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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  May 31, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> announcer: thihis is "nightl business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herer big winner. tech stocks helped lift the nasdaq in may, recording its seventh straight monthly gain. what might happen in the weeks and months ahead? health care battleground. lawmakers are back in their districts, and the debate over medicaid expansion is playing out far from the capital. rise of the machines. well, not so fast. why some say robots will not steal jobs and that they may in fact create them. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for wednesday, may 31st. good evening, everyone, and welcome. i'm sue herera. tyler mathisen is off tonight. the month of may is in the books. and what a month it was. earnings results were upbeat.
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the global economy steadied. and volatility was subdued except for a slide mid-month driven by political turmoil. investors plowed money into the nasdaq which saw gains more than double that of the s&p 500. today the dow dropped 20 points. nasdaq was off four and s&p 500 fell one. the decline in energy shares trapped the price of crude, which touched a three-week low to settle below $50 a barrel. tonight it's time for a new segment we're going to debut. it's called "investors edge." we'll help you see what the pros see by highlighting the information they use so you can make investment decisions like the pros. we're joined by john najerian, welcome, john. >> great to be with you. >> great to have you with us. this basically is a way for the
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long term investor to see what the big guys on the street are doing and where they're moving their money. >> true. what we do, sue, we follow institutional trading and hedge funds. and by that i mean trades of usually $10 million or more, which is usually bigger than most of the rest of us are making trades -- >> we aspire to do that. >> exactly. and if you follow these guys, maybe you will, because a lot of the bets they're making are basically bets based on what has the best upside potential from that particular point. >> so you follow the money in the simplest form, following the fast money. >> exactly right. >> where is that money going at this juncture? may is in the books and we're heading into summer. >> crude oil is down for the month, and had three weeks of declines within the month, breakdown $50 a barrel.
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the crude oil stocks that make money from crude oil being higher were getting hit worse than the commodity itself. we think a lot of the fast money right now is betting on a rebound. i know tom lee has made a similar call. and it's a little bit of an outlier but that's where the big institutional money, sue, is going right now, into big stocks like exxonmobil, which i do not own, but that group, including fracking stocks which were down harder but we're betting on a rebound. >> the steel sector is much smaller than energy, your choices as an individual investor are more limited. >> these two, i own both of these, u.s. steel and ak steel. u.s. steel is symbol x, ak steel is akx. both of these have been seeing some decent money flow after a big selloff. they were betting on the infrastructure spending that president trump talked about. it didn't happen. they came all the way back down
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to where they were before the election. now people are betting maybe something happens in the second half of the year and they want to get in for the last month of the second quarter. >> so as we say, this is to give the investor an edge. but do you then follow those fund flows or that money flow? and how quickly do you usually change? i mean, because those are big money trades. >> sure. >> they tend to trade more often than the individual investor. >> exactly. we try to parse through, sue, the very short term trades. in other words, derivative trades, options that are out there. two or three weeks into the future, that's not a long term trade, but the options that are out there in september and december, which we're seeing now in bigger and bigger numbers in both energy and steel stocks, those are the ones we're following. so i think you can, you know, sort of follow the fast money without risking quite as much as they had to buy coat tailing on
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them. >> great to see you, thanks so much for joining us. a weak report on housing pressured the market today as well. and that's because prospective buyers are being hurt by a one-two punch -- low inventory and rising prices. pending home sales, homes under contract but not yet closed, fell for the second straight month in april during what should be the strong spring selling season. diana olick has more. >> reporter: you can't buy a house if you can't find a house for sale. that's the problem plaguing the housing market this spring. the number of buyers signing contracts to buy in april fell 1.3%. some were expecting a slight gain. these so-called pending home sales which close in a few months are now down 3% compared to a year ago. the trouble is too little for sale just as demand is growing. more listings came on the market in april. but supply is still down 9% from
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a year ago. realtors say they did not expect the situation to improve much this summer as homebuilders are still operating well below historical norms. the hotter months are unlikely to cool demand, which is why home prices continue to sizzle. for "nightly business report," i'm diana olick. >> the federal reserve says the economy grew in april through late may with most regions describing growth as moderate to modest. in the central bank's latest survey of economic conditions, the labor market is being characterized as tight, with companies citing worker shortages across a range of occupations. the fed said wages are rising but that inflation was little changed from its previous reports. president trump has not yet made a final decision on whether to withdraw from an international pact aimed at slowing climate change. the president, who met with his epa chief today, is expected to make a decision soon. some reports say he's leaning towards withdrawing from the
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so-called paris accord. and that pressured shares of both solar stocks and also coal stocks. the solar industry says it expects to thrive no matter what the decision. but some coal companies are concerned that an exit could lead to a global backlash against that industry. meantime, big business is urging the president to stick with that agreement. those companies include chevron, exxon, exxonmobil, i should say, walmart, microsoft, apple, nike, among others. as we mentioned earlier, oil prices today touched a three-week low as rising libyan production fueled concern that the opec-led output cuts are being undermined. but the dynamics in the oil industry could change. venezuela, one of the largest oil producers, is in economic crisis in large part because of the drop in prices of oil over the past couple of years. jackie deangelis explains why the energy market is watching venezuela so closely.
