* China manufacturing struggles in March but shows expansion
* ISM, Markit manufacturing on tap
* Medicines Co tumbles after court ruling
* Futures up: Dow 41 pts, S&P 4.5 pts, Nasdaq 8.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 1 U.S. stock index futures rose
modestly on Tuesday, indicating the S&P 500 will climb for a
third straight day, after the benchmark index closed its fifth
straight quarter of gains and ahead of data on manufacturing.
* The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent for the quarter,
matching its longest quarterly winning streak since 2007, buoyed
by gains Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen soothed
concerns about an earlier-than-expected rate hike.
* Investors will look to data on the manufacturing sector
for an indication of the economy's health after lackluster data
earlier in the year was attributed to a harsh winter. The final
Markit manufacturing PMI for March is due at 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345
GMT) and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing
reading for March is due at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT).
* ISM is expected to show a reading of 54 versus the prior
53.2. The prior Markit reading came in at 55.5.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 4.5 points and were
above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained
41 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.75 points.
* Construction spending data for February is also due at
10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT). Expectations call for a flat reading
versus the prior gain of 0.1 percent.
* Two surveys showed manufacturing in China struggled in
March but managed to show expansion, with activity at smaller,
private firms contracting for a third month, adding to a run of
disappointing data that has sparked speculation of imminent
* Medicines Co tumbled 13.2 percent to $24.68 in
premarket trade. The company said a federal judge in Delaware
upheld two patents related to Hospira Inc's generic
version of Medicines Co's angiomax product.
* European stocks got off to a brisk start in the second
quarter, with merger-and-acquisition activity driving gains by
industrial and mining stocks.
* Asian shares hit a four-month high after dovish comments
from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and China's
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)