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tv   Squawk Alley  CNBC  May 4, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm EDT

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third straight week of gains. crude oil below $37, trading at five-month low. fuelled by smaller than expected drop in oil inventory. energy the worst performing. most of the stocks leading the decline. that does it for this hour of "squawk on the street." balk downtown to the start of "squawk alley." it's 8:00 a.m. at facebook headquarters in california. it's 11:00 on wall street. "squawk alley" is live. ♪ ♪
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good thursday morning. joining us this morning, henry blodget and eric sheridan. we will talk tech and media. right now, the house is in the early rounds of a vote on a bill that would repeal and replace the majority of obamacare. republican leadership sounding confident they have enough votes to pass the measure. >> the house is holding procedural votes related to the health care bill after wrapping up their morning conference. here is what republican leadership said after the meeting ended. >> we cannot wait for how obamacare is collapsing. we have to transform this. that's what we will do today. >> about 16 gop lawmakers remain opposed to the bill. republicans can afford to lose up to 22. if democrats remain united in
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their opposition. just a few minutes ago minority leader nancy pelosi spoke to reporters and slammed the bill. she said the bill messes with medicare and as well there's opposition from the american medical association and from the aarp. i am told that president trump spoke with house speaker paul ryan this more thning about the bill. the white house has spent top officials to capitol hill to try to seal this deal, including vice-president mike pence. we will be following this all day as the vote occurs later on this afternoon. back to you. >> ylan, thank you for starting the hour with the story of the day. we are seeing a lot of volatility in media stocks this morning. viacom sales fell, operating profit down 60% year on year. julia is tracking action on a day where the early price action, julia, was stunning. >> that's right, carl. concerns about advertising and cord cutting have been weighing on media stocks. time warner earnings sparking
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concerns. they reported a 2% drop in advertising revenue, the weakest in years, raising red flags for the rest of the media industry that ad pricing and growth may not be enough to offset ratings declines. viacom reported a 1% decline in ad revenue. the ceo acknowledged softness in subscriber numbers. he addressed the threat of sku y skinny bundles. saying some of the most popular channels are included in the most expensive tier. as they posted a study saying they posted third wofrrst first quarter ever. if you account for additions from skinny bundles, the pay tv business still lost half a million subscribers. >> it's not that these customers are going to virtual over the top players. those guys were weak, too. the content category was also down by about a percent and a
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half. for any individual content player, they are doing worse, because they're not included in the every one of these packages. >> the shares are bouncing back a bit today. viacom shares have lost about 15%. fox and cbs both down 5%. disney down around 4%. comcast down about 3%. yesterday, i moderated a panel. both cbs' ceo and fox network group ceo said they are bullish on the advertising market. we will see what cbs, fox and disney report in their earnings over the next week starting with cbs after the bell today. >> that was a good panel yesterday. nice work. as we said, media volatility comes as we digest facebook earnings. worries about the ad load going forward and what that do to margins going forward. we have heard this before. they said this the last couple
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quarters. >> they're good at managing expectations. when you get this huge, growth will slow down. they are also investing very aggressively. short-term investors will look at that as a negative. it's a huge positive. they should invest more and take the margin down because they have a monster opportunity to among other things start eating the lunch of the traditional network television business, which is dieing. it's going to take a long time to die. it is dieing. >> $1.3 billion they spent on cap x. their ninth data center. in nebraska, one of the stats that was interesting out of this earnings report, the mobile ad growth was $2.5 billion year over year. that's more revenue than we expect from twitter in all of 2017. all of 2017 was just the growth -- facebook's growth in mobile in this one quarter. plus we have seen the success of how they have been able to clone snapchat features. on the media stuff, it's
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interesting. i'm not so sure whether this is cord cutting or just attention shifting. people seem to be clearly paying more attention to content on netflix, on amazon. does that mean they are cutting off the cable providers? comcast did okay. cbs is hanging in there. it's not clear how this is going to shake out. >> it's the networks that are ultimately threatened. it's not the cable business. we need to connect. we need access from something. comcast is in a great position to provide that. fewer and fewer people are going to watch traditional network television. if you think about what has to be live, what netflix and amazon and all the others can't do, it's news and events. you are in good shape. no worries. most of television is better when it's time shifted. you watch it when you want to watch it, wherever you happen to be. there's no reason for the network model to exist. >> i want to get your take on this. before we do that, let's listen to what tim cook said about this issue in his chat with jim cramer last night.
