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MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN HOST: Welcome back. Good Thursday morning, everybody. I'm Maria Bartiromo. And it is Thursday, January 28.

With me this morning JPMorgan Asset Management's Anastasia Amoroso; Engage Communications Andy Busch; and former Home Depot and Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli.

First though your top stories at 7:00 a.m. on the East Coast this morning:

Republican candidates gearing up for tonight's debate in Iowa. The event hosted by the Fox News Channel our sister network is the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucus begins on Monday morning.

Front runner Donald Trump still says he will not participate in tonight's event. He went on THE O'REILLY FACTOR last night and explained decision.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: I submit to you that you need to change and get away from the personal -- they hurt my feelings, are unfair to me -- and make it about them, the folks, not about you. And you elevate then to a place where you could win this if you do that. Am I crazy?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are not crazy at all -- Bill. But it's about them. It's about making America great again. That's why I'm doing this. It's not because I want the position. It's because I know the potential of this country, how great the country can be. Our leader is not doing the job.


BARTIROMO: Be sure to tune in tonight for the Fox News/Google debate beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern; main debate at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Let's got markets right now: futures cutting earlier gains now in negative territory -- really a mixed story. But now we're looking at the Dow Industrials opening lower. This after the Federal Reserve yesterday raised questions about the next time they will raise interest rates. Basically the Fed said that the economy slowed down at the end of last year.

In Europe, markets are lower this morning across the board -- about a half a percent lower to better than 1 percent. Actually things have worsened in the last 20 minutes or so across the board In Europe as well as in the U.S. This is probably one of the reasons the U.S. turned lower because European markets are now down better than 1 percent.

It all started in Asia -- we had a sharp selloff in China. The Shanghai composite down nearly 3 percent on the session. The Nikkei average in Japan down three-quarters of a percent ahead of that Bank of Japan meeting this Friday.

Facebook, the stock to watch today at -- the social media giant handily beat earnings expectations. Revenue soared better than 50 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. It was driven by mobile advertising. The stock up in the premarket -- that is pretty much where it has then. It has not cut losses on Facebook.

New cases of the Zika virus confirmed in the United States -- there are now at least six cases of this virus including in New York. Delta is now joining United and American basically allowing passengers to cancel or postpone trips to the areas that are affected by this outbreak.

We turn now to the 2016 campaign trail. Republican presidential candidates are getting ready to face off for tonight's Fox News debate in Iowa -- the last GOP 0debate before Monday's Iowa caucuses.

Blake Berman right now in Des Moines, live for the preview of what to expect tonight. Blake -- good morning to you.

BLAKE BERMAN, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there -- Maria. Good morning to you as well. Donald Trump continues to maintain that he will not be at the debate tonight here in Des Moines, Iowa on the Fox News Channel -- ever so important because not only is this the last debate before Monday night's caucuses but it's also the first debate here in Iowa as well.

These candidates have been here for months on end -- some in fact more than a year and this is their last chance in some cases to make a final push before Monday night's caucuses. There still will be seven people on that stage at 9:00 tonight. Cruz and Rubio will be front and center flanked alongside Carson and Bush, Christie and Kasich and Rand Paul returns to the 9:00 debate as well.

Before then, setting the stage is Fiorina, Huckabee and Santorum at 7:00. Jim Gilmore joins the stage with them once again. I was speaking, Maria, to an adviser, last night, of Ted Cruz and they told me they expect their guy to be basically surrounded later tonight now that Donald Trump is not, as he says, going to be in this debate. They say everybody shoots up and they feel that their guy is going to be the one taking all the crossfire.

Still they say Trump is not going to be let off the hook. They anticipate Marco Rubio being the one specifically going right at Cruz. Rubio gave a bit of a preview last night about how he might treat Trump. Take a listen here.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do think voters in Iowa deserve to know what the next commander-in-chief and president is going to do. And that's what these debate serve, as an opportunity to answer that questions. Voters deserve to know, if we elect you president, what are you going to do.


BERMAN: That there a slight dig at Trump. By the way, Maria, the "Wall Street Journal" released a slew of polls this morning which shows Trump leads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- of course, the three early voting states -- his lead with seven points: 32, Cruz 25 and Rubio at 18.

I'll send it back to you.

BARTIROMO: All right. Blake -- thanks so much. Big night tonight -- Blake Berman.

The stage, of course, set for that last Republican presidential debate before the first votes of 2016 are cast.

