tv Power Lunch CNBC November 21, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm EST
>> josh? >> i just want to spotlight the banks. the etf that tracks the kbw bank index, that's wbwb, just breaking out to an all-time high. i think that this is the sector that will lead the market into year end. and it's way overdue. the banks really haven't done much since july. >> that could be good for the market if they get going. anthony? >> of all the retail stocks, we like costco the best. it has the highest upside into the christmas shopping season and a great management team. >> have a great rest of the day. that does it for us. don't forget, we'll be back here at robin hood with more special guests. "power lunch" begins now. and we welcome you to "power lunch." i'm sue herera along with tyler mathisen. you're looking at a live shot of the airport in wichita, kansas. that is where a boeing dreamlifter cargo jet landed late yesterday. the only problem, it was supposed to land at mcconnell air force base some 12 miles away. we expect it to take off any time now. phil lebeau has been following the story, and he joins us live
from chicago. phil, first of all, how did this happen? and second of all, this is a much shorter strip than mcconnell has. how's this going to work? >> reporter: let's start first with taking off and the shorter runway. the runway at jabara airport is about 6,100 feet long. typically a 747 modified like this would have a ruppway of at least 9,100 feet, a 3,000-foot difference. they're not going to take off until all parties sign off. authorities say yes, we believe we have enough room for taking off. that's the takeoff we may see relatively soon. as for how it got here, the dreamlifter was carrying 787 dreamliner parts from italy, stopped in new york and was on its way to the facility in wichita, spirit air systems where it was going to be dropping off parts, picking up others. as the pilots were coming in on approach late last night, listen
to the exchange between the dreamlifter pilot and the air traffic control tower. >> 4241 heavy, do you know which airport you're at? >> well, we think we have a pretty good pulse. let me ask you this, how many airports to directly to the south of 1-9 -- your 1-9 are there? >> as you can tell, the pilot was not sure where he was at. in fact, when the pilot of the dreamlifter landed, he actually thought that he was at the beechcraft landing strip. you have beechcraft planes being built there in wichita, and jabara is near there, but it's not the beechcraft landing strip. you can see they were completely confused. they were nowhere close to mcconnell air force base. i think a lot of people are scratching their heads today, tyler and sue, and saying how could this happen? how can you be coming in for approach and not know exactly where you're headed? so those are some of the questions that still need to be answered in addition to the main one here which is is there enough room to take off, and we'll be watching it live. >> it's really shocking that
there wasn't telemetelemetry th would have redirected them. let me ask a dumb question. is the crew that landed at the wrong airport the crew that's going to be taking this thing off? >> tyler, we think it's a different crew, but we don't know that officially. that's understandable. the previous crew had a long trip that they just completed, italy through new york to there. >> maybe they were tired. >> we think it's a different crew. the interesting thing is, i was talking with somebody today, and they said, listen. this is not uncommon. it doesn't happen a lot, but it's not uncommon that you will have a plane land somewhere else. >> not uncommon. what does that mean? >> we don't see it happen with commercial flights. they know exactly where they're going to because these are larger airports. but i can see where a cargo plane, if they're not paying attention, that they go to the wrong airport. >> really sf. >> this one really surprising given the fact that mcconnell air force base, i used to live in wichita. >> it's huge. >> it's a huge facility.
>> how can you miss that? >> i think that's what everyone's asking themselves right now. >> let me get this straight, phil. if this takes off, and let's assume it safely does and we pray it does, it's going to fly, what, 12 miles? >> i'm sure they'll -- >> make an intermediate stop in st. louis or what? >> they'll go up, they'll do a couple of laps, they'll land at mcdonnell. mcconnell is right next to spirit air systems. that's why they land at mcconnell and taxi over to spirit to unload the parts and load up new ones. >> phil, i want to ask you another question quickly. there's no control tower at this particular airport that they're at, correct? that's what i read. >> correct. all the air traffic control goes through midcontinent airport. >> thank you, phil, very much. we'll be getting back to this. the other big story we're following now is the markets because we were up almost 100 points just a short while ago, now up 81 points. stocks moving higher on the job front.
