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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  June 7, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> announcer: this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. holding pattern. it's the eve of two big events. testimony from former fbi director, and the british elections. and investors still face a number of unanswered questions. on the waterfront. the president wants to fix our water-based infrastructure. but who ultimately pays for public/private partnerships? price the admission. what would it cost to make college affordable for everyone? the price tag might surprise you. we have those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for this wednesday, june the 7th. good evening again, everyone, welcome. i'm bill griffeth. >> i'm sue herera.
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you could call it perhaps a sigh of relief. at least for now. the stock market, which traded in a narrow range ahead of former fbi director james comey's testimony, rose slightly today when his prepared remarks were released and there appeared to be no smoking gun, although more could come out during the full hearing tomorrow. mr. comey recalled a number of meetings and conversations and one where the president said he needs and wants loyalty. his testimony was detailed but it was interpreted by the market at least today as being less damaging than perhaps originally feared. so when all was said and done, the dow jones industrial average added 37 points to 21,173. nasdaq was up 22 and s&p 500 gained three. capping the gains was an unexpected rise in crude inventories, which sent the price of oil tumbling, its worst one-day performance in three months. investors are looking to the
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outcome of the general election in the united kingdom. wilfred frost is in london for us tonight. >> reporter: the uk goes to the polls in a crucial vote in a matter of hours. and inside the pubs of london, it's the talk of the crowd. >> i'm probably going to vote conservative, mainly because i don't trust corbyn. >> reporter: that is how theresa may hoped the election would play out. back in april, she had a nearly 20-point lead, when she called for the vote. but she's seen that lead shrink. >> i've changed my mind, i'll be honest with you. i'm siding now more to the labor vote. >> i would enjoy jeremy corbyn being prime minister, that would stir things up, it would be a new approach. >> reporter: that said,
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according to the latest average of polls by "the financial times," theresa may still has a six-point lead and her slide has stopped in the last day or so, in part because of the terror attacks. where do we stand overall? >> most people are looking for a 50, 60-seat majority for the conservative party. i think that's generally where people are settling in. >> reporter: that would mark a victory for theresa may and a result that martin sorel framed as positive for business. for "nightly business report," i'm wilfred frost, london. the global outlook is improving, everywhere except for the u.s., according to the organization for economic cooperation and development. the group is calling for the fastest global growth in about six years. but the organization downgraded its estimates for the u.s., citing delays in washington's plans to push ahead with fiscal policy proposals like tax cuts
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and infrastructure spending. improving the nation's infrastructure was the message that the president took to ohio today. his focus was on the nation's waterways and the critical role they play in our economy. morgan brennan has more for us. >> reporter: in cincinnati, president trump talked levies, dams, locks and ports, in his infrastructure week. >> 20% of the energy's cargo relies on these channels and the refineries along their shores. these critical corridors of commerce depend on a dilapidated system of locks and dams that are more than half a century old. and their condition, as you know better than anybody, is in very, very bad shape. >> reporter: the inland water ways, nicknamed america's water highway, is used by tugboats and barges to ship commodities like steel, coal, and grain.
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many of them were built during the great depression. that means more maintenance and gridlock, with nearly half of all commercial vessels experiencing delays. to fix this, congress has authorized 24 projects. but only four have begun so far. and it will take nearly $9 billion to fund the rest. the waterways council and infrastructure advocacy group for the river network says currently it will take more than two decades to fund, unless the president can deliver on his plan. >> we are very excited about the president's proposal to build these projects over the next ten years rather than the current 20 to 25 years. it will take, with the current public/private partnership. >> reporter: the devil is in the details. commercial operators already pay a fuel tax matched by the government. trump's current budget proposal would double that. there's been talk of implementing a toll system. the council and those who use the waterways warn that could push up cost and dampen demand, further denting an industrial
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sector that's already been struggling in recent years. for "nightly business report," i'm morgan brennan. fixing the nation's crumbling infrastructure is a major focus for the white house. according to "the new york times," the administration is promoting the benefits of having local governments work with private corporations to fix ailing roads, bridges, and airports. matthew goldstein wrote about it for the paper and he joins us now, welcome, matt. >> good afternoon. >> on the surface it sounds kind of like the perfect solution to aging infrastructure. but there's more to it than that, right? >> yeah. i mean, there are these public/private partnerships around the country. in just the new york area, the gothels bridge is being built with one. there's a limited track record. in the u.s., some have worked and some haven't. it's a mixed bag at this point in time. >> i always thought the point of
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municipal bonds was for municipalities to raise funds for infrastructure, and especially now with historic low interest rates, it would seem more attractive. is the attraction of public/private partnerships that it speeds up the process? >> that's in part the theory, that you cut out a lot of the red tape because you're outsourcing a lot of it to a private company to oversee it, and they can move quicker on contracting type of situations. but again, it doesn't always work. one of the things my colleague and i, patty cohen, reported on was in kentucky, they're trying to bring high speed broadband to kentucky, they brought in an australian company to oversee the project. the project is behind schedule right now for a variety of reasons. so again, sometimes these things work, and they don't work out as well as planned. europe has a much better track record with this.
