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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  September 30, 2014 1:00am-1:31am PDT

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this is "nightly business report" from tyler mathisen and susie gharib. >> flare-up of protests in hong kong grabbing wall street's attention. and increasing concerns about potential long-term economic repercussions. >> too big to fail? six years after aig's bailout, was it legal? its former ceo is in court trying to prove it was not. and economic improvement. a new survey says things are looking up. so why does one federal reserve official want to wait and wait to raise interest rates? we have all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for monday, september 29th. good evening, everyone. today's closing numbers on wall street don't really tell the story at all. yes, it was a down day, but at the opening bell, it looked like
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it could have been one for the record books. stocks dived from the get-go. within minutes the dow was down nearly 200 points. there were fresh worries about slowing growth in china, to be sure, but that wasn't the half of it. what really spooked investors was this -- the stunning sight of tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooding the streets of hong ko kong. police cracked down hard. banks and other hong kong businesses shut down for the day. stocks sold off in asia, then in europe. the demonstrations continued well into the early morning hours tuesday and may well continue for another day. after that early tumble, though, u.s. stocks fought back. here's how things looked at the closing bell. the dow down just 42 points. the nasdaq lower by 6 and the s&p 500 lost 5. in hong kong, the hang seng index had a terrible monday with stocks falling nearly 2%. susan lee is on the ground in hong kong with more on what the protesters are demanding and why investors are paying such close attention.
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>> reporter: the streets of hong kong are flooded once again with protesters, more than the 80,000 that were estimated to have taken the streets over the weekend. and they've virtually shut down the fifth largest international market in the world. now, what has made the international community really take notice was the escalation in the confrontation from the hong kong riot police and also from the hong kong government firing tear gas and pepper spray at the crowds yesterday, which we haven't seen since the handover from the uk back to china in 1997. at one point the hong kong riot police holding up signs saying disperse or we will fire. the speculation from the crowd was there were rubber bullets to be shot. we don't have individual confirmation of that. it harkes back to 1989. this is meant to be a peaceful student movement for democracy in congress kong. and people can't help but make the comparison of the tanks rolling into beijing in 1989. looks like the movement has been
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rewarded with a stance of the hong kong government, the second in command, the chief secretary tonight has told the people of hong kong that tail take a hard stance at beijing and the right for them to vote for their leader in the future. but given the chaos we're seeing in the city, that might take some time. for "nightly business report," i'm susan lee in hong kong. >> let's turn to two more experts. we're joined by michael farr, president of farr, miller and and welcome. john, let me begin with you. looking at that video, pretty unsettling to see the mobs of protesters. but here we are thousands of miles away from all of that. to what extent that what's going on in hong kong and those protests impact the u.s. economy and the u.s. market? how important is it? >> well, i think it's quite important because it's going to be building over time. it's not an instant blowup problem, but our market is
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pretty ready for a correction anyway. as we see it's been going up a long time. it's got some pretty silly looking ipos recently. the alibaba ipo among them. i think it's time for it to take a breather. the economy won't be knocked ow of the box by the hong kong situation unless it interrupts shipping. >> michael, do you see it the way john does? >> well, not exactly. i see these protests as something that happens from time to time. and going on over the years for democra democracy. the police, military and china have learned their lesson against becoming too heavy handed and creating a larger incident that would result in sanctions and other things. i mean, they know with enough experience that not to overreact. so i think this passes as long as it doesn't escalate, i think the china investment story is
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largely intact, though i probably wouldn't put money -- >> what about john's argument that we're due for a correction -- >> ah. >> -- and that some of the froth from the alibaba ipo is part of the argument for that. >> we've been expecting a correction in u.s. markets now i think for three years certainly. this is probably most overanticipated correction that just hasn't happened in my career. so yeah, we're due. he's right. but it just doesn't seem to happen. this could be the spark or we continue back as normal. it feels toppy. >> let me ask you this, john. we know that the chinese economy has been weakening for quite a while now. how vulnerable is the chinese economy to this conflict in hong kong? and then, you know, by virtue of that, what ripple effect could that have aon all the american companies that do business there? >> the chinese economy is
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complicated like layers of an onion. in one part it's slower than it was, that's also true, it's also different than it was. less infrastructure, less heavy metal, less services and more finance and so forth. that restructuring will continue and also growth will be more like 7 than the 10s we got used to, but let's face it, this economy is 9 or $10 trillion in size. if it grows 7%, that's a $700 billion increase in gdp for the year. they're still doing okay. but in the short-term, the hong kong thing could spook people a little bit, in which case you could have a hiccup for a quarter or so, but i think that that's -- i think the china growth story's intact. as i think michael was saying, that doesn't mean i want to buy chinese stocks listed in china. i'd rather make my china bets in the u.s. and other places where i trust the courts, the judges, the audits and so forth more. >> michael, i can tell you want to jump in there. go ahead.