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>> reporter: venezuela's economy has been teetering on economic collapse with widespread shortages of just about everything, including food and medicine. low oil prices could be catastrophic for the country, because venezuela sits on more oil reserves than saudi arabia, roughly 300 billion barrels. and production is little more than 2 billion barrels a day, accounting for 95% of the country's export revenues. but with unrest on the streets and oil revenues downs, the government has less money to invest in the upkeep of its oil fields and refineries and less to invest in new technology and projects. >> if the government doesn't get a handle on the turmoil, we're simply going to see this -- they'll have an inability, utter inability to produce almost any oil. given that it's 95% of their export revenues, that's a horrible recipe for the country. >> reporter: the situation could worsen quickly.
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a mass exodus of oil producers could cause production problems. meantime, what happens in venezuela isn't contained there. these events could also impact the overall oil market. a loss of a million or possibly 2 million barrels a day could be a black swan event that spikes prices globally just as they settle around 50. >> we've seen crude oil has come back into a trading range, about $45 on the bottom, $52 on the top, absent some sort of catalyst that could expect it to stay in that range through the end of the summer. >> reporter: a drop in venezuela's production plus opec's recent cuts would be enough to burn through another global glut. the worst case scenario may not pan out, and it may not be tomorrow, but it's rising on the radar. if a regime change occurred, many expect investment in the oil industry to ramp quickly again. i'm jackie deangelis for
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"nightly business report." ahead, unclear prognosis. why a cabdriver in little rock is watching washington closely. new york city is the latest metropolitan area to cut ties with wells fargo. the mayor and the comptroller say they will vote to bar agencies from renewing or expanding contracts with the bank. they will also support the move to ends wells fargo's role in managing bond sales. new york city is one of the largest bond issuers in the country. the decision is in response to the bank's fake account scandal. ohio's attorney general sued five drug companies today. the office is accusing them of misrepresenting the risks of
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prescription opioid painkillers. the companies are also being accused of committing medicaid fraud. this is the second suit of its kind brought by a state, after mississippi. it includes johnson & johnson, teva pharmaceuticals and allergan. purdue says it shares the attorney general's concerns. johnson & johnson called the allegations unfunded. the maker of epipens may have overcharged the government more than a billion dollars for epipens. the department of health and human services said between 2006 and 2016, the u.s. government may have overpaid mylan. that dollar amount is nearly three times a proposed settlement that the company announced in october. mylan says the company continues to work with the government to finalize that settlement. north carolina's largest health insurer may increase rates by more than 20% for the second year in a row, tied to
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uncertainty over subsidies for low income enrollees. >> this is an urgent situation. we simply need to know what the rules of the game are going to be for 2018 in order to hit affordability as well as stability. >> if those cost sharing subsidies are funded next year, blue cross of north carolina says it will still need to raise rates but by only about 8.5%, not 20%. lawmakers are back in their districts this week. but as senate republicans work on their version of the health care bill, there's one issue that looms large. what will happen to the expanded medicaid program for low income americans? and as kayla tausche reports, that debate is playing out in little rock, arkansas. >> reporter: george coleman drives a cab for a living but struggled to pay for health care as his asthma worsened and the cost of his medication got higher. >> it can range from $400 to
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$600 a month. >> reporter: coleman is one of 330,000 330,000 citizens of this state who would be affected. governor asa hutchinson says the popularity has made the program too costly to maintain. >> we estimated 250,000 that would go on the expansion. and that soared to 330,000. >> reporter: this month, the state moved to pare it back, adjusting the qualifying income levels to reduce enrollment by 60,000 people. >> we're curtailing those numbers as a cost saving measure. and it's not an easy thing to do. >> i think we've laid the groundwork here for reform in arkansas that will be sustainable over the long term under the status quo. >> reporter: for arkansas hospitals, the status quo works.