We want to bring in right now Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. Senator -- good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

SEN. JONI ERNST (R), IOWA: Thank you for having me. Great to be with you.

BARTIROMO: So who do you think will be the standout in Iowa tonight?

ERNEST: Oh my gosh. Well, we have so many great candidates. But of course, not having one of our candidates there gives everybody else a great opportunity to state what their policy positions are.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I mean I know that you said you are not ready to endorse anybody but you've had some very nice comments about Marco Rubio recently in terms of his commitment to destroy ISIS and in terms of him being near and dear to my heart. Are you considering perhaps the vice presidential position with Marco Rubio should he get the nomination?

ERNEST: No, no. I am not pursuing that. I do think we have great candidates all across the board and every one of our candidates -- I want to make sure I say this -- every one of our candidates has a great position when it comes to national defense, much better than anyone we have seen on the other ticket. So I think we're going to do very well.

BARTIROMO: Here's Andy Busch.

ANDREW BUSCH, ENGAGE COMMUNICATIONS: Yes. I've got a question for you. For Iowa, if you look at the economic plans of the top three candidates or really just overall, what do you want to see for Iowa? What would really make you feel great about a candidate with something that they're doing on an economic plan that's going to help Iowa?

ERNST: Well, I think Iowa has really set the standard. We do have a very low unemployment rate there, a lot of job growth and job expansion. So what we are looking for is a plan that would allow for less rules and regulations so that our businesses can further develop in Iowa, allow them to expand, less government interference, and of course, low taxes is always a great way to stimulate growth. That is what we need to look for across the board in those candidates.

BARTIROMO: Here is Bob Nardelli -- Senator.

BOB NARDELLI, FORMER HOME DEPOT AND CHRYSLER CEO: And so, Senator, with that as a backdrop who is the best candidate to meet those requirements?

ERNST: Well, again, I'm not going to pick winners or losers here. Still have a lot of horses in the race. But I think that again if you look across the board, all of them have put forward pretty good plans.

I am not going to state who I think would be best. I don't want to dissuade Iowa voters from going out to the caucuses Monday evening. I want to make sure they are looking at policies and deciding who is fitting their needs and their values.

NARDELLI: Who has the best GDP plan to get out of this low and slow growth? We always have this aspiration of 3 percent, 3.5 percent and we end up somewhere well below that -- Senator.

ERNST: Well, I think if you look at those that have served in governmental roles, whether as a governor or as a senator, they have all dealt with those types of plans. And so I would look to those that have experience in those areas and have worked with government and those that have successful career tracks. So I would say start there and we'll see what they come up with tonight.

BARTIROMO: I think that's a great point to make because many on the stage had the experience in the background -- backdrop to really make a difference.

Let me ask you. You just really painted a picture of a pretty good economy in Iowa in terms of the unemployment situation, in terms of growth there. What do you think then is most important to Iowa voters? What do you hear from consumers and constituents in the state that they are most worried about?

ERNST: There are two very big issues that we see always come to the surface. The first always is national defense. Iowa is a great export state. So not only do they look at the economy, but they are looking at is there world stability in those areas that we are doing trade with.

So they'll look at national defense. They want to know that they are protected.

Second is jobs and economy whether it's internationally or domestically and how the economy will impact their everyday lives. Those are the top issues. I know those were important in my race in 2014. Those are still very important as we move forward to 2016. And we need a candidate that has policy behind their words.

So again I encourage those Iowa voters to take a very close look at what policies are being presented, and does not reflect the Iowa way of life. Is that what they are looking for in a candidate?

BARTIROMO: It's really an important point because here we are in an economy that yes, domestically we're seeing some strength and certainly improvement when you look at the jobs numbers. But it's the international story that really keeps capping the ability to grow and the export part of that story is reflecting that. Exports are down on a national level.

ERNST: Exactly.

BARTIROMO: So what do you propose in terms of, you know, fighting back on automation, I mean technology has displaced workers. What do you propose in terms of growing in the face of this weakness that we are seeing for multinationals?

ERNST: Well, I think as we look at the international scale and what needs to be done here in the United States as well as Iowa specifically is take a look at what our future is going to bring.

You mentioned technology, it is displacing workers. We still need those workers and we need more workers in the technology field.

So we are working on that in Iowa. We are expanding technology, directing our young students into those types of areas. Iowa is a great cross- section of America. We have a great agricultural base. We have great manufacturing base.


