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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  June 8, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> announcer: this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> the former fbi director gives a motive but stops short of saying there was a crime. and wall street watches intently. need a loan? why more people and small business owners are looking to silicon valley, not the big banks. call blocked. but those unwanted robocalls seem to keep coming. what you and your telecom company can do to stop them. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report," for thursday, june 8th. good evening, everybody. i'm sue herera. >> and i'm bill griffeth in tonight for tyler mathisen,
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obviously coming to you this evening from the new york stock exchange, where traders spent most of this day just riveted by washington, weren't we all. wall street did not appear too concerned about what the former director of the fbi told lawmakers. in fact towards the end of james comey's testimony on the russia investigation, the dow actually hit a record high before pulling back. the nasdaq did close at one today. many investors do not think the hearing produced a smoking gun that could harm the president's business-friendly agenda. in the end, the dow jones industrials dow jones industrials added eight points, closing at 21,182. nasdaq gained 24 points and the s&p moved fractionally. while the drama wasn't felt on wall street, there was plenty of it on capitol hill. e m eamon javers has more. >> reporter: the integrity of
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james comey was questioned by president trump. >> i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of his meeting. i thought it important to document. that combination of things i had never experienced before. it led me to believe i had to write it down. >> reporter: comey said he gave the okay for portions of his notes to be leaked to the press after president trump tweeted that comey should hope there were no tapes of their conversation. >> i woke up in the middle of the night on monday night, because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation, there might be a tape. my judgment was i needed to get that out into the public square. so i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. i didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. i asked him to because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. >> reporter: before a hushed audience on capitol hill and tens of millions watching on tv,
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james comey's first public appearance since being fired by president trump left the most important question unanswered, on whether he thinks the president's behavior relating to the investigation of michael flynn amounted to obstruction of justice. comey deferred to the newly-pointed special counsel investigating russia's interference in the election. on whether he believes the president colluded with russia -- >> it's a question i don't think i should answer with an open setting. >> reporter: the president's attorney marc kasowitz fired back at comey, questioning his credibility while embracing comey's statement that the president himself was not under investigation. i'm eamon javers in washington for "nightly business report." the other big story is coming out of great britain. according to exit polls, theresa may's conservative party may not have a majority in parliament. wilfred frost reports from a
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rainy london this evening. wilfred? >> reporter: hey, sue, yes, indeed, if this exit poll is correct, then we're headed for a hung parliament, where nobody wins an outright majority, a reminder that there are 650 fea seats at play. the conservatives predicted to get 314, 12 short of a majority. 17 less than they had before this whole process. what next? well, there's no clear coalition partners for the conservatives, either they will try and form a weak minority government and all the uncertainty that comes with it, or labor, who have come second under jeremy corbyn and done well, gaining 34 seats to 266, try and form a coalition with some other partners. there are some possible partners as well, the scottish national party, the liberal democrats, and the greens could all reasonably be expected to come to an agreement with the labor party. but that only totals 315 seats.
