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tv   Street Signs  CNBC  September 18, 2014 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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away from the high of the trading session. the dow jones industrial average up 93 points. s&p up 7 2/3 and the nasdaq is up 25 points. ten-year note yield 2.62%. and that's not putting pressure on stocks, ty, which is kind of a surprise given that. >> very interesting. thanks for watching today, everybody. that will do it for today's "power lunch." >> here comes "street signs." see you tomorrow. no company, no executive, no employee is above reproach no matter who they are, where they work or how much they make. and my colleagues and i will never rest in our effort to catch these criminals and to see that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. >> strong words from u.s. attorney general eric holder six years after the financial collapse. could a few big bankers finally be headed to jail? let's get to kate kelly with the latest on that.
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what has been the reaction on wall street today to holder's comments? >> yesterday his comments were bad news for fraud settlements and presumed that the worst was already behind them. but 18 months after his infamous too-big-to-jail comment where he suggested the collateral damage of charging banks might be too great for the system to bear, holder is striking a much more rhetorical tone right now. banks no longer seem to expect the prosecutions that were never basically made from the 2008 period. so far just one former bank manager, former credit suisse mortgage trader kareem saragelden has been sent to jail. the time to bring a case is running out. but they do quite clearly face investigations and charges on some other fronts including currency manipulation, a probe that holder said yesterday, mandy, is relying on moles inside some of the big companies as we speak. >> do you think it's harder to go after individuals than institutions? >> that's a good question. he did make an interesting point
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yesterday about how the ceos are so insulated, they have essentially created a system where in his words the buck stops nowhere. so underlings are more vulnerable than the top leadership. >> it's different. >> the need for undercover cooperators. >> one's going to be civil and one's going to be criminal. i assume he's talking about criminal here. thief gone after everybody civilly. they want the money. they want the clawback from the ill-gained profits. >> sure. and a criminal case is always going to have a higher bar. the jury's going to have to weigh whether or not you've met your burden of proof as opposed to the preponderance of the evidence. that's the issue. hopefully or not, we'll get clarity on what's going on before the end of the year. >> kate, stick around, meese, because we also want to bring in jake zemanski. he is currently a partner at zemanski and associates. your reaction now to this comment and this news from holder really six, seven years after the fact. >> i think it's very important that if holder has the goods,
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that he brings cases against high-level executives at wall street firms. the banks have paid tens of billions of dollars for allegations of mortgage fraud if there's criminal conduct here, if he's got the goods, he's got to show that these people are not too big to jail. i talk to investors all the time, who have lost their life savings, been wiped out with lehman and other financial stocks, they are angry, and they want to see people go to jail if there's guilt here. so i think he's got to send a message. >> jake, i have a question. i was just re-reading this interesting "new york times" piece yesterday that jessie eisinger wrote about why prosecutors essentially got out of the habit of making individual criminal prosecutions during the midoughts because of what happens with that bear stearns case which i remember well and how the eastern district in new york, the brooklyn prosecutors essentially blew it within two days at trial. they had really kind of, as a group, lost their litigating skills. do you believe that to be true,
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and do they need to kind of obviously the office has done a lot on insider trading, but are they sort of out of the habit and need to brush up? >> i do think they need to brush up. i was also at the bear stearns trial and i agree they weren't up to the task. that was an important case and they couldn't make it. kate, if you remember from 2000 to 2003, the enron task force sent top executives at enron to jail, worldcom, adelphia, tyco, they had the will. i think it's more the will and the direction from the top to go after these people. they certainly did it during that era. i don't see why they can't do it now with whistleblowers, with the investigative techniques that they have. they're doing wiretapping and so fort. so i think they need to show the will. i know they have the skill. but they've got to show the will. >> jake, you were talking a moment ago about you've been speaking with investors who have basically lost their life savings. i'm wondering how much of this push by holder is about optics.
