US STOCKS-Wall St set to rise ahead of data

* Tesla higher after Model 3 gets approval for production

* Bankrate jumps after $1.24 bln Red Ventures takeover offer

* Futures up: Dow 67 pts, S&P 7.75 pts, Nasdaq 19.75 pts
(Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

July 3 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were on track to begin the
third quarter on a positive note in a truncated session on
Monday, while investors awaited data for more clues on the
health of the economy.

Trading volume is expected to be light, with the U.S. market
closing early at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT). It will be 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 start to the third quarter is getting off on a
promising note as the futures point to a higher opening in
pre-holiday volume,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist
at First Standard Financial.

“On the domestic front, we look for mixed-to-positive
manufacturing data and a slight uptick in construction spending.
In this abbreviated trading session, we look for positive market
action as investors focus turns to the economy.”

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.

Dow e-minis were up 67 points, or 0.31 percent, with
18,214 contracts changing hands at 8:31 a.m. ET (1231 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.75 points, or 0.32 percent,
with 109,733 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 19.75 points, or 0.35
percent, on volume of 22,362 contracts.

U.S. companies will start reporting second-quarter results
in the coming weeks and investors will be keen on knowing as to
how their earnings stack up against lofty market valuations.

The S&P 500 companies are expected to post an 8 percent rise
in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The S&P 500
index has been trading at about 18 times forward earnings,
compared with the long-term average of 15 times.

Shares of Tesla were up 2 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.
Bankrate jumped 9 percent after the company said it
would be bought by digital marketing company Red Ventures for
$1.24 billion.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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