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tv   First Business  FOX  December 17, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST

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a new warning on why you need to keep your social security number a secret. in today's cover story, the days of tax-free shopping online may be coming to a close. dollars and scents: how the right odors could get you top dollar if your home is for sale. plus, the 5 best bargain getaway destinations this holiday season. first business starts now. you're watching first business: financial news, analysis, and today's investment ideas. good morning. it's monday, december 17th. i'm angela miles. in today's first look: the red zone: stocks fell into the red friday, wiping away some of last week's gains. only oil was able to pump out a small move into the green, mostly on upbeat economic data out of china. postal workers are bracing for the busiest day of the year today. the post office expects
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to deliver a record-breaking 365 million packages, cards and letters this holiday season. and gas price plunge: the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline dropped 9 cents from last week to $3.28 cents. that is the sound of a new trading week ringing in. daniel stecich of tjm institional joins us on this monday morning. good morning to you. > > good morning. good to be here. > the stock market is beginning to feel like we are stuck daniel. is that true? > > i don't think we are necessarily stuck. we're just a little bit nervous. two things in play here right now: you have the holiday trades starting to come in, so volume starts taming down a bit, and also we still have fiscal cliff issues to deal with. but if you look at the underlying markets, there is
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a lot to trade off of. there are a lot of economic figures that we need to look at that, because of the fiscal cliff, we may not have paid too much attention to. > then my next question to you is, is this a trader market or an investor market? > > if you are an investor, stick with what you have, don't panic on any bad news. but if you are a trader, that is probably the better market now, because you are going to have to be very fleet-of-foot to get in and out. don't take anything for long-term right now until we have more clarity in this economy. > what will you be watching for this week? > > one thing that is very important to watch for is the two things that have been holding our economy up of late have been employment and housing, and both of these seem to be on the upswing right now. thursday we will get our weekly employment figures, and we also have some housing figures coming out later in the week. if these continue to show improvement, i think this is really starting to show some solid signs of our economy coming to life. > i hope you're right on that account. that is daniel stecich of tjm institional services. have a good trading week.
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in our cover story, the inevitable may soon be upon us. no, not the fiscal cliff - sales tax on purchases made over the internet. it's already being collected in a half-dozen states with more about to be added next year. this month, massachusetts became the latest state to reach a deal with online giant amazon to collect sales tax from online purchases by shoppers in massachusetts. brick and morter retailers call it a victory. "all brick-and-morter stores want a level playing field, and if their customers have to pay sales tax, they want their online colleagues to do the same." for years, states have treated internet sales similar to mail- order catalogues - no sales tax collected. but commerce department numbers show online sales soaring, leading the national conference of state legislatures to estimate states such as california could gain $4.16 billion, texas and new york nearly $1.8 billion each -
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nationwide, an estimated $23 billion dollars in state tax revenue. "all states face budget situations where they need to look under every rock to resolve it." "the states see this 'get-out- of-jail-free' card and their tax revenues declining, and they're screaming that there's huge opportunities there." three interstate commerce bills in congress would grant states the right to collect sales tax from online merchants. the bills are aimed at the net's biggest retailers - amazon and ebay - and allow exemptions for small online retailers. "amazon is not fighting it strongly. they're defending a fallen fortress. they're doing deals in california rather than challenge this in many, many states." for people who live in states with no sales tax, the pending legislation would not change that for online purchases.
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today's the day if you still have christmas gifts to send. more than 1,500 stores have already signed up to take part in "free shipping monday." the one-day online shopping event attracts those procrastinators among us who have waited until the last possible moment to buy gifts. if you act today, you can get free shipping along with a promise that gifts will still arrive in time for christmas. the same promotion was done last year and generated more than $1 billion in online sales, beating black friday internet buys. china's banking system is closer to an overhaul. by the end of the month, a report says the new chinese leadership is expected to put reforms into place that would create a formal bank deposit insurance system. until now, banks in china have been offering risky investment products that fail to appear on balance sheets. also, most banks lend to government enterprises, which ensures loans will be re-paid, but leaves out
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small businesses and private companies. the u.s. senate is expected to start debating this afternoon on how much money to spend on repair costs in the wake of superstorm sanday. the current disaster aid package stands at $60.4 billion. the aid could become a political football. some republicans in the house want to consider a smaller initial amount to cover immediate needs until there's more evidence of the need for additional spending. fema, the federal emergency management agency's, disaster relief fund has nearly $5 billion, which is enough to pay for recovery costs into early spring. peabody energy corp. gets a lump of coal in its stocking. the st. louis-based coal producer says a drop in coal prices and lower market demand are dragging down its sales by about 2 million tons. coal producers have struggled this year against record low natural gas prices. those cheap prices prompt utilities to use it instead of coal for fuel. peabody does expect results to improve later this year.
