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US STOCKS-Futures begin quarter higher before factory data

* Futures up: Dow 61 pts, S&P 5.7 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday at the start of a new quarter before data that could show manufacturing's contraction was slowing.

* The final Markit Manufacturing PMI for September is due at 8:58 a.m. (1258 GMT), and the Institute for Supply Management's September manufacturing index is expected at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 49.7 versus 49.6 in August.

* Construction spending is due at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).

* Euro zone manufacturing put in its worst performance in the three months to September while Asia's manufacturers are continuing to struggle in the face of tepid demand from the United States and Europe.

* S&P 500 futures

rose 5.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures

added 61 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures

gained 15.5 points.

* S&P futures are rebounding from the biggest weekly drop for the benchmarket index since June.

* The U.S. Defense Department on Friday awarded United Launch Alliance, which is a 50-50 joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp

and Boeing Co

, a $1.17 billion contract to provide satellite launches using its Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. Boeing shares edged up 0.4 percent in light premarket trading.

* Wall Street finished lower on Friday but recorded its best third quarter since 2010 after a series of central bank actions sparked a bullish reversal in equity markets, but signs of weakness in the economy drove stocks lower for the week.

* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 48.84 points, or 0.36 percent, to close at 13,437.13 on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX lost 6.48 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish at 1,440.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC dropped 20.37 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 3,116.23.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

((rodrigo.campos@thomsonreuters.com)(+1.646.223.6344)(Reuters

Messaging: rodrigo.campos.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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