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tv   Bloomberg Markets Americas  Bloomberg  February 26, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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trump campaign manager by zero roger stone, brought forward by andrew miller, who refused to testify in the russia pro before a grand jury, challenging the legitimacy of his appointment. quote alls going to of the casual tease after they destroyed a fire campaign afghanistan. pakistan denies the airstrikes did any damage and pakistani television footage shows little bomb craters and down trees. the united nations envoy is an yemen to implement a peace deal in and around the city there. they agreed on the first stage of the mutual enforcement from the port city. both sides agreed to a cease-fire in december and a prisoner exchange that has yet to take place. cargoay's crash of a plane carrying packages for amazon is renewing concerns about the state the of those aircraft.
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passenger airlines in the u.s. periodported the market of safety over the last 10 years, but since 2000 nine, 16 people have been killed in accidents involving cargo planes. aviational administration is looking into safety standards of such things, like andy tori breaks for pilots are fire safety regulations -- like checking the fire safety regulations are indeed followed. global news 24 hours a day on-air, and tictoc on twitter, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i am mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. vonnie: it is 1:00 p.m. in new york, 6:00 p.m. in london and 2:00 a.m. in hong kong. welcome to bloomberg markets. i am vonnie quinn.
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from bloomberg world headquarters in new york, here at the top stories from around the world and on the bloomberg we are following. prescription. the fed chair says the u.s. economy will face conflicting signals. from elon fallouts musk's latest troubles. and prime time. i will speak with the discovery cfo gunnar wiedenfels on the company's quarters earnings this half hour. let's get to abigail doolittle. we are halfway into the trading day and a lot is going on. not too much going on with major indices. abigail: small moves on this tuesday for the major averages. on the downside now, moving between gains and losses. investors wanting more info on trade. we have fed chair jay powell and tomorrow,ay and not a lot new coming out of those comments as you can see by
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the stock market being flat, but we do have their russell 2000 down half a percent, and relative to the 10 year yield, more sensitive the fed commentary, we saw earlier today, the lows down more than two basis points, right now down more than two basis points. the 10 year yield right around where it was when the fed did make that a policy shift at the investorsuary, so wanting more clues and that is not coming out of the testimony now as opposed to whether or not it is apposite head of more rate hikes or if they are stopped at this point from a tightening cycle. that is influencing the s&p 500. we look at this when your chart, and we see over the last year arrange and battle between the bulls and the bears between 2600 and 2800. last year, the s&p 500 in the above that moving average. the fourth quarter happens and the sellers were then in control with lots of uncertainty
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and investors wanted or d.c.mation on trade, drama, and the fed been cap doubt by 2800. the symmetry of these whip sols last year may suggest we could see that once again, especially for investors do not hear more from jay powell or around the trade deal, many same it could potentially be baked in if it comes. the s&p 500, the leaders on the laggards, autozone doing nicely, eating second-quarter sales estimates, best day of the year. smokers also put up a strong quarter. -- smuckers also putting up a quarter. home depot missed their outlook, not great, and the buyback they announced not enough. finally, caterpillar, a downgrade bytwo notches. that is the peak for caterpillar, according to analysts. vonnie: thank you.federal reserve chair jerome powell told the senate
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committee today that the u.s. economy remains strong but dangers are brewing. i would say that the predominant risks to our economy are slowing global growth, as i mentioned, particularly china and europe. we have seen a significant slowing growth over the course of the past year. it seems to be ongoing. vonnie: in this semiannual testimony on the state of monetary policy, he noted the fed is watching the state of affairs closely and is prepared to adapt closely foreign to. the headlinesdown is mike mckee, bloomberg's economic and national policy correspondent from our washington, d.c., bureau. did you hear anything off-track today? mike: jay powell was very much on message and doing his best not to move the markets at all. it appears he succeeded. in not moving the markets at all. he repeated the now standard fed prescription for the economy of patients, we watch the data as it comes in. the u.s. economy slowing but in a good spot.