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but also spin the reel forward a little bit. we're going to begin the final quarter of the year here day after tomorrow. what do you expect? >> first, i was going to jump in with just one risk that i see out there and that's our complacency. we seem to believe in central planning that china's been doing won't work. they haven't seen a real downturn in the business cycle in china since 1994. somehow we i think are drinking the kool-aid that it won't happen. if this negative downturn continues and less than 7% or less than 6% and so forth growth occurs that puts pressure on commodity prices. that affects all of us. as we come into the end of i th year, ty, more than ever i feel like it's a jump ball. to me we can certainly be at the beginning of a significant correction. we are overdue. but we've been waiting a long time. the fed is still nearby, and anybody who's bet against this trend has lost. so cautious and careful and know what you own and make sure
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they're good balance sheets and real earnings with companies. >> all right, gentlemen, thank you so much. thank you, john, thank you, john. michael farr and john rutledge. a new survey out today shows steady economic growth in the u.s. even though we're heading in the right direction, one member of the federal reserve is urging caution about raising benchmark interest rates too soon. steve liesman has the story. >> reporter: charlie evans, the chicago fed president and one of the more dovish members of the central bank saying he's ready to be patient before raising interest rates. evans is even willing to go later than the current market consensus than mid2015 to make sure the economy is on firm footing. his reasons in the fed doesn't want to reverse course if the fed tuns down again and because of economic weakness overseas. evans, who is a voter next year, fairly bristles when asked why the fed still has a zero
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interest rate policy now. >> sometimes i think you have toy about id king me on this. look at europe, the situation they're facing is inflational risk, it's very low. they are not able to hit their target. they're way below. they're worried about that integration of that community. look at japan. they've had low interest rates and bad economy, disinflation for 20 years. china's having its difficulties in terms of overheating and how they're going to generate growth without also bubbles appearing in the housing market. >> evans acknowledged the housing economy has improved. in a new survey, the improvement continues through 2015. with the economy breaking out of the lackluster 2% growth pattern that's prevailed since the recovery began. >> it looks like it's a return from 3% dprogrowth for the year ahead and it's broad based, residential and consumer business investment. it looks good. government finally turns a
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corner away from negative to positive. >> that optimism got a boost with new income and spending numbers for august. a surge in auto sales boosted spending but there were also gains in services. americans spent more because they had more money in their pockets. wage and salary gains are a critical missing link in this recovery were the best since march. all of today's data and commentary will be cast aside this friday when we get the september jobs report, the pace of job growth and the level of the unemployment rate will provide the best boost for the pace of economic growth and when the federal reserve will mike interest rates. i'm steve liesman. one u.s. companies that getting hurt by weakness overseas is ford. shares fell 7 1/2% after an investor meeting revealed that the automaker now expects a loss next year in europe and it is planning to take a pretax loss of a billion dollars in south mek for this year, 2014. ford also expects margins in north america to be on the low end of the forecasts. but americans are spending
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more money and a lot of it on new cars. consumer spending rose a healthy 0.5% in august after being slack in july with most of that coming from higher auto sales. consumer incomes rose 0.3% that same month, a bit more than forecast. a drop in the number of people signing contracts to buy existing homes does not bode well for the fall housing season. according to the national association ofrealtors fell in august. contracts to purchase previously owned homes are lower than they were a year ago. diana olick explains why. >> i just have been outbid. i've been outbid by other buyers and that's made it very challenging. >> reporter: eric garcia has been shopping for a home in the burbank, california, area for two years. and for two years prices have been going up. >> it's just been harder to shop because you need more money to put down. you need more -- you need a bank
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to give you a good mortgage offer. so you kind of have to compete now a little bit more financially and that just makes it kind of challenging. >> reporter: that's why other first-time buyers like eric of course osidelined while all ca offers have been pushing up prices. now investors starting to pull out. >> now it was just investor, investor, investor, now it's a market for your normal family looking to buy a home. people looking to buy their starter home, et cetera. >> but normal means mortgage dependent buyers who need financing. while prices are still moderating they were still up over 5% a year ago according to the latest reading. >> the return to normal, i believe, is going to be what leads housing down 10 to 20% in prices and demand over the next one to two years. >> the exodus of investors from the market means home sellers are no longer in the driver's
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seat and will have to adjust their expectations accordingly. this home, for instance, is on one of the most coveted streets in a d.c. suburb, but it went for below asking price. the buyer says hers was the only offer. listings usually go down in the fall but new listings fell three times usual. sellers clearly selled off by the new normal. diana olick, in chevy chase, maryland. if you think your bank has been jacking up the fees that it charges, you're right. a new survey found bankrate.com founds atm fees have risen 5% in the past year and overdraft fees for checking accounts have shot up by nearly a third during that same period. bank of america is paying a big fine for overstating the value of its merrill lynch unit again and again. the s.e.c. charged the bank more than $7.5 million for breaking civil securities laws by repeatedly overstating merrill's
