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tv   Squawk on the Street  CNBC  March 31, 2017 9:00am-11:01am EDT

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last year. it's a great american success story because we have the right trees, the right land ownership rules. it's a renewable resource and the demand really -- the product makes people's lives better. the demand is growing 4 to 5% a year. >> thank you for being here today. >> thank you. happy to be here. >> we're back on monday. stay with us. "squawk on the street" is coming up next. ♪ "squawk on the street," i'm scott wapner with jim cramer live from the new york stock exchange. carl and david are off. let's get you set up for the final trading day of the quarter. look at the futures here, implied open slightly lower across the board. let's get you over to europe as well. mostly flat markets over there. there's a look at the dax, and then the ftse down one third of
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1%. the ten year yield is at 242. we're watching oil closely. getting back above $50 a barrel for the first time in a while and holding above that level. this morning our road map starts today with an historic quarter. futuring pointing to the lower -- futures pointing to the lower open as we said but stocks are setting records for q1. plus, president trump to sign new orders aimed at combating foreign trade abuses today. this as the white house prepares for a meeting with the president of china next week. and after lululemon shares plummet, hear what the ceo told jim about turning around the company's sales. the first three months of the year belong to the bulls. as we head into the final trading session of the quarter the s&p 500 is up almost 500 on pace for the sixth consecutive positive quarter. the same for the dow. the big winner is the nasdaq up nearly 9.9% after closing at a record high yesterday. jim, the dow is set for its
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longest quarterly winning streak in ten years. >> yeah, look, this is not just -- please, it's not just tl trump. a lot of it is that hillary clinton didn't win. the world is getting better. look at the markets all over the world, unless president trump is president of all the other countries, you come to the conclusion that things are indeed better and that matters. europe is better. china we have a great pmi number last night. best since 2012. i continue to believe that the world is getting to be better with the exception of venezuela. it's the only country know that's going to have down numbers. >> so we shouldn't be surprised by what the market has done in first quarter? after what happened on election night, and then things turned quickly, and they have almost been steady going up. there's a few peaks and valleys here and there. but no sort of correction that people have been looking for. >> i think a lot of the people are on the wrong side of the trade. you had a great opening yesterday on your halftime show about the companies that are winning in the nasdaq. a lot of these companies, people
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were betting against the companies. amazon and netflix were being bet against. apple was and they were fool's bets. in the meantime we had a number of positives. we had some acquisitions. a lot of biotechs announced really big new drugs that got them going. there were fundamental things that occurred not just washington. >> best quarter in five years for the nasdaq 100. why is that? is that because you're talking about a group of stocks that aren't so tied to the trump agenda so much? fed can say whatever they want. >> yes. yes. because this was a market -- think of the projection -- the progression there. first the banks go up, why? because it's deregulation. two rate hikes. then the industrials and the materials go up. because we'll lower the corporate tax rate and repatriation. the ten year is saying we won't have an economic expansion of great magnitude and inflation remains subdued so let's buy the companies that have growth no matter what. biotechs. you see names like vertex which
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has an unbelievable break through for cystic fibrosis and insight which has amazing drugs. activism had a blowout quarter. and illumina is a takeover target. and micron -- so we have an iphone that is super cycle. what can i tell you? tech is doing great across the board. people didn't expect that. people bet against tech. >> as you said it's a contrarian quarter. you would have thought just based on some of the things that the president said in the past that maybe tech won't have a great quarter, maybe health care won't have a great quarter and energy is the place to be and it was the completely the -- completely the opposite. >> there was a belief that somehow silicon valley would be hated by this president who would exact retribution on those who gave money to clinton. it was the opposite. open mind, open heart is the strategy, on the committee. he has lunch with trump and
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merkel to talk about apprenticeship. apprentice close to the game. it's something that trump cares about. >> he did tell merkel you're fired. handed her a bill -- >> i didn't know -- >> get out of here. >> they're not as chummy as you think. but you're right. when you look at the companies that went up, panera bread heavily shorted. because all restaurants are supposed to be bad. when you look at the biotechs, weren't we supposed to have pricing pressure, that won't happen. when we look at individual companies that have nothing to do with trump and have to do with a change mobile social cloud internet -- autonomous driving, bingo. what does that have to do with trump? >> is this going to be played as we go into the new quarter? >> i don't know. the dollar has been okay. good numbers because of overseas. we might rotate back to the industrials. we might. look, i'm not going to tell you that things are perfect. i had -- i had marty on -- he's
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paychex. they handle the small to medium sized business and they have not sign an uptick even though that's who should benefit from deregulation. i think the deregulation story is chronically undervalued by everybody. i was with david cote yesterday. he's retiring from honeywell. he thinks the deregulation stuff is terrific. just because it changes the attitude. makes people want to grow. united technology said the same thing. gray case said deregulation is making people feel like things are better. >> look, the words you heard at the beginning of the quarter was reflation trade. when is the last time you heard that? >> like a hedge fund, taking the money away from them anyway. what matters, the corporations. when you have a micron and they say we'll going to do 50 points better than what the market thinks. in the meantime, you've got trade relief perhaps which actually will matter. a lot of our companies have been boxed out of a lot of deals.
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you know, my wife tried to buy a john deere tractor in italy recently. i'm not kidding. it was double the listed price. you can ship it by fedex if they would take that size. i mean, the building tariffs our country hassed to fight against, john deere is the best tractor maker in the world. when you go over to europe do you think you can buy them for the listed price, but you can't ship a john deere. u.p.s. doesn't take that thing. >> what's the big story as we go into the next three months? is it going to be, look, the market has run a lot on expectations of the trump agenda. now you have earnings, earnings are the tell, no, as to -- >> i think earnings -- industrial earnings are going to surprise. when you have a company -- caterpillar is in the cross hairs of the federal government, that i raided the place. when you see that number that goes up day after day, that's china being back.
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and europe is trying to keep its currency down. they can't keep -- theyn't who be able to keep it down, because business is so good for europe. there was a monopoly on shirts and ties, people laughed at him when he moved over to europe. no one is laughing. they're laughing at lulu. but we'll get to that. >> do you think it's possible that the market has overpriced the trump agenda and overlooked some of the issues around the administration? the russian investigation. i mean this flynn looking for immunity story is going to -- it will stay in the headlines for several days now. >> hey, listen, i want immunity. i would have my lawyer do to the justice department and say, shh, my guy he's okay. i'm not going to take the fifth. but you don't like hey, i want immunity. doesn't that mean like you're hey i'm guilty, i don't like that. not the way i would approach it. ill advised way. i think people are absolutely pricing in too much of the ability for trump to get through
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everything. but when they see the numbers they may not be so down. you know, the papers are very negative. the fake news is very negative -- look, today, the journal gins up an article about how equity trading is bad. but how about bond trading which is fantastic and currency trading and the ipos that are about to come, so people sell on that. now the banks maybe are 5% too high. maybe not. but i like -- if you have two more or three rate hikes that's found money. i like found money. >> what could wreck the administration -- health care didn't. >> well, mnuchin and cohn, you get the health care guys in, if you have einstein ryan come out in his own subtle way not being able to do tax reform. but insisting we wipe out 300,000 jobs in retail by doing a border tax. that's the number i found. >> it's all about the taxes then? that's the thing you have to keep your eye on the ball with
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if you start to think that taxes are going to be delayed longer than people think. >> right. >> is that the -- >> yeah. and they will be delayed -- >> start to pay attention to? >> i'll got to tell you with trade reform, i'm calling it reform because it's true what wilbur ross says, we've been taking a beating particularly in agriculture. if you look at what the numbers will be, look at micron. look what it's selling for. and apple 13 times earnings. can it go undo to 133, yeah. >> you mentioned wilbur ross. by the way the president's going to announce a couple of executive orders he's going to sign a couple of executive orders. >> does tweeting -- if they can figure out a signing thing he wouldn't have to a photo-op. >> do a thing on twitter. wilbur ross the commerce secretary was on "squawk." should we engage in a trade war and ross said we're already in one. here's what he told "squawk."
