Return to Transcripts main page

Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

$29 Billion Plunge Hits India's Adani Enterprises; Soon: January Jobs Report Released; Unopened First Generation iPhone Expected To Auction For $50,000. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 03, 2023 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: In a matter of days. That's what's happening to an Indian conglomerate. Adani Group's shares plummeting right now. And the slide began when a U.S. short-seller accused the company of fraud and stock market manipulation.

CNN's Vedika Sud live in Delhi with more. This has been just remarkable to watch here. How is Adani Group responding to this?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Before I get to that Christine, imagine losing a net worth of $60 billion within a timeframe of 10 days. Gautam Adani's net worth was about $120 billion last Monday. Tuesday is when the report came out from Hindenburg, which is a short-seller and a research firm. And within nine days his net worth, according to Bloomberg now, is about $61 billion -- almost half of what it was at the beginning of last week.

Now, like you asked, Adani Group has come out with a statement. They have, of course, called these reports false. They've also gone ahead to say that in terms of the statement and the accusations by the Hindenburg firm, this is also attack -- a calculated attack on India.

Now, despite these claims and despite Gautam Adani himself coming out yesterday in a video message to calm the nerves of investors who have lost so much money in the last couple of days, the markets are still in red when it comes to the stock shares of the Adani Group.

And as far as the political fallout is concerned Christine, you have opposition lawmakers in Parliament for three consecutive days demanding an independent probe into the report -- the Hindenburg report. And also going ahead and asking for the Indian government to make a statement on the accusations made by the Hindenburg firm, which has claimed that the Adani Group has committed fraud.

Now, according to critics, Gautam Adani seemed to be close to India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hence the opposition lawmakers are asking for that statement.

Even today, the shares of the Adani conglomerate -- most of them opened in red. Investors are still extremely worried and nothing is calming their nerves for now, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes. When psychology turns that can really be hard to stop.

Thank you so much, Vedika Sud. Thanks.

All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

The suicide bomber who killed more than 80 people at a mosque in Pakistan has been identified. Surveillance video shows the suspect was a Pakistani Taliban disguised as a police officer.

Brazil's Navy plans to sink a decommissioned aircraft carrier that's been floating offshore in the Atlantic for months. The ghost ship carrying asbestos is considered an environmental hazard.

Italy captured a most-wanted mafia boss. He was working as a pizzamaker in France. Authorities say Edgardo Greco spent 16 years as a fugitive from justice.

Next, President Biden and Vice President Harris together in the City of Brotherly Love today.

And LeBron James closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA all-time scoring record.



ROMANS: Here's today's fast-forward lookahead.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris head to Philadelphia today to rally the party faithful at the DNC winter meeting. It comes just days before the State of the Union address.

An arctic blast in the northeast will keep schools in Boston, Buffalo, and Providence closed today. Wind chills in the minus-40s expected.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will speak at a conservative event in Miami tonight. Bolsonaro just applied for a U.S. visitor visa after he was accused of plotting a coup in Brazil.

All right, to sports.

LeBron James draws within striking distance of breaking the NBA's all- time scoring record after a comeback win over the Pacers.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Carolyn.


ROMANS: We're like counting down the points.

MANNO: It is almost here. It's a monumental milestone for the Lakers to focus on, especially while they've been floundering towards the bottom of the conference, so everybody wants it to happen. And it's not a matter of if LeBron is going to get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387 career points and then break it, it's just a matter of when. And it's coming very, very quickly.

Davis putting up 26 points against the Pacers last night and now he's just 63 away from taking the top spot. The Lakers trailed for most of the way before LeBron gave them their first lead on a 3-pointer with 2:35 left in the game. L.A. would rally to win by one. That brings them to just one game out of the final playing spot for the playoffs at the moment.

Afterwards, LeBron spoke about what the honor would mean.


