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tv   Countdown to the Closing Bell With Liz Claman  FOX Business  October 18, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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does the president believe he's winning this argument, or has won this argument, as it relates to what he said about whether players should stand for the playing of the national anthem? >> it's certainly a step in the right direction. as we've said many times before, the president supports standing for the national anthem, saluting the flag, and honoring those men and women in uniform that fight to protect it. reporter: sarah? thanks. does the president feel as a matter of principle that it is not adequate to simply send a letter of condolence to the family of a slain service person? as president bush and president obama typically did? and does he feel it is not adequate for president obama to have sent a letter to general kelly, but not call general kelly on the death of his son? >> i don't think there is anything that any president can do. there is never enough that a
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president can do for the families of those killed in action. point the president was making is there is a different process. sometimes they call, sometimes they write letters, sometimes they engage directly. the comments were certainly, i think, taken very far out of context by the media and any frustration, that's where it should be focused. blake? >> let me ask but something steve mnuchin said since you talked about the stock market a lot, and the president does as well. he said, and i quote here, there's no question in my mind if we don't get it done, meaning tax reform, you're going to see a reversal of significant amount of gains. essentially saying if tax reform doesn't happen, there could be a major correction on the corner of wall and broad. how concerned is the president of that possibility? >> we're confident that we're going to get tax cuts done, and so that's what we're focused on and going to continue pushing forward until we get there. reporter: on the health care bill, if you don't mind. >> i'm sorry, one question. reporter: the california
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wildfire situation. does he have plans at this point to visit california to survey the damage in person, and if he doesn't does, that speak to or lack of interest in helping the state recover from the wildfires? >> not at all, again, the administration has been very engaged throughout this process. we're going to continue to be there, we're continuing to talk with state and local officials on the ground and work with those individuals to make sure that whatever aid is needed, that we can help provide that process. reporter: is he going to go to the state, though? >> there isn't a trip planned, but certainly hasn't been ruled out. philip? reporter: can you clarify the president's position on kurdistan [inaudible] and the president of kurdistan as an ally in general? >> the position hasn't changed. we urge all sides to avoid escalating this further. we oppose the violence from any party and we'd like for them to
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be focused on helping continue in the fights against isis, and that's -- and iran, and that's where we'd like to see their energy focused on it. reporter: the status quo -- >> sorry, one question. reporter: more than two months that the president said he declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. a lot of work had to be done and called it time consuming work, you can explain why it's taking so long to detail what the time consuming work is, and what players are involved in the process? >> very in-depth legal process that goes with declaring national emergency. we'll make further announcements next week, but there have been multiple people. it's an interagency process, stakeholders have been involved and we'll have further announcements next week, like the president said. reporter: can you tell -- >> sorry. one question. reporter: can you talk about the strategy from the white house going forward on this?
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i know that you told us before that democrats were a must have on this bill on tax reform, is that still where things are? >> it's simple, the strategy is to get enough votes to pass tax cuts. reporter: can you elaborate on getting democrats on board? >> look, we'd love to see democrats on board. we don't know why any democrat would be against providing tax relief and tax cuts specifically to middle-class america. i don't know why anybody wouldn't want to get on board with that. hunter? reporter: thank you, almost a month since hurricane maria hit puerto rico. almost 80% of the island is without power and about a million americans, a third of the population don't have reliable drinking water. does the administration consider the current state of affairs in puerto rico acceptable? and when it comes to puerto rico, does the buck stop with president trump? >> look, we're continuing to do everything we can to help the people of puerto rico. it's one of the reasons that the governor will be here at the white house tomorrow to continue those conversations, to talk about how best the
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federal government can help aid state and local governments and help in the building and recovery efforts. reporter: the president once said he considers himself to be a low interest rate guy does. he still consider himself to be a low interest rate guy? and will that have bearing who he selects? >> the president said he's interviewed a number of very qualified individuals, and he'll make the announcement in the coming days and deliberate all the details once that happens. i'm sorry. reporter: [ inaudible ] days? >> days add up to weeks. [laughter] >> the phone call real quick, what is the president denying? is he denying he spoke these words to the widow, that he must have known what he signed up for, or she took it the wrong way and took it out of context. >> the president's call as accounted by multiple people in the room believe that the president was completely