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let's listen to that. >> we are in a trade war. we have been for decades. the only difference is that our troops are finally coming to the ramparts. we didn't end up with the trade deficit accidentally. we ended up in the trade deficit because of the way we negotiated treaties and because of the determination of other countries who don't agree with the academics who are desperately trying to have the trade surplus with us. it's not inherent in free trade that one country has to absorb all the net exports of the rest of the world. >> so look -- >> he's right. >> a big deal. they'll step up the rhetoric, but the president sign these executive orders today. >> look, some of this i would go one step further. this is friendly fire. we make deals in order to push an agenda of -- let's say of foreign aid. where we literal i will hurt ourselves. it's not just they keep us down. you know?
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we don't -- we actually offer things that would make it so that we're subsidizing and, you know, there's a tremendous guilt too. there's a guilt to some of this. where you talk to people, listen, our gdp is so big we have to help the world. go the -- go to the towns that there used to be jobs, they have helped the world, they have helped the world by losing their job. hello. by the way, i was a fair trader long before trump was. i'm not switching the agenda. thank you d'amico for schooling me on this. they have been dumping the steel. they almost hurt the steel industry. >> and that's the issue, the dumping of the steel and by the way, president trump and the president xi is going to meet next week at mar-a-lago. the president said there's going to be frank conversation around the table or on the golf course or wherever they meet at mar-a-lago. >> there ought to be. we had an upgrade from alcoa.
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do you know how many times the aluminum market has been destroyed by the chinese. look, the state companies have been providing jobs. what do they do in china? they rob our jobs but send us a lot of their pollution. 17% of the pollution in california comes from china. one-fifth of the country. >> look, this was one of the risks that the -- at the very beginning of the administration we started to talk about when you look at, you know, investing in the market. things that could upset the market. are they going to start a trade war? maybe they have softened a tiny bit some of the rhetoric around nafta. even though the president wants to have a renegotiation. >> maybe china is a paper tiger. ever hear that? maybe china is a paper tiger. maybe those conversations in florida don't go the way we think. maybe they need us more than -- maybe we have been laying down. maybe we have like you know what? throw in the -- throw ing the game, maybe to sell more shampoo? >> oh, to be a fly on the wall in the meetings at mar-a-lago.
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especially if navarro's in the room. >> oh. >> watch out. better have richard steele -- remember him? boxing referee, better have him in there. >> yeah, hey, listen, he's down there giving him the business. >> all right. ben bright, i think. coming up more on the movers as we head into the final trading day of the quarter. also ahead, jay timmons head of the national association of manufacturers on a day in which president trump is signing those executive orders on trade. let's take another look at the futures as well. final day of the quarter looks like that, at least at the beginning. we'll open lower albeit slightly across the board. with e*trade's powerful trading tools, right at your fingertips, you have access to in-depth analysis, level 2 data, and a team of experienced traders ready to help you if you need it.
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lululemon trying to bounce back one day after the stock got slammed on the company's disappointing guidance. listen to what jim asked the ceo last night on "mad money." >> laurent, after a fabulous run, just a great, great, great comeback of let's say years, you reported a number that was good, but you gave us dramatically weaker than expected guidance. help us here. what's happened? the stock is getting killed.
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>> you know what, we have had an incredible q4, incredible 2016 as you mentioned. i'm super grateful for the team. for first time we're returning to earnings growth since 2013. we're a little disappointed, we're not satisfied with q1. we had a slow start and we're taking drastic steps to fix it. >> i mean, it was some day in the market. it was some interview. >> thank you. >> he said everything is incredible. >> did you say -- here's the problem. there's a tremendous disconnect here. >> i'll say. >> he's very sang win. they're buying back everything they can. that's a bold statement and the company was selling at 27 times earnings and it's now 29 times earnings and it's inconsistent. here's the problem, we have to say we're friendly off air. our wives we're like friends. people ought to know that stuff.
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you know, anecdotically when you talk to your wife, you know what, i bought the new balance, i bought the sweaty betty -- i think that there was basically a gang tackle against lulu from the holiday season on. where people said you know what, we figured this out. at the same time, there is a mall traffic store -- about half mall, half not. i think the real issue here, this turned out to be a fashion company, not a health and wellness secular growth story. so you've got new found risk which means it's very difficult to be able to say, boom, i don't have to worry about it. you went heavy denim. you thought it was a shift to denim. when you're on your pelleton, pal, you can't use denim. this is a pelleton play. >> you could, but it would not be uncomfortable. >> denim is hard. the woman on hip-hop, that's way out of line. >> do you think the market was way out of line yesterday? do you think -- too hard?
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>> no, low to mid single digit positive and they got low to single digit negative. it caught every person with their pants down. i do feel this is a long time come back. he said the markets were good. he did say -- he's lowered the bar to the point that he can beat it. i do worry that everybody has figured out right now what lulu's doing. i don't like a story that they say, listen f we had bright colors we would have made the numbers, huh? you know, if we had -- if our cell phones didn't catch fire we would have beaten apple. >> he said he seemed to say -- i think his words were instant changes -- >> he did. >> when they made -- made the drastic -- >> it's nice the new -- my wife said hold off on that. he's watching the show because of you. she said, listen, i put in cub cadet. never said she bought a deere.
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too expensive. >> you did say she was look at a deere though. >> she was. too expensive. $30,000. crazy. >> all right, up next, cramer's "mad dash" as we count down to the opening bell. look at the futures one more time. we'll open lower. the dow had opened lower by 20. it is though set for the longest quarterly winning streak in ten years. since 2006. more "squawk on the street" from the new york stock exchange straight ahead. yes?
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about six minutes ahead of the opening bell. time for cramer's "mad dash." you want to talk about dupont. >> yeah, ed green has created magic. he created 196 ps% gains at tyc when he took over. he's taken his -- some of his protections, small, sent it over to fmc which has a great crop protection business. he gets some cash and he gets other health and wellness nutritional business. fmc i can take the numbers up by a full dollar on this thing. this company is now batteries and ag. what a business they have got. fmc is terrific. in the meantime, dupont is one step closer now, august and september we're talking about closing on the dupont dow deal. deal will be spun out i think early. this -- >> i was going to ask you about that. that was what i was looking at. >> something is going to feel
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slightly diluted. 3 to 5% grower. they got some cash in addition. it's a pharmaceutical ingredient portion of health and wellness which is secular grower fast than the current health and wellness business that dupont has. i understand when people see diluti dilution, but this deal is much more likely to get close. we were thinking it would be a punitive -- i talked to ed today, ed green, how lucky you were you didn't have to have a punitive? some say you have to give up your crown jewel in order to merge because it's europe, no. you gave up some of the crop protection, got a unit they were looking for fmc. dupont dow closes, bingo. >> you went straight to the source. no wonder why you're fired up forther sto-- for this story. >> no, i talked to mr. magoo before this story. >> how is he? >> two thumbs up, by the way. >> opening bell coming up.
