tv Nightly Business Report PBS December 19, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
>> tom: at&t ends its effort to buy t-mobile. it opts to pay billions to pull out of the deal rather than fight the federal government. what's next for the shifting telecom landscape. >> suzanne: and with just 12 days until it expires, the battle over extending the payroll tax cut still rages on. >> the idea that tax policy can be done two months at a time is the kind of activity we see here in washington that's really put our economy off of its tracks. >> suzanne: it's "nightly business report" for monday, december 19. this is "nightly business report" with susie gharib and tom hudson.
"nightly business report" is made possible by: captioning sponsored by wpbt >> tom: good evening, and thanks for joining us. my colleague susie gharib is off this week. i'm joined by suzanne pratt. suzanne, at&t made it official tonight: it's hanging up on its deal to buy t-mobile's cellular network from deutsche telekom. >> suzanne: tom, the early termination fee on this contract is a hefty $3 billion in cash, and another $1 billion worth of wireless spectrum and roaming services. >> tom: the deal began to run into trouble after the justice department sued to stop it this
summer. the federal communications commission also opposed the merger. in a statement today, at&t said, "the actions to block this transaction do not change the realities of the u.s. wireless industry," citing the demand for more capacity to serve more and more wireless devices. porter bibb is managing partner with media-tech capital partners. nice to see you again. >> great to be here, tom. >> tom: is this the right decision nine months into this almost $40 billion deal to pay $4 billion to walk away? >> $3 billion in cash and another reputed 4 billion in spectrum and assets and other little door prizes that deutsche telekom will walk away with, is it the right decision? they didn't have a choice. at&t basically painted themselves into a corner on this transaction. if you roll the clock back to last march when it was first announced, it was met with almost universal
acclaim. everybody including the fcc said okay we'll take a hard look at it but this deal is going to be beneficial because what at&t announced at that time was they're going to have the world's largest 4g spectrum network, they're going to offer all kind its of new services and capabilities for the exploding world of tablets and smart phones. >> tom: so porter what happened between march and today? >> very, very bad management on the part of at&t. i am sorry to say that they missed the boat with one of the things, mr. stevenson at&t's chairman said last march, this deal is going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, which it might well have. because they had to retrofit all of the t mobile towers. they had to expand into new territories with their new spectrum. and they didn't create jobs. and what the deal fell apart over was the competition.
everyone saw that prices are going to go up. service is going to go down. and everybody piled on. not only the fcc and the justice department but seven states sued at&t. >> tom: you mentioned the c.e.o. randall stevenson, this was his first big deal as the chief executive officer. >> right. >> tom: what does this mean for his tenure? >> i think that he's going to have a hard row to hoe right now with his board and with his shareholders. because at&t basically is going to get very little out of this and lose, as we just talked about, close to $7 billion. >> tom: let me ask you about that figure. because it's $3 billion in cash that has to write a check to deutsche telekom before the end of the calendar year, a lot of money to cuff up. but you are saying it sweater than twice that that's almost a 20% breakup fee this was a $40 billion deal and are you saying at&t is going to lose 8. >> that is an indication of the confidence that both deutsche telekom and at&t had in getting this deal patsed through the regulators. and as i said, back in march,
it didn't look like it was going to be held up. but all of a sudden, the at&t story started changing and they got very defensive and they actually in november withdrew their application from the sec killing this deal. >> tom: so what's next for at&t. does it go out and try to buy this spectrum elsewhere to continue to meet that demand that continues to grow for data services, especially? >> i think they have to. and i think they will end up mitigating some of that $7 billion breakup cost by acquiring some of t mobile's spectrum from deutsche telekom. but they won't buy the company. they can't do that. and that might be a prize that maybe dish network, which has-- had very, very hungry eyes looking at t mobile could execute. >> tom: porter, does this quickly become a case study on how not to do a multinational billion dollar deal? >> it a classic.