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try and maybe restore faith in the system in the eyes of the little guy, you know, main street out there who maybe feel that the big cats on wall street have got away with it. >> for the last six years, i've been representing investors who lost tons of money on lehman when it went bankrupt, citigroup goes from 60 to 3. you know all the rest of the stories. they have gotten some money back from these civil cases, but they ask me all the time, why hasn't anybody gone to jail? it seems that there's an enormous fraud problem here. it can't just be civil. so i see outrage by the investors -- >> i would agree with that, jake. and i hear galvanizing feelings around certain individuals. jon corzine is one example. another example would be angelo mozilo who supposedly is going to be the target of a civil case perhaps by the end of the year although we haven't seen anything yet. i get that sense a lot as i talk to people. and then, of course, the questions being raised, is obama and therefore eric holder
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perhaps doing this toughening up for legacy reasons, right? >> right. >> only have a couple of years left. >> you've got six weeks until the midterms as well. >> and holder himself is widely speculated to leave before the end of the term. >> jake, that's my question as well. okay, it's been six years. why not three years ago? six years after the fact people leave. documents get lost. memories fade. it is every year, incrementally harder to prosecute anybody for anything. you know that better than anyone. >> i move very quickly and aggressively on cases that i take. i gather the evidence. i talk to witnesses. and i make something happen. the prosecutors are our attorneys. they have a responsibility to the public to do the right thing. they shouldn't be involved in politics. if there's fraud there, charge these guys criminally. if they're not, then let's just say we couldn't find anything, but we need clarity. investors want to have confidence in the system. and that's been shattered. >> but the fact that it's been six years, jake, does that tell
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you that maybe they don't have what you think they've got? >> i don't know. >> why wasn't this in 2010? why wasn't this three years ago? okay? a lot of these guys, they might have disappeared. who knows where they are? >> documents disappear. people's memories fade. they should have been in there quickly. as i said, there wasn't the will for this prosecution. so we're at the tail end. this is long in the tooth, these investigations. if you've got something, step up and make the case. if not, then tell us, you couldn't find the smoking gun. the e-mails aren't there. but we need to know what happened and whether there was criminal wrongdoing. and if there is, go after them hard. however high up it goes. not the corporations, but go after these individuals. >> jake, thank you very much. kate kelly, thank you as well. we have a huge headline on housing today. housing starts fell off a cliff last month. tumbling more than 14%. and there's actually more to this number, and we're going to
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reveal it to you ahead. but right now, let's take a jab maybe at apple. not us, of course, but our good friend herb greenberg is going to come with us to talk about all this new trash talk that is going on about -- tim cook taking a couple swings at google and facebook. >> big time. also, the two big stories that wall street and indeed the world are watching. we're going to get the very latest on the scotland vote. it's down to the wire. and the big countdown to the alibaba ipo as well. that's all ahead when we return on "street signs."
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let's take a look at the markets. we're sitting around session highs. i think this is the fourth straight day that the dow has been up. earlier today it hit a new record intraday high as did the s&p 500. so clearly the scot vote is not scaring anyone out here in the good old united states of america. >> although i will say this. i did read a note on this today. it's not something -- it's not confirming it. i'm not giving it as a report, which is a lot of the buying has been corporate buybacks the last couple of days. >> ah. >> that may be a segment for tomorrow. apple ceo tim wook . apple ceo tim cook -- privacy, we don't build a profile based on your e-mail content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. we don't monetize the information we store on your iphone or icloud, and we don't read your e-mail or your messages to get information to market to you.
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joining us now is herb greenberg, author of reality check research report on tim took getting a little aggressive. >> well, he's getting aggressive, as i suspect he should -- >> because you know he's going after google. that's a swipe by google if not by name. >> we assume google, facebook, anybody out there that is not apple. i well tell you something. and here's the deal. i use an iphone. my biggest concern is am i going to get the iphone 6 or the 6 plus. but when it comes to privacy, i think so many people really, look. i use gmail. and i use gmail on my iphone. i like google now on my iphone. my united flight for tomorrow morning, the boarding pass is already on google. i didn't have to do anything. it just showed up. >> you want to go here? you want to tell america what happened right before the show? >> sure. what happened -- >> when i introduced you to what's called pass book which you apparently had no knowledge of despite it being installed for years? >> that's right. i never knew what it was. >> am i allowed to support herb
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greenberg on this one? i did not know about it either. i'm just a little bit younger than herb. >> i use an app on pass book to pay for stuff. >> all i had to do was sign into google on here once and everything is there. so that's what you give up, i suspect, from a privacy standpoint. you assume if it goes too far, obviously there's a huge backfire. there's never going to be any way to safeguard it. if you want to do a two-step verification, it takes a little understanding because it's not right when you sign into icloud and that gives you the real security. you've then got to figure out how do i get to that point where i hit the right button? it's not that intuitive. >> you're saying it's a tradeoff for convenience. people may complain a lot about privacy, but most of us willingly put all of our stuff out there and would rather the convenience at the end of the day. >> yes, until someday it backfires on us, we'll continue to do it. i don't think many people think about it. i think tim cook was trying to do, from a marketing perspective, the right thing.
