US STOCKS-Futures higher in positive start to third quarter

* Futures up: Dow 70 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 12.75 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 3 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were higher on
Monday, with all three major indexes on track to begin the third
quarter on a positive note.

* Trading volume is expected to be light with the U.S.
market closing early at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) and with the market
shut on Tuesday for Independence Day.

* On Friday, the S&P 500 scored its biggest gain for the
first half of the year since 2013, while the Nasdaq Composite’s
first-half gain was its best in eight years.

* The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory
activity for June is expected to have increased to a reading of
55.1 from 54.9 in May. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.

* U.S. construction spending, is likely to have rebounded
0.2 percent in May, from a 1.4 percent dip recorded in April.

* The second-quarter earnings season will kick off in the
coming weeks, with S&P 500 companies expected to post an 8
percent rise in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Investors will focus on earnings to see how they stack up
against soaring stock valuations. The S&P 500 has been trading
at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months,
compared with the long-term average of 15 times.

* Shares of Tesla were up 3 percent in premarket
trading after the luxury electric-car maker said it would
deliver its mass-market Model 3 sedan to first 30 customers on
July 28.

* Bank of America edged up 0.8 percent after
Berkshire Hathaway invoked its right to acquire 700
million shares of the bank, making it the lender’s top
shareholder.

Futures snapshot at 6:53 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 70 points, or 0.33 percent,
with 15,061 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.29 percent,
with 90,784 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12.75 points, or 0.23
percent, on volume of 17,384 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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