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trading day of what has been a great quarter, jim, for stocks. >> you have to expect some profit taking. i mean, seems to be worldwide profit taking last night. there's some strange things going on, that i want to talk about. cvs loses a big contract, not cbs, charlie victor, this is the kind of stock that everything is going wrong for. retail, bricks and mortar. buy most of the stuff from amazon. this is a great company. maybe we find some way nordstrom noted it was positive, this group is one group that's been horrendous. >> you know, when you look ahead to what markets are going to do better in the next quarter i know you alluded to it in the way that you looked at the rest of the world. emerging markets have killed it of late. maybe people were on the wrong side of that trade too. >> look at the mexican peso. 21 down to 18. past the rhetoric, be careful. i think that's going to be
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revised from now -- for now i don't think any of the stories about nafta are wrong. oh, my, they don't care anymore. >> up 3.5%. >> it has to do with the fact that the cash position is now 1.1 billion net which is a third of the company. >> you are watching the opening bell of course at the s&p 500. here at the big board we have major league baseball celebrating opening day. and hall of famer roberto alomar is doing the honors. and it's a biopharma that's focused on alzheimer's disease. nice to see robbie alomar in the house. >> you're talking about hof. one of the things i got older, i realized to get into the hall of fame, it's next to impossible. i mean, just -- in football, baseball. next to impossible. >> i'm sure you're in the hall of fame. >> well, for what? >> one thing we have not really talked about is crude.
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>> yes. >> within the last couple of weeks, you have been saying that crude was one of the key things to be keep watching in the market. >> yes. >> we got above 50, but we're still holding there. >> very hard to stay above 50 no matter what opec says because that's where american producers tend to sell or they go into the futures market and sell. remember, the five year curve shows literally five years out. that the price of crude is going to be at 50. at the same time, we get down to 45, 46, kind of turn off the spigot. we are the marginal producer. we're producing 100,000 more barrels every single month. we'll get the rig count, on the rig count the crude has gone down. the rig count will be up again i believe. be careful speculating that this is going to be the day that oil breaks to the upside. >> you have had some calls in the last couple of days people initiating position for a buy on some of the emps. the other names. >> yeah. >> in the energy space. is it not a good time to be buying the stocks? sfl >> no, i think some of the stocks reflect -- there's a
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great article in "the wall street journal" today about eog and what it's done to the lower costs. many of the permian players have done that to lower the costs. i think we're in a very good position in terms of the rest of the world being able to make pioneer saying like $20 a barrel they can take it out. so anything that's perm nan is good. the big trades were conocophillips getting out of the oil sands and royal dutch getting out of oil sands. listen, you need 90 to $100 to do a project up in the oil sands. please, keystone, they're not even enough customers for keystone. so don't get too excited about keystone. >> what's your read going on on the financials going forward? i mean, talk about a reversal that surprises a lot of people. if interest rates of the ten year note yield stays where it is, what happens to these stocks? >> well, these -- >> despite what they tell you in a week and a half for earnings. >> these are algorithm stocks. let's say they blow out the
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earnings and the ten year goes to 2.2. they're going to sell all of these stocks. it's about ten year, about rate hike. they want interest free margin. all the analysts care about one thing. if you raise the rates they can immediately be added up to the numbers. and forget about trading, doesn't matter. i mean, that's goldman sachs and morgan stanley. maybe morgan goes down. but i have to tell you, i think that this group is going to be -- they're going to short the group going in. and there could be a pop. if they get short. regionals, i like the regionals. >> you like the regionals? >> yeah. i have been watching -- there's a lot of talk about the regionals on your show. >> you did go head to head with kevin o'leary. >> they went up again and you have to buy them again. charitable trust is buying key, key is too cheap. cheap. big business. >> in the pull back of the financials it's been the regionals that have led the declines.
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double digits. >> now they're coming back. i think they're fine. look, this is not the group that i think is going to explode because you need to have fed rate guys tell -- call steve leishman and say i want to get on cnbc, we'll have three rate hikes. they love to talk, have you noticed? >> they talk a lot this week. >> they should have gone into espn. you can talk all the time. 3:00 show. they should have their own channel. >> you have the fed -- >> fed network. >> you're telling me the banks can't do anything unless the rates go up? >> that's all that matters. i wish i said it wasn't, but that's all that matters. >> doesn't that matter to the overall market with where -- if the banks -- >> no, it does. i care about the banks and the transports. transports had a good day yesterday. i care about banks, transports, ten year, oil. because that's what the gri algorithms care about. you need the stocks to come down a little more into the quarter. or else there will be some
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profit taking. >> i'm surprised how negative o'leary was on some of the banks even the other day. >> he's been negative the whole day. i don't want to get into it -- a tiff with him. but he's been a little negative. >> i was trying to set you up. >> he's one of the good guys. >> he is one of the good guys. i do have the tendency to get in the middle of these -- >> when i watch -- >> the dustups. >> they always fight. i mean, i don't know. >> i want to point out -- >> i come in peace. >> what does it say that today what laurent told you last night, he said he was more excited about 2017 than any other year since he's taken over. he's been there '14. >> could be premature. here's the problem. when you see a stock down 15 that's big institutions trying to get out. they're not done.
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it didn't lift, didn't lift after he said he was buying all the shares. they're not done. they can come in at 10 if they're going to buy stock. you have to let every growth guy like you said as when you interviewed chip wilson, he said they're awful. that makes them awful. what are the other guys? >> you are being kind with the word interview. that was like a root canal. >> i have to have a root canal in a couple of weeks. >> you do? >> i can analogize. they put a dam in your mouth. >> felt like it. >> oh, i didn't mind the interview at all. i thought it was fine. i thought it was fine. you -- you're too self-ever ffa >> you have gone around the ring with him before. >> yeah. the company -- they beat, they beat, they beat. then they give you guidance that's horrendous. you'll get a stock that could go down 35%. >> they have had this amazing run of double digit revenue growth.
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>> people have figured out the game. they have to be one step ahead of the posse. >> he dumped like you wouldn't know on under armour. >> well, kevin klein, he was on your show. when he came -- was that the top? was that ryan? you know, graded to the sell by the goldman, speaking of rye. talking about the brands. they don't have tequila. they say their bourbon they say they're no big enough. they're losing share in vodka to tito's. >> i like tito's and bullet. >> that's your drink of choice? i don't drink. >> drinks. i have seen otherwise. i have seen otherwise. >> on the show. i don't drink. >> pisani is a nice italian wine guy. probably a red. brunello. they said he's not ready yet. i tried to set him up so nicely, right? >> you gave a tuscany set-up. you did a super, right? >> i gave him the tuscany shake. >> look, remember, the key to this market as david asked me
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what is going to happen with micron, because it's a stock that's pretty much up the most. >> i was going to ask you about amd. speaking of the chips. >> okay. who was it that -- >> 400% in a year. >> who liked amd? >> i think josh brown. >> josh brown. people have to watch your shows because brown came in with a february 1st push of amd that was monster. >> that was him. >> it was a monster push and yesterday by the way, pete said that by western digital it was at 82, it finished at 83 and i watched your show. >> he leans on somebody -- >> it was like he plays pro football. >> ashltionmd is up a quarter o percent. do you like -- >> yes, i do. we talked about more consolidation of the integrated circuits. watch corvo, not cuervo which is not selling well.
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look at cyprus semi-they may have an apple device. the apple 8, the apple 8 gained a lot of adherence. the samsung is so loved this new galaxy overnight. it doesn't catch fire or people wouldn't be so negative. catching fire metaphorically. >> can you believe some of the commentary commentary of late on apple? there was a memo coming out there was a 200 something dollar stock. >> yeah, he technically liked it all the way. >> commentary's though completely turn on apple. >> that's not good. yeah, actually you hope that the commentary stays a little more tepid. >> big stock move does a herd make. >> no. people want to get on board. they are summer soldiers, sunshine patriots. t payne. not the buy me a drink t pain,
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but the actual guy. >> let's go to pisani. bob, we tried to set you up earlier, it was a shame you weren't ready, it was a nice segw segue. >> it's great to hear you talking together. we have had an important uptrend and an incentive that's moving the markets. let me show you what we have today. the two weak sectors, banks and energy. sort of weak here today. energy turned around, and it's been rallying. we had $50 oil here earlier in the week. i highlighted gold. it's up 8%. gold's had the best move in a year. that's one of the big winners for the quarter. speaking of the quarter, an unusual dispersion of the numbers. tech was a monster. small caps really underperformed. that's very unusual. 10 point difference between the nasdaq 100 and the russell 2000. we know that banks were weak. energy was down, but it's coming
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back as oil has been moving towards $50 so that trend has been turning around just in the last four or five days. elsewhere, europe and asia is mostly down. china up overnight. the march of the manufacturing in pmi in china was good. remember the president tweeted out that the meeting with the president of china will be a difficult one. fxi is the hong kong based china etf. and then the main land one both are up notably. not moving much on the president's tweet. speaking of etfs, the quarter is over. we'll be the first ones to tell you this is a record quarter for etfs. all time record with inflows of $130 billion. there's $2.7 billion assets under management. etfs have increased their assets under management by about 5%. what do they want? they wanted stocks. not just u.s. stocks.
