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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Report Card On 4-Day Work Week Pilot Program; GOP Moves To Contain Herschel Walker's Latest Scandal; Aaron Judge Makes History With Home Run 62. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 05, 2022 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Elon Musk spent months trying to buy Twitter, then months trying to get out of the deal. Now we're back to square one.

According to a securities filing, Elon Musk sent a letter to Twitter proposing a deal at the original price of $54.20 a share. The two sides were headed to court over Musk's attempt to terminate the deal. Now a Twitter spokesperson tells CNN that it will close this deal provided that lawsuit is dropped.

All right, how would you like to work a 4-day work week and get paid for five? Some bosses are now trying it out. The idea is to let workers bring home the bacon without getting totally burned out.


SAMANTHA LOSEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNITY: The pandemic for us was really, really challenging. It was hard. Everyone was getting sort of burnt out. We were just sort of relentlessly working, tied to our computers just constantly.

But our team is pretty excited about the whole thing. But definitely, to kind of get the powers that be to think that it was a good idea was really quite difficult. There's just very conventional thinking on this topic, which has been really interesting to try and navigate.

ROMANS (on camera): Why did you guys decide to try this?

JON LELAND, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, KICKSTARTER: There was enough evidence out there that suggested companies, particularly like Kickstarter, can successfully transition to a 4-day work week while maintaining or improving productivity. But we were also looking at the way that work was changing given the pandemic. We moved to fully remote. And we just saw people that were burnt out and tired.

And retaining our employees and making it easier to hire employees, and making sure our employees were happy at home is really why we decided to pursue it.

LOSEY: The first six weeks, navigating those was really, really hard. After that first weekend of us doing four days and then having either the Friday or the Monday off, I thought what have I done? I'm going to ruin this business without even trying.

ROMANS (on camera): But now, fast-forward. You had the mindset shift. You figured out the handovers.


ROMANS (on camera): People came in. The workers were fighting for it -- to keep the 4-day work week.

And how are you now?

LOSEY: We're doing amazing now. By the time we had kind of gotten into that fourth month, it really started to go together. And one of the big benefits we've seen is just the perspective and almost kind of freshness that people bring to work with them because of those four days, and that fifth day really giving them time to do stuff they want to do.

JULIET SCHOR, ECONOMIST AND SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, BOSTON COLLEGE: Some of what we hear anecdotally from workers suggests that they don't waste much time anymore. They communicate in much faster ways and so forth.

ROMANS (on camera): What you're telling me is that in four days they're more productive.

SCHOR: Yes. So, there are two parts to this -- reducing meetings, changing communication styles, and so forth that's saved a lot of time or really getting the benefits out of new software and other kinds of technology. But the other thing about this is that for a very long period of time -- I mean, since the 19th century -- if you look at trends in productivity, what you see is that when people work fewer hours they have higher hourly productivity. And we're seeing that in our trials as well.

ROMANS (voice-over): And while many companies have not yet completed the 6-month pilot program, when asked whether they'll stick with it --

LOSEY: I would become Marie Antoinette in this building if I didn't keep it. The productivity is up, not down, from four days versus five. How can I possibly argue to this building of intelligent human beings that I want to put them back on five days?

LELAND: We haven't made a final decision yet, so we haven't decided exactly how we're going to move forward with it. But we will be moving forward with it.

The 5-day, 40-hour week feels like this immutable law that was handed down by God at some point, but we invented it about 100 years ago. We just haven't updated it.


ROMANS: Yes, why are we still working like we did 100 years ago? It's a very, very different landscape.

Important to note here, these workers in this trial -- they are being paid for five days a week for their 4-day work week. So it's a 32-hour work week -- a sweet gig if you can get it. It remains to be seen if all of these companies will make it permanent.

All right. Republicans, right now, trying to figure out how to bail Senate candidate Herschel Walker out of a scandal. And a rousing October start on Wall Street. Is the worst finally over for stocks?



ROMANS: Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker and his campaign, this morning, are scrambling, trying to contain the fallout from allegations that the hardline, anti-abortion candidate paid for a girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009.

CNN's Eva McKend has the story.



EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): Former NFL star and Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker denying a report he paid a former girlfriend to have an abortion.

H. WALKER: This seat is very important that they'll do anything to win this seat -- lie.

MCKEND (voice-over): His comments to Fox News come in the wake of a Daily Beast story that has upended the competitive contest between Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. The website reports Walker paid for an unnamed woman to have an abortion in 2009, writing a personal check for $700 and reportedly sending a get-well card.

H. WALKER: I never asked anyone to get an abortion. I never paid for an abortion, and it's a lie.

MCKEND (voice-over): The story doesn't include a photo of the check. CNN has not independently verified the allegations reported by The Daily Beast.


