US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher; FOMC meeting on tap

April 29, 2014

* Merck (Other OTC: MKGAFnews) quarterly profit tops estimate but revenue misses

* Twitter (NYSE: TWTRnews) to report earnings after market close

* EU sanctions 15 politicians, military leaders over Ukraine

* Futures up: Dow 47 pts; S&P 5.8 pts; Nasdaq 13.25 pts (Adds Coach earnings)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.Fnews) , April 29 (Reuters) – Wall Street was set to openhigher on Tuesday following a batch of earnings that were betterthan expected.

* Merck (Dusseldorf: 6MK.DUnews) & Co Inc shares climbed 1 percent inpremarket trading after results. Britain’sReckitt Benckiser Group Plc confirmed talks to buyMerck’s consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabsin a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.

* Sprint Corp shares rose 3.5 percent in premarkettrading after the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider reported anincrease in quarterly revenue, as expected, due to a new billingplan that lowered wireless expenses.

* Twitter is due to report after the market closesTuesday.

* Coach Inc (NYSE: COHnews) reported a sharp drop in North Americansales as the upscale leather goods maker continued to loseground to fast-growing rivals in the U.S. handbags market. Thestock slumped more than 8 percent in premarket trading.

* Archer Daniels Midland Co shares fell 2 percent inpremarket trading after its first-quarter profit and salesmissed Wall Street estimates.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 5.8 points and wereabove fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by takinginto account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration onthe contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained47 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13.25 points.

* The Fed starts a two-day policy meeting later on Tuesdayand is expected to again scale back its monthly bond purchaseprogram and provide guidance on when it might raise interestrates.

* In economic data, the Conference Board’s consumerconfidence index is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* The European Union imposed asset freezes and travel banson 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy primeminister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow’s action inUkraine, but steered clear of sanctions on business leaders.

* In Europe, stocks rose as optimism surrounding corporateearnings and mergers eclipsed the crisis in Ukraine, whilerising euro zone money market rates and strong German consumerconfidence supported the euro.

* The S&P 500 ended higher on Monday after a volatilesession, as gains in Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPLnews) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFEnews) offsetanother round of selling in some high-growth tech shares. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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