NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for September 23, 2016, PBS - Part 1

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

SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Getting bigger. The most valuable publicly traded companies are all in technology. And that may reflect the big shift under way in the economy.

TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Price spike. The EpiPen isn`t the only life-saving emergency medicine that is getting a lot more expensive.

HERERA: Grill it up. One man`s quest to find a better way to clean his backyard grill. And his invention helped him make millions.

Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Friday, September 23rd.

Good evening, everyone. And welcome. Glad you could be with us.

Triple digit decline to end the week in the market, but we begin with what may be a sign of the times. Technology companies are dominating the stock market like never before. With the NASDAQ sitting just points away from an all-time high, the five largest publicly traded companies today are all in the tech sector.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which is worth more than $600 billion, Alphabet, parent of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) valued at more than $360 billion are the companies with the biggest market capitalizations.

That list looks a lot different than it did just a handful of years ago, when industrial names like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), General Electric (NYSE:GE) and the tech name IBM held the title of world`s most valuable.

HERERA: So what does this shift to tech companies being the most valuable publicly traded companies, and what does it suggest for the economy? Particularly since tech companies hire less workers?

Catherine Rampell, the columnist at "The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO)" joins us tonight where she focuses on economic and public policy.

Nice to have you with us, Catherine. Welcome.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Good to be here.

HERERA: Let`s start with what you think this does mean for the economy. I mean, obviously, you know, technology has been the driving force of economic growth for some time now.

RAMPELL: Right. We`re going through sort of an additional industrial revolution of sorts. A second machine age, as some academics have put it. The idea being that software is eating the world as the cliche goes, and that companies basically in all industries are having to revamp themselves to become more digitally connected, to think about how they could be disrupted by new trends. And the fact we have tech companies as the most valuable companies right now is merely a symptom of that change.

MATHISEN: Yes, a consequence of it. There are a lot of people who are worried that this revolution that you describe I think very accurately will mean the extinction of lots of jobs. What does your research and what does history tell us?

RAMPELL: So, at first blush, this makes sense, right? That people worry that the robots are taking their jobs, that as more kinds of work become automated, that reduces the requirement for human labor. Of course, we have experienced these kinds of panics about technological unemployment many, many times throughout human history.

Keynes worried about it during the Great Depression. You had various levers and threshers, you know, the original Luddites during the 19th century destroying looms and other new machines that were taking away their jobs. You know, you can go back even to Aristotle`s time, for occasions, with people freaked out about the fact that machines were going to displace human labor.

Every single time we have gone through one of these transitions, economies have been able to adapt. There are new jobs that are created. They`re not always jobs that are necessarily able to -- people are necessarily able to predict, which is why there is such panic. You know, it`s hard to imagine the kind of career like a social media consultant, for example.

HERERA: Exactly.

RAMPELL: You know, nobody would have -- never would have occurred to anyone 20 years ago that that would have been an actual job. But what happens is, there is a transition. A lot of people are displaced. New jobs are created.

The jobs don`t necessarily go to the people who are displaced. They go to people with different kinds of skill sets. Mankind adapts.

HERERA: That was my question. If people are displaced, they need to be retrained. What is the educational component of this whole equation?

RAMPELL: So the fact that the economy is changing and, again, that`s being reflected not only in the kinds of companies that are rising, but in sort of old-guard companies, you know, the GE`s or retail companies of the world, that they`re requiring new skill sets does suggest that we need to be thinking a little bit harder about what kinds of skill sets we encourage younger workers to acquire, whether that`d be programming or other kinds of higher-skilled type jobs.

And I`m not sure that we`re doing a great job at guiding people towards the right kinds of careers at this point right now.

HERERA: All right. We`ll leave it there, Catherine. Thank you very much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

HERERA: Catherine Rampell with "The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO)."

Now, one company is using technology to overhaul its more traditional business model. Morgan Brennan tells us what UPS is doing to speed up delivery times a little bit later in our broadcast.

MATHISEN: On Wall Street, stocks snapped a three-day wind streak. Lower oil prices weighed, as did shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on unconfirmed reports that overseas sales of the new iPhone may not have been as strong as hoped. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 131 points to 18,261. NASDAQ lost 33, S&P 500 off 12.

For the week, though, all of the major indexes were higher.

