(Removes incorrect reference to ‘monthly’ in seventh paragraph on impending FOMC meeting)
* Merck quarterly profit tops estimate but revenue misses
* Twitter to report earnings after close
* EU sanctions 15 politicians, military leaders over Ukraine
* Futures up: Dow 46 pts; S&P 6 pts; Nasdaq 17.25 pts
NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday following a batch of early corporate results that were better than expected.
* Merck & Co Inc shares were up 4.1 percent in premarket trading after announcing its results. Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc also confirmed it was in talks to buy Merck & Co’s consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.
* Sprint Corp shares rose 2.3 percent in premarket trading after announcing quarterly results.
* Twitter is due to report after the market closes Tuesday.
* But Archer Daniels Midland Co shares fell 4 percent in premarket trading after its first-quarter profit and sales missed Wall Street estimates.
* Economic data on tap includes February Case-Shiller home prices report and consumer confidence data.
* The Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting will begin later in the day.
* The European Union imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow’s action in Ukraine, but steered clear of sanctions on business leaders.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 6 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 gained 46 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17.25 points.
* In Europe, stocks rose as optimism surrounding corporate earnings and merger moves eclipsed the crisis in Ukraine, while rising euro zone money market rates and strong German consumer confidence supported the euro.
* The S&P 500 ended higher on Monday after a volatile session, as gains in Apple and Pfizer helped offset another round of selling in some high-growth tech shares. (Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Bernadette Baum)