US Markets

Wall Street to eye earnings parade, Merck higher


U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, ahead of first quarter-earnings from around 40 companies, including Twitter and eBay.

Stock futures retained their gains after an S&P/Case-Shiller report had home prices up 0.8 percent in February.

Three pharmaceutical giants — Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Sanofi — post results ahead of the market open, along with Coach and Goodyear Tire.

Merck reported earnings excluding items that topped expectations. (Click here for the latest quote.)

Read More Merck posts earnings that top expectations

EBay and Twitter will report after Wall Street closes, along with DreamWorks Animation and Seagate Technology.

Stock gains may be limited on Tuesday by markets concerns regarding Ukraine. The U.S. and Europe slapped more sanctions on Russia on Monday, including visa bans on those close to Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Read MoreUkraine may keep the gold bulls out in force

Economic data due out on Tuesday also includes the Conference Board's consumer confidence reading for April.

US stocks to continue rollercoaster ride: Pro

Meanwhile, the monthly Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting will start on Tuesday. At the subsequent press conference on Wednesday, traders will listen for any hints as to when interest rates could rise.

On Friday, there will be April's official non-farm payrolls (NFP) employment report.

"Expectations are for the NFP print to cross over the Federal Reserve's 200,000 mark to 205,000....maybe the first time in 2014 we will see the 200,000-mark cracked and the first time since the winter freeze," Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG Markets, said in a morning note.