HERERA: A big story this week, of course, was the Fed. And today, we heard for the first time from one of the three policymakers who dissented and voted in favor of raising interest rates. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that leaving rates too low might lead to a recession. He`s concerned that a rate hike now would avoid a lot of increases in the future, which, if that were to happen, he says would shorten the recovery.

MATHISEN: The Federal Reserve is proposing an aggressive new rule on Wall Street`s commodity holdings. Central Bank outlined a plan that would force companies like Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to hold more capital against certain types of physical commodity investments.

Officials estimate the proposal would mean about $4 billion in total additional capital. That is based on current activity.

HERERA: Wells Fargo`s board has reportedly hired a law firm to advise it on executive compensation and potential clawbacks. That report comes on the same day an investor group called on Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) to claw back an executive`s bonuses.

In a letter to the bank`s board as reviewed by "The Wall Street Journal", CTW Investment Group also wants an independent review conducted. CTW is asking the board to claw back at least part of the pay from 2011 to 2016 received by former retail banking head, Carrie Tolstedt. She stepped down from that post in July is expected to retire later this year. The pension funds of CTW hold about 12 million Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) shares.

MATHISEN: As we reported last night, the Department of Education decided to revoke federal recognition of the nation`s largest accreditor for for- profit schools, and that is a big deal for the industry which has come under intense pressure. And recently, we`ve seen schools like Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ:COCO) and ITT Tech shut down.

John Cohn following the story for us tonight from San Jose.

Scott, welcome. How big of an issue is this for the schools?

SCOTT COHN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Well, potentially it`s a huge issue, Tyler. I mean, we have been looking over the last several years at a fundamental change in the business model for these companies and these institutions.

Now, accreditation is a big part of the equation. There are a number of accrediting agencies. University of Phoenix behind me is accredited by a different agency than the one we`re talking about. But the allegation is that the creditors have been not stringent enough, full of conflict and that`s one of the main reasons that as a whole, these for-profit colleges have had lower graduation rates.

And more importantly, big defaults on student loan rates. You can`t get into one of these -- can`t get student aid, I should say, if your school is not accredited. And if this accreditor goes away, that`s a big chunk of these institutions` revenues.

HERERA: Yes, which begs the question, will the loss of this accreditation lead to more of those schools shutting down?

COHN: Well, it`s possible. It`s a little bit early to tell. The agency ACICS is going to appeal this decision, so nothing takes effect right away. But it could mean that some of these companies are going to have to go for accreditation from somebody else. That`s not an instantaneous process, so it is entirely possible that we see more dominoes fall.

MATHISEN: So, one option is that they go to another accrediting agency that has not been -- whose license hasn`t been revoked, basically, by the feds. Are there any other things they`re pondering?

COHN: Well, that`s the main thing, is to try and I guess improve this whole process. The accreditation has been a big part of it. There have been all of these other issues with gainful employment, which the Obama administration has been cracking down on. And that`s something that`s going to continue.

So, it`s not getting any easier for these institutions. The hope is that they improve their standards. And that they become what they profess to be, which is a viable alternative to community colleges, which are overcrowded, don`t necessarily have the programs they offer. But they seem to have a long way to go yet.

MATHISEN: All right. These are big companies, big businesses, big advertisers.

Scott Cohn in San Jose -- thank you.

HERERA: Still ahead, the next EpiPen. A decades-old drug that can save lives is seeing a sharp increase in price. Sound familiar?

(MUSIC)

HERERA: In Washington, President Obama vetoed a bill that would have allowed the families of the September 11th attack victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. The president could face a potential veto override by Congress. The bill would have given the victims` families the right to sue in U.S. court. The White House says the bill would, quote, "upset long-standing international principles regarding sovereign immunity."

One of the world`s largest package delivery companies is working to get packages to your doorstep faster. UPS is the first major transportation carrier to operate a drone test in the U.S.

Morgan Brennan takes flight from Marblehead, Massachusetts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN BRENNAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s coming sooner than you may think, package delivery by drone. UPS took to the skies yesterday to test an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The delivery scenario: a child forgot her asthma inhaler after heading to camp on a remote island. The three-mile eight minute mission over water from Beverly, Massachusetts, to children`s island was conducted by sci-fi works, which claims UPS as an investor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The DNA really matches very well together, and it`s a wonderful partnership.

