U.S. small business confidence rises in July

Reuters reports that U.S. small business optimism rose in July, with owners anticipating an improvement in sales and earnings, which could bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second half of the year. The National Federation of Independent Business said its Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.6 point to 94.1 last month, recouping most of June's decline.


U.S. retail sales data points to improving economy

Reuters reports that U.S retail sales rose in July 0.5 percent, the fastest pace in seven months, which is a sign of quicker economic growth that could strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve winding down a major economic stimulus program.


Ackman resigns as J.C. Penney drama gets nasty

CNN Money reports that after taking his frustrations over the retailer's leadership public, activist investor Bill Ackman resigned from J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s board of directors. Ackman, J.C. Penney's largest shareholder, released a five-page letter last week, lashing out at the board for not giving him access to the company's financials.