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Markets Open Down; Negotiators Ironing out Gun Framework; Parts of Yellowstone May Reopen; Spacey Appears in London Court. Aired 9:30- 10a ET

Aired June 16, 2022 - 09:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: After a rally yesterday following the Fed's big rate hike. What this says about investor's concerns about the economy, next.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Weekly jobless claims dropped to 229,000 last week, falling just short of a five-month high that was recorded the week before. And this comes as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates by three quarters of a percent in what is being seen as an aggressive move to counter inflation.


HARLOW: All right, so as we bring in our chief business correspondent Christine Romans, I want to pull up the big board, the Dow, and just show people what's going on with markets right now because we're four minutes into this the trading session and you've got the index off 667 points.

Why is this happening?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And the gloom deepening a little bit here. This is even worse than we have seen, you know, in pre-market trading. And we've just lost the 30,000 mark here. So, what this tells you is markets are unsure of the path forward for the Fed fighting inflation, how aggressive the Fed will have to be and what the future holds.

You know, markets hate uncertainty. And that is the only thing I am sure of is that we don't know what things look like in six weeks and we don't know what they look like in six months. The former Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, was just on our air. He said, look, it's going to be bumpy. And to try to, you know, forecast out with your crystal ball in six months is very, very difficult here in terms of recession worries, and in terms of whether the Fed can actually - actually execute what we call a soft landing. We just don't know how it's going to work out.

We know what the Fed did yesterday was pretty historic, first time since 1994. That was basically three rate hikes in one move, and that shows you how serious they're taking the inflation - the inflation threat here.

We saw those jobless claims numbers earlier this morning. This is a weekly reading. Look, this is a number that is now back above the pre- pandemic average. It's a proxy for layoffs. We're going to watch this very closely to see if you start to see layoffs pick up and hiring slow a little bit, which is ironically something that the Fed kind of would like to see -

HARLOW: Exactly.

ROMANS: Because they're trying to cool off an overheating economy with an overheating job market.

HARLOW: You -- we were talking about this in the break and you talked about the patient being given medicine, the patient being our economy -


HARLOW: The medicine being, you know, a 75 basis point cut. And we don't know --


HARLOW: Hike, sorry.

ROMANS: I know, we're -

HARLOW: Excuse me.

ROMANS: It's hard to change (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: And we don't know if it's working yet.

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: It's too soon to know.

ROMANS: We - it's too soon to know. But we know that the - we do know the medicine tastes pretty bad.


ROMANS: It's going to be higher credit card rates, higher car loan rates, higher mortgage rates. Maybe that's kind of a good thing in the housing market that has been, I think, overheating. So maybe that will cool down and first-time home buyers will get a shot. But they're not going to be able to borrow as much as they did before because the loan rates are going up. So there's just a lot going on right now. I think bumpy is the word of the day.

HARLOW: Word of the day.

ROMANS: Thank you, Jack Lew, former Treasury secretary.

HARLOW: Yes. ROMANS: Bumpy is the word of the day.

HARLOW: Thank you, Christine Romans. Always appreciate it.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: The bipartisan group of senators working on gun legislation will meet this afternoon, again. Top Republican negotiator John Cornyn says the group is working toward drafting the legislative text, but there are some sticking points still left to iron out.

MARQUARDT: And CNN's Lauren Fox is joining us now from Capitol Hill.

Those sticking points, Lauren, could that mean a delay?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: well, Senator John Cornyn warning just a few moments ago to our colleagues outside of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that he believes that today is really pretty hard and fast in terms of a deadline for reaching an agreement. And the reason is because already the majority leader, Chuck Schumer, has said he wants to put this legislation on the floor next week, before lawmakers depart for a two week recess.

Here's where things stand according to Cornyn. Right now he says they are in a, quote, good place when it comes to red flag laws, and incentivizing states to pass their own. That had been a sticking point late last night. Republicans wanted to ensure that some of the money intended to help states pass red flag laws would also go to crisis intervention programs in states. That now, according to Cornyn, has been settled, or at least is in a good place.

You have then a continuing fight over closing the so-called boyfriend loophole. Essentially trying to figure out what kind of relationship qualifies where if someone is convicted of a domestic violence crime, they can no longer buy a gun and the current guns they have are taken away from them. The language surrounding that is still very dicey. Lawmakers still trying to find a middle ground there.

So that's where these negotiations stand. They're going to meet again today at 1:30. We'll see if they can come up with a deal.

Alex and Poppy.

MARQUARDT: Critical legislation. Could be a rare bipartisan success story.

Lauren Fox, on Capitol Hill, thanks very much.

Now, while floodwaters may have receded a bit around parts of Yellowstone National Park, rivers are still expected to rise over the weekend in nearby areas. Now, what this means for cities and towns trying to clean up and dry out. That's coming up.


[09:44:08] HARLOW: Yellowstone National Park could partially reopen next week after just catastrophic flooding, heavily damaging parts of the park. Local media reports that its southern loop, which has felt less of an impact, could open as early as Monday, though. Officials closed all five park entrances as heavy rain and melting snow washed out roads and damaged bridges.

MARQUARDT: CNN's Nick Watt has been at Yellowstone National Park for days now and joins us live.