BRENNAN: This delivery drone is a hexacopter that`s fully autonomous, meaning it can fly itself. It`s equipped with night vision and can go as fast as 30 miles per hour, and, of course, it`s branded in UPS brown.

Under new FAA regulations that took effect late last month, sci-fi is running regular experiments to develop its technology and collect data to contribute to a viable drone business model for the shipping giant.

JOHN DODERO, UPS, VP OF ENGINEERING: The total cost of ownership of drones to actually have a full drone delivery fleet is not determined at this time. But the cost per mile is pretty low, maybe as low as 5 cents per mile.

BRENNAN: There is a lot at stake. Analysts say the adoption of drone technology will be crucial as customers continue to buy more online and do so with faster and faster delivery expectations.

The competition`s fierce. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is conducting advanced it tests with its prime air drones in the U.K. DHL has been using its parcel copter in Germany, and Alphabet`s project wing drones delivering Chipotle burritos at Virginia tech, just to name a few.

Over the next ten years, unmanned aircraft systems could generate more than $80 billion for the U.S. economy, according to the White House and federal aviation officials estimate 600,000 commercial drones will be operating stateside within a year.

Yet despite all the talk, drone use for package deliveries has been slower to catch on, largely because the new regulations require operators always have a direct line of sight on the aircraft.

HELEN GREINER, CYPHY WORKS, FOUNDER & CTO: When you prove that this has value, and you collect the data to convince the FAA to open up other areas, then we`ll be able to do more non-line of sight delivery.

BRENNAN: But right now, as data is collected and the new regulation is sorted out and build upon, it`s tests like this one running urgent deliveries to remote locations like children`s island where drone delivers make the most economic sense.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Morgan Brennan in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HERERA: Twitter spikes on talk of a possible takeover, and that`s where we begin tonight`s "Market Focus".

Shares soared today after CNBC`s David Faber reported Twitter has received interest from some tech firms considering whether to make a bid for the social media company. The suitors are believed to include Salesforce and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Twitter surged 21.5 percent to 22.62, while Google`s parent Alphabet was essentially flat at $814.96. But Salesforce was off more than 5 percent to $70.39.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) apologized for a miscalculation in way it measures how long its videos are viewed. "The Wall Street Journal" says the tech giant told ad buyers that it may have overstated average viewing time by up to 80 percent. Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) dropped 1 1/2 percent to $127.96.

MATHISEN: Valvoline made its Wall Street debut in one of the biggest public offerings. The CEO of the company which operates oil change centers across the U.S. said some of its businesses are firing on all cylinders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM MITCHELL, VALVOLINE CEO: We have a strong quick lube business, too, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, and that`s ten straight years of same-store sales improvement so we`re looking to invest and grow that business and our international business has got excellent potential. We have relatively small market share, but very strong teams and capabilities around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATHISEN: Shares of Valvoline finished up 5 percent at $23.10.

Meantime, Apptio also had a strong debut today. The nine-year-old cloud computing firm helps companies manage their finances, track spending. There is currently only $2.7 trillion spent on technology worldwide. Apptio shares soared nearly 41 percent on the session. They finished at $22.55.

HERERA: The rising price of EpiPens got a lot of attention this week when the maker of the drug appeared in front of Congress. But that`s not the only life-saving medication that`s getting more expensive. And the price hike comes as the need for it grows.

Meg Tirrell reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It`s a drug some public health experts say should be carried by everyone.

DR. LEANNE WEN, BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: In Baltimore City, I have issued a blanket prescription to every single resident to 620,000 residents in our city, because we strongly believe that Naloxone should be part of everyone`s medicine cabinet and everyone`s first aid kit.

TIRRELL: Naloxone can act like an antidote to an overdose with opioid drugs, like heroin and OxyContin. And demand from Naloxone is skyrocketing amid the country`s opioid epidemic, which led to more than 28,000 deaths from overdoses in 2014.

WEN: If we all had the ability to save a life, why shouldn`t we?

TIRRELL: But the price of Naloxone is increasing, as well. Baltimore City health commissioner, Dr. Leanne Wen, says one product per city purchases has doubled in price since 2012, made by manufacturer Amphastar. It went from $6.50 per dose in 2012, to $37 per dose last year.