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he did talk about some crosscurrents, including slowing global growth. the volatility we saw on the markets and trade wars, but as far as trade wars are concerned, he said it has only had a small ,ffect on the macroeconomy overall. so things look pretty good for the united states and fed. he said since inflation is low, there is no need to worry about raising rates now. we wojcicki been eye on things going forward. as far as far as nonmonetary policy questions, -- we will just keep an eye on things for now. as far as nonmonetary policy questions, he did comment on what should happen to raise growth in the long run. at monetarying policy tools and what should change, if anything, where the senator is interested in that or what were they mainly asking about? mike: senator pat toomey was interested in that and ideas of
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price level targeting, which posits the fed would let inflation run about 2% for a while to make up for the time it runs below 2%. to me does not like that. paolo said we have decided nothing and we are just looking at things as an option on the table. much of the question was on bank regulation. there was a new bill that makes changes to dodd-frank and they want to know how quickly the fed is implementing that. elizabeth warren was worried about bank mergers, especially bb&t and suntrust. she thinks the fed is a rubberstamp for bank mergers and they should be more careful. jay powell said they would all of the long do everything correctly to essentially make sure that they are not a rubberstamp. a lot of questions that were relatively noncontroversial. they dealt with regulation and the economy, but nothing that really made a lot of headlines. vonnie: michael mckee, thank you for that. the fed chair is before the
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house tomorrow. let's take a look at how markets are reacting. they really are not, but there is a lot to still think about from this testimony. let's bring in our senior economist and founding partner at rd economics. do you agree with the fed chair that there are a lot of mixed signals from the economy? >> i think that this is probably an exaggeration of that. aviewed this hearing as missed opportunity because we have had this big shift in the fed's guidance about policy over the last two months on rates, last month on the balance sheet, and this hearing did not delve into what drove back. the crossseems like current that the fed's most focused on is the equity market, and i see that as dean something a little troubling -- as something troubling. thes different from testimony he gave a year ago, when he said the fed doesn't manage the equity market and
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they focus on economies and not stock. the way the fed has conducted itself since the december meeting has suggested that shifted. i would have liked to see congress dealt more with the hearing. vonnie: well, they did not, but let's delve into the here and now. if you look at the bloomberg, you can see the futures signal lower rates in 2020, so the next will be a rate cut potentially. do you see that happening and inflation not disappointing as much that we need a rate cut? conrad: i do not see that happening. i think the next move is likely to be a hike sometime. the other thing the fed has talked about is the impact of the slowing global growth. i probably should not leave that aside. that is something he has talked about, but that is not very convincing to me. we have had small growth in china and a big drop in u.s. exports to china, but i think that is more about trade
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tensions than slowing of growth. export growth from the u.s. to europe was 5% in 2017 and 12% in 2018, so the reasoning about slowing global growth is not very convincing in terms of why we have had this dramatic shift in the fed guidance about policy outlook. we need some of the certainteed's to be cleared up. certained some of the -- uncertainties to be cleared up. importantly, the u.s. remains on its path that it remains on, and there is no evidence we have shifted off of it. even if you look at today's consumer confidence report, where we have had a rebound in confidence and economic conditions at with the strongest than 18 years. there have not been all these crosscurrents the fed is worried about or an impact on the domestic impact from that, so given solid growth, and that it remains near the fed's target, i
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think the next move will be a hike. vonnie: and consumer confidence was 131 point four in expectations at one of the .4, --from 89.4, so massive jump up from 89.4, so a message on. is that enough to keep the economy in healthy shape? conrad: if we continue to see declines, which i expect, the last report we had a lot that had a lot that have to do with the government shutdown and how furloughed workers are counted, but i expect the unemployment rate to drift down. the improvement in the labor market suggests drop markets remain strong, so the strengthen labor market, i think what we see on the inflation front, which is no slowing, which is a range below 2%, and we tend to see inflation around two, so i think a combination of those issues on the domestic front will get the fed to hike