first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week, and that basically has boosted the markets to basically, ty, the best showing of the day so far. >> all right, sue. it's been a tough, tough day for low-end retailers. target reducing its forecasts. sears holdings reporting wider than expected losses. and dollar tree missed estimates. courtney reagan is here with the reasons why. courtney? >> you know, taylor -- tyler -- taylor, the report for tyler, when you look at the retail landscape, it's really the tale of two economies. the stock market may be hitting new highs weekly, the job picture is improving, but the low-end consumer isn't feeling any of that. dollar tree has been a standout this year. shares have gained 34%. the company successfully expanding its footprint. for the third quarter, they're all missing expectations today with ceo bob sasser calling the environment very cautious. target also reporting a
disappointing quarter. while there's some complication in the numbers, its evident the target shopper is holding back as well. the ceo, quote, consumer spending remains constrained in the u.s. sears and kmart sales are terrible but that's not new. sears reporting negative same-store sales since 2005. what exactly is going on? walmart u.s. ceo bill simon says unemployment and job stability topped the list of consumer concerns. noting that while gas prices have fallen, it still remains a big piece of budget for shoppers. there's also the expectation of higher health care costs coming down the pipeline with that first payment due before year end and the snap food stamp benefits kicked in november 1st. the u.s. department of agriculture says that hits nearly 48 million americans. tiler? >> and many of these people would be the very folks who are shopping at some of those lower-end dollar trees and walmart and so fort. courtney, thank you very much. so who are the retail winners so far this year? for that we turn to dominic chu.
dom? >> how about some names that courtney and you are so familiar with. they're worth mentioning, but the stock returns are interesting because our retail winners welcome to our storefront display starts off with the luxury side of things. take a look at this. tiffany & company, up 42%. that jeweler up that much, strong sales in china have helped lift tiffany sales and its profit forecasts as well. our next one here is michael kors, up another we'll call it 57%. this time around year to date. the luxury retailer also reported explosive q4 sales and 45% earnings growth. kors is seeing popularity abroad. still very big, underarmour up 65%. that stock is up really as they see strong demand for athletic gear and also they're getting into that fitness tracking technology business. that's big. and finally, this one here, 5th & pacific. they're surging up around 150%. strong sales from its kate spade
brand, lucky brand jeans really driving that stock performance higher. and there's one more we've got to focus on because it's a mover today. that's williams-sonoma. check out this because don't miss the ceo today on "the closing bell." she's going to be on talking all things williams-sonoma. that stock you can see up 7% today. back to you. >> i want to ask you about jared the jeweler. last time i did that, something happened. that's another story. dom, thank you. should you be adding retail to your portfolio? hugh johnson is chairman and chief executive officer at hugh johnson advisers. and jim is director at tjm institutional services and a cnbc contributor. hugh, i gather you are a little bit wary about adding retail at this point at these prices. >> yeah, i'm very wary. and especially when you take a look at, for example, the general merchandise industry group, which is in the consumer cyclical sector and ask yourself how the stock's been doing, how is that industry group been doing? and if you're looking for something in the consumer
discretionary space that's been doing poorly, the relative performance, whether we're talking about the s&p or the sector is dismal. i think the reason it's dismal, of course, is that we've seen poor retail sales when you start in the month of june, we've seen positive sales, but they've been very, very soft. and that reflects, i think, the decline we've seen since may in consumer confidence. and so the decline in confidence, decline in sales, all showing up in poor relative performance. that's not what you want to buy. that's the ketchup falling knife problem. >> jim, where do you come down on this question of retail, and are there ways to play retail that might not really be in retail, per se? >> well, what's interesting is that i think there's different stories to different parts of it. dollar tree, we addressed a couple months ago on this show. much of the 280% rally in dollar tree over the last three years was a macro economic theme,
pricing in sort of a new reality. now, whether you believe economically we're at an inflection point now and things appear to be getting better and maybe lower gas prices might help retailers, even if you think that, that's fully priced in. i was not surprised to see the poor earnings today. that's something i would rather be short. walmart and target are a totally different thing. walmart seems to be hanging in there pretty good despite the fact that they're going to lose revenue on the snap program, and they reported fairly bad he werings. to me walmart looks okay, but target looks better to me. yes, canada came up poor. we expected more from that. but target seems to be in a decent uptrend. plus, i don't necessarily like when we group them into the low-end retailer because to me they're in the middle. i believe it's a long target short walmart. >> gentlemen, stay with us. we'll come back to you in just a moment to get your thoughts on another big story. we ask your forbearance. sue? here is the big story. cnbc is at the inaugural robin hood investors conference where