this was the biggest deal of the year, the biggest deal in telecom of ten years and it's a classic case, absolutely. >> tom: porter, we appreciate the insights from the m & a desk, porter bi bi,-- bib-- bibb, managing partner of media-tech. >> thanks, tom 678 >> suzanne: tensions over the payroll tax cut escalated today as the house gets ready to vote tonight on a senate bill that would extend the tax cut for two months. house lawmakers are expected to reject that bill, putting the cut-- which expires at the end of the year-- once again in limbo. house speaker john boehner wants to negotiate a compromise, but senate leaders say they are sticking with a bipartisan package that passed this weekend. darren gersh looks at what all this might mean for the economy. >> reporter: speaker john boehner says house republicans want to provide certainty for job creators, and a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut will not do that. >> i've been around here a while. i've seen congress kick the can down the road, kick the can down the road. it's time to stop the nonsense. >> we can resolve these issues
and we can do it in a way that creators in our economy. provides certainty to job creators in our economy. >> reporter: the economic stakes are high. failure to reach a compromise means payroll taxes will go back up to 6.2% and emergency unemployment benefits will stop. even a disruption of a few weeks in january could hit consumers hard. >> they've depleted the savings in the last couple of years because of the hard economic times. it's hard for a lot of families to get credit. so we are going to see that decline in income translate into lower spending for a lot of households. >> reporter: washington analyst chris krueger says the failure of a bipartisan agreement now, raises the risk there will be no full-year extension of the payroll tax cut. at the very least, it is another reason to worry about washington. >> it's another example of congress failing to act on fiscal and just basic functionality issues. this, with the super committee failure, is a real one-two punch that you would think the credit
raters and others would pay notice of. >> reporter: the forecasting firm macroeconomic advisers sees growth of 2.3% next year. if the payroll tax cut is extended for a full year, that would boost growth by almost half a percentage point. moody's analytics figures the boost to growth from both the payroll tax cut extension and renewing emergency unemployment benefits is almost one percentage point. take that away and the risk of another recession rises. >> you're looking at massive job losses relative to current budget policy if you don't do these things. you're looking at 1.6 million fewer jobs for the u.s. economy if you don't pass these for a full year. >> reporter: of course, economists add that it is critical to find a way to pay for all this new spending. and one reason the senate passed a two-month extension is to give congress more time to figure out how to do that. darren gersh, "nightly business report," washington.
>> tom: cautious comments out of europe led to more selling of u.s. stocks. the head of the european central bank called any outlook for europe's economy "highly uncertain." that was enough to send u.s. stock indices lower. the dow jones industrial average fell 100 points, the nasdaq was down 32 and the s&p 500 lost 14. the selling came on lighter volume as the holidays and the end of the year near. big board volume was 772 million shares. 1.6 billion traded on the nasdaq. >> suzanne: the selling also extended into the gold market today. gold futures lost $1.20 to close at $1,597 an ounce, the fourth straight finish below $1,600. today's decline follows a rough week last week for the precious metal. and many investors are now wondering whether gold is losing its luster. erika miller reports. >> reporter: you can tell from the quiet trading at the new york gold pits today that it is holiday time. but with many traders away on vacation, there has been heightened volatility in the market.
gold fell more than 4% last week, though it ended today nearly unchanged. floor trader mihir dange says the recent selling is coming from professional investors scrambling to take profits at the end of a difficult year. >> there's profit taking right now because the s&p is down on the year, the euro is not performing that well, you are seeing other commodities not perform that well, so asset managers are just trying to take profits where ever they can. >> reporter: another big factor pushing down prices is weak jewelry demand. true, many americans are buying gold necklaces and rings as holiday gifts. the trouble is in asia, which accounts for nearly 60% of global gold demand. >> whats really come under pressure for gold prices is the fact that the physical demand that we tend to see at this time of year out of india, out of china has slowed down. so gold isn't finding support on the downside. adding to that downside pressure is the rising value of the dollar against the euro. >> reporter: gold prices have
lost roughly 10% of their value so far this month, and that has some investors concerned that the yellow metal is ending its decade-plus bull run and entering a bear market. gold is now trading below its 200-day moving average. translation? there may be steeper declines ahead for the metal. >> the short term momentum right now is bearish. we are below the 200-day moving average. we are below 1600. and on september 26, we had the 1535 low, that it may try and target again. >> reporter: but longer term, he and others think gold will continue to rally. gold is considered the ultimate safe haven investment and there are plenty of worries about instability in europe, north korea and the middle east. some analysts see 25% upside from here. >> we have a positive forecast for gold prices for next year. we expect prices to outreach 2,000 on an annual basis in 2012.