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>> but the famous line that's been uttered in silicon valley and the show is simple. if you are getting something for free on the internet, you are not the customer. you are the product. >> by the way -- >> you are the product. >> none of us had ever thought of it that way. >> what are you talking about? i've said that exact line on the show for three years. >> that's where he got it from. >> he definitely -- i stole it from somebody else. >> "street signs." >> i hope he does, 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> call in. >> tim cook, by the way, war eagle. maybe he'll get him to call in that juan, college football. that's so true. and what apple is saying we are not a you company. we are not taking mandy or herb's information and selling it as our primary source of revenue. although google's got ad words, right? that's basically their only source of revenue at this point. apple is saying we're a product company. we make cool stuff. >> great devices. >> although i have a feeling apple's hands aren't totally clean. >> of course they're not. no. but they have to say it is. it looks really, really great. >> i don't think that's going to drive sales, by the way. in the end, it's the quality of the product.
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people like android. people like the apple products. >> by the way, have you ever seen -- whenever you're on set, i use your catchphrase. >> by the way -- >> and by the way -- i don't know why. it's just your handsome mug that causes me to do that. have you noticed that the iphone 6 and 6 plus reviews have been over the top positive? >> yes. >> i mean, slathering. >> possibly the best smartphone ever made. things like that. >> which is saying what exactly? >> a little bit of hyperbole. >> which gets back to the last apple conference when they did the software and they layer everything else on top of that to ios 8. i know people who absolutely disagree. they think android's been doing that for years. we want something that looks good, feels good, works well. >> i was waiting to are it. last night as i was putting my 11-year-old to bed, so, mommy, for christmas, may i please have an iphone 6? absolutely not. go to sleep. herb, okay. you made a really bold call on a stock all the way back in 2011. and you actually got quite a bit of flak for it, right? >> i did. >> but today you've been vindicated. you can do the victory lap.
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we're going to bring you the name -- not now. i think we're going to leaf that as a little tizer. we'll bring you back later on. >> i'll be there. first, will they stay or go? we're talking about scotland. and we'll be headed live to that maybe soon-to-be country for a report on a day that could forever change 300 years in the making. it's a big vote, folks, for you and your money. we're back after this. who do you trust? whose analysis is accurate? how do you make sense of it all? a simple, unbiased stock score consolidated from the opinions of independent analysts... is that too much to ask? nope. equity summary score, powered by starmine, will help you execute your ideas with speed and conviction. and it's only on open an account and find more of the expertise you need to be a better investor.
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big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
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the people of scotland heading to the polls today decided they're going to break away from the united kingdom. it is something the market is very, very closely watching. let's get to cnbc's chief international correspondent michelle caruso-cabrera who is live in scotland. michelle, which way do you think it's going to go? >> reporter: oh, it's really hard to say at this point, mandy. you know, the markets are suggesting that it's going to be a no vote, but it's so close that they could be setting themselves up for volatility. we've got more than 4 million people registered to vote, and we saw at the polls today that there were quite a number of people. the people are intensely divided, both yes and no. and the polls close in less than three hours. by the time you wake up in the morning, we should have an answer. one of the key issues in this debate and this question about
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scottish independence has been oil revenues. take a look at this map where we've put the oil rigs in the north sea to the north of the united kingdom. the vast majority of those oil rigs sit in what would be the territorial waters of an independent scotland. so the leaders of the scottish independent mooumt have been arguing that the oil tax revenues that right now go to the united kingdom as a whole and all that's contributed to the united kingdom, some $40 billion worth, would actually be able to go to the scots themselves so they could use it for the kind of spending they want. right now they produce 1.45 million barrels per day. sounds like a significant amount, right? but remember in 1999, they were producing 4.6 million barrels per day. there's been a steady, steady decline in the production of oil. now there's an intense dispute about just how much there is and how much longer it's going to last. one of the key oil executives here, sir ian wood, has come out and said hold on. you're only going to have 1.1 million barrels per day by 2030 and virtually nothing by 2040.