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respectful, very sympathetic, and expressed the condolences of himself and the rest of the country and thanked the family for their service. commended them for having an american hero in their family, and i don't know how you could take that any other way. reporter: it was the context, he felt he put it in the wrong context? >> i'm not going to get into the back and forth. the sentiment of the president was very clear. he took the time to make a call to express his condolences to thank the family for this individual's service, and i think it frankly is a disgrace of the media to try to portray an act of kindness like that and that gesture and try to make it into something that it isn't. peter? reporter: does the president -- before he invoked the argument? >> he has spoken to general
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kelly multiple times. reporter: does he know he would be raising the son's memory without talking about -- >> i'm not sure if he knew about the specific comment. they had spoken about it and he's aware and they had spoken several times. reporter: is he comfortable with the way it has been -- >> he's disgust by the way it has been politicized. the focus is on the process and not the fact the american lives were lost. he's disgusted and frustrated by. that if he has any anger, it's towards that. fred? fred? reporter: the house, the ban on paying for abortions, [inaudible] the president would sign this legislation, is the white house putting pressure on the senate to pass the lindsey graham bill that was banned? . >> i'm sorry, what was the last part of the question. reporter: is the white house putting pressure on the senate
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to pass the lindsey graham 20 week ban. >> there have been conversations about that, and the administration supports that policy, but beyond, that i don't know if there have been further conversations or pressure applied, but certainly support that effort. reporter: sarah? >> april? reporter: congresswoman wilson, i talked to her a couple of hours ago, she says since benghazi, that jackson was in niger trying to find out information during the mission about boko haram. and she said that his transmitter was still emitting for two days. his signal when he was located. she said that makes no sense why he wasn't located. what say you about that? and also, what do you say about her comment that he did not know as a wife, the widow, that
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the president did not know his name. he kept saying your guy, your guy? >> just because the president said your guy doesn't mean that he doesn't know his name. as the president stated, the hardest job he has is making calls like that. i think it is appalling what the congresswoman has done and the way she's politicized this issue, and the way that she is trying to make this about something that it isn't. this was a president who loves our country very much, who has the greatest level of respect for men and women in the uniform and wanted to call and offer condolence to the family, and i think to try to create something from that that the congresswoman is doing is appalling and disgusting. reporter: what do you say about what she said about the mission? >> as i said before, i'm not going to get into the details of that action. reporter: was she right? >> as i said before, i'm not going to get into the details of that action at this time, and when we have further information, i'll be happy to
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discuss it for you. reporter: thank you, i just want to -- setting aside the congresswoman, setting aside the discussion about the politization of this. the woman who raised sergeant johnson spoke to the "washington post" and said she felt her son had been disrespected. i'm not asking what congresswoman wilson had to say or any of that. given that somebody is making the phone calls is somebody the commander in chief has to do. given that, is the president at all reconsidering the way he communicates to these families? has general kelly counseled him on perhaps how he may want to choose or change his words in the future? >> general kelly was present for the call and thought it was completely appropriate. he thought the call was respectful and thought that the president did the best job he could under those circumstances to offer condolences on behalf of the country. phillip? reporter: can you talk about the negotiators rejected the u.s. proposals were described
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as unconventional and troubling. is nafta dead? >> not yet, but as the president said, it's a bad deal and wants to make sure bee have a deal that benefits american workers. that's what the administration is focused on. we're going to continue to push forward. if we can't get, there we'll let you know what the changes are. francesca? reporter: in a tweet, president trump said fbi director james comey lied, cheated as did hillary clinton. what exactly does the president want the justice department to do? is he calling for a prosecution of james comey. what's he asking for here? >> the white house hasn't and won't offer a legal opinion on comey's conduct, but, in fact to the contrary, the white house is actually deferred, as it should, any and all legal questions regarding director comey to the department of justice. that's the appropriate venue for the things to be dealt with. reporter: in the tweet this morning, that's what i'm
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asking? >> refer any legal action to the department of justice, anything on that front will be handled by them. sarah? reporter: normally when the president said something, we hear from him quickly about it, whether it's an issue with an senator or the nfl. why did it take nearly two weeks for him to say anything about this isis ambush, but even to offer public condolences or to explain to the american public what happened and how the deadly combat mission involving american troops went so wrong? >> as i said before, there is protocol for that, but also we did make public remarks from the administration. i know i did in short order after that happened from the podium at direction of the president, and i speak on his behalf. and i did that on behalf of the president and the administration. reporter: sarah, you brought up politicizing a couple of times in regards to congresswoman wilson. did the president politicize general kelly's son's death?