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value to investors by about $4 billion. and for what it calls poor internal record keeping. and at another big u.s. bank, some former employees have been charged with insider trading. the s.e.c. charged a wells fargo analyst with tipping a trader at the same bank ahead of some big market moving ratings upgrades and downgrades. that trader raked in more than $100,000 in profits. six years after the government put together a record bailout for aig, the insurance giant's former ceo is in court again arguing that the company and its shareholders were treated unjustly and unfairly by uncle sam. mary thompson has our story from washington. >> reporter: for 40 years hank greenberg ran aig. for the past four he's tried to prove the government acted illegally when it took aig over through a $182 billion bailout. hurting his former firm while helping others. here's professor john coffey.
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>> i think the government is going to be very embarrassed by this suit because the basic claim here is that the aig bailout was really being used as a conduit by which to push money into the favored banks. >> reporter: greenberg's latest attempt at redemption? a six-week trial in the federal claims court. greenberg's investment firm, star international, once aig's biggest shareholder, now the lead plaintiff in a class action suit seeki ining 15 to 17 billi. former federal reserve chairman ben bernanke and former treasury secretaries hank paulsen and tim geithner who ran the new york fed at the time. lawyers from both sides laid out their case. charging the government violated aig's and shareholders fifth amendment rights. and failing to adequately compensate shareholders when taking a 92% stake in the firm.
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government lawyers countered the federal reserve was trying to save the financial system from the effects of an aig failure not aig itself. and that its board agreed to all conditions because the firm had no alternatives. a point legal experts say favors the government. >> we were really at the edge of aig and therefore the whole financial system falling over the cliff. so i think the credible story here is the story the government has consistently adhered to. >> reporter: greenberg who resigned from aig in 2005 amid an accounting investigation long argued aig did have alternatives the government never pursued. with a sister suit thrown out of district court, the current trial may be greenberg's last chance to prove the government did him and other aig shareholders wrong in trying to save the company. in washington, d.c., i'm mary thompson for "nightly business report." and coming up, three major pharmaceutical companies have
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released new data on promising cancer drugs. details next. more on last week's news about pimco founder bill gross living the asset management firm and the $2 trillion bond powerhouse he co-created. "the wall street journal" reports $10 billion in outflows from pimco on friday alone. and the journal says there are fears inside the firm that $100 billion maybe even more could flood out in the wake of gross' departure. >> so where did a lot of that investor money go? jeff gundlach, the ceo of
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doubleline capital said he saw between 400 million and 500 million in net inflows on friday alone in the wake of bill gross' sudden departure. greenworks animation could soon have a new japanese owner. according to reports the company softbank is now looking to buy dreamworks, the studio behind shrek and madagascar. the reported offer price is almost $3.5 billion. that's $32 a share and a big premium on dream democrat woshs' closing price today. and a canadian natural gas company is buying anoflon, a tes shale company. it will give the canadian company a foothold in one of america's most oil had been rich regions and let the company move away from low profile natural gas and into oil production. shares of aflon surged to 58.32
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and cana up 2% to 21.59. another deal to tell you about. timco software has agreed to vista. about $4 billion. tim ko. activists have been pressuring the company to maximize shareholder value. up 21% those shares were to 23.65. iron mountain shares rose on a bloomberg report that it's in talks to buy recall holdings for more than $2 billion. the data storage and information management company is said to be working with evercore partners on the potential deal. shares jumped more than 6% to 33.90. three drugmakers promised drug results at an oncology conference in europe this week. merck's advanced melanoma drug shows promise in gastric, c, bladder, lung and other forms. astrazeneca presented promising but early data for its lung
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cancer drug combination. and roche's drug has shown benefits in steppeding lives in its trial. shares of all three barely budged today. gopro launcheded a new line of cameras sending its shares to an all-time high. the new who hero lineup includes models ranging from 500 to $130 which is the company's lowest-priced camera yet. the company's founder and ceo nick woodman says the newly public company is prepared for the rollout. shares popped 11% to $90.94. and fedex announced a new stock buy-back program of up to 15 million shares after the bell. that would cost almost $2.5 billion based on its current stock price. shares little changed after hours during the regular strad trading day the stock was up to 162 and change. there's a new stock that will begin trading soon. dave & buster's. maybe you've been there. the arcade and restaurant chain
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plans to put up nearly 6 million shares for sale. setting a price today between $16 and $18. they're all having fun there and it's good. the exact timing of the ipo is still to be determined but we know shares will trade on the naz kak under the sticker symbol "play." and remember those new tax rules issued by the treasury department to curb the inversions, medtronic along with its deal for cavidion might be feeling the full effects. we've got the details next. federal safety regular laters are studying consumer complaints about unexpected acceleration in some older toyotas.