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what are you going to do after that? martin barlow is a service supervisor in aberdeen. he also agrees, he worries that the oil could run out. >> you know, eventually, you know. it's not a very sustainable thing forever. we need other things to sustain our country. not just oil in my eyes. >> reporter: now, the leaders of the scottish independent movement said they can do things like set up incentive structures for r&d, for example, with international oil companies to say if you do r&d about the oil in our region where we can get to harder-to-find oil, maybe we'll match dollar for dollar or pound for pound and maybe that can extract more oil and bring more revenue. but ultimately, that's one of the key questions people are wondering as they go to the polls. will there be enough tax revenue to support some of the things that the scottish independence
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movement would like to achieve if there is indeed a yes vote. >> if i indeed the vote is a no, you'll have half of the population feeling disgrungtsed abo disgruntled. that's the likelihood of another vote in the future? >> reporter: i think a recurring vote could be extremely difficult, but you highlight a key issue that's been brought up by many people which are those who are against independence, they're very upset about the fact that the population has been so divided. and they are intensely divided. and they don't like the fact that now it's going to be almost split 50/50. and this vote has really highlighted that in a very, very stark way. and they fear the repercussions afterwards as a result. >> michelle, it's really interesting. "the guardian," i'm going to give them a shout-out. they did a study that went back 150 years. in that time, we've had about 50 independence votes, nations like
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georgia coming off of russia. of all those votes, 86% of them went for independence. eight out of ten plus times a country has the chance to vote for its own freedom or independence from another nation, they do so. do you think history at all matters here? >> reporter: oh, i think it does, yeah. i saw that same report and i thought those were telling numbers, brian. give people a choice, they'll make it, right? definitely in this vote, the yes vote is the passionate vote. we saw people bringing their -- people who were voting for independence today, they brought their children. they took pictures. they felt that they are potentially on the verge of something momentous and historic, whereas very much the no vote was about fear and about fear of economic consequences and not taking risk. so the polls have leaned no consistently almost certainly throughout this process. but what you highlight is why there is this high possibility
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maybe if indeed it turns out to be a yes vote. >> we're going to go down to the wire. thank you very much, michelle. what does the scottish vote, however, mean for your money here in the united states? here to discuss, andrew berkeley. what are the consequences here for a u.s. investor, andrew? >> yeah, i think it's one of these kind of near-term uncertainty headwinds that plague the market. it's part of the wall of worry, i would say. if you look at this week, there was kind of the big three, right? we had the fed on wednesday. we had the ecb's long-term repurchases today. and then scotland tomorrow. so it will be kind of nice to get through all three of these. we think the no vote will prevail and the markets will continue to move higher. i think it's one more of these uncertainties, wall of worry, that continues to plague the market as we move higher. >> but even if there's any kind of, i don't know, temporary knee-jerk reaction either way, to whatever outcome, andrew, eventually will this just settle down and status quo for the people here in the united states? >> i think so.
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i mean, i think, you know, this could certainly be put in the near-term camp. you know, it will be interesting tomorrow with such a big passionate turnout and voter turnout, if the vote is close enough, this will put a lingering, you know, presumption that maybe this vote will come back again. we'll start to see other jurisdictions. i'm looking out my window here at staten island. all of a sudden they want to be part of new york again. i think it's kind of a near-term event. not longer-term repercussions. >> it's amazing to me, andrew. and i'm not minimizing the historical posimportance of thi vote, but we've got a proposition in california arguably that will fail to break that state up into six different states. western australia, you leave australia, the british parliament, the point is this. it's a huge historical moment. but mom and pop watching us right now in iowa, --
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>> yeah, there's probably minimal effect. for something the uk and equities, that may be a little bit of a different story because you would likely have a big currency move. for a u.s. investor, i don't see a big, systemic risk. you're right. an emotional event and with a big turnout, we'll be talking about this tomorrow morning. we'll just be able to get past it. >> wwdfd, what will dario franchitti do? >> thank you very much, andrew berkeley. did you see the really interesting report, too, that they put out this morning that scotland alone has a better credit score thanment uk. scottish companies have a lower probability of default. it's interesting. better credit risk, industrial and utilities and their uk counterparts suggesting they go it alone, they're okay. >> agreed except two things. number one, what michelle brought up was important, oil production in scotland has gone way, way down. and don't forget, rbs and i
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think lloyd's have both said, we will leave scotland and go to england if scotland is a separate nation. i imagine that credit report would be revisited if, indeed, that happens. >> 100% and they're not the only two financial institutions that have suggested that. >> you get my point. that was a much bigger deal for america and it didn't rattle the markets. >> we didn't need western australia. >> wow. perthi perthians, did you hear that? mandy just said forget western australia. they stink. >> i love western australia and all those who live in it. >> oh, dig it out. "street talk" is up next. plus celebrity chef and restaurant owner wolfgang puck will join us with his take on the state of the american foodie, and have we reached peak chef? we'll explain what that means coming up. guys? it's the woven one the woven one. oh, oh that gives her invincibility. guys? no, no, no... the scarlet king is lord victor's son!!
