Stock futures rise ahead of key spending report

The American flag and a sign for Wall St. are shown outside the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 15, 2013 in New York. Weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales sent most world stock markets lower Tuesday July 16, 2013 as investors awaited congressional testimony from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke later in the week.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

NEW YORK Stock futures are rising ahead of what are expected to be some strong sales numbers for retailers, as well as signs of increased confidence from U.S. businesses.

Shares of J.C. Penney are up more than 2 percent before the opening bell after the retailer announced the resignation from the board of Pershing Square's Bill Ackman, a huge stakeholder who has clashed with other directors.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 40 points to 15,427. S&P futures have added 3.5 points to 1,690.60. Nasdaq futures are up 6.75 points to 3,130.75.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is expected to report that Americans in July ramped up their spending. That's crucial for an economic recovery. The department is also expected to report that businesses are building stockpiles in response to stronger sales.