some very big-name money managers are speaking out. among them, david einhorn. scott watch nor is the host of "the fast money halftime report." he sat down with mr. ieinhorn, and he had some very interesting things to say. scott. >> sue, thanks. he really did on a number of different topics. it was nice to catch up exclusively with david einhorn. he did talk about his latest and greatest investment idea. that, of course, you know by now is micron, m.u. is the ticker. that stock was on the move from the get-go. it's already been on the move. it's up 200% year to date. nonetheless, david einhorn still thinks there's much more room to go there. he also talked about his notable short positions. number one, st. joe's. that stock was down on some of his comments here. reiterated the fact that he is still short green mountain. and, of course, we asked him about apple. he said he is still long, still likes the company, and here's why. >> i look at apple, i look at it as a company that really has dominant positions in growing
markets. i think apple's a little bit different because of the software component makes it a recurring sale. you're not just buying -- if you buy the last iphone, you're very likely to buy the next iphone. they have over 90% renewal rate on that base, which is something those other companies, you know, never had before. and additionally, apple has an opportunity over time to take this network effect and to increase the services that they're selling. >> you know, it's interesting. he's been quite critical as well of the federal reserve and the policy of quantitative easing the impact that it's had on the overall markets. i asked him about it. he, in fact, did write a memo a couple years ago called the fed's jelly doughnut policy, bakally saying that the market has been overindulging on the sugar effect. so i asked him whether he thinks stocks, because of the big run that we've had this year, are in a bubble. and here's what he said. >> it's really hard to say. there's certain aspects of the market. there's certain stocks within the market that are behaving in very much a bubblelike fashion.
like you dismissed sort of traditional valuation measures. you have companies that don't make profits. they have no profits. they have no plans to make any profits. >> all right. so there's david einhorn from here at robin hood, moving a lot of stocks today, guys. we'll be back here tomorrow for "halftime." >> we look forward to it very much. thanks, scotty. reaction to mr. einhorn's comments from jim and john. jim, i'm going to start with you, if i could. why don't we take the last part of that interview where he mentioned the fact that certain stocks look bubblelike. do you see that as well? although there are other people who see value out there. >> yeah, sure. no, there's a lot of hot money in there and there is some momentum names that have rallied tremendously. but in any market, particularly bull market, there are certain stocks that are in bubbles. to me that's not a huge story. the only real pertinent story is whether or not the market as a whole is in a bubble. and the reason i contend that it's not is because every publication i pick up, we start reading as to whether it's in a
bubble. one of the key characteristics of a bubble is the hysteria tends to convince everybody we're in a bubble. until i see my barber, the guy who drives a cab, until he's telling me that he's putting every last penny into the stock market, i refuse to believe it's a bubble. >> hugh, what did that? we have seen a number of high-profile publications talk about the frothiness in the market, but what do you think of jim's point? >> he's right. there's so many ways to answer that question. in a bubble, what you do is you have speculators borrow money so there's a lot of leverage. i don't see that level of leverage out there to buy, in this case, equities at prices that are arguably overvalued. well, the market itself is maybe 4% overvalued, but we're not at what i would call an emotional extreme which is when you have a bubble. so 4% doesn't really bother me. and they, of course, have the hoper, dreamer fantasy that it's going to become even more overvalued. i don't see that. i see investors being on balance
a little bit cautious right now and concerned about yes, the rise in stock prices and therefore i don't see the euphoria. i don't see the leverage. and i don't see enough of that emotional extreme or overvaluation that would characterize it as a bubble, no. >> all right, jim, you get the final word. apple, what do you think? >> i still like apple. i think the story still is tablets cannibalizing pcs and apple is good at once you buy their product, roping in. i'm still long apple. but in the low 500s i start to get a little nervous, too. i'm getting a little nervous but i still like apple. >> thanks, gentlemen, thanks very much. hugh, jim as well. >> two of the best, jim and hugh there. by a 14-8 vote, the senate banking committee has approved janet yellen's nomination to become the first female to lead the federal reserve. her nomination now goes to the full senate for a final vote. hampton pearson is in washington now with more. hi, hampton. >> reporter: how you doing, tiler?