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no don't. i told you! you guys are gonna be so surprised when you watch the finale!!! you're so lucky your car has wi-fi. yeah...i am. equinox from chevrolet... the first and only car company to bring built-in 4g lte wi-fi to cars, trucks and crossovers. who would have thought masterthree cheese lasagna would go with chocolate cake and ceviche? the same guy who thought that small caps and bond funds would go with a merging markets. it's a masterpiece. thanks. clearly you are type e. you made it phil. welcome home. now what's our strategy with the fondue? diversifying your portfolio? e*trade gives you the tools and resources to get it right. are you type e*? e financial noise financial noise
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financial noise financial noise the performance review.
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that corporate trial by fire when every slacker gets his due. and yet, there's someone around the office who hasn't had a performance review in a while. someone whose poor performance is slowing down the entire organization. i'm looking at you phone company dsl. go to checkyourspeed. if we can't offer faster speeds or save you money we'll give you $150. comcast business built for business. let's take a look at what's going on with the u.s. markets. the dow and the s&p at record highs. the nasdaq and s&p are both up for the third straight day. the dow is up for the fourth straight day, brian. let's get to "street talk." because we're always trying to find opportunity for you, right? okay. let's start today's "street talk" with science and engineering.
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dupont, jpmorgan is more bullish on this stock, and i it's certainly showing through. >> it is. d.d. up 2.8%. jpmorgan upping it from an overweight to a neutral. they say there are short-term risks, but the company's recent moves will more than offset them. they have boosted dupont's target to 75. so still about 3 and change, almost 4 bucks. remember, nelson phelps agitating to break up dupont. >> mowing your lawn is nothing compared to the work that these guys do. monsanto getting an upgrade to a buy. >> nicholas planting of seed of an investment idea. this is interesting, okay. this is really cool. herb, i know you're off to the side. listen to this. nicklaus notes that in the past ten years, monsanto shares have gained an average of 27% over the six-month period beginning september 30th. wow! their target, 1.35. >> i see a lot of growth in that stock, then. >> yeah. >> moving along. stock number four, moving from agriculture to industrial.
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a.k. steel, credit suisse not impressed with the big run over the past year. >> it's up about 120% over the past 12 months. credit suisse reinstating coverage with an underperforming. that is fancy wall street talk for sell. they've got a $9 price target on aks. there's about 10% upside. the move, something to note. the average analyst target on aks is now below where the stock is trading. all you bulls just be careful. stepping into the commercial side of things, helen of troy started overweight today by pip piper jaffray. >> what is the existing product line? they make things like the oxo line of kitchen products as well as brute for men. that's my choice. target, a fat 67. so about 8.50 bucks of upside left seen in the stock. and as we do every single day, your final stock is a smaller, more under-the-radar name that we have dug out for you today. it is forum energy. the ticker is f.e.t.
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>> it's an oil drilling company. also offshore. guggenheim securities ups it to a buy from a hold. their target, 40 bucks. they say the recent oil price weakness and some seasonal refinery maintenance issues create a nice entry point. by the way, it does pay no dividend. just pointing that out. >> and that is it for today's "street talk." one more stock we want to show you is virnetx. right now it's only down by about 26%, but you get my point. it's been hammered over the course of a week. our herb greenberg was the one who warned us about this stock some while ago. what was it, like 2011? >> 2011 i said this was going to become a really serious battleground stock. it was at $23 a share. it was formed through a reverse merger in 2007. the stock went from 23 at the point in time i told you that all the way up to 40 which had
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the hostile react-on-meter spinning out of control. look, the company went out after microsoft, cisco, apple, claiming all violations of pa pate patents. the company actually won a number of these suits. they got some huge judgments especially against apple. and then -- and this is why the stock came out -- the appeals court came out and said huh-uh. you're not getting that money. you don't deserve that much money. so the stock's been falling ever since. i have to tell you something interesting here. cowan was out effectively saying this was going to be a $3 billion market cap stock. the market cap now is about $200 million. interestingly enough, tomorrow the company is going to hold a conference call. >> what? >> listen, tomorrow the company is going to hold a conference call. it's going to be hosted by the account analyst as a fireside chat. >> you take the most bullish analyst out there probably on your stock, and you have him or her post this fireside chat. okay. and this is a show for and by and of the people. so please explain further what a
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patent troll is. >> a patent troll goes out, buys patents, then goes after a company that violates the patent. >> they are only as good as a judge's ruling. >> you know what i always say? if you're waiting on the courts, congress or regulatory body to prove your investment, good luck # . >> okay. >> you go after them a short or a long, it's going to be a long, long process. >> who would you rather wait for, gufman or goodeau? don't answer that. trick question. >> thank you, herb. there is a mystery of sorts around housing. today we found out that last month housing starts fell by 14%. but just yesterday we also found out that builder confidence is at a nine-year high. our own diana olick and hollywood group's tim grude. let me get this right. builders are super confident, but apparently they're not building. what? >> yeah, that's a tricky one. thanks for the softball. what i would say is so builders seem confident. it's measured on a bunch of different levels.