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the latest identification scam may be closer than you think. jennifer waters of joins us this morning with the details. hello jen, and how close are these new bad guys? > > good morning there angela. these bad guys can be your neighbors. they could even live in your house as well. that is how close they are. this comes from id analytics. they did this four-year study just to figure out how close were these id thieves related. and what they found was there were homes or families - a husband, a wife, four 20-somethings - stealing ids and stealing information and using it to open up credit card accounts or bank accounts or cell phone accounts. just these people alone comprise some 10,000 fraud rings in the u.s. that doesn't include those sophisticated geeky guys over in eastern europe in a boiler room during that. > if this is a case of neighbor-against-neighbor or family member-against-family
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member, what can people do to protect themselves? > > some of the stuff that we always talk about, and that is that you have to shred everything, because now you really know, your neighbors are going into your garbage and picking out stuff. so, shred everything. everything you have, no matter if it has any other identification about you besides your name and address. also, you have to guard your social security number, because that is what most of this id fraud is based on. it is really important to make sure you don't give it out to anyone, of course. give it out only to the people you need to, which is your job, your insurance company... don't give it out at a medical facility, for example. if you go to the doctor and they are asking you for it, don't give it to them. tell them your insurance company has it. because we have seen some theft come out of there as well. > that sounds like a great plan. that is jennifer waters of taking a bite out of apple: analysts cut the tech giant's sales estimates for next year. new market research suggests that consumer interest in apple iphones may have peaked. one ubs analyst estimates there will be 5 million fewer sales of iphones and 2 million fewer ipad sales this fiscal year. apple
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shares are down more than 25% from a september high of just over $700. no more waving your hand to hail a cab in the big apple. the new york taxi and limo commssion approved so called e- hail in a unanimous vote. the e- hail app on smart phones and tablets connects passengers to cabbies within a half-mile radius. the one-year pilot program starts february 15th. southwest, the airline made famous by not charging fees, is adding at least one. starting some time next year, if you buy a ticket on the airline and then don't show up or miss a flight and fail to cancel your seat before takeoff, the airline says you will pay. how much hasn't yet been determined, but southwest says too many no- shows on on its cheapest fares are leaving empty seats, and that costs money. southwest says the new policy could boost revenue by as much as $175 million a year.
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amtrak makes tracks with a new fleet of high-speed trains. early next year, amtrak will start the process of replacing its 20 high speed acela express trains. the goal is more frequent high-speed service on the northeast corridor. that translates into a 96-minute trip between washington d.c. and new york city. the real-estate broker trick of baking apples with cinnamon to help sell a house may be outdated. simply put, simple scents work best, and apparently that goes for any selling environment. the business school at washington state university found the subtle scent of orange by itself increased sales 20% in stores. but when mixed in a complex blend of basil and green tea, researchers say it becomes a distraction for shoppers, trying to figure it all out. the same goes for lemon, pine and cinnamon. as with many things, keep it simple.
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coming up, what ski resort operators are doing to get business drifting their way. but first, from cocaine king to a hot dog stand man. bill moller joins us next with that intriguing story. [ game announcer ] touchdown! and here comes the dunk.
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ago a guy named john cappas was a cocky punk. he was brash and full of cash, a fleet of limos and a playboy model girlfriend. he was mister big shota drug kingpin in chicago, he was moving kilos of cocaine every week, making about $100,000 a month. then came 15 years of prison, and reflection, and some maturity. today he is a businessman in chicago, and he counsels kids not to tread the tough guy path of crime and money. and he counsels businessmen as well. he writes about it all in his book called "tall money." john, when you were a 19, 20-year-old lowlife living the high life, what did you think, it was just going to go on forever? > > no bill. it was a way to get out of debt. i smashed my car up, my father was upset with me, i wasn't going to college; and the way things went, things kept getting thrown in my lap. someone i grew up with lived in florida when he was a kid. all of a sudden we are getting these kilos for crazy prices. > it was easy money, and you liked the big tough guy image. > > yeah, to an extent. you know, the movies, the gangster
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movies and all that, 19-year- old kid with no brains, what happens? > what changed you then? was it a 45-year prison sentence? > > no. i'm greek. my parents, my mother was like, "john, i raised you better than this." and to go home and see how upset she was and then some of the greeks i looked up to were like, "john, you're hurting kids." i wanted to have a family of my own some day, and i am like, "i have to get out of this." > so paternity it sounds like. so, you talk to businessmen. you talk to entrepreneurs. what do you tell them? > > before i bought the weenie wagon i was in the car business- > that's your business. it's a hot dog stand. > > it's a hot dog stand. to be at the top, you have to shoot for the top. when i was in the car business, i was paying out of my pocket to go to these joe verde seminars. > motivational- > > motivational. here's the top pros in the industry telling you how to close deals, be good on the phone, be an excellent manager as far as motivating your staff. and then i get to the weenie wagon, i've taken the college courses and the
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culinary arts courses i took when i was away, and everything coupled together. i looked at it like, how can i be the best in my industry? so i'll pit suppliers against one another. i had vienna beef, red hot chicago- > you love to being a businessman. > > it's great. > it sounds like it's just two different people. > > the kid is dead. the 19- year-old john cappas is dead, never to come back. now, to me, i get out of bed, and i am always trying to figure out how i am going to be better and set myself apart from everyone else around me. > what do you tell your employees? you motivate them too. > > i tell them, you know, let's make the customers happy, number one. let's not argue with the customers. if you make someone's sandwich wrong, don't take it back- > that's different from what you were. you'd bust somebody's chops sometimes- > > no, i would never do that bill. you can't take a guy to small claims court back in the '80s. but, it's like, does it make sense to argue with a customer? no. let him keep the first sandwich. make him another one, and say you're sorry. and they're going to come back. you want to win the battle, or you
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want to win the war? > john cappas. "tall money" is the name of the book. john, thanks so much. > > thanks again bill. appreciate it. thanks bill. still ahead - from sand to slopes, the top travel bargains this holiday season, right after the break.