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here at the university of arkansas for medical sciences, the number of uninsured patients fell 80%. the clinic turned a profit and hired more than a thousand people. what's more, the state as a whole saw no hospital closures. but with looming cuts to these health care programs, dr. dan ron says that stability and growth is at risk. >> we're being very careful about long term capital investments. no community can experience economic development in the future in it does not have sufficient health care resources in that community. >> reporter: medicaid expansion is dividing senate republicans as they draft a new bill, pitting lawmakers from states like arkansas that expanded coverage against those who didn't. president trump tweeting today, "republican senators," whom he called good people, "should pass their proposal quickly." arkansas is trying to make its program last either way. for "nightly business report," i'm kayla tausche, little rock,
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arkansas. michael coors is tightening the pursestrings as sales fall. that's where we begin tonight's market focus. the handbag retailer missed same store expectations, saying its product offerings didn't appeal enough to consumers. the company saw overall revenue fall but those results still beat expectations. michael kor plans to shutter stores over the next two years as it focuses on achieving profitability. shares of molecular diagnostics company exact sciences surged after news last night that united health care will cover the cost of their screening kit. it said patients between 50 and 75 will be allowed to use the test once every three years. shares popped 11% to $36.47. after the bell, cybersecurity company palo alto networks reported revenue that
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grew thanks to more customers. those results came in ahead of expectations. the company also saw profit come in above estimates and it gave strong guidance for the quarter. shares initially surged after hours and also ended the regular session up 1% to $118.59. the federal aviation administration accused united airlines of flying a plane it says wasn't air worthy. the faa is proposing to fine united nearly half a million dollars for failing to inspect a newly installed fuel pump switch back in 2014, and then allowing the plane to make 23 flights before inspection. united says it's working closely with the faa. shares were up a fraction to $79.67. coming up, think a robot is going to take your job? you might want to think again.
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whirlpool is renewing allegations that its south korean rivals illegally undercut prices on washing machines. the company says it plans to make a filing with the international trade commission against samsung and lg electronics. the issue has been simmering for a while. if the trade commission decides in whirlpool's favor, it could recommend that the white house step in and put tariffs on the rivals' products. jetblue may soon start to scan your face. the airline is testing facial recognition software in an effort to streamline the boarding process. passengers will step up to a camera, and the kiosk will compare the facial scan to the passport photos in the u.s. customs database. the system will start next month for flights from boston to aruba. and innovations in technology is all the talk now
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at the annual invitation only code conference. it was created to bring together some of the biggest names in business to discuss the future impact of digital technologies. julia boorstin talked with the head of netflix about his business and where the industry is hea >> reporter: netflix has grown to over 100 million subscribers around the world. but it faces more competition than ever, as amazon and hulu invest in original content and youtube and others launch streaming services. of all these rivals, reed hastings tells me he's scared of amazon. >> they're so scary. everything amazon does is so amazing. how are they doing so many business areas so well? it's like they're trying to repeal the basic laws of business. we're continuing to watch them and be impressed with them. they're helping to grow the industry because they're investing in the content. >> reporter: while he says he's scared of amazon, he tells us
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he's not going to try to out-amazon amazon. he won't buy sports rights just because amazon is investing in nfl games. he's talking about how they'll compete to reach consumers in the digital age. hastings tells us he's focused on growing netflix's library and continuing its global expansion. >> we've done awfully well in latin american, in europe, and of course in north america. we have a lot of room to grow in asia and a lot to figure out still. >> reporter: you're licensed in china, are you still trying to launch there or is that off the table? >> i think that's off the table for the next couple of years. >> reporter: hastings says netflix's success is not at the expense of the traditional television business. >> very few people have cut the cord. we're about 15 million people in the u.s. and we've seen 2 or 3 million of 50 cut the cord. don't think we're driving cord cutting, that's probably mostly from pricing. cord cutting is like 2 or 3% per year, like broadcast ratings