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rates, and it doesn't matter if we don't have a complete resolution of trade tensions in the domestic economy that will drive them to raise rates. vonnie: thank you for all of your analysis of the hearing this morning, as well as the u.s. economy. that is the senior economist and founding partner at rdq economics. coming up, the evolving media landscape. i speak with gunnar wiedenfels, next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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is bloomberg markets. i am vonnie quinn. with this acquisition of scripts, discovery continues to navigate a difficult media
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landscape, where flat ratings pressure at growth. here is the company's gunnar wiedenfels, the cfo. the stock is down 6%, that it was up 19% so far this year, so that theresa some of the gains. to what you attribute the disappointment? gunnar: first of all, thanks for having me. look, as you say, the stock has had a great run since the beginning of the year, and i am proud with a set of numbers we presented this morning. we achieved or beat every single guidance out there for the total company performance. i am especially really excited thet our ability and company. we are coming down to a full turn since the closing of the scripps transaction, and we are starting to deliver a lot of the value coming from that acquisition. i do not want to speculate, but what i'm hearing is some investors would have liked more tangible, qualitative guidance
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for 2019. we are continuing to be excited about this company's ability to drive cash flow, but some investors may have liked a specific number, which we are not in a position to give yet. vonnie: and you said you were looking to margin expansion and 2019, too. one of the concerns is you spent so much on acquisitions related to sports and foreign growth that we will not see enough return on investments for that. what do you say to those who criticize you on that? gunnar: we extended by 600 basis points in the fourth quarter and after the third quarter, i'm for thet in the outlook next couple of quarters. i think it is important to keep in mind the unique ability that we have with the global footprint and the fact we own 100% of our content, we are able to make those investments as we expand our digital portfolio and direct to consumer offerings and we confront them from our free cash flow because we have so
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much synergy potential following the acquisition of scripts that we are in that unique position. i am confident in that. vonnie: in terms of the growth, 4%, why should investors not be concerned since we continue to see cord cutting? were flate fact we with subscriber numbers in the fourth quarter shows there is an impact of the additional distribution deals we were able to strike at the back end of last year, which is one of the points for the value of our content. audiovisual consumption is on platform, butent coming back to the fact that we own all of the content and we know there is a lot of demand for it, i'm confident. also said we expect that to accelerate to the single digits in 2019. vonnie: netflix has begun to spend a lot on fiction. how concerned are you on netflix as a competitor? gunnar: we have had competition
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forever. we have done this 30 years. if you look at the food network, ratings have been up despite the numbers on the services. we are confidence with the content to we have and we own it across the global foot print, of it is the different kind contents, utility contents that people watch, but they also engage with it in a more immersive experience. vonnie: there seem to be some hints that there might be some direct to consumer efforts with the food network. explain what that might be. david m.: -- gunnar: we have the advantage of owning verticals from content perspective and we are looking at all of those furtive olds, be at motor, or we have started to do something with motor trends with an immersive experience. companiesaking with about launching a joint activity, bringing them back on air, and we are looking at other abilities were we have a strong
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brand recognition across the globe, and really we are looking at opportunities to transform that to the next level. vonnie: are you looking for talking to anybody? or are you actually developing anything? gunnar: all of it. we are talking to players and in the process of coming up with product ideas. it will follow that same blueprint of going beyond just content, adding events with the content, adding utility with the contents, e-commerce intentionally to really create that 360 degree experience for the consumer on a day-to-day basis. vonnie: i do want to ask about all of the charter related to the potential deal between discovery and cbs. you are smiling, so that tells me there is no smoke with that fire. not going toe comment on m&a transactions. we are focused on executing our strategy. i think our numbers we reported this morning show the strategy
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works and we are delivering the value and that is the best way to generate value for our shareholders. vonnie: thank you for joining us. another quarter in the books. gunnar wiedenfels is the discovery communications cfo. times ford, turbulent elon musk, striking back at the fcc after it tries to hold him in content. stay with us for a read on this story. this is bloomberg. ♪ this is bloomberg. ♪
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elon musk confronting the fec on twitter, where the commissioner asked him to hold him in contempt for sharing material information via twitter tesla'sbtaining approval. they pointed out the january investor holds, tweakeding "-- tweeting out to -- for more in-depth look, let's