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>> on video in particular, what we see that the video world has hit an air pocket. where cord cutting has been happening on some kind of basis, we think it's accelerating massively and that it's clear what the end story looks like here. the trajectory is a debate. but we'd like to play in this. because we do think that the best experience for a customer is to view things when they want, the way they want and have many different additional information around what they're watching. not just the linear tv feed. so, yeah, we are working on some original content now. we're learning. we will see where this takes us. >> eric, we're used to -- in technology, used to things happening slowly for a long time and then all of a sudden
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happening quickly. are we at that tipping point? >> i think we're getting there. henry raised it earlier. it's a generational thing. i have a 10-year-old son who believes video consumption is netflix and youtube and amazon instant prime videos. it's' generational thing. people are now consuming more and more video on their mobile phones. facebook plays into that broadly. that's why last night while some short term out there on investments, the investments are to be a big player in media consumption on mobile devices over the next five to ten years. that requires investments ahead of the revenue coming into the model. >> i wanted to ask you specifically about this, eric. facebook gets deeper into live video, we did learn it was going to hire 3,000 more people to monitor the content, the surge in violent videos. we talk about this. there was questions going into the quarter whether that would have an impact with advertisers. it clearly did not. fake news, live video murders,
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is that going to be a threat to facebook's user engagement or any other kind of metric if it can't get a handle on it? >> listening to the call last night, mark put this out front and center and said protecting the community, growing the community, making people feel safe inside the community and it's not just facebook. it's instagram. it's messenger. they have a broad ecosystem of applications. i think that's a first and foremost concern for the company. that's why you see investment in protecting the user experience there. if the user experience is protected, i don't think we will see an impact on the advertising side. >> eric is right. this is something that all of the silicon valley companies are having to deal with. they will deal with it. it is simple to see how they get there. they're going to have to figure out whether they want to tier it, go to professional content providers. there are different ways of solving it. for advertisers and the community, they have to fix it. some of the stuff is awful. it's unpleasant.
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>> as awful as this stuff is -- it is awful. i don't think it's the same sort of user issue as harassing content. i'm not seeing live content from strangers forced upon me. that just doesn't happen. i don't know who these people are -- they are seeing this bad content. i hardly click on live video from people i know much less a stranger. >> that's not the risk. isn't the risk that the advertisers -- like youtube, will pull out if they don't want anything to do with it? >> it's a risk. if you look at what advertisers actually want, it's always been premium content. it's what television networks have offered for a long time. there isn't the crap you have on some of the social networks. they will get that under control. if they want to still have it and give people the ability to post it, then it won't be monetized. >> 1.9 billion active users. >> a lot of investors wondered whether or not 2 billion active
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users, 7 billion in the world, at what point do you worry about running out of people? does that matter? >> i really don't think it's as primary an issue for them as it is for some of the smaller social networks. facebook is the global broadcast network, if you want to think about it as a media consumption mechanism. so i don't think user growth or even ad load growth is going to be the primary grower. i think unlike a lot of traditional forms of advertising, ads are getting better on facebook, better on alphabet. advertisers are looking to put money to work where there's engagement. the advertising revenue is less tied to user growth than it was maybe five years ago. >> eric, we appreciate that. what a quarter. a lot to get to within the f facebook numbers. we are watching shares of tesla. down 6% here. the model 3 is on track to begin production this year.
