tv Closing Bell CNBC April 25, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
does represent cyclical factors. much of them are young people who presumably are not out of the labor force indefinitely but given the weak job market, they are going to school or something else rather than working. so one possibility and one reason why the unemployment rate may not fall as quickly going forward is that as the economy strengthens, labor market strengthens, many of the folks are going to come back into the labor force looking for work, which i think would be a good thing but we'll just have to see. i think i'll agree with the argument that when the economy gets stronger. >> from the l.a. times.
can you give us your assessment of the imt pact of the mild winter weather and going forward, i think you said last month that some of the recent job gains reflected a catchup from outside cuts right after the recession. given those two things, what kind of job growth can we expect? >> well, the weather issue reflects how difficult it can be to make real-time effect of the economy. it probably brought forward some of the hiring so that it made perhaps january and february artificially strong and march artificially weak. it probably affected
construction. manufacturing. there were probably things affected by the warm weather that we had this winter. and we're doing our best to try to adjust for that. we're also looking at some of the seasonality issues because of the unusually large recession in 2008 and 2009. so, again, that makes the data harder to interpret. i advanced the hypothesis that the increase in employment that we've seen in the last five, six months may be to some extent greater than we have going forward because it undoing the very sharp layoffs in 2008 and 2009. it's only a hypothesis. we'll only have to see going forward.
if correct, job gains will be less than the 250,000 a month than what we've been seeing recently. but we don't know yet and i wouldn't draw too much conclusion from the march report. i think, again, because of weather and other factors, we really can't take a conclusive result from that. if unemployment looks like it's no longer making progress, that will be important consideration for the policy options. >> we need something -- the estimates differ. we need fewer jobs monthly to keep unemployment consistent or stable than in the past, more like 100,000. i don't have an exact answer but broadly speaking, 150 to 200,000
jobs or so but that's a very rough estimate and, of course, individual participants may have different views. again, that's not a forecast. i've made an hypothesis but the possibility exists that it will generate a circle with greater hiring which generates more consumer spending and greater hiring and so on. in the way that it goes, it's going to be an important determine nate of our response. >> mr. chairman, peter cook. first, in your bid to transparency, would you consider in the future you and your colleagues attaching your name to the projections here so that
markets get a better sense of what you're thinking in the future, what your colleagues are thinking and separately, sir, as you consider where you are at this moment, all that you've been through with the financial crisis recovery, what is it that most frustrates you about this recovery that confuses you most? >> well, those things are not all the same. on the former, our subcommittee headed by vice chair yellin to improve transparency and we're looking at everything. there are other ways to make this more useful. again, there's a work in progress, as i said before. the most frustrating aspect of the recovery is that it has been quite slow. as a result, here we are from three years from the expansion and unemployment rate is still
over 8%. so we're looking and hoping as the headwinds lift and financial stresses ease, as housing improves, that we will begin to get more rapid improvement in the economy and in the labor market. but it's been a very long slog and that would be the single most concerning thing from. a policy perspective, there are many issues like the fiscal issues, for example. but within the province of the federal reserve, i think it would be the pace of improvement in the labor market.
welcome back to the "closing bell." ben bernanke just wrapped up his news conference with reporters. bernanke leaving the door opened to mormon tear stimulus, which is helping to give this market a lift. we're going to get to the comments and reaction to the reserve. dow jones up 90 points. it's been creeping higher. let's get to our "closing bell" exchange. gary kominski and bob pisani and rick santelli. first let me get your take on the reaction from the markets, rick. >> well, you know, there were two reactions on the statement and i think the reaction of higher rates on the action is apparent. there's no mention of any more extension of the twister qe and another bit of a selloff when the original forecasts were released because of his horizon for the unemployment rate falling below 8%.
rates are where they were four or five hours ago. >> he said that labor market conditions and unemployment rate has declined but remains elevated and i think that's probably the crux of the issue. we're seeing a recovery but it's not necessarily fast and not -- or certainly not strong enough as people would like to see right now. >> yeah. and the problem that i have with the stock market is that it was evidence of the silly addiction that the quantitative easing has. we have the forecast out. they raised the growth estimate and unemployment estimates and in general this is signs of somewhat improving economy. and the market sold off because the qe 2 crowd, qe 3 crowd was not happy. stocks rose a little bit.