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bring in the international regulator reporter at bloomberg news. elon musk is poking the bear, is it wise? >> i don't think the investors would say so. so this is it reopening the case that started last fall over a tweet from musk saying he would take the company private, and the sec alleged that he agreed to the settlement and he did not have the funding. what the most recent one does is reopen that issue. the sec goes to say, hey, well, we had a settlement, some rules in place that people were going to check his tweets before going out and now the agency is going to ask the agreement? vonnie: do we know what internal controls were put in place in order to vet the tweeps? washe way the settlement put together was they had certain language like preapprovals. they did not say you need to hire this person, but they said, hey, we want someone to review the statements that musk is
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known for putting out. that is the crutch of the issue when they ask the judge here to say, hey, we said preapproved, and in its reply, tesla said no one actually did approve of that particular tweet from a couple days ago. vonnie: it strikes me that it is pretty clear that elon musk tweeted this out himself and knowing gave him advice on it, otherwise, he probably would not have done that. will the judge told him in contempt? >> that is further judge to decide. it seems from the case that they are harping on the preapproval and they have already said, knowing did see that, but it does not necessarily open the whole thing open. i think the judge will look for a reasonable solution to say, if time,d dilate at this what will happen next time? it could open up other penalties. that has yet to be seen on the judge's side. vonnie: did we have any precedent of this? >> this is unusual, most of the
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time the sec is suing companies are people that whatever they are doing is over. their company is still growing and going on, so it is rare for the sec to pursue these kind of remedies in a company that is as well known as tesla. vonnie: what would be the penalty? >> they could reopen the penalties that tesla paid before, $20 million apiece, and musk was stripped of his chairmanship, and those could be back on the table. vonnie: he is going to be busy. max robinson covering tesla for us and the stock is up about .25. it is time for the latest bloomberg business flash right now. back at another attempt for the trump administration to undo their time warner deal. the single -- it is an attempt to show that the lower court made a mistake when it dealt with the arguments. home depot came up short the
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fourth quarter, missing estimates. at the same time, the largest chain of home improvement stores cease sales at the slowest pace since 2012, and that mirrors the trend in the u.s. housing market . shares of caterpillar are at -- out after a downgrade. buy have been moved from down to sell. they expect more than half of cap markets to peak in 2019. before today, shares of caterpillar were up more than 25% from an october low. that is your latest bloomberg business flash. stay tuned. coming up, the second summit. president trump has arrived in vietnam. this is bloomberg. ♪
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>> this is first word news. the most senior catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two boys moments after celebrating mass. tops pope francis's
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financial advisor and the economy minister for the vatican. a jury reached a verdict in december, but it was suppressed until today. and -- >> this is painful news. as we are well aware, this has affected many people, not only in australia. haveready expressed, we respect for the australian authorities. await this respect, we the outcome of the repeal process, proclaiming the innocence of the cleric until the last page of appeal. australia'sad of british conference. the brisbane archbishop is in rome for this summit on clergy. he told reporters, "we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to ensure that the church is a safe place for all,
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especially the young and vulnerable." president trump is in vietnam. he landed there at the side of the second summit with kim jong-un. kim arrived earlier. the white house does not expect a breakthrough. the two sides have not even agreed on the meaning of denuclearization, the ultimate purpose of the talks. on capitol hill, the house is voting on whether to block president trump's declaration of a border emergency. that would force the republicans to take a stand on how far they are willing to let the president go, to spend taxpayer money on a border wall. the bill will most certainly pass the house and it could sneak through the senate, but there is not enough support to override a presidential veto. is the hungarian government stepping up a campaign against the leadership of the european union, repeating accusations that it six to promote mass
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immigration onto the continent. the country claims the you has a threatened to cut financial help for those countries that oppose migration and that it wants to weaken rights for memory states. the eu denies these accusations. global news 24 hours a day, on air and @tictoc on twitter, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i'm mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. ♪ vonnie: from bloomberg world headquarters, i'm vonnie quinn. >> in toronto, i'm amanda lang. we are joined by our audiences. here are the top stories we are following. in hanoi.trump lands
