Return to Transcripts main page

Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Jordan Celebrates Marriage Of Crown Prince; Apple Expected To Reveal New VR Headset; Tropical Depression Could Bring Rain And Flooding To Florida. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 02, 2023 - 05:30   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, MANAGING EDITOR, CNN ABU DHABI, ANCHOR (voice-over): And with the ascent to the Jordanian throne comes hopes of a new era of stability between two of the most important countries in the Middle East.

This wedding coming at a crucial time for Jordan. For the past two years, a former crown prince, Hamzah bin al Hussein, half-brother of the current king, has been under house arrest, accused of trying to destabilize the kingdom. And Jordan is home to a huge refugee population. And its dire economic situation means it needs vital investment and aid. The wedding raising hopes that improved relations between Saudi Arabia and Jordan could usher in more economic benefits.

For now, though, the wedding is a day for the country to come together and celebrate the emergence of a new Middle Eastern power couple.

Becky Anderson, CNN.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

A legal battle brewing in the U.K. as the British government files a bid to prevent a public COVID-19 inquiry from accessing former Prime Minister Boris Johnson's WhatsApp message -- messages.

At least 12 people are dead and five remain missing after one of the deadliest climbing seasons on Mt. Everest. Just last month a Nepali sherpa carried a climber on his back to safety.

China is drilling a nearly-33,000-foot hole into the Earth's crust. It's a research project in an oil-rich region that's part of President Xi's latest exploration into new frontiers.

Just ahead, Apple getting ready to reveal a new cutting-edge gadget. Will it be another game changer? And life from Mars. A stunning new look at the red planet later today.



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

Court resumes today in the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting trial. The jury learned Thursday that as luck would have it, the attack took place on the one Saturday of the month with no children's service.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis taking his early-voting state campaign swing to South Carolina today. He'll make stops in Beaufort and Lexington before ending the day in Greenville.

The European Space Agency hosting the first-ever live stream of Mars today at 11:45 a.m. Eastern. A craft orbiting the red planet will share new images every 50 seconds for one hour.

All right. In three days, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off. This is this big event for the company. It's expected to reveal its highly-anticipated mixed-reality VR headset.

Remember, Steve Jobs set the standard for industry-changing announcements.


STEVE JOBS, APPLE CO-FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN, AND CEO: An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. An iPod, a phone. Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device and we are calling it iPhone.


ROMANS: Remember how earth-shattering that was?

Joining now on the set is Dan Ives, managing director and senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities.

So, the headset -- the VR headset -- it might not be an iPhone-esque moment but it's still something a lot of people are looking forward to. What can we expect?

DAN IVES, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: I think the reality pro -- about $3,000 would be the price point. But this is important because it's Apple just further expanding their mode into AR/VR and really not to even just Metaverse. When you look at AI as much as we hear about that, I believe this is really Apple starting the path on their AI journey.

ROMANS: Do you think they're going to have -- you know, we've come to rely on Apple for these big aha moments at these reveals. Will it be that kind of an aha moment? Have they lacked that, kind of, recently?

IVES: Look, I think ironic -- I mean, this company is about to hit three trillion again --


IVES: -- because they have an install base that's a golden install base. It's unparalleled. And they continue to have product, just like the AR/VR. You put it into the install base. We think probably initially about 150,000 units coming out. But ultimately, I think this is just the start of more and more innovation within Cupertino.

ROMANS: And let's talk about AI. You said this is like the biggest development in tech in the past 30 years but, really, since the internet moment. What do we expect from Apple on this front? I've been hearing from a lot of other companies. I haven't heard Apple's strategy yet.

IVES: Well, it's typical cloak and dagger for Cook and Cupertino. I believe that they start to now lay the breadcrumbs on AI because they're -- it's really about developer platform. They're basically courting developers. It's about the AppStore and AI, and what's really going to be more and more of an ecosystem being built on Apple.

And you talk about when we look at iPhone and when we look at Worldwide today --


IVES: -- I believe this could really incrementally add to the sum of the parts on the Apple story.

ROMANS: Interesting. I mean, we've been talking so much about AI, but is this really like an Industrial Revolution kind of moment for tech, or even just the broader economy?

IVES: I mean, look, I've been covering tech stocks since the late '90s. I view it as an internet moment -- an iPhone moment from 2007. I think it's probably the biggest transformational theme that we've seen. Look, we think this is an $800 billion market opportunity.


IVES: It's not hype.

And I think what's really starting to happen is the monetization -- I really view it as the fourth Industrial Revolution that's playing out here.

ROMANS: Interesting.

Tech stocks, overall, have had just a terrific year after last year was terrible, of course. But this has been a remarkable year. Anybody buying any dip in tech stocks this year has been rewarded handsomely.

Any reason that momentum should slow down?

IVES: No. I think tech rips higher the second half of the year. I mean, the Fed basically is handcuffed in terms of further rate hikes. I think institutionally, still really under-own (PH) in tech and better than feared. [05:40:01]

You look at these tech earnings and that's really been the narrative here. You look at areas like cloud, cybersecurity. I think big-cap tech -- Apple, Amazon, Google, and others continue to shine. And going into this year, the New York City cab driver was bearish on tech and that narrative continues to play out in terms of bullish green light on tech here.