yeah, all 12 democrats joined by 2 republicans on the banking committee, senators bob corker and tom coburn, to green-light the nomination of yellen for a vote by the full senate, most likely in december. now, janet yellen would be the first woman to lead the federal reserve, if confirmed. she has been a key ally, of course, of the current chairman, ben bernanke, in crafting the fed's policy of economic stimulus through bond buying and exceptionally low interest rates. now, before that banking committee vote, the ranking republican, senator mike crapo, questioned the wisdom of continuing those policies with no end in sight. >> these unconventional and untested policies continue unabated as the fed continues to purchase $85 billion worth of securities each month. the long-term costs of these policies are unclear and frankly worrisome. the immediate benefits are questionable, and markets have become far too reliant on monetary stimulus. >> reporter: now, the big question is what kind of procedural moves could delay that senate vote?
senator rand paul plans to put a hold on the yellen nomination. democrats control 55 senate votes. 60 is the magic number to overcome hurdles get cloture. at least four high-profile republicans are on the record saying they'd vote for yellen. marco rubio and john mccain are among the gop senators say they intend to vote against her confirmation. tyler? >> very interesting. maybe a close one for a change. usually these votes are not quite the nail-biters that this one may turn out to be. hampton, thank you. >> right you are. general motors moving higher. the treasury department says it expects to sell its remaining gm shares by the end of the year. that could leave taxpayers with a shortfall of about $10 billion on the automaker's 2009 bailout. it could have been much worse, of course. gm is up 35% this year. and that, sue, narrows those losses. >> it sure does, ty. well, as the realities of obama care play out, we take a closer look at the so-called
young invincibles. those under 30-year-olds debating whether to go all in or take the bare-bones minimum coverage instead. young people at the crossroads of health insurance. that profile when "power lunch" returns. ♪ ♪ you get your coffee here. you get your hair cut here. you find that certain thing you were looking for here, but actually you get so much more. when you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great.
women's health care maker as well as purchasing call options, and he's selling put options, too, ty. >> all right, sue. problems with healthcare.gov are making it hard for people to access plans, but once they can see their choices, for many it doesn't get any easier. bertha coombs is here with more on the challenges many of those buying insurance for the first time saying i don't need this. >> or want it but don't think they can afford it in many cases. most of us get anxious about picking a plan this time of year, but it's especially tough for the millions of first-time buyers like katie irwin, you may remember her, a 28-year-old new york freelancer who last month told sue that she's worried about making premium payments under obama care. she had no problems getting on to new york state's insurance exchange, but then she found more than 70 planned options and quickly got confused by the tradeoffs when it comes to premiums, deductibles and co-pays. and just sorting through the numbers.
>> i was excited at first because i mistook the tax subsidy that i get which is $65 for how much i would have to pay. and then i was gut wrenchingly sad when i saw that the cheapest plan i could get was $307. >> that was for a midrange plan. we had specialists at online brokerage gravy look over her options, and they found a catastrophic plan for people like her under 30 for about $212 was good her, albeit $6,350 in out-of-pocket exposure. >> as long as she stays in the network, the first three visits to the doctor every year are free. >> now, columbia professor erik johnson worries that most exchanges including healthcare.gov don't have the tools to help people make the most cost-effective decisions which could make a big difference.