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part of that is because they don't have a vibrant municipal bond market as we have. >> the bottom line is the fees basically have to come from somewhere. even if you have a public/private partnership, consumers may still end up paying, either through tolls or parking or something along those lines. they pay either way. >> right. there are going to tolls on it because eventually the money has to be paid back some way. some of the equity will come in from the corporations. but the tolls will go up. the indiana toll road, which is a famous example, where the state got a big up-front payment of $3.8 billion, but now, it ended up going bankrupt, the partners in that. the tolls have gone up, they're doubling now because the state had subsidied them. the new operators have been able to increase the polls by double. i'm sure that will have some impact on motorists there and
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i'm sure it's going to be a big jolt for a lot of them. >> besides the president, you know, pounding his bully pulpit to encourage these kinds of partnerships, are there other incentives that can be provided to get private companies to participate with municipalities on certain infrastructure programs? >> you know, it's not totally clear, because a lot of the proposals are not laid out, exactly how they're going to work. obviously blackstone is gearing up, they're raising a $40 billion fund. lloyd blankfein tweeting yesterday, goldman wants to get in on this. there's clearly a lot of interest. i talked to one money manager i know, and they recommend to a lot of high worth investors, they actually don't go into a lot of these infrastructure funds because they don't think the returns are often as good as they seem. in a lot of cases, these projects don't end up panning out and getting funded. i don't know, i think it can be a solution. i don't think it can be the full
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solution. we do have a major infrastructure problem, obviously. >> and the devil is in the details. matthew, thanks very much. matthew goldstein with "the new york times." in kansas, by the way, the legislature voted to raise tax rates, essentially putting an end to a series of cuts there. republican lawmakers broke ranks with the governor and overrode his veto of that bill to increase taxes. as we reported, kansas overhauled the state's tax system back in 2012 and it was billed as a real live experiment in conservative governance. but the economic recovery from those tax cuts never materialized, and the state found itself unable to balance its budget and fund its public schools. still ahead, how much would it cost to make college affordable? a new study has the answer.
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after numerous reports earlier this year suggested that auto dealers and lenders were writing too many loans to those with spotty credit records, a new report now paints a different picture. in fact, lenders hit the brakes on the number of subprime auto loans that they issued in the first quarter, sending them to a near ten-year low. phil lebeau has more on the changing dynamics of who is buying a car and a truck right now. >> reporter: with auto sales starting to slow down, there is a greater focus on who's buying cars and trucks right now, and can they afford the loans they're taking out. over the last two years, more borrowers with the poorest credit records have been unable to make payments. and they've been defaulting on their loans. perhaps that's why lenders have hit the brakes on subprime
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loans. they plunged in the first quarter while lenders did more business with those who have the best credit ratings. >> we've been hearing just here and there, over the last year, year and a half, various lenders coming out and saying they were going to restrict subprime. as those lenders came out and made those statements, it seemed to trickle down into other lenders in the industry. and others seemed to follow suit. >> reporter: trader credit in the showrooms comes as automakers are adjusting production schedules and the supply of vehicles rolling into dealerships. while inventory levels are slightly higher than normal, this is an industry showing greater discipline than it has in the past. that's changing how aggressive dealers can be when it comes to writing loans, especially since 25% of all auto loans are to subprime borrowers. but make no mistake. dealers are trying to come up with a payment the customer can afford. increasingly, that means extending how long it takes to repay the loan so the monthly
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payment is as low as possible. >> on both new and used cars, we see the most common loan term is 72 months. but the percentage of loans, both new and used that are financed between 73 and 84 months continues to grow. >> reporter: right now the average monthly payment for a new vehicle is $508, according to experian. for used vehicles, it's $363. both are slightly lower than what subprime borrowers pay each month. but for everyone, the monthly payment keeps moving higher, because the cost of cars and trucks, new and used, continues to rise. phil lebeau, "nightly business report," chi >> and to read more about auto loans and the car market right now, head to nbr.com. from auto loans to home loans. mortgage rates dropped last week to their lowest level since the presidential election. that caused a mini rush on lenders, not just for traditional 30-year fixed loans but also for adjustable loans.
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diana olick has more from washington. >> reporter: bargain hunters jumped right in. interest rates have actually been falling lately and last week dropped even more. the average 30-year fixed came down to 4.14%. as a reference point, rates jumped from 3.77% to 4.16% in the two weeks following the election last november. the drop last week caused a big rush from potential buyers. those mortgage applications jumped 10% for the week. refinanciers are far more rate sensitive and rates were lower for last year. a big jump in borrowers who want adjustable rate loans. this is a sign that borrowers are really trying to use every tool available to afford today's pricey homes. one caveat, these a.r.m. loans are not the super risky, no-documentation loans of the
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past. a.r.m.'s are strictly underwritten today, but they are still more risky than a 30-year fixed. i'm diana olick in washington. a new report out today from the state higher education executive officer association says it would cost $34 billion to make college financially accessible to all students. david tanberg is the author of this report and joins us now to discuss his approach to college affordability. thanks for joining us. >> a pleasure to be here. >> as i understand it, affordability is defined as 10% of a person's income going to pay off a student loan. it sounds too good to be true that $34 billion would make college affordable to all students. how would it work? >> we're focused on lower income
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individuals. we're talking about folks that reach no more than 200% of federal poverty levels. and so those are the individuals we identify as having a particularly difficult time paying for college. and so we costed out what it would take to bring them within that 10% threshold. >> you also took a look at states and the differing characteristics of those states, some of which do allow for basically tuition-free college. new york has been very aggressive on that front. other states in your study were not as effective at providing that. why is there such wide disparity from state to state? >> that is a great question. we're an organization of chief higher education officers in each of the states. so we recognize and feel it's important to recognize the diversity of the states.