WEN: We are being priced out of this medication at a time when we need it the most.

TIRRELL: The issue is catching the attention of lawmakers who this week held a hearing on the price of drugs for opioid addiction. And in June, the Senate Aging Committee sent letters to five manufacturers of Naloxone, asking for explanations for price increases.

Naloxone has been available since 1971. Pfizer`s Hospira (NYSE:HSP) sells an injected version used in hospitals. The price of one vile increased from less than $1 in 2005 to more than $15 in 2014. The company says it has responsible priced the product and that the price takes into account necessary investments to produce and distribute it.

And an auto injector made by Kaleo has risen in price from $575 in 2014 to more than $3,700 this year. Kaleo says its increased patient assistance for those with commercial insurance can get the product at no cost.

But cities encountering record numbers of overdoses are concerned as they equip emergency responders, firefighters and police with Naloxone in the field.

DANIEL RAYMOND, HARM REDUCTION COALITION: We need some broader sustainable solution or else we have the worst-case scenario, where a program or a health department runs out of Naloxone, can`t afford to buy more and people die as a result.

TIRRELL: The rising price as well as the increased demand can cause tough decisions for municipal budgets.

PAUL RIPP, CITY OF MADISON FIRE DEPARTMENT: We might consider turnout gear for our firefighters has to be put off into the future, because of the money being spent on the extra drugs that we need to handle overdoses.

TIRRELL: And public health experts say the drug is so important for overdoses, it`s something that nobody should be without.

For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATHISEN: Our market monitor likes mid and small cap growth stocks he says will do well in any economic environment. This is his first on the program. He`s Lamar Villere, portfolio manager with Villere and Company.

Lamar, welcome. Good to have you with us. Don`t get nervous, Lamar. It`s not going to be -- we`re gentle with you here.

Let`s go right to your stock picks, beginning with LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQX). What is it? What do they do?

LAMAR VILLERE, VILLERE & CO. PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Sure. LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQX), it actually stands for Like and Kind and Quality. So, these guys, if you get in a collision, auto collision, you`re going to want your car back as quickly as possible. So, these guys work with the insurance companies and the collision repair center to get you alternative auto parts quickly.

So, basically, think of it like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime, but for auto collision repair centers. So you get your car back quickly, you`re happy, the insurance company is happy, because it costs 20 to 50 percent less than a new part.

That`s LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQX). They dominate in the U.S. They are bigger than the 20 next competitors combined so they`re huge here. They`ve got dominant market share. Right now, they`re building that out in Europe. So, we think that`s where the growth is going to come from for LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQX).

HERERA: All right. Next is Taser International.

VILLERE: Sure. You know, Taser -- most people know it by their nonlethal weapons used by law enforcement agencies. That`s really a mature business, highly profitable, great cash flow business.

The real excitement here with Taser is on their body-worn camera business. So when you see incidents like happen in Charlotte or other places in the U.S. that have attracted a lot of attention, there`s always a question of what really happened, what`s the whole story, and Taser sells these body- worn cameras and then make recurring revenue stream on handling the data afterwards.

But what we have seen, we have talked to law enforcement agencies throughout country and what they have said is they`re either using body- worn cameras now or are going to. And they have seen -- the ones that are using it have said it reduces force by, you know, like 60 percent, complaints are down by 90 percent, and that`s a huge cost savings. So, that`s something that we think is going to be a trend that`s going to continue.

MATHISEN: Your last stock, Steris, is one you bought, you say, right after the vote to leave -- Britain`s vote to leave the European Union. Is it a so-called Brexit play or was it just kind of coincidence you bought it then?

VILLERE: It`s not a coincidence. This was a baby in the bath water type thing. So, the company is based in the U.K., but it`s really a U.S. company. The shares were penalized for no good reason other than everybody was terrified about U.K., particularly in European stocks more broadly. Really, it`s an American company.

If you check into the hospital tomorrow, there`s a 1 in 20 chance you`re going to catch an infection there. Something you didn`t have before that you get there. This is something that costs the U.S. health care system $10 billion a year. So it`s a massive problem.