>> we've calculated that if you actually do websites right and include the kinds of things that help people make better choices, every year, you could save the government, that is us, $9.5 billion. >> you won't see those savings this year likely. katie is still mulling over her options including perhaps tapping the bank of mom and dad for a little help on her premiums. >> when you do it and you think you know what you're doing, it's hard. >> exactly. >> to figure out co-pays, deductibles and your premium and what's covered and what you're going to need. >> at columbia, mba students had to build a spreadsheet for themselves. >> i'll bet they did. >> and only 75% of them got it right. >> sue snp. the insider trading trial is under way against a.s.c. trader michael steinberg who is accused of seeking an illegal edge over ordinary investors. indicate kelly is following that situation in manhattan and she joins us with the latest. hi, kate. >> reporter: sue, thank you so much. before i get to the courtroom
action, i just want to mention breaking news i just got which is that the chief operating officer of s.a.c. capital has just resigned as of this morning. his last day will be at the end of january 2014. steve cohen in what would be one of his first letters to the staff since the settlement a couple weeks ago talked about becoming a family office and transitioning into a new mode and cumin leaving as part of all that. back to the courthouse behind us, we're midway through a day of questioning that started with cfo dan berkowitz of s.a.c. capital kind of giving the lay of the land at the firm and where michael steinberg who's on trial for alleged insider trading fit within that mechanism. right now we're under way with multiple hours of questioning of a gentleman named jesse tortora. he was a hedge fund worker at an unrelated firm called diamondback who has pled guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy in terms of engaging in insider trading on certain
tech stocks. now, when i left the room, tyler, he was in the midst of telling the prosecution a little bit more about the chain of folks in which he engaged to pass on insider tips from tech companies. ultimately -- and i think he's about to get there -- to michael steinberg. more details as soon as we get those. >> all right, kate, thank you very much. you know, washington is the home of "power lunch" unless you're vice president joe biden. apparently the man a heartbeat away from the presidency went out for a bite to eat in the nation's capital today, but he didn't have enough money to pay the bill. so he had to borrow 10 bucks from a staff member. we hope he's good for it. he came up short. oh, poor joe. >> i got 50. >> love it. still ahead, the bull and the bear case for abercrombie & fitch. two leading analysts will tell us how they think the apparel retailer will fare this holiday season. plus, our week-long series, "saving america's cities." it continues in baltimore where the city faces billions and billions in infrastructure
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oh. what a relief it is. [ male announcer ] can't find theraflu, try alka seltzer plus for fast liquid cold and flu relief. it seems a long-awaited and long delayed volcker rule has hit another roadblock meaning the big banks remain in limbo. mary thompson has been looking into it. what are the details? >> a lot of people were hoping that this key part of dodd/frank would be finished by year end, but the commissioner chilton
says he can't support it in its current form. >> if you have a hedge that is supposed to just mitigate your risk but you're making boatloads of money on it, well, maybe that's not a hedge. if you have a pattern of making lots of loan on your hedge, then maybe we need to call in the enforcement people to look at it. >> now, chilton expects banks to make a profit, but he believes when the market changes, so, too, should a hedge. he says if a hedge is recalibrated or changed, it's likely a bet, something the volcker rule wants to prevent them from taking but not as it's presently written. banks shut down and traded for their own accounts. so what is an acceptable and unacceptable hedge? that continues to be something they continue to grapple,
meaning a final rule may not happen until well into next year. sue? >> thank you so much. we have a nice gain on the market for the bulls. bob pisani joins me here at post 9. we're up just over 90 points on the trading session. >> one way to get a nice boost in your stock is so unexpectedly announce a big buyback program. it's been working all year. i want to put up june pacific because this morning, sort of out of the blue, they announced an enormous buyback program. they're going to buy back 60 million shares by the end of 2017. that is about 14% of the shares outstanding. if i'm doing the math right. now, already, going back to 2007, have repurchased nearly 20% of the stock. this will go through 2017. by then, sue, 2017, 36% of the shares will have been bought back in the last seven or eight years. it's remarkable. >> almost 2%. >> i know. gold stocks, gold, july lows, they recovered in august, then drifted lower. all the gold stocks are down again today. this has been a tough time for this particular group.
as far as the markets, we've moved in a very narrow range on light volume. i see buyers exhausted, sue, but i don't see anybody selling. nobody is selling. now, you see interest rate-sensitive groups like utilities are down. nasdaq is a little weaker because we've seen the high beta names like linkedin moving to the downside. transports, that's pretty small, but the rest of the s&p and the russell -- >> they stayed flat. >> -- those are pretty small declines. again, buyers are tired, but nobody's selling. >> all right, bob, thank you so much. let's go uptown to the nasdaq where seema mody is following all the action there for us. hi, seema. >> sue, nasdaq is once again under way and helped by an outperformance in biotech. in fact, the nasdaq biotech index hitting an all-time high about an hour ago. the sector has gained over 55% year to date. analysts telling me that in an economy growing at a snail's pace, growth is hard to find.
many have good growth prospects. that keep s money coming in. analysts at ubs says stick to large. cap biotech. he says it's the cheapest large cap based on 2015 earnings. he also says -- or writes that amgen should be an outperformer is the rick off trade persists. in terms of biggest winners, acadia and cellgex posting a triple-digit gain. the large caps. sue, back to you. >> thank you very much. one of the things the stock market has been keeping such a close eye on is the creep to the upside in yields. let's get you up to date on the bond market. we bumped our head against 2.80% on the ten-year. every time we move below 2.8%, we see a little bit of a boost in stocks. and we're holding basically a 2.79% in the ten-year. watch that yield because that seems to be dictating equities.