H. WALKER: I send money to a lot of people. I give money to people all the time because I'm always helping people.

MCKEND (voice-over): One of Walker's sons, Christian Walker, an outspoken conservative on social media, also taking to Twitter, calling out his father and leveling a series of accusations against him. CHRISTIAN WALKER, HERSCHEL WALKER'S SON: Don't like on me. Don't lie on the lives you've destroyed and act like you're some moral family man.

MCKEND (voice-over): When asked for comment on his son's accusations, Walker's campaign pointed to a tweet the Senate candidate sent Monday night, reading, "I love my son no matter what."

On the trail, Walker has expressed opposition to abortion rights, saying last month he'd support a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks. In May, he said he would support a ban.

REPORTER: Would you support a more total on abortion with fewer exceptions?

H. WALKER: There's no -- there's no exception in my mind. Like I said, I believe in life.

MCKEND (voice-over): Georgia Democrats are approaching the allegations with caution. Warnock shifting the conversation back to the policy debate over abortion.

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): I'll let the pundits decide how they think it will impact the race. But I have been consistent in my view that a patient's room is too narrow and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor, and the government.

MCKEND (voice-over): Conservative activists in the Peach State and the Republican establishment sticking by their candidate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, who have pumped millions into the race, dismissing the story and the ensuing fallout as nonsense from the Democrats and the media.

RALPH REED, FAITH & FREEDOM COALITION: It's based on an anonymous allegation that is 13 years old, and it's part of an ongoing campaign based on the politics of personal destruction being waged by Democrats and by the Warnock campaign.

MCKEND (on camera): In the hours after this report dropped, Walker said that he was going to sue The Daily Beast, but we've heard no more of that. A lawsuit has not been filed.

We are just weeks away from the crucial early voting period in Georgia in this consequential Senate contest that could determine the balance of power in Washington.

Eva McKend, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: All right. Thank you for that, Eva.

Just ahead, what might be the strongest sign yet that Tom and Gisele are calling it quits. And a much-needed 2-day rally on Wall Street. Are investor fears fading?



ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian markets closing mixed there. European markets are lower this morning. The latest data showed business activity in the region contracted for the third consecutive month in September.

On Wall Street, stock index futures leaning down this morning here, taking back a little bit of what has been a very hot start to launch the fourth quarter. The Dow ended yesterday -- the day -- up sharply, 825 points. That's 2.8 percent. That is a big 1-day move. The S&P and the Nasdaq rose by more than three percent. I mean, the Dow back above 30,000 and the mood shifting here, at least for the moment here.

U.S. job openings fell sharply in August. That could be a sign the job market is finally cooling. Available positions totaled 10.1 million in August. That's a 10 percent drop from July, well below the forecast.

Gas prices, though, ticking up to $3.83 a gallon.

I want to bring in financial planner Doug Flynn of Flynn Zito Capital Management. Do I need you today, Doug, because what happened to the bears? The calendar page turned and suddenly they went into hibernation and the stock market has soared the last two days.

DOUG FLYNN, FINANCIAL PLANNER, FLYNN ZITO CAPITAL MANAGEMENT (via Webex by Cisco): They did for the last two days but I don't know if we've seen the last of them. That's for sure. It's -- you know, you tend to have these situations during bear markets where you have these bear market rallies so to speak where they bounce up. But then you kind of continue the trend that we seemingly are in and may continue to be in for a little bit longer.

ROMANS: Yes, 1,500 points on the Dow in two days. That is a monster rally. But nothing fundamentally has really changed. There's a few little --


ROMANS: -- positive signs. Bond yields came down a little bit. But overall, you're right. The backdrop here -- it's been a rough year for the stock market.

Investors, though, are typically rewarded for buying into a market like this after it's had a kind of slide we've seen this year, right? What are your thoughts on that?

FLYNN: Yes. I mean, there's things you want to do differently during a bear market versus a bull market. I mean, that's the only two types of markets there really are when you think about it. And bull markets -- they'll last six to 10 years. Bear markets will last nine to 18 months, typically. So, it's horrible when you're going through it but there are opportunities in there if you have the long view. The problem is if you had short-term money in there or you got greedy when things were really rolling a couple of years ago, that's when you get caught. So those are the tricks.

But in this time, there are opportunities. And even with this recent rally off the bottom, we're still below the 20 percent off of the high. So we're still in the bear market, so we're going to be with that for a couple of months. And we technically haven't even entered a recession yet, which is likely coming, too.

ROMANS: So you're saying be careful.

FLYNN: Definitely be careful. You want to do some things differently than what you did just --

ROMANS: Like what?

FLYNN: -- a couple of years ago.

Well, some of the things you want to look at is like in the most recent bill that was passed, there's a lot of infrastructure spending -- about three-quarter of a trillion dollars. And so, infrastructure is the kind of thing that can actually yield you more than the market overall and be a great inflation hedge. And with the multiplier effect of that kind of spending, we might get $4 trillion of enhancement into the economy.