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>> he was responding to a question and stating a fact. reporter: just to clarify your earlier answer, you're not denying that in some point in the conversation, the president used the words, it's what he signed up for. >> i spoke specifically to the sentiment offered by the president. i didn't get into the details of a personal call because i don't find that to be appropriate. trey? reporter: thank you, sarah, you opened up at the top discussing the liberation of raqaa. how does the president envision future u.s. involvement in both syria and iraq post-isis? >> we want to continue to work with coalition forces to completely destroy and defeat isis. right now that's the priority and the focus and that's where we're going to be continuing to focus on at this time. thank you so much for today. see you tomorrow. >> thank you, sarah. >> there you have it, sarah sanders wrapping up the white house press briefing, as
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always, covering a wide range of issues. sanders saying that president trump is not in favor of any legislation, that as he puts it, enriches the health insurance companies. he is against the alexander murray bill that would extend subsidies to obamacare insurance companies, unless they can come up with other solution. president of course focusing on tax reform that benefits the middle class, getting into the controversy of what the president said to the widow of a fallen soldier, saying the president was completely respectful in that exchange. all right, here to weigh in what we've been hearing about, two former governors, governor jim hodges and governor george allen. governor allen, let me begin with you. okay. what are your thoughts on the president with regard to the health care? there are so many issues, hard to know where to begin. >> the focus ought to be on tax reform. >> thank you. >> obviously important as well. you run the show. i'm going to get to tax reform,
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believe me. but health reform because i started talking about the subsidies and the president calling them a huge bailout for the insurance companies. the alexander murray bill kind of keeps those going for a while. that is unacceptable, i would imagine, to republicans, correct? >> yeah, probably so. it depends on what else is in it. there's aspects that are good as far as letting the states have more discretion and having health insurance plans and may have a high deductible, but cover major medical expenditures which is one of the big concerns in cost shifting, but continuing to subsidize a system that is too costly and doesn't have enough competition really is not a solution. that is just really just continuing on for another month, year or two. action is needed. all these members of congress, particularly the republicans in the senate and the house have been talking about repealing and replacing obamacare.
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>> right. >> there are ideas, the president's doing what he can as far as markets or risk pools, where businesses band together and have the leverage with insurance companies, that's important. but there's so many other important aspects that need to be done, and this is kind of a band-aid on a failed system and more needs to be done. >> governor hodges, one of the original ideas was to replace the money with block grants to allow the states more power where the money is spent. would you like block grants as a former governor? >> not under these circumstances. let me say i don't think there's a lot to dislike about the murray alexander plan. frankly the people that will lose if this isn't done is the people paying full freight on the insurance exchange. they're the ones who are going to pay probably 20% more.
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the insurance companies themselves need these subsidies because the subsidease are provided to individuals who buy insurance. so the people that are suffering are individuals paying full freight right now. they'll see their rates go up. george made a very good point, that is more flexibility to the states is important, that is a part of this deal is providing more flexibility to states, another band of insurance to be available to consumers. i don't see much to dislike about this. i think it gives the policymakers a couple of years to come up with a final solution. i mean, i'd like to see a little more bipartisanship in washington, and here's a chance to finally do it. >> bipartisanship is good, i really do think the solution is the states. governor hodges and i were governors. governors ought to welcome controlling their own destiny. some states will do it right, some won't. but what the problem is now all of this is dictated by
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washington, they're proscribing what the insurance policies are. i know speaking from my own family, my household, it's going to go from a little over a thousand a month to over $1800 a month, and we don't use it. we're a healthy family. >> i know, i know. >> what needs to be done is get more competition, more choice. have policies that don't have to cover everything, but the key thing is major medical significant injuries. >> governors, we're already out of time. we didn't even get to the tax reform! >> we need to cut taxes, we have the highest taxes in the world and they ought to be less. >> leave it right there. we need tax reform by christmas, we're told. governor george allen, governor jim hodges. thank you very much. let's get out to blake burman, we saw blake in the press briefing room, getting in a question on steve mnuchin and a valiant effort, we don't get