ROMANS: Yes. All this recession watch -- the longest recession watch in the history of recession watches and tech just keeps doing better and better.

Dan Ives, thank you so much --

IVES: Thanks for having me.

ROMANS: -- of Wedbush. Nice to see you.

All right, the Nuggets cruise past the Heat in game one of the NBA Finals.

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


So the Nuggets and their fans waited 47 years to play in their first NBA Finals game and coach Mike Malone -- well, he wanted to really make they were ready for the Heat, so much so that he gave the team a pop quiz about the game plan at shoot-around.

They passed then and during game one. The Nuggets showing no rust from nine days off.

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic just dominating. He had 27 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds for a triple-double while only taking 12 shots in the game. Jamal Murray also had 26 points. The Nuggets had a 21-point lead to start the fourth.

Now, the Heat made it kind of interesting going on an 11-0 run to start that final period to get within 10, but they just couldn't make enough shots. Max Strus and Caleb Martin combining to go one for 17 in this game. Jimmy Butler had a playoff-low 13 points as the Heat shot only two free throws all game, which is an NBA Playoff record.

The Nuggets take game one 104-93.


NIKOLA JOKIC, CENTER, DENVER NUGGETS: Right now, the most important thing is to win the game, and I'm trying to -- trying to win a game in any possible way. I don't need to shoot and I don't need to score. I know I don't need to score to affect the game, and I think I did a good job today. Everybody contributed -- A.G., Jamal, Mike. Everybody contributed some and it's a great win for us. JIMMY BUTLER, FORWARD, MIAMI HEAT: We missed a lot tonight and we'll be better in game two. At the end of the day, that's what it is. So we'll take this and we'll learn from it and we'll be back in two days.


SCHOLES: Now, today and tomorrow are off days there in Denver. Game two of the finals is going to be Sunday night at 8:00 Eastern.

All right. NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaking with the media before game one last night, and he gave an update on the potential discipline the league is going to be handing down to Ja Morant after he apparently flashed a gun on social media for a second time.


ADAM SILVER, COMMISSIONER, NBA: We've uncovered a fair amount of additional information, I think, since I was still asked about the situation. I would say we probably could have brought it to a head now but we made the decision and I -- and I believe the Players Association agrees with us that it would be unfair to these players and these teams in the middle of the series to announce the results of that investigation.


SCHOLES: Now, the NBA suspended Morant for eight games for flashing a gun on social media the first time at a nightclub back in March.

All right, and finally, Tom Brady shutting down all the rumors and speculation that he might unretire again and make an NFL comeback with the Raiders. The 45-year-old told Sports Illustrated he's moving on to TV and being a minority owner in Las Vegas.


TOM BRADY, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK, 7-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION: I'm certain I'm not playing again, so I've tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that because I've already told people that lots of times. But I'm looking forward to my broadcasting job at Fox next year. I'm looking forward to the opportunity ahead with Raiders and we're in the process of that, along with the other different things that I'm a part of professionally.

And in my personal life, just spending as much time with my kids as I can and seeing them grow up and support the different things that they have going on, and that's a very important job.


SCHOLES: Yes. But despite what he says, Christine, I guarantee you the first time one of those quarterbacks gets hurt this year everyone is going to be, like, oh, is Tom Brady -- are they going to sign Tom Brady? Is Tom Brady going to come back and take his place?

ROMANS: He says no. He says no. SCHOLES: Yes.

ROMANS: All right, nice to see you. Thanks, Andy. Have a great weekend.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: Next on "CNN THIS MORNING" former President Trump's first response to that CNN report of a recording of him admitting to taking secret White House documents.

And next, right here, the state where homeowners insurance has really skyrocketed.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning is four. Florida homeowners insurance rates are four times the national average. Homeowners in the state pay private insurers about $6,000 a year. That compares to a national average of $1,700. You know, hurricanes are only part of the problem. Regional and local insurers say they are struggling due to frivolous lawsuits and excess claims.

Looking at markets around the world right now, the Hang Seng closed up four percent. That's the biggest one-day gain in three months. The rally led by news that China may unveil stimulus to boost its faltering recovery. European markets are also higher this morning.

On Wall Street, stock index futures also moving up. Investors yesterday cheered a vote to raise the debt ceiling. That and the thinking on Wall Street this week if the Fed will pause its interest rate hikes this month.

The debt ceiling is resolved but not before the drama pushed up mortgage rates to their highest level since November. A 30-year fixed- rate mortgage is now 6.79 percent.

On inflation watch, gas prices held steady overnight at $3.57 a gallon. But look at that -- down dramatically from near-record highs a year ago.

And coming up, May's jobs report due out in just a few hours. One hundred ninety thousand jobs are forecast to be added to the jobless rate, ticking up slightly to still a very low 3 1/2 percent.

All right, let's bring in Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP. Good morning, Nela. Nice to see you.

NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP (via Skype): Good morning. Nice to see you as well.

ROMANS: So I noticed yesterday your ADP national employment report was strong. It showed private sector employment up 287,000 jobs in May. It also showed pay growth for job changers might be slowing down a little bit.