ERNST: But we're also moving forward in technology and that's where we need to go.

BARTIROMO: Really important point. Anastasia, you want to jump in here? Here is Anastasia Amoroso from JPMorgan. Because this is exactly what the issues are for the economy.

ERNST: Right.

BARTIROMO: Iowa is a great picture to show what is going on in terms of the multinational and the weakness coming from the global economy.

ANASTASIA AMOROSO, JPMORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT: Yes, absolutely -- key issue for voters. But I guess I want to go back to something you mentioned earlier is that people who have the experience to fix this are governors or senators, but those are all the same people that are also defined by the voters as the establishment and this campaign has been all about the anti- establishment.

How do you solve that? How can you bring experience and still appeal to the voters?

ERNST: Well, I think you can bring experience but you need to look for those that are really fighting for what we desire to see us as Republicans as a party and that is job growth. So who has a great track record? Maybe it's in their state, maybe it's in the senate with their ideas and their policies and understanding we haven't had that majority in the past.

And so who has been on the forefront of that? Who has really tried to move their ideas forward? So, you know, they may be considered establishment by some, but again I think we need to look at them individually and take a look at their policies and what have they really worked on?

You know, I just want to push back. I think we've got all great candidates across the board. We want to see them be successful. We want absolutely the best nominee we can come up with and, of course, our nominees are going to be far better than what we're seeing from the last.

BARTIROMO: Is it going to be very different without Donald Trump on that stage tonight, Senator?

ERNST: It will be very different. It will be different. And every candidate will make a choice on whether they want to show up or not. But this is the last opportunity that our candidates have to talk to the Iowa people and convince them that their policy is right.

So I think that is a lost opportunity. But again, they will take a look at policies. They will turn out to the caucuses on Monday night and we'll see what the Iowa voters do.

BARTIROMO: Senator, a busy couple days for you. Good luck with everything. We will see you soon.

ERNST: Yes. Thank you so much.

BARTIROMO: Thank you -- Senator Joni Ernst there.

Be sure to tune in tonight to the Republican debate on the Fox News Channel. The first debate kicks off at 7:00 p.m. The second main debate begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

And don't miss our all-star coverage of the Iowa caucuses this Monday beginning on our program at 6:00 a.m. Eastern, of course, as we anticipate the happenings.

And then at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Neil Cavuto takes you through all the caucuses live from Iowa.

Alibaba releasing earnings moments ago. Jo Ling Kent on the numbers now - Jo.

JO LING KENT, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Maria these tech earnings just continue to blow out the estimates. Breaking news here: Alibaba posting revenue of $5.33 billion beating expectations of $5.03 billion, earnings-per-share also beat at 99 cents, estimate -- the estimate was for 87 cents, so a really healthy beat there.

You see the bid-ask moving mobile revenue for Alibaba up 192 percent year over year to get this -- listen to this number -- $101 billion. Global merchandise volume also up 23 percent year-over-year to $149 billion.

And Alibaba now says it has 407 million people buying each year on its platforms. That is more than the entire population of the United States. Seems like those Chinese economic concerns may not be affecting Alibaba just yet but we will have to wait and see.

BARTIROMO: All right -- Jo. Thanks so much. Jo Ling Kent.

We will be right back. Stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

The armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon may be unraveling. Cheryl Casone with that and other stories -- Cheryl.

CHERYL CASONE, FBN CORRESPONDENT: It's quite a story coming out of Oregon, Maria. Just hours after Ammon Bundy, the leader of that group, told his followers to give up and go home, police said that they had arrested three more protesters. Bundy and seven others were arrested Tuesday during an incident with police that did kill one man.

Facebook posting some impressive quarterly results with net income topping more than a billion dollars for the first time ever. The social networking company beating analyst estimates on both the top and the bottom lines as they sold more ads aimed at smart phone users. Shares rallying right now in the premarket, and this by the way, boosts CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth to more than $46 billion. That makes him the sixth richest person in the world.

Finally this, a Los Angeles bound American Airlines fight forced to return to London's Heathrow Airport after several people, including some crew fell ill. Roll tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of commotion and they immediately threw the light on. And then maybe five minutes later they announced that seven of the 13 flight attendants on board had either passed out or were too sick to fulfill their duties.


CASONE: Ok. So officials say that paramedics examined and discharged six people who complained of feeling lightheaded. This plane had 188 people on board, Maria, and we should also say the air in the plane was immediately tested when they landed back in Heathrow. But still today no answers to what happened.

