July 3, 2017 / 11:28 AM / in a year

US STOCKS-Futures higher in positive start to third quarter

* Futures up: Dow 70 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 12.75 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday, with all three major indexes on track to begin the third quarter on a positive note.

* Trading volume is expected to be light with the U.S. market closing early at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) and with the market shut on Tuesday for Independence Day.

* On Friday, the S&P 500 scored its biggest gain for the first half of the year since 2013, while the Nasdaq Composite’s first-half gain was its best in eight years.

* The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory activity for June is expected to have increased to a reading of 55.1 from 54.9 in May. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.

* U.S. construction spending, is likely to have rebounded 0.2 percent in May, from a 1.4 percent dip recorded in April.

* The second-quarter earnings season will kick off in the coming weeks, with S&P 500 companies expected to post an 8 percent rise in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Investors will focus on earnings to see how they stack up against soaring stock valuations. The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term average of 15 times.

* Shares of Tesla were up 3 percent in premarket trading after the luxury electric-car maker said it would deliver its mass-market Model 3 sedan to first 30 customers on July 28.

* Bank of America edged up 0.8 percent after Berkshire Hathaway invoked its right to acquire 700 million shares of the bank, making it the lender’s top shareholder.

Futures snapshot at 6:53 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 70 points, or 0.33 percent, with 15,061 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.29 percent, with 90,784 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12.75 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 17,384 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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