therefore, we do think prices are going to surpass the record highs that have been hit this year. >> reporter: if she's right, that gold jewelry in your christmas stocking won't just be beautiful to look at, it'll also be a shining investment. erika miller, "nightly business report," new york. >> tom: still ahead, we kick off a week-long look at businesses doing well by doing good-- it's our series "conscious capital." tonight, buying, selling and donating millions of books. >> suzanne: and tom, still no sign of santa claus rally here at the big board. what's going on. >> tom: he has yet to call yet, although maybe it's still early, that santa claus rally officially usually isn't until after christmas, no doubt though still some selling pressure here. let's get to it with tonight's market focus. between the usual worries about europe's economy and concerns about banks being held to higher
capital standards, u.s. stocks could not keep their morning gains. the day started with some optimism about stocks, but the s&p 500 fell into negative territory about an hour and a half into the trading session. ended down 1%. financial stocks were among the biggest drags on the market. this financial sector exchange- traded fund fell more than 2%. it's now down to its lowest level since late november. published reports indicate the federal reserve may accept tougher global financial rules requiring banks to hold more money against their loans. bank of america led the losers inside the dow industrials. today's 4% drop came on heavy volume despite overall market volume was light. the decline also takes b. of a. below $5 per share, down to a 52-week low. as we reported earlier, at&t dropped its $39-billion effort to buy t-mobile after the closing bell. nine months after first announcing the deal, at&t threw in the towel. before the news, at&t stock was down a fraction. it fell another 1.5% after the closing bell.
during the regular session, sprint shares were down 4%. after news of at&t's ending its t-mobile strategy, sprint shares shot up almost 8%. if there had been a deal between at&t and t-mobile, it would have pushed sprint further behind as the number three wireless carrier after verizon and at&t. we saw some stock selling in asia after the death of north korean dictator kim jong-il. as dictator, he wasn't shy about using nuclear threats and military shows of force. the market which saw the biggest volatility today was the neighbor to his south. an exchange-traded fund following the south korean stock index shed 4.5%. the drop takes the fund to its lowest price since early october. as china's economy has slowed, the south korean market has cooled somewhat. speaking of a weaker china, metal stocks kept cooling off. recycled steel company schnitzer was the latest to warn about weaker global demand. shares fell 9%.
that hurt u.s. steel and steel dynamics-- down almost 8% and 4% respectively. just last week, steel dynamics noted weak demand this quarter, issuing an outlook well below estimates. we did see a buyout in the gold business. eldorado gold will pay almost $2.5 for european goldfields. that stock is lited in london. shares of eldorado fell hard-- down more than 13.5%. volume tripled, with the stock falling to a new 52-week low. also down to a new 52 week low? jakks. the toymaker played grinch, cutting its financial forecast for the year. shares got hit, dropping 20%. the company blamed more discounts and higher royalty payments to license certain toys. finally, grains found the buyers in the commodity markets. corn and wheat futures gained about 3% each. we'll have more on agriculture coming up in our "word on the street." and that's tonight's "market focus."
>> tom: even though grain prices rallied today, corn and soybean prices have wilted from their highs in august thanks to big international harvests. that brings us to tonight's "word on the street," fertilizer. jill malandrino is with the options profits team at thestreet.com. jill, what's the outlook for agriculture commodities like corn in 2012?
>> thanks for having me, tom. well, the fact of the matter is that we've seen a global slump in commodities the but there are some really interesting bright spots. and that is exactly why i like the agriculture names for 2012. fact of the mat certificate that stockpiles are low and demand is stronger than ever and that lends to your basic positive market story. >> tom: supply and demand. so if you are bullish, you want to look at fertilizer stocks. why there instead of say farm equipment or even seed companies? >> well, for example, corn, even though the price is moving, farmers still have this demand to grow, look add chinda,-- china, look at india, those populations are continuing to grow. here in agriculture farm equipment maker said that they expect the world population to be 9 billion plus in 2050 and that global supply needs to double to keep up with that demand. that's a fantastic metric in my mind, regardless of what the underlying is doing, where it's priced, you need fertilize tore yield this time.
>> tom: there's not much more new farm land that's being made. so you like mosaic, mos is your pick. a big fertilizer company. the trend over the past 11 months has clearly been down below 50 dollars per share. what dow expect out of mos next year? >> i expect that stock to do incredibly well. out of all the fertilizer makers phosphate is the group you want to be in due to the lower own put of the raw material. not only is mosaic priced so cheap now, it's trading at eight times, it reported 101 for eps quarter in 2010 q1, traded fiscal calendar this year analyst estimates it at 1.33. that is 32% growth just from that metric alone. if they print that number real solid, and their guidance looks really confident, that stock is definitely going catch a solid bid and i really think there is a lot of opportunity here because it's been beaten down some of. and those demand metrics, this nice long-term fundamental call really does have good opportunities. >> tom: jill, do you have
any position at all in mos short or long. >> i do not. >> tom: looking at mosaic, you can read jill's article at the thestreet.com. aye link on our web site as well. our guest this evening, jill malandrino with thestreet.com. >> suzanne: here's what we're watching for tomorrow: we'll see how many homes builders broke ground on in november and get earnings from cruise operator carnival, food conglomerate conagra and athletic apparel giant nike. also tomorrow, how making it easier for more americans to go to college can help the u.s. economy. winn-dixie shares surged 70% today as the grocery chain said it was being taken private. regional supermarket chain bi-lo is paying $560 million, or $9.50 a share, in cash for winn dixie. the sale is expected to close within four months, with the chain keeping the winn dixie name. no store closings are planned and the companies combined will operate nearly 700 stores throughout the southeast.