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still short of the 326 to get a majority. so you could describe this as the perfect storm of uncertainty for markets. that is the reason why, as you said, the pound fell initially some 2%, sue. >> let me ask you a question, wilf. knowing theresa may is a brexit hard liner, what do the results many for the brexit process going forward? it's probably too early to know at this point. what do you think? >> reporter: it's a great question. the first takeaway you would have to say is the intention to begin brexit negotiations in two weeks looks fairly unlikely, it's not even sure we'll have a firm government by then. the second thing is to say that if theresa may goes ahead with a weak minority government, her hand will be a lot weaker than it would have been had she not called an election, and certainly weaker than she wanted
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it to be by calling this election. the second eventuality, if labor did manage to get together a coalition, it would rely on parties like the liberal democrats who want to have a second referendum and stop brexit. it's interesting to see the reaction of the pound, which is down. some traders say if this result came about, in the long term the pound could rally if brexit didn't come about. >> wilfred, thank you so much, wilfred frost reporting from london tonight. bill? with the news out of great britain and the james comey testimony now over, what a day this has been. our guest is chief investment strategist at janney montgomery scott. no real smoking guns in the testimony, or at least that seemed to be the response of the market, mark. >> i would concur, bill. the fact of the matter is, i think the market let out a proverbial sigh of relief toward
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the end of the testimony. at the conclusion of comey's speaking, the market ran up 60, 65 points. it gave most if not all of it back by the end of the day, but the relief was we didn't hear anything particularly new, there was regurgitation of what was already out there, and as a consequence, the market seems to have dodged a bullet. >> what does this mean for the agenda of the trump administration, which is focused on business-intensive sectors, infrastructure and things like that? do those stocks then get kind of a second wind? >> sue, i don't know if we see an uptick that quickly, to see a reassertion of trump trade. we still have an independent investigator looking at the russian circumstances and probing around the same things that were brought up in the course comey's testimony. it hasn't necessarily gone away, it's just been deferred or
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deheightened by way of the activity surrounded it. it will continue to lurk out there in the background. meantime we have an economy that is doing reasonably well in terms of posting positive growth. but some of the economic data we've had over the last two months has been comparatively soft, from what we saw earlier in the year. so markets are unlikely to regain that economic sensitive footing until we see better economic data to support why earnings should be beneficial to those more interest-rate-sensitive sectors. >> before we let you go, we know that since the brexit vote, the ftse has been up appreciably, the stock market there in england. but the pound has gone down. now we have these questions about the uk vote results. what happens now, do you think? >> bill, i think it's complicated. i think the good news is that brexit is likely to continue going forward, because it was supported by both the tories and labor. but the fact is, you saw this parallel trade between the pound strengthening and the strength
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in the ftse. i think that's going to be unwound, because obviously the decay we're seeing in the sterling at least so far is indicative of the concern relating to the inability to get a majority government and in fact we could see another david cameron with regard to theresa may actually resigning, which would create some chaos in government. i don't think it's a positive at this juncture by any stretch of the imagination, particularly in the shock wave associated with how wrong once again the polls were in assessing who is going to walk away with the majority. >> we're seeing chaos in the markets already. thanks, mark. >> that happenks, bill. the european central bank seems to be taking baby steps toward cutting stimulus. policymakers didn't make changes to interest rates but did deliver a modest change to their guidance. the ecb moved to drop a reference to the possibility that interest rates could move even lower in the future. but the president of the central bank did express concern about inflat
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>> measures of underlying inflation remain low and have yet to show convincing signs of a pickup as underutilized resources are still weighing on domestic price and wage formation. underlying inflation is expected to rise only gradually over the medium term. >> and while inflation does remain low, mario draggi added that the growth in the eurozone is exceeding expectations. here at home, the house of representatives is poised to replace dodd/frank. the vote was largely along party lines. republicans said that the bill was making it harder for community banks to operate. the bill's fate in the senate is uncertain. tech companies are invading
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new territory and it has the nation's big banks on the lookout. that's ahead. about 3 million potential first time homebuyers have been shut out of the market over the past decade. according to a new study, tight lending and a shortage of affordable homes in many markets has reduced the pool of potential buyers. first time homebuyers are considered a key component of housing demand. the results of the study suggest the market's recovery for the past few years could have been even stronger. nordstrom considers going private. and that's where we begin tonight's market focus. the retailer said that members of the nordstrom family had created a group now to explore the possibility of taking that
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company private. nordstrom also said no proposal has been made yet. but investors seem to like the possibility and sent shares up 10% to close at $44.63. alibaba sees revenue growth that blew past analysts analyst expectations. shares popped by 13%, $134.34. j.m. smucker saw sales fall because of weak demand for coffee and pet food products. cost cuts helped offset the decline. that allowed revenue to top street expectations. earnings also fell, but they came in ahead of estimates at the same time. shares off more than 1% for j.m. smucker to $128.51, sue. bill, drug maker valeant said it would sell inobviovo to
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unit jointly owned by equity partners and carlyle group. shares rose to $13.26. in a regulatory filing, clothing retailer urban outfitters warned same store sales are falling in the high single digits, a steeper drop than what the street was expecting. that news sent shares lower by 10% to $16.35. yahoo!'s shareholders approved the sale of the company's core assets to verizon for $4.5 billion. according to reports, verizon will lay off more than 2,000 employees at yahoo! and at aol as it works to combine the two units. when the deal closes next week, yahoo! will change its name to altaba. so shares of yahoo! rose thanks to alibaba's forecast we just told you about, to $55.71.