LEBRON JAMES, FORWARD, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: And I think it's one of the greatest records in sports, in general. I think it's up there with the home run record in baseball. It's just one of those records that you just don't ever see or think that would be broken. And then you end up seeing guys -- you had Hank Aaron that had it for so long and you see the guys -- the likes of like Sammy and Mark McGwire and those guys start climbing it. And it was like oh, man, this thing can really -- this thing can really happen.

I don't have the number like planted in my head -- the actual real number. I know it's 38-something, but I know it's been Kareem my whole life. So it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool.


MANNO: It really is. LeBron averaging 30 points per game right now so he's likely to break the record in the next three games we think.

The Lakers take on the Pelicans in New Orleans tomorrow and then they head for home games against the Thunder and the Bucks. And get this -- tickets for Tuesday night's game against Oklahoma selling for as much as $92,000, or if you don't want to pony up that kind of cash to watch history unfold you can also watch it at home on our sister channel TNT. Pricey, indeed.

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo making his case to be the league's MVP, though. He erupted for 54 points against the Clippers last night, scoring 20 in the fourth quarter alone. Milwaukee needed every single one of those to erase a 21-point deficit to win 106-105.


And if you don't feel like doing the math this morning, Giannis accounting for over half of his team's total points. He said he's going to celebrate by getting 50 cheeseburgers and trying to eat as many as he can. Do your thing.

Elsewhere, things getting chippy in the Grizzlies-Cavaliers game in Cleveland. Dillon Brooks driving for a layup and got tangled up underneath the basket. And Cleveland's Donovan Mitchell was trying to save the ball but Brooks was on the ground and hit him below the belt. So that Mitchell responding, he threw the ball at him. Things escalating from there as you can see. Both players ended up getting ejected from the game. The Cavs would go on to win -- 128-113 the final there.

And lastly for you this morning, Super Bowl LVII a little more than a week away and as many people have noted, for the first time, both teams are going to be led by Black quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts noting the importance of that moment.


PATRICK MAHOMES, QUARTERBACK, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: I think it's special. And I've learned more and more about the history of the Black quarterbacks since I've been in this league. And the guys that came before me, and Jalen, set the stage for this and now I'm just glad that we can kind of set the stage for guys -- kids that are coming up now.

JALEN HURTS, QUARTERBACK, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: And I think it's history. I think it's something that's worthy of being noted and it is history. It's come a long way. I think there's only been seven African American quarterbacks to play in the Super Bowl. So to be the first for some is pretty cool so I know it will be a good one.


MANNO: There really is. Doug Williams made history back in the 80s when he became the first Black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, a game that he won.

This year's game kicking off February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

I know you are a big sports family --

ROMANS: We are.

MANNO: -- in the Romans household, so I'm sure you guys are already --

ROMANS: Yes --

MANNO: -- getting ready.

ROMANS: -- already getting ready, trash-talking already back and forth. So -- well, we've got Eagles fans and Mahomes fans -- Mahomes groupies.

MANNO: Oh, a split -- OK, a split household.

ROMANS: Groupies in my household.

All right, nice to see you.

MANNO: All right.

ROMANS: Thanks, Carolyn.

Ahead on "CNN THIS MORNING" what China now says about the suspected spy balloon over Montana. And what happened to America's appetite for iPhones?



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning is five. It's Apple's five percent drop in holiday quarter sales. Apple broke a three-year streak of record profits and sales. COVID disrupted premium iPhone production in China and that hurt sales. As of now, though, Apple is the only U.S. tech giant not announcing substantial layoffs. Some analysts though predict modest cost cuts could come next.

All right, looking at markets around the world, Asian and European markets are mixed this morning. China will fully resume travel with Hong Kong and Macau. A big boost economically for that region.

On Wall Street, stock index futures right now leaning lower here. A huge Nasdaq rally during the day yesterday. The Nasdaq soared more than three percent. That's the best -- get this -- the best start to the year for Nasdaq since 1975.

The S&P gained more than one percent. But then there were a bunch of big tech earnings after the bell. Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon all reporting disappointing results during the quarter.

