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Jobs Report Shows Growth; Dow is Making History; Closing Arguments in Jodi Arias Trial; Dow Closing in on 15,000; Warren Buffett Joins Twitter

Aired May 3, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thank you for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. Stories we're watching in the NEWSROOM, at 30 minutes past the hour. Markets preparing to open on Wall Street after reports that the jobs report better than expected, yes that jobs report better than expected. Opening bell ringing right now. Alison Kosik, those numbers are going up.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: See them? The Bulls are running, Carol. Get ready for a record-setting day today, as the jobs picture gets brighter. We learned that 165,000 jobs added in April. Unemployment rate ticked lower from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent. Remember that 88,000 jobs that were added in March? That was revised higher. That is giving jubilation to the market, as well as in February, revisions there as well, to actually a level we haven't seen since 2005.

So, as we talk about this, the Dow is making history again at a new level, a new record high at 14,908. Look at the S&P 500. It's already crossed into the 1 600 level first time ever. This takes the index into a new century. Gives more upward momentum to stocks psychologically, giving a boost to confidence of course if you are invested in it. So, the way Wall Street sees it Carol, the jobs report is strong and those revisions are certainly giving more momentum to the market this morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: It's so nice to hear for a change. Can't tell you how nice it is.

KOSIK: It is nice.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik, thank you.

KOSIK: Sure.

COSTELLO: For the second time this week, a U.S. military plane made by Boeing, crashes shortly after takeoff. This time it was a refueling plane. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon, tell us about it.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol this is a KC-135 Boeing-made aircraft as you say, that crashed in Kyrgistan, this is in central Asia of course. According to reports crashed in the northern part of the country. Initial reports, may have been three or five crew on board. U.S. military plane that conducts refueling missions for troops in Afghanistan. It's a major transit hub. The thing is, we have no idea yet of the cause of the crash. Emergency crews are said to be on the scene, and we really don't know what happened here, whether it was mechanical or weather. The Air Force will launch an investigation into the incident.

COSTELLO: You might imagine it would with two crashes happening in such a short span of time.

STARR: Exactly. And, of course, they do all the time. That crash back in Bagram air base in Afghanistan earlier this week, that was a cargo plane and of course, had a lot of heavy gear on board. As my colleague Chris Lawrence has reported. One of the suspicions there is that maybe the cargo shifted, somehow came undone, that heavy cargo. Weight shifting might have sadly brought that plane down a lot of investigation into that. This one, they're just not sure yet. It's very early going.

COSTELLO: I understand. Barbara Starr, reporting live from the Pentagon.

The Boston bombing suspects really had their sights on another target. We'll have the latest from Boston coming up next in the NEWSROOM.

And take a look at the markets, because they're going crazy in a good way. Up over 100 points already. We'll be right back.


COSTELL: Okay, and the breaking news means good things this morning. Take a look at the Dow. It's going crazy this morning. A better than expected jobs report came out this Friday -- 165,000 jobs added to the economy. The unemployment rate slipped ever so slightly, one tenth of one percent to 7.5 percent. That's the lowest percentage since December of 2008. Actually, the markets hit two records this morning. Let's head to the New York stock exchange and Alison Kosik. Hi Alison.

KOSIK: Hi Carol. Yes, a major milestone to tell you about. Look at the Dow, where it's trading at 14,968. This is the highest trading level we've ever seen. Look how close it is to Dow 15,000. We kinda talked about that jokingly very recently. Dow 15,000, that will never happen. Look, it's 40 points away from that. I wouldn't say it's such a stretch if we hit it today. S&P 500, that is hitting a new level as well. The first time in history crossing over the 1,600 level. Going pretty far, it's at 1,613. The way Wall Street sees the jobs report, it was very strong. Wall Street very sweet on the report, especially since those revisions that we saw for February and March. Those numbers of employers that added jobs, added so many, that you are seeing Wall Street buy into the market today, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Alison Kosik, we'll get back to you as the day progresses on Wall Street.