>> right. and in the meantime, they are maintaining a highly accommodate tif stance for monetary policy. i thought it was really interesting that they decided to keep the rate at zero to a quarter percent in anticipation that including those low rates of utilization over the medium term to warrant exceptionally low levels. and that has been the fuel for the stock market in all of 2012 so far. >> when i look at today's action, i look at the fed meeting and we've had great earnings. they have come in much better than wall street had anticipated three weeks ago. today was a day to make that transition that there will be no more quantitative easing, that the economy is at a full recovery mode and i think the super bowl is up. the s&p tar kwets of 1500 for the year.
if they wanted that, they didn't get it today. >> they didn't get it today even though the fed fund rate is going to be at low level until late 2014. no change in that prediction, although just hearing the fed talk about these low rates, i think it has people reminded that there are not alternatives to stock but they don't care because they want to keep their money safe. steve? >> maria, was that to me? i'm sorry. >> yes. sorry. i just plugged in. i think today is a pretty important transitional day. i think he sort of put to bed if there was any lingering doubt that there would be a midterm quaint taf tif easing, i think that is gone. he stuck to his guidance and any time somebody does that, they are not about to do something new for you in the future. he counted all of the deeds and
that was by way of saying, you know what, this idea of running higher inflation and by extension, additional qe, he said the doubts are -- the rewards would be tentative and doubtful and i think that was saying, you know what, not any time soon here. >> what about the further reaction in chicago there, rick? let me get your take on what this means as far as no qe 3. do you think the expectations will lessen here or are we still constantly going to ask this question about more stimulus? >> constantly. and i personally think stocks the reasons are back up to under 2%, when you're asked about job and the labor force participation rate, after that question, his final sentence was, well, defending on how the jobs and he emt employment pictures play out, we will adjust appropriately and everybody read that to read it,
qe is front and center again. that's the interpretation down here. >> yes. >> very specifically, he said you could not draw too many conclusions from the march jobs report which is what was just being discussed there. that's leaving that door open for the qe 3. >> it's not that silly when you consider what is going on in europe. over the last several weeks given where yields are in spain, given the verge of going socialist, we have changes that will accelerate the decision in europe. it's clear that we're going to see recessionary numbers out of portugal, spain, and that may be the wild card. >> i have to counter, if the market is now building in renewed qe 3 exhibit peck tagss as a result of that press
conference, i understand that one comment about jobs suggesting that if the unemployment rate goes up but i just don't hair it. we're in neutral for a while and the bar is high for coming back in. that's the message. if the market is going to build in these expectations, i think they are going to be disappointed again. >> i don't think the press conference did anything to put qe 3 back on the table. is that what you said, bob? >> i think the problem is, the market is looking for every little sign. that comment that you can't draw too many conclusions from the march job's report, it's a sign that they would do something if the job situation did something to deteriorate. that's why the markets moved up here. >> that's always the case, bob. i think we're proving the market is wrong. >> say it over and over again, steve. you're right. >> europe has become another new problem. europe was off the able for a while, certainly for the first three months of the year because
of the ecb action. that's no longer being looked at. europe is major problem. it's a disaster and may very well impact the u.s. the federal reserve has got to be focused on europe. no doubt in my mind. >> that's precisely the case and that's what makes you exactly right. and i don't think the fed would woman back in in that case. some of the easing of strings has eased away. it is not something that is imminent. >> gentlemen, thank you. we've got a market up 85 points on the dow jones industrial average. gary, we are certainly in the final stretch right here. >> we are, maria. with 45 minutes to go in today's trading session, let's take a quick market stat check.
