US STOCKS-U.S., Chinese data lift S&P 500 to new record high
* Chinese factories expand for first time since December
* U.S. manufacturing grows at a slightly slower pace
* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct (Updates to morning trading, adds data, comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 1 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 hit a record high on Tuesday after data showing U.S. manufacturing accelerated even if at a slightly slower rate, and as China's factory sector expanded in June for the first time in six months.
The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed slightly in June but new orders accelerated to a six-month high, while Chinese manufacturing expanded last month for the first time since December. Other data showed Detroit automakers topped expectations for U.S. June sales.
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.
"We got kind of decent numbers in China and ISM manufacturing looked pretty good, in the range of what was expected," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
"The slowdown we experienced in the first quarter isn't continuing so investors are happy to buy today." Continuación...