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the national highway traffic administration hasn't opened a formal investigation but it's looking into more than 100 complaints about toyota corollas from the years 2006 to 2010 that suddenly accelerate at low speed. a pretty sizable recall for harley-davidson motorcycles. more than 100,000 brand new touring bikes are being recalled because their clutches may fail causing stopped bikes to creep forward without warning. expect a lot of delays if you plan on flying anywhere near chicago over the next two weeks. federal aviation rulators say that's how long it could take to reopen the chicago area air traffic control center which was set on fire last week by a troubled temporary employee grounding thousands of flights. and a twist on the growing list of u.s. companies looking to lower their corporate tax rate business reincorporating overseas. shares of civio plunging today after the company that provides housing and other for workers in
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remote locations said it would not pursue a conversion and would instead move its headquarters to canada without merging with anyone. it generates 90% of its revenue outside the u.s., much of it in the oil sans region of canada so it wee be subject to the rules of curbing tax inversions. the treasury department to crack down on corporate inversion plans is causing med tronic to rethink its acquisition of dublin-based kovidien. it sent shares down by more than 1% today. how the rules could impact this already agreed upon deal and others in the health care sector. >> reporter: the record deal activity in health care this year may be hitting a stumbling block. the u.s. treasury announced new rules to stop inversions, acquisitions in which companies buy overseas competitors to
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lower their corporate tax rate. they may be causing buyers to take a pause. >> with the passage of the new u.s. treasury laws, it's likely that the acquiring companies are going to try to come back to the table and say, hey, with this new structure on tax policy, we'd like to renegotiate some of the terms of the deal. >> billions of dollars of deals could be affected particularly in health care, an industry that's led the strategy. north chicago based drug mark advi made the deal to buy ireland's shire. and while medtronics made a deal to buy ireland's covidien. it will comment on any potential impact on its acquisition once it finished its review. renegotiations could be risky analysts said. larry beagleson of wells fargo said medtronic may seek to restructure its deal including asking for a lower price and there's risk it could fall apart if the two sides can't agree.
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medtronic may also look to use more stock and less cash, reuters reported. a breakup fee of $850 million in the deal falls through. and while the u.s. acts to stop inversions, companies say a change to the country's tax code is what's needed. >> they need comprehensive reform that really does level the playing field for u.s. companies. because u.s. companies are at a disadvantage relative to foreign companies because of paying higher taxes in the u.s. >> until then morningstar's damian conover said companies are likely to continue to pursue inversions even if the u.s. succeeds in making them a little more difficult. and finally tonight, forbes magazine out with its annual list of the 400 richest americans. the top five. christy walton, one of the heirs to the walmart fortune is worth $38 billion. three other walton family members are right behind her in the top ten. tied for fourth place industrialist charles and david
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koch. in third, oracle co-founder and outgoing ceo larry ellison. and second place, warren buffett of berkshire hathaway worth $67 billion. and at number one, the big bill, bill gates, the harvard dropout that founded microsoft is worth $81 billion. >> you have to be worth 1.5 billion dl to get on that list. sorry, tyler. that's "nightly business report" for tonight. i'm suzie gariharigharib. >> i'm tyler mathisen. have a good night.
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