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he will meet with kim jong-un. we will explore what is at stake in the summit with the former ambassador to china. and a chilly season for retail sales, they implemented -- they have plummeted in december. a quick check of major averages. sideways action in the major averages today. we saw some intraday reaction to jay powell. we heard from him that the growth outlook may be uneven, but that he is not worried about inflation, so we have a pricing in of expectations for were the fed could go on rates. what you saw was a decline in treasury yields. we saw a reaction there, certainly. in terms of where we have been, take a look at housing starts, analysis about the 2016 low we are seeing in the start of new home built in america is
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attributed to financial uncertainty, the turbulence at the end of last year, a partial government shutdown, and we saw that show up in other data, including consumer confidence. the decline playing out across the broader part of the market today. vonnie: with what you have been looking at, i want to point out the 30's curve. the 10 year yield did come down today. we did not see the same impact at the 30 year point. 0n other words, the 53 spread at its widest since 2013. this will probably be enough to keep housing where it is, at at least for the moment, something the fed chair spoke about today. take a look at individual movers. taking a look at the major averages, stocks moving. home depot is down 2%.
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investors have been pleased with the stock and it indeed they said they were raising their dividend and increasing stock buybacks. is discovery communications well off its low of the session. we spoke with the cfo, who was not really concerned. he said analysts were looking for more specific numbers for 2019, which of course discovery is not able to give, or it would have given them. and i thought we would look at this, this pharmaceutical company, because on the hill we have congress people talking about whom era -- humira. and even though we do not see many of the drugmakers movie very much, abbvie is up a third of a percent, although probably not because of today's hearing. sticking with the drugmakers, big pharma taking heat from lawmakers. senior executives from seven permit to do so -- from seven pharmaceutical giants are facing
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questions over drug prices. the chairman of the committee, chuck grassley, told bloomberg what he hoped to accomplish. >> our idea is to get to the bottom of some of the secrecy, to get some transparency in the systems of the marketplace works, and then get a lower price for drug prices. vonnie: now our health care reporter, cynthia, who is eagle eyed watching the hearing. what medicines did they target? was maybe thea only one that got consistent attention. and that could partly be why it is so widely advertised, people know it from the prime time ads, but the story behind it that the senators picked on was the idea that they have 136 patents on the drugs, and these extended years beyond when it could go to generic competition, so this became a line of questioning,
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something that one of the senators raised to the degree that maybe the committee would later look into the idea that you could continue to get patents on old drugs. that was something meaningful that came up today in terms of looking at a specific practice that could be limiting come petition in some instances. focus: four else was the in terms of chain of supply, where can folks look at and what drives the price higher? cynthia: this is what executives have been saying, the lobby has said this is not our fault, we do not have the high list prices for any other reason than the middlemen force us to use higher prices, to give higher rebates and keep their preferred a status on their drug plan. so that sort of finger-pointing was pretty consistent today. the industry did not back down from that. the companies talked about
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rebates. senators said, if we get rid of the rebates could you lower prices? and they did say they would, which is different, but that is a topic that have to be tackled and subsequent hearings with the benefit managers. amanda -- so this was a theme it has been -- so this was a theme and it has been for years. canada, the government has purchasing power and can get more deals, did that get raised in the u.s. political debate? cynthia: there was question why thats are lower in europe, was given as an example and why the u.s. companies might give a lower price in france than in the u.s. it was raised in a rhetorical sense, not in a practical sense. the consistent line was that it could lead to less incentives to produce new drugs. vonnie: thank you.
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cynthia watching the hearing today. coming up, the scene of the second summit between president trump and kim jong-un. we have the latest. this is bloomberg. ♪
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vonnie: this is "bloomberg markets." amanda: president trump has arrived in hanoi for a second summit with kim jong-un. they are expected to hold meetings, starting on thursday, continuing to strive for denuclearization. kevin cirilli is on the ground in vietnam for the summit.
