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(DARLEY SHEN/REUTERS)
(DARLEY SHEN/REUTERS)

Premarket: Futures up on Chinese factory expansion Add to ...

U.S. stock index futures kicked off the third quarter with early gains Tuesday, buoyed by a report showing China’s factory sector expanded in June for the first time in six months, and ahead of U.S. data expected to show manufacturing continued to grow.

China’s final reading of the HSBC/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for June rose to 50.7 from May’s 49.4, edging past the 50-point level that separates growth in activity from contraction for the first time since December.

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Both Markit’s and the Institute for Supply Management’s measures of factory activity in the United States are due later in the day, at 9:45 a.m. EDT and 10:00 a.m. respectively. Car sales are also due throughout the day.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 4 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 40 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 11 points.

Manufacturing in Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, also gained pace in June, fuelled by improving demand at home, but euro zone growth faltered as Germany, the region’s top economy, slowed.

AT&T said on Monday it sold its equity in America Movil for $5.57-billion (U.S.) to a company controlled by Carlos Slim, allowing the billionaire to tighten his grip on the giant Mexican telecoms company. AT&T said in May it would sell its stake to help it gain regulatory approval for its purchase of DirecTV.

Amicus Therapeutics shares rose 9.3 per cent in premarket trading after positive research notes, including an upgrade to outperform at Leerink, where the stock’s price target was raised to $6 from $2.50.

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