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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  December 4, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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>> this is nbr. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> tom: good evening. i'm tom hudson. the nation's governors met with president obama today about what they need to see in a fiscal cliff deal. we talk with delaware governor jack markell. >> susie: i'm susie gharib. a coalition of the nation's top c.e.o.s is feeling pessimistic about getting a fiscal cliff deal. the group's leader joins us, maya macguinneas. >> tom: and luxury fashion meets the mass market. who wins with target's pairing with neiman marcus? >> susie: that and more tonight on nbr! >> tom: there wasn't much obvious ground given today between president obama and congressional republicans in the
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effort to avoid the fiscal cliff in january. president obama repeated his pledge he's open to new ideas, but is holding firm on his call for higher taxes on top income earners, something missing from the g.o.p. plan. with just three weeks left, the two sides are still at odds with their opening offers. with time ticking away to reach a deal before tax cuts expire and spending cuts hit, president obama today said he's still optimistic a deal will be done and he's willing to compromise, but negotiations just aren't there yet. >> it's going to require what i talked about in the campaign, which is a balanced, responsible approach to deficit reduction that can help give businesses certainty and make sure the country grows. >> tom: the president rejected the proposal republicans presented him yesterday. it would cut the debt by $2.2 trillion over ten years, but would not raise taxes on america's highest earners, the biggest sticking point. the two sides seem to be allowing themselves room to bargain. the president said today he'd be
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open to lowering tax rates for high earners later next year as part of a broad tax reform package. and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell did not directly endorse the g.o.p. plan. for now, house speaker boehner put the ball in the president's court, releasing a statement: "the president now has an obligation to respond with a proposal that can pass both chambers of congress." >> susie: we turn tonight to other opinions on the fiscal cliff impasse. we talk with the chairman of the national governor's association, and we also hear from a leading advocate for responsible fiscal policy. we begin with governor jack markell, the democrat from delaware. he was one of six governors meeting with president obama today to talk about how the fiscal cliff impacts their states. i asked him what was his message to the president. >> our message was pretty straightforward. we believe that it is important that governors have a seat at the table as the president and leaders in congress are negotiating issues around
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the fiscal cliff. we think it is really important that they get something done because, obviously, if tax rates go up on middle-class americans come next month, it will be bad for those middle-class americans, it is will be bad for our states, and we're concerned about both the fiscal side and the economic growth side. >> susie: so talk to us a little bit about what kind of deal you would like to see. what were you proposing to the president? >> let's put it this way, if money is just shifted from the federal government to the states, that's not really saving anything. and the president understands that. we think it is really important. recognizing if there are cuts in funds, there ought to be a corresponding reduction in some of the requirements that are put on the states. so we really, as much as anything else, wanted to make sure that our voices are heard and that as decisions are made, whether it is about taxes, whether it is about spending cuts, that they be done equitably and with our input. >> susie: your state is headquarters to many large american companies.
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and if their taxes go up, which everybody is expecting, what would that mean for jobs in delaware, and also for your state's economy? >> well, across the country, i think this whole issue around taxes and around the fiscal cliff generally leads to something else, which is significant uncertainty. and whether it is delaware or whether it is any other state, one of the things that is most important to us is having business leaders have some kind of certainty about what the ground rules are going to be. not just for the next three months, by the way. but really for the next several years. they're more likely to invest, more likely to hire their next employee if they know what the game looks like. what the landscape looks like. and so as much as anything else, we think having that certainty, having that clarity on taxes and spending, is really important. >> susie: you said you are also very concerned about where growth is going to come from. did you discuss that with the president, won did he say, aside from tax increases and spending cuts? >> one of the things we specifically talked about
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was infrastructure. it didn't used to be that roads and bridges were democrat or republican. we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure, a strong transportation network, water, sewer, broadband and the like. >> susie: if we go over the fiscal cliff, what would be the biggest issue for your state? >> there are a number of issues. we're very concerned about what the economic impact could be of going over the fiscal cliff. again, taxes going up on middle-class americans. some industry potentially coming to a standstill. so underlying everything else in our state is growth. if the economy is not growing, in fact, if it is contracting, it will be bad for tax receipts, and it will be bad because it means fewer people working. that's a critically important piece of it. the second thing is making sure as these negotiations take place, the impact on states, on local governments, on our citizens, is carefully considered. >> susie: governor
