IN THE NEWS TODAY
President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisors tasked with crafting a new strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the top U.S. military commander there during a tense meeting at the White House. (NBC News)
* Moscow calls new U.S. sanctions bill a full-scale 'trade war' (Reuters)
* Iran says new US sanctions violate nuclear deal, vows 'proportional reaction' (Reuters)
New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired general and former Homeland Security secretary, called Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reassure him that his job was safe, despite the recent onslaught of criticism he has taken from the president. (AP)
* Memo from ousted Scaramucci outlines ambitious plans he had for press office (AP)
* Scaramucci's White House job could end up costing him $7.5 million (USA Today)
* Scaramucci to hold online event tomorrow to tell his story (CNN)
More voters than ever are dissatisfied with Trump's performance, according to new Quinnipiac University poll. Just 33 percent of respondents approved, while 61 percent disapproved. Trump's approval rating is down 7 percentage points from late June. (CNBC)
* Trump supports immigration bill that could have negative economic impact (CNBC)
* Trump, responding to reports, says he never called White House a 'dump' (AP)
Fueling speculation that Mark Zuckerberg might one-day enter politics or even run for president, the Facebook co-founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, hired a Democratic pollster and former top advisor to President Barack Obama as a consultant. (Politico)
* Starting today, Facebook rolls out a 'related articles' feature (WSJ)
Hackers cashed out early this morning on more than $143,000 worth of bitcoin relating to ransoms paid from the massive WannaCry cyberattack earlier this year, according to London-based startup Elliptic that helps law enforcement. (CNBC)
Kabbage, a billion-dollar startup that's become a key lender for small businesses, has raised $250 million in venture capital from Japan's SoftBank Group. The funding brings Kabbage's total equity funding raised to nearly $500 million. (CNBC)
Microsoft (MSFT) is testing a Windows 10 feature that would allow users to control features of the operating system with their eyes. The new feature is aimed at "empowering people with disabilities to operate an on-screen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech." (CNBC)
Researchers have found a way to reliably remove disease-causing mutations from human embryos, raising the possibility of protecting babies from a variety of conditions and renewing concerns that some might try to design babies with certain traits. (NY Times)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Aetna (AET) scored a sizable beat, earning an adjusted $3.42 per share for the second quarter compared to estimates of $2.35. Revenue also beat forecasts, with the insurer benefiting from strong performance from its core businesses as well as cost controls.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) fell 4 cents short of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.02 per share, while revenue fell short as well. The drugmaker cites weaker than expected performance in its U.S. generics business, among other factors.
Yum Brands (YUM) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 68 cents per share, 7 cents above estimates, while revenue also beat forecasts. Sales were higher at Taco Bell and KFC, although they fell at Pizza Hut. Worldwide same-store sales were slightly above forecasts.
Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) beat estimates with quarterly earnings and matched on revenue. Same-restaurant sales fell 0.5 percent, breaking 29 straight quarters of growth. The firm also warned on guidance.
Dish Network (DISH) earned an adjusted 69 cents per share, 6 cents below estimates, while revenue missed as well. However, its net subscriber losses were smaller than analysts had anticipated.
Fitbit (FIT) lost 8 cents per share, a smaller than expected quarterly loss. The wearable fitness device maker's revenue also was better than expected, thanks to increased demand for newer models and higher prices.