in fact, as we said, key interest rates are low until at least 2014. at 48.36. the dow industrials down and up as the fed chief bernanke commented on fed policy. right now it's up to 82, which is close for the high of the day. goldman sachs moving off of the session lows and year to date is up 25%. earlier today i did get a chance to speak with lloyd blankfein. one thing that stood out to me, i was able to ask lloyd, point blank, what was it like on the morning of march 14th, the day that the op ed came out in the new york times and talked about his reason for leaving goldman sachs. >> we asked everybody in the firm to do a 360 review of everybody else. we have the reviews of this
fellow. we have the reviews by this fellow and everybody around him. we are obsessive about everybody soliciting everybody's views and we went through all of this stuff and could not find substantial asian to this. but let me tell you, if you ratchet up the pressure to have good culture at goldman sachs and as a result of this you get closer to your clients, there's no downside to that. >> maria, what i found fascinating is this was an isolated incident as far as the feedback that he has received from the close to 30,000 employees. they asked all employees, is this the experience that you have had in the company? i asked him point blank, have they received similar experiences? and the answer was, point blank, as i said, no. quite interesting. >> well, what did he say about the representation of goldman sachs? what did he say in terms of turning around that reputation? >> at the end of the day, the
reputation has to turn itself around because the clients have to be treated the right way. >> isn't that treated by leadership, gary? >> they've done a very good job just trying to execute the business. he was very humbled, very transparent. i think that the reputation will have to turn itself around as time heals it. the bottom line message here was we're trying to do the right thing and will turn the reputation around and it won't change unless you deliver the results for your clients. >> all right. gary, we'll be back there on the -- more fngs. meanwhile, meredith whitney is known for accurately predicting citi's crash back in 2007. she reiterated her bearish view on this program. >> citi hasn't been investable in four years. >> what would it take for you to invest in citi? >> a new brain. >> well, meredith reversed that
call last week. she upgraded citigroup from an underperform to a hold rating. let's not get crazy about this recommendation because it's still a hold rating but gave the stock a lift. let's see where she sees financial services and the health about the industry. meredith whitney joins me right now. joining us for an exclusive. it's always great to see you. >> you couldn't resist playing that video, right? >> you have been right on citi. you were the first one who came out and very courageously said that they are going to cut the dividends, which they did. you went to a hold. what do you think that means? >> i'm not running into the loving arms of citigroup or i've become bullish with citigroup. what i mean is i don't see any near term negative catalyst and it's i didn't see the quarter was fine. there's no near term negative that's going to impale capital
and enough's enough. you go to a hold. but that means the stock could tread water for years to come. >> has it stopped going down? >> there's less of risk of an issue that's going to come and blind side the company for certain. now the issue is, how does the company grow? how does the company generate capital? i'm not worried about anything but i'm also not excited about anything. doesn't mean that i don't find interesting divisions of the company but in the collective, it's not that interesting of a stock. >> let me get your take on europe, we're having this whole debate on where we are on the global economy and it seems to me -- i'd like to know what you're hearing from your clients and the hedge funds in particular. has europe once again become an urgent negative in the market? because all year the ecb took that urgency off the table and once again it feels like europe is scaring people. what are you hearing? >> well, europe stairs people in a lot of different ways.
spain is clearly too big to fail and the ecb will do whatever they can to save spain. france is the wildcard and that's just too big to really come in and save with great force. and it certainly looks like the going away from sar skokozy. it means that europe has a problem showing growth and momentum. the fed should be more straightforward with this. it means that the u.s. looks like a much more stable liquidity pool. so long-term rates will stay lower for longer and the fed has less to worry about. and there's no other place to go. even on a relative basis, sure we look better than an inflationary markets like latin
america, like some asian markets. from a european perspective, there is no other place to go. >> you heard the fed today, they continue to reiterate the low rates until 2014. do you think qe 3 is definitely off the table? everyone is bringing this up because of the latest out of europe, because of the fact that unemployment is not necessarily reversing course any time soon. we're still in a fragile period. >> i think that the fed is as political an organization as it has ever been and so they will do whatever it takes to stabilize and pacify the markets. that does not mean that that's the best policy for the overall economy. >> we've talked about citigroup but tell me where we are in terms of credit quality and the actual fundamentals. do you expect the regulatory environment to still be crippling or an issue for some of these banks? >> the regulatory environment is bad. there's no other way to slice it. the consensus is that consumer