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the tax reforms, the markets are going to go out the window. sarah sanders, not really answering the item, though. there were two items, a podcast that was published this day. one of those mnuchin issued a warning to members of congress and folks all across washington and really across the country with it being this, if a tax reform doesn't get done, he warned a reversal in the stock market, as you know, ashley, a run-up before president trump and certainly since. a lot of it built on the thinking or some of it that tax reform is coming down the line. i asked the press secretary, sarah sanders, if president trump is concerned that if there is not tax reform legislation, whether or not the treasury secretary might be right. sanders didn't really comment on it other than to say that the president is more focused on getting this tax reform legislation passed. the second item that mnuchin made news with in that podcast was saying that indeed, the wealthy, ashley, might end up
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getting a tax break there. has been back and forth whether or not the wealthiest of americans would benefit from the tax plan, and mnuchin said, and i quote here, when you're cutting taxes across the board, it's very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class. math, given how much you are collecting, is just hard to do. sanders was asked about that mnuchin comment. >> that there may be some people that receive tax cuts that are also in the wealthy bracket, yes, but the fact is the priority again remains that middle class americans are ones that are most impacted and that's where the priority and focus lies. reporter: sanders saying the wealthiest, just some, might get tax cuts. the president does not support the murray bill, that would shore up payments allowing
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flexibility with the states. the president said this amounts to a bailout of the insurance companies and that's why he doesn't support it. ashley? >> blake burman, who always has running shoes. wears them in the room and charges out. >> i charge out. >> you are a very fit young man. the bulls are charging ahead to a never-before-seen milestone, hitting 23,000. we know that's kind of old news at this point, it's whether we can close at that level. that's the big question at this hour and by all accounts hanging in there nicely. one stock responsible for nearly two-thirds of the dow rally. ibm, looking at biggest gain in nearly nine years after blowing past revenue and earnings forecasts, but also want to point out that ibm still the second worst performer in the dow this year. so there you have it. only after ge. so having a banner day today after the earnings, but it has
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been lagging somewhat. another stock i want to tell you about. assurant says it is buying warranty group to beef up international presence, assurant looking at best day in more than a month, up more than 6%. the biggest loser, chipotle. analysts downgrading the stock and slashing price target, wait until you hear why. apparently chipotle workers are paid too much. they are weighing on the mexican chain's bottom line. shares down nearly 3%. down nearly 10 bucks at $319.79. right to the floor show, traders at the new york stock exchange, the cme group and the nymex, as we do every day on the 3:00 show. teddy weisberg, my good friend down at the new york stock exchange. you know, teddy. do money managers these days wake up in the mornings and
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feel just a little nervous? they felt they've ridden this train for so long and start tock frightened of their own shadow, worried there's something lurking that none of us have thought about that's going to bring this market down? >> well, i think whatever that event is, unfortunately, as you know, they don't give us a script or crystal ball or ring a bell, so i guess that's healthy to be nervous about where we are and how far we've come. i think if i were a money manager and couldn't sleep at night, i'd be more worried i'd miss the market not have exposure to the market. i think they have a much bigger problem. you pointed out today's market to a large degree is all about big blue, ibm, and a less extent, goldman sachs, down yesterday, but reversed that quite positively today and particularly interesting, you know, i've unfortunately been here way too long but i remember when big blue basically was the focal point
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like facebook and amazon and google are today and the whole world revolves around ibm and i, for one find it quite refreshing that it's revolving around ibm today. >> a blast from the past today for ibm for sure. ira epstein at the cme. the earnings, we haven't gotten many so far, but so far pretty good. we feel the economy is moving in the right direction. why shouldn't the markets be moving higher? >> they should be moving higher. i've been consistent on the show saying. that i see no reason for the market to stop this rally. it's just like a vacuum cleaner. sucks in money from every source and keeps moving higher. yes as a money manager, i would be nervous in the sense, you're not going to get out at the top. it doesn't matter, so many safeguards, you're not going to have a 1987 again. enjoy the run. on breaks, the market is bought because earnings look good and we're in a quarter that traditionally does well.
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i don't see what's going stop this market at this point. >> let's talk about oil. luka at the nymex. luka, more has been taken out of inventories which is a good proxy for the economy, is it not? more people using oil means that the engines of the economy are moving along nicely. is that the way to read it? >> it used to be the way to read, it but oil is a real dichotomy right now. the shale producers in the u.s., there was a big article about shale producers in u.s. and canada can't continue to produce at the lower prices, right? that would be positive for prices. something big out, there the saudi-iran ipo. if everyone is so positive on on oil and supply is limited and people can't pump, why is this ipo constantly getting pushed back? and why doesn't it look like it's going to come to market? this is the biggest oil
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producer in the world, probably the biggest power in oil around the globe. so oil around here, i think it's going to go up above 55. i doubt that. >> lots to ponder. no doubt about it. teddy, ira and luke, as always, thank you so much. we'll be right back.