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a company losing $1.33. burning through $600 million in the quarter, second most on record. ubs does have a cautious note. big downside in tesla. i wonder if that's why the shares are at the low of the day. >> so much of testesla's price on elan musk. it's so subjective. the different scenarios bring you back to massive range in reasonable prices. when you see something like they burned $625 million in the quarter and you think about how much capital it's going to make this a reality, you can obviously get people getting conservative. with the current market cap to $50 billion market cap, somebody has to generate 2.5 billion to ultimately support that. you have to have a very clear scenario. >> this is not a stock that trades on fundamentals. >> it's related to the
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fundamentals. it's all about how they reflect on musk's grand story he is telling us about the future. again, when you see this kind of cash consumption at a company that's always consumed way more than cash than people thought, i think it spooks people. >> to what degree is it spooky to begin production at some point this year? people have been expecting a release date announcement that's a little bit more concrete. when you start talking about beginning production, you don't know how many he is able to make. how many people are going to be left holding their ticket wondering whether they will arrive. >> that's right. overall, the stock has been doing very well. we were at this point last year i think around 200. here we are revolving around 300 with these big -- it's not like people have given up on it. >> does it make sense there's confusion on these model types? >> for a man who has made his career marketing -- >> it's interesting. first of all, the names aren't that different. maybe that's why it's coming from. it's a good reminder that tech
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investors and the tech community so hyperfocused on these things, the people who buy these products aren't as tuned in as the rest of us are. >> it went from roadster to x to 3. kind of -- you have to pick something. >> i did not realize he did 3 because he couldn't do e. >> i'm waiting for the pickup truck. >> and the big truck. henry, thanks. good to see you. >> great to be here. when we come back, a cnbc exclusive with oracle's ceo mark hurd. ron howard talks to us about cord cut, streaming and original content. the latest on the health care vote on the hill scheduled for 1:15 p.m. eastern when "squawk alley" continues. you do all this research
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say hello to internet speeds up to 250 mbps. and add phone and tv for only $34.90 more a month. call today. comcast business. built for business. welcome back. oracle announcing today that at&t has signed on as a cloud customer. major database implications there. josh is live from oracle headquarters. >> thank you. i'm here with oracle's ceo mark hurd. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> as john mentioned, big news this morning. at&t moving to the oracle cloud. walk me through how this agreement, this partnership came about. >> of course, you know at&t, obviously a big company and a big customer of ours. we have been working for months together. looking at their database and environment. you can imagine how much data
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at&t has. at&t has in excess of an exabyte of data. a lot of that is in oracle databases and in large oracle databases. our agreement really is first to help bring all of the opportunities in the cloud and the oracle cloud to that database environment. tremendous opportunity for collaboration. bring cool new features to their database environment, which is what we're going to do. second, there's now access to our whole suite of applications. we highlighted one actually this morning in our joint press release, which was about our field service application. at&t has got 70,000 field technicians. that entire process for at&t will now be automated by an oracle application that's focused on field service automation. that will just be the first. many opportunities for us to collaborate today. we're very excited about it.
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>> it's a big win, mark. but you gotta show real results now for at&t. if you are going to attract other corporate customers to make the same move. >> yeah. certainly, we do. but i think the fact that we have such a significant customer that's making such a big bet on our cloud -- we did a lot of work, you can imagine, a lot of proof of concept work to show all of the things we can do together. i think just that results -- i think some of the comments made by at&t as well were just super. we're just very excited about it. >> you know, when i read about this, i thought immediately, amazon, big rival, clearly was going after your database business. what does a new partnership like this tell you about that fight? >> well, i mean, i think at the end we do things that are very different from some of the companies like what you mentioned. we have capabilities that those companies don't have. our strategy is very much around our software and our ip and our
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ability to differentiate that as opposed to solely infrastructure. just moving a piece of ip, a database from here to there to a different piece of infrastructure might get you benefits. the fact you take all of the things we can do with out database technology, really that's in the software itself. gives us a tremendous piece of differentiation and advantage. >> talking about amazon -- you have made comments about how as you see your technology is different than let's say aws, i think you said it was newer technology. what did you mean by that? >> a couple things. they built their infratrustruct years ago. we get the opportunity to build ours as a second generation opportunity, which gives us all the learning that we got from them and the opportunity for us to turn that now into competitive advantage. secondly, the fact that we actually bring our ip. you talk an example like we brought up with just at&t. all of the data that sits in the
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oracle database, our opportunities is what we can do with security. what we can do with scaleability, extension, discreet to our ip and marry that with the learnings and modernization from an infrastructure perspective, it's both of those things together that give a customer advantage. add to it our applications business. so this isn't just about infrastructure. this is about infrastructure, this is about platforms like the database, this is about security, this is about scaleability, application capability. we bring that. we believe nobody else in the industry brings all of that capability into one portfolio. >> switching to another arrival. when you last reported, i remember you said -- in your words, you were going to catch and pass sales force. did that mean, mark, you think oracle is going to do even more than the $10 billion in cloud revenue that mark said his company will do. >> we will surpass 10 billion. the only question is what date.