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if i was to interpret it, what it looks like is they're really confident in the fact that profitability is up and sale prices are up. the average price for a new home is like $340,000. that tells you who's buying it, and it ain't millennials. but the problem is that they still seem lukewarm on traffic now and in the future. so it's a mixed message, i would say. >> and yesterday when the fed came out with a statement, you immediately put out a report as well, tim. and it was titled "did the fed just make it harder to buy and sell your house?" explain. >> well, it's a challenge. the fed is carrying a lot of the water for the housing market for sure. obviously, interest rates have played a huge role in the recovery of the housing market. you know, any guidance that suggests that interest rates are going to go up, that's effectually a tax on housing right away or when interest rates go up. every 1% increase in interest rates from an affordability standpoint is like a 10% tax. >> even off such a low level? >> yeah. i mean, it's only -- you know, it's math.
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as the interest rates go up in percent, the cost of your monthly payment goes up, 10%. and when you have real income growth or in our case real income declines, that's not a good combination. one of two has to give. income's got to go up or values have got to come down. >> do you agree with the thesis there, diana? >> reporter: well, look. i think this is less about interest rates and more about what people are able to do today. you talk about this disconnect in the housing market. builders have not been so optimistic since october of 2005. they were building three times as many homes. what we saw today is that. it's rental housing. that's what people want to do right now. that's where you're seeing the huge swings. and that's what drove the number today that we saw in the august housing starts. it wasn't single family, although we are seeing a big bump up in single-family rentals. i think we have to focus less on the mortgage rates and the fed and the ability for people to actually save for that down payment, have a good enough job with good enough wages to feel financially secure enough to
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make that down payment on a home to make that commitment to what will be the largest investment in their life. >> could it be something a lot more basic than both what we just heard, which is builders may be confident if they build something they can sell it, but can they find the land to build it on? maybe they want to build it. they're confident they can do it, but they just can't have the ability to do it. >> reporter: no, i mean, i think, look. there are some land constraints in the top markets. and that's why the smarter builders went for the a-level properties. i think you have to look at a couple things. first of all the builders that they're polling right now are not the same builders they were polling ten years ago. there has been huge consolidation in the market. you have some builders who are doing very well because they took over the little guys and they feel like they can sell their homes at a premium, and that's great. we spoke to a builder, though, this morning who feels like the rug is constantly pulled out from under him because we were doing well in june and july and then it all of a sudden stalled in august. i think it really depends market to market at this point. and again, who got the right
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land during the downturn. >> good point. thank you very much, diana and tim, we have to leave it there, but thank you very much for joining us as well. we're about to have a very special guest here on "street signs." it is a world-famous celebrity chef. >> it is wolfgang puck. we're going to ask him about his business, food prices, maybe even minimum wage. there he is. wolfgang, smile. cnbc has a new ipad app. we're going to show you what that baby can do. it's pretty powerful. that's kayla tausche. we're back after this. ♪ eenie. meenie. miney. go. more adventures await in the seven-passenger
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in inspiring america's future engineers. energy lives here. ♪ good glorious food rising commodity prices and the pressure to raise the minimum wage have been two big issues facing restaurants. but our next guest says finding talent is one of his biggest challenges. well, let's bring in master chef wolfgang puck. great to have you with us today, sir. why is it so difficult to find talent for your restaurants? >> well, it is very difficult to find talented, people who are talented and want to work hard, and also it's difficult to keep them. you know, these days everybody wants to be a chef after being
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two years in the kitchen. i know i trained ten years to become a chef. so i think it's really difficult to get enough talented people. yet it is much better than it was because we have so many young american chefs now, cooks now, really. i should call them cooks, not chefs because there's really one chef who are working very hard. and we have so many more great restaurants now. but it's still always difficult because without talent, i could not expand our restaurants. >> and you have been expanding quite greatly. sorry, brooip, you wanted to jump in there. >> no, i love what wolfgang puck just said because, you know, you were really the first celebrity chef, and i mean that as a compliment, wolfgang, i get all the food magazines. we've got multiple tv channels now dedicated to it. do you feel in some ways we have almost reached peak chef or peak celebrity chef? >> you know, i really think there are so many chefs now who became famous because of television but not of what they cook or what they manage.