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bring amlp into the game. before investing, consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. read the prospectus carefully at . ashley: today marks the one-month anniversary since hurricane maria charged through the caribbean towards puerto rico wiping out the power grid much and of its infrastructure. as of tuesday, only, still only 18% of electric utility customers actually have access to power. others are depending on diesel fuel generators. apr energy will have the lights humming in san juan very
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quickly through mobile power plants. the army corps of engineers hired the company to bring in two electricity producing turbines. apr energy chairman john campion joins us now. sounds like much-needed help for puerto rico. your company provides the turbines, are they already in place? >> placed them on the sites in palo seko, a power plant in san juan. the boat docked on friday, saturday the machines were on-site and hooking them up. ashley: they run on gas? diesel? >> diesel, it's the quickest fuel. ashley: there is enough gas available to keep them going? >> yes, yes. ashley: how much electricity can the turbines produce? >> 60 megawatts, at site conditions 50 megawatts which is enough for 300,000 homes, that's a lot of people.
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ashley: have you seen the devastation? >> spent the last 14 days back and forth to puerto rico. i went down with my partners general electric on monday. the hurricane happened the wednesday into the thursday with general electric, we went down there. they build our turbines. they build the turbines, we operate, we maintain, it's a great partnership. ashley: why has it taken this long to get them down there? >> the trouble is that what we normally expect with hurricanes, you'd see the bucket trucks come in, that's the last mile. the lock of distribution to the house and the generation was devastated. taken quite a long time to assess what was wrong and part of the problem is san juan's power, a lot of that comes from the south and transmission lines coming from the mountains
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and the transmission line was wiped out. ashley: we know the infrastructure was shaky before the storm hit. does that present challenges? >> challenges we as a company are used to deal with. 45 days after the fukushima tsunami we signed a contract 45 days after that, supplied a lot of power into japan. we do these things around the world. ashley: as we speak, energy or electricity is soon pumping into san juan? >> yeah, we won't solve the full problem and bring more machines on and solve more of the problem. we have a team working closely with the army corps of engineers. we have a problem and we don't talk enough about the army corps, you want those guys. our team works with the army corps of engineers, we work with the governor's office, very much a collaborative effort and i think everybody is working together with the common goal of turning electricity on on. ashley: wish you the best. john campion, apr energy ceo and chairman. appreciate it.
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quick look at the big board. dow 23,000, it's here all right. hopefully hang onto that into the close, 27 minutes from now. another record close. ho-hum. markets continue to march higher. nfl commissioner roger goodell taking on the national anthem controversy at the conclusion of meetings with owners and players in new york city. connell mcshane is there, he'll tell us if the players will be forced to stand for the star-spangled banner. "countdown" is coming right back. i can do more to lower my a1c. and i can do it with what's already within me.
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. ashley: nfl commissioner roger goodell delayed for over two hours, but finally stepping up to the mics following a two-day meeting with team owners and players. connell mcshane was waiting for all of this to evolve.
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he's at the conrad hotel in lower manhattan. it appears the meeting couldn't have gone that well based on the outcome because the commissioner punted, did he not? reporter: very good, especially for a british guy, using the american football analogy. i get it. the commissioner said what's in the guidelines is players should stand for the national anthem, but he's not going to force them to do so. so there was acknowledgment, i'll get to this in a moment from one key owner, the controversy over the national anthem protests is having an impact on the nfl's business. to that point, it's the question they asked the commissioner, roger goodell. the "gallup poll"ing out shows that the nfl's popularity has been falling over the last five years. it's gone down, and what the polling found, didn't speak directly to the protests, what it found is a political divide. republicans identifying as pro football fans down 15%. democrats down only 3%.