BARTIROMO: Amazing story there.

Cheryl -- thank you.

Coming up next, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton often criticized for his touchdown celebration. He says he doesn't plan to change anytime soon. We've got all the details in sports next.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

From old school to new school -- it's the tale of two quarterbacks in Super Bowl 50 but the favorability of one is in question.

Jared Max with the latest details in sports. Good morning -- Jared.


Question: Do you like Peyton Manning? Do you like Cam Newton? While Manning is not liked by everybody, it seems he has many more, happy to wave his flag than that of his Super Bowl counterpart.

Check this out: back page of today's "New York Daily News" -- "I know why you hate me." Cam comes out swinging on race as Super Bowl buildup begins. Listen to what the all-pro quarterback said yesterday.


CAM NEWTON, CAROLINA PANTHERS QUARTERBACK: I said it since day one. You know, I'm an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to.


MAX: Cam Newton will become the sixth black quarterback to start the big game 28 years since Doug Williams became the first to win it in Super Bowl 22.

Now look at what Cam Newton's head coach Ron Rivera said yesterday. "People should be scared of a quarterback with his skill set more than anything else. I don't think he wants to be known as an African-American quarterback. I think he wants to be known as a quarterback -- and a great one at that."

Do some people dismiss Cam Newton because of the color of his skin or because he is just so darn good and unlike any other player we have seen? Peyton Manning can irritate me with all his histrionics sometimes, but Cam Newton can also rub me the wrong way with his childish antics. But he is who he is and he is not hiding from it.

BARTIROMO: And he says he's not going to hide from it going up against Super Bowl 50. Why should he?

MAX: He really shouldn't.

DAGEN MCDOWELL, FBN HOST: People don't dislike him. It is -- Cam I will speak to you. It is not because you are black. It is because you are so good. What is he? 6'5", he's 260 pounds --

MAX: He's built like a linebacker and a running back.

MCDOWELL: -- and he floats like a butterfly and he stings things like a bee. And I love your end zone celebration. Keep them coming because if it was me and I was that talented, which I will never be, never have been, not even in my next eight lives, I would be humping the turf when I celebrated as he did.

AMOROSO: That would be fun.

BARTIROMO: I would like to see that.

MCDOWELL: I would be rolling down like a bug on my back.

MAX: Good visual there.

Does Dagen's opinion represent, you know, most of Americans and I don't know if it does because I mean I'm looking at stories from Deadspin from not long ago -- "Scared white people running out of reasons to hate Cam Newton."

BUSCH: You know, the thing is -- look race is a huge story in America after Ferguson. I come from Illinois in Chicago and we have unbelievable problems there right now with murders. Now it is representative I think he's kind of representative of that and very sensitive to it and rightly so.

But, you know, we go back to when Doug Williams was the quarterback.

MAX: That was the story.

BUSCH: These are all the same stories.

MAX: It's not new.

That was -- that was the story. Now, it's just --

MCDOWELL: He's the fourth black quarterback to start a Super Bowl in a row.

MAX: In a row. Fourth straight -- so it really isn't a story. And as Coach Rivera said, you know, he wants to be known -- he doesn't want to be known as the Hispanic coach.

In North Carolina a poll was taken last week. And it's interesting is that Democrats say that Cam Newton is their favorite player by 45 to 19 ratio. And Republicans say Luke Kuechly, who's white is their favorite player, 34 to 27.

MCDOWELL: I question that. 45 touchdowns, plays, 35 passing, 10 rushing - - get down. MVP -- baby.

MAX: Like we say we mock what we don't understand. I think -- we've never seen somebody like Cam Newton quite as an NFL quarterback.

MCDOWELL: I hate Tom Brady and it's not because he is white.

MAX: Yes. It's because he's --

MCDOWELL: Just Tom Brady and he plays for the Patriots -- that's why.

BUSCH: Well, it's unfortunate. It does distract a little from the game, which I think the Panthers have just been unbelievable. I mean they score as many points as they have, I don't know if that's ever happened with two games in a row. I don't know. If Denver's defense doesn't show up in that game, it is going to get ugly fast.

MAX: It's going to be a great football game but I do see that Carolina's going to win maybe by two to three --

MCDOWELL: That's why I'm rooting for --

BUSCH: Yes. They're going to outscore them. They just -- I don't think - -

MCDOWELL: That's why I'm rooting for the Broncos. I am going to root for the Broncos -- emotional favorite, sentimental favorite. Kind of have to go for him but Cam is going to crush everybody.