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traditional banks are facing some tough competition from the likes of tech companies, of all things. compa like amazon and paypal and square are issuing consumer and small business loans. ben mcclanahan joins us tonight to talk about this. you have to pity the banks, they had the financial crisis, then they had dodd/frank, they've got low interest rates they're facing, and now this. amazon in particular, why is it that they are getting into this business and why are they so effective? >> it's hard to say whether they're effective at this point. it's been a reasonably quiet effort so far, six years in they've built a loan book worth $3 billion. they've done that using all the terrific data they've got on businesses and their goods
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through their platform. it's about half the units that amazon ships worldwide is delivered by these sort of third party businesses. what amazon has done, cleverly, is take a look at all the sales, sales histories, sales projections, the seasonal bits, and judged certain pockets of these businesses to be worthy of credit. it's given them offers of tens of thousands of dollars. >> it's also, is it not, because the amazons of the world and other tech companies are not as restricted or as restrictive as the banks are with their lending standards. >> that's a very good point. i actually talked to the head of amazon lending, as they're calling it. he didn't actually know which regulator he should have kept abreast of this, that's a sign of the regulatory vacuum these guys are operating in. you're right to observe that the big banks in particular have been suffering. they say, suffering under a punitive supervisory regime over the past few years. that's made them wary of lending to anyone who might default, who
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might sue them later for sort of wrong advice. >> don't they have to be chartered to make loans? how does this work regulatory-wise? >> this is something i plan to do more reporting on. as i said to the guy yesterday, i asked him, what's the supervisory situation, do you have state by state banked license, are you federally chartered? the answer is no. i suspect it's because they're not actually creating money, they're recycling their own cash deposits. that's entirely within board. i think the fact that the regulators haven't kept a close eye on this has been a boost to amazon's fledgling business. >> do you have a gauge as to how predominant this might eventually become? >> $3 billion in six years isn't bad going. $1 billion of that has been within the past 12 months. that's a very much an acceleration of the pace. as you said earlier, it's not just amazon. square is doing it, the payments processing company. paypal has two separate businesses, paypal credit to consumers and paypal working capital to small businesses.
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together, we're probably talking about $10 billion, which is a tiny pinprick in the context of jp morgan chase with its $2 trillion balance sheet, but as i say, there's a sharp pace of acceleration. >> amazon started as a small pinprick as well at one time. >> that's right. $18, now it's worth a thousand. >> ben mcclanahan from "the financial times," thanks for joining us, very interesting. coming up, what the industry is doing about robocalls and how you can make them stop. we've all been there. you run to pick up the phone and instead of a friend or a family member, it's that pause and then a recorded voice trying to sell you something or collect a debt
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that you don't even owe. robocalls like those are on the rise, i didn't have to tell you that, despite a government crackdown. the ftc this week announced $280 million in civil penalties against dish network including for robocalls. why are the calls still rolling in? andrea day has our story. >> hello, this is rachel at card holder services. it is urgent that you contact us. >> reporter: it's a robocall, an automatically dialled call bothering americans. so nothing, alex developed an app to try to stop the madness. >> it's a pitch from emily the travel spammer or a fake microsoft. there's nothing worse. >> this is an important notice regarding your automobile. >> i get probably i would say ten calls a day. >> reporter: the government's do not call list was supposed to stop these pesky telemarketers. why does it seem like it's getting worse? >> the do not call registry
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actually works for legitimate businesses. the problem is all the people who don't respect it, who are the scammers who could care less. >> reporter: that's right, the new technology we love to use has also made it super easy for scammers. >> unfortunately it works. people fall for the scams enough to make it worthwhile. >> reporter: we sat down with the federal trade commission, the agency behind the do not call list. the ftc says consumers lose $350 million every year falling for roboripoffs. >> the ftc investigates unwanted calls and we do try and track down where these calls are coming from and bring law enforcement action to stop them. >> reporter: but according to the ftc, most robocalls come from overseas, where scammers try to stay outside the reach of regulatory authorities and blast out calls for next to nothing. last year, the ftc received nearly 3.5 million complaints about the calls. that's up 60% from 2015.