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abercrombie & fitch beating the street on the bottom line but missing on the top line. revenues coming in just shy of expectations. comparable same-store sales falling for the seventh straight quarter. the shares are up today by better than 1%. however, longer term, the stock is down more than 25% this year. so is abercrombie & fitch worth your investment dollars? let's bring in the analysts, susan anderson is with fbr capital markets. she has a buy rating on the stock. howard tuben is with rbc capital markets. he has a hold on abercrombie. welcome to both of you. >> thanks. >> susan, i'm going to start with you if i could. down 25% on the year. are you playing this as basically a turnaround story or a takeover story?
why do you have a buy rating on the stock? >> yes. we think at these levels it trades at just five times ebitda, it's expected to have $8 per share in cash at the end of the year. we view it kind of as the same thing as a gap turnaround. the consumers in it like the brand about five years ago. a couple years ago they were in a similar situation and implemented similar initiatives that we see them implementing now. two years later the stock has nearly doubled. we think abercrombie given its strong brand, global recognition is in a very similar spot and we think they have the right initiatives to really take it to the next level. >> howard, what about that? because susan does have a point, does she not? everybody was left gap for dead. i mean, they were writing off that stock. and they did manage to turn things around. they got some new management in. you have a hold on abercrombie. you don't seem as convinced. >> yeah. i think abercrombie's in a tough spot. the teen retail landscape is really difficult. and the way you win in teen
retail is to offer, you know, something unique. you know, they have to have a unique product. you have to keep evolving your merchandise assortment. and really over the last several years, we haven't seen abercrombie's assortment evolve very much at all. we heard them talk about evolving, heard them talk about separating the look of the stores from hollister, make hollister stores look different than abercrombie stores. they've said it before. i haven't really seen it in action yet. and i think that the teen customer now is really more focused on fashion and newness and excitement. and they haven't seen it in abercrombie in a long time. i'm not sure when they'll see it in abercrombie. >> susan, as i understand it, the current ceo's contract is up in february. do you anticipate that that will be renewed, or are we going to see new leadership? >> i mean, i think, you know, jeffries has been with the company a long time. he's really the mastermind behind the brand. and i think he's done a really good job creating the brand. but, you know, with -- i agree with howard on the changing teen
landscape. i think they have done some progress on the women's side in terms of bringing in fashion. but really with that change, you could need to see a change in management to kind of take it to the next level and shift up their merchandise. that said, i do think they have the right initiatives in place now. you know, they look at their traditional merchandise, and they say it is too similar between seasons. so now they're going to implement some seasonal attributes to really drive freshness and newness while also putting more processes and procedures in place on the women's side and the fashion business to help from fashion mishaps such as testing and read and react. you know, down the road, i do think that they'll do the right thing with management and put the right management in place to execute on these initiatives. >> very quickly, howard, i have about 30 seconds left. what would make you change your rating? you said, you know, you haven't seen any of those initiatives put in place. would that be enough to do it? >> yeah. i mean, i think they've said a lot of good things and said a lot of things i've wanted to hear for a long time. the problem is i've heard them say them before. i'd like to go into store, see
hollister take a different direction, see the brand move in a different direction. abercrombie move in a different direction. i'd like to see current fashion, better represented in their stores. you know, and then we can, you know, possibly reevaluate the rating. but i need to kind of see it. i don't want to get in front of it. >> yeah, the proof is in the pudding. okay, thanks, guys. appreciate it very much, susan and howard. and don't miss tomorrow's "bulls, bears & retail" debate on the gap. speaking of which, we mentioned it earlier, it's out with its earnings today after the bell. ty, up to you. sue, tesla's model "s" takes the number one spot in "consumer repo report" rating. it's being probed for a possible recall. won top reports in the annual survey, the highest score in years with a 99 poout of 100. keep in mind this survey was done last spring before three model "ss" caught fire. tesla shares today, let's see how they're trading, up about 25%. that obviously way off those highs from earlier in the year.
