* Chinese factories expand for first time since December
* U.S. Markit, ISM factory data due
* Futures up: Dow 44 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts (Updates prices)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to kick off the third quarter with early gains on Tuesday, after a report showed 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 from contraction for the first time since December.
* 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 (1345 GMT) and 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT) respectively. Also at 10:00 a.m., monthly construction spending numbers are out and car sales are due throughout the day.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 5 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 44 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 13 points.
* Manufacturing in Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, also gained pace in June, fueled 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 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 percent 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.
* Other research notes also affected stocks in premarket trading. Urban Outfitters fell 2.6 percent after a downgrade at Wedbush, and Netflix surged 4 percent after being upgraded at Goldman Sachs. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)