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we are hearing about a summit that is beginning in disarray, is that the impression you are getting? kevin: confusion. several colleagues were staying at the hotel behind me in central hanoi, and then kim jong-un arrived and departed almost immediately after a two day trip to arrive here. he went to the the enemies -- vietnamese embassy edit than the press corps was told to get different arrangements. this is a different beginning to the second summit in less than one year, following the singapore summit in june of 2018, which was very much more controlled. white house officials, including sarah sanders, pushing back on the notion of disorganization. this all comes as it is early morning here, and later this
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evening president trump and kim jong-un will come face-to-face at a dinner conversation. then the following day, they will begin with their staff the daylong summit. the u.s. for their part wants verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, but according to experts i have spoken with in washington, that is a longshot. now, the north koreans would like to see an easing of sanctions. the chinese talked about that, easing back on sanctions, which the u.s. has said is not on the table. helpingon the table is to open up the economy of north korea. here we are in vietnam and u.s. sources suggest the u.s. is hoping to use in this country as an illustration for the economy and investment from the u.s. that has poured in to this country as a model of sorts that
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north korea could follow. vonnie: we may know the ultimate goal on either side, but out of this particular summit does the administration have a set of expectations or ambitions? kevin: they have been downplaying expectations, and if you look at the public comments president trump has made, he has said as much. it is a different tone than the optimistic messaging before the singapore summit. we could see a declaration of the ending of the korean war, mind you that war had a cease-fire in 1963, but never formally was ended. in the months following the singapore summit, north korea has not done missile testing, but according to u.s. intelligence has continued with their nuclear ambitions, bolstering their missile capabilities. and that has given pause to many experts and senior administration officials.
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amanda: kevin, thank you so much. kevin cirilli in hanoi. for more on the summit, we welcome the former ambassador to china, max baucus. i want to start with, kevin alluded to the fact that there is intelligence and some evidence that the north korean nuclearization continues, programs expanded since last june, where does that leave the president in terms of making progress here?' max: it will be difficult, it is an uphill climb. we have to begin with the premise that kim jong-un well-maintained missile capabilities as long as he can, because that is what gives him power. that is his regime insurance. but we should keep working as hard as we can, the u.s. with other countries, to try to get an inventory of his missiles and
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nukes, to get a freeze on all the things we have been talking about. but it is going to be very difficult, because i do not know if we have the cards, i do not know if we have the leverage necessary. we think we could give him some relaxation of sanctions, that that will help, but north korea is doing ok. the economy is not that bad. it is a black market economy. china and russia are helping. the south koreans are helping a little bit. i think that frankly, we should also look at plan b. ifn a, denuclearization, that does not work plan b should b is thelan realization that may be north korea will be a nuclear power in be part of the nuclear club, so that means a different set of considerations. vonnie: at least this time we are talking about making progress, actual
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denuclearization, the definition potentially, or even an agenda. last time, the chatter was if this is a bad idea for the u.s., so could that have gone away? max: we should try. i applauded the president for meeting with president kim. unfortunately, i do not know if donald trump really has a plan. this is very different to the usual course, where a president talks with his advisers a lot, there is a lot of prep work for a summit. that is not happening here. but at least he is trying, that is good. the hope is he does not give up something he should not give up. there will be some kind of agreement, there has to be, because if there is no agreement, then the stock market will go crazy and all the commentators who will be very negative and a donald trump does not want that, nor does kim.
