* McDonald's down after revealing turnaround plan
* AMC, Cognizant hit record high after results
* Cisco inches up after saying Chambers to step down as CEO
* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened higher on Monday ahead of data that is expected to show demand for U.S. factory orders rose in March, signaling that the manufacturing sector is strengthening despite a stronger dollar.
New orders for U.S.-made goods are expected to have risen 2 percent in March compared with a 0.2 percent increase in the prior month. The data is expected at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
The U.S. factory numbers comes after data showed Germany's manufacturing sector continued to expand in April, while factory activity in China for the month recorded its biggest drop in a year, hardening the case for fresh stimulus from Beijing.
Wall Street closed sharply higher on Friday as investors snapped up beaten-down shares and an encouraging batch of data for April pointed to a pickup in the economy.
"Now that earnings are winding down, all the focus shifts to the Fed," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
"The markets are stubborn with nothing knocking them down, which frightens me more because you don't know when the correction will start."
At 9:46 a.m. EDT (1346 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 90.68 points, or 0.5 percent, at 18,114.74, the S&P 500 was up 10.15 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,118.44 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.94 points, or 0.54 percent, at 5,032.33.
All the 10 S&P sectors were higher.
McDonald's shares fell 0.7 percent to $97.15 in early trading after the company laid out initial plans for lure back customers and boost sales.
Cisco inched up 0.4 percent to $29.25 after the company said Chief Executive John Chambers would step down to become executive chairman and 17-year company veteran Chuck Robbins will become CEO, effective July 26.
AMC Networks gained as much as 5.8 percent to hit a record high of $80.70 after its profit topped analysts' expectations as strong demand for its original programming boosted ad sales in its domestic business.
Cognizant rose as much as 9.7 percent to hit an all-time high of $64.90 after the IT services provider reported a better-than-expected rise in revenue and raised its full-year forecast.
Comcast rose 1.1 percent to $59.11 after the largest U.S. cable operator posted a better-than-expected profit.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,094 to 648, for a 3.23-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,633 issues rose and 671 fell for a 2.43-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 4 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 25 new highs and 12 new lows. (Editing by Savio D'Souza)