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and it's difficult to find talent who can manage a restaurant, can manage the kitchen and also be a great cook. so they are two different things. it's not that easy. and today i think television glamorized our profession which had its good point and its bad point. you know, every young cook wants to be a television star. every young cook wants to open a restaurant one year later when they started to cook. and then they wonder why our business has so many failures. >> at least you can say you're one of the first, right, wolfgang? you're not the only celebrity chef these days. >> i do television. i do "top chef" and a few other shows but not that much, never to keep me away from the restaurant for too long. if somebody does a show out here in l.a and i can go for a few days, i'm fin. but to travel all over the world to do television, that's not my business. i'm a chef and i'm a rest ra to
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restaurateur and i love the restaurant business. >> because you travel and you have lots of restaurants here in the united states, where do you think is the hottest eating scene right now? brian keeps on telling us it's philadelphia. like do you see philadelphia as the hottest scene in the u.s.? >> hottest new. >> hottest new? >> hottest new scene. >> that's exactly true. the news is always about what's new, what we didn't talk yesterday to me los angeles is an amazing food city. first of all, we have great products here. there's no other state in the union who has so many fantastic farmers as we have here where you can get great produce, great fruits and strawberries, raspberries, all that stuff basically all year round. so for a chef, that's really the most important thing because we really believe the ingredients is the star of the cooking. socal cal, to me, is still number one, and i live in los angeles. we have so many great ethnic neighborhoods from koreatown to chinatown, little tokyo, little saigon and an indian part.
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i think we are very blessed. but the news has to talk what is new. so now all of a sudden it's philadelphia. >> i would like to ask if you've been to or can get us into tuamec in l.a. on a serious topic, you're at the borgata. it seems to be dog. how have you noticed your restaurant doing? is puck and the borgata still going strong? >> it's doing very well. as a matter of fact, we increased not only the top line but also the bottom line over the last two, three years. we do better today than six years ago. so i think i'm quite happy. i'm actually shocked that the revel had to close down. i'm sure somebody will buy it or bought it already and it will reopen. i really saw that the business is not crazy there. and our restaurant is affordable there. so we have so many regular customers who come from
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philadelphia, from all over the area there and to come for their birthdays, for their celebrations. >> just very quickly, what's your view on minimum wage? >> i really believe minimum wage did not increase the way prices increased. and i'm all for increasing minimum wage, especially for people in the kitchen like dishwashers, cleanup guys. >> so you pay minimum wage to your workers or more? >> no. you know what? i have workers with me for so many years, there's nobody on minimum wage anymore. i have fathers who work in the kitchen, and now their son is a waiter in the dining room. after, you know, 20 years working with us, they're not on minimum wage because we give them a little raise every year. but i think one thing i would really like to see happen is a tip credit. you know, we have waiters who make $75,000 in tips a year. now, that's different than for them to be -- get an increase in minimum wage. they could stay at $9 or $8 an hour, whatever it is because
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they end up making $100,000 a year. whereas a dishwasher who is on minimum wage, i think they should make $12 or $15 an hour because they work very hard, and they don't get any recognition and not any tips. >> wolfgang puck. >> you should ask him if been to your boy, curtis stone's place. >> i've very good friends with curtis stone. i have not been to his restaurant because whenever i open a restaurant, we just opened in dubai, and i said, you know, before i went to all the other restaurants, now when i go there, i just stay in the hotel, go to our restaurant and work. but i hear it's a very good restaurant. >> maude, yes. named after his grandma who taught him how to cook. >> yeah. he's a pretty good cook, though. it's good. >> nice guy. nice guy. >> ran into him on the street in new york after we interviewed him. on broadway. hey, you were just on our show. >> now he's on broadway. >> not that kind of broadway.