Meantime, mortgage rates fell for a fourth week in a row. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now at 6.09 percent. You can see it's really retreated from the peak there above seven.

On inflation watch, gas prices falling a penny overnight to $3.49 a gallon.

The first jobs report of the year due out later this morning. Here's the expectation. One hundred eight-five thousand jobs forecast added in January. The jobless rate ticking higher to 3.6 percent.

All right. In just a few hours, the Department of Labor will release that jobs report -- a key measure of inflation we'll be looking for in the wage part of that report.

Let's bring in chief economist at Morning Consult, John Leer. Good morning. What are you expecting?

JOHN LEER, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MORNING CONSULT (via Webex by Cisco): Good morning.

Yes, I am expecting job growth to be very robust despite all these headlines that we've been reading about layoffs in the tech sector. And I think it's a testament to how tight the jobs market is and how rapidly folks have been reabsorbed in other companies and other sectors.

ROMANS: I saw John, this week, that 11 million jobs are up for grabs right now, right? And the weekly jobless claims dropped to a nine- month low. So outside of this report, we keep seeing signs of tightness in the labor market even as tech has all of those layoffs. What's your assessment of just how tight this is and what the Fed will tolerate here?

LEER: I think where we are right now in terms of the employment cycle is we're sort of in this worker reallocation phase. So companies that have been -- that have over-hired -- sectors that have over-hired -- those workers are moving to other companies, other sectors where they can be more efficient and more productive.

The real question becomes whether or not we move to sort of a downright contraction in jobs growth. But I do think that higher interest rates increasingly are going to sort of weigh on company's hiring plans in a way that they just haven't yet. And I think Powell alluded to that on Wednesday. And I think in the first and second quarter we'll see some of that.

ROMANS: Do you see -- do you think we could actually lose some jobs or do you think we're just talking about less robust growth every month of jobs?

LEER: I do. We see there as being a 50 percent chance of having a downright jobs contraction in the second quarter driven in large part from the weaknesses that we see on the consumer side of things. You know, they're just across the board -- not only spending and personal finances as well -- and a growing sensitivity to elevated prices.

And so when we look at that consumer forecast it speaks to us as sort of really weak consumer demand. And in turn, I think businesses are going to pull back on a lot of their hiring needs as well.

ROMANS: I guess that's the big debate right now, whether you can have a mild recession this year without big job loss. You appear to be weighing on the side that in the second quarter, you're going to see outright job loss in this country.

LEER: I think that's right. That is our sort of baseline right now. That's the note that we sent out to clients on Tuesday of this week.

Again, it's largely because a lot of those interest rate increases that were frontloaded in 2022 are just starting to affect a lot of the investment decisions that businesses are making.


ROMANS: Yes. It's just when you hear about 11 million jobs open and all these industries where CEOs don't want to let anybody go -- layoffs still so low. To think ahead in a few months that there could be -- there could be layoffs -- I mean, I guess that means all that Fed tightening is going to work its way through the job market.

LEER: Yes, I think so. And part of it too, of course, is that the Fed is -- continues to be very concerned about how tight the jobs market is. Average hourly earnings remain too high for the Fed to feel really comfortable. And so I think we're likely to see additional tightening, certainly at the next meeting. It's something where I think I guess I would disagree with how markets

responded to Powell's press conference on Wednesday. I think he remains fairly hawkish and there's some room to go to get inflation back under control.

ROMANS: All right, John Leer. Nice to see you -- Morning Consult. Have a great weekend.

LEER: Thank you. Same to you.

ROMANS: All right, we're counting down to Super Bowl LVII next week. This year, it's the Chiefs and the Eagles, Rihanna at halftime, cheaper prices for your party spread. This is -- this is fact-check true.

CNN Business reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn is here. What are some of the good deals to know about when preparing, I guess, your Super Bowl spread?

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Right, Christine. So I'm a little disappointed in the Super Bowl matchup. I was rooting for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. But I am excited about the meal prices for the Super Bowl dishes this year.