So you want to play that. That's one of the key angles that if you're going to be in the market you might want to do differently than just your pure growth stocks that we all know and love. It's just something a little different that can do well in that kind of environment.

ROMANS: I think it's important to remind people that no one really knows what's going to happen tomorrow in the stock market, and anybody who tells you they do, they're lying or deluded.

FLYNN: That's true.

ROMANS: So, we don't know where the bottom is, but are we going to get through this period of the Fed raising interest rates again and again and again at some point, and get back to a position where we're talking about earnings growth and the stock market going up?


FLYNN: Yes. The problem right now is that we know the Fed is going to continue to raise them. And part of the reason why the market bounced a little bit is because they think that they see an end to the Fed raising. So that's what the market is looking for. It's looking for some certainty. It's looking for some good news.

And so, in reality, we really don't know. We're going to have two more meetings between now and the end of the year -- November, December. You might get another 1 1/4 percent up. But if the Fed starts to use language like hey, we're no longer going to be raising -- they don't even have to stop raising and they just start using those words, you're going to see the market turn around to the positive because now we have a new view and we have some certainty of how it's going to be going forward.


FLYNN: The certainty right now is this is what we're in so you kind of have to play in that. But you've got to listen to those words and see when they start to change the tone because then maybe they've hit the point of peak inflation.

Look, lumber prices are down about 70 percent. They're below the pre- pandemic high. You're starting to see something. So, inflation is going to come down. Of course, they're going to take credit for it and we can argue whether or not they deserve it. But the point is that's going to happen and that will change probably in the early part of next year.

ROMANS: All right, Doug Flynn. Always nice to see you. October is traditionally the bear killer on Wall Street. It's one of the most volatile months there is, but we'll buckle up and see what happens.

Thanks. Nice to see you.

FLYNN: Thanks. Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, just ahead, emotional new testimony in the Alex Jones trial. And a show of force overnight. Did Kim Jung Un get the message?



ROMANS: All rise. Aaron Judge makes home run history with his record- setting 62nd of the season.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


So, I mean, it was starting to get really close. Aaron Judge -- he was running out of at-bats. He didn't homer in the first game of the doubleheader in Texas yesterday, but in his very first at-bat of the second game, he came through.


AARON JUDGE, NEW YORK YANKEES: (Hitting home run 62).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it goes. Deep left -- it is high. That is far -- that is gone! Number 62 to set the new American League record.


SCHOLES: Yes. Judge passing Roger Maris for the most home runs in American League history. He's now alone in seventh place for the most home runs in a season behind only Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa.

And here's Judge after the game.


AARON JUDGE, NEW YORK YANKEES OUTFIELDER: I had a good feeling off the bat. I just didn't know where it was going to land or what I was going to hit. And there was a good sense of relief once it -- I saw it land in that fan's glove -- and we're up one-nothing.

I never tried to think about it as pressure. I tried to enjoy every single moment and not really think about hey, they're all on their feet for you to go see you hit a home run. I try to think about hey, they're here to see an exciting ballgame and see something special. So it just happened that mindset kind of helped me stay pretty calm.


SCHOLES: Now, imagine catching $2 million in the air. Well, that's what Cory Youmans did sitting in the first row. He told CNN affiliate WFAA he doesn't know what he's going to do with that ball yet. Judge said it would be great to get it back, but that's a souvenir for a fan.

Now, there was no dogpile for the ball. Youmans made the catch uncontested. But check out the fan to his left. He leaped down hoping the ball would drop. Unfortunately for him, Youmans had a firm grip on that $2 million.

All right, elsewhere, for the fifth consecutive season, the Braves are National League East champions. The defending World Series champs clinching the division title last night with a 2-1 win over the Marlins. Atlanta trailed the Mets by as many as 10 1/2 games in the division at the beginning of June. They've only held the lead in the N.L. East for six days this season. The Mets led the other 170.

The Braves face the winner of the 3-game wildcard round between the Cardinals and the Phillies. That series begins on Friday. The regular season wraps up today.

All right, and finally, members of the U.S. women's national team are speaking out a day after a scathing report detailing abuse within the National Women's Soccer League was released. An independent investigation commissioned by U.S. Soccer found that emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic with the culture rooting all the way down to the youth leagues.

The national team captain Becky Sauerbrunn says she's outraged over the failures to protect players.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BECK SAUERBRUNN, CAPTAIN, U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM: We are horrified and heartbroken, and frustrated, and exhausted, and really, really angry. We are angry that it took a third-party investigation.


SCHOLES: Sauerbrunn also said anyone who failed to protect players should be gone. And team owners for Portland and Chicago, Christine -- they stepped away yesterday until the findings from the NWSL's investigation are released.

ROMANS: Just really troubling. I mean, oh -- really troubling.

All right, Andy Scholes. Thank you so much.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: Thanks for that.

And thanks for joining me. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.