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when you look at our growth rate and start doing the math, look at our growth rate last quarter. 72% growth in the cloud last quarter. 86% growth in our sas, our software as a service application business. and our platform as a service business. you add all of that together and just do the math. we're going to hit 10 billion relatively soon. if your point is are we going to stop at 10 billion? are you kidding? this is tremendous opportunity for us to grow and blow way past $10 billion. >> we talk about amazon, salesforce. they really do focus on attracting third party developers. is that a big focus for oracle's cloud strategy? >> it sure is. remember, we have one of the great development platforms of all time in java. java is the most programming language in the world. attracting them, isv, partners to our cloud to develop in java.
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the opportunity with the cloud has changed things. you get access to all of that technology in the cloud that frankly in the old days had you to bring all that on premise. what do most developers -- particularly in startup companies, they would go for the least expensive technology. i didn't really have the opportunity back in the old days to get access to this sort of technology, the oracle database and java via the cloud and pay for it for when i used it. now you do. it's a big part of our strategy. >> oracle i know, mark, determined to get back to double digit earnings growth by 2018. how confident are you in that target? walk me through, how much of that is revenue versus cost cutting? >> it's generally revenue-based. clearly, we have cost leverage. a big part of our revenue becomes recurring. the fact is not only have we made a big move into the cloud, the percent of our revenue that is now recurring, either in sas, pass revenue or our support
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business is moved to become even higher over the past two or three years. certainly, we have some leverage in cost as well. about you the combination of those two things together give us a very high degree of confidence. >> there are reports, mark, just on this same theme that you are considering some kind of big cloud-based restructuring of your sales force. any color you can give me on that? >> i think that's fake news. to be very clear with you, i have seen a couple of reports over the past two or three weeks. one about us making a big acquisition. it needs to be clear. no merit to that whatsoever. >> got it. >> i saw an article about the fact that we would be cutting our sales force. there is no merit to that whatsoever. >> fake news. i want to turn also -- this was interesting. apple's ceo tim cook told jim cramer they're going to start this $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs here
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in the u.s. oracle, you make and sell high-end hardware. how do you see your role in the discussion we're having about jobs and manufacturing in this country? >> we're hiring. if you look -- we're a big hire. in the united states. we hire a lot of kids fresh out of college. we build up our sales organization, our support organization and our engineering organization really from college up. so we're a big recruiter off the college campus. we do our assembly of our high end computing products that you described right here in the united states. much of our development is done, frankly, right here in the bay area. we're a bay area u.s. focused company. that doesn't mean -- we're a global company that happens to be headquartered here in the u.s. we believe in the capabilities of u.s. engineering and our sales force obviously here is quite scaled. i think this year we will probably cut an invoice in over
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100 countries. extremely global. but again, extremely aggressive in terms of hiring here in the u.s. >> oracle i know has more than some $50 billion in cash stashed overseas. we know president trump wants to see companies bring some of that back. if the rate was 10%, which is what trump suggested when he was campaigning, would 10% be enough to motivate you to repatriot some of the profits? >> just to be clear, when you said stashed, we have it in real banks. we would like to bring it back. we obviously love to not pay tax twice. but we will do everything we can to bring it back. we will see what the legislation turns out to be. if the opportunity exists and it makes sense, we will bring all that was money back. >> mark, thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. i will send it back to you in new york. >> thank you, josh, for that great interview. when we come back, legendary
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director ron howard on netflix, hbo and amazon and the latest episode of "binge" when "squawk alley" comes right back.