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but international stocks. big in flows there as well. to a lesser extent, in flows in the fixed income. you can see most of this was equity based. etz wi let's show you the big winners and losers. they wanted s&p 500 index fund. the spyder, plain vanilla etfs. they wanted money and into the emerging markets. this is one of the big european etfs, had big in flows and it outperformed. up about 8%. then we saw the vanguard etf up 12%. all the emerging market etfs had significant in flows as well going into them. what had outflows? well, high yield had outflows. hyg we talk about that all the time, jnk had outflows all the time. we talk about that significantly. people were pulling money out of
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that through most of the quarter here. where do we go, what does this mean? and what's the sentiment right now? here's the summary, the awway i look at it. confidence is very, very high. that's the most important thing that's happened throughout the whole quarter. we have optimism on the economy. we have optimism on earnings. we have optimism on the trump agenda and what is going to matter now going forward for q2, 3 and 4 is the interplay between those three parts. earnings, 10% up on the first quarter and that's whole -- that's very, very important. a big factor on why the market has been moving up. yes, the economy sentiment is fantastic. consumer sentiment is through the roof but the hard economic datas are fair. 1.8% gdp. that's fair. not necessarily great. we need to get the hard numbers better at this point and then finally the hopes for the trump agenda that hasn't died at all. but that's an increasingly important factor as we go forward. right now the dow is down 43 points. scotty, back to you. >> bob, thank you very much. you agree, you were shaking your
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head yes when bob said confidence is very high. you can feel it and see it. >> i think confidence is heavily influenced by deregulation. i think business people are afraid they could get an executive order against them. remember for every law promulgated in the obama years there were 25 different regulations. and those are from abiligencies they sneak up on you. really i think put a lot of executives in the straigtjacket. i felt like -- geez, don't be too confident. but if you're too confident you'll go for a fall. >> i thought for a while that we were, and then the market kind of paused and swished around a little bit. >> but things happen when you get too negative. i did a piece on how fmc, frank, mary, charlie was undervalued. it was down, but up 9 today. i mean, amazon, remember amazon missed the quarter that one --
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they missed the quarter, goes down to 806. look at how it's doing on the missed quarter. you keep getting the siltdiattu where you want to go negative. it feels right to go negative and then you're hit upside the head. >> that's what the market has done. >>. it's a whamajama in the shorts. i looked at adobe, it's gone from 103 to 129. why? cloud. cloud, mobile, social. internet of things. autonomous driving. these supplant anything that may be going on -- >> funny you said that because my guy joe terranova was in adobe and he got out too early. >> everybody got out. >> pull back, pull back. >> remember, we don't begrudge the winners. you know? he won on that. let's remember. >> he did. >> it's the losers that we have
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to worry about. >> he did, for sure. >> he won on that. and joe wins a lot. still to come, rebuilding america in the age of trump. the best ways to take advantage of the infrastructure trade. "squawk on the street" is coming back from post 9. is happening before our eyes. shift in human history sixty to seventy million people are moving to cities every year. at pgim we help investors see the implications of long term megatrends like the prime time of urban expansion, pinpointing opportunities to capture alpha
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and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade all right. we are back. want to talk about infrastructure. >> yeah. there are two obvious plays that i want people to know about. one is martin marietta materials. >> not multilevel market. >> no no. no herb greenberg. this is a company that does fabulous work and has great texas business. this is a materials play, aggregate play. you would use their stuff. they're a big beneficiary of what's happening in texas. and then nucor.
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you know, not so much wall, but infrastructure. nucor, very inexpensive stock. the ceo carrying on. >> what is your take on caterpillar? another name that's sort of plays into this -- it's only $7 away from its 52 week high. they have had all of these issues and it hasn't dragged the stock that much. >> look, i hate to recommend any company that has accounting irregulariti irregularities. they don't pick the names out of the phone book to raid. i believe it's much more related to the swiss issue and the senate investigation from 2014. i think the cater pillar is going to see a big turn in china which does matter. the coal business is up. joy global, we saw that. the last quarter that they reported. i don't want to say it was a push. i think it can go higher. >> i think it's been one of the most resilient stocks in the market.
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>> so heavily shorted. so heavily shorted. why do you have to short a great company? it's a great american company. i mean, you know, i do not think that that -- >> but you just said they had the guys going in there with the jackets on the back. >> bad thing. i know. >> didn't say gart on the back. >> i know, but it's a tractor mind. keep that in mind. i'm not as nervous about the caterpillar investigation as i would be typically. i think it was the long term investigation where the company said it was cooperating. but you know what? you do need to see a big number and especially because they have already kind of preannounced a bad number. inch it -- >> does it make the bar move up a little bit? >> the stock is in the 80s. >> it's at 92. coming up next, more "squawk on the street." yes?
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okay. time now for "stop trading" with jim cramer. >> there's lef, a cosmetics
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company, it's $27, watch this piece of business. in a selfie generation where you cannot walk outside your house without putting makeup on, this is the best single play. even better it's at this price than ultimate beauty which is saying something. estee lauder i like too. incredible. this is the selfie generation, you go on youtube. they don't spend a lot of money on promotion, they do a great job. >> normally, i guess you may see a stock doing a secondary going down. >> this is priced at $27. the quarter was blow away. this is -- you know, you want to look great and you want to not spend too much money, this is the one. it's a brilliant company. people don't know it, they will. okay? >> well, they will now. >> they have a relationship with target by the way. >> the cramer effect is under way in that stock this morning. >> i had the company on. i was blown away by how good they are. estee lauder, ulta beauty and these guys.
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this one is one to watch. >> speaking of having this company on, who do you have on tonight? >> i'm going to pick the best retailer. best consistent retailer tonight. >> okay. >> i have done a lot of work. there's other -- i don't mean to slight other companies, but somebody this quarter and somebody this last year demonstrated a level of proficiency that is so great i have to opine on it tonight. >> i'd throw out some guesses but i don't want to ruin your surprise. not assuming i'd get it. >> who do you have? >> kevin o'leary this hour from the stock exchange. >> he's one mr. fabulous. >> or wonderful. >> whatever. mr. synonym. >> yeah. >> been fun. good work. >> have a great weekend. >> you too. >> good luck with the tractor hunt by the way. we'll talk about the president's executive orders on trade.