nonetheless, year to date, this company's shares with up nearly 260% despite that falloff from late september. cnbc's "saving america's cities" today in baltimore. it could face financial ruin within a decade with infrastructure a major issue. our scott cohn is live down in baltimore.
scott? >> reporter: hi, tyler. at a wastewater treatment plant. it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. and someone's got to process the 63 million gallons of sewage that comes through here every day. someone's also got to pay for it. and today we are looking at infrastructure in baltimore and cities across america. that's coming up next on "power lunch." [ male announcer ] what if a small company
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percentage gain, up better than a full percent or almost 40 points on the session. america's cities are plagued by leaks. not leaks of information, actual leaks. on day four of our look at the critical condition of america's cities, senior correspondent scott cohn has made his way to baltimore, a city with water, water everywhere and not always by design apparently, scott. >> reporter: that's right, sue. here we're at the wastewater treatment plant that processes about 63 million gallons a day, as we said. and this is the tail end of the system. in baltimore they're serving about 500,000 people. this plant dates back about 75 years by the standards of some of the system, that's young, and that's precisely the problem. all this water. and this. and this isn't from a storm. it's from broken water mains. they call baltimore charm city,
but the water system is cursed. >> i know all the different things. >> reporter: stephanie rawlings blake is baltimore's mayor. >> we've had some mammoth breaks, you know, whole intersections have gone. we've had to reroute traffic. >> reporter: on average, three water main breaks every day. >> every day in the city, somebody you know is dealing with a water main break. >> reporter: in this 284-year-old city, the typical water main like this clogged section of pipe is more than 70 years old. replacing them costs around $2 million a mile, and baltimore has 4,000 miles. then there's the other end of the system. >> wastewater is 99.9% water. >> reporter: george harwood is an engineer at baltimore's wa e wastewater treatment plant for 38 years. environmental regulations keep piling up, he says, but the money to pay for them does not. so you're kind of striking a balance. yes. >> reporter: you want to make sure the water is as pure as it
can be. >> and we want to be as economical as we can be as we operate the plant. >> reporter: every improvement the feds and the state demand like this billion-dollar facility under reduction is covered by rate payers, this in a city with no shortage of other issues, blight, crime, the budget. >> everybody wants clean water. everyone wants the environment to be pristine, but we're not growing money trees down in the basement of city hall. >> reporter: a couple of money trees would probably help. they budgeted about $3 billion over the next several years for capital improvements to the water system. the need is closer to $6 billion. nationwide, estimates are it will be upwards of $700 billion to get the systems where they need to be. now, some cities are doing better than others. we've got a closer look at the infrastructure crisis in our special report online at cnbc.com/cities. now, tomorrow will be the last day of our cross-country tour. we started in oakland. we went to chicago, miami, now
baltimore. tomorrow's maybe the scariestal basic services like police. trenton, new jersey, has just cut about one-third of its police force. guess what's happened to the crime rate. we'll have that story tomorrow. sue? >> scott, thank you. nicely done, as always. would you buy underwater mortgage insurance? details on a firm that's offering it up for you coming up next. plus, today's "power house" takes us to beautiful phoenix, arizona. how far can your money take you in the valley of the sun? we'll show you next. ♪ [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of true artistry and some of the best offers of the year at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection. they always have. they always will.
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despite the housing recovery, millions of homeowners are still under water on their mortgages, but turns out a gnaw type of insurance is on the way. our real estate ace, diana olick, is? washington with the details. hi, diana. >> hi, tyler. the good news is 1.4 million -- others are still drowning according to zillow.
we know this was an historic housing crash, but it still makes leery homeowners wonder can it happen again? well, if you believe it can, then you might be interested in a new insurance product designed to protect homeowners against the perils of negative equity. >> we will be there to help consumers if they end up in a situation where life happens to them, and they need to sell, and they might be in a down market. >> basically, it's gap insurance, covering the underwater amount should you need to sell. kansas-based amtrust financial will offer it next month in five states, and caton says it should go nationwide within a year. to qualify, you must have at least 10% equity in your home now, and you cannot refinance during the coverage period. the average monthly premium is between $40 and $50. this is not for high-end homes, though. most markets will be capped at home values of around $400,000. now, critics of the product say it may be preying on fear. barry at the consumer federation
of america suggests rather than paying an insurance company, why not put that money into added principal, that is shelf insure. it is an interesting interesting to consider. sue? >> thank you very much, diana. coming up, the president is set to issue a statement on the senate's latest move to change filibuster rules. when it comes to his nominees. we'll take that live when it occurs. we're back in two minutes. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 trading inspires your life. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 life inspires your trading. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 where others see fads... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 ...you see opportunities. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at schwab, we're here to help tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 turn inspiration into action.