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we have been watching the sell-off in media names this week. look at the chart. for the latest installment of "binge" we sat down with ron howard. listen on how you pick where a project goes from feature film to showtime mini-series to digital short. if i were to ask you if you could put a project on netflix or in theaters or on broadcast tv, it's not a fair question. >> it depends on the project. it depends on the project. if i have something that's a single viewing experience that i think maybe has sequel potential, it's extremely
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visual, you need a larger budget, then you better be able to justify a theatrical release and hope for that big box office. if you have a film that you feel can be made inexpensively but is a high concept and may compel people to go to the theater or may wind up in the award season race, that may be another argument for going theatrical first. if you are in another place where you want to make sure a lot of people are going to see this story and you don't want to risk the challenges of the theatrical exhibition, if you have a home like a netflix or amazon or hbo or showtime and you can tell your story there and make sure a lot of people see it, then that becomes a fantastic option. >> interesting discussion with howard. it used to be it would make sense to go where distribution
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would be widest. now his point is, putting a show on natgeo tells you something about the show, it reinforces the brand. a show on hbo says something about it that's different than putting it on showtime. we're getting into fine lines of distribution now. >> he seems to have a lot of love for the theater. he is saying, if you feel like you got pocket aces, you put that in the theater, no question. >> clearly if it's a franchise and he has done a few in his recent days, theatrical distribution matters. >> this idea that tv is prestigious again and can compete for these types of actors and directors and content producers with the likes of film, i wonder if the pendulum swings the other way or netflix and amazon and premium content where they spend billions on the shows -- >> that's a situation where the money does count. when you have netflix and amazon
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tossing around 6, 7 billion -- going on tv streaming has become more -- >> yeah. it's 11:32 on the east coast. we're counting down, just closed the europe and uk markets. let's see how things were shaping up. it was looking strong. >> absolutely right. a strong session for the european markets. the german dax hitting a record high. what's fuelling this? upbeat earnings, pmi, retail sale daz s data and the french e boosting sentiment. hsbc, who is better than expected first quarter profit was fuelled by higher interest rates and a weaker dollar. shares up almost 3%. let's talk beer, ab inbev. if you step a step back, more than 80% of european companies have exceeded revenue forecast
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as we appropriate the halfway point in the earnings season. as for last night's french presidential debate, macron and le pen engaged in a bruising consent. consensus is that macron won the debate. an endorsement from former president obama in a video addressed to the french people. of course, the runoff in three days away with macron holding a sizable lead in the polls. we are seeing tightening spread between the french and german bond yield. something to keep an eye on. may 7, the vote coming up. >> we will see what happens. let's send it over to sue herrera. >> good morning. here is what's happening at this hour. the death toll rising to 35 in a
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coal mine explosion that struck in northern iran. rescuers working a second day to reach those trapped inside. after the blast. up to 80 people are believed to be trapped. bodyguards rushing french far right presidential candidate marine le pen into a building after protesters threw eggs at her during a campaign stop in northwestern france. the french voters go to the polls sunday in the election which pits her against the centrist emanuel macron. benjamin netanyahu is looking forward to discussing with president trump the best way to advance peace. trump will visit israel along with the vatican and saudi arabia at the end of the month. for first time, more than half of all american homes have only cell phones. that's according to a study on household telephone patterns by the cdc's national center for health stra 'tt statistics. you are up to date.
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>> thank you, sue. when we come back, debate happening now on the floor of the house on a bill to repeal and replace the affordable care act. house leadership is confident that this time this bill will pass. the latest when ""squawk alley" returns.