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markell, thec s thank you so muh for coming on the program. >> thank you. >> tom: from a governor's take, we now turn to the view from the private sector. some of the nation's leading c.e.o.s have banded together with deficit commission co- chairs erskine bowles and alan simpson to launch the "fix the debt" campaign. darren gersh spoke with maya macguineas, one of the organizers of the campaign. darren began by asking her if the business leaders are making a difference. >> i think the whole campaign is making a difference in that what we actually have is now over 300,000 citizens, 2,500 small businesses, well over 100 c.e.o.s and partners across the country who are basically trying to deliver a message that is different. and the message isn't take this off the table, take this off the table, take this off the table, at which point you have nothing left on the table and we can't fix the problem. but it is, we want the country to come together. we want them to come up with a plan that is big enough to fix the problem, and we want them to do it in a way that is bipartisan. on the business leaders, they have, up until this
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moment, not been that involved in the issue. last summer, when we had the debacle about the debt ceiling, einsmall i think small businesses and large businesses realized they couldn't function in this kind of uncertainty, and they wanted to make their voices heard. >> a lot of your c.e.o.s have come out and said they can support higher taxes, but one of the big issues is whether or not higher tax rates would hurt the economy. do your c.e.o.s have a view on that? >> right now the whole discussion is tax rates of course tax reform. we're not pushing any particular plan because the last thing you need is a whole bunch of people coming to washington saying do it exactly this way. do it exactly this way. we just need to fix the problem, and we need to do it in a way that is god fo --good for the economy and protects the most vulnerable in the society. >> does it matter if we have tax rates at 35% or 39%, or would it be more important to get this uncertainty out of the way? would that help the
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economy more? >> i think that's the exact point, that everybody, small businesses and big businesses are going to have different preferences for exactly how you fix the tax code, but the message they're delivering is a fix in and of itself that is real, and that would fix the problem, would be so beneficial for them. >> are we going to fix the problem? are we going ove over the cliff? >> this is coming down to the wire. i feel more pessimistic that i have before. the level of negotiating may in part be for show, but i'm terribly concerned that they're not at the point where they're really working to solve the problem for the good of the country and put the partisan differences aside. they're going to have to do that to get to a deal and time is running out. >> your group and groups like them have come under criticism and other progress siveprogressives who sr group is a privileged
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group, and i wanted to give you a chance to respond to that. >> i'm stunned every time i see that. one, paul has were a tremendous platform to make the case for how he would fix the problem. and that is not something he has laid out. i think it is incumbent to say what they would do to fix the problem. we made the case on revenue, on spending, on entitlements, and quite frankly, anybody who looks at the entitlement programs in this country, regularly say these programs are unsustainable. we have to fix them. >> maya macguineas, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> susie: still ahead, stiff competition is coming to the cable sports networks. we'll tell you about how news corp is getting into the game. >> tom: american bank profits hit six-year highs over the
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summer, even as growth in lending activity slowed. bank profits totaled $37.6 billion in the third quarter, up 6.6% from a year earlier. putting aside less money for bad loans and more fee revenue get the credit. in europe, spain's finance minister warned the recession there has gotten worse. he described the current quarter's economy as the most difficult in the year since spain's recession began. the dow lost 14 points, the nasdaq down 5.5, and the s&p lost two.
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retail partnership-- target and >> susie: here's an unlikely retail partnership-- target and neiman marcus. in an effort to energize the early december lull in holiday shopping, the two stores are offering a unique line of designer housewares, gifts and clothing. the pieces are available at both target and neiman marcus stores and on their web sites. but, attention shoppers-- many of the hot items are going fast. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: four days after its debut, most of the much-hyped collaboration is still available at this target in edgewater, new jersey. there are gifts for your four- legged friends, and plenty of bar accessories for your partying pals, including shot glasses and cocktail shakers. there's even green transportation by alice and olivia. gone is this funky sweatshirt, although you can still get it online. almost gone are these brian atwood gloves at $50 a pair.