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it's going to be a lightning-fast "power house." jean is a realtor out in phoenix, arizona. let's go, jean, through the stats for the city of phoenix according to the crawford report as of november 14th. average sales priced right now about $215,000, median, about $165,000. average days on the market, 57. 3.7 months supply on the market. first let's go to 658 east mariposa place, just over $1,000 in paxs, three bedroom. nice price. >> yep, this is a sweet little property. great for the first-time
homebuyer. it's a great room floor plan which a lot of the young people like. kitchen has modern things like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances. when you go upstairs, the three bedrooms are up there plus two bath. and a master bedroom for this size home is really sizeable. and a nice master bath. no big thrills there. >> looks like reasonably recent construction. let's move to our second listing, gene. an historical property built in 1925 at 1142 west lynwood in phoenix, asking $350,000, $1300 in tax, three bedroom, two bath, a little bigger, 1,500 square feet. where is this one relative to downtown phoenix? >> this one's right in the heart of downtown, just slightly west. we have 35 historic districts. this is in one of them. it's a 1925, as you mentioned, spanish revival. the owners were from san francisco. it was the second home.
and they were architects and urban planners and did an amazing job. the kitchen has been modernized but still has a lot of wood to keep it feeling kind of sweet. >> that looks really nice. and homes, as i've found, owned by architects generally have lots of nice touches. power house of the week, north wilder in phoenix. $1.3 million. taxes a bit over $9,000. this is making me ill, $9,000. mine are almost three times as much on a house that ain't half that. three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4,000 square feet. this looks like a beautiful contemporary or ranch. >> it sure is. and that's what we specialize in in north central. it's home to john mccain and wife, cindy, used to live in this area. the home was renovated by its owners recently. it was built in '45. and they tricked out the kitchen. and i think the real special thing when you walk into the backyard and see your own tennis
court, diving pool, it's pretty amazing. >> gene urban, i almost called you gene wilder. thank you very much. good to be with you. >> thanks every fog very. i guess, sue, we're going to take a quick break here or toss it down to you? >> actually, we're going to go to john harwood in washington because we're awaiting the statement from the president on basically the senate's efforts to confirm presidential nominees. it has to do with the filibuster rules. the democratic-led senate changed the rules for the votes needed. john, this is pretty significant for the president. and tell us what you expect to hear from him when he comes out momentarily. >> reporter: well, i expect him to say that he now can look forward to the fact that the senate's going to act on more of his nominees including nominees for the d.c. appeals court which has vacancies. and he's made nominations that have been held up. significant not only for the president and his agenda but also significant for the senate. republicans say in a bad way that it's going to change the character of the senate, which
has always been one that relied on consensus and deliberation. and democrats are making the argument, as republicans did, when democrats were blocked president bush's nominees, that they've taken it too far. the ability and the right to filibuster. so this is a partisan move by harry reid, trying to advance the president's nominees. he says he's got good reason for it. republicans say he's going to pay a heavy price for changing the senate in this way. it's one of the reflections of how our partisan political system has gotten so partisan, so polarized that they can't work together at all. >> you know, supreme court nominees, as i understand it, are exempt. they still need the 60-vote threshold, is that correct? >> that's correct. supreme court nominations are not affected by this. you could say the most important presidential appointments are not, but this is still a very consequential move because, of course, the vast majority of people the president appoints to anything are not supreme court
nominees. and here's the president. >> good afternoon everybody. it's no secret that the american people have probably never been more frustrated with washington. and one of the reasons why that is is that over the past five years, we've seen an unprecedented pattern of obstruction in congress that's prevented too much of the american people's business from getting done. all too often we've seen a single senator or a handful of senators choose to abuse arcane procedural tactics to unilaterally block bipartisan compromises, or to prevent well-qualified, patriotic americans from filling critical positions of public service in our system of government. now, at a time when millions of americans have desperately searched for work, repeated abuse of these tactics have blocked legislation that might create jobs. they've defeated actions that would help women fighting for equal pay. they've