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time now to find out what kind of stories are burning up the interweb. allen wastler joining us with his hot list and a new look at the new cnbc ipad app. >> i just got a spike alert on one of the stories we have up. this one right here. this is the end for sears says credit suisse. people are piling in on that story at 500 clicks a minute. credit suisse saying look, the value going down on sears stock. it's not worth it anymore. throw in the towel. joining a growing chorus on that retailer. number two story, this is a follow-on from the ibm story we ran earlier in the week. ibm sent a memo to some workers saying hey, you need retraining. so one day a week you're going to have to retrain. during that time we're cutting your pay 10%. we have one of our op-ed contributors, todd showenberger. he's a portfolio manager, but he writes for us a little bit, too. he says that's says exactly what ibm should be doing because it needs to reverse course on costs. and then finally, we have a
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quick little feature on kilts, what's happening with the kilt market, given all the politics that's going on in scotland right now. and generally it's seen a little inflation. but it has more to do with the price of wool than politics. anyway, check out all these stories ios app right here, isn't it pretty? now, we have a number of great new features on this one, check out video segments like your segment with wolfgang puck, didn't have time to watch that interview, you know it was there, go back and watch it again, all you have to do is tap a button and it will add it to a customized play list for, just one of the features we have on the new app, guys. >> thank you very much. lower gas prices, great for drivers, especially those who love the big suvs and pickup trucks, is cheap gas really driving sales? we will ask the expert, phil lebeau, coming up. when you think of whisky, you probably don't think of japan but the japanese whisky industry is growing and winning a war. let you know how it tastes,
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coming up. how do you beat the number one seed? you just have to win 70% of your points at net. and keep unforced errors under 10%. on the ibm cloud, the us open analyzes 41 million data points from 8 years of competition to uncover key insights. data can help show you how to win, no matter what business you're in. today there's a new way to work. and it's made with ibm.
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more. how direct is the relationship, phil? >> very direct, brian. you know, ford and gm, they make the bulk of their profits from suvs and pickup trucks, that's why both of them are having a strong summer here in north america. take a look at sales of suvs, pickups and cars and what you see here is that the suv market, way ahead of both pickups and cars. overall, the market up about 5.6% this year. what's going on with suvs a couple of things, first of all, large suvs, talking the full-size ones, those are in doo demand right now, sales 1517% this year, more models to choose from, better fuel economy, not as good as cars, better fuel economy, that's driving over demand for crossovers right now. also, when you look at the small-car market, i'm increasingly hearing from dealers that people who are coming in perhaps intentionally looking for a small car, ultimately shift over to a crossover because of the higher seat position, more utility, small-sales up 4.7%, which is lagging the industry overall and then the question of hybrids.
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now, they are not so hot right now, with the exception of the ford fusion hybrid, having a nice year, look at that, prius, max, all the hybrids down, bottom line is this, for ford and gm, this is good news, why these guys need the summer of the suv to continue. >> thank you very much. phil lebeau. send it straight over to dominic chu for a quick market flash. what are you watching? >> shares of vitamin shop. large shareholders want the company to think about possibly selling itself. at least one activist hedge fund met with the board urging it to sell. vitamin shop shares, you can see up nearly 5%, session high, vitamin shop, gnc, companies we will keep an eye on approach the "closing bell." >> certainly will, dom. thank you very much. worried about what might happen to your supply of scotch whiskey because of the independence vote or maybe start getting your whisky from japan instead. seriously, will a yes vote present new opportunities for
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you know, i did a quick twitter poll and which do you prefer, scottish whisky, irish, american or japanese, not a single person said japanese, it feels like people don't even know this is kind of what you're known for. how do you change that mindset for a u.s. drinker? >> well, it's a built difficult to actually change the mind overnight and we have to focus on educating the people and also let them just taste our whisky first. i think tasting is believing and so, as you can appreciate -- >> 5:00 somewhere, mike. >> without any words, you simply appreciate whisky. the way which we promote whisky to the american audience. >> what's the difference? >> well -- >> distilled differently? >> no, no, no, we learned how to make whisky from scotland, so we taken a identical process of scotch whisky making. having said that, climate is different, the water is different and also, we have 24 distinctive seasons throughout the year, very, very subtle
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chances. and also, the human being, people, people just make a different kind of whisky. >> have the scots been annoyed you have been winning all these awards? >> thanks to the drinkers in the world, you see? >> you're welcome, as one, you're welcome. >> thank you very much. thank you for watching street signs. "closing bell" is coming up next. great, thank you. >> thank you. welcome to the "closing bell." i'm kellen evans here at the new york stock exchange. >> they vote for independence, stop selling scotch? >> alibaba. >> we are going to talk about a lot of things today. good times just keep rolling for the stock market, both the dow and the s & p poised to close at record highs, all the major averages are in the green in the


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