US STOCKS-Wall St gains as weak data spurs stimulus hopes
* Weak Europe, China manufacturing data boosts stimulus hopes
* Fiat, Ford up after reporting rise in February sales
* Honeywell up after dropping United Tech bid
* Indexes up: Dow 0.48 pct, S&P 0.59 pct, Nasdaq 0.70 pct (Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street was higher on Tuesday morning, led by financial stocks, as weak manufacturing data globally raised hopes of a further easing of monetary policies.
Manufacturing activity across much of Asia shrank in February, with China falling for a seventh straight month. In Europe, factory growth waned, dealing a further blow to policymakers who are struggling to stimulate their economies and spur inflation.
The downbeat data may sharpen the focus of officials from the world's leading economies who said at the recent G20 meeting they needed to look beyond ultra-low rates and printing money to reanimate growth.
Data from the Institute for Supply Management is expected to show U.S. manufacturing activity steadied in February, with the national manufacturing index inching up to 48.5 from 48.2 in January. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). Continuación...