Ackman Resigns from J.C. Penney Board, BP Sues EPA: Morning Buzzers

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U.S. stock futures rose this morning upon data that retail sales were strong during July, signaling the end of a two-day losing streak for the S&P 500. According to the Commerce Department, data showed that retail sales increased 0.2 percent in July. Investors are still scrutinizing the economy for signs that it’s strong enough for the Federal Reserve to start cutting back on stimulus.

Futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: +0.20%  S&P 500: +0.20%  NASDAQ: +0.18%

Here’s your cheat sheet to the stories buzzing this morning:

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) announced this morning that activist investor Bill Ackman has resigned from the struggling retailer’s board. Ackman had been vocal about his disapproval of Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman. Last week, Ackman called for Ullman to be replaced within 30 to 45 days. Then, in a statement seen by Reuters released on Tuesday, Ackman said that “my stepping down from the board is the most constructive way forward for J.C. Penney and all other parties involved.”

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