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and ron shaich on the trade -- >> he solved the mosh pit problem. >> at least somebody did. at the right moment. and when you filter out the noise, it's easy to turn your vision into action. it's your trade. e*trade. kevin kevin, meet your father. bye kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin
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good morning. welcome back to "squawk on the street." i'm sara eisen along with scott walker and kelly evans for a change here at the post 9. carl and david have a day off. let's look at the markets ending what has been a strong quarter with a bit of a whimper here. the dow is down a quarter of a percentage point, less than 50 points. the nasdaq has been really the blowout story of the first quarter. best quarter since 2013. wti crude giving back some of yesterday's gains, still trading above $50 a barrel. >> as mentioned last trading day for q1. the nasdaq on track for the best quarter in more than three years. we'll break down where you should be putting your money to work as we head into earnings season. rebuilding america, a look at president trump's infrastructure plans and that price tag. but first, our top story,
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the president expected to sign those two executive orders on trade this morning. let's go to washington, and we have details of what's inside the orders. >> sara, the goal of the new xrd xs executive orders are to root out the bad practices. >> we are in a trade war. we have been for decades. the only difference is that our troops are finally coming to the ramparts. we didn't end up with the trade deficit accidentally. we ended up in the trade deficit because of the way we negotiated treaties. >> also a review of any country with which the u.s. has a trade imbalance. the biggest one of course is china. they're looking for currency misalign, overcapacity and perhaps lax enforcement in terms of the existing agreements. that review will be due in 90
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days. the second executive order will bolster the government's efforts to collect duties it had already imposed on countries for dumping products into the united states. $2.3 billion have gone uncollected since 2001. that's according to a government report. that order will also beef up efforts to combat counterfeit and pirated products. these measures are coming of an day when the president is meeting with small and medium sized manufacturers for a roundtable discussion at the white house. they're members of a business group that has called some of the criticism of nafta and other trade agreements on the campaign trail. they said they were based on a deeply flawed myth so expect those executives to talk not just about trade, but also about deregulation. tax reform. and even truinfrastructure. >> the market likes to hear the final words. thank you. executive orders on trade, guys. this is sort of the prevailing wisdom that the tough talk on trade if it yields policies that follows suit are not that market
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or economically friendly. although you're not getting that message from the markets. i wonder if there's just this feeling that the bark is going to be worse than the bite or what -- maybe it's a good thing for the u.s. companies at the expense of the foreign companies. >> we have to watch the deals one by one. if the nafta tone looks very different, but if the headlines are it's not so bad, but they're making some changes its makes it feel like the more pragmatist side is losing out on the super protectionist side. >> the wall street post is talking about the stance softening but i think you hit the nail on the head here. it depends on how hard the administration really wants to push this trade issue. i mean, wilbur ross was pretty frank. you spoke with him yesterday and he was on "squawk." we're in a trade war.
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forget it starting or not. now we're joining the fight and no n and now let's get it on and the president is meeting with president xi next week. >> the steel industry has been the industry when you think about anti-dumping to the check give orders. what about the starbucks or the nike. they depend on china. that's the growth market. >> a great point. i think auto sector is another one to watch for how it's affected by all the things they're rolling out this week. it's the end of a quarter that has seen the markets reach for new highs under the trump presidency. as trade and tax reform loom, what might q2 look like? joining us is the director from global investments. interesting this is largely about the nasdaq and the performance of apple and amazon. what's your read? >> well, certainly tech has been very strong this quarter. but for me the real barometer on sort of this political regime shift that is under way is the relationship between small caps
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and large caps. the russell 2000 is the best barometer to see where the trump trade is or is going or is not going. and right after the election, you know, the russell went up about 20% in three weeks and it's been basically sitting around doing nothing ever since. >> yeah. >> and for me, the real action is when we start seeing now the sausage making start on tax reform and deregulation now that the ahca is out of the way, at what point does that start to reflect in the price value of the russell? and then by extension the dollar as well as the ten year and the number of fed hikes that are priced in. so that i think is really sort of ground zero here. >> the russell actually under pressure today. i'm glad you mentioned this because it did turn negative earlier this month in the thick of the sell-off and it's recovered somewhat. i don't know if you can make a call on it, but are you simply watching this from the sidelines or do you think that this is -- you know, an attractive place to invest? >> so the market -- the way i
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see it and this is confirmed when i talk to my colleagues who cover individual sectors here in the u.s. is that the markets have met the president sort of halfway in terms of the fiscal reform that has been promised. so the market is priced in half of what we might get but the other half it sort of needs to be proven first. and i think once we get into the tax reform agenda and that whole process i think if it looks credible and it looks like it can get done, i think the markets will resume their upward momentum especially on the small cap fund which as you know is a pure play on taxes, deregulation, as well as potentially protectionism. >> you don't think that the market has overpriced the trump agenda? >> no. and i think one of the things that -- one of the narratives that i think is being lost because of all of the headlines coming out of washington is that there are -- there's a pretty good global tail wind right now. for about a year we have been in a global synchronized upturn
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preceding our election in november. the whole world has inflected higher in terms of earnings. in terms of the pmis and other high frequency indicators. even if we get disappointments in terms of what we'll get out of washington and when, there's a larger underpinning here that's putting bullish. so i think that's pushing the markets up even more so than any fiscal reform that we might get. and remember, on the fiscal side unless it boosts productivity, if we get a fiscal push it's probably going to be somewhat neutralized by the fed. so the fiscal multiplier is actually going to be fairly low. if it's all based on increased demand. if it comes from new supply, that enhances productivity, that's a whole different story. >> i'm sure you could find somebody out there, you know, a group of people who would -- who could easily make a case about tail risk.
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not just tail wind. if you look at the market that says -- it's looked past so many different things it's the run of the resiliency, that could change. >> well, again, this resiliency is what is keeping the market from getting overly disappointed in terms of things not happening fast enough in washington. but it is a big part of the story. you know, earnings have inflec inflected everywhere a year ago. the dollar is off the highs which is also a powerful reflationnary factor. if we get a more disruptive sort of protectionist tilt that's translated into tariffs and things like that or border adjustment tax, that is considered to be dollar bullish. so that is a tail risk, but there is good momentum. and actually, if we're going to look at any country for disappointments we have to really look at china which is kind of keeping this global story together right now. >> so you mentioned the dollar as a tail wind for earnings. certainly that's the case. but what about as a tell for the
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trump trade? the dollar and treasuries were right out of the gate out of the election strong jump in yield. strong jump in the dollar. haven't seen that this first quarter. the dollar is down 2% and yields are basically marching in place around this 240 level. does that send a warning signal about the stock market? >> i don't think so. we had an unusual juxtaposition, we had strong dollars, higher yields usually a reflation trade is a dollar goes down, yields go up, but non-u.s. stocks outperform. in q1 it's a reflation dynamic, with non-u.s. equities well outperforming the u.s. ten year yield kind of hit its range. that's a reflationnary back drop and i suspect that will continue. >> all right. talking goldilocks this morning. thank you for joining us.
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coming up, as we await the executive orders from the president, panera's ceo ron shaich will weigh in on that and infrastructure is on focus as well. what it will take to rebuild america. we'll look at the railway system. as we head to break, it's the final day of the quarter. look at dow laggards during this period. say hello to at&t's best, unlimited data deal ever. it's a total game-changer. so now the whole family can binge,... ...surf, shop, navigate, listen, game, stream and more. all without the hassle of worrying about overages... ...or running out of data. it's less than $40 per line per month with 4 lines.