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amanda: there is concern about the unpredictable nature of the president in these moments. in terms of the desire for the loosening of sanctions, is that the giving up you would fear the too, that the u.s. could go far on that side without meaningful agreement on the nuclear side? max: there are lots of considerations. one, president trump might say, ok, well, mr. kim i will withdraw all troops in south korea. that would be a big mistake at this point. say,esident trump could let's get rid of the armistice and recognize south korea and north korea. that could legitimize kim as a country with independent sovereign status, and we cannot do that right now, or ever. certainly not now. vonnie: one word on china
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before you go. you were the ambassador to china, do you see signs an extension to the deadline for the extra tariffs might lead to a day told -- to a -- max: there again, both sides need an agreement, donald trump does and xi does, but each side can only go so far. president xi can give in on exports. that means buying more agriculture products, but xi cannot given to u.s. demands to address the core structural issue in china. china is a proud country and are they want to develop and become as strong as they can economically, so they will not give up their way of doing things, of doing business, which is socialism with capitalistic characteristics. and the core issues like 2025
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and so forth. i do not see him giving up on that. there will be an agreement, but there will be a lot of talk. i like to say that, i am from montana, all hat and no cattle, or a few head of cattle. not very much, i think. amanda: we appreciate your time. that is max baucus. angela merkel is speaking in berlin, making headlines. he will see them across the terminal. she is talking about global trade, a new world order is upon us, she has said that tariffs do not benefit anyone, multilateral solutions are the answer. trying says, "i despair to explain traded to president trump.' " there has been concern -- trump." there has been concern that once sanctions and tariffs relax on
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china, they could come to germany. vonnie: it is easier to get more spoken when you know you are not running for chancellorship again. and obviously, things have been getting tense between the chancellor and the u.s. president in recent months, so perhaps it is no surprise. this is bloomberg. ♪
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vonnie: shares of macy's bouncing around, making gains and losses, reporting their fourth-quarter results this morning. home depot is falling now as gains in home prices lose esteem. emma, start with macy's. investors do not know what to make of this. emma: they are not sure. the earnings in line with estimates, but the estimates were driven lower by the preannouncement of holiday
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sales, and they were weaker. so we saw macy's, if you remember, have their biggest ever stock top last month. nevertheless, they will still -- they were still able to get a gain in the holiday quarter. we have a chart showing you that. 0.4%, so ad gain fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth. but the trends are downwards, and the outlook is expected to, or plus and they did come in below estimates. amanda: we have a multi-year low on housing starts and other weaker data points for housing, so how is that playing into things? emma: home depot came in with their earnings earlier than echo data. and the sales group, but they missed estimates.
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it is rare for them to misguidance. they have had a really good growth story, up in the last three years, but they are really a proxy for the u.s. housing market and them saying they see a sales slowing in the next year reinforces across what we have learned from the data today. that.: ok, thank you for vonnie, emma was referring to the data. one we are watching with interest is the case schiller number on home prices, that factors in a great deal to affordability and the wealth effect for consumers. take a look at this comparison of home prices and mortgage rates -- ok, we are not showing that. but check the mortgage rates against home prices, lower mortgage rates are not helping with buying. the slowest pace in four years across 20 cities. vonnie: yes, you would've imagined that rate holding
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steady would help, but we also see a lot of pain in the economy due to people going out, car repayments, delinquencies are going up and so on. new home construction slumped in december, but we have to wait until the partial government shutdown is out of the way before we fully know, because today consumer confidence is really bouncing. so you never know. amanda: we need new data before we can trust all of that. vonnie: you can catch all of our interviews on the bloomberg, bring up the function gtv on your bloomberg. and there we go, there it is. this is bloomberg. ♪ so with xfinity mobile
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customize each line by paying for data by the gig or get unlimited. get $250 back when you pre-order a new samsung galaxy. click, call, or visit a store today. mark: this is bloomberg first word news. a team of american journalists say that they had their equipment seized at the
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venezuela palace after nicolas maduro abruptly ended an interview. they say he cut short the interview after 17 minutes, when he was shown a video on an ipad shot a day earlier of young people eating food scraps out of the back of a garbage truck. ramos says he added the team had their camera equipment seized. >> they stole my work. my job is to ask questions and he stole our jobs. censor usthat he can the same way that he sensors people in venezuela, but we will not be silent. this is an abuse. mark: ramos was detained on monday night. the government denied his account and accused him of trying to stage an international incident. the white house a flaming president trump's former lawyer


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