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here's what goodell said about that. >> what we're trying to do is stay out of politics. we're not looking to get into politics. what we're looking to do is continue to get people focused on football. reporter: all right, trying to stay out of politics. no denying the league is caught up in a political story that does have business implications. the owner i was alluding to is john marin, the owner of the jets, he was asked about the story of the protest. no question it had an impact on the business, it's an important social issue, and you have to put the interest behind the issues of importance. the commissioner is trying to find a middle ground where they keep everybody happy and agreed to meet with the players to talk about social justice issues sometime in the next two weeks, but for the time being,
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no change in the guidelines. if the players want to continue with the anthem protests, they can do it. ashley: did they suggest maybe people just want to watch football be and entertained? >> reporter: i think the polling speaks to that. the politicized nature of all of this. people look at this and say, well, maybe we don't want to see politics on the football field, but there's a balance here that the league is trying to strike. they know one constituency that there are concerns they've outlined on social justice issues, that's why there was support expressed yesterday for criminal justice reform bill that's working its way through the congress. on the other side, what john mayer said is true, impact on the business. tv ratings being down and the popularity being down on the poll numbers.
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they're trying strike a balance, whether they're doing so effectively is another question. i don't know. ashley: i don't think striking a balance is anything we'll see. thank you, connell mcshane and thank you for the shoutout for the football analogy. i'm an american citizen by the way, i embrace it all. lived in green bay, i followed the packers. i lived in nashville, i covered the titans. i got it all. connell mcshane. reporter: that's for sure. ashley: i'll leave it right there. let's get back to talk about having it all. what about the markets? the dow up 172 points, it can close above 23,000, certainly looking like a reality. is it not? live to the floor of the new york stock exchange where nicole petallides is talking to the traders about the latest milestone when "countdown" comes right back. ♪ (music plays throughout) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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. ashley: closing bell rings in just 13 minutes from now. this hour, the dow looking at the biggest rally in more than two months. up around 170 point at 23,165 and full steam ahead on tap today "after the bell," american express, ebay and united continental. straight down to the new york stock exchange and nicole petallides standing by with our good friend john corpina, historic close above 23,000. take it away. reporter: launched one milestone after another. we first of all hit up the earnings after the bell, talking about american express
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and ebay any thoughts on earnings and those particular earnings or earnings season overall? >> listen, historically buoys on markets, we clearly see the effects of ibm today. we'll see the effects out of american express also. reporter: you know what? what happens with ibm was absolutely unbelievable and that added almost 100 dow points. >> just this morning. reporter: we see american express as a winner going into the bell. your thoughts on dow 23,000? >> obviously a milestone and continue to talk about these and seems like we're hitting more and more of them much frequently. interesting to see how long we stay above it. if you look at the other milestones we passed, took a little consolidation, once we pulled over, the market pulled back and consolidates a little bit. it will be interesting to see if we can stay in the level for sometime because it will add to the upside. reporter: whether people like trump or they don't, under this administration, we've had four
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milestones, thousand milestones this year, 20, 21, 22 and now 23. do you think the moment couple continue into the new year or all about the tax plan? >> this market is strong, very difficult to fight this tape, as we say, in the business, and until we see real catalysts that are going to push this market to negative territory, i think we have to stay entrenched with it and continue to work with the momentum that we're seeing. reporter: some people say look, it's the fundamentals, it's not trump and his administration at all, the fundamentals have been proven. >> that's right, you could have made the argument in november. market has the upward momentum toward the end of the obama administration and continued since then. reporter: what do you think of the banks? in december, likely to see another rate hike and your thoughts on that group? >> if you look at financials over time, that's been a sector that people have stayed away from coming out of the 2008,
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2009 crisis. regulation is much more higher, much more demanding on the banks, and that officer investors the confidence in investing in them. reporter: the confidence. that's what we're talking about. >> we're going to see it move higher. reporter: we've had so many winners this year, ashley. you name it. from nvidia to facebook to apple. a great year on wall street. ashley: certainly has and continues to go upwards and upwards, up, up and away. thank you for setting the table for us for the close and after the bell. and the closing bell rings in just under 10 minutes from now. up just under 160 point. weeks away from the annual shopping frenzy. will amazon be the grinch that steals the retail sparkle? $12 billion man will tell us whether or not the ditch will
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buy traditional retailers ahead of the holiday season. "countdown" is coming right back.