What does this mean big picture?

RICHARDSON: Big picture, we're seeing a continuation of three patterns.


One, that the labor market is incredibly strong but it's really fragmented. Manufacturing actually shed jobs in our private sector report. Leisure and hospitality again a big gainer. Two, that this strength is really driven by small firms. Large firms seem to be pulling back on their hiring. And three, we're finally seeing pay growth decelerate meaningfully after moving sideways for several months over the winter.

So it's an incredibly complex labor market right now.

ROMANS: So we know that more than 250,000 jobs were added in April. Your private sector number shows 287,000. The forecast for today 190,000. I mean, this is maybe cooling a little bit in terms of job creation but still remarkably strong.

RICHARDSON: It is remarkably strong and I think that's reflective of a couple of things. One, it's the shift from goods to services, and we've seen that play out in the leisure and hospitality sector. That sector took a big hit and it's growing fast. So these jobs are those low-paying jobs in the service sector that were lost still in that recovery.

There are parts of the economy, though, that are experiencing weakness. I said manufacturing, but I also point to finance under the weight of higher interest rates in terms of the mortgage market, information tech. We've seen those big headlines coming out of the tech industry.

But key here is pay growth because that feeds right into inflation expectations, and that is the bridge between what we're seeing in the labor market, what we're seeing in Fed policy, and that is on the decline in terms of its growth rate that might be good news for inflation.

ROMANS: The unemployment rate has been hovering near the lowest in a generation -- 50-year lows. It's expected to remain largely unchanged in this new report. When I look inside those numbers, though, I see progress in all kinds of different demographics in terms of the jobless rate.

Is that expected to hold? Sometimes when you have a strong -- a strong economy or a strong job market it's not shared equally. This time it looks a little more equal. Am I right?

RICHARDSON: That's right because there's a lot of labor shortages still. There are still pockets where firms are struggling to find qualified talent. At 3.4 percent, that means there's not a lot of give in the -- in the labor market. There's not a lot of people just sitting on the sidelines waiting to be scooped up.

And so, the hope is even as the Fed continues with a pretty aggressive stance on interest rates -- maybe pauses, but maybe even keeps raising them -- that it won't meaningfully affect hiring. That is the hope. That is the definition of a soft landing in my eyes -- is that the labor market stays strong even with higher interest rates.

ROMANS: Fascinating.

Nela Richardson, of ADP, thank you so much. Nice to see you this morning. Have a great weekend.

RICHARDSON: Thanks for having me. Take care.

ROMANS: All right, default averted. Senators passing the debt ceiling deal overnight. Who voted for it and against it ahead.


ROMANS: All right, hurricane season off to an early start. Only two days in and officials say a tropical depression has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. That storm expected to remain offshore but it means flooding in Florida.

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the forecast. When does the rain start to -- going to fall in Florida, Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, it's been on and off again where I'm located in Fort Myers Beach. And talking to some of the residents here they say that when the wind and the rain picks up it almost gives them a sense of PTSD because of what happened here eight months ago. You'll remember Hurricane Ian devastated this very area.

And that is why we came on location because yesterday was the start of hurricane season and now we're facing the prospects of what could potentially be another tropical storm, but that is looking very unlikely with the latest update.

The graphics you'll see -- the storm system just to my west. It's about 280 miles to my west with the Gulf of Mexico. Directly behind me you can see what was left of the Fort Myers beach pier completely left in shambles from Hurricane Ian. So that is why there's so much interest behind this particular storm.

Thirty-five-mile-per-hour winds. It's still a tropical depression. The good news is this system is expected to dive south and stay away from the Florida peninsula. But what it's going to do is it's going to actually help enhance some of the shower and thunderstorm activity across Florida once again today, so the potential for localized flooding is real. We have a marginal risk of flash flooding across this region -- another one to three inches, especially in some of those stalled out storms that form.

But let's broaden the view and show you kind of what's going on across the rest of the country because there are other areas of flash flooding that we're concerned about today, mainly across the Texas Panhandle and throughout central Montana. Two different storm systems there but bottom line, what you need to know we have a potential there for flash flooding. A moderate risk there that we're keeping a very close eye on. Two to four inches of rain possible in an already saturated environment means more flooding.

So, active and busy start to the hurricane season, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Derek. Thank you so much for that.

OK. Billy Joel is moving out of Madison Square Garden.




ROMANS: The "Piano Man" is ending his record-breaking 10-year residency at the Garden. His 10 final shows start in October. They finish with his 150th show there next July.

All right, our top of the morning, the top artists streaming this week on Spotify.




ROMANS: Taylor Swift is number one. She is out on the road right now with her Eras Tour.

Here's number two.



DRAKE, RAPPER-SINGER-SONGWRITER: Singing "Search and Rescue."


ROMANS: Drake -- his latest "Search and Rescue."

And number three.


MORGAN WALLEN, SINGER: Singing "Last Night."


ROMANS: That's country superstar Morgan Wallen.

All right, thanks for joining me, everybody. I'm Christine Romans. Have a great weekend. "CNN THIS MORNING" starts right now.