Nick, so we're hearing that they may reopen partially next week, but more rain is expected?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Alex. So, they're going to hope to open this southern loop in the southern part, obviously, of the park, because that wasn't as badly affected by these floods. Their concern is that by just opening a chunk of the park, that chunk will become overwhelmed with visitors. So, they're figuring out the logistics.

The northern entrance, that is going to be closed for months.


And as you mentioned, more rain is coming.

Now, I'm in Billings today, which is about nearly 200 miles downstream from where we were yesterday, which is Gardiner, at the northern entrance to the park. Now, yesterday, where I'm standing, yesterday afternoon, this was all covered in water. They were calling it a 500- year event here in Billings. The river rose from eight feet over the course of five days to 16.5 feet. And, interestingly, they had to close down the water plant here in Billings because when that plant was built, they built it to operate when the river is up to 15 feet. No one thought it would go past 15 feet. It did. So they had to close it down. It is now back open.

Now, what we are watching is still what's happening in Yellowstone National Park. We're watching precipitation and we're watching temperature because those are the factors that caused this flood and could bring this river to rise again. There's going to be warm air coming in over those high peaks tonight, the temperature, they say, up high will not drop below freezing and that is key because that means the snow will continue to melt.

Saturday, they're talking about thunderstorms coming in. So, again, you see we're going to get this combination of rain and snow melt. And that, they say, will probably make this Yellowstone River rise again. Will it rise to the levels that it did over the past few days causing all that damage? Right now the forecast is no, but, remember, forecasts can change. And nobody thought that the damage last weekend was going to be as bad as it was.

So, people are optimistic, but cautious. Watching the weather forecast. Watching to see how much this river is going to rise again.

So, that is the deal. More warm weather, more precipitation, that's what they're watching.

Here, by the way, in Billings also, tomorrow, it could reach 100 degrees, just to add to the fun.


HARLOW: Wow. Wow.

MARQUARDT: Eight to 16.5 feet, doubling. And look how fast that river is moving behind Nick. Just incredible.

All right, Nick Watt, in Billings, Montana, thank you very much, sir.

Now severe storms in Michigan have shut down a baby formula manufacturer that just started remaking products only 11 days ago. The heavy rains caused a flood inside the Abbott plant in Sturgis. Now, the company says that it's been forced to suspend production of its formula and will restart once it's re-sanitized. Now, you'll remember that that Sturgis plant was famously shut down in February after an inspection found bacteria. And that closure helped spark and really fuel the nationwide baby formula crisis.

HARLOW: That's the last thing they needed to happen there.

All right, ahead for us, Kevin Spacey making his first court appearance in London on sexual assault charges. What came out of that hearing, next.



MARQUARDT: Actor Kevin Spacey is free on bail after making his first court appearance in London this morning on sexual assault charges. Now, he's being accused of assaulting three men dating back to 2005. Those allegations are being strongly denied by the 62-year-old actor.

HARLOW: CNN's Europe editor Nina dos Santos joins us live in London outside of the courtroom.

What happened in the hearing today?


Well, this is just a formality, really. It was the first initial hearing during which Kevin Spacey only spoke to confirm his full name, his date of birth and also his address here in London during these proceedings. Eventually the judge was convinced by his legal team that he had cooperated so far fully with the investigation and voluntarily come to these shores (ph) to face these charges. And, as such, he was granted unconditional bail. That means that he can travel back to the United States and outside of the U.K. His travel documents haven't been seized as a result of this court hearing.

The next one will be taking place in a few weeks' time from now on the 14th of July. What we heard today was four charges of sexual assault levied against

the 62-year-old actor. These date from a period of 2005 to 2013, during the time when he lived in London for about a decade, when he was artistic director of the Old Vic theater on the other side of the Themes. These charges of sexual assault relate to two men, now aged in their 30s and 40s, most of the charges, three of them, related to events that happened here in London, and there was one allegation that happened in west of the country, in England, in an area where many celebrities and rich Britons have country houses.

Now, Kevin Spacey, again, denied all of these accusations. Previously, even before appearing here in court, he had given a statement to "Good Morning America" a few weeks ago saying that he was confident he'd be able to prove his innocence.

But, either way, this is the first time that we've seen the star out in public since his private life has faced so much scrutiny and he's still facing a court case in a New York federal court as well, which again he denies.

HARLOW: Nina dos Santos reporting for us live in London. Thank you very much for that update.

Coming up next hour, ahead of the January 6th hearing this afternoon, one of the select committee members is previewing who in the president -- former President Trump's orbit may have been connected to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. What Congressman Jamie Raskin told CNN is ahead.



MARQUARDT: Good morning. I'm Alex Marquardt, in this morning for Jim Sciutto.

HARLOW: And it's great to have you again today, Alex.

Good morning, everyone.

It's the top of the hour. I'm Poppy Harlow.

And we are just hours away from the January 6th committee's third hearing. Today's focus, former President Trump's pressure campaign on then Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results.

The committee will call two witnesses to testify today. Former Pence attorney Greg Jacob and retired conservative federal judge Michael Luttig, both of whom advised Pence that he did not have the authority to subvert the election.


MARQUARDT: And in a written statement that was obtained exclusively by CNN.