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and only a handful of carolina herrera notebooks are left. 24 designers created products ranging from $8 to $500 a piece. many of the designers are not household names, but a deal with target gives them mass market exposure. clearly, target and neiman marcus are hoping the partnerhip will put some sizzle into their holiday sales. >> i think it's done well, it's set up well. it's beautiful everything here. it's different. >> reporter: target is no stranger to other designer hook- ups, many of whose pieces normally sell for steep price tags at high-end department stores. don't forget the wildly successful missoni for target, which sold out in minutes in september of last year. it even crashed the company's web site, angering frugal fashionistas. to avoid any negative p.r. with
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the neiman marcus collection, target is carefully managing inventory and shortening the time frame of availability to just over a month. >> the sales have been brisk, and this time around, we've carried a lot more inventory than the missoni. we have a lot more so our guests can shop. >> reporter: as for what i bought today-- gloves for my mother and a flask for my husband. come on, did you really think i could cover a retail story and not do any holiday shopping. suzanne pratt, nbr, edgewater, new jersey. >> tom: steve, which brand benefits the most from odd pairing, discount target to the high-end luxury neiman marcus? >> i think it is sort of a complicated analysis. i think for target, it is
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all win. from target's perspective, sales will be quite good. you look at the average target customer -- neiman marcus brands are often inaccessible to these folks. the chance to go to target and get some of the higher-end products i think will be very attractive and draw a lot of excitement to the store, and draw a heck of a lot of traffic for them. i think also in terms of branding, target is going to make out very well here. neiman marcus, the association consumers have are up-scale, prestigious, and so forth. for target, one of their most important marketing objectives is to be perceived as a little above walmart and k-mart and so on. by target having this partnership, they can leverage the associations that neiman marcus has developed. >> tom: does neiman marcus then lose something here in this relationship? >> neiman marcus, i think their core goal is sales. they have 40 stores, and target has 1700.
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the angle for neiman marcus is you can expand distribution substantially, and you can get in front of a lot more consumers by having this partnership. my concern for neiman marcus is in the short run, sales are going to be strong, but in the long run i worry about their brand. the target brand is prestigious among big box retailer, but it still is a discounter. and not being exclusive -- i worry that their aura of exclusiveity is going to explode. i think there is a pretty substantial advantage now, but i worry about that eroding. >> tom: items range from $8 all the way up to $500. how price se sensitive are consumers this holiday season? >> i think it varies across costumers. target costumers generally are going to are more price conscious than other folks. and they can get a brand
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they might aspire to and typically wouldn't be able to afford. and it's really great. i think sales are going to be quite good. interestingly, the neiman marcus costumers generally are not as price sensitive. in fact, in paying more, paying a premium for neiman marcus products is part of the experience for them. there was a woman i was talking to this morning, a small business owner, and she buys a lot from the neiman marcus catalog, and she wasn't aware of this partnership. and her quote was, "what in the heck is neiman marcus doing partnering with target?" it eroded her enthusiasm for the brand. so it hurts the brand. >> tom: it certainly highlights your point where target has more to win, and neiman marcus more to lose. steve posavak with us from
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vanderbilt university. >> susie: u.s. oil production hit a 15-year high in september. the up-tick is thanks to the controversial drilling method known as fracking. average daily production reached 6.5 million barrels a day. that's almost one million barrels more than a year ago. if that momentum continues, the u.s. might deliver on that prediction last month from the international energy agency, calling for the u.s. to surpass saudi arabia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020. here's one good thing to come from the destruction of hurricane sandy-- verizon customers will be getting faster, and more, telecom services. the company said today it is
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replacing damaged copper wires with fiber optic cable. that upgrade from older, slower copper allows verizon to offer more digital services, including bundling phone, internet and cable tv. and it means an increase in revenues for verizon. tom, that was the message from verizon's c.e.o., speaking at an investor conference today. but it didn't do much for the stock. verizon shares fell, like many of its fellow dow components trading here on the big board. >> tom: let's get going with tonight's "market focus." with no big economic data for cues, stocks finished a lackluster day in negative territory. the s&p 500 struggled to find a clear direction and spent most of the session in the red. it ended with a small loss of two tenths of 1%. trading volume continued to be moderate-- 674 million shares on the big board; under 1.8 billion shares traded on the nasdaq.