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president trump on the verge of a much needed policy win. the house is set to hold a historic vote on the gop plan to
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repeal and replace obamacare. let's talk about this. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> mike, after seven years of republicans promising this and voting on it, looks like it's set to happen today. how big of a win will it be for house leadership and for president trump if it goes through? >> i think it's a short-term win for house leadership and for president trump because of the content of this bill. it's a boon to the insurers. i have to say that. as it relates to the constituencies that voted the members of congress and the president into office, a lot of the protections that are available to them through the affordable care act are going to be gutted or could be gutted by this particular law. for example, charging more pre-existing conditions, getting rid of the requirement of essential health benefits that protect people that have addiction or provides maternity care. then the annual limits as well
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as the lifetime limits. that's coverage protections for consumers could be eliminated. ultimately, it's going to come back to the people who voted for these members of congress and the president to say what did you do to our health care. >> you know the answer to that. they will say, we lowered the premiums and we got rid of a system collapsing within its own weight just in the last 24 hours aetna pulling out of the virginia exchange. >> that's going to be a very tough sell for these politicians, if some of the predictions that you just heard from michael come true. i suspect they will. it's not just michael. the congressional budget office tells us that this plan -- which is just an extension of the earlier version, over 20 million people will lose health care. premiums are supposed to go up under this plan for older people, for people with moderate income and now for people with pre-existing conditions. so this takes us back to some really big problems that loom large before obamacare came into
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affect. yes, i do think -- it's going to take a while. if they're successful. the senate standing between them and success right now. that's a big deal. if they're able to get this legislation in place and really repeal obamacare and replace it with this much less favorable plan from a consumer's perspective, they will have a lot to answer for and account for. >> the post is saying the cbo is informing a score could come as early as next week. do we believe the vote would be materially different once the score came out? >> i do think it could be material different, because we know that these members of congress then are going to see the real impact on their districts. that could have the same sort of influence that it had in march when they realized that they could be in trouble at the ballot boxes come a year and a half from now because of this particular vote. waiting for the cbo would be a smart move. i don't think politically it makes sense for the republicans, because it's not going to be favorable to them in the bill. >> let me hitchhike off that for a second. one of the main reasons a score
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would be unfavorable to them -- facts don't help these people -- is because it would show that this high risk pool idea, which is what they propose to do for people with pre-existing conditions who will face skyrocketing premiums, is deeply under funded, probably by around $200 million. that really kind of shows the lie of this republican kind of assurance that's bringing the congressional moderates on board that don't worry, we're taking care of the people with pre-existing conditions who were covered under obamacare. >> michael, there was this argument in january, can we repeal without replacing it with something viable. they seem to have decided, we have to replace it. might we be back there? the biggest plus here is that it's a repeal. maybe the replacement itself is going to have to go through a lot after meof amendments.
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it won't look like this when they are done. >> the better approach is to reform the affordable care and and do things that should have been done in 2010 to protect consumers from the insurance companies that are exploiting them. in reality, some of the things that are in this bill could have been useful at stabilizing the exchange market, which is the primary reason for the repeal. for example, the pricing ratio between younger people and older people. that could make a difference in the exchanges to allow some of the more newer insurance companies to go in and thrive. centine say they can do it. the notion of repeal is going to be disastrous for consumers. ultimately, it's going to be difficult for them to justify a vote in favor of it. >> like it or hate it, let's move on. does it make the prospects of tax reform getting done more realistic? does it bring that forward? >> i don't know about that. i think the thing i would say about tax reform is that underlying this -- it's funny we
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lost this thread. a very big tax cut, particularly for those at the top of the scale, because the affordable care act -- they're cutting a trillion dollars of spending on the affordable care act. it's funded by taxation. if you cut the affordable care act, wealthy people get a big tax cut. that was kind of part of the two-step that i think republican tax cutters wanted to commit. i don't know that this makes tax, quote, reform any easier. there is no real tax reform plan. there's this one pager with 200 words of tax cuts. >> right. they have to work on it. now they have to work on it when they get back to recess. maybe they can show they can pass legislation. >> it probably makes it harder in the following sense. if the senate now -- if the senate has to argue about health care, i don't see how that helps the tax reform effort much at all. >> we will continue that conversation when congress gets back from recess. for now, thank you.
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as we wait the historic vote this afternoon. >> as we go to break, look at shares of fitbit having a good day, up 13%. better than expected results, losing just eight cents a share of the overall, the dow and s&p could go seven straight days moving less than two-tenths of a percent. >> i'm still thinking about productivity data today. the current estimate our first look at this quarter wasn't great. last quarter is revised. that's important. why? we will talk after the break.
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welcome back. i'm brian sul wlivan. the four concerns that you need to be aware of before you make another move in the stock market. plus, the one department store that a retail analyst says you gotta buy now. the debate over stock buybacks. when a company like apple announces a buy to buy back stock, should you buy in? a lot of questions. we have answers. >> thanks very much. let's get to the cme group. rick? >> thank you. i would like to welcome my special guest, tim. we see a half a percent revision the last quarter productivity. the look for this quarter wasn't stellar. the market seemed to have liked it. rates went up. productivity is key.