In other news in morning, for four months the jury in the Jodi Arias trial has heard details of a raunchy sex life, a blood-spattered crime scene and a litany of lies. Now, the jury could finally start deliberating Arias' fate as early as today. That's when closing arguments are expected to wrap up. A guilty verdict will get her executed by lethal injection. CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Phoenix with more for you.


JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR, JODI ARIAS MURDER TRIAL: Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, she is a liar.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jodi Arias broke down listening to prosecutor Juan Martinez methodically lay out his closing argument that she is a cold-blooded killer, who premeditated the murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

MARTINEZ: She knew, absolutely knew and had already planned it. She knew she was going to kill him.

ROWLANDS: Martinez told jurors that in 2008 Arias drove from northern California to Alexander's home in Mesa, Arizona armed with a knife and a stolen gun she took from her grandparents. She used cans of gasoline to refuel the car and turned off her cell phone to avoid leaving a trail.

MARTINEZ: She knew she was coming to kill him.

ROWLANDS: Family members openly wept as Martinez, using graphic photos from the crime scene, detailed how he says Arias brutally stabbed Alexander almost 30 times and shot him in the head. At one point, Martinez noticed Arias also crying.

MARTINEZ: She may cry now, but the jury instructions have told you that sympathy is not to be considered in this particular case.

ROWLANDS: Arias originally told police she wasn't there, testified that she killed Alexander in self-defense. Martinez told jurors not to believe a word she said on the witness stand.

MARTINEZ: She's acting the part and she's lying. She's making all up. She has lied to everybody.


ROWLANDS: And, Carol, the jury will hear from the defense when court resumes here in a few hours in Phoenix. The defense will try to convince this jury that Jodi Arias was acting self-defense and that she was a victim of domestic abuse. This will be a tough act to follow. Four hours Juan Martinez laid into Jodi Arias during his close yesterday. He will get the final word before they get the case.

COSTELLO: Ted Rowlands live this morning.

He is the richest man in the world, but for Warren Buffett, the definition of success has nothing to do with money. We'll explain, but first, let's take another look at the markets, because yeah, it's possible according -- you can see it is possible. We'll hit the 15,000 mark on the Dow. Up 151 points, and growing. All due to a great jobs report for the month of April. We'll be back with much more on the improving economy when we come back.


COSTELLO: We've been telling you about this breaking news, that a better than expected jobs report for April, 165,000 jobs added to the economy. The unemployment rate slips to 7.5 percent, and as you saw the markets are going wild. Yes, it could hit 15,000. We just got a statement from the White House on the numbers. I will read a bit of it.

This is a quote.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst down turn since the great depression. It's critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."

As you can see, politics already coming into play. Let's head to Mexico now and check in with Jessica Yellin. She's traveling with the president. Glean any more information out there, Jessica?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Well this is what I expected from the White House. When we talked about just a short time ago, that they are cheering the numbers, but not -- trying not to be overly enthusiastic, overstating the fact that this is too rosy a picture because there are still some 12 million Americans unemployed full time.

They point out that the private sector business growth is extremely strong or very strong. And what they also say somewhat further down in the statement is, quote, "Now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy. The administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction."

So the administration's point is implicit in this that if only Congress were not engaging in political gains and pursuing this across the board budget cuts we've been talking about for so many months now, perhaps this unemployment picture could be even rosier.

So the White House out with this statement. I'll point out to you, Carol that a number of Republicans have put out their own statements already, saying that they believe the picture would be better if Obamacare were not in place, if Democrats weren't imposing regulations, if taxes were in a different place.

So, each side is seeing their own political advantage in these numbers. But for Americans, what this really means, is A, a better picture on jobs and B, more stalemate in Washington -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes we want to talk a little bit more about that bottom line. Because you're right these jobs numbers matter to real people out there. Christine Romans, is our business guru; Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Jessica you'll continue to be with us from Mexico. Stephen Moore from the "Wall Street Journal" also on the phone with us.

Christine I want to start with you because Jessica was mentioning this, at the bottom of the statement from the White House, it says in talking about the numbers. "It's important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available."