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the federal communications commission or fcc also regulates telemarketers and sets rules for providers, telling us, quote, unwanted calls including illegal robocalls and telemarketing calls are the top consumer plaints the ftc receives each year. the technology has made it easier to spoof calls where it looks like the calls are coming from your bank or someone nearby. >> now they're coming in from my own area code. >> reporter: how can we end it? the fcc is testing letting providers block calls that are likely scams. according to the trade group that represents most landline providers -- >> we can return trustworthiness, the industry is working on standards for that front. >> reporter: the wireless carriers trade group says it's united in its efforts to defeat robocalls. these efforts collectively stop more than a million robocalls every day. but for now, this man says his free app could help.
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>> it plays an out of service greeting to any number we think is a bad guy. >> reporter: his biggest tip, don't talk to strangers. >> everybody has to get out of the habit of picking up the phone and answering if it's a number you don't know. >> reporter: when you get robocalls, write down the numbers and share them with the ftc. go to complaints.donocall.gov. they'll pass the information to apps that can block the call for you. i'm andrea day for "nightly business report." >> the big phone companies like t-mobile, verizon, and at&t are taking steps to flag and block those robocalls. but is that enough? is there more they can do? roger chang, executive editor at cnet, joins us. is there more they can do? >> they've actually taken quite a number of steps to block robocalls. i don't know if they've done as much as they possibly can, but they've definitely taken a step
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in the proper direction. most carriers have programs in place to automatically detect and block robocalls. they can't get to all the calls, which is still a problem, as legitimate telemarketers still get through. it's not 100% yet. but there is sort of a concerted effort. the fcc has something called the robocall strike force, as dramatic as that sounds, sort of a group of these phone companies that have gotten together with the fcc to fight robocalls. >> the other day, roger, we have a landline, yes, we're dinosaurs, but the phone never ran rang. now i read they're able to send a message without even ringing these days, right? >> yes, the new trend is ringless robocalls, your phone doesn't ring and you have a voicemail that pops up. a company is actually trying to argue that because you're not being technically called, they
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shouldn't be falling under the consumer production rules. the fcc is arguing or is considering that proposal now. the attorney generals of new york, kentucky, connecticut, have already expressed their desire to the fcc that the fcc squash this attempt. there's still aggressive attempts to get more robocalls into our homes. >> bill is not a dinosaur, because i have a landline as well. but does it work the same way, or is there an advantage if you are only a wireless consumer versus one with a landline? >> if you're a wireless consumer, you have a few more options. t-mobile, at&t, all the major wireless carriers have programs in place. some of them are all, some of them you have to opt in, that automatically detect some of these robocalls. but they obviously don't do enough to catch all of them. i know my wife, a majority of her calls now are robocalls, they're from telemarketers. the best advice is to not pick them up. she's pretty smart about it, if she doesn't recognize the
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number, she'll just hang up really quickly. >> i guess that is the best advice. roger, thank you. we appreciate it. roger chang with cnet. >> i solved it, i don't answer the phone even if i recognize the number. if it's important, they'll leave a message. >> that's "nightly business report" for tonight. i'm sue herera. thanks for joining us. we want to remind you, this is the time of year your public television station seeks your support. >> i'm bill griffeth. thank you for your support, by the way. have a great evening. we'll see . ♪
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