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. ashley: we have been awaiting a press briefing under way on the shooting in maryland earlier today as a manhunt continues right now for a gunman who shot five people, at a business, in a business park about 30 miles north of baltimore. three people killed two. injured. we believe the person that is responsible for the shooting may have been involved in another shooting in delaware. we have a multistate manhunt essentially going on at this hour. we're continuing to follow the information on this. again, a person involved in a shooting earlier today which three people were killed two. injured in maryland, another person shot in delaware, we're continuing to follow that story for you. let's move on. it's not halloween yet, the major retailers are gearing up for the christmas season, will the brick and mortar stores hold their own against e-commerce juggernaut amazon, a
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question we ask pretty much every day. brin in ernie sissilio. you know the dominance of amazon, we know how dominant they are. maybe because i'm old school, i still like to go into the brick and mortar places, i like to feel the product, put something on. actually have that experience. i can't be bothered to order something online and it doesn't fit or i don't like it, it doesn't feel right. the product is cheaper than i thought it was. i don't want to go through the hassle of returning it maybe because i'm old. am i an outlier on this? >> if you're an outlier, there is two of us who are outliers. the entire issue of buying items online and the issue of returning them has become much easier, that whole process is sped up, and actually it's not costly to the consumer, so the companies making easy, amazon in particular with returning
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items and people actually will order items and return them, order several items and return them. i think the key issue for christmas, however, coming up, let's get back to the consumer itself, is that we think it's going to be a strong season. consumer spending should be pretty strong. we have strong job growth, which is -- developing high confidence or pushes high confidence to a new level. incomes are growing, september was a good pace, whether it's an outlier or not, time will tell. we think bricks and mortar retailers have a difficult time competing against not just amazon but the amazon effect if we could use that term, if you will, the online. clicking is better than the bricks this christmas. issue is that on incremental basis, more difficult for the bricks and mortar retailers to defend their business models and grab incremental sales, because what we're talking about is growth in sales, not
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just absolute sales. we do think that the clicks will beat the bricks, but it will be a good holiday season for consumers and for retailers in general. ashley: what about the markets as a whole, ernie? okay, we've got the milestone, 23,000, it really is just a milestone, it doesn't mean anything, but it does speak to the strength of the economy. solid earnings and profits from companies. i mean, if you haven't joined in, in this rally, you obviously feel sick about it, but would you still be inclined to believe this market can still continue to melt upwards? >> well, we won't use the word melt, but perhaps propel upwards. the issue and it was i think borne out today to a large extent ashley, is ibm's earnings. our view is earnings drives stock prices and earnings are strong, if you go to the fourth quarter of 2016, the first half of this year, and looks to be a
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beginning of a pretty good third-quarter earnings reporting season. earnings are the driver behind stock prices. and even more so that will be the case because one of the issues that we've had at our backs has been monetary policy, quote, easy money, if you will, that's changing. the fed is beginning to tighten, has begun to tighten, not only in raising short-term rates but also draw down balance sheet. we have monetary policy as a headwind, not a severe headwind but a headwind and key issue particularly tax and regulatory reform. ashley: let me go to nicole petallides at new york stock exchange. tax reform. there is all forms of thought if steve mnuchin says if we don't get tax reform this market is in
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trouble. others don't say that. >> i have heard tax reform tax reform, since last november, when the administration was put into office and boosted this market. over the last couple of weeks i heard a different tone. we heard it on the jpmorgan conference call. they're not counting on tax reform anytime soon. i'm paraphrasing. it is interesting. now with the optimism that wall street has had, globally we've had, people are counting on it less. i think ultimately they still think it will happen. if we're off the table it would be a market crusher. if it doesn't happen, immediately, i don't think that will, what i'm hearing, people are still believing it is going to happen but they're not counting on it right away. they are looking at fundamentals and optimism. ashley: ernie, i have 10 seconds. which sector do you pick over all others right now as far as a growth prospect? >> we like financials, ashley, for the reasons that i mentioned about the feds about righting interest rates and about fiscal
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policy. balance sheets are strong. valuations are very reasonable. ashley: high interest rates will help. [closing bell rings] ernie, thank you very. light the fireworks. record closes for the dow and s&p 500. that is it for the countdown. david asman and melissa francis pick it up. melissa: the dow closing above 23,000 for the first time ever, surging higher, 159 points as we close out. third record close in a row. a new record for s&p as well, but nasdaq, too close to call. i'm melissa francis. david: i'm david asman. glad you could be here. another historic day on "after the bell." more on the new milestone for after the markets. here is what we're covering for you in historic hour. the senate voting on key amendments to the budget bill. this is a major step towards passing tax reform. but do republicans have enough support among them? a live report from


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