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holiday travel is bigger than ever this year. jeanenne tornatore of orbitz joins us now. boy, you look what you are a little chilly out there today. > > it is chilly. i'm here at the keystone resort in colorado, but chilly is good when you want to hit the slopes.
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and they're getting more snow here today, so it's a good time to be out here. > overall, what are some hot destinations where people really want to travel for the holiday season? > > looking at our most-booked destinations over the christmas and new year's holiday, orlando is our number one booked destination. also on the top of our list, new york, denver, los angeles, and fort lauderdale. so, you have a range of winter, city, and warm-weather destinations. > are those destinations places where people are getting the best deals? > > four of our top 10 booked destinations actually have hotel rates that are under $150 a night on average. those include orlando, where the average hotel rate is $144 a night. tampa also makes that list, coming in at $108 a night
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on average; denver at $127 a night; and phoenix at just $122 a night. so there are options out there for travelers over the holiday period who may be looking for a bargain. > is there a bigger push this year by ski operators? > > there is a big push every year by these ski resorts. it is a major industry out here. vail resorts, for example, every year pours millions of dollars into capital improvements and promotions. i'm here at keystone, they just launched a great program this year which makes skiing very affordable for families. it is called "kids ski free." no blackout dates. you stay two nights at one of their resorts, and kids 12 and under ski for free during your entire stay. so, they are really trying to make it more affordable for families to get out here and enjoy a ski vacation. > jeanenne tornatore, always a pleasure. have a good time, and safe travels to you. > > thanks angie up next, ben franklin comes into play in chart talk.
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matt shapiro, president of mws capital, joins us this morning for chart talk. good morning to you matt. > > good morning angie.
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> and is the name of the game still to find those companies that are flush with cash? > > absolutely, ones that pay special dividends and pay good dividends. and one i really like is franklin resources. not a natural resources stock. franklin templeton global investments, very large money manager and mutual fund company. very strong balance sheet. $9 billion in retained earnings. paid a special dividend early in the year, and also late this year. and it is a stock i am buying for everybody right now. i really like this as a long-term, all-american company with great prospects. > is this stock too late to buy at these levels though? it already has a return of 42% over the past year. > > it is a stock i am buying at all-time highs, because its projected p/e is only about 11, and i think the prospects are very bright, for not only the stock market as a whole, but a
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fund manager such as franklin templeton - excellent long-term record, great distribution of mutual funds, and lots of retail investors like them. institutional investors as well use the company. people are coming back into the stock market, slowly but surely. billions and billions of dollars flowed into etfs and stock funds last quarter. > what could be the downside of owning this big ben? > > well, obviously if the stock market doesn't perform as well as we would like, they are going to have less money coming in through asset management fees. however, they are very diversified, with fixed income having become, of course, so popular. but i really think a lot of people are under-owned in financial services, and this is a stock that i think you take out that debt crisis kind of idea. it's just a money manager, a very strong balance sheet. tends to have very strong
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return on equity, and excellent prospects going forward, despite what happens with the stock market. > that is matt shapiro, president of mws capital. have a good day matt. > > thanks a lot. that's it for now. join us tomorrow as we dish with the ceo of chobani yogurt. he says he's about to open the world's largest yogurt manufacturing plant. we will tell where the jobs are. and for our fellow americans in newton, connecticut, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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the first funerals are set for some of the victims of friday's massacre at a connecticut elementary school. how the victims are being remembered by their community and world. california's superintendent is calling for all schools to look hard at their security. we'll tell you what some school districts are considering. overnight rescue in san francisco the special tools firefighters used to free a man from a chimney. it's all ahead on the ktvu channel 2 morning news. good morning. thank you for joining us on this monday morning, december 17th i'm pam cook. >> and i'm brian flores. it has been a tough weekend for a lot of people. let's take a look at our weather with steve paulson.


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