is finished -- this is how the fed feels thark tt the consumer finished with deleveraging. the low end has been purnled out of the system. the income level is over 130%. and then the high end is doing well. if you look at american express, they are doing incredibly well. you have a mixed economy but not one that in aggregate is growing aggressively. >> in terms of the asset banks, most people say these are still in the capital-raising mode. >> no doubt about it. >> tell me what you think is going to be on the block. the problem is that these banks are being forced to sell assets. they are not getting the valuations that they should be getting probably. >> yeah. and look at the u.s. banks. they are on their front feet trying to get these assets. i call it the joe kennedy style
of economy. if you have money, you can make a lot of money. if you need money, it's a really dire time. >> any bank right now that you still feel is seeing severe pressure that you want to sell? >> i don't -- many of the regional banks, i think that while people are getting excited about some of the regional banks results, it's going to be a big head fig. >> why? >> because it's hard to tell with the disclosure that we have this far in the quarter but you're going to see a lot of sterilization of the balance sheet but not real growth. as an example, you buy government-secured mortgages, govern had the secured student lending and then you put together all of your riskier assets which allows you to draw down on your loan provisions and that only lasts so long. so the big banks are kind of
zombie-like, treading along, not that interesting. some of the regional banks, some of the larger regional banks is where the reaction is going to be. >> and what is your reaction? >> i am wildly bullish on the u.s. now u.s. -- in particular markets of the u.s. parse of the u.s. market looks collective but it's not going to grow all together. i think you're going to continue to be tough. but for an investor, there's so much opportunity out there. >> what's your favorite idea? where's the opportunity? >> there's opportunity all throughout from texas to north dakota. >> agriculture is what you're talking about? >> also the right to work states, where businesses are
moving because that's easier to operate and create jobs. so you see a massive demographic shift to those areas and you see the pro cyclical problem developing. today it was announced that illinois you're going to have to pay for your child to take a school bus to get to school. >> gary is on the floor wanting to ask a question. are you there? >> yes, i am. maria mentioned the change of opinion on citi. analysts have to change opinions all the time. you're talking about the states. is it your contention that the states, the fiscal crisis of the states are going to suffer? is it your opinion that we're in the same sort of ak macro overview that you suggested a couple years back we were going to have to deal with in this country? >> absolutely. i think there's more evidentiary support supporting that thesis. if you're a single mother relying on a school bus system to get your child to school so
you can get to work and that's cut, that has a very strong strain on the economy. and, you know, it's going to divide the u.s. along the state lines that we haven't seen before. >> what's your weakest state do you think right now? in terms of the u.s. side?>> ca. sadly, sadly, my birth date, new jersey, is in a tough spot, too. but california, illinois, new jersey. >> and on the financials, you still liking jpmorgan? >> jpmorgan just happens to be really cheap. but american express is -- has so much going for it. discover has so much going for it. there are some great financials out there but the financials that really carried the market for the last 15 years are going to be, you know, the sick sisters or sick men of the financial group. >> meredith, always great to have you here. >> thank you so much. >> meredith whitney advisory group. we're in the final stretch. 30 minutes before the bell sounds.
dow jones industrial is up. we saw buying come in as bernanke was speaking. check out oil. should you be buying oil ahead of exxonmobil's earnings that come out tomorrow. and doug is with me telling me whether china's slow down in the economy is going to have an effect. we'll get the story from the ceo of cat. caterpillar is among the winners today. back in a moment. tand there? great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco.
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welcome back to the "closing bell." i'm gary kominski. we have breaking news. michelle caruso-cabrera is live in mexico. >> hi, gary. the mexican officials have just announced that they will investigate the bribery allegations. they are going to ask the department of justice for all relevant information and look at the walmart workers in question and federal workers in question and if there are state and local workers in question, they are going to hand that information over to the proper authorities so they can act and there will be prosecutions if in fact they find something.