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over the last 30 years. it will be a very long, slow, secular decline, no big calamity. and then they'll adjust the economics. >> reporter: whether it's "the new york times" on twitter or netflix bringing movies to theaters, they're debating the best way to connect with billions of consumers. i'm julia boorstin in california. speaking of the code conference, venture capitalist mark andriesen says robots are not stealing jobs. that is contrary to what some are predicting will happen more and more in the labor market. he used concerns over self-driving vehicles as an example, arguing that this new industry will create many sub-industries and therefore jobs. >> it's a recurrent panic that happens every 20, 50 people, people are all amped up that machines will take jobs and it never happens. this goes to kind of the
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fundamental kind of flaw in the logic, which is technological change causes productivity growth. productivity growth lets us produce more of what we already make with the resources. that's what frees up the spending power to create lots of new things, lots of new demand. that's what creates new industries. 100 years later, we look bs. back on it and say, i can't believe anybody was ever a blacksmith. >> we have two guests with opposing views on whether or not robots are stealing jobs or will steal them in the future. a professor at columbia university who says robots are not stealing job. our other guest believes they are. he's a scholar with yale university's interdisciplinary center for bioethics. welcome, gentlemen, nice to have you here. we set the segment up with that comment from mr. andriesen. you obviously would not agree
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with what he says, but it's an interesting theory, is it not? >> it is, but it's a backwardly-looking theory and it really doesn't look at the kinds of technologies that are coming online now. i would argue, actually, that automation is already putting downward pressure on wage growth and job growth. we see that. technology, yes, contributes to productivity, but it's a slow, anemic contribution. and real wages for goods-producing workers have been flat for almost 50 years now. >> what about that? there's no doubt that we're seeing innovations in technology, the 3d printers that are now creating all sorts of different things that humans used to have to work on. why do you argue that robots are not going to take jobs? >> if you listen to mark when he's talking about the impact over the last hundred years, it is a story of change. i mean, none of us tries to be a train engineer or a blacksmith anymore. there's been massive change. actually millions and millions
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of jobs have been created driving those cars that got invented, airplanes, designers, mechanics. those are the millions of jobs of the future that we're inventing now. >> wendell, is it as simple as certain industries may be more vulnerable to others? to amal's point, new technologies create sub-industries that create jobs. >> for sure. >> there are other industries where that is not happening. >> exactly. i mean, consider now that you have 3.5 million truck drivers in the united states. self-driving trucks are going to appear on u.s. highways long before self-driving taxis appear in u.s. cities. so what are those truckers going to do when they lose their jobs to trucks that have been tooled to be self-driving? so i think sometimes we miss the point that the jobs that are being created are not the same as the jobs that are being lost.
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and you can't always move the same people in the workforce from one segment to another. >> amal, to that very issue, we've talked a lot about the fact that if indeed robots do start to displace, not necessarily replace, but displace some workers, one of the issues is the lack of retraining for those new sub-industry jobs that may be created. >> it is a point that's often made and i think it's a point that's often overlooked on this, which is we don't have enough people. we don't have enough people in america to keep on growing and doing all the great things we did for the last hundred years in this country. if you look at 2070, where we want to be 50 years in the future, for our country to expand and grow so our children are living better, we'll need two to three times as many people in the labor force as we have now. we're a country that's shrinking our labor force in the long run
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due to aging. the same technology that's extending people's lives is taking people relatively speaking out of the workforce. we'll have relatively fewer workers in 2050 or 2070 than we have older people that need to be supported and younger people that are alive. technology is the only thing we can turn to to boost our productivity to make people more effective. >> wendell, what do you think about that? we don't have enough people at this point. >> well, i think that's not quite true. i think there's a large segment of the workforce that does not have jobs right now. that's projecting that we're going to stay on the same course that we were in the past. but the important thing to note, and let's be clear from the outset, both sides cherry pick their statistics here, the important thing to note is there's a decoupling between productivity growth and wage and job growth. so productivity growth continues where the other two have stayed
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relatively flat. so that's an important thing to keep in mind when we're talking about the creation of new jobs, particularly when we're going to see the disappearance of jobs from technicians that read x-rays, from paralegals that do searches on who owns various properties. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. we appreciate it. from columbia university and yale university. >> thank you. that does it for "nightly business report." i'm sue herera. thanks for watching. we'll see you tomorrow
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