Steris supplies everything from soaps to clean sheets to any kind of cleaning supply to help fight those infections. So, we think no matter what happens in the economy, this is an area where we`re not going to see cuts to spending. So, this is a nice growth stock. And granted, it`s not as attractive right now as it was right after Brexit when Villere and Company bought. But we still think there is a good opportunity in these shares.

MATHISEN: All right. Lamar, thank you very much. We`ll revisit these at some point in the future.

Lamar Villere with Villere and Company.

VILLERE: Thanks.

MATHISEN: And coming up, grill it up. One entrepreneur`s journey to create a cooking gadget that makes cleanup off the grill a little easier. His story in tonight`s "How I Made My Millions".

(MUSIC)

HERERA: Here`s a look at what to watch for next week on Monday. Wall Street and Main Street get ready for the first presidential debate. On Tuesday, Dow component Nike (NYSE:NKE) which has faced increased competition reports its earnings. Also on Tuesday, oil exporters will meet at an informal gathering in Algeria to discuss a potential production freeze. And that`s what to watch for next week.

MATHISEN: Cereal entrepreneur Michael Wales has invented bathroom fixtures, he`s raised organic corn and most recently reinvented an improved grill equipment -- a smart business move, considering that 75 percent of U.S. households own a grill or a smoker.

Here what he`s been cooking up in tonight`s "How I Made My Millions."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the barbecue tools out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please?

MATHISEN: In this house, ideas, innovation and a dash of inspiration are always simmering.

MICHAEL WALES, GRILL DADDY BRUSH CO-FOUNDER: Ever since I`ve been little, you know, I`ve always just looked at things and said, you know, there`s got to be a better way to do this.

MATHISEN: From water-saving shower heads, his first product, to more efficient grill equipment, Michael Wales, with help from his wife Grace, has made millions creating, marketing and selling practical products, often with amusing names.

M. WALES: It`s called the King Tong. And we got that trademark.

MATHISEN: I love that.

M. WALES: Yes.

MATHISEN: So, he must come to you and say I`ve got this idea.

M. WALES: She usually says no, it`s not going to work.

GRACE WALES, GRILL DADDY BRUSH CO-FOUNDER: I always play devil`s advocate. But when he came up with grill daddy, it was definitely a home run.

MATHISEN: As with most inventions, necessity turned out to be the mother of perhaps Wales` best-known gadget, the Grill Daddy.

M. WALES: I always hated a dirty grill.

MATHISEN: So he started dipping conventional old-style grill brushes in water before putting them to work.

M. WALES: I said, listen, I think there`s a product so I made a prototype, and started playing around.

MATHISEN: The result, a patented wire bristles brush with a handle that holds water and dispenses it. Do you want your grill on and at full power?

M. WALES: You turn the grill all the way up so the water turns to steam and cleans the grill on contact.

MATHISEN: He saw how well it worked, but would anyone buy it?

I want to do this all day long.

What better place to find out than at a barbecue with friends.

M. WALES: I said to everybody, would you guys want one of these, and everybody was like, yes. When can we get one?

MATHISEN: It took about a year-and-a-half from idea to modeling to final creation. And in 2008, he and grace founded the Grill Daddy Brush Company. He says they invested $1 million from the sale of his showerhead business into a direct response ad

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is grill daddy, the revolution new grill-cleaning tool.

MATHISEN: It was a risky move since he claims only 1 in 20 of those ads seen on TV products actually make it.

M. WALES: For every dollar that you spend on TV, you want to be able to sell at least $2 worth of product, and that`s a break-even. Bu grill daddy did far better than that. We got $4 back in sales.

MATHISEN: In just eight years, the grill daddy has spawned more than 30 other products that now fill four warehouses across the country. This is the warehouse where you fulfill orders for home. It`s not obviously a huge one.

M. WALES: No, we just use this small warehouse for samples, and we also -- like here`s an order. This is a homedepot.com.

MATHISEN: No longer sold solely on TV, you can find Grill Daddy products online and in big box stores at prices ranging from $13 to nearly $100. Hard to imagine, considering Wales originally had trouble convincing retailers to carry his nearly $15 brush.

M. WALES: They would say, well, we sell grill brushes for 99 cents, and they go, well, you know, there`s no market for it. And how much do you make on a 99 cent grill brush, 60 cents. I said how would you like to make $7 on every grill brush you sale?

MATHISEN: How many grill daddies later are we?

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