this is significant because up until now we heard almost zero out of the mexican government when it came to the allegations, even though we already had heard from the u.s. government that they were going to investigate. up until now, authorities had said that they didn't have the authority to do anything until they received a complaint. now we learn that the federal government says they are going to investigate the situation. >> right. michelle, thanks for that breaking news. we appreciate it. 30 minutes left to go in trading. investors are riding exxon. today the company announced a 21% dividend increase. ahead of the earnings release tomorrow morning it's your last chance to transport the integrated audience. let's drill down and is exxonmobil a stock that technicians would say we want to be long right now, rich? >> you do not want to be long exxonmobil. giving the continued erosion in the macro backdrop, simply not enough to get us excited. let's take a look at this chart
here. we see the textbook pattern of a bear rich stock underperformed the s&p 500. dramatically up 2% on a year to date basis. this chart takes us back to 2011. very stubborn, we are a seller into that level. we are bearish on exxonmobil up here. >> i want to stay in the energy sector and sell this name. redeploy that capital. where does a chart actually look attractive? >> we know that it's the second worst performing sector in the s&p 500 but within that sector there is a subsector which is actually up 8%. if we drill down even further, up 25% year to date and a classic bullish chart here. we'll defined double bottom and
then we see a very nice rally. not only do we take out the 200-day moving average, but from the march high we run into chart resistance around 73 which takes us back previous resistance. what i like about this pullback, a 12% move, holds that 200 day moving average, acts as a springboard, this is a stock that can trade $80. back in 2008 it was at 140. now we have $104 on wti. we have roughly 68 on diamond offshore. it's a buy right now. >> thank you. there you go. exxon charts don't say bye to those earnings tomorrow. >> the dow jones industrial. we have a crowd behind us. you know who is opening the bell? the national football league draft prospect. they are visiting the trading floor. you have to see the massive applause. we're talking about that but we're really talking about the fed and the latest meeting is another sign that the qe 3 could be off the table. what does that mean for the economy and your money?
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there is a feeling that qe 3 is no longer on the table. we saw a late-day boost after the fed chairman opened the door for monetary stimulus during the post fed meeting but what was your sense? is qe 3 on the table or is it off the table? >> i listen to steve, which is always a great conversation. i'm going to have to defer with steve rick basically said it, there was no determinate statement that qe is off the table. >> and i think it's because of europe. >> let's talk markets again with their reaction to the meeting. our anthony chan, private wealth management, along with steve. guys, i don't know if you heard. the liesman/santelli debate.
qe 3, 4, 5, is it off the table or still on the table? >> i think it's still on the table. the federal reserve raised growth for the year. economic growth slows down. if it's going to accelerate, it's not off the table but it's a probability. >> i think if the economy is weak and profits are softer, of course we get a market selloff and that may encourage the central bank to bring it back off the table. >> but profits aren't weak. it exceeded all of the analysts' estimates, at least the companies that have reported to date. did you say it's going to change your strategy in terms of investing money? >> i think they are doing what apple is doing. they lower guidance. they want to get people not to
expect any more quantitative easing because of their concern about europe. i think they are very concerned that the european banking system will have another hiccup. it could spill over to here and into consume every spending and they can pull the trigger on qe 3. they don't want anyone to expect to get a big bang for the buck. >> how come all of a sudden the expectations changed dramatically? for a long time, for the first three months of this year, took the urgency off the table in terms of the european banks, they do not need -- they took the liquidity issues off the table and all of a sudden we are watching europe become the big major disaster. >> we have this issue, a couple months ago, and i think now all of these banks are loaded up with sovereign debt, in reality that sovereign debt is backed by local bank debt on real estate and a number of other things that it should be trading at a big discount. you look at the stocks of spanish banks and cds and interest rates which hit 6%
recently on the spanish ten-year, people are really nervous. you look at the french election and government and netherlands, the data points to at least u.s. investors looking increasingly negative on those markets. >> let's not forget socialism and france. >> exactly. what could that bring us? >> let's take you back to the u.s. economy. the next revision in terms of economists in terms of gdp growth, up or down from here? >> i think that if you move closer to the end of the year, you get that so-called fiscal cliff, people are going to be more cautious. ben bernanke is going to be cautious as you approach that fiscal cliff. one thing to keep in mind that i was very earn courage encouraged by, there is a possibility that they could do more if all of a sudden the economy doesn't perform and the fact that is he now encouraging or suggesting that economic growth is something that they should consider, that's very encouraging. >> let's switch gears to another