>> tom: saudi prince alwaleed bin talal has something to tweet about-- he's taking a stake in twitter, the microblogging site. alwaleed is investing $300 million in twitter, taking a near 4% stake in the company. the billionaire prince witnessed the power of tweeting during the arab spring when protesters used the 140-character tweets to convey their message worldwide. the prince's other big investments include stakes in citigroup and news corp.
>> suzanne: grab a mug of hot cocoa and settle in. tim kane of the kauffman foundation is here with a sovereign twist on a holiday classic. >> 'twas the night before christmas and all through the zone, not a banker was liquid, not even your own. promises were made by the piigs with all sincerity, in hopes saint germanicus would delay the austerity. state unions weren't protesting, but all snug in their beds infinite pensions were flowing along in their heads. bernanke in his brown socks, obama all blue, had settled their brains that the recovery was true. when across the atlantic there arose such a clatter, they launched air force one to see what was the matter. europe was united, or so it would seem. but no, fiscal union was only a dream. france hugs spain and greece, to little avail. cross-holding sovereign debts
are too big to bail. father christmas, where are you? is their pitiful sound. in london, the scrooge nation guards its pound. would-be santas should know the real origin story. gift-giving can cause weakness and can even be gory. in third-century turkey was born the first saint nikolaos, his secret gift-giving inspired christmas for all of us. pilgrimages were made to see the relics of saint nick. where in the year 1087, some italians played a trick. they stole his bones away to the city of bari, which drive tourism today on the adriatic sea. today's sovereign debtors are angry and haughty, but that's because they're on the list that is naughty. productive workers in nations with smart regulations: enjoy your growing economies and christmas vacations. i'm tim kane. >> suzanne: and finally, this may be the season of giving, but for some companies the season extends throughout the year. over the next several nights we'll look at how some young entrepreneurs are doing well by doing good, with our series
"conscious capital." tonight, diane eastabrook takes us to northwest indiana, the home of better world books. the firm buys and sells used books and donates a portion of its profits. >> reporter: better world books is an orphanage of sorts for used books. they come into the company's mishaiwaka, indiana, warehouse by the hundreds where they get sorted, recycled, resold or donated to charity. better world's shelves are crammed with some four million hardcovers and paperbacks, with nearly 2.5 million unique titles. >> right here we're looking at a book, "understanding nutrition," that could have come in from the university of nebraska or who knows where. and it's right next to a book about donald rumsfeld-- yep it's a completely random putaway. >> reporter: kreece fuchs is one of better world's three co- founders. the trio of former university of notre dame students hatched the idea for the company in their dorm. they found they could make more money selling their used textbooks over the internet than back to the school bookstore.
>> over the course of that summer, after i graduated, i would get an email saying "your book sold" and i would run to the post office and ship the book and, you know, a few days later i sold another book. >> reporter: last year, better world made about $55 million buying and selling new and used books. the company donated roughly $2 million to literacy programs and to libraries which give better world their unwanted inventories. the public library in evanston, illinois, has netted about $4,600 over the past couple of years for the 20,000 books it discarded. >> these books will end up in the hands of people instead of landfills. so, it's really not for the money, i would say. it's just a couple thousand dollars a year, but it inspires another generation of learners and readers. >> reporter: better world is also making northwest indiana a better place to live. the employee-owned company is providing more than 200 jobs in an area where unemployment tops 11%. shipping clerk rick gonzales
feels fortunate to be working. >> it took me roughly a year- and-a-half to find a job, let alone one i could rely on. >> reporter: jennifer thompson is researching book titles until she can find a teaching job. >> i vastly prefer it to subbing. the books don't talk back as much. >> reporter: better world celebrated a milestone a few months ago. in less than 10 years, the company has donated $10 million worldwide. not bad for this young entrepreneur who passed up medical school to hawk books. >> how many people have benefited, do you think, over the last ten years? >> we think it's millions of children, you know. >> reporter: diane eastabrook, "nightly business report," mishawaka, indiana. >> suzanne: tomorrow night, as our series continues, diane takes us to a coffee importer brewing up change. it's "conscious capital" all this week on n.b.r. that's "nightly business report" for monday, december 19. i'm suzanne pratt. good night everyone and good night to you too, tom. >> tom: good night suzanne. i'm tom hudson. good night everyone. we hope to see all of you again