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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  August 28, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT

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>> this is "nightly business report." >> global tensions, the conflict in ukraine flares up again, pressuring stocks, overshadowing better economic data here at home. and that isn't the only event overseas investors need to watch. bounce, a key indicator of the housing market health rises, but there may be more to that report than meets the eye. and minimize the impact. worried about the hack attack on jpmorgan? some steps you can take to protect yourself and your small business. we have all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday, august 28. >> good evening, everyone. tyler is off tonight. a tug of war on wall street today as investors weighed encouraging data about the u.s. economy against geopolitical
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flare-ups that are threatening markets all around the globe. here in the u.s., a new report showed the economy grew faster in the second quarter, nuch stronger than forecast. the gross domestic plukt or gdp rose 4.2%, as businesses spent more money and added more jobs. also surprising economists, fewer people filed for unemployment benefits as first-time jobless claims fell by 1,000. but reports that russian combat troops entered you crane spooked investors and all the majors averages turned negative. the dow lost 42 point, the nasdaq was off by about 12 and the s&p fell by 33 points. then president obama made his stance clear on the conflict. >> russia is responsible for the violence in eastern ukraine. the violence is encouraged by russia. the separatists are trained by russia, they are armed by russia, they are funded by
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russia. russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine. >> we begin tonight with more on the russian troops on the ground in ukraine and why wall street is worried. . >> reporter: russia faces the possibility of more sanctions from the west due to increased evidence the russian military is operating in eastern ukraine. the leader of germany angela merkel announced during a news conference that an eu summit on saturday, they will consider the possibility of new sanctions because of the new evidence, which includes satellite images released today by nato. nato says they show russian combat military forces doing military operations inside the sonch territory of ukraine. and a brigadier general at nato estimates there are 1,000 russian troops operating in ukraine. this comes on top of ukrainians capturing ten russian paratroopers 12 miles from the russian border. the russian media today, reporting anonymous sources say
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the soldiers got lost. and the mothers of those soldiers appearing on national television begging for their return. also on russia tv today, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-proclaimed people's republic. he told russian state television that yes, 3,000 to 4,000 russians have fought on the separatist side since april. but he called them patriots. didn't necessarily say they were members of the military. put all of those things together and it suggests a deep escalation of the conflict, both militarilily and also economically. for "nightly business report" michelle carusso cabrera. >> another global concern for investors is what's happening in europe where banking officials are considering a u.s. style monetary easing program. but will it work in europe? and what are the risks? steve leesman has that story. >> nobody knows what drogbe and janet yellen talked about.
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what they know is europe is in a critical debate about whether to follow the u.s. down the path of an american-style quantitative easing program. the debate heated up as drage said inflation expectations are falling and said he was concerned. he said the ecb governing council will acknowledge these developments at its meeting next week. that in turn raised expectations for further action, if not next week then in the month ahead. the former fed governor said they need to do shock and awe, they're so far behind the curve, but there's some potential problems. europe, after all, is not the united states. and there could be political objections from germany and other countries. plus, rates are already very low in europe. >> the idea of doing quantitative easing sounds good because they're doing some. in is a little lower than they would like, let's do something. but if you look at the treasury yields in germany, italy, spain, most of them are at or below
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where the u.s. ten-year yield is right now. the question is, if you were to go buy a lot of government debt in europe, what would you possibly achieve? the answer is not much. >> will there be any benefit? according to economists, this is the way qe is supposed to work. there's a credit effect which drives down interest rates, a portfolio effect which forces investors into riskier assets and maybe most important of all, an expectations effect, convincing markets the central bank is all in on fighting inflation. but the dangers include capital misallocation which forces invest tors to put money in places they may not be comfortable. when rates rise back up, that money could flee back to bonds and create a destabilizing decline in stocks. the question is whether the risk of japanese-style inflation in europe that could last for decades makes qe a gamble worth taking. that's certainly a choice yellen made when she whole heartedly supported qe in the united states. and it's not too far of a stretch to think maybe, just maybe, that's what she told
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draghi. pending home sales up 3.3% to an 11-month high. but those pending sales are still slower than they were last year and there's some concern behind that headline number. >> home sellers are getting more realistic about the housing market. >> there's just not a lot of people spending $1 million for housing like there was seven or eight years ago. >> he's downsizing from his million dollar home in the roswell section of atlanta. he actually built the subdivision in which he lived. >> everybody has moved off to college. so it's time to sell. >> reporter: the expectation had been there would be more doing sizing baby boomers, but the