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there are unintended consequences of doing nothing as well. so as to doing something, you have to think about it this way. we are in a trade war. we have been for decades. the only difference is that our troops are finally coming to the rampart. >> well, that was commerce secretary wilbur ross on "squawk box" this morning, this as president trump's looks to pivot from the health care loss, combating the trade abuses later this morning. full ahead of his first meeting with chinese president xi jinping. joining us now here at post 9 to discuss this is pulitzer prize winn winning "new york times" columnist, jim stewart. we'll get to your column in a bit but the comments from wilbur ross, the calvary has arrived is his statement. whatrhetoric? >> i think beyond the rhetoric
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is much greater than it's going to be. these aren't new issues, it's like the united states hasn't ever as sedsessed the things to figure out where are the mute xhul interests. look at what's happening with nafta. the united states gains a lot of benefit out of these. s we have the strength -- we have the strength. we can afford to concede certain things and still win in the negotiations. i would like to think that common sense is going to prevail in these negotiations. i'm sure trump is going to have to extract some at least symbolic victories here to deliver on his promises. but i think when all is said and done, we're not going to see drastic change. >> you said they're nothing new. i guess the question investors have to be wondering is is it too late and is it dangerous to start going after issues like dumping, confrontational issues, the two biggest economic superpowers, china and the united states right now? >> i think a trade war has been the number one fear of the
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investors and they have discounted it actually happening. i have talked to administration people even before the election who said, look, you know, we're not going to have a trade war. on the other hand, trump is right. i mean, there are -- i mean, china is probably the biggest offender. they're just egregious, you know, self-protective measures in place there. but yet you have to look at the relative power of the two economies and who the -- who can afford to give more and the united states has benefited a lot from the china relationship. even with the protective measures in place in china. >> well, since you're here. i want to talk about eddie lampert and sears. it's a great column. we were discussing it. look, no one knows how and why this billionaire is going to extract himself from a retail investment that has been just one difficult chapter after another. did you get any insight in reporting and writing on this as to how this can end well for him? >> no.
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there are a few believers here. like i was saying he's a big devote of ayn rand and he's the only one who still believes and in the last chapter he would pull this rabbit out of the hat and be triumphant. but this is the real world. i couldn't find anybody to speak on the record on the support of the strategy. there are serious issues. he keeps doubling down on this. stubbornly, going down serious declines but the latest thing is, you know, really what was the first strategy. which is cost cutting. he says he'll get $1 billion of costs out of sears this year. really, what is left to cut out of this thing and as they shrink they're losing economy of scale. retail more than ever is a hugely scale business and as sears gets smaller i don't see how it competes against amazon on the one hand and walmart on the other. >> i'm fascinated by the whole reputational kind of conversation that you get into in this story.
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a guy who was so highly thought of and had these amazing annualized returns of near 30% and then in many ways it's one single investment and the inability to get out of it or to keep doubling down somehow that wrecks the whole story in some minds. >> well, what everybody said to me, they feel sort of the danger point was when he decided he was no longer just going to be a great stock picker and investor, but was going to be a genius manager. particularly of a large struggling retail chain. now, that is a huge pivot and many people just said, you know, this does happen, some successful people and especially hedge fund manager, they have had incredible success at one thing, they feel like they can walk on water. >> if kiss of death is comparing them as the next buffett.
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>> yeah, when you're the next walt disney -- when people give out the accolades out that's when you should be hiding from the press. >> isn't that bill ackman? >> right, the cover of fortune i think it was. >> retail in particular has had this kind of almost fatal allure for a lot of the hedge fund people. they did look undervalued, distressed. badly managed. i think there's been a reputation on wall street that oh these retail executives are not all that smart. you know, you don't have to know that much to be a retail executive. i think that's been proven false more than once. >> a fun read, thanks. i appreciate it. james stewart again, "new york times." when we come back, we'll have more on trade as we await these executive orders from president trump this morning. plus, our interview with the european conditioner for antitrust, the top cop there, margaret vestager and trump's america first approach and the
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the president expected to sign two executive orders addressing the trade agreements and trade deficit. for more we are joined by the economic adviser to joe biden, jared bernstein and welcome both of you. >> thank you. >> how much power does the executive branch have to renegotiate our trade deals given that congress is still having some trouble getting together on certain sides of issues. >> yeah. you think? it's got a -- the president has a lot of power on trade. i think this is somewhat underappreciated. congress by i didn't of fast track negotiation gives the president a great deal of leeway. now these executive orders are not a renegotiation at all. for that you need congress for when it comes to actually signing or ratifying a trade agreeme
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agreement. but in this case he's talking about a study of what's driving our trade deficits. that's one of the eos and the other is to pump up countervailing duties when other countries engage in dumping and the tone of what trump has said thus far is dialed way back from the campaign rhetoric on anti-trade. >> and still the tweets ahead of president xi's visit at mar-a-lago next week and that it will be difficult and that president trump is focused on the trade deficit. a lot of tough talk but will the actions match the metric? >> first let me agree with jared, that while presidents don't have a lot of power to strike new trade deals you need congress, they have an awful lot of latitude to put up counterveiling duties. there's a lot of flexibility. and i thought what's interesting about this tweet and this executive order is that the president is again focused on trade deficits as the big problem. one of the executive orders is a report examining why we have
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this big trade deficit. if that is a legitimately economically sound report, that will say that president trump's underlying economic thesis on why we have trade deficits ie, bad trade deals is wrong. that's not why we have big trade deficits. hopefully that report will illuminate the president on that issue. >> i'm sure, jared, you agree. in fact, i cannot find a single mainstream academic economist who are not the most popular group right now that thinks trade deficits are the right way to measure if you're being fairly treated in a trade relationship. >> yes and no. jim jimmy made a great point. there's not much of a correlation between trade deals and trade deficits and one of the interesting things -- in trump's letter about renegotiating nafta he says not one word about currency when we know that he has historically and not just since he's been president has been obsessed with the kind of currency management that countries engage in. but look, there's no question that having a large and
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persistent trade deficit has really hurt certain communities and certain industries in parts of this country. that's not debatable. that's not saying that we havability ben -- that we haven't benefited from trade overall, but look, president trump would not be the president were globalization had not hurt certain people. don't conflate trade deficits with trade deals, they're not the same thing. >> wilbur ross said this morning that just because you have trade deficits doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong. >> right. >> but what are we so afraid of if the action actually does meet the rhetoric? and maybe finally it should. >> yeah. well, i think it depends on what the action is. now, i think like a sky high tariff, 30, 40% tariff, i'm sorry, a dumb idea. it's going to invite retaliation. however, pushing back on currency manipulation, investing on our own manufacturing sector, trying to boost the exporter,
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paying attention to the dollar i think those are great ideas. >> how about the great depression? i mean, aren't there lessons to be learned from history here when it comes to putting up trade barriers and walls? >> right. >> i agree. >> i think the lesson from the great depression sebis about ba monetary policy than trade. that doesn't help. there are things we could be doing on trade that we have more free trade. especially china, they have the large state owned enterprises which are not operating according to market principles. that should be at the heart to push them to free up and open up their economy more. if that's what's going to be the core of the trade talks then fine. >> jimmy, on the enforcement issue sounds like there's more teeth for a variety of things including labelling a country a currency manipulator. what will that look like in practice? >> if a country is labelled a currency manipulator what happens is there's a lot of monitoring going on. that's what we have seen so far between the executive orders and
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the rhetoric. a lot of monitoring. a lot of talking. but i think you put this together, and you look at the u.s. trade deficit with china, five or ten years from now. they will look like they had absolutely no impact because they don't because it's fundamentally a macro problem. not a trade deal problem. >> we'll see -- >> it's a problem. >> i think -- >> final word, jared. >> the point i would agree with there is if your currency rules don't have enforceable disciplines, if you're not allowed to impose counterveiling duties on those who manage their currency you're not doing anything. but that would be a useful intervention. currency manipulation doesn't help us. we should strike back against it. >> although the chinese arguably -- >> the chinese are not the ones. >> -- to keep it from falling. >> the chinese are not -- the chinese are not -- >> for the trade advantage. >> it's a five year old issue. >> the chinese are not the problem, but they're not the only country out there. >> we have to leave it there. i can debate you all day, but we don't have time.
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>> thank you. >> coming up we'll talk infrastructure in the trump era. what will it take to rebuild america's railways? that's straight ahead. plus, the ceo of panera talking with us about business in the age of trump, trade, sugar and sodas and so much more. stay with us. yes? please repeat the objective. ♪ thrivent mutual funds. managed by humans, not robots. before investing, carefully read and consider fund objectives, risks, charges and expenses in the prospectus at thriventfunds.com. ( ♪ ) it just feels like anything is possible here in upstate new york.