What does the White House mean by that?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well they are trying to and you talk -- look at the very beginning of the report. And they say, quite frankly, while more work needs -- remains to be done so they are being measured in the response to this because a lot of economists have been worried about a spring swoon, some sort of a -- a slowdown in growth. The growth rate of the American economy into the spring, and that had been the worry.

These numbers and the big revisions in February and March -- you know they just sway that a little bit or they soothed those fears a little bit. Bu so -- so let's take the White House advice here and look at longer terms not just one month of jobs data. We've crunched the numbers for the past year on average now job growth of 173,000 jobs. That's enough to lower the unemployment rate. That's enough to start eating away at the big number of jobs that we lost during the recession that we've been trying to get back -- 173,000.

I would really love to see like February, when we have 330,000 some thousand I'd like a bunch a month like that. We're not getting what we saw in February, but certainly you have positive jobs momentum.

The White House also pointing out private sector payroll employment and when they do that, because they want to show that without government cutbacks you are seeing private industry starting to hire and that's really the vehicle for growth, the engine for the American economy and it's so important.

What you're going to hear and Jessica is right, you're already hearing from a lot of Republicans putting out statements saying if it weren't for the President's health care reform, you would have companies much more confident and hiring more. So they're starting to use this as a way to sort of knock down the White House on health care reform and pointing these are rear view mirror pictures --



ROMANS: -- of numbers they're not what's happening --


COSTELLO: Right. Before we get into the politics because we sure will (inaudible) with that; we're going to get into it, we will. I want to go to the New York Stock Exchange and Alison Kosik because the markets are going crazy. Could we really hit 15,000 today? KOSIK: It is a possibility. Look, you know we're what, less than 25, 30 points away from 15,000. You know it sees -- it sees nice round numbers like 15,000 on the Dow and 1,600 on the S&P, that creates more momentum, creates more about wealth effect that we've seeing here in the market and in turn, some analysts say sure it can create some confidence for the American public when they see the stock market go up this high.

At the same time, to really reap the rewards of this market, you have to be invested in it and the reality is, the bulk of Americans are not invested in the stock market, their biggest asset happens to be their home. Their home which -- which prices right now are less than most likely where they want it or where they typically have been in the past several years, or they're underwater with their -- with their house.

So you know as far as feeling the wealth effect on the market, it's a -- I wouldn't say it's few and far between, but it's probably a little bit close to that since most Americans are not necessarily invested.

Now that being said, you look at the S&P 500, it hit that 1,600 level at the opening bell and really just blew past it.

The good news is that if you're working and you let's say have a 401(k) or you have a mutual fund or not even working but you're putting money into a mutual fund, that S&P 500 is something that your mutual fund or your 401(k) track. And the fact that it's going up so much today is adding -- it's certainly adding to your investments today -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Let's go to Stephen Moore from the "Wall Street Journal" he's on the phone with us right now. So you're looking at the stock market, we might hit 15,000.


COSTELLO: The S&P set a record at 1,600. So you know and the politics will come later today. But what do you make of this Stephen? Put this in perspective for us because Alison is right, most people don't have a whole lot of money to invest in the stock market. They are just sitting here watching going yes that's great but I'm still hurting.

MOORE: Well look I think there are a lot of very positive signs in the economy. And by the way, you know I said earlier on your show I wasn't ready to dance the jib but maybe if the Dow goes over 15,000, maybe I will. I mean these are really strong numbers and by the way one of the things we're seeing is you know in the -- after the recession was over Carol, businesses and corporations across America really became lean and efficient and they cut out a lot of that excess debt. And you look at the balance sheets of American companies right now and they are pristine. They look really good.

And so I do think there is a lot of hope for growth right now. And the only thing I'd say political is I kind of have come to the conclusion that maybe some of this gridlock in Washington and there's kind of kind of benign neglect right now and I think the market likes that.

COSTELLO: Oh, man. So Jessica Yellin, let's go to you on that. So because Washington is gridlocked and they're not doing much, that actually could be good for the economy?