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housing crash left too many of them unable to sell. >> there are definitely still some people that are either, you know, flat lined in what they purchased for, or still just a little bit underneath, you know, where they purchased. and, you know, it is creating a situation where sometimes they do have to hold on to their property. >> limited supply has left little clois for buyers, and pushed prices higher at the same time. >> i would say it's a tough market for buyers right now. it's still, you know, it's floating back and forth, but it's still a little bit of a seller's market where the price points are, you know, maybe a little bit higher than what buyers are normally used to. >> home prices are still rising nationwide, but those gains are slowing down. as all cash investors move out and mortgage-dependent buyers move in, sticker shock is hitting sales. >> our survey dat that suggests people are more conservative about the biggest ticket item that they will probably undertake in their life, which
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is buying a house, than people commonly believe. >> duncan cut his forecast for home sales next year, claiming it was too optimistic. rockland, though, is still hopeful. >> the market is the best it's been in the last three years. >> but is that saying enough? for "nightly business report" in washington. >> joining us now to talk about this, the chief economist at stern ag and paul christopher, chief international investment strategist at wells fargo advisors. welcome to both of you. paul, let ple begin with you on this tug of war as we're describing between the health of the u.s. economy and the escalation of the crisis between russia and the ukraine. are you split on which one you're focusing on? >> no. i think the foundation for investors making investment decisions in this country is really the u.s. economy, which is in better shape than it was in 2008, the last time we had a lot of trouble.
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i think the housing will continue to improve. also investment, we're seeing more about mergers and acquisitions and a lot more buying at the operational level of durable goods. and that will also give the economy a tail wind going forward. >> lindsay, do you agree with that as you hear all of this kind of warmongering talk from overseas? >> i do. i do agree. i think investors right now are paying attention on the global . but the focus right now is very much what's happening in the u.s. economy. and unfortunately, it's been very uneven. of course, we did see a much better second quarter gdp. raising that up 0.2 to 2.4%. but that comes against the backdrop of a very steep decline at the start of the year. so investors right now are trying to figure out which one really tells the story, the health of the labor market and the economy in general. now, going forward, we've already seen that declining trend in consumption carries forward into the third quarter. and so i think a lot of
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investors are really trying to glean exactly where the improvement is going to come from if we do continue to gain ground in the second half. >> let me ask you this, paul. you probably heard president obama late this afternoon talking about the whole situation in russia. he was asked a question about whether he was going to take any more actions in terms of sanctions against russia. and he didn't really answer that question. but let's say come september that there is a step up in u.s. sanction against russia, or from europe. would you be changing your investment strategy based on that? >> possibly. the main risk all along has been that russia would infiltrate ukraine to such a degree europe and the united states would have no choice but to impose the maximum level sakss, which so far they've avoided. they heard the president and angela merkel say they're going to huddle up this weekend and decide what to do, how next to
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respond. and it's possible they would jump up to the maximum level of sanctions, especially on the russian energy sector. but i still think they'll be incremental about this. i don't think they want to go to the max sanctions because that would really hit the european economy hard. >> if that were to hurt the european economy, what kind of ripple effect would that have here in the u.s.? for big u.s. international companies? >> that's a great question. that really is where i see the largest impact in breaking down the trade relationship between russia and the european economy. that will certainly restrict european growth, which is already very fragile. and if we continue to see that, that will certainly dampen then european demand for u.s.-made goods. and so while i don't think there would be a significant direct impact, it is that second level or second derivative impact that i'm very concerned about. and remember, a lot of economists were looking for 4% gdp in the second half of the year, predicated on a revival
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from european growth spurring demand for u.s.-made goods. >> do you still see that that's possible to see the u.s. economy growing in the second half, given this situation going on internationally? >> certainly. but remember, we expect very modest growth. looking about 1.5 to 2% gdp. so certainly not the gangbuster 3% or 4% that we saw in the second quarter, but still positive growth nonetheless. >> you know, i was interested paul, you were telling me earlier today that you've been putting some of your portfolio money into europe. i mean, given all of this uncertainty in europe, why do you think that that's a good investment move? >> we think this conflict will be limited and transitory. we think ultimately russia will manage to keep leverage in ukrainian politics, enough leverage to have some influence there. that's all the russians really seem to want anyway. they seem to have achieved that. the russian, ukrainian military really is not going to be able to kick the russians out.