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i'm courtney reagan. here's your cnbc news update. rex tillerson arriving in brussels for the first meeting g they want to make sure they have all they need. >> we want to build on the important voinvolvement in the fight of isis and ultimately bring stability to the middle east. a powerful bomb exploded
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near a minority shiite muslim place of worship in pakistan killing at least 15 people and injuring 50 others. it damaged vehicles and nearby shops. no one has taken responsibility for the attack. the clean-up just beginning following the spectacular fire that brought down a portion of a heavily travelled interstate 85 in atlanta, georgia. the fire occurred thursday evening and brought traffic to a standsill during rush hour. morning commuters moved at a crawl despite several schools closing. that's your cnbc news update at this hour. sara, back to you. >> courtney, thank you. president trump's former national security adviser mike flynn telling the senate intelligence committee he is willing to be interviewed about the trump's campaign possible ties to russia in return for immunity. what do we make of this, eamon? >> this doesn't necessarily mean that mike flynn has anything in
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particular to say. this could be good, aggressive defense lawyering by his defense team. here's what we know as of right now. nbc news has confirmed that flynn has told the senate intelligence committee that he will testify in exchange for immunity. "the wall street journal" is reporting that flynn made the same offer to the fbi itself. so far though the journal reports no immunity has been granted to mike flynn. here's what his defense attorney said about this. he said no reasonable person who has the benefit of the advice from counsel would subject to questioning in such a highly politicized witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution. that's not necessarily what flynn has said about immunity in the past. here's what he said on "meet the press" back in september when he was talking about hillary clinton aides themselves getting immunity. >> i mean, five people around her have had -- have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. when you are giving immunity
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that probably means you have committed a crime. >> now, president trump on the campaign trail said something similar to that. saying if you're not fill guilty, what do you need immuni immunity for? today he tweeted something different. mike flynn should ask for immunity, in that this a witch hunt. that was matched by the top democrat on the house intelligence committee today congressman adam schiff tweeting the public should learn a lot more about why general flynn wants immunity when sally yates testifies before the house intelligence committee. i can tell you, guys, that they don't want to say a whole lot about this here at the white house this morning. just asked a white house official for some comment on the back and forth between what trump said about immunity last fall and what he's saying today. they say simply as they often do the president's tweet speaks for itself. guys? >> yeah, defending michael flynn. eamon, thank you.
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eamon javers at the white house. as part of president trump's plan, rebuilding america. one of the largest and most pressing of those infrastructure projects is amtrak and it comes with a $24 billion price tag. our morgan brennan is at newark's penn station. lucky you. with more on that story. >> hey, kelly, that's right. so the $24 billion gateway plan has been years in the making. this involves the building of a new portal bridge, the doubling of capacity at new york's penn station and the construction of a new tunnel under the hudson river between new york and new jersey. the current existing infrastructure is 106 years old. and the current tunnel which was damaged during superstorm sandy is cracking. even as 240 trains carrying 200,000 200,000 passengers pass through it. so they're all urging the federal government for the work to begin with starting with the prij replacement. but president trump unveiled a
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2018 blueprint that would eliminate a future source of money for the project and gateway is on the line right now. with productivity in a region compromising 10% of america's economy. >> there's no other way to accommodate those 200,000 people a day. it would have a very direct and very dire impact. it could literally trigger a recession regionally all by itself. >> so if that funding doesn't come through or even if it's just delayed, the existing tunnel will have to come off line one track at a time within the next decade. that would mean that the 24 -- the 24 trains that run through that tunnel every hour would drop down to six. that could create rail bottlenecks from manhattan to here in newark, all the way down to d.c. up to boston. according to some experts it would extend traffic an additional -- car traffic 25 miles out to new jersey from lincoln tunnel.
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so we are talking about a major infrastructure project that has major economic impact if it doesn't get done and get done soon. >> sounds like it will create major headaches even if it does. good stuff. thank you so much. morgan brennan at penn station. you should check out how that thing used to look. speaking of rebuilding america, coming up on "squawk alley" we'll speak with jay tim ups. right after his meeting with the president. all right, when we come back, the ceo of panera weighs in on restaurant competition, trade and the possible border tax and much more. "squawk on the street" will be back after this quick break. ok let's call his agent. i'm coming over right now.
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european union regulators dealing a final blow to the proposed merger this week. i spoke with the woman who made that decision, margrethe vestager, in a first on cnbc interview. i asked her if the deal was rejengtdr rejected because the uk voted to leave the eu. >> no, it happened that during the market test, we found that there was reason to believe concerned if the remedy was viable. and therefore, there was a problem to be solved and unfortunately, the parties couldn't deliver what was needed. >> but the new company would have been headquartered in london, taxed in the uk. clearly german lawmakers were not happy with that. it didn't factor in? >> well, i think on the contrary, people had big expectations for this company to
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emerge. and obviously, you know, in europe we have no ban against monopolies. but obviously you still need to have effective competition and this would have led to the de facto monopoly. what we care about is competition and then other authorities may look at financial stability concerns. that kind of thing. but for us it's the competition concerns that are the important thing. >> i wonder how you feel separate than any of your work on the specific merger proposal and otherwise about britain triggering article 50. i have heard mixed reactions out of brussels but this is a rejection of the european project. >> well, i think there are a lot of things to be said about that. because you see a number of different reactions in europe. one of the strongest celebrations -- sort of in the streets that you would find in london as well as in warsaw, in rome.
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you still have, you know -- or you find a renewed enthusiasm in some places for working together and solving common problems in the european part of our democracy. so you have a lot of things that go both ways these days. i very much reject the notion of just problems piling up because you also see the strength of the european project at the same time. >> back to m & a talk. another big decision and that was the conditional approval for merger there. and people are wondering what that means for the other two big deals in this space that you're going have to look at. bayer monsanto and the other deals. any implications? >> one of the things that we have learned during the two investigations by the bayern monsanto, not notified yet they're very different in nature. they're part of the acro sector
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one way or the other. but the market footprint is quite different. one of the things that were of course important in the dow dupont case we could look into whether there were overlaps, whether the two companies competed head to head in the pesticide sector and we wanted to make sure that the remedy was viable because of the divestiture of the r&d organization that will enable another company to take the place. also when it comes to competition and innovation. >> the new trump administration has made it clear it's pursuing an america first policy. do you fear backlash for going after all of these american tech companies? >> well, we have an obligation to the european citizen. to make sure that you as a consumer can enjoy the benefits of competition and europe is open for business. but obviously it's not a market open for misuse of dominant position, for cartel or tax
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evasion or any of this. what we want is a vibrant market where you actually compete on the merritits and that's what we about. not what flag you fly or whether you're publicly or privately own. it's willing to be out there for the consumer to enjoy the benefits of competition. >> europe's top anti-trust cop, margrethe vestager. more in the next hour. kelly, watch this space. this idea that she and her counterparts here in the u.s., the approval for deals with more protectionist talk and more -- i mean, look at what's going to happen on the executive orders on trade. are they going to stop approving cross border deals? she said that the london stock market merger was not about brexit, but it came on the day that the divorce talks were triggered, to talk about leaving the eu. >> i saw the jers told -- germans told those eyeing it,
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don't. don't. she's talking about that anxiety especially after last night, jpmorgan said they think more hostile deals are part of the next wave. >> we'll see. we'll see what they approve. i talked about the apple tax case which apple and the irish government are bringing to court. and her three outstanding cases on google. we'll have that on "squawk alley." >> speaking of, john forth hn f look at what's coming up. >> that's right. good morning. blackberry stock is up nearly 15% after earnings. we have the ceo first on. also, that company shifted a lot of the operations to the u.s. in the software era. we'll talk trade with him and continue to talk trade with some experts and take a look at how tech's done at the close of the quarter. all that and more coming up on "squawk alley." hello, my name is watson. i am helping 8 million taxpayers get the largest refund they deserve. one million people can benefit from precision cancer care. 197 million passengers can fly with less turbulence.