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maybe that helps the weak fourth quarter gdp. tell the folks where productivity is important and a simple version of what it is. >> we want to make this meaningful to people. here is how i think of it. productivity boiled down to the simplest basis is what's left over after you put people and money to work to make stuff. how this ties in and what this number means to us is if a currency is stable and steady and strong, productivity is better. why? because the money that's at work making stuff stays stable. if the currency weakens, people have to put more money to work. it's like a teeter to ttter. if you are movie ining the fulc people can't figure it out. long run, if we continue to have an inflation target from the fed like you and i were talking about, that's a problem for productivity. >> why is it a problem? >> because, again, inflation is making things cost more.
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which means the value of the currency is declining. >> maybe it's one of the reasons we have this dragging productivity. >> exactly. and weak jobs. you have to have more money left over when you put over when you put money and people to work in order to hire more people. so if the fed continues to inflate prices by depreciating the currency, it impacts productivity and slows down our economy. >> all right. well, we've had low rates and we've had good jobs numbers that haven't translated into growth. we've had low rates. what's the problem? why wasn't productivity better? >> so i run an equity market data analytics firm so i think in terms of patterns and comparisons. what is a good jobs number? from 1955 to 1985, 30 years we averaged 1.6 million a year. that's 130,000 a month. that was 30 years ago. we have 100 million more people. 200,000 jobs today is not enough to produce 2% growth. so if we want 3% or 4% growth in
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an economy with 325 million people, 255 million people in the workforce, 152 million of them with jobs, we need 300,000 jobs a month. that's what we have to achieve. >> now, is there anything in the final half minute we have, you're saying the fed by playing with the fulcrum is hurting productivity. >> yes. >> the problem is that currencies is almost a weapon of export destruction. all developed economies are in debt. it seems like it's going to be hard for all these economies to be the productivity winners. your final thought. >> i think this is where the current administration may be on to something. what you have to accept if you want an economy that's strong is that everybody's economy can be strong simultaneously. why? because always productivity will move to wherever the strong currency is. so we have to settle with being better. i think that's okay. >> nothing wrong with bowieing better. we call it the mike ditka form
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in the chicagoland area. being number one isn't important, it's all that's important. thank you, tim. john, back to you. >> nothing like a quote from ditka. straight ahead, shares of square hitting an all-time high. much more when "squawk alley" returns.
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since late november. that's closing in on a 4.5% loss today. a lot more on that in a few moments.
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welcome back.
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square out with earnings. a dramatic move up in the stock, up nearly 10% on what's been a good week for jack dorsey. >> a very nice week indeed. square up nearly 50% this year. broadly the payment space has been a great spot to be long in 2017. paypal, mastercard, visa, first data also just smashing the s&p's return year to date. pier to pier money transfers are especially hot. the venmo and square cash apps of the world, even apple may be looking to get into this game with a similar offering. now, after earnings yesterday, we did have the chance to sit down with square cfo, sarah fryer, and get her take. >> i think there's tons of room. if you look at p to p, still so much happens in just cash and checks. that's the bigger market opportunity to go after. >> the thing, though, is p to p
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money transfer serves are typically money losers. we also asked friar some trading activity. this year jack dorsey has sold more than $30 million in square stock and buying $10 million in twitter stock. here's what she said. >> jack receives very little other compensation from the company so i think it's totally appropriate that he would begin to diversify. so i don't view it as selling one to buy another, i view it as him diversifying. he still has massive ownership of square, so very much aligned to growing our company and that will akrccrue to him as well. >> attributing that to diversification. back over to you guys. >> interesting that square is doing well, twitter also not doing badly lately. i'm watching snap right now, up better than 5.5% after facebook earnings seemed to suggest that
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maybe they're eating into snap. so good week for a lot of people. >> the weakness really centered around commodities, miners and retail to some extent. not a good day for those sectors at all. we'll keep our eye on oil. let's get over to brian sullivan and "the half." all right, carl, and thank you. welcome to "the halftime report" today. four big issues threatening the markets and your money. falling oil prices, fear over all the market complacency, d.c. dysfunction, of course as we await the big health care vote, and the fed's next move. these are all big topics and we tackle them over. scott is out, i'm brian sullivan. welcome, let's get going. we start with threat number one. oil falling below $46 a barrel. it's at $45.75 right now. that is a


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