Chicken wings down 22 percent from a year ago. We're looking at about $2.65 a pound. Avocado prices have plummeted, down 20 percent. So load up on the guac. Burgers and meats are going to be a little cheaper than we saw last year.

And then if you're in the market for a new television, television prices down 14 percent. If you want to show off to your friends maybe grab a new flatscreen T.V.

ROMANS: All right, chicken wings, avocados, and a new T.V.

Meantime, you can gamble on the game. What are -- look, more states allowing gambling and what are the pros and cons.

MEYERSOHN: So since 2018 when the Supreme Court paved the way for legalized sports gambling, 35 states have legalized it. We're seeing a boom in sports gambling. Ads for DraftKings and FanDuel and these other apps are everywhere.

In 2021, people wagered about $57 billion on sports games. That was up 165 percent from the year prior.

But I've spoken recently with addiction researchers and gambling experts and they're really concerned that the ease of online sports gambling --


MEYERSOHN: -- one click of a button and all of the live betting within the games is going to lead to some addictive behavior. So this is something really to watch the next couple of years. ROMANS: All right. Also, while we've got you here, you have been following the drama at Bed Bath & Beyond. Another 87 stores for that retailer closing here. And I -- and I read this week that they've missed some payments, right? The company missed some payments on some debt.

Would could move into those empty stores, and what are you expecting from Bed Bath & Beyond?

MEYERSOHN: So we're looking at a Bed Bath & Beyond bankruptcy any day now. It said it's closing 87 stores, including all of its Harmon Face Value stores.


MEYERSOHN: But this is going to mean an opportunity for other retailers to move into some of these vacant locations that Bed Bath & Beyond is going to be leaving behind. So analysts that I spoke to said that TJ Maxx might move in, Home Goods, Five Below, Barnes & Noble. These are all retailers that have been expanding.

And what you see happen with these retail bankruptcies, it's an opportunity for other companies. It's kind of like a game of musical chairs.

ROMANS: Right.

MEYERSOHN: One company leaves, other companies move in.

And then it's also going to mean that more of the Bed Bath & Beyond customers -- they're going to be going to Walmart and Target, Amazon, Costco. So that's going to mean more business for these companies.

ROMANS: And a reminder. When a company is facing bankruptcy, your coupons, your gift cards -- none of that is valuable anymore, right?

MEYERSOHN: So use those 20 percent coupons, Christine. I've been going around my closet trying to pull out old ones. This is a good time to spend those coupons.

ROMANS: All right, Nathaniel Meyersohn. Nice to see you. Have a great weekend. Thanks for dropping by.

All right, new testimony on the Alex Murdaugh double-murder trial. Hear from the witness who says she confronted Murdaugh about thousands of dollars missing just hours before the murders.

And what the smallest orange crop in nearly 90 years means for your morning glass of O.J. That's coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING."



ROMANS: All right. Our top of the morning, the top hits streaming on Spotify right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



ROMANS: Number one, "Flowers" by Miley Cyrus.


SZA, SINGER: Singing "Kill Bill."


ROMANS: Number two, SZA with "Kill Bill."

And here is number three.


RAYE, SINGER: Singing "Escapism."


ROMANS: From the U.K., that's Raye with "Escapism."

All right. We now know who will host this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner.


ROY WOOD JR., COMEDIAN: That's how big this chicken sandwich is. This chicken sandwich is big, CNN put the chicken full screen and put the hurricane down in the corner. That's right. Get that hurricane out of the way.


ROMANS: Roy Wood Jr., from "THE DAILY SHOW," will help roast the president and the press. Wood has a degree in broadcast journalism. He's also the son of a pioneer T.V. and radio journalist.

He says, "It's an honor to be part of a long-running tradition of celebrating those members of the media who work so hard to uncover the truth and hold our government accountable."

All right, this story -- wild. An unopened, first-generation iPhone from 2007 is expected to sell on the auction block for $50,000. The owner says the phone was a gift. She never broke the seal. It has a 3 1/2-inch screen, a 2-megapixel camera. Another one just.