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as consumers grow more health conscious, restaurants are working to keep up, panera responding to calls for clean ingredients is now rolling out healthier beverages and signs that indicate that sugar levels and calorie counts. joinings here at post 9 for a change is panera bread ceo ron shaich. >> good to see you panera sara. >> my nickname. you're the first chain to label
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the calorie counts on the sodas. >> and the sugar. >> and the sugar. >> the added sugar. >> what led to this? >> you know, we have a long standing 20 year tradition of really trying to do what it takes to serve our guests. and it's very clear we remove t the antibiotics 15 years ago, and the trans fats and we were the first ones to post caloric information. and three years ago we listed a no no list, artificial colors, flavors, we completed that in '16. time for the next step and the next step for us is to really address beverages. the real serious question we have in this country is the levels of sugar within beverages. we thought the way to deal with people, to help them, really help them is to provide two things. one, real options so we brought out a range of low sugar and moderate sugar beverages. they are essentially fruit and water intake.
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and at the same time, we thought the information was power. we want to offer people the opportunity to know how much added sugar is in a 20 ounce cup of soda or -- >> so you have a deal with peps pepsico? >> we do. >> did you talk to indra nooyi about this before you made this call? is she angry with you? >> i don't know, we spoke with the people at pepsi, they're aware of it. they themselves are coming from the same place ultimately. they're in a process of trying to evolve their business, a broad range of nutritionally positive foods. >> so why didn't you just go to pepsico and ask them to bring more diets or pure leaf unsweetened tea? they're also as you said moving in this direction. >> because these are really craft beverages we make every day in every cafe. it's the panera way. panera has a long history of taking products that have been heavily commercialized and processed, taking them and doing them the way you would do it at home. >> why do you got to rain on our parade?
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when we're going to get a dr pepper, we know it's high calorie and a lot of sugar. i don't need to see it in my face. >> you have a dr pepper, it's 64 grams of sugar. the usda suggested allotment for sugar is 50 per day. so you're taking your entire daily -- >> do you not drink it? >> i do. on occasion i do. but it's an indulgent beverage. it's a good thing to have when you want, but the reality is you have to think of it the way you think of candy. and you need to think of it in this context. one dr pepper is the equivalent of two large chocolate chip cookies at panera. >> so you're trying to sell less sodas in your stores? >> no, we're trying to offer options for people that allows them to make the choices they want to make. and the problem we have is we haven't had enough low sugar options that are really good and aren't filled with chemicals and preservatives. >> would you consider getting rid of soda altogether? >> you know, scott, i think there's -- you know, we're not the food police. and it's not our job to, you
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know, say you shouldn't do this or that. what we really want to make sure we have are real options and real transparency and leave it up to you to make the decision. you know, this idea that people eat in only one way is silly. you know, we were talking at the break, sara, there are days in which all of us decide for breakfast we're going to have something a bit more indulgent. then we cut down on our calories or we cut down on our sugar or our fats later in the day, we adjust. so all we're trying to do is do what it takes to take care of our guests, give them information and give them options. >> we also talked in the break your stock was killing it. you're not that far, just 256, 52-week high is 260, why do you think investors have responded in the way they have? >> well, the reality is panera's been the best performing restaurant stock. we measured over the last 20 years barring none it is singly the best. the reason is we haven't focused on the stock price. we haven't even focused on
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profits. what we've focused on is making a difference in the lives of guests. five years ago we began making a series of commitments. those commitments included digital. they included a fundamental commitment to wellness and moving our menu to 100% clean. we made a commitment in a very real way to loyalty. largest loyalty program in the country. and recently we've made a commitment to rolling out delivery, part of an omnichannel strategy. the reality is when we did it nobody believes in it. today those are the themes of the restaurant industry. >> so chipotle stock has gone the other way, i know there's a bit of a public spat between you and their ceo who told business insider they're fighting for the bragging rights here, they're the first to go fully clean. that you're not really doing that because you still use industrial ingredients, whatever that means. >> to be clear i'm old friends with steve. we've helped them along the way every time they've needed help in a whole bunch of ways. the reality to your point, sara, is we went clean now over the
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last several years. we were the first restaurant company. i think chipotle, we salute them for following us. i think this week they announced they were going clean. >> cramer this morning said that you have solved what he calls the mosh pit issue. >> with all due respect, scott, jim stole that from me. >> okay. he's been critical of starbucks. and you mentioned this whole omnichannel thing. it's like you order, go pick it up and then you have to body surf to the counter to pick up your sandwich. how serious of an issue is that for that side of business? >> it's a really serious issue. one of the reasons we've been working on this for five years, we spent two and a half years prototyping it and what we found out is when you bring digital on, you fun e unfetter demand. demand lands in that cafe. you walk into a cafe that has digital and new look at what we call the kitchen display systems where orders are coming in, it lights up like a christmas tree on christmas morning. and the reality is what we need
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to do was go back and reengineer the operating systems to be able to accommodate those volume rushes. so it's not about digital. it's about operational integrity and total quality management as part of a broader guest experience. >> finally, very quickly, ron, on the trump agenda. you have a lot to gain from corporate tax cuts. >> yes. >> you pay a high rate as a domestic restaurant company. are you doubting that now after the health care bill failed? >> i think we all have to doubt it. i mean, i think that we all have to really ask where's the leadership coming from, is congress going to be able to get together with the president and are we going to see the kind of public policy changes we all want? >> so little less optimistic, is that fair? >> yes, very fair. >> boy, you're less optimistic on these key parts of the trump agenda actually being put forth? >> for sure. are you not? >> i mean, just because they failed on health care doesn't mean they're not going to do tax cuts or anything else. we got to go. >> ron, thank you. good of you to stop by. we'll have you back onto talk more trump agenda.
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>> pleasure to see you. >> ron shaich is the ceo of panera. >> as we head to break, the dow's down 33 points, s&p lower too. but this nasdaq is a juggernaut hanging onto a three-point gain. much more ahead. stay with us. madness games.all your live ncah get directv for $25 a month when you have the new at&t unlimited plus plan. e*trade's powerful trading tools, give you access to in-depth analysis, and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade sometimes they just drop in. always obvious. cme group can help you navigate risks and capture opportunities. we enable you to reach global markets and drive forward with broader possibilities.
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welcome back to "squawk on the street." i'm wilfred frost. as we discussed late last year and early this quarter, when yields rise, so do bank stocks. as we found out in march the opposite also holds true. january and february were fairly steady and positive for banks. crucially yields were not falling. and then in march a double whammy, yields fell across the curve and also the curve itself flattened. this shot shows the very strong correlation between the ten-year yield and the banks index, both yields and banks falling during the month of march. what about other factors? well, the slipping of the trump legislative agenda clearly a factor too in terms of what it means for things like tax reform and legislation albeit slightly overstated as it relates to banks because a large amount of financial deregulation can be achieved through appointments and tone as opposed to needing laws. there's also been less of a pickup in m&a than late 2016 optimism suggested which has led to lukewarm investment banking
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commentary. that coming alongside less positive loan growth in the last two months than some expected. that's all reduced hopes for q-1 earnings which begin on april 13th. now i will send it back to post nine for the start of "squawk alley." thank you, wilf. and good morning. it is 8:00 a.m. at spacex headquarters in hawthorne, california. 11:00 a.m. here on wall street. and "squawk alley" is live. ♪ ♪ good morning. welcome to "squawk alley." i'm here with kelly evans and sara eisen once again. >> carl has

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