issue near and dear to our heart and that is taxes. dividend taxes doubling, capital gains taxes going way up. what does that mean for investors? >> we think about that a lot, especially for dividend-yielding stocks which we generally like. we see companies raise dividends, like dupont and exxon. in reality, even if dividend yields go up, they are still attractive. i think that's holding the market up. i think rates are going to go up but it's funny to see, you look at companies and their free cash flow yields and get excited at 5% and with companies with 10% in the balance sheet. now it's triple that. stocks look so cheap that you cannot help to be excited about them. >> steve, thanks very much. anthony, guys very helpful. they've gotten the pull case once again. >> we really did because of all of the money on the side lines. if we have a catalyst that moves the money. a market is up in the double
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i.t. firms. citing concerns around inflation. gary, back to you. >> sands is a big name after trading closes today. what should they expect from the giant? let's take a look. jane wells, what do you have out there? >> reporter: 60 cents a share, revenues of $2.6 billion. some analysts raised price targets to $68. expecting a really good forecast, not just a good quarter behind us. they think the junket in macau will continue and that should benefit the new sands report advancing in stages bringing the spotlight back to macau from singapore. wells fargo expects a decent return but partly due to the reallocation to the new sands resort and then there is
sheldon's announcement. >> we're looking at 3,000 room each mini las vegas, about half the size of the las vegas strip in spain for the european market. >> reporter: in europe. what about las vegas? well, analysts expect improvement but sad to say, vegas is now of a more niche market. if you look at the ebitda, vegas is going to be 89 million compared to $453 million for macau and $403 million for singapore. we will have the numbers after the top of the hour. back to you. >> we'll be watching there. jane, thank you. we have a market up 80 points on the dow industrials. nasdaq is also strong. up next, courtney regulagan here. >> under the radar stocks coming up next on the "closing bell."
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what it is doing here. shares are very, very strong, as you can see. upgraded to a buy from a hold. solid during the third quarter sales reported this week. how are we looking at the volume. >> this is not exactly one of your most heavily traded issues, right? >> no. >> very heavy volume on ethan allen. the company telling ethan allen that they have revamped the company. >> we have invested in our manufacturing. we have invested in our marketing. we are changing 60% of our product program, not an easy thing to do for a company which is going to be integrated. >> now, despite that surge, helped in part by that positive
skr jim cramer, ethan allen falling 5% over the last year, trailing competitors still having a very good day today on ethan allen. gary, over to you. >> thank you, maria. apple and the fed and they are lifting a number of ecosystems. take a look at the numbers respectively here. these are apple product suppliers, knew wants communication. this is the company speculated to be everyone's new best friend. and a deal in the oil and gas sector, policies on resources acquiring geo resources, that is sending shares higher by almost 18.5%. once the merger is complete, the shareholders will hold 18% of the outstanding shares.
and that's not the only one. we are also seeing a shutterfly. it's a picture perfect deal up 5% here as you can see. why not end with some food for thought, buffalo wings on fire. not just the wings investors not phased that they will raise prices. buffalo wild wings pays 50% more for chicken wings now than a year ago. the sports are still drawing those crowds, no matter how much the wings are going to cost. >> thank you, courtney. we're coming right back with the closing countdown. next, interview with john harwood from the u.s. state of the economy and china relations. as we head to the break, here's how the major averages are trading minutes before the close.
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minutes away from the close, dow jones industrial up 83 points. nasdaq having a good day. let's take a look at the xlf, the financial etf and on a fed day, if you take a look at some of the bigger financials, how they are performing as well. we can take a look at morgan stanley, bank of america, wells fargo. investment bag and the super regionals. let's also obviously it's apple earnings day. let's look at the intraday on apple. holding its begins throughout the entire day. as we said, representing 60% of the nasdaq 100 gains. let's turn again to anthony chan. it was a fed day. was it a take away that we may not have more qe but qe in the future is not dead? >> i think that's right. qe in the future is not dead.
the federal reserve is saying that things will get better. >> all right. if we're going to say qe is not dead, will the stock market continue to focus more on quantitative easing or are we going to get back at looking at europe, which is our major concern. >> i think europe is going to be a concern. quantitative easing is another issue that the market can look at. what is happening is more important than quantitative easing. >> i think they may have rang the bell early. sorry about that. if you had to make a prediction in terms of the s&p at the end of the year -- if we've got to go to the s&p, what is your target for the end of the year? >> i think we can see that