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Wall Street on track to end July as second best month in 2017

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning after a mixed week concluded with another Dow record on Friday but a straight decline for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. On the final session of July today, Wall Street was looking at its second best monthly gain of the year. (CNBC)

Discovery (DISCA) has agreed to buy Scripps Networks (SNI) for $14.6 billion in a deal that's expected to boost the combined firm's negotiating leverage with pay TV operators at a time when more people watch video online. (Reuters)

Charter (CHTR) said it's not interested in buying Sprint (S) whose majority owner Softbank has been mulling various plans for the wireless carrier. Softbank is planning a direct offer for Charter this week, according to Bloomberg.

While another busy earnings week gets off to a slow start, Dow stock Boeing (BA) was still riding a wave of optimism from last week's better than quarterly results. The nearly 15 percent rise in Boeing shares has added more than 212 points to the Dow in the past six sessions. (CNBC)

* Boeing expects India to order up $290 billion of aircraft over 20 years (Reuters)

A flood of Snap (SNAP) shares, held back since the Snapchat owner's March IPO, could start to trade freely starting today. The lockup expiration could pressure the stock that's already plunged far below its debut price. Snap (SNAP) shares were lower in the premarket. (Reuters)

In the lead up to Friday's government employment report for July, the week begins with two economic reports with the Chicago purchasing managers index for July at 9:45 a.m. ET and June ending home sales report from the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Oil prices were lower this morning as the U.S. considers sanctions on OPEC member Venezuela's oil sector in response to Sunday's election there to give the ruling socialist party virtually unlimited powers. (Reuters & AP)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump this morning participates in the swearing-in of his new chief of staff, retired general John Kelly, who had been the secretary of the department of homeland security. Reince Priebus was ousted last week in the latest shakeup at the White House. (USA Today)

After returning to Washington to cast critical votes that ultimately helped block the GOP repeal of Obamacare last week, Sen. John McCain headed back to Arizona to begin a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy today to treat his brain cancer. (USA Today)

Trump and members of his administration goaded GOP senators to keep trying to pass a bill to dismantle Obamacare after last week's failure. The president also threatened to end government payments to health insurers. (Reuters)

* Secretary Price says HHS will continue to 'follow the law' on health care (NBC News)
* Majority of Americans want Congress to move on, says new poll (Reuters)
* Mark Cuban sees a model for fixing health care in the U.K. system (CNBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow will expel 755 American diplomats and could consider imposing additional measures against the United States as a response to new sanctions over interference in the 2016 election. (Reuters)

The Trump administration has no clear options to peacefully rein in North Korea, political analysts said after the rogue state's second intercontinental ballistic missile test in a month. The president has been putting pressure on China to intervene. (CNBC)

* Japan backs Trump on North Korea and adds pressure on China (NBC News)

As Uber searches for its next CEO, some directors worry ousted chief Travis Kalanick is trying to game the outcome in his favor. That follows the exit of Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman from consideration to lead the ride-hailing company. (Recode)

Tesla (TSLA) handed over the first 30 Model 3s to employee buyers late Friday as the electric automaker mulls how to fill the more than half-million orders for the new, much lower cost sedan compared to the high-end Tesla Model S or Model X SUV. (CNBC)

Jurors are set to begin weighing the fate of so-called "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli on criminal fraud charges today after a prosecutor ended closing legal arguments by telling jurors Shkreli mistakenly calculated he was "above the law." (USA Today)

A sweetened beverage tax will take effect in Chicago on Wednesday after an Illinois judge threw out a lawsuit by retailers that argued the measure was vague and unlawful. (Reuters)

An appeals court panel said federal officials must reconsider their decision not to regulate the size of airline seats as a safety issue. One of the judges called it "the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat." (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Pandora shares, down 27 percent year-to-date, were up about 6 percent over the past month. Jana Partners last week reavled a stake in the streaming music service. Pandora is set to report quarterly results after the bell this afternoon.

Apple (AAPL) is set to report earnings after the bell tomorrow. Meanwhile, the tech giant is removing virtual private network services from its Chinese app store after newly passed laws there require state approval for all VPNs.

Medical laboratory operator LabCorp is buying contract research organization Chiltern for $1.2 billion in cash. LabCorp expects the deal to be accretive to earnings in the first year.

Sanofi (SNY) raised its full-year profit forecast on strong growth in its vaccines and consumer health-care businesses, among others. Quarterly earnings and revenue for the drugmaker matched forecasts.

In banking news, HSBC (HSBC) reported a 5 percent increase in quarterly profits and a third buyback in the past year. Separately, Wells Fargo (WFC) is cutting 69 executive jobs at its retail unit as part of a restructuring.

Ford (F) said it would pay to repair police department versions of its Ford Explorer as regulators investigate possible carbon monoxide leak issues in 1.33 million of the SUVs. Separately, Ford's CEO is reviewing future products, plants, and countries.

WATERCOOLER

"The Emoji Movie" survived negative reviews but "Dunkirk" topped the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row. "Girls Trip," in its second week, beat out the "Atomic Blonde" debut for the third spot. (AP)