YELLIN: Well there is a certain cynicism out there about what Washington -- that Washington doesn't really know what to do. I mean when the -- the last time Washington took big action on the economy, we got the sequester

So the bigger picture here is that the fact that there is some positive news now could create an environment in Washington where the two sides have a little bit more room to negotiate this is -- I'm being maybe an optimist but a little more room to negotiate when we face the next debt ceiling, when we face the next discussion because they will have to start talking about the budget. They will have to start talking about dealing with the next debt ceiling and possibly even some sort of entitlement reform.

So I see a new statement from Speaker Boehner and he does say there is some good news in today's jobs report. So a little bit of positive there but he immediately goes on to slam the President's policies. So maybe there's some possibility that we'll see some progress this summer as the two sides start to tangle again -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I like your attitude. I hope you're right. Who knows? Anything is possible.

Christine, I want you to button it up before I go to a break. Put this in perspective and tell us what it all means. 165,000 jobs added in April, the stock market going crazy, the S&P setting a record. What does it all mean?

ROMANS: It means the economy is slowly healing from the worst financial crisis any of us will ever experience. And it's slowly healing, it means companies are finding that they have to hire people. It means the layoffs are slowing down and the hiring is picking up. It's nowhere what we would like to see.

My last little piece of advice, I guess, is your jobless rate is either 100 percent or 0 percent. For a lot of people out there, all of these numbers mean nothing unless you're going to get a job. The conditions are getting a little better everyday. That's what I will say.

And I will also say -- you told to button it up and here I'm going on but listen, for a long time we've been saying the jobless rate is falling because people are dropping out of the labor market. That was true for several years. Last month it didn't happen. You didn't see people didn't drop out of the labor market last month. So this a lower jobless rate because people got jobs -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Christine Romans, Alison Kosik, Jessica Yellin, and Stephen Moore, thanks to all of you for your wonderful analysis -- I appreciate it. When we come back in the NEWSROOM, we're going to talk about Warren Buffett and get his advice on how you can capitalize on all of this. Poppy Harlow will have a special report for you coming your way.


COSTELLO: The world's best known investor who doesn't even have a computer in his office is now taking the Internet by storm. I'm talking about Warren Buffett. He's joined Twitter, proving himself surprisingly hip, Buffett tweeted quote, "Warren is in the house". That little gem has been retweeted more than 33,000 times.

Poppy Harlow is in New York. So what else is Warren Buffett tweeting?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol. Well you know this first tweet came in a conversation that he had yesterday at the University of Nebraska, Omaha with fortune, Patti Sellers and The focus of the conversation was women and work -- something that has gotten a lot of attention lately, especially with Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, especially with her new book, "Lean In".

That is one of the reasons why Warren Buffett came out and wrote that essay that you see in your screen for "Fortune" and why he had this conversation. He said that women are a major reason why we, America, will do so well. Why he is so optimistic about the future of America's economy. He was asked why that is -- why he thinks women are so critical. Here is his answer.


WARREN BUFFETT, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: It just stands to reason that if the United States got to where it was from 1776 and made all the progress it did, more than half that period women really shut out of most activities. So you had all these brain power and energy -- ability not totally going to waste, but certainly not reaching its potential. Just think what you can do when you get the whole team out there.


HARLOW: He says that he's had these ideas in his head a long time, Carol. He's often thought about them. There are women that run some of the companies that he owns that are the CEOs.

But he said at this point in time, he wanted to get his thoughts out there because frankly this conversation is heating up in America right now. Asked by one student in the audience what he thought employers could do to help women in the workplace. He talked about the importance of flexible hours saying it is not going to work in every environment, but it is something employers need to consider.

And he was asked who his role models are. He has three of them -- his first wife who he said "opened my eyes to a lot of things"; also "Fortune" writer Carol Loomis, who he's known for years. And he mentioned Katherine Graham. She was the CEO of the "Washington Post" company. She was the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company and he said she was the most powerful woman in the country and she never believed it herself.

So very interesting to hear his thoughts on women in work right now -- Carol.

COSTELLO: A lot of women can relate to that. Thanks so much, Poppy Harlow reporting live for us from New York City.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Happening now in the NEWSROOM, breaking overnight, California inferno. Walls of flames burning through the L.A. area.