, they`re going to be released. And the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the possible impeachment of the IRS commissioner. That`s what to watch tomorrow.

EPPERSON: Meanwhile, landmark rules for the drone industry were completed today. The Federal Aviation Administration will limit most small commercial drone operations to daylight hours. The rules will also require operators to get certified every two years. According to the industry estimates, the regulations could generate more than $82 billion for the economy. And create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next decade.

MATHISEN: California sets a deadline to close its last operating nuclear power plants. The utility that owns the reactors reached an agreement with environmental groups to close those plants by 2025. Pacific Gas and Electric will replace that nuclear power generation with renewable energy and other efficient initiatives. The two Diablo Canyon reactors produce about 9 percent of the state`s electricity and are located near major fault lines.

EPPERSON: Urgent care centers. They`re convenient. Most of us have used them. But their growing popularity is also one of the reasons why health care spending is climbing.

Bertha Coombs explains.


BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Urgent care centers and retail clinics are becoming the first point of care for a lot of us.

KOBIE FOSTER, NEW YORK CITY: The waiting times are shorter. And with something like the flu or a cold, I feel like I want the quick and dirty.

LYNDA STRATFORD, NEW YORK CITY: I can just walk into urgent care, it`s covered by my insurance, it`s always convenient.

COOMBS: They`re a lot cheaper than emergency room visits but they`re so convenient and so affordable, we`re using them a lot, say PWC researchers.

BARBARA GNIEWEK, PWC PARTNER: Last year, high-cost specialty drugs was the main driver of trends. This year, it`s more utilization that`s driving trends.

COOMBS: In the last decade, large employers have seen spending on doctors` office visits decrease 17 percent. While urgent care spending for routine ailments is up 19 percent. Now makes up a bigger chunk of total medical costs.

GNIEWEK: Ultimately, we think it might be a good thing. So while you have people taking better care of themselves for routine care, they may not have more catastrophic care down the road. But this year, it`s an inflater.

COOMBS: PWC says large companies are also seeing more worker demand for mental health services which could drive up costs next year. But overall, medical cost growth is expected to be flat at about 6.5 percent, with no blockbuster high-cost drugs like Sovaldi expected to come to market in 2017.