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i don't think the europeans will go for full max level sanctions. i could be wrong there, but i don't think they opt that course. and with that said, i think eventually this conflict becomes more localized. and eventually, falls off investors' radar screens. with that in mind, i think the selloff that we've been seeing in europe becomes a buying opportunity, a real value opportunity for economies that will do better in the future. >> all right, thank you both so much for your comments and analysis. appreciate it. and still ahead, jpmorgan and the fbi investigate a sieper attack, what can individuals and small business owners do to protect themselves? that's coming up.
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battle to come taken the ebola virus in africa. shares of glaxo raised on that news. more on the growing ebola crisis and what a successful vaccine could mean for glaxo and the other drug makers. >> reporter: the ebola outbreak continues to accelerate. 40% of the cases occurred in just the last three weeks. the organization today outlined an ebola response road map with the goal of stopping the virus' spread in infected countries within six to nine months, and preventing international spread. the plan assumes that overall cases th s may actually be two four fold higher than currently reported. and the total number infected
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could top 20,000. a 52% reported fatality rate. $490 million has been put on the plan. separately, news came today on a potential vaccine, testing in people is scheduled to start next week in an ebola vaccine. reports are expected by the end of this year. glaxosmithkline said that with a grant, it will begin manufacturing an additional 10,000 doses. so if the trials are successful, stocks could be made available immediately to the w.h.o. vice president of the u.s. public policy at glaxosmithkline described the goal of the studies. >> what we're looking for is any adverse side effects, as well as is it producing the immune response that we need to help control and prevent the ebola disease. that should happen at the end of 2014, and then it will be up to the world health organization what to do after that. will we go into phase two? or will they make the decision
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to actually use the vaccine in high-risk populations, particularly health care workers. >> any commercial opportunity for a vaccine remains uncertain. one reason few pharmaceutical companies have worked in the space. the nih says it has plans to test a second potential ebola vaccine later this year. for "nightly business report" i'm meg terrell. a nasty earnings report from abercrombie & fitch is where we begin tonight's "market focus." same-store sales fell for the tenth straight quarter as it struggled to attract customers. the company did turn a profit in the second quarter, but that was fuelled mostly because of cost cutting and store closures. shares fell 5% to $41.87. dollar general posted earnings a that muched estimates but its revenue and sales both missed. the discount retailer blamed a competitive environment and a cautious consumer. the disappointing results reaffirmed its interest in
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consolidating. the company told investors that it still wants to buy family dollar even though its nearly $9 billion offer was rejected last week. shares are up slightly to $64.20. cody posted a big loss and a drop in revenues in its fiscal fourth quarter. the beauty product company missed on the top and bottom line. cody says it's targeting a return to revenue growth this fiscal year. but still, shares were down 3.5%, to $17.39. and the news apple fans have been waiting for. the tech giant announced that it is hosting a special event at its cuertino headquarters on september 9. it's widely expected the company will unveil its new iphone 6. but as expected, apple was mysterious on the invitation, writing only the words, quote, wish we could say more. shares rose a fraction to $102.25. that's a new record. and some of the nation's top banks continue to work with the if ib fib to determine the scope
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of a huge hack attack. as we reported last night, sophisticated hackers had reportedly gained access to computer systems and bank records of jpmorgan chase and six other banks. this latest scheme has raised questions on how consumers and businesses can protect themselves against getting hacked. our next guest says there are some simple steps to safeguard their personal information. he's got goldman ceo of text power, a website security firm. a lot of people are very nervous looking at these headlines. and a lot of people do some of the anti-hack attack steps and still they feel very vulnerable. how vulnerable are you to these big attacks on the big banks? >> well, in the ongoing cat and mouse game between security and hackers, chalk up another one for the mice. there are plenty of things that you can do to protect yourself. and i would like to go through those steps with you.
