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updated: 8/14/2012 7:37 AM

Futures rise ahead of retail sales report

Futures rise ahead of retail sales report

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  • Trader William McInerney, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown is dragging on Asia.

      Trader William McInerney, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks fell Monday as evidence piled up that the global economic slowdown is dragging on Asia.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Stock futures are moving higher ahead of a report on U.S. retailers.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 21 points to 13,158 and the broader S&P futures have risen 1.6 points to 1,404.20. Nasdaq futures are up 3 points at 2,731.

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Economists expect the government to report that retail sales rose 0.3 percent last month.

The report offers the first peek into the status of the American economy each month. It's important because spending by consumers accounts for around 70 percent of economic activity.

High hopes for U.S. sales overshadowed more bad news from overseas, with Europe edging closer to recession.

Economies in Europe shrank by a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent after a flat first quarter. A recession is officially defined as two straight quarters of falling output.

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