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when it comes to college affordability, these factors are driven by state economies, demographics, culture, history. so in some states they have robust need-based financial aid programs, and you highlighted one, being new mexico, right? others haven't had a strong tradition of providing financial aid to low income students and may not have mechanisms to keep tuition low. we find they're further off from that affordability threshold. >> where would the $34 billion come from? >> that's a great question. we consider it a federal/state partnership. and, you know, in some states, they're a long ways off. it's going to take a number of years for them to come up with their half of that cost. in other states, they're much closer. it would only take, say, on average, nationally, about a 5% increase in what states are
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already providing. if they did that 5% increase over four years, nationally we would reach college affordability for those low-income students. now, that's not the case in every state. >> it is something to think about. david tanberg, thank you. thanks for joining us tonight. >> t the strong dollar gives brown-forman a hangover. that's where we begin tonight's market focus. profit and revenue spell at the spirits company, both missing analysts' targets. despite the miss, the distiller noted demand was strong for jack daniels whiskey. brown-forman shares were off 3% to $50.70. sales rose more than expected at home retailer "at home." earnings saw gains and matched
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estimates. the company also raised its revenue guidance for fiscal 2018. shares took off, rose more than 21% to $22.53. biopharmaceutical company advi said it saw promising results for its experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug in a clinical trial. the treatment is intended for patients with moderate to severe forms of the disease who have not responded enough to certain drugs. advi shares were up 1%. navistar reported a wider than expected loss as weaker truck sales were a drag on those results overall. revenue was lower, but it was still good enough to top expectations. and the company acknowledged it does have some improvements to make. but it expects industry conditions to improve in the second half of this year. after all that, shares fell by 1% to $29.64.
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unitedhealth group hyped its quarterly dividend. the yield on that stock now is 1.7%. shares gained 1% following the news to $183.21. and after the bell, tailored brands posted profits that topped street forecasts but revenue came up short. the owner of men's warehouse and joseph e. bank affirmed earnings this year. shares ended the regular session up more than 5% to $11.22. coming up, what's worrying the job creators of america. small business owners will tell us, next.
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here's a look at what to watch for tomorrow. as we reported, former fbi director james comey will testify before congress as part of the investigation into russia. voters will head to the polls in great britain to select their prime minister. members of the central european bank will meet to discuss monetary policy. that's what to watch for on a thursday. >> could it be any busier tomorrow? goldman sachs' consumer arm is raising rates on customer deposits, making them the highest-paying bank. the firm is trying to increase its deposit base and attract main street clients. the average rate for savings accounts is not a whole lot, currently .06%. small business owners are considered the backbone of the economy. according to the small business administration, this group has provided about two-thirds of all
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new jobs since the 1970s. and today, innovators and entrepreneurs are in new york talking about the current state of business. kate rogers was there. >> reporter: entrepreneurs from around the country gathered in new york city wednesday for cnbc and inc. magazine's iconic tour 2017. the topic at hand, how to grow your business, find the right people, and thrive. in fact, one industry veteran dropped an important reminder. it's never too late to get started. >> i'm 66. and i don't think there is any age limit to entrepreneurship. i think in fact when you're older, as i am, it's just a great time to launch something new. and that is one of the sort of motivations for me. if i'm going to do it, i have to do it now. >> reporter: with small business optimism at historically high levels post-election, some small business owners in attendance
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said they were feeling confident in their business prospects and the economy under president trump. >> i'm absolutely optimistic. i'm making sure people are more efficient and just good at what they do. it's so important right now that in spite of some of the things that are going on politically, it's so important for our organization. >> as long as you're in an affordable price range and it's not a luxury item, people are looking for something that's fun and unique. >> reporter: others are worried about changes that the administration may bring. >> i want there not to be an immigration ban, primarily because when companies are started, they're started by everybody. and, you know, that creates business for the marketing services industry. >> reporter: some, like cole, whose business is rooted in the arts, are hopeful that political headwinds will bring people together. >> when you have so many polarizing topics that exist right now in the world, it's the
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most cathartic thing to do, to continue to create and share your opinions and perspectives. as unfortunate as it may be in the political space, i think it's actually great for community and self expression. >> reporter: for "nightly business report," i'm kate rogers in new york city. that is "nightly business report" for tonight. i'm sue herera. we want to remind you, this is the time of year your public television stations seek your support. >> i'm bill griffeth. we thank you for your support. have a great evening, everybody. we'll see you tomorrow.
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>> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days,

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