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we saw small sector moves, as well. the telecommunications sector's seven tenths of a percent loss was the worst. it was followed by utilities, down a half-percent. intel was one of the best dow industrial stocks. while the company has not joined the chorus of firms announcing one-time dividends, it did launch a $6 billion bond sale. and that fed speculation it may use the money to buy back its stock. shares of intel rose 2.2%. the stock was at a 52-week low last week. the gap is another company that hasn't joined the special dividend parade. today, it confirmed it has not changed its dividend policy, leading to a sell-off. the stock lost 10.3%; volume jumped nine fold. the drop takes the gap to its lowest price since early august. it rallied then after it raised its financial outlook. two other consumer-oriented stocks were in focus. retailer big lots rallied 11.5%. it lost less money than feared last quarter and announced its
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c.e.o. will retire. olive garden and red lobster owner darden restaurants fell 9.6% after warning earnings will be disappointing, thanks to sales declines. as the competition for top films has increased between online streaming providers, netflix will get exclusive pay-tv access for first-run disney movies, beginning with 2016 releases. it is a three-year deal that puts netflix in direct competition with traditional cable channel's like time warner's hbo, cbs' showtime, and the starz channels owned by liberty media. netflix boosts its content offerings with disney films online at netflix seven to nine months after they're in theaters. as for disney, there's speculation this could be the start of a bigger deal.
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>> tom: while there was no price tag on what the disney movies will cost netflix, netflix stock shot up on the deal, jumping 14 points to an eight-month high. the deal did not move disney shares, though. they were up just one penny. the news wasn't so optimistic for another new media company, online radio operator pandora. after the close, pandora reported it earned a nickel per share in the latest quarter. that was much stronger than expected, but its forecast for revenue this quarter was disappointing, something the company's c.e.o. blames on advertiser concern over the fiscal cliff. pandora shares closed the regular session with a 5.5% gain. but after its pessimistic outlook, shares plunged 19% in extended hours trading, falling to around $7.70 per share. three of the five most actively traded exchange traded products were lower. the gainers were emerging markets and the russell 2,000
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funds. and that's tonight's "market focus." >> susie: news corp is splitting into two companies. starting next year, one will focus on publishing with "the wall street journal" and other newspapers; the other will be its movie and television businesses. one of those new tv businesses could be a national sports cable channel. sports is one of the highest priced but most profitable programs to put on television. just consider that espn is a big contributor to the most profitable business unit at disney. rick horrow tonight goes "beyond
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the scoreboard." >> reporter: espn's sports media monopoly could be in jeopardy, as rupert murdoch's news corp reportedly is moving forward with plans to turn its auto- racing channel speed into fox sports 1, an all-sports tv network by the middle of next year. news corp execs believe their company is uniquely positioned to compete against espn because of their previous success breaking into the broadcast and cable news markets with fox and fox news, respectively. fox isn't the only network hoping to steal viewers away from espn. comcast's nbc and cbs have also launched 24-hour sports networks. but where fox hopes to differentiate itself is with distribution and live sports rights. fox's speed channel already is in more than 80 million homes, and fox owns rights to mlb, nascar, college sports, and ufc. it's easy to understand why news corp wants to launch an all- sports channel. espn is worth $40 billion,
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nearly half of parent company walt disney company's total value. additionally, the channel rakes in more the $5 a month for every cable subscriber in 100 million households, regardless if they watch or not. but espn, like rome, wasn't built in a day. it'll take news corp shareholders several years and billions of dollars to replicate espn's success. i'm rick horrow. >> susie: tomorrow on nbr, how to do more with less. we visit one hospital that's using technology to do just that. and the economic and investment outlook for 2013-- we talk with gary thayer from wells fargo advisors. >> tom: we want to remind you about a special guest on nbr later this week. nbr founding co-anchor paul kangas will join us on thursday night, december 6. we'll talk about the markets, and he'll answer some of your questions.
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that's this thursday, december 6. you can submit your questions on facebook or twitter at b-i-z-r-p-t. >> susie: it's beginning to look a lot like christmas here at the nyse. just moments ago, the big board held its 89th annual christmas tree lighting. this year's tree is a 45-foot norway spruce, and if history is any guide, it will be one of the most visited holiday landmarks in the city. and tom, the big board's tree is embroiled in a twitter battle for bragging rights as the city's best with another famous tree, the one at rockefeller center.. >> on my way to work this morning, i saw the tree by the new york stock exchange, and it looks pretty impressive. >> tom: we saw you putting ornaments on it. but the trees are tweeting? is that right?
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>> susie: not quite right, and those trees are a little too high for me to reach to put an ornament. that's "nightly business report" for tuesday, december 4. have a great evening, everyone, and you, too, tom. >> tom: good night, susie. we'll see you online at, and back here tomorrow night. captioning sponsored by wpbt captioned by media access group at wgbh
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