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they are very basic and things that will keep you protected. >> you have a list here. you say choose a strong pass word. we all hear this. change it frequently. so what's considered strong and how frequently do you change it? >> this is security 101. select a pass word that does not contain dictionary word. it doesn't have your birthday, your dog's name in it. you want to choose something that's long, complicated. has a couple of symbols in it. and if you could pick a phrase, that would be really good. you want to change the password, probably at least once every 90 days or so. and it would be good for businesses to have a policy that would force their people to change their passwords at least that frequently to keep it safe. >> okay. the next one on your list is subscribe to a multifactor authentication process. you're going to have to translate what that means. >> sure. that's kind of geek speak for having another method to
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identify or verify our identification. so the way that works is if you're a gmail or facebook user, you're probably familiar with the process already. the way it works is very simply you opt in to receive a text message when you are logging into your account. and what you do is you enter your id and password. and then a text message is sent to your phone. in some cases, you send one from your phone. and that message has a code in it which you then would enter into a field on the screen and that, because it's not associated with the website or the user id or the password, identifies you with a third mechanism. that's what multifactor means. >> let's go through some of these other ones. they're all good advice. avoid bad links in e-mails and also encrypt your computer. tell us what those two mean. >> let's take the e-mails first. you would really be shocked at how good hackers have become at this. they're really extraordinarily
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artistic at developing e-mails that look exactly like what you would get from a large firm, from bank of america or american express. what you want to avoid at all cost is clicking on any of the links in those e-mails. if you get an e-mail that says your account has been hacked, you need to verify your information, the best thing that you can do is to go directly to that website by typing in the address or going to a trusted bookmark in your browser. don't click on in i of those links because they'll either take you to a bad place or you'll download a bad file. >> real quickly, if you're a small or medial sized business, you don't have a big it departme department, what's your best advice to prevent an attack. >> the best advice is to have policies to prevent people from clicking on links, downloading files. you don't want people downloading games or anything else, because that contains nefarious code that can infect your entire system just by down loading it to one computer.
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it can then be transmitted through your entire network. >> lots of good advice. thank you so much, scott godman, ceo of text power. and coming up, the arms race for innovation and how big tech companies are partnering with a national laboratory to find solutions to complex problems. we tun now oa place called the livermore labs. it's attracting lots of interest and now investment from private companies. josh lipton takes a rare look inside the lab and some of the projects being worked on.
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>> this is a wafer that shows you what the devices look like. >> lawrence livermore national laboratory is delivering a message to private industry. >> we've done a lot of upfront r&d. >> it's open for business. livermore gets about $1.5 billion in funding per year, mostly from the government, which goes to projects like this. >> we can create temperatures of hundreds of millions of degrees. >> the national ignition facility is the world's largest and most powerful laser. when fired, temperatures in the core reach tens of millions of degrees. scientists use it to simulate nuclear weapons detonations that helps the government manage the country's nuclear arsenal and provides insight on advanced energy research. livermore is also a leader in high-powered computing. it's home to the world's fastest computer built by ibm, which is do things on a scale that industry can only dream of. >> it might be noisy in here, but that's just the sound of a lot of computing going on.
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a super computer can do 23 billion calculations per second. that's 20 million billion or 20 with 15 zeroes after it. companies, including general electric, exxon and boeing, use this computer when they need to complete complex simulations. which is useful, since even the most powerful computers in the private sector are still years behind sequoia. scientists here say companies are finally take advantage of it. >> we're just beginning to get enough outside exposure that we're getting cold calls now. companies are calling us and saying look, i hear you have this capability, can you possibly help me do this? >> livermore is also a pioneer when it comes to medical devices. this small sensor is helping the blind to see for the first time. and through a partnership with second sight medical devices, it's already been implanted in 100 people. but it might be a few years before we see this on a larger
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scale. >> take five or ten more years to get them adopted, just because the technology is so far out there, the risk is really high. >> the lab also recently partnered with medtronic to work on neural implants that can help scientists better understand brain injuries of wounded soldiers. it's all part of the last push to transfer more of its technologies into the market that can help that many more people. josh lipton, "nightly business report" livermore, california. and finally tonight, a gadget called the coolest cooler raised more than $11 million for investors. it's becoming the highest funded project ever on kickstarter. that's the online crowd funding site. and the total could grow even more before the campaign closes at the end of the week. the high-tech cooler has a built in blender, a cutting board, usb charger, a blue tooth speaker system and, of course, it keeps
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things cold. that's "nightly business report" for tonight. thanks so much for watching. have a great evening. see you right back here tomorrow night.
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