BARTIROMO: Good stuff you guys. Thank you -- Jared, Dagen.

Coming up Eli Lilly CEO Dr. John Lechleiter is with us in a "Fox Business Exclusive" this morning to react to the company's fourth quarter earnings. He will tell us what drove the growth there and the ever evolving state of the healthcare business.

Back in a moment on the Fox Business Network.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back; I'm Maria Bartiromo. It's Thursday, January 28th. With me this morning, JPMorgan Assets Managements, Anastasia Amorosa; Gauge Communications, Andy Busch; and, former Home Depot and Chrysler CEO, Bob Nardelli in the studio this morning. First, though, your top stories it's 7:30 a.m. on the East Coast. (HEADLINES)

Let's look at markets because were watching crude oil once again this morning. Take a look: trading well off the 12-year low set earlier this month. Rallying today, another half percent at $32.44. Phil Flynn is in Chicago at the CME Group. Okay, so we're back at $32, above $32 a barrel. What does that say you, Phil?

PHIL FLYNN, FBN CORRESPONDENT: It says to me that we're seeing a lot of capitulation on a lot of fronts. You know, what it's saying to me is that when prices went down low, when they crashed earlier in the year, it did a lot of damage. Because of that, we heard an announcement from the biggest shale producers in this country that hey, we can't keep doing the this. We have to cut back spending. We had to cut back production.

Continental Resources said, Listen, we are not making money to innovate. We are squeezing about as much blood out of a turnip as we can right now and we're not going to be able to find new ways to do it with prices at these levels. So those warnings from the U.S. producers are (inaudible), but it's not just U.S. producers, it's OPEC; it's across the board. Everybody is talking about capitulation of potential output cut. That's what you usually hear when we hit a bottom.

BARTIROMO: All right, Phil; thank you. Phil Flynn with the latest there. Tepid growth concerns, of course, weighing on global stocks all year.

My next guest, however, says there's nothing to worry about. There is clearly no recession coming in the country. We want to bring in Mendon Capital Advisors Portfolio Manager, Anton Schutz. Anton, it's good see you.


BARTIROMO: Now you manage money and specifically you invest in financials. Okay, I want to kick you off with that, this discussion, because financials have gotten their lunch eaten - ouch - this year, not necessarily all the financials because I know you like the small and midcap names, but what the heck is going on with these major banks this year?

SCHUTZ: I think you've got multiple factors that are going on, but the way these stocks have traded, they reflect all the damage being done from a full recession; not a depression like we had in 2008. People are already leaping to oh my goodness here we go again, just from the first couple of weeks out of the gate.

Energy is a problem for banks in Texas, no doubt about it. Energy --

BARTIROMO: They've made all the loans.

SCHUTZ: They've made a lot of the loans. The big banks have really big energy loans as well, but it's two to three-percent of their portfolios; manageable.

BUSCH: Right.

SCHUTZ: You know, Jamie Dimon said, well, oil goes here we write another $500 million off. Well, JPMorgan only earns $5-7 billion dollars a quarter so it's not exactly a giant problem for them. It doesn't dilute book value.

BUSCH: Right, but I think the story is more on the net interest margin, right, because that's what we were anticipating as the Fed began to raise interest rates. Now that seems to be off the table. Talk about that. What's the outlook there?

SCHUTZ: So if you think about it, you know, I've had some people say, you know, well banks reflected that. Well they didn't because they really weren't up last year.

BUSCH: Right, they were down 3.5-percent.

SCHUTZ: They didn't reflect that last year and these stocks now traded lower multiples than they did two years ago and the book values are higher, their earnings are higher. I think there was some foreselling that went on. I think the sovereign wealth funds are majorly responsible. They loved U.S. banks, I'm not naming which one, but they were major holders of U.S. banks. and some of that selling that was going on was clearly like we don't care. When Bank of America came out and reported good earnings and went down that day, I was shocked; because I said, all right. The stocks going to be up five percent today because, you know, the numbers were definitely good enough. It's been beaten to death and then it went down and it continued to go down. I went, okay. Somebody is just selling for the sake of selling. You've got all these technical CTA's out there selling stocks, period. Quite frankly, front running, not selling. So, you know, the reversal can be just as savage as its been vicious on the way down.